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Francisco's Money Speech (excerpt)

Posted by  $  richrobinson 1 year, 11 months ago to The Gulch: General
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I have been listening to Atlas Shrugged during my commute to and from work. I just listened to Francisco's money speech and he was explaining how looters can cause a society to vanish into ruin. He then asks if that day is coming. This gave me chills. I think this explains our current situation.

"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.


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    Posted by kevinw 1 year, 11 months ago
    The money speech really brought it home to me. I was glued to the book up to that point but when I read the money speech I knew my life would never be the same.

    "Do you wish to know whether that day is coming?" Chilling question.
    One could argue that the conditions she named have existed for years in this country. How far back does the "business License" go? Even prior to the anti-trust laws there were things nobody(few) today would even think twice about because we are so used to it. And one could say that one can still do well in this country without dealing in favors. This doesn't change the fact that we are headed in the wrong direction and, at least for some time, it is only going to get worse.

    We are all still facing two questions; At what point is enough, enough? At what point is it too late?
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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
      I don't know how to tell when it is too late. This forum reinforces how many like minds are out there but it is definitely an uphill battle.
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      • Posted by  $  khalling 1 year, 11 months ago
        How to tell when it's too late. Hmm. For me, it had to do with personal happiness and future goals. It was a completely internal decision-opposed to reacting to externals. This is the difference between leaving with a purpose and fleeing a bad situation. Once people begin to flee a bad situation-it's already over.
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        • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
          I don't know if having a family business makes it different but I hate the thought of walking away from something we built. (Yes Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren we DID build this) I think of those who have walked away and I realize how difficult a decision that is.
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          • Posted by Ibecame 1 year, 11 months ago
            I am sure leaving a Family business is tougher, but I can tell you it was tough leaving the Job in an industry where I loved the work, but finally couldn't stand the moochers and the Managers. That was 15 years ago and occasionally I still miss it. However, the stress probably would have killed me by now if I hadn't quit. Sometimes retreating is absolutely the right decision. Now with the way things are we are, we are seriously considering selling the house and moving to a much more rural area. Another big change. Even Hank & Dagney realized that enough is enough.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
        Ask yourself whether it is too early to leave. The answer, of course, depends largely on your financial situation, but as soon as the answer is no, then you should leave. I am close, but not quite to that point, but I'm not getting closer (;
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        • Posted by kevinw 1 year, 11 months ago
          Interesting, the direction that went.
          When I first asked that I was referring to what point would mean it's too late to be able GTFO?

          I have told my children that there may come a time that they would have to buy their way out of the country and they needed to be prepared for that. They are just now making their way out into the world and I know that I could not leave them here to deal with what I could not. Also, to my knowledge, this country still offers the best chance for them to make a good life so there is no better place to send them. I guess that means to me it is still to early.
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
            I understand that I twisted what you said around, kevinw. My kids are 19 and 17. After they are through college and my parents have passed on (I would be very surprised if Mom lasts out the year, but Dad could last a few more.), then my wife and I could well shrug entirely. I had been part of two startup companies, and now am only doing my professorial duties for paying customers rather than looting government agencies.

            My kids can move wherever they want to live after college.

            If you wait until it is too late to be able to GTFO, then you have fed your oppressors for way too long, and you may not be able to execute your escape plan. According to several Venezuelan students of mine, for many wishing to flee Venezuela, it is too late now.

            If you were an engineer, you would design conservatively. Likewise you should plan your escape.
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            • Posted by kevinw 1 year, 11 months ago
              No problem with the twisting. I enjoy seeing where peoples thoughts go to different questions on this site. I have 4 kids 18 to 24 and a first grandchild coming soon. Like you said, they can move where they want to and I will help them to go if needed, to the extent that I can. I will help them before I will go myself and I know my wife wouldn't have it any other way. Perhaps, as you said, if my financial situation were different but I started way too late in life.

