Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of year post is late

I will be late getting the end of year post on this blog. I could make some (pretty legit) excuses, like having to deal with some infirmity, work and such, but the truth is that I just mismanaged my priorities. One of my new year's resolutions, which I started on yesterday, is to get that kind of stuff in order. Get my priorities straight.

I don't get many comments on this blog, so to those of you (especially Rob and DW: together they left more than half of all the comments this year) who take the time to comment on it, thank you. I will try to write here more often, so that you will have a reason to stop by.

I will stick my end of year blog entry on the end of this post, and while the software would let me hide my tardiness, if I so chose, I see no reason to obfuscate, so when you read this, if it says Updated and Complete, then it is done.

Till then . . .

UPDATED and complete 5Jan09: I started out this year embarking on a project to outline a method for Christians who are barely literate (like me) to study the Bible. And to study it well enough to get an understanding of it. More on that shortly.

It was not long till I got bogged down in the details, and sidetracked into politics, and into cataloging some of the slimeballs of our society. (BTW, "slimeballs and heroes" will no longer be monthly. But once in a while, when I find someone who epitomizes each category, I might add an entry.

It was a difficult wait for me, when the Supreme Court took on the question of gun control and deliberated for 99 days. When they came back with an anemic decision, I was disappointed, but decided it might be sufficient.

I did get the blog entries labeled and did a little on technology. The printer that died this spring has been replaced by a laser printer, and I will do a product review on that printer in the near future. I have developed a love / hate relationship with LED lights and CFL's, and have touched on the advantages and disadvantages of each.

As I have noted a couple of times, Christianity is beginning to come under attack from atheists, gays, and Islam. While persecution is not yet prevalent in the US, this should be a warning that it could be here soon. Especially if we, as a nation, fall victim to things like the "World Court" and other UN games. This means it is all the more important for Christians to study the Scriptures so we cannot be misled by the world.

As maddening high gas prices met up with maddening over inflation of housing prices, both spurred by a liberal leftist sickness of greed and entitlement, the economy collapsed, and for once I was way off on my gas price forecast for next year. If you still have a job, celebrate quietly and start squirreling away some funds for down the road.

I mentioned there may be terrorism and civil unrest in the near future. Now is not the time for others to see any display of wealth, and it is time to keep a gun at the ready - right along with plans for evacuation, or for hunkering down, should things go from bad to worse.

I think things may begin to get better in a couple of years - but I have been wrong before. We will see where things go next year. As I have said about Bible study, it is an adventure - and I am looking forward to it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

US Gov Printing More Money

It seems Washington is printing money at an astonishing rate, in the hopes that they can buy us out of the mess that spending money like it grows on trees got us into. While I have not been able to find any government report saying the Fed is printing money, I have found several economists and newspapers all saying it, and one or two saying they have seen it in a government report.

Why I haven't gotten a smoking gun (a report right out of the federal government) may be explained by the last quote at the bottom of this entry. While that is good (it largely keeps the Fed away from the horse trading and arm twisting associated with the elected branches of the government), it does require a lot of calm thinking on the part of those running the Fed and a lot of trust from the rest of us. (The members are replaced, generally after 10 years or so, by the President)

Someone pseudonymed Pyrrho says that average people cannot fathom macroeconomics, and I tend to agree with him. I have argued macro economics with an acquaintance who is well versed in the subject, and often he has me scratching my head. I do, however suspect that he and I could agree that a federal government policy that encourages making things through manufacturing is superior in the long run to one that only encourages buying things and borrowing (or printing) money to do so. Let us hope and pray that Obama has and keeps that understanding.

Crunchy Conservative
The US Federal Reserve has committed itself to print as much money as it believes it needs

New York Times
Of much greater practical importance, the Fed bluntly announced that it would print as much money as necessary to revive the frozen credit markets
All of the tools involve borrowing by the Fed, which amounts to printing money in vast new quantities, a process the Fed has already started. Since September, the Fed’s balance sheet has ballooned from about $900 billion to more than $2 trillion as it has created money and lent it out.

said Ira Jersey, an interest-rate strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG.
"The Federal Reserve is increasing its balance sheet and now printing money, and that’s all quantitative easing is, printing money," Jersey said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio in New York. "Ultimately this ends with inflation being significantly higher than the market is anticipating right now.

U.S. fiscal policy today has a Ponzi-like character to it. We are printing money at a breakneck pace to keep up with entitlement spending programs that most experts say will grow faster than our gross national product. Our federal budget deficit this year could top $1 trillion.

