Jun 092012
 
 June 9, 2012  Posted by at 3:58 pm Finance
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Photo: Jessica Smith

Production and exports are plummeting in Italy, Holland, Finland, Germany, just about anywhere; in China, production growth falls sharply. But your "leaders" will keep on talking about restoring growth, recovery etc. Spain will – secretly – ask for some $200-300 billion in bank bail-outs on Saturday (and get much less, the Wall Street Journal reports it will be €125), and 24 hours later play its first game in the Euro Cup, for which it's the great favorite.

The potential Spain bailout will need to be financed through EFSF bonds. The IMF has stated that the banks will need €40 billion, but that number looks ridiculously low. €40 billion every week over the entire summer sounds more like it.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard quotes a few voices:

Is a Spanish bail-out viable?

Megan Greene, from Roubini Global Economics, says Spain's banks will need up to €250bn – a claim that no longer looks extreme. New troubles are emerging daily. The Bank of Spain said yesterday that Catalunya Caixa and Novagalicia will need a total of €9bn in new state funds.

JP Morgan is expecting the final package for Spain to rise above €350bn, while RBS says the rescue will "morph" into a full-blown rescue of €370bn to €450bn over time – by far the largest in world history.

But then there's always that nasty and inconvenient question:

"Where is the money going to come from?" asked Simon Derrick, from BNY Mellon. "Half-measures are not going to work at this stage and it is not clear that the funding is available."

In theory, the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) and the new European Stability Mechanism (ESM) can raise a further €500bn between them, beyond the sums already committed to Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. "There is sufficient firepower available. In addition, the EFSF/ESM can leverage resources," said Christophe Frankel, the EFSF's chief financial officer.

In theory, sure, Europe can further leverage and rehypothecate till Kingdom Come. But only in theory. The EFSF depends on international finance markets for their bond issues. Leveraging collateral won't exactly help it build or restore credibility there. And that's not all:

It may not prove so easy to convince global investors to mop up large issues of debt. "Our clients won't touch the EFSF because nobody knows what it really is. They have cut it out of their benchmarks altogether," said one bond trader.

The Chinese issued their own verdict yesterday. The country's sovereign wealth fund said it will not buy any more debt in Europe until the region takes radical steps to restore credibility. "The risk is too big, and the return too low," said Lou Jiwei, the chairman of China Investment Corporation. "Europe hasn't got the right policies in place. There is a risk that the eurozone may fall apart and that risk is rising," he told the Wall Street Journal. The EFSF had hoped to sell yuan "Panda bonds" but this may prove hard.

Eric Dor, from the IESEF School of Management in Lille, said Spain would have to step out of the EFSF as a creditor the moment it asks for funds. This has instant effects on the residual core. Italy's share rises from 19pc to 22pc, and Italy is in no shape to face extra burdens. France's share rises from 22pc to 25pc, and Germany's from 29pc to 33pc.

"The credibility of the guarantees given to EFSF bonds would collapse. This would cause an incredible turmoil on the European sovereign debt markets," he said. [..]

If you think this through, and include Italy ceasing to be a Eurozone emergency fund creditor, with other countries on the verge, you're left with Germany in the not too distant future paying over 50% of what's needed to "save Europe". If the Germans accept that at all (they probably won't), it will do so only with very stringent strings attached, like a much stronger political and fiscal union effectively run by Berlin. There is zero chance of a consensus for that in all member countries.

Any rescue must be a loan to the Spanish state, even if the money goes to the bank restructuring fund (FROB). The cost will push Spain's sovereign debt even higher .[..]

The EFSF had trouble raising funds last year. The spread on 10-year EFSF yields over German Bunds reached 177 basis points in November. Moody's said at the time that the EFSF "cannot meaningfully support the euro area's large government bond markets".

The fund placed a three-year bond last week at 1.116pc, compared with 0.15pc for German three-year debt, or 0.69pc for French debt. In effect, the EFSF is already paying a premium, and that was before the Spanish crisis had fully metastasized.

The permanent ESM may have more luck when it comes into force next month, since it will have €32bn of paid-in capital and a stronger mandate – but it still bears the stigma of EMU break-up talk. "If they want anybody to the buy the rescue bonds, they should make them redeemable in the German currency on the day of the redemption: let us call them D-Mark bonds," said Charles Dumas, head of Lombard Street Research.

The Spain bank bailouts, if they happen, will be a temporary "solution", more like a bank band aid, and it will, for one thing, do absolutely nothing to alleviate the (debt-)pressure on the Spanish government, let alone its regions, which are also miles over their necks in debt (re: China). Nor will it do anything at all to help the over 50% of unemployed young people find jobs.

Which means that all hope of recovery or growth in the Spanish economy remains a lost and lonely mirage for many years to come. Which in turn guarantees that all numbers used to figure out the right number of billions for the banks will turn out to be hugely over-optimistic. And that of course guarantees more talks and more bailouts in the future.

One of the smartest things I read the past week was the assertion that it doesn't make one iota of difference who wins the June 17 Greek elections; just like in Spain, Greece's economy is getting so much worse so fast that any and all treaties concluded in the past will need to be renegotiated regardless of what anyone claims.

The idea is that if the "traditional" parties win, which support the "Troika treaty", all will be fine, but that's just a load of doo-dog-doo. Everything Europe and the IMF have come up with so far has been one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind the reality that underlies what they're talking about in the first place. If they would address the actual reality, nobody would show up at the negotiating table anymore. And the Spanish people would perhaps not quite as peacefully stay home to cheer their team.

So reality is off the cards. No truth for you; word is you can't handle it. And if you can't handle the truth, what are the chances you can handle reality when it catches up with you?

And now that we're asking questions, answer me this one: where's the growth going to come from that your leaders are dangling before you?

Tick 'em off: not from Spain, not from Greece, that's the easy ones. Not from the PIIGS. And not from the FANG countries (Finland, Austria, Netherlands, Germany): their production numbers are falling as we speak. Not from the US, which are hopelessly stuck in their unemployment swamp (officially and unofficially), which have a housing market that has a long way down ahead yet even with (or because of) 40 million underwater "homeowners“, and which have so much government debt only divine intervention would offer solace (which is perhaps why so many Americans attend church). And not from China either, where numbers are falling so hard a soft landing looks like a faraway dream.

This is a classic Mexican stand-off. Europe can't afford to save Spain, and it can't afford to not save it. I've said it before: there is no solution for Europe. In its battle for credibility, it destroys that very credibility, since it has no choice but to expose its weaknesses in the process.

Weaknesses like Germany's potential inability to pay for bailouts. Satyajit Das writes this:

Germany and France can’t afford euro-zone bailout

The standard narrative states that Germany does not want to bail out troubled peripheral nations within the euro zone. The reality is that the more highly rated and larger euro zone members, Germany and France, may not have the necessary financial resources for the task.

• German Gross Domestic Product is €2.5 trillion and its debt levels are around 80% of GDP. French GDP is €2.1 trillion and its debt levels are around 90% of GDP.

• Germany and France’s greatest vulnerability is the large financial exposures arising from the current European debt crisis. Their exposures to the troubled peripheral economies are large. German and French banks have exposures of around €800 billion to the debt issues of peripheral nations.

• The German and French states have indirect exposure through support of various official institutions such as the European Union, European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and special bailout funds. As of April, the exposure of the ECB to Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy was €918 billion and rising rapidly, driven by capital flight from these countries.

• German and French guarantees supporting the European Financial Stability Fund are around €200 billion each.

• Germany also has the additional burden via the Bundesbank’s €644 billion exposure to other central banks in the euro zone under the TARGET2 (“Trans-european Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System”), which is designed as a payment system to settle cross-border funds flows.

