Friday, December 9, 2005

Got Gold?

From the link:

The dramatic rise in the gold price over the past two weeks caught even the gold bulls by surprise. Many in the slowly growing ranks of gold enthusiasts had been expecting a short-term decline in the gold price, as a punctuation in a long-term rise.

Well, it may be more accurate to say "most of the gold bulls were caught by surprise". I never doubted for a moment that something like this would happen. To me, it was inevitable. Like the sun rising tomorrow.

That gold blew through the $500 mark to $530 and settled at $525 per ounce for the week was simply a confirmation of what I have been saying all along. The world is awash in fiat currency as never before and prudent investors are beginning to react to the fact as any thinking person would.

Sure, gold seems "expensive" now compared to what it was last month or the months before but one needs to consider the bigger picture - the global condition we are in, and if one looks at this thoughtfully, they will realize that the price of gold is going to go much, much higher.

The recent developments are because the people in one country, Japan, have come to this awareness. The article linked above mentions that the last upturn in the gold price was because Europeans came to the same conclusion. Country after country will reach the same point eventually at an accelerated pace and the price of gold will be reflected accordingly.

In 1980, gold was $800 per ounce. Adjusted for inflation, that is approximately $2,300 per ounce today. In other words, gold at $525 is cheap and, as I see it, an incredible bargain. I have droned on in the past about how our government steals the wealth of the citizens through the hidden tax of inflation but there is a "silver lining" to this and that is that since gold is denominated in U.S. dollars, gold becomes a better investment each and every day.

Sure, if you wait for a pullback, you might be able to save $10 - $20 per ounce but there are many people who subscribed to this thinking lately only to end up standing at the station and find the gold train has pulled away without them.

Here we get some insight into the near-term future:

The trend is expected to continue in 2006 too and $850 an ounce is not an impossible level in 12-18 months, say analysts. Physical markets have also been supporting the price rise, a trader said. The physical demand is expected to rise to 3,957 tonne in 2005 from 3,840 tonne in the previous year. Mine production is expected to see a marginal increase to 2,495 tonne from 2,461 tonne.

Gold looks like a "no-brainer" to me.

Gospel? What Gospel?

The creators of the new Narnia movie are either dumb, disingenuous, or they have a very low opinion of the degree of open-mindedness of non-Christians:

Disney's holiday season release of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is set for this weekend -- and some Christians are worried the media giant is more intent on cashing in on the faithful, rather than sharing the film's Christian message.

The Disney backed film is based on one of C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" books. Lewis was a noted Christian apologist, and his Narnia books have been viewed as religious allegory about the life of Christ. While Disney clearly hopes to tap into the same audience that made Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" a huge box office hit, the same people behind the firm version of "Narnia" are vocal in downplaying its supposed links to Christianity.

"Faith is in the eye of the beholder," declared one of the movie's actresses, Tilda Swinton, who said Lewis' original book is more "spiritual" than religious. "You can make a religious allegory out of anything if that's what you're interested in," she told BBC News.

The $150 million film, made by Walden Media and distributed by Disney, is the story of a struggle between good and evil in the snowy kingdom of Narnia. Four English siblings enter the enchanted land and discover talking animals who await the return of the lion king, Aslan. The inhabitants believe he will free them from the tyranny of Jadis, the White Witch.

Aslan sacrifices himself to save the life of a human boy, or "Son of Adam." He later rises from the dead to lead his troops in a battle against the witch's forces. But the film's director, Andrew Adamson, also has pooh-poohed the idea that the allegory reveals Christ's resurrection, saying that concept is a common theme in the fantasy genre.

"The religious aspect is something the press is more interested in than the world at large," he told the BBC. Said "Narnia's" producer, Mark Johnson: "When I read the book as a child, I accepted it as a pure adventure story. It never occurred to me Aslan was anything more than a great lion" rather than a Christ figure.

"Christian themes were very important to C.S. Lewis and imbued everything he did, but he himself denied any religious implications."

Despite those comments from the movie's creators, the film has already received pledges of support from evangelical groups in the United States, many of whom say Lewis - who wrote seven books in the "Narnia" series - did create the story as an allegory about the life of Jesus.

Reportedly, elementary schoolchildren and teenagers in Bible study groups are booking theaters to see the PG-rated movie, which opens Friday. "We believe that God will speak the gospel of Jesus Christ through this film," said Lon Allison, director of Illinois' Billy Graham Center.

