Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of Year Posting

What happened this past year, and what I hope to do, if the Lord is willing, next year.

Blogger has added some new features for static files, similar to "sticky posts" on WordPress. I expect to capitalize on this feature real soon.

In the next year, I don't think my articles will be as long or as in-depth. Nor will I be concerned with having as many links to supporting information.

Combat Effective - around 20 Feb 2010 Combat Effective was taken down by multiple attacks, some of which may have been denial of service, some of which may have exploited flaws in either the software or service provider. It is back up, but due to the busy schedules of the site owner (both his job and his family) it isn't as heavily trafficked as it was two years ago.

I asked God repeatedly throughout 2010 to help me find a way out of the job I am in, and in December, He answered. He told me NO. It seems there is a steady stream of people He has been sending to me for encouragement and direction.

I am still hearing that Christians all around the US, and possibly the world, are very weak in their knowledge of the Bible. We are now deep into the days of Apostasy, with the days of persecution coming at us fast. Just a few days ago, a new law was passed, Christians can now serve in the Military, but only on a "don't ask don't tell" basis. This law is from the same government that dis-invited all Fundamentalist Christians from the National Day of Prayer.

I suspect this is "End Game" (Chess reference, not "the end of the game") for the Church and the "age of the Gentiles" is coming to an end. Not just because of what is happening in the US, but what is happening around the world.

While I haven't looked very hard, I have seen no improvement in the Border Fence all this year. More people on the Border, and better enforcement of employment verification, but no more fence. People on the Border is a make work project, and employment verification will lead to more surveillance society, as mission creep sets in.

I hope to do more with book reviews next year.

The economics lessons of 2007-2008 seem to be forgotten. I thought rising interest rates would signal strengthening economy, but I neglected to forecast the downgrading of US Treasury Bonds (by Moody). Food inflation is just around the corner for the US, and is an ever present reality in some parts of the world.

Energy prices will be going up for the next few years, if there is not another worldwide economic crash. I locked in my electric rate early in November, just in time (before the rest of the world was able to react to the news about energy prices). As for anyone who hasn't done that, now is better than later for getting a contract (if you live in one of the states that allows customers to contract for electricity rates.

I started to do some articles on cars and trucks, but didn't have the time and energy to do it justice last year. I hope to do much more with it in the coming year.

If you haven't begun preparing for disasters, don't delay too long.

As a math fanatic, I can't help but play at being an odds-maker: here are some probabilities for the next year:
Global economic collapse 4% chance.
The Rapture might occur 2% chance.
War of Gog (see Ezekiel 37) 2% chance.
Solar Flare knocking out our power grid 1% chance.
Mass persecution of Christians in the US 1% chance.
Some other massive catastrophe, on a scale bigger than
anything seen by anyone living today 4% chance.

If any of the above occur, the possibility that a combination of more than one of the above will occur is very high. Combined likelihood of something (anything) really really big in the next year is about 7% chance.

Remember: the government isn't willing, and probably not able, to do what is necessary to protect you. They will always be more interested in projects to feather their caps and line their pockets, than to do what is right.

In intend to pay less attention to the Federal Government this next year.

I plan to split Observations and Definitions into two groups and do more, though smaller articles on Technology.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Economy at the Brink

Not really, but the potential is there, either for real growth (which we had little of in the past two years), or a real slide into a second dip, next year. On the other hand, we seem to have a knack for choosing the route in between. Payrolls, factory orders and the stock market seem to agree on nothing.

If you ignore the temporary jobs for the Christmas shopping season, there has been a loss of both jobs as a whole and factory jobs for the past several months.

Congress continues to debate whether to raise taxes or not, and I don't think, in the long run, they will go up. But if they do, we will slide into another recessionary dip, possibly lasting a couple of years. If the renew the "Bush era tax cuts," we will continue to drive forward into a better economy. But how much better is anyone's guess. A lot of that has to do with how much of Obamacare can be killed off, and whether of not the carbon tax monster can be killed dead.

Gas prices have begun to rise in December. I believe the era of a price drop each winter is gone. China is now a major price driver in the gas and oil markets. And in all other commodity markets as well. Coal, Copper, Food, Gold, Iron, Silver.

Bernanke thinks it will take years, maybe five years, to recover to a "normal" unemployment rate, and thinks the threat of inflation is overblown. I think he is very much an optimist. My thoughts are much more along the lines of Tom Dennen, who bills himself as a Paranoid Historian.

The dollar continues to weaken, although it has leveled off for the past few days. The government insists there is no inflation, but the price of energy and food have been going up for more than a year. I have some news for the government. Prices going up are a sure sign of inflation. Just because you can juggle the numbers to count out all the factors that go up doesn't mean they go away.

This coming year might be more than interesting.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Encroachment of Liberalism

The encroachment of liberalism can have a subtle, but destructive, influence on a Church. Liberalism breeds greed, envy, strife, and idolatry. I noticed this from time to time among my more "liberal" christian (and even Christian) friends, and now have an example from a news paper.

Recently Mary Hunt of "The everyday cheapskate" column answered a letter from someone about "social obligations" (the two links are the same) that involved people having home based businesses disguised as a "jewelry or candle "party." (The fact that it was "disguised" as a party was not mentioned in the letter, or the answer)

To make things worse, these "friends" were from her Church in a small town. She felt a moral obligation to attend and buy things from these so called friends, and I suspect these "friends" were using their Church as a social network to get her, and others to come buy things from them.

Her advise was well intended, though a little naive. She said if the writer stood her ground based on the fact that she held to a budget, she would be admired, if only in secret.

Let me say, she will not be admired. She will be hated, if only in secret. These so called friends are using and exploiting her, and likely others, for their profit, and would not take kindly to being exposed for what they are doing.

In an almost perfect world, she would make her concerns known to her pastor, and he would provide corrective council to these people. But this world is far from perfect, and the Old Russian Proverb comes to mind: "speak the truth, then leave quickly."

Since this is a small town, if she does anything, she will risk being vilified and otherwise persecuted. But I still think she should tell her pastor about her concerns. If the problem is not quickly corrected, though, she should be looking for another Church.

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Gasoline Blend E15

This is a bit of a stub article, I didn't have time to fully flesh it out and show the conclusion.

Recently, the EPA decided to "allow" the introduction of E15, a 15% ethanol blend, at gas pumps across the US. Of course, allow is a bit of a misnomer, since once it is allowed, it will not be long before it is forced upon us. This decision to bring this product to the market was at the request of "Growth Energy," a coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters, and 54 ethanol manufacturers.

There had been an alcohol blend "wall" that allowed only 10% ethanol alcohol to be added to most fuel, except E85 blend, for use only in "flex fuel" vehicles. There has been a lot of hype and myth surrounding the mostly forced introduction of ethanol into gasoline, but some fairly balanced articles can be found, if one looks.

Of course, the problems are not made any easier to understand by some quasi-technicle web sites running obvious propaganda pieces. There is a fairly good rebuttal to this is found in blog somewhat off the beaten path. Among other things, he makes the point that, while the government is telling automobile owners etanol is perfectly safe, it is telling airplane owners and operators it is dangerous to their engines and fuel systems, and not to use it.

Some good information was published in the Orlando Sentenal.
(I don't have much experiance with the Orlando Sentenal or the Greenfield Reporter, but hope the link will remain good.)

