Category Archives: Events

World Events

On Racism – What Many White People do not understand

9/2/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

“Life in this country is inherently different for white people and black people”

The words of John Stewart of the Daily Show as he skillfully ripped apart biased portions of Fox’s coverage of the Michael Brown homicide ring true as a reminder that the mar of racism is still visible on the fabric of modern North American culture.

The events on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson Missouri will forever change how Americans of all races view the police and each other.  In terms of one’s view of the police, Michael Brown’s death has served as a wakeup call that it is not ok for public servants to use deadly force on unarmed assailants.  While we believe the right of civilians to self-defense must be held sacred, the police, who are paid by the public to serve the public, must be held to a higher standard.  The job they are asked to do is an extremely difficult one, but they are well-trained and have any number of alternatives to deadly force available to them.  For all members of society, deadly force must be used as an absolute last resort, not as the deterrent of choice as it would appear to have been for the policeman on the night Mr. Brown lost his life.

On Racism

Beyond the ever-present tension between the police and the public, the incident on August 9th has given pause for Americans to reflect on an issue that has been for the most part swept under the rug, racism.

While much has been said on the subject, we wish to interject an idea that we hope will impact you, not matter what color your skin may be, as much as it has impacted us:  The concept of Equity

Equity

What is Equity and why is it important for understanding and removing the mar of racism from the Land of the Free?  When it comes to dealing with racism, the definition of Equity is two-fold.  Most white people in America understand and, in their better moments, are comfortable with the first:

1) Fairness of justice in the way people are treated

In many respects, the elevation and nearly universal recognition of this facet of the concept of Equity is the great achievement attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movement that he came to embody.  It was enshrined into law in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and impacts nearly every aspect of public life in America.  For most white people, passing and observing this law was enough to rectify the problem of racism.

However, this facet of the concept of Equity is merely a first step, as it is the second definition of Equity that must be addressed by America, for indeed if we do not, there is not another nation on earth that will pay more than lip service to it.  It is this second definition that most White people do not understand, and when they do, tend to become extremely uncomfortable (image the Fox anchors in Stewart’s clip dealing with this one):

2) Justice according to natural law or right, specifically, freedom from bias or favoritism

You see, once racism has been acknowledged, it demands a just response.  It is not enough to simply ensure that a spirit of fairness with regards to race is carried out from this point in time forward.  To leave the issue there is to wash one’s hands of all of the past injustices that have been carried out in the name of racism.

If the mar of racism is to be cleansed from the American fabric once and for all, a concerted effort must be made, at least where public policy is concerned, to make amends, to the extent possible, for past injustices that have occurred.  To many, it will appear to be favoritism, and indeed it is, but as a form of favoritism has been exercised for a great deal of time already, it is only logical that it would take years of reverse favoritism to even begin to rectify the past injustices.

Followed to its logical end, this facet of the concept of equity means that people of color should be disproportionately represented in the halls of power at all levels, they should be awarded government contracts in disproportionate fashion, and should be accorded the right to provide any other favors they may see expedient at the public’s expense in the same way that white people have done for as long as forms of government in the United States have existed.

Sound absurd?  It may be, but it is just.  Under this second facet, it would not be out of the question for certain white people to be enslaved for two generations or more just to even the score with the descendants of those whom their ancestors systematically denied the blessings of life, liberty, and happiness.

While it is difficult to imagine these “eye for an eye” types of reparations taking place in 2014, this has been the harsh reality for people of color for most of our nation’s history.  Given the history, what, then, is the appropriate method of administering Justice with regards to racism?

The full concept of Equity, and the truth that it brings to light, is what most White people do not understand.

Conclusion

Here at The Mint, we understand that the government can do no good, as its very nature is to raise the most corrupt elements of society to the top and to steal and misappropriate resources, for by definition, it can do nothing more.

However, within the broken apparatus of public administration lies the means to achieve the full concept of Equity with regards to racism, and as long as it is in place, it has a duty to tip the scales of justice the way of those who have been disenfranchised because of the color of their skin.