Surplus countries such as Germany have been forced to use TARGET2 to finance peripheral countries without access to money markets as a way of funding trade deficits and offsetting capital flight. Germany is by far the largest creditor in TARGET2. The Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg are the other creditors, with all other euro zone countries being net debtors within the system.

.. [greater monetary and fiscal integration] would require mutualization of debt through the issue of euro zone bonds backed jointly or severally by all member states. Germany’s and France’s financial exposure would increase through their liability for euro-zone bonds.

• Germany’s TARGET2 exposure would also continue to increase, at a rate of €80-160 billion annually to finance expected trade deficits in the rest of Europe. The increase in exposure may be higher if needed to finance budget deficits of weaker euro zone members and the anemic banking sector.

• A credible deposit insurance scheme would have to be around €1.3 trillion in size. A European deposit guarantee system, provision of capital or further funding of banks would potentially increase Germany and France’s financial liability.

• If integration is not undertaken or the partial solutions fail, then some European countries will need to restructure their debt and potentially leave the common currency. Germany and France would suffer immediate losses. A Greek default would result in losses to Germany of up to €90 billion. France would suffer losses of up to €65 billion.

The BBC reports that Spain has restated again on Saturday morning that it doesn't need or want a bailout, at least not before a domestic stress test which will be made public 2 weeks from now. However, the EU and ECB want it all done in one week, before June 17, the Greek election. It will be. But once again, nothing will be solved when it is.

Still, the Eurozone countries are stuck with each other and with nowhere to go. But down.

Greece can't leave, or be allowed to leave, because other countries (the PIIGS) would follow. Either of their own will or because the bond markets would force them. It's possible that Germany et al. could at some point think a Greek exit could be controlled, but that would be a huge miscalculation.

Germany can't leave either, and also because other countries would follow. The Netherlands, Finland, Austria, many one or two others. France would want to join this group, but the other countries wouldn't want it to. And France would never accept being in the PIIGS group.

The only thing that's certain is chaos.

It's a restless hungry feeling
That don't mean no one no good
When ev'rything I'm a-sayin'
You can say it just as good
You're right from your side
I'm right from mine
We're both just too many mornings
An' a thousand miles behind.
Bob Dylan

 

Home Forums Europe: A Thousand Miles Behind

This topic contains 0 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Raúl Ilargi Meijer 1 year, 10 months ago.

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June 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm #8503

Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Photo: Jessica Smith Production and exports are plummeting in Italy, Holland, Finland, Germany, just about anywhere; in China, production growth falls
[See the full post at: Europe: A Thousand Miles Behind]

June 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm #3849

Reverse Engineer

The most glaring weakness in bailing the Rain from Spain is that pesky “where’s the money gonna come from?” problem. The Chinese aren’t buying and Eurotrash buying from themselves is too obvious a circle jerk, which pretty much leaves Benny all by himself to take all of Europe as dog shit collateral for another $1T worth of funny money. Not sure what the reaction would be in CONgress to the idea of Bailing out all of Europe, but I can’t imagine it being all that positive.

Which brings us right back to the circle jerk being the only implausible non-solution and the question of how long any credibility left can exist? Oh wait, there is no credibility left, so how far into negative credibility can you go? One can imagine here the EFSF levering up and funding this mess, then itself going belly up and needing a NEW Bailout from the next vehicle, the Super Terrific Ultra Providencial Insurance Disbursment (STUPID) fund issuing yet ANOTHER set of bonds to roll over the old ones.

Meanwhile, out in the REAL world of Eurotrash, nobody’s got a job and nobody can afford to drive their Mercedes around Barcelona so why do they need Refineries in Eurotrashland anyhow? Close down a few more of those.

Those Morton’s Forks sure are nasty, and no matter which way the Euro Clowns in Brussels go, they end up off the same cliff. They’ll get to the bottom first, but they won’t be alone for long. We’ll be right behind them.

RE

http://www.doomsteaddiner.org

June 10, 2012 at 4:26 am #3850

Nassim

I was wondering around Barcelona with my family three summers ago – on brief visit from France. I was carrying a rucksack on my back and several times people tried to get their hands into the rucksack so that I was forced to hold it against my chest. When I confronted them, they tried to laugh it off.

I guess things must be getting a lot worse by now. Eventually, a lot of people are going to point out that things were not so bad under Franco after all. Sure, he killed off masses of people to get into power and keep in power. However, he kept Spain out of WW2 and people had jobs and some sort of future under him. It seems pretty obvious to me.

The problem will be the getting from the present situation of ridiculous expectations to the situation of no expectations.

June 10, 2012 at 4:43 am #3851

JoeP

Excellent post Ilargi.

If you think this through, and include Italy ceasing to be a Eurozone emergency fund creditor, with other countries on the verge, you’re left with Germany in the not too distant future paying over 50% of what’s needed to “save Europe”. If the Germans accept that at all (they probably won’t), it will do so only with very stringent strings attached, like a much stronger political and fiscal union effectively run by Berlin. There is zero chance of a consensus for that in all member countries.

What choices does Germany have other than “accepting” the 50% deal? And I mean choices that would not cause a “derivatives event”.

“The EFSF had hoped to sell yuan “Panda bonds” but this may prove hard.”

Sounds like a pretty cheesy name for bonds to me.

June 10, 2012 at 5:11 am #3852

Reverse Engineer

JoeP post=3475 wrote:

What choices does Germany have other than “accepting” the %50 deal? And I mean choices that would not cause a “derivatives event”.

Send in Hanz and Franz and the rest of the Debt Collectors to Repo Sapin and Italy?

Back up Hanz and Franz with some hardware from Bavarian Motor Works perhaps?

If all else fails, I’m sure the chemists at IG Farben can come up with a Final Solution.

RE

June 10, 2012 at 8:51 am #3854

william

Frankly I surprised not more people get this. Bailouts will repeat till capitalism fails so completely it become irrelevant and is not returned to. Although painful, people will die, somehow we have got to press on to something better.

Just watched a documentary: Everything is a Remix What if we take capitalism apart and mix it in with the free thinking open source movement to create a social network that accomplishes everything the State does now for us. What if we create a society without bureaucracy?

Can’t be done? Compare Wikipedia to Encyclopedia Britannica. Although wiki has far greater number of mistakes they are setup without the bureaucracy that would slow them down, and can fix mistakes within minutes.

So yes Spain is one of the first to experience the death of capitalism and will suffer greatly. But we don’t need to shut down in the face of horror we need to invent and reconfigure a new philosophy of economic reduction. How to prosper in decline, how be ok with much lower standards.

I don’t know if I was the first to say this about our decline but I have found many other saying the same thing. Hang on this is going to be the ride of a lifetime all the thrill of an amusement park without the annoyance of safety protocols.

June 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm #3858

sumac.carol

Did anyone see the Martenson post at ZH on June 5 “The Pernicious Dynamics of Debt, Deleveraging, And Deflation”? It seemed very much like he is moving into the deflation camp.

June 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm #3860

bluebird

This article is authored by Charles Hugh Smith

Part I: The Pernicious Dynamics of Debt, Deleveraging, and Deflation

http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/understanding-pernicious-dynamics-debt-deleveraging-and-deflation/76141

June 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm #3861

pipefit

This was the entirely predictable outcome at the end of the cheap oil era. In the late 70′s/early 80′s, 1991, and 2001, the USA economy went into recession every time oil exceed $30 or $35/bbl. Now we’re growing the economy (slightly) at $90/bbl?

Please raise your hand if you understand that that is impossible. So which number is wrong? Is oil not really around $90 or so per barrel, or are we not growing?

Well, all you have to do is go to shadowstats.com to see that inflation is 6%, and therefore, we have been in continuous recession for many years. Ditto EU.

