Where is Eliot Spitzer When You Need Him?
Wealth Distribution and the Jubilee

Bailing, Bailing, and Bailing

It seemed certain that the House would pass the bailout bill, but it almost didn’t happen. It took two tries.

Conservative House members cited their constituents, who demanded by a 9 to 1 margin (if not more) that the plan be rejected. The threat of another Great Depression didn’t faze them. Bailing out Wall Street bankers just made their blood boil! Would those same bankers bail them out if they fell behind in their mortgages? HA! Out on the street they would go! Ask anyone who’d been late with a credit card payment and in consequence seen their interest rate jump from 10 to 30%, and that with the bills deliberately arriving only days before payment was due……no, there was not much sympathy for big-time bankers. Tuesday (9/30/08) that bailout package went down by a 228 - 205 vote.

But the stock market immediately dropped 800 points. And small businesses back home were promptly frozen out of credit markets as banks simply stopped lending (even to entire states, like Schwarzenegger’s California). By Friday the Representatives were in a different mood and signed off on a slightly revised bill. Sixty of them had changed sides. The new vote was 263 yea, 177 nay.

The nature of the revisions is significant. The approved package took up 450 pages, whereas the initial proposal took up 3. You can read three pages; Representatives did and concluded the bill stunk. But do you seriously think these guys are going to read 450 pages? In a two day period? You just check to see that your own pet project is in there, and sign on the dotted line. Incredibly…..I mean, this is truly astounding, given that life or death for the entire worldwide financial system was purportedly at stake….Congresspersons loaded up that final bill with pork….a few million for this favored project, another few million for that one….same as they always do! Total added cost: $100 billion! PorkFor example, it was stipulated that from this point on, government subsidies for mental health disabilities were to be on par with those for physical disabilities. (though perhaps addressing mental disabilities isn't so dumb an idea in the wake of the current meltdown)

And they nearly came to blows blaming each other. On the very cusp of that first vote, the Democratic House Speaker nancy Pelosi launched into a bitter tirade blaming the entire mess on the Republicans and its President in particular. At that point it’s said that some of those Republicans who were prepared to vote “yes” dug in their heels out of sheer partisan spite and switched to “no.”

It is still to be seen if the world’s financial system begins to stabilize or if the woes have only begun. But either way, this past week has not been kind to human governments or those who put their confidence in them. Instead, its played into the Bible theme that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been advancing forever, that humans do not have the ability to rule themselves. They simply don’t have it, same as they don’t have the ability to fly or walk through walls. Avarice, arrogance, corruption, or just plain ineptness wins out every time.

JWs are the only major faith I know of that takes this position. All others assume, to a greater or lesser degree, that God is backing the present human system of governments. As if to illustrate, after that second vote the House Minority Leader John Boehner reminded all of the U.S. currency motto: in God we trust. “We’re going to need his help,” he warned his colleagues. (Privately he called the bill a "crap sandwich.") But the present system of worldwide rulership….scores of independent nations eternally pushing and shoving each other… isn’t God’s system. Rather, it finds its roots ages ago in rebellion against God’s own sovereignty….as shown way back there in the Adam and Eve account. After a sufficiently long (thousands of years) trial period during which the unsuitability of human rule makes itself blatantly clear, God intervenes with his own kingdom, which is really no more than a restoration of his original purpose. The “Lord’s prayer,” which everyone used to know, informs that his will is done only when his kingdom comes (as opposed to patching up disintegrating human governments):

                                                your kingdom come,
                                        your will be done
                                        on earth as it is in heaven
       Matt 6:10

Or as foreshadowed in Daniel 2:44: 

In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

Announcing this kingdom is what Jehovah’s Witnesses are all about. Lots of people….most people by far…don’t really want to hear it. But there are some who do, some who respond to the JW invitation to a Bible study, and some of those who….recognizing a message that is found nowhere else….attach themselves to the faith.

*******************

Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Comments

Ed Hughes

Tom, of Sheep and Goats,

What a relevant article, I felt that the numerous articles on the subject, that I had seen on the internet, with most of the profiles of these bloggers describing themselves as literate, very literate, awesome, on top of things, or a number of other clichés, that the answer would be forthcoming to the problem as it exists. Much to my dissatisfaction few saw the problem as it really is, or who has the ultimate responsibility for creating this problem, let alone the resolution of the problem. Then comes your article Bailing, Bailing, and Bailing, there are many, mostly uninformed, replies to such articles, and here is another one that will probably only add to the confusion.

