Monday, September 26, 2011

Just some updates

Just some updates on some of the things I have written about over the past few months.

The Famine I wrote about a couple of months ago will not be as severe as I first thought. There will likely be shortages, but instead of the price of food doubling, this time it is only expected to rise by about 15%.

Some tidbits as to why it isn't as bad as I thought it would be:
Corn crop not hurt as bad as expected, but will be late.
Wheat harvests also not hurt as bad as I thought.

But the biggest factor is waste. Apparently, both the US and Europe still waste a good bit more food than I thought. How much, I don't know. I am still researching that (a lot of junk to sift through on the Net). But the bottom line is that the crop loss can be easily offset, this time by reducing the waste in our systems. As these things go in cycles we should have a few more years (or not, since these things cannot really be predicted) before a really bad famine sets in.

Obvious by now, this isn't the big famine mentioned in Revelation, but I will write more on both the coming famines and the 4 Horsemen of Revelation later.

Closely related to famine is epidemic. There is a strain of Bird Flu (in India) that is beginning a breakout, but it is still unclear if it presents a pandemic threat. Remember, the time to prepare is before things like this hit the media and panic ensues. As a related note, Polio is making a comeback. The majority of the US is vaccinated, but there could easily be a spread into small segments of our population, which would cause a panic. Keep your own vaccines up to date and there should be no problems. (And that goes for your family and friends) And lastly, MRSA strains are showing up that are resistant to antibacterial ointments. These are the ones found in the typical family medicine cabinet. Time to look into old time (18th century) remedies.

On a completely different note, as I have been listening to the expository recordings made by Pastor Chuck Smith covering the whole Bible, I have realized they were done over a period of about 20 years. Makes sense. He did something like 232 of them, and no more than one per week.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Zero Gain Economy

Well, the jobs report came out riday, as usual. And as usual, it was a cold slap of reality in a warm fuzzy market that usually thrives on "you tell me no bad news and I will tell you no bad news" in order to look up.

There was zero gain, zero loss, in the overall jobs. The almost (well, not quite almost) bright spot is private hiring was up by 17,000 (we need more than 200,000 each month). The really dim spot is that manufacturing fell by 3000.
Another zero in the news was the interest rate. It is axiomatic that lower interest rates encourage economic growth, but fuel inflation. Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Ben Bernanke recently stated the federal funds rate will remain at or near zero for the next two years.

While Bernanke may have prevented the US (and maybe the world) from going into the dreaded "double dip" in this recession, (and I have, from time to time, said he is probably the only guy in charge who actually know what he is doing) he doesn't have the tools to pull us out of the recession. Especially when most of those in Washington are busy trying to hang a millstone around our necks. We are still in the same condition as when I wrote, last month, that "gloomy just doesn't convey a strong enough message."

On the other hand, the assurance that interest rates will stay at or near zero for the next two years will likely be the factor that will start us into an inflationary cycle. One problem with keeping interest rates low (from a US standpoint) is it leads to a Dollar Carry problem. This is when investors can borrow money from the US at a marvelously low rate, and use it to buy bonds or other investment vehicles in Europe or Asia that pay a higher rate. To compensate for the flow of monies out of our economy, we will have little choice but to print quite a bit more, thus leading to inflation.

I am not qualified to predict how much or when this inflation will take place. It could be a year or three, and it could be 5% or 35%. I could guess two years and 20%, but that is just a guess. I will guess, also, that shortages of raw products will become a factor in a year or two, and they will lead to both inflationary pressures and slowing of the economy.

The downgrade of our national credit rating first by Moody's threat (even though they may deny it), and then by S&P, has had little impact on the overall economy. It seems they dragged their feet long enough that all the investors had already downgraded us in their minds. Still, the US treasury bond is considered the safest (really, there is no thought in the market that it is anything but 100% safe) of all investments, even though return is next to nothing.

And there is another serious threat however: public opinion seems to turn against anyone who attempts to fix our economic problems. There is two reasons for that. One is man's natural tendency to avoid anything that requires sacrifice. I mentioned this in a previous posting. The other is the press, which is doing Satan's bidding, to keep the liberals in power.

Of course, all of this seems to be in preparation for the end times. There are many who say they can see the US in prophesy. Well it is there, but not where they are looking. We are a bit player, a nobody. We are found in Ezekiel, complaining and doing nothing. A has been. Broken and sunken into depravity, we will sit on the sidelines and whine during the end times.

I don't know this for certain, of course. The timeline looked all set to go (rapture and war of Magog and all) once before, but then God raised up Ronald Reagan, and used him to set the timetable back more than 20 years. No man knows the day or the hour (and while I find it fun to guess the decade, I don't even know that for certain).

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Teaching Error, the issue of writing

I recently forgot myself and made a post to a humor thread about the origin of one of the Psalms. I was roundly criticized for doing so, as I should have been, since it was outside of the topic. (So I am also guilty of 2 Tim 4:2)

But that post revealed that some Churches are still teaching an error that was considered to be common knowledge in the 19th century, and later in the 20th century, mostly among those who lacked knowledge of the history of that period, and knew even less about the Bible. There are, of course, those who deliberately propagate this myth (as a heresy) with intent to undermine the foundations of Christianity, by saying the Bible is not the Word of God, but is merely a collection of stories made up and assembled by some mystical clerics only a few hundred years BC.

It is that the Bible wasn't a written book until only a few hundred years BC. I don't know where this started, but I suspect it was by those who refused to believe, and therefore wanted to destroy the foundations of Christianity, since if the early Scriptures weren't that they say they were, and were not preserved as God promised in Isaiah, and as confirmed by Jesus, then they could say that all of the Bible is a lie.

That this should happen should be no surprise, since both Paul (verses 3 and 4) and Peter (verse 1) warned us of these false teachers. But to allow these false teachings to stand makes us a party to the lie, and allows the enemies of Christ to place a barrier between men and the understanding of God.