              Take the question literally now, though; How would you know if it is too late. I guess that implies that you don't know until it is too late. At this point my only escape plan is a blaze of glory.
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
                If it is too late, you don't want to really know that it is too late, but of course, A = A. What I have done is annotate my copy of AS with non-fiction examples. We are closer to the end of the book than to the beginning. My estimate is that we are about 70-80% through the book.
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          • Posted by  $  khalling 1 year, 11 months ago
            we rank 18th for economic freedom-so I guess my question to you is-why the US for young adults?
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            • Posted by kevinw 1 year, 11 months ago
              You don't make anything easy do you? Lol
              To be perfectly honest, it's what I know. And there are other freedoms here that other countries don't have. And most of those countries owe that economic freedom to the mere existence of the US and if the US falls the power struggles around the world will leave no one safe. But if they decide to leave the country I will help them.

              I still think the battle Must be won here. I still think it can be. And so far in my life, I have done very little to fight it. I'm just now learning how. Isn't it DB who keeps saying "it is the intellectual battle that must be won."?

              20 thousand of us figuring it out. :)
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              • Posted by  $  khalling 1 year, 11 months ago
                I understand that. Our adult children are our star trek as it were. omg-I HATE star trek so...anyway-You know the writing on the wall. your ability to help your adult children in argument and discussion is key here. It is not about the past, or even the original basis. It is about the future and what they can accomplish and where. we have the world to win
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      • Posted by kevinw 1 year, 11 months ago
        I agree, this forum is one of the most promising points out there along with the educational efforts of the Ayn Rand Institute, the Atlas Society and what appears to be a growing number of others. It is absolutely an uphill battle but I don't think it is a question of "can it be won?". I think it has to be won. All the "blame the US" hardcases aside, the U.S. is still the major stabilizing force in the world. Without the US, I don't know if anywhere is safe.
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    • Posted by johnpe1 1 year, 11 months ago
      when all you can hear is the lepers' bells of
      approaching looters/moochers? -- j

      p.s. is that what this ringing is, in my ears?

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      • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
        No, that's your phone reminder to buy more ammo in the sale this weekend.
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        • Posted by johnpe1 1 year, 11 months ago
          my wife asked me why I was interested in a rifle
          which had a magazine, and I answered, "There
          may be more than one of them." . she looked at me
          with the most desperate or quizzical or sad or
          tired-looking expression. . the conversation was
          not as reassuring, from that point forward. -- j

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          • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
            Your first shot at the bear may not be enough to stop it?
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            • Posted by johnpe1 1 year, 11 months ago
              yes;;; we were looking at a .223 rifle. . . . . and we're
              close to the smokies, but not that close. -- j

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              • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
                Probably better off with a 7.62x39 or .308 for the effectiveness at greater than 100 yards. (But either larger cartidge will have a greater recoil than a .223.) Depending on what you need it for, there may also be an argument for a smaller pistol cartridge carbine like a 9mm if you also have a handgun in that caliber. The 9mm carbine will be easy to shoot, but only useful up to 75 yards, and marginal at best for game like deer.
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                • Posted by gcarl615 1 year, 11 months ago
                  The 7.62x 39 is basicly designed for the AK-47 and its derivatives such as the SKS. While the Magazines are not interchangeable both use the same round. SKS's are just as versatile as an AK. There are literally millions of both varieties world wide. Ammo is very easy to find and not very expensive. Also the majority of the ammo is not reloadable. But you can buy reloadable brass which for some reason is pretty expensive.
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  • Posted by xthinker88 1 year, 11 months ago
    Awesome speech. I've tried to sum up this type of argument myself. Interested in feedback:

    Trade, charity, fraud, or force are the only four ways that humans can interact economically. Or for that matter, in any realm. Either you trade value for value, or you provide value where there is none out of your benevolence, or somebody tricks you out of your value (including false charity where your benevolence is preyed upon by those who would make you feel guilty), or your value is stolen from you. Of course the only moral way to receive value from another is through trade - by giving value in return. Receiving charity is at best morally neutral and, if it is a lifestyle, it is immoral. And of course, receiving value through fraud or force is openly immoral - even when you vote for somebody else to carry out the fraud or force for you.
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    • Posted by frodo_b 1 year, 11 months ago
      >Trade, charity, fraud, or force are the only four ways that humans can interact economically.