As you point out (is that finger pointing?), there was much finger pointing, gnashing of teeth, bristling and general grumbling over who was to blame for this debacle. Few if any of our politicians (Independent, Democrat or Republican), really seemed to care about their fellow man that has been building a little nest egg for retirement through a 401 K, and has been working many years while keeping his fingers crossed, praying to the Almighty and speculating that things would always be ok. Many of these folks let the system bamboozle them with great expectations. Wrong again, average American worker, you have ended up with the nasty end of the stick once more. And I am afraid that stick is not going to get any more pleasant in the near future. Only $2 trillion lost to the workforce of America, as is estimated by those who were in some way responsible for those losses. (But my financial advisor told me that I was almost guarantied 12% gain per year, forever and ever, Amen). The company that most worked for capitulated on their retirement plan years ago, and then you trusted the Federal Government and their affiliations ( I almost said cohorts) to protect you and your nest egg, where have you been all your life? You really did not have much of another choice, did you? Many of these people in Congress are just there to gain recognition and power and to push their own agenda. It is a little late now for this advice, but you and I should do our utmost to vote these people out of office, if we can identify them, they are illusive but you can tell by their votes on the Congressional Floor, folks. Please pay attention.

I will not attempt to blame any individual or political party for these problems, this has been a bipartisan effort, and it is not even necessary to profess that the names have been changed to protect the innocent, as there are few innocents to be found. I must make one other statement about who is to blame, all the people in power say that it is everyone, but they are wrong as usual again. The system allowed an individual (certain individuals) to be guaranteed a loan of substantial value with no down payment, no collateral and maybe they did not even have a job. What could possibly go wrong with a giveaway of the American dream on requirements such as that? Whoever came up with this scheme should have their sanity or family DNA questioned. I never was able to get a loan on my status or ethnicity, and as I was in the military for most of my working life my income certainly did not allow me to qualify for any significant loan or even an insignificant loan. I applied for a gasoline credit card when I was 25 years old, 7 years in the Navy and an E5, it was refused. I also tried at an earlier time to buy an automobile worth $900.00 and had $500.00 in the same bank that I tried to get a loan from, loan refused. What is the moral of this story? All that anyone ever heard of Sailors was, drunk as a Sailor, spends like a Sailor and other such things as that. I managed to overcome the reputation that my predecessors handed down to me and bought 2 homes in the next 20 years, and I never defaulted on either of them. Do you as civilians have any idea what the military, the Navy especially, will do to you if you do not pay your bills? I will not explain what they might do, but there are drastic measures that you will face in all probability. The Commanding officer of your station will tell you that it a personal affront to his command for you to not pay your debts. And more stuff to follow. The fun has now exited from this Sailors life who gets involved in this ordeal.

Tom of Sheep and Goats and maybe Llamas too, you had to bring animals in again, where the average individual blog reader, or urban person, might think of Crocodiles, Tasmanian Devils, Wolverines, Grizzly Bears or even the mighty Shrew because of the fixation of opinions of folks that are unaware of the animal kingdoms inhabitants. I am referring to this pork barrel reference (picture of pork provider included; Pig), in case anyone reading this does not know where pork comes from. There have been many things attributed to the animals and other creatures of this world that are undeserved, here are a few that come to mind; Bird brain (some of these birds fly almost Pole to Pole twice a year, either that is a God given talent or they have become smart. That particular argument is somewhere on this blog and as yet is unsettled), Bullheaded ( I was aware of a Bull that was as gentle as the typical Dog and was so domesticated that he would go in the house with me, trouble is he weighed 1,600 lbs and there was no place in the house that would fit him as he would have liked) he was anything but bullheaded. He would wait outside patiently until someone would come and scratch his back, he was not Bull headed. Dumb as an Ox (the average person does not even know what an Ox is, let alone apply human attributes to that honored draft animal), sly as a Fox (a compliment not a putdown). I could go on and on, and you are probably saying, thank Jehovah; he is going to stop with his blather.

Continuing to be my affable self, I must compliment you on a well written piece that explains that the JW folks will salvage our futile attempts to govern ourselves. We the mortals of this world have not, and probably will never do an adequate job of governing the people. When is the big takeover? Does anyone know? Please advise so I can know whether to sell or hold on to my stocks, I had $10,000 in stocks given to me by an insurance company some years ago, I always looked at this as manna from heaven but if the Deity takes over do you suppose they will require a portion of my shares or just dissolve anything that might make profit for man?

