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    March 25, 2022 Spring Conference

    Points Consulting (PC) worked with the Claremont Institute (CA) on a study of the economic impacts of changing the state borders of Idaho and Oregon such that the majority of southern and eastern Oregon would join the Gem State. The study assesses impacts on each states’ budget and changes to productivity and output for the 22 converting counties. Though the study is largely apolitical in nature, PC’s President, Brian Points, will also provide his commentary on the feasibility of the border change, and the positive and negative aspects of the proposal from a philosophical and cultural perspective.

    Video of this talk is unavailable until the study results have been approved

    Murray N. Rothbard critiqued egalitarianism for its unreasonableness and its truly horrific agenda. Egalitarianism, according to Rothbard, is a revolt against the order of nature, and such revolts must be exposed for their evil intents. Socialism, a political and economic revolt against nature, carries the egalitarianism agenda, and therefore its tenants and implementation must be strongly repudiated. Rothbard’s critiques from the 1970’s provide ammunition against the horrors of egalitarianism and socialism in our days, where we find ourselves some 50 years downstream of not listening to his warnings.

    The Reformed doctrine of common grace is a crucially important one for a properly Christian understanding of culture and the very possibility of such sciences as economic and politics. Yet despite being a uniquely Reformed concept, the idea of common grace has had a somewhat ambivalent history in the last hundred years. In 1924, for example, the Protestant Reformed Church, led by theologian Herman Hoeksema, split from the Christian Reformed Church in opposition to the doctrine of common grace, and even today, amongst those who affirm the doctrine of common grace, it is by no means clear that everyone means the same thing by it. Is common grace really grace, and if so, just how gracious is it? This paper will attempt to identify a fateful ambiguity behind the Reformed doctrine of common grace and, relying heavily on St. Augustine, who was himself arguably of two minds on the topic, will suggest that there is a wrong way and a right way to think about common grace.

    In 1953 the CIA secretly paid for and organized a coup against Iranian Prime Minister, Mossadegh, overthrowing Iran’s parliamentary government and replacing it with the dictatorial regime of the Shah. This event, the CIA’s first coup, became a turning point in CIA history. The ease with which they were able to conduct regime change, and its apparent resounding success, encouraged the CIA to attempt to replicate their Iranian coup numerous times around the world. Thus knowing the history of the 1953 coup can help provide a context for so much of the modern history of Iran, the Middle East, the Cold War, and even 21st century geopolitics.

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