But a Hollywood insider who has dealt with Disney's marketing executives told NewsMax that the media giant has had great apprehension promoting the film to Christian groups and has done so only in a low-key manner. "Disney is loathing the idea that the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or a preacher like Jerry Falwell will actively promote the film. They want the Christian community's money, but not their viewpoint," the source said.

Last year, Hollywood witnessed the Christian zeal for Gibson's "Passion" movie, which has grossed anywhere from $400 million to more than $600 million worldwide, depending on the source. The producers of "Narnia" have generated advance buzz among Christians by showing previews to Christian leaders, preachers and evangelical organization, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

USA Today asked: "Is the world created by C.S. Lewis a rip-roaring piece of fantasy - or a fairy tale suffused with Christian imagery? "The answer is both, and that raises a related question: Can Disney succeed by selling the movie on two tracks - as a sort of cross between 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Passion of the Christ'? If so, 'Narnia' figures to be a holiday blockbuster."

Said producer Johnson: "We're not selling the movie to any particular group. With a movie this size, we're trying to sell it to everybody." Put another way, Disney would like to sell "Narnia" minus Christ - but still have Christians pay the bill.

Let's see. The most famous Christian apologist of the twentieth century writes dozens of books and essays on Christian themes both subtle and overt. He also writes a series of books in which a lion dies for the "son of Adam", comes back to life, and leads the forces of good in a final conflict against evil. But this should not be seen as Christian imagery according to the actress, producer and director. Right. And Star Wars should not be seen as a movie about intergalactic conflict. Next thing they'll be telling us that the Bible should not be seen as carrying any particular religious significance.

The creators of the movie are so afraid to state the obvious for fear that they'll alienate potential viewers among secularist bigots. Nor do they wish to turn off the Jewish audience by showing a movie that has Christian themes. It's a good thing for film and literature that Christians aren't as religiously xenophobic nor as philistine as non-Christians are apparently thought to be by the Disney folks. If they were, Chaim Potok would never have produced a best-seller and Fiddler on the Roof would've flopped.

For more commentary on Narnia see the 12/9 edition of National Review Online, especially the column by Catherine Seipp who catalogs some excruciatingly silly examples of PC carping about the movie.

All The Left Has Left

Why does the Left fear free speech? Once again the port-side brown-shirts have tried to shout down a conservative speaker on a college campus. This behavior seems to be pretty much exclusively a tactic of the Left which has swung 180 degrees from it's Berkeley free-speech days in the '60's. Today it's the Left which preaches tolerance of diversity but which cannot tolerate open discussion of opinions which differ from their own. It's the Left which decries hate-speech while constantly practicing it. It's the Left which has attacked campus speakers with pies, shoes, obscenities, and insults throughout the past year. It's primarily the Left which frequently abandons all pretense of civility and courtesy in our public discourse.

They have to do this, perhaps, because they understand that it's the only way they have a chance of prevailing in the struggle of ideas. They realize that their nostrums and policies cannot compete with those of conservatives in an open, polite forum. They intuitively recognize the intellectual blandness and bankruptcy of what they have to offer, so their only hope for success is to suppress the competition. When you don't have a compelling argument you raise your voice and shout down or drown out your opponent. That's the only recourse that the Left has left and every time they resort to it they announce to the world that their ideological cupboard is bare.

Iraqi Political Landscape

Pajamas Media has a special report from Iraq the Model's Mohammed who offers a good overview of the political lay of the land in Iraq as next week's national elections approach.

Curiouser and Curiouser

We noted a few days ago that Kansas University's Paul Mirecki, the atheist who headed the religious studies department, had planned on teaching a course on "Creationism, Intelligent Design and Other Mythologies" until e-mails were uncovered in which he used insulting language to describe his potential students. Since then he's lost his position as head of the department and now he's claiming to have been beaten severely by a couple of toughs in a pick-up truck along a lonely road. The attackers made it clear, he maintains, that the beating was in retribution for his contemptuous views on intelligent design.

Well, the fundamental premise here sounds highly dubious. The number of people likely to stalk a university professor and beat him "to within an inch of his life" because of his views on ID seems to us to be asymptotically close to zero. Such thugs are not usually conversant with the term "intelligent design" or the debate between ID and Darwinism, much less do they give a rip about it, so we have our suspicions.

So, evidently, does Michelle Malkin who has done the legwork and has the whole story, so far as it's known at this point, here. Take a look and see whether you don't think Mirecki's story smells just a wee bit fishy.