Respectfully,
WMM

Ed Hughes

Tom, Sheep and Goats,
There have been many fine days here in South Carolina, and everyone knows nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina, in the morning. Having said that, and knowing deep inside that all is not fine for the average working person recently and today the news for all those hard workers was even worse. Now the money channel (any channel that professes to have any knowledge of the market) says the average worker has lost 40% of the value of their IRA. These knowledgeable folks say that never in their experience has a correction of the market exceeded 34% (that same pretty little girl was a hat check girl not too long back) and a good strong bull market advocate could pick her up and throw her further than her experience is long. She did not know what the Great Depression was, I guess. They in the market business do not even use the R word as they call it, let alone the D word. I hope that they do not have to, but you had better hang on to your britches, and while you are at it if you have any influence with the Man, tell Him we could use some very real help. It does appear this is the time when that rescue might be necessary.

Respectfully,
WMM

tom sheepandgoats

WMM:

Pigs, we are told by those who know such things, are both intelligent and clean. They are accordingly not a very fitting symbol for governmental activity, but slogans are what they are. Pork-barrel spending is what it is called, so I have no choice but to run a pig picture, even if in doing so I run afoul of boaraphiles.

Even if folks did pay attention to how congressmen vote (which they don't) I'm not sure there would be agreement on who are the heroes and who are the skunks. If it were that simple I think humans would have achieved good governement by now.

From your first comment: “I must compliment you on a well written piece that explains that the JW folks will salvage our futile attempts to govern ourselves.”

They will do nothing of the sort. The incoming government referred to in scripture is of God’s devising. JWs neither plan it nor do anything to bring it about. We exercise faith in the Bible’s promise of a righteous government, that’s all. Consequently, we seek to align ourselves with God’s moral qualities, and we view it as our work to announce that incoming kingdom.

Ed Hughes

Tom, Sheep and Goats,

I did make a mistake in my wording; this is what I possibly should have said.
“I must compliment you on a well written piece that explains that the JW folk’s spiritual beliefs and philosophy will ultimately allow Jehovah to salvage our futile attempts to govern ourselves.”

I was only attempting to provide that sandwich that I thought might be of some import, maybe I was wrong?

Pigs, we are told by those who know such things, are both intelligent and clean. They are accordingly not a very fitting symbol for governmental activity, but slogans are what they are. Pork-barrel spending is what it is called, so I have no choice but to run a pig picture, even if in doing so I run afoul of boaraphiles.

About a quarter of the mortals in this world do not think the pig is anything of the nature that “those who know such things” might believe. But I will not argue that point. I just feel that someone should take the position of animals on occasion, and I thought that Tom of Sheep and Goats might be that one. I was wrong again, sorry. The English language is full of words that describe these actions; greed, avarice, voracity, self indulgence, insatiable and there are many others.

Even if folks did pay attention to how congressmen vote (which they don't) I'm not sure there would be agreement on who are the heroes and who are the skunks. If it were that simple I think humans would have achieved good governement by now.

Sounds like a tremendous lack of faith in our form of government. I look in the daily rag (Charleston Post and Courier) where they publish the votes of our Congress Persons and House of Representatives every day. This way I can help to keep track of what our elected Legislators are voting for or against.

Respectfully,
WMM

tom sheepandgoats

HA! I slipped one by you.

“Even if folks did pay attention to how congressmen vote (which they don't) I'm not sure there would be agreement on who are the heroes and who are the skunks.”

It’s not enough I should malign pigs: must I also denigrate skunks? You have given me food for thought, WMM. For a guy that supposedly loves animals, perhaps I am too quick to subscribe to animal-hostile stereotypes?

“I must compliment you on a well written piece that explains that the JW folk’s spiritual beliefs and philosophy will ultimately allow Jehovah to salvage our futile attempts to govern ourselves.”

No, not even that, though I appreciate the effort to rephrase. For Jehovah will do what he will do regardless of our spiritual beliefs. We don’t allow anything on his part. But perhaps I am splitting hairs? (Note: I am reforming…..it is “splitting hairs,” not “splitting hares” (which would be cruel))

A few hints as to what that God-given gov’t might entail are in the post I just wrote: Wealth Distribution and Jubilee.

Bill Canaday

Are you aware of the genesis of the term 'crap sandwich'? It goes somewhat like this:
"Life is like a crap sandwich: the more bread you have, the less crap you have to eat."

tom sheepandgoats

Didn't know the derivation of the term. Is is a regionalism? You learn so much on the internet!! Maybe this guy was from Detroit?

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