      That is brilliantly succinct! I'm going to start using it.
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    • Posted by  $  pixelate 1 year, 11 months ago
      Thank you for so effectively boiling this down to the essentials. And of course, X by proxy is still X, whether X is fraud, force, conceit, arrogance or fill in the blank.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year, 11 months ago
    For a chilling synopsis, read "The Death of Money" by James Rickards. He was an economist who went to work for the CIA and became the foremost "assymmetric warfare" (ie economic warfare) guru in the world. The book talks about all the signals of an impending financial disaster and compares them to the Depression of the 1930's. His contention is that we are already in a Depression worse than the 1930's - its just that instead of soup kitchens we have food stamps.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
      I don't believe the government numbers reported on inflation and unemployment so I think it is entirely possible we are in a depression. Does he give any hope that we can change the situation?
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year, 11 months ago
        Nope. He says we're already off the cliff and that it's only a matter of time until we hit bottom. If you get the special version of his book, it includes an extra chapter about how to prepare for the aftermath, but I haven't been able to read it yet as it's not the published version being offered to the public.

        Basically, he said one of the major problems was the Fed (big surprise) because they are insanely leveraged (debt to equity) due to money printing and fiat currency. Another major one is the international pullback on buying US debt and the decreasing importance of the petro-dollar. This severely undermines the value of the dollar on the open market. There's a lot more of course, but I'd suggest the book to anyone who wants to see really how bad things are.

        In order to avoid the collapse, it would take the following:
        1) the Fed would have to reduce it's debt load (debt-to-equity) ratio. That means pulling all its monetary holdings not in use back out of the money supply. In short, the federal government has to stop spending money and make a sincere and sustained effort to pay down its debt.
        2) interest rates have to go up. We have to reward saving.
        3) we have to repeal all the job-killing government burdens like Obamacare.

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        • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
          The raise in interest rates would acknowledge that A = A. As Rich said, that can't happen, and if it did, the debt load would skyrocket so quickly that bankruptcy of the US and most other countries would happen quickly as well. It would be the modern day equivalent to the collapse of Nat Taggart's bridge across the Mississippi.
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  • Posted by  $  Stormi 1 year, 11 months ago
    The government is working toward taking any escape funds we might have. I recently cashed some CDs at Chase, and was forced to put the money in their checking account, not receive a cashier's check. Now, I do not trust Chase, especially since I know the government is monitoring our cash movement, esp. at such large banks. They are even tracking how much saving we have. Now, to get money from your checking account, you have to be very careful, or government agents, as mentioned by Fox's Megan Kelly this week, might burst into your house in the middle of the night and seize your assets, no warrant. Anything over $5,000 goes on a government form, and might bring those agents. There is no quick escape if you intend to have cash, as Big Brother is monitoring us all. They should monitor drug dealers and terrorists so well. 0h, we are the only terrorists Obama recognizes as such.
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    • Posted by gcarl615 1 year, 11 months ago
      Since the guvmint is working slowly, bit by bit to block the exits, then we need to be as stealthy. Small withdrawals, small but frequent cash purchases at different places to slowly accumulate the commodities you believe are required to go Galt. Have a vault or safe to hide cash or PM;s. Savings account pay so little why bother. Live simply and use your mind for yourself or a close group of trusted associates. Perhaps use Alpha Strategy as a guide. Hide in plain sight. Get the Heck out of the cities and find a small remote town to live in.. I digress, sorry...Preaching to the choir,,,
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    • Posted by Ibecame 1 year, 11 months ago
      Chase won't even cash their own cashiers checks. I was told I had to open an account and they had to hold it for at least 30 days.