The Google string I used to find most of this is:
gasoline ethanol alcohol problems older cars trucks

When researching these things, one thing to remember is that any recent article mentioning carbon emissions is likely propaganda, since man made global climate change was completely debunked in 2009.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Impact Now - Energy and Economics

There is a tendency among otherwise reasonable people to think things have turned around for our nation, ever since the Obama administration got a "shellacking" at the polls on Nov 2nd.

Some things have changed, some things haven't. Energy is one of those things that has not changed. Supply and demand. And while energy usage demand is just chugging ever upwards, supply of cash via the nation's printing presses just expanded.

I see rumblings of the economy coming back to life ... in China and India. China is buying up commodities, as well as our debt. Especially important next year is Chinese import of coal, copper, and food. Food became important when the Russians lost 20% of their wheat crop this past summer.

With money supply rising, and energy demand rising, I see the value of the dollar decreasing and the price of energy getting a double dose of inflation.

This effect will be almost immediate, and will be felt before next spring. I don't know if this was built into the price of oil when I did my forcast last July, so I don't know (yet) if this will have an impact on that forecast.

The top three uses (not in any particular order) of energy by the average family are (1) their motor vehicle (2) heating and air conditioning and (3) food. These are the area's in which to concentrate efforts to get the most bang for your buck (so to speak).

Friday, November 05, 2010

November financial outlook

Treasury bill interest rates hit an all time low recently, and the Dollar has been at its all time weakest (at least in recent history, as far back as I can remember). This is the result of both the "quantitative easing" (printing of more money), and the anticipation of what that extra money will do.

The US private sector payroll is better than many expected, and better than it has been in many months. 159,000 new jobs. Many gathering around the alters in Washington and Wall-Street are elated. But all is not rosy. The increase is just enough to offset the increases in US population. Manufacturing is not up, but rather, Lost Jobs. And the number of temporary workers is up, possibly due to the approaching greed and gluttony (Christmas) season.

There is some hope, though. Between politicians not wanting to commit partisan suicide, and the Republican takeover of Congress (but not the Senate, unfortunately) many business tax increases will be put on indefinite hold - maybe. Hiring in 2011 will be largely dependent on not raising taxes on businesses.

Meanwhile, the German Finance Minister calls US policy clueless. This is the typical hubris from a continent where people riot on a regular basis over how many free meals they can get from a society that has been bailed out at least six times by the US.

Elsewhere around the world, commodities such as copper and tin, oil, and even food are rising in price at an ever faster rate, but the "numbers are fascinating" crowd still thinks deflation is a problem that is here to stay.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I noticed, as I was channel surfing a couple days ago, that the History Channel was spending a great deal of time on the first of November, exploring ways to "debunk" the Bible, and undermine God's True Word. They showed three shows. First the Gates of Hell, describing the "myth" that Jesus rose from the Dead. Then some date setting in "Apocalypse Island" trying to prove 2012 is "the year." (It might be. Or Not.) Then some more date setting in the "Nostradamus Effect."

One thing that shouldn't have surprised me, but did, was that some preachers or teachers (not exactly sure what title they had) from the United Methodist Church Seminary in Claremont California were helping to undermine God's True Word.

I say that it shouldn't have surprised me, because I have heard talk that the United Methodists have "gone liberal." That is, lost the God given knowledge that the Bible is God's True Word.

So, I went and looked up Claremont Seminary, and sure enough, it didn't take long to find evidence that they have lost their Way. In an article from the Christian Post, I found:
A Southern California seminary affiliated with The United Methodist Church is opening its doors to Muslims and Jews and offering clerical training for those of other Abrahamic faiths, school officials announced Wednesday.

"The world is changing. And so is Claremont," states Claremont School of Theology on its website.

The unconventional move is part of the University Project, the school's effort to promote interreligious cooperation and to teach students to "recognize the legitimacy and integrity of the other religious traditions."
And in an article at Apologetics dot com,
I found:
"Christian ministers, Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams and eventually clerics from other religions will be educated side by side, each in their own traditions but also with classes in common so they learn to work together to address the problems that face humanity today and that can only be solved if religions work together across their boundaries," Campbell, Claremont School of Theology
What is this? It is Apostasy. The "legitimacy and integrity of other religious traditions" is an affront to God, and to teach such is heresy.

And from their own web site, I found:

Affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Claremont School of Theology has a long history of educating religious leaders. Founded in 1885, the School embraced an ecumenical vision upon its move to Claremont, California, in 1957. Today, it is making a similar adjustment of vision, to meet the cultural and religious demands of a world in transition.

While maintaining a strong School of Theology to prepare Christian ministers, Claremont is developing other schools to prepare teachers, counselors, scholars and community leaders for the interreligious realities of the 21st Century. We call this plan the University Project.
This is proof from their own mouths, the United Methodist Church is no longer a Christian Church, and is merely teaching Theistic Moralistic Relativism. An affront to God, and an enemy of the Gospel, which is that salvation is through the blood of Jesus and that there is no other salvation.

As Paul the Apostle said in Galatians Chapter 1:
6I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;

7which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!


Friday, October 08, 2010

BAD NEWS about the economy

Payrolls Decline

It appears private sector payrolls increased by a paltry 11,000 jobs last month, and an increase of 180,000 average for each and every month is what is necessary just to sustain the economy. Worse, manufacturing sector shrank by 6,000 after declining by 27,000 last month. While both the private sector and manufacturing have added jobs this year, the socialists who control the government have managed to keep the numbers below the amount needed to sustain the nation's economy.

The Bond Market

Interest rates on 2 year and 5 year T-Bills are at an all time low. Gold and silver prices are at record highs, gas and oil prices are moving up. The value of the dollar in the world markets has taken a dive. These things reflect a lot of big and smart investors are moving out of the main economy and into "safe" holdings, or investing in overseas "emerging markets." Especially, banks are getting themselves under cover.

And that means they expect things to get bad. Really bad. I fully expect next year to show even poorer jobs growth and I expect inflation. Both are due to massive the government spending in the past two years, as government attempted to get the economy moving forward. Most of that spending has been to try to increase consumer spending, a move that I have said was ill advised, from the beginning.

What Really Matters

In the end, there are only a couple of economic indicators that really matter. How much people are getting paid, and what it costs for them to live. That is why my economics column repeats itself so much about jobs and inflation. More jobs means more pay, less jobs means less pay. And inflation eats away at both what people get paid, and eats away at their savings.

The American Jobs Machine is Broken. And it has been for years. A century ago, men who owned American businesses and the manufacturing base were interested in building an empire. Now the "owners" are traders and only interested in "what can I get right now." The "instant gratification" generation became the stockholders of today, and they are only interested in profit taking, and luxurious living. Am I talking about the richest of the rich? No. Today's stockholders are middle class and working class people who fancy themselves to be "money smart" because they have some money "invested" in some mutual funds, or because they spend some time doing trades on web sites like e-trade or scottrade or td ameritrade.

Taxes Important

Taxes are one of the most important headwinds in this economy. A month ago, reports of Congress and the Obama administration allowing the Bush era tax cuts to continue buoyed the economic indicators by 10 to 20%. As the purported tax breaks the administration promised to business slowly evaporated and got pushed into political wrangling, the medium and long range indicators all began showing signs that the economy will get worse, not better in 2011.