June 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm #3863

AndrewP

The ECB will have to print their way out. Monetize everything. They have no choice now. An EU fiscal union funded by massive Euro printing.

June 11, 2012 at 1:27 am #3864

agelbert

Ladies and Gentlemen, please grasp firmly your handbaskets.
Also, expect a rather exponential increase in temperature.

June 11, 2012 at 3:28 am #3867

rlmrdl

The key is that most people see the problem as trying to replace the pistons while the engine is running when the “solution” is to shift perspective http://tinyurl.com/7en27ur

THEN the problem becomes one of public discourse that enables enough of us to hold the new perspective while negotiating the difficulties that will ensure. And THAT would require multiple leaders at all levels, each with the rhetorical and intellectual skills of a Churchill.

Dang, another Morton Fork. As in “stick a Morton Fork in it honey, I think its done”.

June 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm #3877

pipefit

rlmrdl post=3493 wrote: The key is that most people see the problem as trying to replace the pistons while the engine is running when the “solution” is to shift perspective http://tinyurl.com/7en27ur

THEN the problem becomes one of public discourse that enables enough of us to hold the new perspective while negotiating the difficulties that will ensure. And THAT would require multiple leaders at all levels, each with the rhetorical and intellectual skills of a Churchill.

Dang, another Morton Fork. As in “stick a Morton Fork in it honey, I think its done”.

You’re right about the ‘morton fork’ aspect of the situation. However, in a ‘morton fork’ situation, a new perspective is useless. You can change the street sign from ‘dead end’ to ‘no outlet’, and even bring in Winston Churchill to translate it to you in Spanish, lol, but you’re still at the bitter end.

What do we need multiple leaders for? The Euro, Yen, and Dollar will go to the same place as all other pure fiat currencies before them, the fire place. There is nothing anybody can do at this point to alter that outcome.

June 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm #3878

draego454

Ain’t globalism grand! With no borders or boundaries, the sinking tide wrecks ALL ships.

Steven in Dallas

June 12, 2012 at 7:05 am #3889

John Day

Economic growth is certainly possible in regional and global economies, even with $90+/bbl oil.
However, it is only possible after vast systemic restructuring, which usually takes a couple of decades, as these things go.
The clock hasn’t really started yet…
John Michael Greer (Archdruid Report) says “Collapse Now and Avoid The Rush”

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/06/collapse-now-and-avoid-rush.html

June 12, 2012 at 11:47 am #3890

Reverse Engineer

pipefit post=3504 wrote:
What do we need multiple leaders for? The Euro, Yen, and Dollar will go to the same place as all other pure fiat currencies before them, the fire place. There is nothing anybody can do at this point to alter that outcome.

Yup, and right along with them when they throw the Gold into the Fireplace it will all melt and go running right down the drain after the Fiat.

Right there in the Book of Revelation.

Revelation wrote:
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

RE

June 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm #3891

Nassim

Give us a break! Now we have to read the book of revelations. I wonder how many “books” did not make it the King James edition?

June 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm #3893

Reverse Engineer

Nassim post=3519 wrote: Give us a break! Now we have to read the book of revelations. I wonder how many “books” did not make it the King James edition?

I have no idea how many Articles did not make the Final cut into the King James Blog, or even into the First Edition Blog in Latin. I suspect it was many.

One can say with some assurance though that what DID make it onto the Bible Blog were the best articles the editors could find on the Monastery Web of the era.

Far as the Book/Forum of Revelation goes, while most certainly the authors there were heavily into pitching some serious Napalm, embedded in all the Hellfire and Mayhem is a whole heck of a lot of TRUTH also. I would not discount what is written in the Book of Revelation just because the authors were some serious Napalm Artists :) Even *I* have difficulty writing Fire and Brimstone of that kind of magnitude. :evil:

Also, play close ATTENTION to this part of the passage:

Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in ONE HOUR is thy judgment come.

This tells me the Bible and Revelation comes down on the side of a FAST CRASH, not a LONG EMERGENCY. Not sure what real Biblical Scholars would interpret from this though. :dry: Perhaps Ashvin can fill us in on how the Bible Pros come down here on this one.

Synthesizing Biblical and Mayan predictions here, one could easily conclude that the Last Hour of Trading on the Markets on 12/21/2012 will be a doozy. LOL.

One more time, from Ben Lichtenstein in the S&P Pits. :D

HERE THEY COME TO SELL ‘EM AGAIN!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrxlVjZJawQ&feature=player_embedded

RE

http://www.doomsteaddiner.com

June 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm #3894

Bot Blogger

RE

You’re beginning to BORE.

Get some new material.

June 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm #3895

jal

I’m sure that the ancient wise men wanted to send their wisdom down through the ages.

There are a number of vehicles that had survived to reach those wise men.
Surely, they were wise enough to use the same vehicles.

Songs …

Games …

Sacred writings.

Unfortunately, they did not expect us to become as stupid as we have become.
(Don’t look back, you’ll turn into a pillar of salt :-) )

In case you are wondering , I’m not considered religious)

June 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm #3897

FrankRichards

[blockquote]One can say with some assurance though that what DID make it onto the Bible Blog were the best articles the editors could find on the Monastery Web of the era.[/blockquote]

Not exactly. One can say with assurance that Jerome picked up the best stuff that matched his doctrinal pravda. Jerome certainly bounced a lot of crap, but he also excluded the gnostics, and eg the Gospel of Thomas, for saying things that neither Rome nor Constantinople wanted to hear.

Martin Luther and the KJV translators also made an honest error in using the Septuagint as their source for the Old Testament. This was a carefully chosen and edited Greek translation commissioned by a carefully theologically/politically chosen rump convocation of the Sanhedrin after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. In, as it were, outfitting Judaism to survive the diaspora, it left on the cutting room floor many ideas and traditions that would have been part of the environment of Jesus and his original disciples.

Disclosure: Jesuit educated recovering Catholic.

June 13, 2012 at 2:49 am #3901

Reverse Engineer

Bot Blogger post=3522 wrote: RE

You’re beginning to BORE.

Get some new material.

At least I have old material. What have you got BB?

Anyhow, for the NEW stuff, visit the DOOMSTEAD DINER B)

RE

June 13, 2012 at 3:39 am #3903

ashvin

OK, here are some popular, yet erroneous MYTHS about the Bible:

-The New Testament is composed of books that were hand-picked by Roman authorities much after Jesus died.

-Modern versions of the Biblical books such as those in KJB are significantly different than the original texts.

-NT books in other languages have been significantly altered in meaning through translation errors, like a game of telephone. (in reality, there is only one translation from Greek to the other language)

-The “Gnostic gospels” originated before or at the same time as the other ones that are officially a part of the NT (in reality, they came many generations after Jesus and the Apostles)

People, this stuff is so easy to verify with modern technology, such as the INTERNET and computer software, it’s not even remotely acceptable to keep believing the myths (the first three especially). They are kind of like the Fed’s “dual mandate” and the idea that it’s a government agency accountable to the people. The fact that they are still so popular and accepted is a testament to the sheer persistence of those who have planted them over the centuries and continue to water them to this day (basically everyone in the New Age Movement).

Frank,

I am not going to claim that I am familiar with the Septaugint issue that you refer to. BUT, wouldn’t it be easy enough to compare versions of the OT not based on that translation with the KJV and see if there are significant differences in meaning?

June 13, 2012 at 4:52 am #3904

FrankRichards

Ash, the Septuagint issue is largely about which books are included. The Protestants exclude many (10-ish) books that are accepted by Catholics and Orthodox.