While most persons in America would nod and agree with the first facet of the concept of equity, the second and more troubling facet is what most white people fail to understand.  Like most things that actually cost something, many find it difficult to embrace once they do fully understand it.

We only happened upon it by chance, and it has forever changed the way we see the renewed discussion of race in this country.  For it is the only way that America will be able to say, once and for all, that its fabric is truly free of the mar of racism. America is the only place that can hope to achieve Equity in a civilized and productive manner, and come out all the stronger for having fully embraced it.

Will we?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for September 2, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $3.17
Oil Price per Barrel:  $95.82

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.59
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.34%
Bitcoin price in US:  $479.44
FED Target Rate:  0.09%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,286

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  6.2%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,098
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,732,600,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,406,000,000,000

Notes on recent ISIS Advances in Iraq

Once again the world is watching what is occurring in Iraq with shock, awe, and horror.  As a public service, we have compiled the following links as a primer for those curious to know what is going on and why from those more knowledgeable than ourselves:

CNN Maps of Iraq Crisis:

Maps: Crisis in Iraq

Syrian/Middle East correspondent Matt Barber’s insightful Commentary on Yazidi flight:

IS Routs Peshmerga, Takes Control of Sinjar Mountains, Jeopardizes Yazidi Homeland

Stratfor’s always insightful analysis on the subject:

The Islamic State Tries to Ward Off U.S. Intervention in Iraq

With the world, we watch and pray for peace and prepare for contingencies.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

The Greatest North American Holiday is Upon Us

11/27/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Inflation in asset prices is beginning to appear at a breathtaking pace, and, while $1000 Bitcoins and 10% month over month increases in the London property market appear to scream “bubble,” the truth of the matter is that we are just getting starting.  The Federal Reserve and every other Central Bank on the planet have given up on any sort of meaningful restraint, and there are Trillions of fiat currency units that are just looking for a reason to stir up what passes for economic activity circa 2013.

There will be plenty of time to watch numbers tick higher and even more plentiful opportunities to be had for ventures of all sorts in the weeks and months ahead.  Today, we must pause, reflect, and give thanks.

For tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe
“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

Thanksgiving is the Greatest North American Holiday, for, in an age where most holiday traditions can be only dimly observed beyond the lights of commercialism, it is one of the few that most purely reflects its heritage.

And what a heritage it is.  While the general idea of “Thanksgiving” has existed in religious and other faith centered communities from time immemorial, the Thanksgiving that we will celebrate tomorrow traces its origins to a three day feast held on the Plymouth Plantation in November of 1621, which was the culmination of a series miraculous events that came to pass for a group of Pilgrims who boarded the Mayflower in mid-July, 1620 and brave companions from the Speedwell who were determined to carry on despite the Speedwell springing a leak and being forced to turn back to England.

The Mayflower, like many ships of the day, was a trading ship, and the Pilgrims, who were English Dissenters (to give one an idea of conditions in England, Guy Fawkes Night had occurred a mere 15 years earlier, and religious tolerance was non-existent on the isles), were on their way to freedom having been financed by merchants eager to tap the riches of the New World.

The journey was perilous, and the storms in the North Atlantic took a heavy toll on the ship and its passengers.  At least twice during the more difficult stages of the journey the idea of returning to England was debated.  Frankly, anyone who has been on a journey that has become imperiled by weather conditions will understand the nature of such conversations.

The Mayflower, as we now know, pressed on and landed in the New World on November 11th, 1620.  After a difficult journey, they had now arrived on land, and their true perils were about to begin.

After failing to find land suitable for a settlement, the advance party again boarded the Mayflower and sailed down to what is now known as Plymouth Rock, where they found an area that was ideal for both settlement and agriculture.  As it turns out, the Patuxent tribe had inhabited this land until a plague wiped out all but one of its members just four years earlier.

The surviving member of the Patuxent tribe was named Squanto, and he was to play a key role in making the first Thanksgiving possible.

