Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Lot Happening

A lot has been happening the past few days.

Most of the people reading this will be aware of the Earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the South Pacific. As I was watching the news coverage on Fox News, I was appalled at the ignorance of those reporting. Many referring to Mother Nature, and none giving credit to God. Many questions about earthquakes and tsunamis that should have been known by those reporting on it. I mean come on folks, pick up an encyclopedia and read up on the phenomenon before you go on the air. And one cameraman and reporter, covering the story seemed to have more interest in video shots of the reporter's shirt than anything else.

I was quite surprised to hear that even as the tsunami came to shore on Hawaii, that they couldn't say when it would actually arrive and did not yet (12 hours after the quake) know how many waves there would be. I would have thought there would be sensors about 100 miles out from the shore line, announcing the arrival, and there are certainly many sensors throughout the Pacific to count how many waves occurred.

On a more local front, Combat Effective was attacked and effectively shut down for now. Rebuilding will take a while, but the web site is not the owners highest priority, so it may be down for weeks. I guess we should take that as meaning we were on the right track, and became a threat to America's enemies.

In the mean time, I intend to get this blog back on track, after neglecting it for the past three weeks, and will begin tracking the approach of the elections this fall.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Big News Nobody Saw

The biggest news story of January was missed by almost everyone.

China made an unexpected move to tighten credit, by increasing the reserves maintained by banks. These reserves act as ballast, to keep the economies upright and reduce the bouncing up and down that otherwise would occur in the credit markets. Lack of these reserves is one of the things that led to the giant bubble economy of a few years ago. (Actually, it was and is bubbles upon bubbles, but that is a story for a different day.)

Here is an excerpt from that BIG STORY that ran on 13 Jan:
The People’s Bank of China yesterday raised the proportion of deposits that banks must set aside as reserves by 50 basis points starting Jan.

18. Economists hadn’t anticipated the move until at least April, the median of 11 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey showed last week.

Policy makers may follow up by raising their benchmark rate in coming months, rather than waiting until the second half of the year as most economists in the survey had projected. By moving ahead of the [U.S.] Federal Reserve, which plans to keep rates near zero for an “extended” period, pressure will rise to allow the yuan to appreciate for the first time since mid-2008.
The repercussions from that move caused the markets to move lower over the next several days, coinciding with President Obama's speech about taxing the banks. Thus he got the blame for the markets tanking, and for once he wasn't the guilty party.

News also found here
world’s largest lender by market value falls

and here
"Asian stocks fell for the first time in four days,
while copper and oil declined after
China raised the amount banks have to hold in reserve."

Two weeks later "Asian stocks snapped their longest losing streak since 2004, European shares and U.S. index futures rallied and the yen fell after Federal Reserve policy makers said America’s economy is in a recovery,"

But this is just an example, repeated every month for the past year, of talk of good times and the markets will rally. Soon after, they proceeded lower again, as skittishness over jobs reports (released about a week into every month) drained enthusiasm.

And just how are we doing on jobs?

The news had a good, but fake number right up front. So thin even the mainstream media picked up on the underlying bad news. The unemployment rate dropped, but the economy is still shedding jobs. People have been out of work so long they have dropped off the back end of the safety net and are no longer counted as unemployed. The real unemployment rate is still near 18%. And while we need to be adding 200,000 jobs a month just to maintain our current state of employment, this month they "adjusted" so many numbers from so many months that it makes me wonder how many jobs we really are losing.

One report said "The government’s survey of households showed employment increased by 541,000 workers last month and the number of people in the labor force rose. The gain brought the participation rate, or the share of the population in the labor force, up to 64.7 percent in January from 64.6 percent." There were other reports showing we had lost workers. It is getting hard to know what to believe.

But there is a small kernel of very, very good news hidden in all of this.
(Feb 5) Factory payrolls increased 11,000 in January, the biggest gain since April 2006, after falling 23,000 in the prior month.

And I don't know where this next article gets its history. The manufacturing index has been above water for the past 3 months, but manufacturing jobs continued to shrink until this month. The article says:
"Manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the economy, has been a driver of the recovery and is projected to continue to expand. The strength has yet to translate into more factory jobs. "

But overall, this expansion in manufacturing is one of two good bits of news. The drop in oil prices, and a drop in the price of fuel at the pump, is partially attributable to the sudden contraction in credit in China, and that too will fuel increases in U.S. manufacturing. U.S. manufacturing tends to be very energy intensive, so it will help us more than it will help Europe, which is already being hamstrung by a "Cap and Tax" system that impedes it from properly utilizing vast amounts of energy for its industry.

On the government front, we seem to have dodged the double barreled bullet of Socialist Medicine under the Obamacare label, and the "Cap and Tax" economy killer. Both are at least comatose, if not dead. This is fortunate, as I forecast back on the 29th of July, that the two of them would be the end of us.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Why study the Bible

There are several reasons Christians (and many others) should study the Bible. First and foremost for Christians is to provide resistance to the many heretics that rise into public view, mostly on Television. It is important for Christians to be able to discern real and unreal Christian leadership.

This important skill has been known (but not well used) since the days of the Puratins. The first public education bill passed in the colonies was the "Old Deluder Satan Act"
which said, in part:
It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men form the knowlege of the Scriptures, as in former times keeping them in an unknown tongue, so in these later times by perswading from the use of tongues, that so at least the true sense and meaning of the Originall might be clowded by false glosses of Saint-seeming deceivers; and that Learning may not be buried in the graves of our fore-fathers in Church and Commonwealth, the Lord assisting our indeavers: it is therefore ordered by this Court and Authoritie therof;

Don't be discouraged if the above sentence is hard to read, (in addition to being in "old English") you can jump from "unknown tongue" to the simicolon after "deceivers" when reading to get the majority of the meaning. The remainder is parenthetical.

Note also: Tongues mean languages, both spoken and written. The unknown tongue refers to the Catholics keeping the Bible in Latin so that people could not read it for themselves.

In addition to Biblical Prophesies being fulfilled in Europe and the Middle East (as well as maybe here), we have the threat of many in our own Republican Party attempting to hijack the Scriptures for their own purposes of greed and dishonor. And the Pseudo Christian governments in Europe, South and Central America have been so totally corrupted (except maybe some in the British Isles) that they are no longer of any use at all to our cause.

And what is our cause? Proclaiming the Glory of God, and the Good News of Salvation through Grace in Jesus Christ.