June 13, 2012 at 5:04 am #3905

ashvin

Here is nice little video on the matter:

June 13, 2012 at 5:48 am #3906

ashvin

RE,

The Revelation passages you quote are describing the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, which is often referred to as a philanderous woman named Babylon. I believe the prophecy is that she will “cheat” on God yet again, this time with the Antichrist and his kingdom – the ultimate betrayal – and will be destroyed because of it, along with all of the Earthly riches that it possesses and that the sinners crave. It will indeed be a fast demise, but it is just talking about a single city. Although, it will probably happen in the context of general mayhem across the globe.

June 13, 2012 at 10:28 am #3910

Reverse Engineer

ashvin post=3534 wrote: RE,

The Revelation passages you quote are describing the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, which is often referred to as a philanderous woman named Babylon. I believe the prophecy is that she will “cheat” on God yet again, this time with the Antichrist and his kingdom – the ultimate betrayal – and will be destroyed because of it, along with all of the Earthly riches that it possesses and that the sinners crave. It will indeed be a fast demise, but it is just talking about a single city. Although, it will probably happen in the context of general mayhem across the globe.

What establishes that this is not literally the City of Babylon itself being described here, but rather a metaphorical reference to Jerusalem? I thought you said we should take the Bible as literal truth?

In any event, whether it is describing the destruction of Jerusalem, of Babylon before it or of the City of London and Wall Street and Hong Kong and Singapore at some not too distant point in the future, the description of how all merchandise is rendered worthless corresponds precisely to the kind of economic collapse of a monetary system we see in play right now. My purpose in using this passage is simply to demonstrate that the kind of economic collapse we are undergoing was not unknown even to the earliest users of Money in the Ag based societies of the Biblical Era.

The outcome of such a collapse is also well described in this passage, so why we would expect a different result here this go round is Einsteinian Insanity as its most basic level.

RE

June 13, 2012 at 11:00 am #3911

ashvin

Reverse Engineer post=3539 wrote: [quote=ashvin post=3534]What establishes that this is not literally the City of Babylon itself being described here, but rather a metaphorical reference to Jerusalem? I thought you said we should take the Bible as literal truth?

Obviously the Bible uses parables, metaphors, etc. in some parts, but there is NO attempt to hide those things or make them unclear as to what they are referring to. People who study the passages in historical/theological/linguistic context can develop arguments for what they mean ranging from unquestionable to very solid. Based on all of the evidence, it is very likely that the “mystery babylon” passages of Revelation constitute specific prophecy about what will happen to Jerusalem in the future.

Like I have said before, we can’t take descriptions of such specific events and pretend they are justifying all sorts of things that are not really at issue. If we accept that the passage is referring to a specific event in a specific city (see link below), then we must respect that meaning when attempting to use it as support. Here, you want to use the passage as support for your views of monetary collapse in society and how PMs will fare, but I think that’s an erroneous, and, frankly, weird thing to do.

It’s like taking a description from Homer’s Odyssey and using it as support for an argument about how your journey home across the waters will end up today. But it’s even much different, because the Bible is talking about a specific event that will happen in the future, but you are applying it to whatever event you feel that it should apply to. It just seems very… ODD to me.

For more about the meaning of these “mystery babylon” passages, I recommend this great audio/video series by Chris White – http://conspiracyclothes.com/nowheretorun/mystery-babylon-study-chris-white/

June 13, 2012 at 11:53 am #3913

Reverse Engineer

Well, first off I am on a slow connection that is metered for bandwidth usage, so I am not going to listen/watch an Audio/Video series here. If you have a text based reference I can read that establishes why this specifically refers to Jerusalem rather than Babylon, I will be happy to read it though.

ashvin post=3540 wrote:
Obviously the Bible uses parables, metaphors, etc. in some parts, but there is NO attempt to hide those things or make them unclear as to what they are referring to. People who study the passages in historical/theological/linguistic context can develop arguments for what they mean ranging from unquestionable to very solid. Based on all of the evidence, it is very likely that the “mystery babylon” passages of Revelation constitute specific prophecy about what will happen to Jerusalem in the future.

The entire Range goes from unquestionable to very solid? There is nothing that might be considered questionable in there or maybe even complete and utter BULLSHIT? :S

Beyond that, you make the case here that nobody except a Biblical Scholar is knowledgeable enough to interpret Biblical passages, so we gotta rely on them to interpret the Truth written therein. Man, if I read anything from Machiavelli to Hunter S. Thompson, from the Bhagavit Gita to Spiderman Comics and from the Bible to the the Lord of the Rings, I read it all with a critical mind, sythesize it and then take out of it what is congruent with my perception of reality as I gather it through my 5 senses. It’s NOT Differential Equations Ashvin, there are not mathematical proofs based on pure logic that work in social and historical texts.

Like I have said before, we can’t take descriptions of such specific events and pretend they are justifying all sorts of things that are not really at issue. If we accept that the passage is referring to a specific event in a specific city (see link below), then we must respect that meaning when attempting to use it as support. Here, you want to use the passage as support for your views of monetary collapse in society and how PMs will fare, but I think that’s an erroneous, and, frankly, weird thing to do.

This is your OPINION Ashvin. You don’t justify it by any other means than an Appeal to Authority argument. If you think it’s erroneous, you have to show me in more precise arguments here exactly WHY it is erroneous.

Far as it being weird, I will call you out here for pitching Napalm Lite. It’s not weird to me. It matches up quite well with what I see occurring before me on the Markets and in the Social dislocations resultant from that.

It’s like taking a description from Homer’s Odyssey and using it as support for an argument about how your journey home across the waters will end up today. But it’s even much different, because the Bible is talking about a specific event that will happen in the future, but you are applying it to whatever event you feel that it should apply to. It just seems very… ODD to me.

Weird AND Odd! How about adding in here Looney Tunes also? Look Ashvin, I never claimed to be a mainstream conventional thinker, I am WAY outside the box so of COURSE what I write seems odd and weird to you. You are a Button Down Academic with VERY conventional thought process, it suffuses all your writing. I call it as I see it. It’s not the LEAST bit “Odd” to me at all. If you just name call it as weird and odd, you prove nothing. You have to deconstruct it, and I challenge you as always to do that. I PROMISE you I will come right back atchya every time. TAKE ME ON! ;)

Academic vs Gonzo. Mano-a-Mano on the Keyboard. As Always. :woohoo:

RE

June 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm #3914

Bot Blogger

RE
I may agree with most of what you say.

But in what was a small community of bloggers on TAE, and a healthy ecosystem of opinion, we now have one message delivered over and over again, by you. It’s obvious that some people are unwilling to post for fear of your wrath. You’ve made it clear it’s just sport for you. Or chess.

At best, your counter-propaganda campaign promoting the spread of the bankster-mob-justice meme is a feeble personal wank. (What are you going to do? Guide and direct it from Alaska? LOL. It’s just entertainment for you. It’s simply a reward for your personal RAGE).

At worst, you are an agent provocateur looking to draw people into their own demise. (Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be. )

People are waking up at the same time all over the world. Many will easily decend into rage and self loathing for having been living so close to the curtain and never looking behind. Many will find themselves taken in by hucksters offering simple relief for their blood lust. That’s history. But after the blood lust is saited then what?

Illargi’s ongoing rage at the stupidity of our so called economic system is something that remains fresh for me because I always feel he is asking a question in the end. I feel at least he is looking for an answer. You apparently have the TRUTH. And a major source of this capital “T” truth comes from the bible in the form of GOOD and EVIL. Unconventional thinking?Seriously. Are you trying to be ironic?

And the Chicago way? Really? It ain’t the Chicago way. It’s the Munich way, It’s the Tel Aviv way. It’s the Santiago way. It’s the Moscow way.It’s called Shock and Awe in Washington. It’s the ‘way’ wherever military thugs and bankster gangsters set the tone. But they don’t look and speak like Sean Connery ( I suppose you’re Sean Connery in this fantasy ways-of-being-lesson you’re giving).