In November of 1620, the Pilgrims set about the first order of business to be tended to before the winter would set in, building a common house (in what turned out to be our own strange homage to this event, we spent today racing against the winter rains to complete a tree house/play structure/deck in our backyard).

Over the winter and early spring, 49 of the 101 who had made the journey on the Mayflower (during the journey, two perished at sea and one baby was born) had perished, and the prospects for the coming spring were grim, as there were now just 20 adults and 30 children.

It was then that a series of miracles began to occur.

First, a Native American named Samoset, who spoke English well enough to communicate, came to the settlement to welcome the Pilgrims.  Samoset then went to get Squanto, who was at first hesitant to come near to the settlement, as he had been captured and sold into slavery twice by English ships prior to this encounter.  However, he had been observing this group of Englishmen and found them to be quite different than the others.

{Editor’s Note:  You can read a bit more of Squanto’s fascinating story here.}

Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn and other key survival tactics to the new inhabitants of his native land, who he now called his people.  He then brought Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoag and the leader of the tribes of the region.  Massasoit provided foodstuffs to the Pilgrims and agreed to a peace treaty with them that would last for 50 years.

With the aid of the Native Americans, the Pilgrims survived and, in the fall of 1621, had a bountiful harvest.  They declared a feast of Thanksgiving that lasted for three days and was attended by Massasoit and 90 other Natives.  It was a feast of Biblical proportions in the sense that it was a true tithe, where the first fruits of the season were brought together and enjoyed by all in the community.

Massasoit and governor John Carver smoking a peace pipe
Massasoit and governor John Carver smoking a peace pipe

And the rest, for better and for worse, is history.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the miracles that occur in the lives of each and every one of us.  It is a time to reflect upon the people and the providence that have provided for us in miraculous ways throughout the year.

For each circumstance in which we live is a miracle simply because it is, and our lives are tapestries that are woven together by the Creator of such awe inspiring beauty that any difficulties encountered along the way simply pale in comparison to the whole.

Thanksgiving is a time to step back and celebrate this tapestry with the Creator, and, when contemplated along with the abundance that fills our lives if we would only pause, reflect, and open our eyes, join together with our loved ones and all of humanity, lifting songs of praise and Thanksgiving to the Father of us all.

As it was at Plymouth in the fall of 1621, so let it be with us tomorrow, for it is what our present circumstances call for each and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 27, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.18
Oil Price per Barrel:  $92.25

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.17
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.75%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $1,067.29
FED Target Rate:  0.09%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,238

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,097
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,516,700,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $10,921,000,000,000

Its Rosh Hashanah 5774, is your lamp lit?

Today marks the beginning of the Jewish high holiday Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the new year, a celebration of the creation of the world.

We are convinced that the Messiah, Jesus, is returning. We are equally convinced that it has not been given to any man to know the exact time of his return.

What we do know is that we will know the season of his return. The interpretations which we have heard of Jesus’s declaration recorded in Matthew 24:36 generally center around the premise that some sort of series of great catastrophes will be unfolding and a series of signs will be in some stage of fulfillment, implying that these things will mark the season of Jesus’s return.

Here at The Mint, we subscribe to a much simpler and more profound understanding of this scripture, drawn from an understanding of the Jewish wedding ceremony. Jesus will arrive during the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere.

In fact, based on the timing of His death and resurrection, the Passover, we believe that His triumphant return will logically take place over Rosh Hashanah. The celebrated Feast of Trumpets.

Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.
Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.

Not necessarily this fall, mind you. For it is impossible to know for certain. If one were to attempt to pick a specific year, the logical choices would be one of the upcoming Jubilee years, 2018 (starting on Rosh Hashanah 2017 on the Gregorian calendar) or 2068, or the final year of the 6000 year Jewish Calendar, 2240.

Yet it could be tomorrow, or the next day, as Rosh Hashanah has the element of uncertainty as to precisely when the new moon occurs. This detail fits nicely with Jesus’s declaration that we would not know the day or time.

With all of the things that are happening in the world, many have begun to speculate that the end is nigh.

Clearly, the end is always nigh, and calamities such as the ones humanity is currently suffering have always taken place to some degree ever since mankind chose to disobey God and turn their back on their Creator.