      I invest in Real Estate, so here are a couple of FYI's along this line.
      Never deposit $12,000 (in the same day) or more other than through a title company. The IR-s may size everything in your accounts. Transactions of $6,000 (in the same day) and over are monitored. If you purchase $600 worth of precious metals, coins, etc. (in the same day) the seller is now required to issue a 1099.
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      • Posted by  $  Stormi 1 year, 11 months ago
        That is very interesting. I had not heard about coins. What about a jewelry purchase, which can fall into the precious metal over $600 category easily? I know a RE agent who gets her commission, with no tax out, spends every cent, and has no money to pay the tax at the end of the year. That should make some list. When I wrote a check for more than the $6,000 to put into an IRA at one time, I actually asked the bank if the transfer would be reported, but they said they might check it out, but would not alert the government. How is it freedom, when our own money is not our own anymore!
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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
      I have read Stormi that the government has a plan to seize all retirement funds. If deemed necessary the Feds will take all money in 401k and IRA accounts and convert them to Government Retirement plans. Sounded crazy the first time I heard it...
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      • Posted by  $  Stormi 1 year, 11 months ago
        They came so close, when Pelosi was Speaker, to seizing 401Ks. Tom Harkin (D-IIowa) heard from witnesses promoting the plan. the Guaranteed Retirement Account, authored by Theresa Guilarducci. A committee was in place to start the process. it would seize all 401K and retirement accounts, then use the confiscated money to make sure everyone got a pension. (redistribution). That plan went on to include talk of IRAs. Lately, Obama has asked for information on how much people have in their savings accounts as well. Of course, even offshore accounts are being checked. The overextended banks who took all that Federal Reserve money are all too happy to supply the information. My own banker admitted they did not need our investment money, as the Feds gave them all they needed, but now they are beholden to them. Now, Chris Christie is talking about taking away SS from those who paid in, but do not need it, by whose estimation he has not said.Years of responsible savings has now become something the looters see as theirs.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
        The only reason that 401k's were not seized was that the patient was still too aware to allow the blood to be sucked out of him. A few more years of bludgeoning will solve that.
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  • Posted by LaMuse 1 year, 11 months ago
    Another AS quote that comes to mind is Francisco's words, "So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money.......?" He then goes on to explain the concept of value for value, morality, hard work, production, etc. I always use this when I read or hear someone use that expression, "Money is the Root of All Evil." By asking them what is the root of all money, you have ample opportunity to explain the benefits and moral issues that are the basis of capitalism. This usually leaves most folks scratching their heads, as if some enlightenment finally made its way into their brains and is causing a slight itch.
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  • Posted by  $  TomB666 1 year, 11 months ago
    There is some hope. The people assembling in Oregon to protect a mine from the BLM show that there are still some of us who will resist government overreach. The BLM made the "mistake" of sending a letter to the mine owners letting them know what was about to happen, which gave the peace keepers time to assemble. When the government sneaks in as in the cited case is when there is not time to prepare!
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  • Posted by  $  jlc 1 year, 11 months ago
    "– when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – "

    This is the most telling phrase to me. I recall that the USA was #4 rank in Economic Freedom, 21 years ago when we started Schuyler House. It is now #12.

    There are a lot more permissions from non-producers that need to be acquired now before you can 'do' anything. (The EPA figures large in this comment.)

    Jan
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  • Posted by SamAnderson 1 year, 11 months ago
    I immediately understood what AR meant when I first read Frisco's speech as a 20 year old. Later when I re-read AS as a physician, Dr. Hendrick's speech hit home. Now, toward the latter 20% of my career, I see society moving full on into the looter mentality mode, and realize that for me a shrug is not only required, but is also somewhat of a moral obligation. Now, on to making that happen, there's the sticky part. But I've taken the first few steps, and it is getting easier...
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    • Posted by waytodude 1 year, 11 months ago
      I too found my gulch and becoming more independent by the day. My land is paid for I'm along way from towns. Now making ready to fend off the looters when they come.
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  • Posted by Jer 1 year, 11 months ago
    I am afraid it is too late. That is not to say things will stop tomorrow, but that it is too late to turn things around. There are still top notch people around but there are too few of them and apathy reigns supreme among the multitudes.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 year, 11 months ago
    I've seen that for some time.