But does collapse dictate a collapse in the complexity of the conversation itself? When the collapse isn’t going to be happening on the internet anyway! It’ll all be up at our front door. It’ll be what we’re all dealing with while trying to be useful to those we are close to. Making hard choices about how to best take care of one another. Maybe that will require some simplistic logic. I’m here on TAE for insight. I’m not saying you don’t provide that I’m grateful for your postings and your posting of Peter was particulaly intriguing. More of that and less of the morbid boosterism, or boosterized morbidity.

And in the end you are right it is a matter of style. In my ideal world I imagine that you’re trying to communicate.But what I see instead is broadcasting.

June 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm #3915

ashvin

First off, RE, you are wrong on this point here (incidentally, for the same reason you were wrong when quoting Matthew as potential justification for OMMP on that thread). This is not a matter of style, it is a matter of fact – right and wrong. Hunter S. Thompson would be just as wrong as you are if he used the same arguments – I don’t care how good of a writer or clever a thinker he was.

Reverse Engineer post=3542 wrote: Well, first off I am on a slow connection that is metered for bandwidth usage, so I am not going to listen/watch an Audio/Video series here. If you have a text based reference I can read that establishes why this specifically refers to Jerusalem rather than Babylon, I will be happy to read it though.

http://chriswhiteministries.com/MysteryBabylon/Mystery%20Babylon%20-%20The%20Eschatological%20City%20of%20Jerusalem3.pdf

The entire Range goes from unquestionable to very solid? There is nothing that might be considered questionable in there or maybe even complete and utter BULLSHIT? :S

I am not talking about determining the truth of the Bible’s meaning, but the MEANING of what the Bible is saying. You are right, though, that there do exist many interpretations that are complete and utter BS – the popular Dan Brown and Zeitgest interpretations are good examples. But
these types of BS interpretations come almost exclusively from people who are not Biblical scholars, or even ancient historians.

Beyond that, you make the case here that nobody except a Biblical Scholar is knowledgeable enough to interpret Biblical passages, so we gotta rely on them to interpret the Truth written therein.

Again, not the Truth of what it claims to be true, but the truth of what it is actually claiming – i.e. what does the Bible mean when it says this or that?

OF COURSE we have to rely on scholars in the field. How can you even determine the meaning of any ancient text in the first instance without relying on translators familiar with the language, unless you already know the language itself? And when you figure out what the words mean, how can you figure out what the sentences mean without considering them in a broad linguistic and historical context? This is true of Plato and Socrates just as it is of the Bible. We can all potentially become Biblical scholars, but most of us are not and do not have the time, so we rely on them and the coherence of their arguments.

Man, if I read anything from Machiavelli to Hunter S. Thompson, from the Bhagavit Gita to Spiderman Comics and from the Bible to the the Lord of the Rings, I read it all with a critical mind, sythesize it and then take out of it what is congruent with my perception of reality as I gather it through my 5 senses. It’s NOT Differential Equations Ashvin, there are not mathematical proofs based on pure logic that work in social and historical texts.

That is not a critical mind you described, it is a biased and goal-seeked mind. If you want to go around re-writing ancient religious texts in your mind to suit your already established “perception of reality”, that’s fine, but don’t expect others not to call you out for it. What you’re doing is best described as “reverse straw man” – constructing meanings for texts written by OTHER PEOPLE without any evidence and then using those meanings as support for your argument.

This is your OPINION Ashvin. You don’t justify it by any other means than an Appeal to Authority argument. If you think it’s erroneous, you have to show me in more precise arguments here exactly WHY it is erroneous.

I have now given you the relevant links. Besides that, I am not here on TAE to do your Biblical research for you. I never said that the Jerusalem interpretation is the ONLY plausible one out there, but there is only ONE true meaning of what was written. We have to use critical thinking and, yes, authorities in the field to determine what the best (most probable) interpretation is.

Weird AND Odd! How about adding in here Looney Tunes also? Look Ashvin, I never claimed to be a mainstream conventional thinker, I am WAY outside the box so of COURSE what I write seems odd and weird to you. You are a Button Down Academic with VERY conventional thought process, it suffuses all your writing. I call it as I see it. It’s not the LEAST bit “Odd” to me at all. If you just name call it as weird and odd, you prove nothing. You have to deconstruct it, and I challenge you as always to do that. I PROMISE you I will come right back atchya every time. TAKE ME ON! ;)

I didn’t say you are weird or odd… I said your way of using the Bible as support for your arguments is odd. The funny thing is you would agree with me 100% if I was taking a passage from the book of a contemporary author, quoting it out of context, ascribing my own meaning to it and then using it as support for another argument. Hell, you would probably be the first person to “napalm” me for doing so… but, since it’s the Bible, and it was written sooo long ago, I guess the normal rules of critical examination don’t apply.

June 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm #3916

Bot Blogger

This debate over the true meaning of the bible is the same one that defines the debate around the questions of “What and where is Art?”

Does it exist in the creator’s intentions from the moment it is unveiled?
Does it exist in the words/music/paint/metal/stone that constitutes its structure?
Does it exist in the person who interprets it?

Most artist’s I know go with the latter. They have to let go at some point, and when they do, the art (read bible) is on it’s own to develop relationships with interpreters. As for the original writers of the bible we don’t have them around to consult as to their intentions and what we do have is a history of other people imposing their intentions on the writings.

But If the bible is supposed to be the word of God, why do I need to consult it or worry about what the correct interpretation is? God being all powerful and knowing, can let his/her intentions known with merely the smallest effort on my part. I just have to pay attention.

June 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm #3917

ashvin

Bot Blogger post=3545 wrote: This debate over the true meaning of the bible is the same one that defines the debate around the questions of “What and where is Art?”

Does it exist in the creator’s intentions from the moment it is unveiled?
Does it exist in the words/music/paint/metal/stone that constitutes its structure?
Does it exist in the person who interprets it?

These are questions about the philosophy of interpretation… not just of ancient texts or Art, but about EVERYTHING stated, written, recorded, communicated in some manner. They are legitimate questions and, for example, are very prevalent in debates over interpretations of the US Constitution.

If we are going to adopt a very broad philosophy of interpretation, though, we should apply it fairly and consistently to all works of expression. I don’t think we can say that the Bible derives its meaning from the interpretations of the reader, but the articles of, let’s say, Stoneleigh or Ilargi actually mean what the writers intended them to mean, or what the written words suggest they mean.

As for the original writers of the bible we don’t have them around to consult as to their intentions and what we do have is a history of other people imposing their intentions on the writings.

We have the words they wrote, the context in which they were written, and the records of other people who had direct access to them at the time. We have our own cognitive/logical abilities to examine the evidence, rule out certain meanings and accept others. When you read a book by a modern non-fiction writer, do you usually feel it necessary to consult that person directly in order to figure out what they meant? Perhaps sometimes you do, but it is not usually very necessary.

But If the bible is supposed to be the word of God, why do I need to consult it or worry about what the correct interpretation is? God being all powerful and knowing, can let his/her intentions known with merely the smallest effort on my part. I just have to pay attention.

This is mostly a theological question, rather than one of interpretation. I am not claiming that the Biblical God exists, so it is irrelevant to the argument over meaning. But, regardless, the Bible is pretty clear on how God makes His theological truths known, if he were to actually exist. He has required a high level of commitment and faith from humans throughout history, and I don’t think that can be met by sitting back and waiting for Him to appear and tell you what the various prophets of His word really meant. According to the Bible, He caused the prophets to write the Biblical texts so that we could voluntarily read them, understand them and follow them, both as descriptions of historical events and theological teachings. The idea that we can get that understanding by circumventing the Inspired texts and using the “smallest effort” is a bit contradictory to those goals, don’t you think?

