Here is an article describing one man's opinion of these times.
Lex: Buffett/trade deficit
Sunday March 6, 1:45 pm ET
Warren Buffett's letters to shareholders at times read like scripts from The Waltons TV show. But the billionaire fund manager's folksy style is a breath of fresh air for currency investors used to the obfuscation of Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Mr Buffett believes the dollar has further to fall and the US trade deficit risks turning America into a "sharecropper's society". It is only fair to point out that the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway is talking his own book. The value of the group's foreign exchange contracts mostly short positions against the dollar increased to $21.4bn at December 31 2004 from $12bn the previous year. That caveat aside, Mr Buffett's reasoning has merit.
Some might argue that while foreigners are happy to finance the US deficit by recycling their corresponding surpluses into dollar assets the situation is sustainable. But, as Mr Buffett's sharecropping analogy highlights, that argument ignores the transfer of wealth that accompanies persistent large trade deficits. US net external liabilities are currently about three times export earnings. With a trade deficit amounting to 5.4 per cent of gross domestic product, net indebtedness continues to grow. It is unlikely that America can trade its way out of the problem. Since 1991, the share of exports in US GDP has remained static, at close to 10 per cent, while the share of imports has jumped by five percentage points.
Not all of the transfer of wealth to the rest of the world leaves US control. Part of the deficit reflects trade between US-based companies and their overseas subsidiaries. But it has been the willingness of foreign central banks, particularly in Asia, to accumulate currency reserves that has allowed the deficit to persist without more significant dollar depreciation. As US indebtedness grows, so does the risk that its creditors' appetite for dollar assets wanes or they at least require a higher return. The dollar has already proved sensitive to suggestions that South Korea might diversify the currencies in which it holds its foreign exchange reserves. In Mr Buffett's words, US "spendthrift behaviour won't be tolerated indefinitely".
How many know what it is like to be a sharecropper?
| 2005/3/7 11:14||Profile|
Just a thought....
If we become a nation of sharecroppers, it might be that we again would begin to cry out to our Lord, just like Israel did many times in Scripture.
| 2005/3/8 10:45||Profile|
| Re: Days ARE Evil|
Brother Jeff ...
Sharecropper sounds kind ... What i see is America becoming a nation of dustbowlers, far worse than these images from the 1930's ...
Photographs of the Great Depression
Dust Bowl Web Quest
... and the phrase "crying out" does not do justice to what over pampered, over satiated, soft modern day American's will be doing ... Ugly, ugly times ahead ... The Refiner's fire ...
 That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.
 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.
 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
 The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD's ministers, mourn.
 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.
 for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.
 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
 The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.
 How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are
perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.
 The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers
 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.
 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,
 Alas for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
 O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.
This is what Joel says that happens when God's people abuse His long suffering kindness as weakness, or worse yet come to not even really believing in Him anymore ... Very sobering if one is a true BELIEVER ... Bless God that i have no fear concerning this whatsoever, but praise Him that He would even extend His terrible grace to we the American Church part of His Bride to bringing us to Himself in purity without spot or blemish ... Amen
| 2005/3/8 11:26||Profile|
i think this info is important enough to repeat in that many saints read this thread ...
As strange and as difficult as this may be able to be percieved since the deregulation of God out of the American society in the 60's, His influence over the ethics and morality of the subsequent Godless generations of younger business movers and shakers is only becoming horribly evident now in all of the corporate/Wall Street scandals that are coming to light since the S&L's some 20 yeras ago ... American business now is pretty much in the hands of a bunch of greedy, lying, scheming parasites who will do whatever it takes to get rich, stay rich, and keep afloat this debt servicing so called economy that they/we've trapped ourselves in ... It's all one huge bubble that's desperately attempting to stay clear of anything that will make it POP! ... Do you know what makes me not cheat my fellow man ... FEAR OF GOD, instilled in me as a child! ... Very wicked things occur without fear of God ... I'm sure that those of you who have an understanding of what this post is about, know that the S&L's seem like small potatoes in light of the recent discovered shenanigans of Enron, World Com and Fannie and Freddie. "In the first years of the Bush administration, some of Americas most prominent corporate executives cashed out billions of dollars in stock and stock options before driving their companies to ruin through fraud and bankruptcy. In their wake they left a tangle of lost jobs, depleted pensions, and shattered lives". He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church, "America is about to take one huge tumble" ... My question is, "Will you tumble with her?