Gurus of the bond market agree with me. Anywhere from 4 to 12 months after the bond market begins a slide, according to them, the economy takes a plunge. And the bond market peaked in April 2010. In addition, the Baltic dry index (one of the best indicators of global trade
in physical goods) went negative beginning is July.(look at the green line on the fourth chart.)

I am no Market Player.

I do have to admit, I am not good enough at this to be an investment broker or trader. I completely blew it on gold, never expecting it to continue to climb steadily for this long. Had I invested in gold ANYTIME in the past from 2 to 20 years ago, I would have made money by now. And the gold market is likely to stay bullish (follow the link and look at the bottom of the page, for a 27 Aug 201 entry) for the foreseeable future. Still, if the absolute worst happens, it will be kinda hard to trade gold for anything near what it is worth. I am thinking copper might be a good commodity to keep on hand for an end of the world scenario. I dismissed it in the past, because at $6000 a ton, it would be a bit bulky. But a ton will fit in a box the size of a refrigerator. It is not a great money maker, but the price mimics the price of oil, to some degree, and it is hard to store $6000 (2300 gallons) worth of oil. And some metals market enthusiasts are thinking along similar lines.

For a historical perspective on how this is all playing out,
check out the book:

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression
Authors website:

Excerpt from a review:

Its duration and depth made the Depression "Great," and Shlaes, a prominent conservative economics journalist, considers why a decade of government intervention ameliorated but never tamed it. With vitality uncommon for an economics history, Shlaes chronicles the projects of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt as well as these projects' effect on those who paid for them. Reminding readers that the reputedly do-nothing Hoover pulled hard on the fiscal levers (raising tariffs, increasing government spending), Shlaes nevertheless emphasizes that his enthusiasm for intervention paled against the ebullient FDR's glee in experimentation. She focuses closely on the influence of his fabled Brain Trust, her narrative shifting among Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and other prominent New Dealers. Businesses that litigated their resistance to New Deal regulations attract Shlaes' attention, as do individuals who coped with the despair of the 1930s through self-help, such as Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson. The book culminates in the rise of Wendell Willkie, and Shlaes' accent on personalities is an appealing avenue into her skeptical critique of the New Deal. Gilbert Taylor

Friday, October 01, 2010

Theology - and Rocky Road Ice Cream

When you first read the Bible, just on the surface, you notice the stories and some history.

When you first bite into Rocky Road Ice cream,
you notice the creamy coldness of it.

Then upon a more careful reading, line by line, word by word, you might discover some subtle things you missed on first reading. Like, in Matthew's account of turning the other cheek, Christ said "on the right cheek."
Soon after you begin to savor the ice cream,
you notice the chocolaty goodness of it.

As you look at the context and historical background of the writings, the sinfulness of Corinth, or the vast grandeur of Herod's temple, you may find some nuggets of thought that contrast with what first appeared to be the flow of the surface text. You also can find "types" (we lay people call them prototypes) of Christ and The Church in the Old Testament.

Savoring the ice cream,
you then notice the crunchiness of the pecans.

As you begin to look at the scriptures, less as a series of stories, and more as a lens through which you can view history, and current events, you can see how God's Hand is always in control, always guiding events for our good and His Glory.

Then you notice the
sweetness of the marshmallows.

The fact that the ice cream is chocolate does not negate that it is creamy and cold. Nor does the crunchiness of the pecans. And the sweetness of the marshmallows does not conflict with or contradict the nuttiness of the pecans. They all work together to make up the whole.

The richness, the subtleties, the allegories, the types, the irony, and the sweetness of the Bible do not contradict each other. They all work together to make up the whole.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Distant Rumblings of Pandemic

A recent article in a local newspaper alerted me to the rumblings of a future pandemic that would make the swine flu seem like a walk in the park.

The bacteria are equipped with a gene that enables them to produce an enzyme that disables antibiotics. The enzyme is called Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenamase, or KPC. It disables carbapenam antibiotics, last-ditch treatments for infections that don't respond to other drugs.

"We've lost our drug of last resort," Fishman says.

Doctors say the bacteria are more worrisome than another well-known superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), because more drugs are available to treat MRSA, Fishman says. "When MRSA started to develop 15 years ago, the industry started producing antibiotics now coming onto the market," he says. "We're in the same position with KPCs as we were with staph aureus 15 years ago, except that the pharmaceutical industry isn't rushing to produce new drugs."

These strains of bacteria have been around for about a decade. Make no mistake though. The only way for these bacteria to have developed a resistance to this class of drugs is for them to have survived treatment by this class of drugs. Much like what I observed with Cipro, here in the US, after the attacks using Anthrax sent through the mail. Once the public learned about this new antibiotic, uncontrolled use of it soon followed.

There is no mechanism in medicine or government to control the use of new antibiotics. There used to be, but I think it has long since been abandoned, a victim of unlearned people screaming about class warfare and doing the work of the evil men who have been trying to destroy our civilization for the past 70 or so years. Now, because of the entrenched evil in our government, no program will succeed at keeping new drugs from being abused.

On a grander scale, this was forecast in Christan Prophesy about 1980 years ago.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Current State of our National Economy

The Treasury Bill interest rates dropped to an all time low a couple of weeks ago, but then President Obama began talking about giving business a tax break on equipment depreciation, and they, along with some other indicators recovered by 10% to 20%. McCain called it a death bed conversion (but, he said, too little, too late), since Obama was now endorsing a tax cut that the liberals had been fighting against for a couple of years. And even this tax cut is only one small slice of the sweeping tax reforms needed to begin undoing the damage from the Obama administration.

Other good news, solid gains in private sector employment numbers were the opposite of the news that the unemployment rate had climbed again. Let me be clear: the superficial numbers of this week's or this month's unemployment rate are useless. The numbers that count are private sector payroll and manufacturing payroll.

Some banks and credit card companies raised their rates just before the final provisions of the CARD Act went into effect. No big deal, unless you owe a lot on your credit card. The long term effect of the CARD Act will encourage banks and credit card companies to be more open and honest in their dealings. This is a good thing, in spite of what many Republicans say.

The reason the T-Bill interest rates are so low is the same reason Gold prices are so high and oil prices have not gone up. Many of the people controlling large quantities of money are in a holding pattern. By this, I mean investment houses and banks. They are buying T-Bills and gold, instead of putting it back into the economy, where they might not get any return, since business has been at the mercy of coming tax hikes beginning in a few months. They are afraid of a "double dip" recession, and they still might get one. I say this, because I recently heard the markets in Europe are so unstable that now banks are buying up gold as a hedge against a collapse of the Euro.

Is inflation right around the corner? Well, if the European Union doesn't go into collapse, and the US gets its tax cuts (and gets its spending in line), the economy is chomping at the bit to accelerate. And that will bring a round of robust inflation. Some banks are already starting to get the tools in place to handle that round of inflation.

Is it time to buy gold as a hedge? I don't think so, but it is time to begin talking about it. Looking at the third chart (Gold recent with 200 day exponential average), I would begin looking seriously at it when the blue line drops below the red line. In the mean time, I am keeping a closer eye than I probably should, at the November elections. The "right wing" is very sure that they will replace the Leftists in congress, and thereby put the brakes on our slide into liberal despotism. Notice, I said put the brakes on, not stop or reverse. If they are over confident, and don't get the brakes on, it might be time to invest in guns and ammo.