June 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm #3922

Bot Blogger

ashvin post=3546 wrote:
These are questions about the philosophy of interpretation… not just of ancient texts or Art, but about EVERYTHING stated, written, recorded, communicated in some manner. They are legitimate questions and, for example, are very prevalent in debates over interpretations of the US Constitution.

If we are going to adopt a very broad philosophy of interpretation, though, we should apply it fairly and consistently to all works of expression. I don’t think we can say that the Bible derives its meaning from the interpretations of the reader, but the articles of, let’s say, Stoneleigh or Ilargi actually mean what the writers intended them to mean, or what the written words suggest they mean.

I admire your desire to apply a philosophy of interpretation to all works of expression. But right now it apparently involves a fair number of experts who will tell us what things mean (to them). And I understand that you don’t think we can say that the Bible derives its meaning from the interpretations of the reader. That is what you said. That doesn’t mean it isn’t up for debate. And after all that is what the reformation was all about: Going back to the bible directly and having a direct relation with the word of God separate from the Interpretations of the Catholic Church.

We have the words they wrote, the context in which they were written, and the records of other people who had direct access to them at the time. We have our own cognitive/logical abilities to examine the evidence, rule out certain meanings and accept others. When you read a book by a modern non-fiction writer, do you usually feel it necessary to consult that person directly in order to figure out what they meant? Perhaps sometimes you do, but it is not usually very necessary.

I don’t read fiction but I get your point. But I think it’s my point actually. I also try not to read movie reviews to figure out what I think about a movie (certainly not without doing some thinking-interpreting myself first).

This is mostly a theological question, rather than one of interpretation. I am not claiming that the Biblical God exists, so it is irrelevant to the argument over meaning.

It seems like you’re having a hard time separating what is a priori here. God is a priori whether IT exists or not. IT existed in these peoples minds/lives before IT was written down in words. Therefore GOD is the object-subject of our discussion, one that cannot truly be either an object or a subject. You can’t just separate out the words and analyize them.

According to the Bible, He caused the prophets to write the Biblical texts so that we could voluntarily read them, understand them and follow them, both as descriptions of historical events and theological teachings.

I get the feeling this is a circular argument not unlike “God wrote the bible because the bible tells me so”.

The idea that we can get that understanding by circumventing the Inspired texts and using the “smallest effort” is a bit contradictory to those goals, don’t you think?

I concede that the smallest effort might be something you do every day for the rest of your life. And practice practice practice. The ‘smallest effort’ by my estimation is paying attention. Listening. Meditating. Being open to where things are going. This is not unlike the saying many Muslims and other people from around the world use in their search for meaning in their lives: ‘If God wills it.’
I gather Jews are taught to have a personal relationship with God not one interpreted by experts. This is a living God concept, not the dead God concept you’re spending time discussing. This is a God of now, not of history. I’m not saying that your pursuit of the correct interpretation of the Bible isn’t worthwhile. I’m sure there will be interesting tid bits of historical info, stuff that has repeated for the last 2000 years or so. I just won’t be looking to it to find out what God intends.

June 14, 2012 at 4:48 am #3929

Reverse Engineer

Bot Blogger post=3543 wrote: RE
I may agree with most of what you say.

But in what was a small community of bloggers on TAE, and a healthy ecosystem of opinion, we now have one message delivered over and over again, by you. It’s obvious that some people are unwilling to post for fear of your wrath. You’ve made it clear it’s just sport for you. Or chess.

Excuse me? When I arrived here a few months ago, El Gallinazo was going Mano-a-Mano with Ashvin, Ben was repeatedly Napalming him, Grandpa was bemoaning the state of the board etc. Healthy ecosystem my ass.

If some folks are scared I will Napalm them, here’s a clue, I never throw the first punch. Long as you don’t go Ad Hom on me, I won’t use the Chicago Way on you.

At best, your counter-propaganda campaign promoting the spread of the bankster-mob-justice meme is a feeble personal wank. (What are you going to do? Guide and direct it from Alaska? LOL. It’s just entertainment for you. It’s simply a reward for your personal RAGE).

At worst, you are an agent provocateur looking to draw people into their own demise. (Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be. )

I am a writer on the subject of collapse. I use a lot of metaphors to illustrate what I am talking about. If you consider writing to be “wanking”, then I am a big wanker indeed.

People are waking up at the same time all over the world. Many will easily decend into rage and self loathing for having been living so close to the curtain and never looking behind. Many will find themselves taken in by hucksters offering simple relief for their blood lust. That’s history. But after the blood lust is saited then what?

After the Kitchen is Clean, you cook a new meal.

Illargi’s ongoing rage at the stupidity of our so called economic system is something that remains fresh for me because I always feel he is asking a question in the end. I feel at least he is looking for an answer. You apparently have the TRUTH. And a major source of this capital “T” truth comes from the bible in the form of GOOD and EVIL. Unconventional thinking?Seriously. Are you trying to be ironic?

Irony is another very useful tool in the writer’s bag of tricks ;)

And the Chicago way? Really? It ain’t the Chicago way. It’s the Munich way, It’s the Tel Aviv way. It’s the Santiago way. It’s the Moscow way.It’s called Shock and Awe in Washington. It’s the ‘way’ wherever military thugs and bankster gangsters set the tone. But they don’t look and speak like Sean Connery ( I suppose you’re Sean Connery in this fantasy ways-of-being-lesson you’re giving).

If you are going to pick a pop culture film icon to represent Prohibition Era Justice, Sean Connery is a good one to choose. If you are going to go to the Old West, Clint Eastwood doing Pale Rider or the Outlaw Josey Wales is good. If you are going to talk about heading for the Mountains, Robert Redford as Jeremiah Johnson is good. Pop culture is my metaphor dude.

But does collapse dictate a collapse in the complexity of the conversation itself? When the collapse isn’t going to be happening on the internet anyway! It’ll all be up at our front door. It’ll be what we’re all dealing with while trying to be useful to those we are close to. Making hard choices about how to best take care of one another. Maybe that will require some simplistic logic. I’m here on TAE for insight. I’m not saying you don’t provide that I’m grateful for your postings and your posting of Peter was particulaly intriguing. More of that and less of the morbid boosterism, or boosterized morbidity.

It’s a mixed bag. As I said to Ashvin, everyone has an axe to grind.

RE

June 14, 2012 at 5:37 am #3931

Reverse Engineer

ashvin post=3544 wrote:

http://chriswhiteministries.com/MysteryBabylon/Mystery%20Babylon%20-%20The%20Eschatological%20City%20of%20Jerusalem3.pdf

Chris says:”2. Some suggest it is the actual city of Babylon in Iraq. In this scenario, they say Babylon will be rebuilt in the future.”

So Chris admits there are other interpretations, and that one is that we are talking about actual Babylon. However, this is all in the predictive sense rather than what had already occurred. We know from History that Babylon was the center of commerce for the Mesopotamian empire. We also know that empire didn’t last. To me, I see an extrapolation on past events here in Revelation, but that is of course just my interpretation and Chris White probably would not agree and neither would you.

I am not talking about determining the truth of the Bible’s meaning, but the MEANING of what the Bible is saying. You are right, though, that there do exist many interpretations that are complete and utter BS – the popular Dan Brown and Zeitgest interpretations are good examples. But
these types of BS interpretations come almost exclusively from people who are not Biblical scholars, or even ancient historians.

I’m not talking about Interpretation that is Bullshit Ashvin, I am talking about stuff IN the Bible that is likely complete and utter Bullshit. Like Jesus Walking on Water, Methuselah living 900 years and Moses Parting the Red Sea. Any Book which contains this level of Bullshit cannot be trusted to be 100% correct on everything.