Blogging Stocks
How far the Federal Reserve goes in printing money is anyone's guess. We have to keep in mind that, except for a few periodic reports to Congress, there are virtually no checks and balances on the Fed. They were intended to operate as a separate entity apart from any branch of government.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

death of newspapers

With the immanent bankruptcy of the tribune, some people, both outside and inside their industry have been discussing the financial in's and out's of the business. Seems no one inside the business has been willing to address the issue of bias, and how it may have played a role in their financial collapse.

Starting on Credit Slips, I traced commentary on the matter, to find out if they could be honest with each other. Beginning with the article, itself, the author (whom I know nothing about) says

Truth-seeking (for better or worse) has never been a for-profit
activity.. [and] If we as a country want to continue having a written representative in the “fourth branch” of government, we’re going to have to come up with another one.

I don't know if by "for better or worse," she is admitting right here that "truth" is not a reality in the newspaper business. As for the "forth branch of government" - the for profit news business of the MSM has become just a branch of the most liberal aspects of the Democratic Party. But will they get this?

I will say, right up front, that I read the local newspaper and watch the local news. It does two things that I can not yet get on line. I get local news, and I get an assortment of stories. On line, it tends to be national news, and I only get news that the sites I go to consider worthy. Of course, in the paper and on TV I get a lot of national news and only what the newspaper's editorial board feels is newsworthy, but it is a much wider variety.

The article mentions about investigative reporters and foreign bureaus. They are correct that blogging cannot replace these things. A new business model must emerge, where these people are paid a wage (or compensation) for their gathering of content. Someone must go out and gather content that corporations and governments don't want gathered, and support of those who do that is a must if we are not to slide into the Orwellian word of "1984"

Some other items in article and comments below it may be found incorrect in the future. The assembling of the news into a cohesive and eclectic (a paradox, I know) format can be done by blog editors, and even automation, just as well as an editorial board. There are already services that do this, such as The Memorandum and news.google, though at this time they still rely on the main stream news to provide the actual content. But this is an early phase.

Why no one seems to want to call them on the fact that one of the things MSM is killing itself with is their leftist views and political entanglements is beyond me. It may be that the Internet is killing the revenue stream for the newspapers, but it is their own lack of integrity that will assure their death. We can only hope that ultimately a day will come that a new version of news agency will emerge to fill the void.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

more improved blog reading

This is a follow up to the first note I posted on blog following.

As I have explored some of this thing called "blog following" I have found it works well for any blogs that you like to read, as long as they don't update too often. In other words, they work best for following blogs that update only a couple times a week, providing a way to see that they have updated without having to repeatedly go visit their site.

It does have a few drawbacks though. One is it won't notice if there are new comments on the site you are following. Another is I see no way to put a list of the blogs I am following on my front page in such a way that others can see if those blogs have updated. You can, however, click on my profile and see what blogs I am following (but not wheter or not they have updated).

I have also found that some people follow blogs through RSS. Don't know much about that yet, nor do I know much about blog rolling. I have seen an article on blogrolling that may provide what I am looking for, to show if other blogs have updated.

Meanwhile, keep reading the Gospel According to Luke, and I look forward next year to getting more posted on the subject of Bible Studies.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Time to read "Luke"

Or, time to read The Gospel According to Luke, again. The reason: A Charlie Brown Christmas Special is on TV this week. That's as good a reason as any.

If you're wondering what this is all about, Linus takes stage right in the middle of the show, and recites the second chapter of Luke, right from the King James translation of the Holy Bible.

Any Christian who has never studied the Bible, Luke is where I tell them to begin. Read it like a story, which it is. OK, you can skip the ancestry thing in chapter 4. That will be important later, but you can skip it for now. This is where the story of Christianity begins.

Why did they put the beginning of the story in the middle? Well, two reasons. First, the Bible is not the story of Christianity, it is the story of God. We come into play in the middle of the story. Second, the Bible is layed out by subject, and the four Gospels, found together at the beginning of the New Testament (the testament of Christ) is one of those subjects.

Why Luke? Two reasons: it is fairly simple to read (written as a story), and it starts out with a story most Christians know - Christmas.

Happy reading. More next week or so.

To find more of my writings on this subject, click on the label "Bible Student" on the right hand side of this blog.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Interesting artical

About the terrorist incident in India, and how the mainstream press tried to cover it up.

The press in this country, in colusion with the leftist elements in control of our government, continue to cover up who is really behind the destruction of America.

The press has also downplayed the likelyhood that terrorists will strike here in the next seveal months. In concert with this downplaying of the threat, the terror alert level has not changed in over 4 years. This will lead the public into complacency, and make things worse when things do happen.