Monday, September 06, 2010

How to make money

There are, to oversimplify things, Three good ways for an individual to make money in this world

1. Do a job no one else wants to do. There are jobs that no one is lining up to do. Roofing work, cleaning and housekeeping in motels and nursing homes, servicing (cleaning and moving) porta-potties all come to mind.
2. Work in a location that no one else wants to work. Personally, I work about 15 miles out of town in a field, night or day, rain or shine. Jobs in Kuwait pay a lot more than jobs in Indiana.
3. Get some education and training. The truth is, most people are not willing to spend 6 months or more in a college (or trade school) classroom, doing "book work" for "no pay"

Similarly, there are basically three activities that nearly all wealth in society comes from.
1. Agriculture - in this, I include anything that grows food or changes animals or plants into an edible product
2. Manufacturing - in this, I include anything that changes a raw material into a product for sale to the consumer
3. Mining - in this, I include anything that removes materials from the ground for our use.

The rest of the economy is just moving wealth around
professional services

And that is all for today's lesson.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Border Security Situation

As I begin to write this, National Geographic is beginning a series "Border Wars," the Federal Executive Branch is actively fighting against Arizona's attempts to control illegal aliens. Multiple other states and cities around the country are instituting controls on illegal aliens, many drawing fire from LEFTIST, liberal and insurgent front groups, using disingenuous arguments to make the defenders look like the bad guys.

All the while that these forces are fighting the efforts of law abiding citizens to defend themselves and their properties, the drug lords and insurgents are pouring into our country, murdering our people, and spreading more disinformation.

Our federal government, while making great pretense, is doing little to stem the flow of illegals and smugglers into the country. The National Guard troops sent to the border areas are not there to apprehend of process illegals or smugglers, but merely to serve as lookouts, in case there are any of them coming across (never mind it is like a 6 lane highway).

And the disingenuous statistics they publish to confuse the issues are a dangerous for of subversive activity. Like the former governor of Arizona telling how the crime rate went down from 1994 to 2004, at the end of which, there were actually no-go areas where the police and citizens were not safe to enter. Tells me her policy was to not prosecute a lot of crimes, in order to make it look like things were better than the reality of the situation. And recently a graph in the newspaper show "illegals on the decline," ending at the end of 2009, while the economy is still in a shambles doesn't mean we are winning at all, but rather, might show that our government givaways were just about tapped out at that time.

I often liken this problem to a boat with a big hole (incomplete border fence) in it. You can plug all the little holes (the check points) and pump (deport) like mad, but until you plug the big hole, it won't make any difference. You can also liken it to a porch. You can close the screen-door and swat flies like mad, but if the rest of the porch isn't screened in, it won't work.

The highest priority must be given to these things:
1. Build the fence. All of the fence. And currently that includes Corpus Christy to San Diego, and about 300 miles or so of the Canadian border near Seattle.
2. Prosecute those hiring illegal aliens. And that means prison time for corporate executives. And remove from government, those who insist on giving aid such as a driver's license and resident rate tuition to them.
3. Insure the integrity of those securing the border. Find ways to ferret out those taking bribes for helping the the smugglers. And that includes the mayors or other officials of certain border cities.

After that, we can start talking about deportations and such. If that day ever comes, I would also be willing to discuss legal immigration, and refugees from South of the Border. In the mean time, though, Arizona is doing the next best thing, which is making their state less inviting to the illegal aliens and smugglers, but that draws the ire of the LEFTIST's in the Obama administration, who still seem to want to maintain an undocumented underclass for exploitation.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

more good definitions

Post Modern
- a disingenuous philosophy that denies the existence of truth
(There are no absolute truths? Hmmmm, is that absolutely true?)

- promoting, as true, a viewpoint one knows is false,
for personal or political gain

Politically Correct
Belief or behavior commonly held to be true or good
at one particular time, but ultimately wrong.
Often used to prevent the truth from being told about some
subculture or insurgent group engaged in untoward practices.

- member or members of a group or or a subgroup of society,
working to destroy that group or society, from within.

The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. ~Gloria Steinem
(So she said at least one thing right)
Hat Tip:

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Days of Apostasy

We live in an Apostate Nation, and are seeing many of the traditional Protestant Churches struggle with Apostasy in their governing bodies.

What is Apostasy?
The word apostasy means to revolt against what you have previously believed in. Our nation, once founded on the teachings of the Bible (including the biblical understanding that faith in God must be voluntary, which leads to the First Amendment, freedom of religion), has largely turned away from Biblical teachings, in pursuit of Narcissism, Naturalism, Environmentalism, Socialism, Relativism, and Globalism.

These days were spoken of, in general terms, by the Apostle Paul and more specifically by the Apostle Peter:
there will be false teachers among you,
who will secretly bring in destructive heresies,

Signs of the Times
Old Line Protestant Churches, many of which were founded for the very reason, that the Roman Catholic Church had decided the Bible was not the ultimate authority, have now turned away, and declared, either implicitly, or in some cases explicitly, that the Bible is not the ultimate authority.

The Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America
The Presbyterian Church (USA)

This has, in recent years led to the "Emergent" Churches, and now "Purpose Driven" Churches, which are far from true Bible based theology.

This, in turn, leads to boldness in the media, in misrepresenting the Bible
Pretty much the whole day on Easter of 2010, the History Channel ran item after item of things aimed at trying to undermine the faith of Christians in the true historical accounts of what happened in, and to, the Scriptures.

And the History channel produced their own disinformation DVD's "Banned from the Bible", a "study" of the history of our Bible, by those who don't believe and who don't want you to believe.

The real story of how the above fiction came about and a good rebuttal.

Something I heard on Christian Talk Radio is very important in the fight against apostate teachings. "Bank tellers are not given training on how to recognize counterfeit money, they learn by handling the real thing daily."

Persecution soon to come
As apostasy becomes the norm, our society will, more and more, become intolerant of true Biblical teaching, as it has already, labeling the preaching of the Gospel as a hate crime, first in Canada, then in England, and soon if not already in the USA.

What will be the next wars
As a footnote. These are undoubtedly the "end times," althought I don't know if that means we have a day, a year, or a decade till the Lord returns. Recently I have been looking into two wars that are supposed to happen in the end times. One is listed in Psalm 83, and the other in Ezekiel chapters 37 through 39. They may or may not be the same war, but some think they will occur withing months, or even days or minutes before the return of our Savior. Again, I don't know the timeframe, but the order of events seems right.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nothing New in Economics

Well, another month has passed, with nothing worth talking about. Of course, EVERYONE is talking about the slowdown in the world economy. Not really news. Just that SOME of the numbers are beginning to reflect reality.

The 2 year T-Bill rate has dropped to its lowest in recent history. No surprise. I said last month the chance of any real recovery in the next couple of years is pretty slim. Recent numbers are just reflecting that.

Keep the Faith.
Faith in Jesus, that is.
God is the only thing that is sure.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Prepare - While there is no epidemic

If you look at the six articles I wrote last year on the subject of Epidemic, I first introduced Swine Flu, with the subtitle of "don't panic, but take precautions." Within a couple of days I followed that article with another, since the nation was already in a panic: even closing schools where no clear cases had been diagnosed.

In less than a week, panic and stupidity had gripped the nation. Some were closing every public event. Others were just looking for someone to blame.

One of the best quotes of the whole season was:
When a pandemic hits, you deal with it using the resources you've got. Like an unexpected invasion, it's a "come as you are" event. The trick is to foresee the pandemic and to build up the personnel, equipment, and organization to stop it.