My advice to any sinner, or backslidden saint, is to REPENT & GET RIGHT WITH GOD RIGHT NOW! ... For it is He, and He alone, that will be the only One capable of supplying your needs thru this time of the Refiner's fire ...
Pss.9 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Pss.37 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
America's economy has been sustained on the floatsom of magically providing credit and repackaging, selling and then re-servicing that newer debt, which even if you can't comprehend the depth of intricasies of what this means, it simply means that say America suffers a devestating earthquake in the right place (primarily NY and/or LA), or another devestating terrorist attack in downtown Manhattan, and that causes major defaults in debt repayments, it will cause a domino effect in that our entire economy is based on every other bank owing every other bank, with no banks holding enough reserve cash anymore in case of a panicked public making a run on any bank to get their deposits out ... Do you know why this will happen, because your precious money is not sitting in the bank, it's all loaned out to a now irresponsible, unregulated big business class who's doing all sorts of immoral and unethical dealings with it that prior to the go-go 80's would have sent them straight to jail and public humiliation ... Not anymore ... America's precarious economy now is basically based on a non stop shuffling of debt payments, interrupt that shuffle and economic chaos will insue ... The following Audio interview will give you some indication of what i'm saying ...
Nomi Prins, Author
"Other People's Money: The Corporate Mugging of America
And if your hope and trust is in so called Social Security take a listen to this, and then place your trust into His Everlasting Arm Security ...
Select an Audio Format
Real Player l WinAmp l Windows Media l mp3
Social Security - Trust Fund or Ponzi?
Market Anomalies - The Approaching Storm
The Gathering Storm
Financial Sense Newshour
Special Roundtable - AMERICA IN CHAOS
Listening to these exposes reminded me of these scriptures ...
"Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right" ... Amos.5:11,12
"Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth" ... Mic.6: 12,13
"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD ... Ezek.22: 6-31
| 2005/3/9 12:50||Profile|
Trade Deficit Hits $58.3B in Jan. on Imports of Consumer Goods and Cars; 2nd Highest Level Ever
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit climbed to $58.3 billion in January, the second-highest level in history, as Americans' appetite for foreign consumer products and automobiles hit record highs. The deficit with China was pushed higher by a surge in textile shipments, reflecting the end of global quota.
The Commerce Department reported Friday that the January trade gap was 4.5 percent higher than December's $55.7 billion deficit and was just below the all-time high monthly deficit of $59.4 billion, recorded in November.
For all of last year, the U.S. trade gap surged by 24.3 percent to $617.1 billion, setting a record for the third straight year. Analysts believe that 2005 will also set a record, reflecting higher prices for imported oil and continued heavy demand by U.S. consumers for all things foreign.....
The great whore of Babylon one day will fall. On that day the merchants of the world will weep. Could it be that mammon is worshiped by the world during the final days?
What will happen to a world that bases all it's trust, all it's value, all it's hope in the U.S. dollar and for that matter, all currencies of the world?
| 2005/3/11 11:48||Profile|
The exaultation of man as God in the form of Nazism is still alive.
Article from BBC
Germany beefs up anti-Nazi laws
NPD march in Dresden: Support surged in Saxony
Germany's parliament has tightened restrictions on neo-Nazi marches to keep them away from sensitive memorials such as former concentration camps.
The changes make it easier for local authorities to ban such gatherings.
The new curbs target a planned march by the far right National Democratic Party (NPD) at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, near a new Holocaust memorial.
