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.