But if your response to the threat of pandemic is to be stupidly sanctimonious, all your planning will be in vain.

So, two lessons can be learned already. One is to plan ahead, realizing an epidemic or pandemic is (always) likely to happen not many years, or even months in the future. The other is to deal with it in a level headed and even handed way.

Of course, for the public, and even more so, the politicians, this is not going to be the case. And especially if the current crop of politicians is still in office. As their forefathers, Saul Alinsky and Rahm Emanuel point out, they will never let a good crisis go to waste.

As I somewhat point out in my forth article both the public, and the government have two modes of operation: complacency and panic (hat tip to former energy secretary, James Schlesinger). My forth article was written while the pandemic was still going on - but had been overshadowed by political maneuvering in congress and was forgotten. While my forth article is a good read, I was discussing things the nation needed to do, and as I have pointed out, that is hopeless.

We need, as individuals, to respond to our own circumstances. At the end of my first two articles, I mentioned measures individuals can take. They still apply. And they apply before the first news of an epidemic. Those first four articles were written in a period of less than three weeks after the outbreak hit the news.

The government declared the swine flu an official emergency a few months later. The government had ramped up the machinery and created a vaccine. People, at first, lined up around the block and even resorted to crime to get the vaccine. Then it was forgotten again. Some of the vaccine even expired and was thrown out like garbage.

The time to prepare is now. Slowly and methodically. If a major epidemic were to hit unexpectedly, it will likely shut down our transportation system. Bare supermarket shelves will happen in just a few days. My first couple of articles mentioned measures to take, and they still apply.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Persecution in America

Anyone who believes Persecution cannot happen in America has not looked, in the last thirty years, at our universities. And it is getting more and more obvious. For many years it has been known that you cannot get a good grade in many classes, unless you profess anti-American, Anti-Conservative, or anti-Christian views. And now, emboldened now be a President who is a Christian Impostor, some schools are even telling their students they cannot graduate unless they renounce their Christian views. And Federal Judges, graduates from these Apostate Universities, are ruling against the Constitutional Foundation of our nation.

Parents need to be mindful that if they expect their children to graduate college with their faith intact, they need to be considering a college that will support their faith. To knowingly subject their children to authorities who hold to the ways of the world is courting disaster.

Churches need to be mindful of this also. There should be consideration of longstanding members of a Church family to send one or more of their own to a Christian University. These are the Days of Apostasy, and if we do nothing, we shall see those around us subject to persecution of this world.

I actually assembled the above over the past couple of days, but then today on the way to work and back, I finally got a chance to listen to a recording from Albert Mohler (Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, Southern Seminary) that I had on the back burner for the past few weeks, since I discovered his web site. It is “Cultivating the Christian Mind: Education as Soulcraft & Learning as Discipleship” which was a sermon he gave on 11 Mar 09 at The Augustine School (Jackson, TN).

It is very heartening that he holds at least some of the same opinion that I do.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Annual Gas Price Forecast

As promised, here are my annual gas price forecast, and it looks a lot like last year. While I did blow it badly a couple of years ago, I have provided my readers with somewhat accurate forecasts for 5 out of 7 years, and last year was not that far off, even with the economy doing much worse than many people predicted. The only thing that caught me off guard was that China's economy did worse than I expected.

The Bottom Line, Right Up Front.
I am forecasting gas to be $3.54 early next May.

This is in areas where gasoline taxes are low, and where the price has been hovering around $2.49 to $2.56 for the last couple of months. This web page will give an idea of the price of gas around the country. For next spring's pricing, just add another dollar a gallon.

In reality, I don't think it will get quite that high, but as I pointed out in previous forecasts, I do this for budget forecasting purposes, so if it doesn't quite get that high, there is no harm.

The ever increasing role of China, the recession the ongoing and somewhat deepening recession, and the prospect of a high inflation rate (which I don't think we will see this next year) are challenges, but in this year's forecast, I think the ongoing recession will be the most important factors in the coming year.

Here is the formula I used this year:
The predominant price of crude oil in July this year
is $76 a barrel, divided by 25 (you can get about 25 gal
of gas at the pump from one barrel of crude) gives
$3.04 - to which I add $.50 tax (the tax in some states
is much higher) to give $3.54 per gallon.

I will likely, in coming years, add an inflation factor to compensate for the weakening of the dollar, and maybe a supply stress factor for increases in consumption, or for overt destruction of sources (think war). Neither of those are a factor this year. In addition, the price of oil seems, historically to rise at the end of July, and there tend to be disasters in Aug and Sept, as well as hurricanes in the fall, but the market prices already have these things built in so I don't think getting too concerned there is of any use.

One concern is the ongoing oil spill (even though the well is now capped) and the disastrous handling of it because of both the incompetence of British Petroleum and the congressional grandstanding in our Federal Government. One consequence that is just now beginning to materialize is the movement of drillers out of US waters. This has the potential of worsening our recession AND increasing the price of gas at the pump by more than a dollar a gallon within a couple of years.

Friday, July 09, 2010

The New Economic Name

We have a new name for this economic crisis.
It is now known as the Great Recession.

The height and breadth of insanity in the world is just breathtaking. Many continue to insist that the only way out of a hole is to dig deeper. That people, corporations, or nations can borrow and spend their way out of debt.

Some small signs of recovery are evident, as private payrolls continue to climb, though very slowly. Manufacturing payrolls are off this month, although this is on a world wide scale, and that is likely to keep the price of oil (and other energy) down. Lower energy prices are good for US manufacturing, and the US economy in general.

A long talked about commercial real estate slump may be at our door step, but whether it will usher in a "double dip" recession is still in question. I don't think so, but I have been wrong before.

Recently the 2 year treasury bond rate plunged to less than 3/4 of a percent. While some of the above mentioned insane people think this is a good thing (though it does beat the Greek T-Bill rate), what it tells me is that the economy will remain in the crapper for at least another 2 years. The extremely slow gains in private payrolls are not yet enough to offset the increases in population, let alone the increases in government corruption we have seen since the Democrats returned to power in 2007 and 2009. (We need to have an increase of 400,000 jobs a month in the private sector, or an increase of 40,000 jobs in manufacturing per month, something we haven't seen since the mid 80's.)

I still foresee a round of high inflation, some time in our future. But, as always, I don't know when it will be. I can say it will be before we see any real recovery. But at this time, I can't even say if we will seen any real recovery. I thought in 2008 that it would be a couple years after the collapse, but now it still seems a couple years away. More, now it looks like 4 to 6 years away.

Gold is still too high to invest in.
(Needs to be down around $1100 an once.)
I still recommend investing in tools
and other things to help survive
this "Great Recession."

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Some Definitions and Observations

Apostasy - to turn away from a belief one once held. To deny, what a person once held to be true. Many old mainline Churches have fallen into Apostacy. They no longer believe the Bible is the final authority.

A liberal (also leftist) is someone who rejects logical and biblical standards, often for self-centered reasons. There are no coherent liberal standards; often a liberal is merely someone who craves attention, and who uses many words to say nothing. Liberalism began as a movement for individual liberties, but today is increasingly statist and, as in Europe, socialistic.

G Gordon Liddy : A liberal is someone who
feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt
he proposes to pay off with your money.
(May be originally attributed to Barry Goldwater)

I heard a new acronym, that might be of interest to some folks.
LEFTIST: Lying Everywhere, Fighting Truth In Society Today

Progressive - a liberal, trying to pretend they are not a liberal.