The 8 May march would coincide with the 60th anniversary of Germany's capitulation in World War II.
Germany's upper house of parliament still has to approve the changes.
But the government says it is determined to get them in place in time to prevent neo-Nazi demonstrations overshadowing the official May ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary.
Support for NPD
Last month, thousands of neo-Nazis marched through Dresden on the 60th anniversary of the allied bombing of the city.
It was one of the biggest far-right demonstrations in Germany's post-war history.
Last year the NPD won 9% of the vote in Saxony, giving it seats in a German state assembly for the first time since 1968.
Germany already has laws to restrict neo-Nazi propaganda and Nazi symbols are banned.
On Thursday, Germany's highest court upheld a ruling that a neo-Nazi rock band was a criminal organisation whose songs spread racial hatred.
The German Constitutional Court rejected an appeal by the band's former lead singer, Michael Regener, against his three-year prison sentence.
Two years ago a Berlin court found the rock group Landser - meaning "foot soldiers" - guilty of spreading hatred of Jewish people and foreigners in Germany.
Landser's CDs included The Reich Will Rise Again and Get The Enemy.
End of article......
In the 1930's Germany experienced hyper-inflation which destroyed the social fabric of the nation. Fear allowed Hitler and the Nazi dogma to take hold in that generation. The seeds are still alive in this generation.
| 2005/3/11 18:08||Profile|
I read this article in the Bakersfield Californian today, here are protions of the ariticle.
OBJECTIVITY OR PROPAGANDA? IN BUSH ADMINISTRATION THE LINE GETS BLURRIER
By David Barstow and Robin Stein, NY Times News Service
It is the kind of TV new coverage every president covets.
Thank you, Bush. Thank you, USA, a jubilant Iraqi-American told a camera crew in Kansas City for a segment about reaction to the fall of Baghdad. A second report told of another success in the Bush administrations drive to strengthen aviation security; the reporter called it one of the most remarkable campaign in aviation history. A third segment, broadcast in January, described the administrations determination to open markets for American farmers.
To viewers, each report looked like any other 90 second segment on the local news. In fact, the federal government produced all three. The report from Kansas City was made by State Department. The reporter covering airport safety was actually a public-relations professional working under a false name for the Transportation Security Administration. The farming segment was done by the Agriculture Departments office of communication.
Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance
This winter, Washington has been roiled by revelations that a handful of columnists wrote in support of administration policies without disclosing they had accepted payments from the government. But the administrations efforts to generate positive news coverage have been considerably more pervasive than previously known
An examination of government-produced news reports offers a look inside a world where the traditional lines between public relations and journalism have become tangled, where local anchors introduce prepackaged segments with suggested lead-ins written by public relations experts. It is a world where government-produced reports disappear into a maze of satellite transmissions, Web portals, syndicated news programs and network feeds, only to emerge cleansed on the other side as independent journalism
A recent study by congressional Democrats offers another rough indicator; The Bush Administration spent $254 million in its first term on public relations contracts, nearly double what the last Clinton Administration spent
Here is a portion of an history found in a Time-Life Books, THE NEW ORDER. This book covers events that took place in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
Goebbels was rewarded for good service on March 13, 1933, six weeks after Hitler had become chancellor. He was appointed to Hitlers cabinet in the new position of minister of popular enlightenment and propaganda. The ministry consolidated functions formerly scattered in a half-dozen government agencies, and it assumed sweeping new powers. By decree, Goebbels was to be responsible for all influences on the intellectual life of the nation; for public relations for state, culture, and the economy; and for the administration of all the institutions serving these purposes.
8 All things are full of labor;
Man cannot express it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which it may be said,
See, this is new?
It has already been in ancient times before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things,
Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come
By those who will come after.
| 2005/3/13 15:47||Profile|
I read this in the Bakersfield Californian today, March 14.
The article speaks of similiar types of "public relations" activity here in California.