    And by the way: Rand accurately quotes the progressive mantra, "money is the root of all evil." It might interest you to know: the progressives misquote Paul of Tarsus on that point. In writing to his student, Timothy, Paul said "a love for money is a root of all sorts of evil." "A root," not "the root." And "all sorts of evil," not all the evil in the world. Nor do I imagine Paul of Tarsus would disagree with Francisco d'Anconia fundamentally on the point made above.
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  • Posted by  $  jimslag 1 year, 11 months ago
    Excellent synopsis of the speech. It truly speaks of what we see in our country now. The scenario in Wisconsin, with the SWAT raids of average citizens, it just shows the contempt that the political elite have for us, the people who elect them and then they forget us. It is sad but just another nail in the coffin of freedom.
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  • Posted by nln1219 1 year, 11 months ago
    In reply to the Camel through the eye of the needle. Christ often referred to the Rich, not as people who produced and kept the laws. He often so referred to them as individuals who like to think of themselves of high importance, wearing their fancy robes, and parading themselves around the courts and synagogue with servants in tow. He was referring to the unabashedly ostentatious.
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  • Posted by Sunjock13 1 year, 11 months ago
    Where are the FEDS to investigate... still in Ferguson??? Note to self: "Don't expect Gov't to prioritize with any modicum of logic" Our money, Our loss!
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  • Posted by jdg 1 year, 11 months ago
    This makes good sense and I agree with it -- until the last sentence. I fail to see how money does anything to prevent the outcome described. It *does* flow into the hands of the looters, much as we wish it wouldn't.
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    • Posted by frodo_b 1 year, 11 months ago
      It’s impossible for money to do anything. It can’t prevent the outcome anymore than it can facilitate it. But it can act as the canary in the coal mine. If money flows into the hands of the looters then that’s as good of an indication of the death of a society as a little yellow bird on the bottom of a cage with its feet in the air.

      EDIT: But what does happen when money starts flowing into the hands of the looters is that the incentive to create wealth evaporates and the current wealth of the society is bled dry.
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  • Posted by XenokRoy 1 year, 11 months ago
    Probably my favorite speech or concept of the entire book.

    It covers in explicit simpleness why we are falling apart at the seems. The system breads unprincipled people who change at the drop of a hat if that change will get them something more.

    As my sister once said to me "there is no right or wrong, just differences of opinion" when backed into a corner in an argument. So to do people simply stop and have nothing rational to say against the money speech.

    It can be applied to so many principles and reveals just how corrupted our society has become.
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    • Posted by frodo_b 1 year, 11 months ago
      Was she a liberal? I bet she was a liberal. Capitalism requires a moral underpinning, a belief in right and wrong, or it devolves into one form of tyranny or another.

      I find it interesting that the people who are against capitalism are the same people who advocate moral relativism. They support the very mindset that allows mercantilists and other looters to thrive.
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  • Posted by nln1219 1 year, 11 months ago
    I watch AS and don't know whether to laugh or cry because it is so prophetic. My Dad, myself and now my son are all AS devotee's. I do know this, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of an needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. It make JG's oath even more endearing. It's so funny to me that people who have not read the book have said it is evil and against the teachings of Christ. I tell them, why don't you shut up and read it. You will find it is exactly in line with his teachings. Our country is Morally and Ethically bankrupt, And the bacterium (the Fed, Banks, CPACs etc.) have been using the nutrients in the Agar (middle class). What goes around will eventually come around. Whether I see it or not I don't know...I myself will do a Wyatt's torch before they find me!
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    • Posted by frodo_b 1 year, 11 months ago
      >I do know this, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of an needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

      Can you explain how you reconcile this with the idea that a rich man is rich because he has a lot of value to trade for?
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