Friday, July 02, 2010

First - Three Things

First: Three things to look for when buying a Bible.
Some advice for the elementary level, and some for the intermediate level.

Then below, three things to read after getting a new Bible.
  1. The translation, and translation or copyright dates
  2. Cover and Binding
  3. Size composition and color of type, and page transparency
1. The translation and dates tell you what language it is in, whether Modern English, Old English, American English. I devoted an article to translations some time ago. I personally recommend anyone who is at the elementary level avoid any translation newer than 20 years old. Just so you can be sure to have one that has been tested by time.

2. Look at the cover and binding to see if it is suitable for what you want it for. To give away, you might go with a paperback, and they all have glued bindings. But these don't last long. A better one is to go with an imitation leather cover and sewn binding. If the book is going to be handled a lot or loosely stood on a shelf quite a lot, it needs a hard cover.

3. Look at the size of the type, whether it has center column references (more on that below). Does it have chapter or section headings (a single line providing the main topic of the chapter)? Does it have Jesus Words in Red? Is the type easy to read in moderate light? This is especially important when you reach middle age. Sometimes with thin paper, the ink from the other side of the page can be noticeable, making it harder to read in low light. The Bibles I linked to above are good in low light, but have fairly small type and no center column. Sometimes on Amazon it is hard to find that information.

1. After acquiring a new Bible, again, read the copyright page. One thing to look at, if it is not one of the Old English translations, is what foundation, publisher, or seminary is listed there. Someone may ask you that someday, and it is good to know about those publishers. And read the preface. Often it will tell how they balanced word for word accuracy against thought for thought ease of reading. More than just a conversation piece, this information is important when trying to discern subtle shades of meaning in many passages.

2. Many prefaces have a discussion of italics, block lettering and capitalization. The original languages did not use a lot of the grammatical building blocks we use today, so in many cases words are added simply to make the passage readable in English. Often these will be in brackets or italics. And any personal pronouns referring to God will likely be capitalized, although the details may vary from one translation and/or college to another.

3. Notice the center column and the passage headings. These are good for finding other passages on similar subjects to the one you're reading about. Remember though, these are some person's opinion of the material in the Scriptures. I have occasionally found a center column reference that I couldn't figure out why it was there. But I guess it made sense to someone. The passage headings are important to all us beginners, to help us find things when looking for a certain subject, assuming we know its approximate location. Same with Jesus Words in Red. Mostly just a location tool.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Economy getting better?

Yes and no.

First a discussion of that question, and then some musings on global economics, oil, gold, and the possibility of the dreaded "double dip" recession, and Jesus Return.

I had earlier named this "Great Depression 2" but now many are calling it the Great Recession, so I think that is what I will call it now. And in spite of all the efforts of the Obama Administration, we are ever so slowly pulling out of it.

Sometimes it is almost humorous to watch as the numbers go up and down each month. As the month progresses, the numbers rise as reports of optimism show up, followed by reports of rising numbers. So, really much of it is rising numbers, based on reports of rising numbers.

Then the beginning of the month, the payroll
statistics roll in, and the numbers plummet.
Because payroll statistics
have a lot to do with reality.

On major part of the problem is the way we measure the economy. All of the economists have said for years that 70 percent of our economy is based on spending. The world economy stops if we all stop spending, and that has become a self fulfilling prophesy. If everyone were to stop (or even cut back severely) spending, the economy would be in chaos in very short order.

But payroll is where the forecasters need to be looking. Specifically manufacturing payroll. And while it is expanding, it is doing so at an excruciatingly slow pace. It is expanding against the combined headwind of the Obama government, moderately high energy prices, and a strong dollar. But it is expanding so slowly that it will not, at this pace, keep up with the increasing population, and decreasing world resources.

Musings on global economics

And still, the foolishness of the socialists around the world shows itself without shame. On CNBC, early this morning, I heard a couple of them discussing the budgets of countries around Europe. Someday, they said, we need to reduce the deficit spending, but right now is not the time. They actually think governments borrowing and spending more money on socialist programs, when they are already suffering the consequences of debt overload, will lead them to prosperity.

But you can't change the way
the world thinks and behaves,
you can only change
the way you think and behave.

Musings on oil

The gusher under the Gulf has brought the idiots to the forefront. From the BP execs and engineers who have shown a complete incompetence when it comes to capping the leak, and a contempt for telling the truth to the public about things like how large the leak is, to those who rallied in Austin to tell us that we need to change immediately to alternative energy sources, to Obama, who, this morning said he needs to know "whose ass to kick."

And then there is the ever present bureaucracy that would rather do nothing, insuring a certain failure, than to allow Louisiana to build a berm that might not be 100% sure. And two weeks after it became desperate, everyone is still bogged down in protecting their own butts.

This whole fiasco has not affected the price of oil, (it amounts to less than 1% of our supply) but it has affected the price of BP stock, as it should. Although the lunitics in Ausin espouse some wacky schemes energywise, I agree with them that ultimately BP should be dismantled and sold off to pay for the cleanup, which coult take more than two years.

Musings on gold

Gold still hovers about 20% (give or take) above its fair market value, so I wouldn't buy any at this time, but on the other hand, you'd be a fool to sell it, unless you need the money urgently. Eventually, all of the foolishness of the governments of the world will catch up with them. Optimistically, you will need that gold as an anchor for your investments. Pessimistically, you might want to trade it for ammo.
(12 gauge and 9mm are the most popular,
but 38 special will also trade well)

Musings on the dreaded "double dip"

There will be another recession. And there will be a round of excessively high inflation (I don't think it will be hyperinflation, by definition). When? I don't know. If we get the recession first, that will be the "double dip" everyone talks about. But it could be, that we will get the inflation for a few years, and then go into a recession. Then it will be called something else.

Either way, the road ahead will be rougher than anything seen since WW2. And it will never get better again. (I thought, at one time, that the US couldn't be beaten. I never thought about it being sold.)

Musings on Jesus Return

There will be wars ... and many other signs. Someday Jesus will return, but it will be on His own time. God is not impressed with our calendar. Do not despair. Do not let your love grow cold. We live in the age of apostasy, and can see the signs and prophesies being fulfilled by the numbers. But no man knows the day nor the hour. (Nor the year) Personally, I expect things to get a lot worse before He returns, whether that is in 2 years, or 32 years.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

New start point - Bibles And Christians

This page will serve as a temporary index to the most important articles I have written on the subjects of Bible Study and Christian Living. It will be replaced sometime in the future by a more organized version.

I began this project because so many people are claiming to be a Christian, and yet they show no real knowledge of Christ or what the Bible says Jesus requires of a Christian, that I have written some short essays expressing my views of their lack of Biblical Knowledge.

Are You really a Christian?

And some longer ones. This one begins with a paragraph defining my view of the Gospel, a view I can defend each and every word of, from Scripture. Grace, The Law, and Works

Now, many will tell you that the first thing a new Christian should do after getting saved is to find a good Church. (I may agree or disagree with that statement, but that is for a later article) But what is a good Church? How is one to tell? Here I have written a short (about 3 pages) essay on what to look for.
Characteristics of a good Church

Now, on to the central theme: Bible Study

Why Study the Bible

Not everybody reading this will be on the same level of knowledge.
Different levels of knowledge in Bible Studies

Where to start reading and studying: I have always advocated starting with the Gospel According to Luke, when beginning to study the Bible. There are many reasons for this. It is easy to read and starts with the Christmas story.

