Here are a few random notes for you as I peruse today’s news:
“Confidential Wal-Mart Memo Discloses Substantial Drop In Store Traffic Compared To Year Ago“
From the guys at Zerohedge: “As if we needed another confirmation that the US consumer is running on empty, here comes Bloomberg with valuable disclosure from an internal, and supposedly confidential, Wal-Mart memo on store traffic patterns which indicate that in US store locations open for at least a year have seen a 2.6% drop in traffic in the February to June period compared to a year earlier. While this may not sound huge, keep in mind the company is massively leveraged to even the smallest marginal moves in traffic, courtesy of already razor thin margins. Specifically, the Wal-Mart stores in question had “82.8 million fewer visits through the first five months of the company’s fiscal year.” More than anything this is an indication of just how exhausted the US consumer is becoming if even the most beloved, widespread and cheapest option for purchases is now being shunned outright.”
I think that is an extremely concise summary of the memo. And its stark simplicity is depressing.
I’ve been saying that volcanic activity is up over the last few years. (data here). The Chaitén volcano entered a new eruptive phase for the first time in about 9,500 years on the morning of May 2, 2008. Just one day it went BOOM. In June, Eritrea’s Nabro volcano erupted and it never had before. Many other active volcanoes became even more active. Because of this (one surmises from the article below), a report was made to the Parliament of Tanzania regarding whether Kilamanjaro is exhibiting any signs of eruption. Some ash had been spotted recently. So because of that, and the fact that volcanic activity in other parts of the world, they decide they better go and check it out. Here is the story-
Government Wants to Research Mount Kilimanjaro for Possible Eruption
“The government, through Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa), will soon conduct a research on Mount Kilimanjaro’s Kibo peak to check signs of volcanic eruption following recent volcanic incidents in different parts of the world. State Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Environment) Terezya Huvisa revealed this in Parliament yesterday when responding to a question by Betty Machangu (CCM). She said that there was not any thorough research conducted to look into the possibility of volcanic eruption at Kibo peak, but following recent eruptions in different parts of the world, the government through Tanapa intends to conduct research at Kibo peak. … She further explained that Mt Kilimanjaro had three peaks which occurred due to volcanic eruptions about one million years ago. “Experts’ reports have confirmed that Mawenzi and Shira peaks had dead volcanic and there is no possibility of eruption,” she said. However, Huvisa said the Kibo peak was reportedly active as ashes and fire had been spotted recently. “The last incident of eruption at this peak occurred 200 years ago resulting in ash pit which exists until today,” Huvisa said.”
Big Think had a recent story about the Pisgah-USGS-DutchSinse dust-up. I reported on that here. The article makes a statement about the issue of how far to go with trusting citizen-interpreted data, and even whether it is a good thing to have such data available to people. I believe it is, of course, but you can read the Big Think article yourself to get the flavor of the discussion. What I took away from the piece is that there is a blunt reminder that the desert east of LA and south of Bodie is a hugely active seismic and volcanic field.
Bank runs are no longer enacted like the scene in the old movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”:
Nowadays it is called a “silent bank run” as in the Guardian UK’s article about Greece’s silent bank run this week.
“Official figures back him up. In May alone, almost €5bn (£4.4bn) was pulled out of Greek deposits, as part of what analysts describe as a “silent bank run”. This version is also disorderly and jittery, just not as obvious. Customers do not form long queues outside branches, they simply squirrel out as much as they can. Some of that money will have been used to pay debts or supplement incomes, of course, but bankers put the sheer volume of withdrawals down to a general fear about the outlook for Greece, one that runs all the way from the humble rainy-day saver to the really big money.”
Here is a story from Yahoo News:
US borrowing tops 100% of GDP: Treasury
“The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium.”
I’m no economist, but that seems kinda bad to me.
So…there’s a lot going on. I really wonder how anyone who is not saved explains the plethora of unusual and extreme events occurring all over the world. It is the nearing of Jesus to come in judgment for our sins. I was watching an apologetics show recently, and there was a professor in a college railing against Christianity. When confronted, he’d said that Christianity has caused more wars than anything else in all of history. The response to the professor was to ask him if he believed that the present age (20th century and forward) is more, or less, Christian than in prior centuries and epochs. He said “less Christian.” Then how can Christianity have caused more wars when by his own admission, the world was less inclined toward Jesus than previously, and yet the 20th century has seen an increase in wars to an extent seen like no other? And the basis for those wars was not Christianity, but atheism, Marxism, Communism, nationalism and civil wars?
These articles sum up a clear pattern to me. Peoples’ lives are changing radically. What we knew before is going away, not to return. A calm earth, a stuffed bank account, purchasing merchandise at will, all gone. Now we have silent bank runs and empty stores and governments nervously eyeing the volcano with teams crawling up its sides to take a peek if it is coming alive or not.
The facts are clear. The road ahead will be very bumpy for those not reconciled in pardon to Jesus, but instead who stand in rebellion against Him as criminals. He is coming soon, please repent of sins and choose life everlasting. Please.