Today, with billions of us on the planet, these calamities are multiplied to a staggering degree. The good news is that God’s grace and mercy are experienced in abundance as well, and this will overcome all suffering and calamity as He daily establishes His Kingdom within and amongst us.

Rosh Hashanah may be the most important and least observed/understood holiday for anyone who is not Jewish.  However, what occurs over the next nine days will set the tone for the coming year.  They occurances are of such magnitude that the Jewish title, the “days of awe,” may be the only appropriate descriptor.

The following is an excerpt from our teaching last year on the sixth sign performed by Jesus that is recorded in the Gospel of John, which took place during this season some 2000 years ago.

Sukkot and the days of awe

Under these circumstances, Jesus announced that He would not attend the upcoming Feast of Booths (Tabernacles), or Sukkot, the Jewish Festival which follows Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, which was the holiest day of the year. Jesus’ initial reluctance to attend the Feast, and ultimate decision to attend, has great significance, both for our understanding of the sixth sign and for Jesus’ future second coming.

As you may recall, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, marks a new beginning. The Jews believe that on this day the fate of each person for the upcoming year is written by YHWH in the Book of Life. The days (approximately 9) between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, known as the the days of awe, are spent in deep reflection, fasting, and prayer. It is a time of confession and repentance, it is a time of recognition that we are but dust, yet infinitely precious in YHWH’s sight.

The Jews believe that the fate which is written on Rosh Hashanah is then sealed by YHWH on Yom Kippur, at which point the Feast of Booths begins. It is our speculation that Jesus made the decision to ultimately attend the Feast of Booths to symbolically seal His fate. He would give His life for humanity on the upcoming Passover.

Yom Kippur is regarded as the Sabbath of Sabbaths, as such, it is only appropriate that the Jewish leaders who were looking for a reason to kill Him, would carefully observe Jesus in hopes of catching Him breaking their observance of the Sabbath.

As Rosh Hashanah begins, we hold fast to our faith, cleanse our minds and spirits, and resolve to love and forgive as God has loved and forgiven us. The Messiah is coming, the trumpet is about to sound!

Is your lamp lit?

Obama Punts Syria to Congress, will Congress Vote to Stimulate the Stock Market?

As we stated before, what is currently occurring in Syria has serious implications for all of humanity, and with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Obama has chosen to do what any self-respecting statesman, circa 2013, would do.  Mr. Obama has punted the question as to whether or not the United States should intervene via military action to the US Congress, who, it would appear, have been pulled away from their leisurely summer pursuits in an effort to inform themselves on the situation before they cast a vote on the matter.

What will they decide?  The world is holding its breath in anticipation of the outcome of this latest political charade.  For most thinking people, the answer is clear, the US should avoid a conflict that will not only trigger a series of inevitable side shows which are sure to include standoffs with China, Russia, and Iran, complete with Israeli sabre rattling in the background, but will most surely further bankrupt a government which has operated in the red without a budget, let alone a clear foreign policy, for five years running.

Fortunately for investors and unfortunately for the Syrian public and the world at large, the US Congress is not renowned for its thoughtfulness in such matters.  While the British MPs took the high road and have prohibited their fearless leader from committing to military intervention, we would expect the US Congress to reluctantly authorize the use of force holding up an ambiguous “moral obligation” as the ultimate reason they have chosen to reluctantly order a military intervention.

Moral arguments aside, war, like zero bound interest rates and quantitative easing, is good for stocks and moneylenders and bad for everybody else involved.  Should the US Congress authorize military intervention in Syria in their upcoming vote on the matter, we anticipate a short-term dip in equities, perhaps only a few days, which will present a tremendous buying opportunity.

The situation in Syria is lamentable and a blight on the basic humanity of us all.  It is also a powder keg that threatens to further destabilize, were it possible, the fragile Middle East.  Should the powder keg go off, equity values are likely to rise dramatically in the medium term against the backdrop of a widespread military conflict.