But if you are going to study the Bible, you might want to know which translation to read. Well, one that you can understand is a good start. For more details

Translations of The Bible

And for studying the Bible, you also might want a Study Bible.

Now that we are clear on "which" Bible
to study, let's begin to really study.
After Luke: Beginning Study

And on the other hand, if you come here just totally
overwhelmed and struggling to understand any of this
- or -
What do you do if you are still struggling to understand
what you read in the Gospel according to Luke?
Ephesus Project: Cheats and helps
(I need to update that one)

In case you need more reason to study:
Crisis in the Church - Apostasy

Just a note here: Bank tellers are not given training on how to spot a counterfeit bill. The learn to spot the phonies as a side effect of handling the real thing day after day for months at a time.

And in case you have some doubts about the authenticity of the text we have in our hands today. You might want to know how we can know the Bible in our hands today is the same as what was written hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The economy begins to turn - maybe

The insanity in the economic culture of our society today is so entrenched that I really don't see, short of a complete awakening like a religious conversion of at least 100 million of our citizens. Our society is doomed to destruction because our society, on both the right and the left, have followed the council of the entitlement god, believing lies and seeking destinations of destruction.

And as Dave Ramsey put it one day: "we are a culture of bass." You don't need any kind of fish food to catch Bass. Bass will strike at anything shiny. Throw a shiny object in front of them and they will take the hook. Our culture is like that. Shiny new car. Shiny new home entertainment center. Shiny new spouse. Shiny new house. We take the hook and pay for it later.

But we as individuals do not have to take part in the insanity.
Start with my five rules of economics.
Learn the fallacies of the prosperity preachers.
Learn about the economic system.
I'll get the links and say more on this stuff later.

This month's economic news.

This month's economic news is good on several fronts. Most importantly, manufacturing is expanding. This, as I say is real money. There is only three sources of real money in a society. Agriculture, mining (including drilling) and manufacturing.

GDP seems to be on an expansion, but the service sector and government can do that without any real national growth. The unemployment rate is up, but that is deceptive, meaning more people got back into the workforce and are looking for a job. The "under employment" index may finally fall for the first time in a couple of years.

Payrolls, and most importantly, manufacturing payrolls expanded both in March and in April, for the first time in years. A couple of months ago, the manufacturing index went into the positive side, but not enough to expand payrolls. Manufactures were able to keep up just by working a little faster. Now they are adding employees.

The threat of inflation is right on our doorstep, and even the Fed Reserve Bank President is a little worried about it, but Washington and Wall Street aren't saying much.

More good news for Americans, the troubles in Greece and a slowdown in China are providing us with a strong dollar and lower energy prices. Despite what anyone may think of the oil spill, it hasn't impacted our supplies all that much. The effects of these things are temporary, and energy will go up again in the future, but we can enjoy it for now.

On the long term, China is beginning to import coal, (just a little) as well as oil and gasoline, so we need to be planning ahead for higher gas and electric prices in a few years.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

After Much Thought - Levels

After giving it much thought, I have decided to loosely categorize Bible Study tools into four categories.

1. Complete Novice
If you don't know many Bible stories, don't know the books of the Bible, or the characters, and are frankly intimidated buy the sheer magnitude of the whole thing. This is you.

I discovered one person I gave a Haley's Handbook to was intimidated by the size of the handbook. True, it is thicker than the Bible itself, but that is mostly because the paper in the pages is thicker. And it has more pictures. But just the same, they were intimidated. Sign of a Complete Novice.

I didn't used to think there were many people in Church at this level. Now I know differently. After half a century of steadily deteriorating public school training, we now have a large portion of the US population functionally illiterate when it comes to real books. They can function on the job, read a magazine, or read some of the junk food fiction that passes for literature today, but they can't get through a serious non fiction book.

If you are at this point, you need tools for orientation.
Childrens Bible Stories
Picture Bibles
Elementary Handbooks

2. Elementary Learning Level
If you do know several of the stories of the Bible, but don't really know where to start learning more. Maybe you tried "getting into the Bible" one or more times, but crashed and burned. But you are willing to try again, and realize that if you can take it a bite at a time, you can do it, then this is you. At the Elementary Learning Level.

In the past, this is where I always used to start with people.
Mainly because I remained at this level for about 20 years.
If you are at this level, you need tools for understanding.
Dictionary and Cultural context tools.
Maps and History guides
Bible Handbooks
Catechism type Books (Books that ask a lot of questions for you to explore)

3. Intermediate Leaning Level
This is really an extension of the Elementary Level. OK, so you know your way around the Bible stories and you have some knowledge of the times and places where the events of the Bible took place, and have some idea how to break down Bible passages to gain a deeper understanding of what is really written.

Now you need tools to help find answers to the more difficult questions, usually posed by nonbelievers, but also posed by some of the more Elementary believers, and by some heritics (although for vastly different reasons).

These are tools for historical context
ExtraBiblical Tools to support the Bible
Archeological and Apologetics tools.
Simple Doctrinal Tools

3a. Some other stuff that might be of interest at this level are things others have written about the Bible. Stuff that Christians may or may not agree with, as far as doctrine or interpretation. These can give you insight about the disputes that arise over interpretations, and insight as to just what non beleivers do not understand, since much of what you know about the Bible may seem easy and straightforwards to you as you progress through the intermediate level of understanding. These can prevent or remedy complacency in interpretation.

3b. This may also be a good point at which to begin learning about various other religions, Christian and pseudo christian religions, and some other religions around the world.

4. Higher Learning Levels
I can't say much about this level, as I have only begun to explore at this level.
Studies of Apologetics
Studies of Doctrine
Original Language Translations and Lexicons (Vines)
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance

Ok, now that I have laid the ground work here, I will begin, in the future to lump study tools into one of the above categories. You can always use, though maybe with some difficulty, tools from a higher level. You can also use, though with diminished effectiveness, tools from a lower level. And, actually, you should be reviewing tools from the lower levels, for others who may be coming to you for guidance.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FreeWare program of the month - KeyNote

I have been searching for a replacement for an old DOS (before Windows) editor that I use to keep my journal. Since I keep several kinds of information in it, and some of it is sensitive, this has been a daunting task. I need a tool which can keep multiple kinds of data, some in fairly massive amounts, can keep it private, and keep it "bookmarked" for easy access.

I think I found it in KeyNote

KeyNote is basically like having Wordpad that opens up to a complete set of files in a tree of folders. And it can stay minimized in your desktop (system) tray. Each time it opens, it can open to the last place you edited a specific file, making it useful as a log or journal.

In addition to begin able to import and export text and rich text files, you can edit rich text files from inside Keynote by using a link to that file (called a virtual node). Switching from one note to another or one file of notes to another is much faster than opening a new window (or new copy) of Wordpad, and again, they open to the last place you edited them.

Keynote provides for the (strong) Encryption of the entire file of notes, and also can do ROT13 (a quick substitution of the alphabet) on any particular text inside the file (to prevent someone from inadvertently reading it), making the word "particular look like "cnegvphyne". It can also reverse any text you highlight, making the word "particular" look like "ralucitrap." This means you can keep your notes, as a whole, safe from prying eyes, and if there is anything particularly sensitive in one or more of them, you can use ROT13 to keep it from being inadvertently read if someone walks up behind you while you are working.