Again, not the Truth of what it claims to be true, but the truth of what it is actually claiming – i.e. what does the Bible mean when it says this or that?

How do you know what Goebbels or Bernays really meant to do when they designed Propaganda? You can’t know the intentions behind this stuff Ashvin, and the Bible maybe claiming one thing to be true which is really false and another to be false which is actually true. What the writer MEANT to say or meant to do was simply to mislead you. You have to look at it critically and buying the whole ball of wax is a mistake, IMHO.

OF COURSE we have to rely on scholars in the field. How can you even determine the meaning of any ancient text in the first instance without relying on translators familiar with the language, unless you already know the language itself? And when you figure out what the words mean, how can you figure out what the sentences mean without considering them in a broad linguistic and historical context? This is true of Plato and Socrates just as it is of the Bible. We can all potentially become Biblical scholars, but most of us are not and do not have the time, so we rely on them and the coherence of their arguments.

In my experience walking the halls of Academia for so many years, most Scholars are Jackasses, particularly in the Social “Sciences” where every last one of them drops his or her own spin on whatever it is they are expert in. Yes, I do have to rely on the Translators or Google to translate nowadays :), so I unless a text was originally written in English I’m immediately getting some warping, but hopefully not too much just from a straight translation. Its when some Jackass starts telling me what it all MEANS that I sign off on the Appeals to Authority. I’ll figure it out for myself, thanks.

That is not a critical mind you described, it is a biased and goal-seeked mind. If you want to go around re-writing ancient religious texts in your mind to suit your already established “perception of reality”, that’s fine, but don’t expect others not to call you out for it. What you’re doing is best described as “reverse straw man” – constructing meanings for texts written by OTHER PEOPLE without any evidence and then using those meanings as support for your argument.

“Reverse Straw Man”. I like that.

IOW what you are saying here is only EXPERTS can construct meanings for texts! I’m not allowed to do that because I am not “expert” enough. In order to construct meanings that YOU accept as valid, an Expert has to have 50 citations in the Bibliography and been Peer Reviewed for accuracy by 50 other Jackass Academicians in the field. Forget it Ashvin, I don’t buy this at all. I am free to figure out the meaning of any text all by my lonesome. If I am confronted by the actual WRITER of some text who says, “No asshole, that is NOT what I meant”, then I am wrong and need to apologize for misconstruing the meaning, unless of course the writer’s prose was confusing and it’s his fault. In the case of writers long dead, they are not showing up here so everything else with respect to meaning is left to each reader to figure out.

I didn’t say you are weird or odd… I said your way of using the Bible as support for your arguments is odd. The funny thing is you would agree with me 100% if I was taking a passage from the book of a contemporary author, quoting it out of context, ascribing my own meaning to it and then using it as support for another argument. Hell, you would probably be the first person to “napalm” me for doing so… but, since it’s the Bible, and it was written sooo long ago, I guess the normal rules of critical examination don’t apply.

No Ashvin, I already said I apply all the same rules to any other text as I do the Bible. I am critical of all of them. What is congruent with what I observe in the world I use, what is not congruent I do not use. In constructing a theory, I throw out what does not work and keep only what does work. You are so slavishly devoted to one style of thinking and buy the ideas of “experts” on a regular basis I find it beyond my comprehension really. You make no sense to me, as my ideas seem Odd and Weird to you I suppose.

As Hawkeye said of the Europeans in “Last of the Mohicans”, “They are a Breed Apart, and they make no sense.”

RE

June 14, 2012 at 6:22 am #3935

ashvin

Reverse Engineer post=3560 wrote: You make no sense to me, as my ideas seem Odd and Weird to you I suppose.

As Hawkeye said of the Europeans in “Last of the Mohicans”, “They are a Breed Apart, and they make no sense.”

Yes, we finally agree in this Biblical debate! Because I have no damn clue what you are talking about anymore. Your argument has become so silly as to render me shocked, STUNNED, that it is coming from someone as intelligent and informed and, I’ll even say it – WISE – as you.

Chris says:”2. Some suggest it is the actual city of Babylon in Iraq. In this scenario, they say Babylon will be rebuilt in the future.”

So Chris admits there are other interpretations, and that one is that we are talking about actual Babylon. However, this is all in the predictive sense rather than what had already occurred. We know from History that Babylon was the center of commerce for the Mesopotamian empire. We also know that empire didn’t last. To me, I see an extrapolation on past events here in Revelation, but that is of course just my interpretation and Chris White probably would not agree and neither would you.

Did you bother to read past that point at all? Chris goes on to debunk that interpretation, as well the interpretations that it refers to Rome, the Vatican, New York/London, or some type of human system. When I say “debunk”, I mean he presents a lot of solid linguistic, contextual and logical evidence for why those interpretations are flawed, and why the last city of Jerusalem is a much better fit.

Please don’t tell me that you have now stopped caring about objective evidence entirely and prefer to stick with whatever interpretation seems “right” to you and your worldview.

I’m not talking about Interpretation that is Bullshit Ashvin, I am talking about stuff IN the Bible that is likely complete and utter Bullshit. Like Jesus Walking on Water, Methuselah living 900 years and Moses Parting the Red Sea. Any Book which contains this level of Bullshit cannot be trusted to be 100% correct on everything.

So what if it is BS (a claim I would never make without studying the issue much further)? Are you denying that the Bible’s writers are claiming that Jesus walked on water? Are you saying that you will go to any lengths, and ignore any evidence to the contrary, in order to twist what they actually said into what you WANT THEM TO SAY, so that it all fits in nicely with your worldview? That is ridiculous beyond words…

How do you know what Goebbels or Bernays really meant to do when they designed Propaganda? You can’t know the intentions behind this stuff Ashvin, and the Bible maybe claiming one thing to be true which is really false and another to be false which is actually true. What the writer MEANT to say or meant to do was simply to mislead you. You have to look at it critically and buying the whole ball of wax is a mistake, IMHO.

Wow, so now you are saying that we cannot ever figure out the meaning of any text, because the writers are always trying to mislead us about what they mean. Is everything written down “propaganda”, or is it only the texts that you don’t like, or the ones you want to manipulate so they become convenient for your arguments, such as the Bible? We cannot know the meaning of Plato’s Republic, or of Marx’s Das Capital, or Hitler’s Mein Kampf or anything else? It doesn’t matter if it’s propaganda – we can still figure out what it means. You really came up with this craziness out of nowhere.

In my experience walking the halls of Academia for so many years, most Scholars are Jackasses, particularly in the Social “Sciences” where every last one of them drops his or her own spin on whatever it is they are expert in. Yes, I do have to rely on the Translators or Google to translate nowadays :), so I unless a text was originally written in English I’m immediately getting some warping, but hopefully not too much just from a straight translation. Its when some Jackass starts telling me what it all MEANS that I sign off on the Appeals to Authority. I’ll figure it out for myself, thanks.

OK, great, figure it out for yourself. I imagine you’ll have a very difficult time without understanding Hebrew or Greek, but, hey, it’s your time. All I know is that you have ALREADY gotten a few of the meanings wrong. Yes, contrary to your now ridonkulous argument, your off-the-cuff interpretations of texts, especially ancient ones, are not always right, and are often wrong.

“Reverse Straw Man”. I like that.

IOW what you are saying here is only EXPERTS can construct meanings for texts! I’m not allowed to do that because I am not “expert” enough. In order to construct meanings that YOU accept as valid, an Expert has to have 50 citations in the Bibliography and been Peer Reviewed for accuracy by 50 other Jackass Academicians in the field. Forget it Ashvin, I don’t buy this at all. I am free to figure out the meaning of any text all by my lonesome. If I am confronted by the actual WRITER of some text who says, “No asshole, that is NOT what I meant”, then I am wrong and need to apologize for misconstruing the meaning, unless of course the writer’s prose was confusing and it’s his fault. In the case of writers long dead, they are not showing up here so everything else with respect to meaning is left to each reader to figure out.