Unfortunately, price levels for everyday goods will rise even faster.  While we hope for a no vote, it would be wise to anticipate a yes vote and plan accordingly.

Key Indicators for September 2, 2013

Malala Yousafzai addresses the UN as a 16 year old peacemaker

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who survived a vicious attack by Taliban gunmen as she and her friends attempted to exercise their right to go to school, was given the opportunity of a lifetime yesterday as she addressed a youth delegation at the United Nations’ general assembly room on her 16th birthday.  Her address to the UN, which can be seen below in its entirety, will go down as one of the greatest in recent memory.

Many in the West will no doubt be stricken by the fact that there are places in the world where girls are not allowed to attend school even when the facilities exist.  We were stricken for a different reason:  Malala is not only one who has stood up for educational rights, she is a 16 year old peacemaker.

In the speech she cites Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and others as her inspiration to pursue peaceful methods of protest.  In doing so, she has become a living example of two truths:

That violence is a symptom of cowardice, and that the peacemakers shall be called the children of God.

A New Season is Upon the Earth

7/11/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The summer is in full swing here in the Northwest.  We have recently sent the manuscript for our mini treatise off to perhaps the only publisher that aligns ideologically with its many and varied themes; Laissez Faire Books.

As we await a response, we are directing our creative energies into the construction of a playground/deck/Gaudi-esque structure upon some otherwise idle ground near the back of the property.  As someone who stares at screens for a living, wielding a circular saw and power screwdriver is nothing short of exhilarating.

There is something about creating something from nothing that brings with it a contentment only those who have done it can explain.  It is to work outside the confines of time and space while at the same time yielding to their limitations.  In the best of moments, it brings us closer to the divine.

In addition to our power tool therapy, we have been seeking funding for a number of projects that have come across our radar.  While our efforts to this point have been categorically unsuccessful, we have a feeling that is about to change.  We have had the feeling that things are about to break loose for some time now.

Yesterday, this feeling was confirmed in the most unexpected of settings, a Board Finance Committee.  In the middle of the meeting, as we were punting around various ideas and cost savings measures, a prophet came in and declared a new season had come upon the world, a season in which the plans of Yahweh, those that have been stayed for various reasons, would now come to pass.  That the righteous would have resources thrust into their hands.  This season began in early July.

With that, all discussion ceased and we simply came into agreement in prayer over the matter as a Committee, and the meeting was adjourned.  It was the most unique committee meeting we have ever attended.

It must be said that there is great relief in prayer.  While simply praying is no guarantee that funds will appear or that plans will come to pass, it is a guarantee that the matter is firmly in Yahweh’s hands, leaving the outcome, whatever it may be, a victory for the Kingdom of Heaven.

In other words, prayer brings peace, and in this case the confirmation of a notion that The Lord has laid upon us for the past six months. A new season in the spiritual realm has arrived.

It is crucial that we open our eyes, or we shall remain blind.  This was made clear to us in a vision we had yesterday (yes, visions are returning as well!) in which we saw a field and a man standing at the end of it.  The man was looking through a field of vision that allowed him to see a mere 1% of the immense richness of the land in front of him.

This represented the blindness inherent in seeking answers in numbers, which provides one a viewpoint that is 1% reality and 99% fiction.  If we can learn to see past the 1% and step forward into the field before us, the 99%, the abundance of Yahweh’s supply for us, appears as if out of nowhere…yet it has been there all along.

Such is the blindness of those who decide based on numbers alone, for the numbers are at best, a trailing indication of words, decisions, and actions long past. At worst, they are a stumbling block and a snare.  For renewal an growth to take place, there must be a complete separation from the current concept of money and the reality of the natural world.  This separation is just now beginning to take place.

Finally, we are also making preparations for our long delayed annual journey to Bolivia, where we hope to advance a project that has long been on our hearts:

The Night John the Baptist Died

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus!

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for July 11, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.16
Oil Price per Barrel:  $104.63
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.16
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.57%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $86.90
FED Target Rate:  0.09%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,286
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.6%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  15,461
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,623,800,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,629,300,000,000