I haven't found the spell check, thesaurus, or glossary yet, but there are program add-on's available (plug-in's) for those and other functions. I just haven't had time to explore those things yet. Also this tool is mainly for those of us still using WindowsXP or Win2K (it also works in Linux Wine), one of the current development projects is to port it to dotNET for Windows7, but that has not happened yet. Some people have been using it in Windows7, and some have reported problems with it in Windows7. Porting it to dotNET will fix Windows7, but it may kill it for Linux users.

This is not the ultimate fix for my search for the Perfect Journal Keeping Tool, but it looks like it is far better than any other I have looked at.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

America's Hidden History

America's Hidden History by Kenneth C. Davis

288 pages, date 2009 From Harper Paperbacks

From the Amazon Review: [this is] "a collection of extraordinary stories, each detailing an overlooked episode that shaped the nation's destiny and character"

From one of the 4 star customer reviews: "High School American History is what it is, a large composition of dates and names with little dimension of cause and effect."

My review:
I often say that history is best learned by studying it a little at a time for many years. Of course, each of us needs to get a foundation that can be provided by Junior High and High School, but that is little more than a framework to build real knowledge of history. America's Hidden History helps provide some of that real knowledge.

Most of the books I have reviewed in the past are beginner's books, and I have a particular affection for the "For Dummies" and similar kinds of books. This is not a "For Dummies" kind of book, and it is not a beginner's book. It goes into a great deal of detail about the lives and times of some of those who shaped our nation, and without some fairly detailed knowledge of those times, these stories are beyond understanding.

If you already have a fairly well rounded knowledge of pre-revolutionary America, this is a delightful little book of historical stories.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

FreeWare program of the month

Process Explorer

I have had some problems in the last few weeks with my PC getting choked on some kind of rogue programs. After running AntiVirus and SpyBot programs to insure it wasn't some kind of infection, I started looking for the circumstances under which it chokes.

Using task manager, I was able to determine some instances of it choking on certain web sites, but I always had to remember to start task manager each time I started working, and if I closed it for any reason (I have a habit of closing all of my windows, in rapid succession when I get a choke condition), I lost any history it had.

There is a really excellent utility to replace Task Manager (for Win2k and WinXP) that provides a lot of flexibility that Task Manager does not make convenient, such as starting up as soon as you log on, and when you hit close, it simply shrinks to a tray icon (you can actually close it from there if you wish).

Freeware program, the author does not ask for anything in return for its use. "Sysinternals," the author's website was acquired by Microsoft, but still seems to function as an independent resource, and has a lot of neat utilities.

Used with another program (Autorun) from the same sight, I found a couple of things loading at startup that I didn't know about, but in the long run, I am not enough of a whiz at computers to fix whatever is choking my PC. I did learn, from the author's blog, that I am not the only one that is having this problem, and it seems to be some poorly written programming, possibly in Java, for displaying web pages.

One caviot, Process Explorer has been "Upgraded" from the edition I am using, to work on Vista and Windows7. There may or may not be some bugs with the new release (there have been complaints). I would wait another month before trying the new edition, just in case.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Christian MUST

Support a local Church - if any exists. If you are a missionary in a hostile country, well then, there should be a Church, somewhere, supporting you. But if you are here in the U.S., you need to be supporting a local Church.

I have written, before, on how to find a good Church.

Support them financially, if you can. If you are one of the 30% of our country that is having trouble putting food on the table, hen this does not apply to you. If you can afford cable TV (other than the $15 a month "limited basic" package), then you can afford to give, at least a little. You are not required to Tithe, or give 10%. Or any other amount. Giving is voluntary, and more importantly, the amount of giving is up to you. I covered that in an earlier article.

But even if you cannot give money to the Church, you can give the pastor a word of encouragement. Did he cover a point of scripture you have been wondering about? Did he give you encouragement? Did he provide a point of view that you had not heard before? And support them by praying for them. Pray for the Pastor. Pray for the Elders. Pray for those in need. Support them by prayer and giving an encouraging word. Both to their face, and to others
in the community.

UPDATE: Here is an article on a similar subject, that might have planted the seed for this one.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The big event this quarter

The big event in my personal blogosphere this past month was the (hopefully temporary) destruction of the Combat Effective BBS. I still don't know the motives behind this crime, but I believe the owner of the board is working on resurrecting it, and we may eventually discover who the criminals were.

I began a campaign to comment on other blogs around the country, but have not had much time to do enough of that, but did notice that at least one of my comments (and not a controversial comment) was deleted. Will have to watch responses to my comments more closely.

In the past couple of months, I posted a lot of random material about Christianity and Bible Study, and even got corrected on an event in Britain where it, at first, looked like a case of persecution, but turned out the news paper had jumped the gun and the rest of us followed suit.

I still plan more on Bible Study, but will be taking it on somewhat of a different track, since all people are not equal in their needs, when it comes to study material. I also plan more articles updating my previous ones from years ago on net neutrality and on the cost of producing and or storing electricity.

I have decided to make my first post of each month on the subject of either Christian Living, or Bible Study. This just seems to make more sense to me, if for no other reason than economic statistics are not ready until several days into the month. And it will add some consistency, which is something I need.

I spent some time trying to restore some recent substantial material from CombatEffective (dead link) on France dealing with Shariah Law. This link from Politics Daily might substitute.

But I could not find anything to replace his article on Comparing War to Hockey (another dead link).

Hopefully the next few months will be better.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finally Somebody Takes Action

From the BBC:
A suspected pirate has been shot dead as private guards repelled an attack on a cargo ship off Somalia, in what may have been the first such incident.

Now, all we have to do is wait for the LEFTIST's to attack these law abiding shippers.

Or maybe not. If all goes well, piracy will be a lot less fun and profit in the future.

But then again, that is why the LEFTIST's will attack them.

(LEFTIST: Lying Everywhere, Fighting Truth In Society Today)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Border Fence - Quick Update

I didn't post on this topic in February, but I think from my January posting, we can see four things.

First is that a border fence, despite propaganda and disinformation to the contrary, is an effective deterrent. And this can be seen, even with the incomplete fence we now have. Second, the U.S. population is distracted, at this time, by high unemployment and the Obamacare fiasco. Third, we have a long way to go. The goal is not to increase the number of smugglers and other illegal crossers that we catch. Our goal is to make the border so impenetrable that the number of smugglers and other illegal crossers actually is reduced, due to the perception that it can't be done. Forth. we need a website that details the progress of the border security project. It should all but ignore things like busts, numbers of border agents, deployments of troops, and other "make work" distractions. We need a site that concentrates on when and where the security infrastructure is being beefed up.

Some notes on Border Patrol press releases.

Among the many articles are tons and tons of Marijuana, and millions and millions of dollars worth of other illegal drugs. Much easier to catch this stuff if it is funneled into narrow corridors at the legal border crossings (and funneled into ever smaller 'holes' in the fence) In addition, there are stories here of capture of sex offenders, and of smugglers getting creative. Even to the point of trying to use SCUBA to go through the sewer system.

What is missing from the month of Feb are the stories of illegals. Can't be certain why. Could be the weather, or that jobs were so scarce here that the illegals just stayed in Mexico. In March they were back in the news, with a story every couple of days.