SCHWARZENEGGER AIDES DEFEND DISTRIBUTION OF "VIDEO NEWS RELEASES"
By Beth Fouhy AP Political Writer
Saturated as he is in the ways of Hollywood, it's no surprise that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger know better than most politicians how to fashion an image for television cameras. But the recent disclosure that several state agencies have distributed video news releases masquerading as TV news reports have led Democrats to cry foul and news directors to re-examine their policies about airing such material.
Schwarzenegger aides have acknowledged using state money to produce "video news releases," or VNRs, that cast an entirely favorable light on some of the administration's most controversial policies.
They have been used to advocate proposed regulatory changes, like modifying lunch break rules for workers and easing a new law requiring more nurses in California hospitals.
And one video was produced to help sell a key aspect of Schwarzenegger's policital agenda; to pay teachers by merit instead of tenure, and to make it harder for teachers to get tenure.
The videos resemble local television news stories, complete with a suggested script for anchors to read as a lead-in to the pieces. They're distributed via satellite for TV stations to broadcast as they wish.
[b]Video news releases have been used for years by private industries, like pharmaceutical companies, to promote their products. They are routinely sent to television newrooms around the country and often provide useful video images, or "B-roll," to help illustrate the story. [/b] But most TV stations have strict rules governing the use of VNRs, such as clearly labeling the source of the material when it appears on the air....
Earlier in this thread I covered the development of propaganda as a "mind science" that was developed during the time of Nazi Germany. The influences of that time are still alive today. In this article what is the underlying motive for VRNs? Is it about helping people or making money?
| 2005/3/14 10:50||Profile|
I was reading in Ecclesiastes yesterday and this Scripture brought you to mind.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
| 2005/3/14 11:35||Profile|
Here is an article found on CNN.
100 alleged members of the violent Honduran street gang MS-13 have been arrested in a nationwide sweep, authorities said Monday.
Using information from local and state law enforcement agencies, federal agents charged 103 members of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang with a range of criminal and immigration charges.
The arrests came in the New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Newark, Miami and Dallas metropolitan areas over the last several weeks.
Officials said MS-13 is one of the largest and most violent street gangs in the United States, and the majority of its members are in the country illegally. The gang has carried out beheadings and grenade attacks in Central America and is known to hack their enemies with machetes in cities along the East Coast in the United States.
The arrests are the result of a new "Operation Community Shield" nationwide sting by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to target violent gangs.
"By bringing the full range of ICE's immigration and customs authorities in the fight against violent street gangs, we can take hundreds of gang members off the streets and have a significant impact on community safety," said Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Michael Garcia, who is director of the ICE bureau.
Half of the alleged gang members have prior arrests or convictions for violent crimes, including murder, sodomy, assault, arson and weapons and drug possession, officials said.
In one example, on March 13 agents arrested a man who acknowledged he is a founding member and leader of the MS-13 cell in Hollywood, officials said. The man, who was charged with immigration violations, was previously convicted in the United States for robbery, possession of a dangerous weapon and mail theft.
Authorities also arrested the purported leader of the MS-13 cell in Long Branch, New Jersey on March 10. The suspect has a criminal rap sheet that includes charges of arson, weapons possession and grand larceny, officials said. He was also arrested on immigration charges.
Last month, former Homeland Security Deputy Secretary James Loy called MS-13 an emerging threat to the United States, referring to the gang and the al Qaeda terrorist organization in the same breath in testimony to Congress.
Besides al Qaeda, Loy said, "We are seeing the emergence of other threatening groups and gangs like MS-13 that will also be destabilizing influences."
Officials arrested 30 alleged gang members in the New York metropolitan area, the most of any of the seven cities targeted. Twenty-five were arrested in Washington, 17 in Los Angeles, and 10 each in the Baltimore, Newark and Miami areas. The last arrest came in Dallas, officials said.
Matt. 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
| 2005/3/14 13:36||Profile|