This is exactly the type of thinking the oppressive institutions of our times and centuries past have used to oppress the masses and keep them ignorant and enslaved. The Catholic Church is a great example, as it somehow conjured up all kinds of traditions/practices/teachings that are not found in the NT Bible AT ALL, yet people still believe that BS today. The fascist US government is another great and more modern example, as the SCOTUS has conjured up all sorts of meanings from the US Constitution that are clearly not there. But, hey, that’s all OK because to each reader his own, right?

Modern technology has given the masses the GIFT of being able to look at the original documents involved and figure out the REAL meanings, in collaboration with other decentralized groups, without relying on institutional authorities who clearly have a deceitful agenda. Your mindset here is playing right into the latter’s hands, even though you spin it as some sort of freedom from academic oppression. Thousands if not millions of brilliant minds have devoted their lives over many years, sometimes out of complete selflessness, to studying and understanding the meanings of these things – my advice to you is to use the gift they have given you and call out the FALSE teachers of these texts.

June 14, 2012 at 6:55 am #3938

Reverse Engineer

ashvin post=3564 wrote:

Did you bother to read past that point at all? Chris goes on to debunk that interpretation, as well the interpretations that it refers to Rome, the Vatican, New York/London, or some type of human system. When I say “debunk”, I mean he presents a lot of solid linguistic, contextual and logical evidence for why those interpretations are flawed, and why the last city of Jerusalem is a much better fit.

I went about 10 pages deep before I puked.

Wow, so now you are saying that we cannot ever figure out the meaning of any text, because the writers are always trying to mislead us about what they mean. Is everything written down “propaganda”, or is it only the texts that you don’t like, or the ones you want to manipulate so they become convenient for your arguments, such as the Bible? We cannot know the meaning of Plato’s Republic, or of Marx’s Das Capital, or Hitler’s Mein Kampf or anything else? It doesn’t matter if it’s propaganda – we can still figure out what it means. You really came up with this craziness out of nowhere.

It’s not from Nowhere, because Nowhere is Somewhere to the person who is There already. :P

I didn’t say “We cannot know the meaning of Plato’s Republic, or of Marx’s Das Capital, or Hitler’s Mein Kampf or anything else?”, I SAID that any reader can take away from any of those texts what from the perspective of the reader is the meaning of it.

Ashvin, I know you are familiar with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and the fact that the mere act of Observation changes the parameters. You cannot pin down both velocity and position at the same time, and you cannot pin down meaning between the text and the reader’s interpretation either.

You have a World View that one interpretation is the CORRECT interpretation, the one spun out by the “expert” academicians you respect because surprise, they buy the same bullshit you do!

OK, great, figure it out for yourself. I imagine you’ll have a very difficult time without understanding Hebrew or Greek, but, hey, it’s your time. All I know is that you have ALREADY gotten a few of the meanings wrong. Yes, contrary to your now ridonkulous argument, your off-the-cuff interpretations of texts, especially ancient ones, are not always right, and are often wrong.

Google is very helpful now doing translations. Not as good in the sack as my Illuminati Spawn girlfriend was, but not such high maintenance either.

You keep SAYING I have it wrong, but you never show why it is wrong. All you do is point me toward Experts who have a different opinion than I do. That proves nothing Ashvin, sorry.

Thousands if not millions of brilliant minds have devoted their lives over many years, sometimes out of complete selflessness, to [strike]studying[/strike]spinning and [strike]understanding[/strike]propagandizing the meanings of these things – my advice to you is to use the [strike]gift[/strike] billshit they have given you and call out the [strike]FALSE[/strike] non-brainwashed teachers of these texts.

Fixed that for you. :woohoo:

I’ll decide for myself what it means, regardless of whether some Ph.D. spent his entire life in the stacks of Low Library coming up with his theory of the Meaning of the Bible. You however are free to take out of it whatever meaning they tell you is correct.

RE

June 14, 2012 at 8:21 am #3942

Reverse Engineer

To return to the topic at hand, check out the latest from Ambrose:

Ambrose wrote:
Debt crisis: Germany signals shift on €2.3 trillion redemption fund for Europe

The German government has begun opening the door to shared debts for the first time in a profound change of policy, agreeing to explore proposals for a €2.3 trillion (£1.9 trillion) stabilization fund in order to stop the eurozone’s crisis escalating out of control…

Forget that Nickel and Dime ESM with €500B in Chump Change here. Let’s talk some real money here! LOL

RE

June 14, 2012 at 9:41 am #3943

ashvin

Reverse Engineer post=3567 wrote: I went about 10 pages deep before I puked.

You cannot pin down both velocity and position at the same time, and you cannot pin down meaning between the text and the reader’s interpretation either.

You keep SAYING I have it wrong, but you never show why it is wrong. All you do is point me toward Experts who have a different opinion than I do. That proves nothing Ashvin, sorry.

I didn’t say “We cannot know the meaning of Plato’s Republic, or of Marx’s Das Capital, or Hitler’s Mein Kampf or anything else?”, I SAID that any reader can take away from any of those texts what from the perspective of the reader is the meaning of it.

I’ll decide for myself what it means, regardless of whether some Ph.D. spent his entire life in the stacks of Low Library coming up with his theory of the Meaning of the Bible.

RE, I think I have figured you out with your general view of the Bible and these latest statements above. They betray your true identity… you are Buddy Jesus…

A.K.A. the Lazy Man’s Deity that wants to look COOL and distance himself from stuffy academic teachings. You do not want to do any academic research into anything that you have not already done. Presumably, because you have already spent so much time over the years learning/teaching theories and perspectives based on faulty AND sound principles/research, that you have now become fed up with it all. That’s understandable.

But you have gone from being the reasonable skeptic of academic “experts” to the other extreme of completely arrogant, self-involved, condescending dismisser of all people who have academic expertise acquired over lifetimes. That’s why you can’t make it more than a few pages into a well-researched argument that thoroughly debunks your erroneous interpretation of Biblical passages, which you are now defending by appealing to some nonsense about quantum uncertainty that clearly doesn’t apply here.

Face the facts man – all centralized institutions are hell bent on spreading your Buddy Jesus, lazy man’s credo to the masses, because that means no one will ever take the TIME and EFFORT to realize that their propaganda, interpretations, false teachings and spin are WRONG. They are objectively and discernibly wrong by the plain meaning of the texts they use for support – whether we are talking about the Bible or the Federal Reserve Act or the US Constitution or Keynes’ General Theory. Pope Ratzinger could use a subjective preacher such as yourself by his side right now.

You asked for an argument explaining why the Revelations passage you quoted was referring to Jerusalem instead of Babylon. I linked you to a series of audio and video. You gave some excuse about bandwidth, so I linked you to a written PDF. You read a couple pages and then said, “screw it, I don’t care what this guy’s argument is, because I have already determined my own meaning, and that’s all I care about”. That’s some Buddy Jesus shit right there.

Fine with me… but next time I see you quoting a Biblical passage out context and ascribing an erroneous meaning to it in order to support one of your arguments, even one that I agree with, I will debunk the crap out of it for all to see. We already have enough FALSE TEACHERS in this world – just about every religious figurehead, political leader, media mogul, central banking official, new age guru, etc. – all of them asking us to believe in their subjective conceptions of reality because they are just as good as anyone elses’, and they can save you the time/effort required to discover the objective truth on your own. We really don’t need any more right now.

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