Five Fold Today Smashing Capitalism - The Kingdom - When We Are Weak, Then We Are Strong - 9/11 as a License to Kill - The Authority Of Your Words - Pouring Forth

September 15, 2007

Smashing Capitalism

by Barbara Ehrenreich

Somewhere in the Hamptons a high-roller is cursing his cleaning lady and shaking his fists at the lawn guys. The American poor, who are usually tactful enough to remain invisible to the multi-millionaire class, suddenly leaped onto the scene and started smashing the global financial system. Incredibly enough, this may be the first case in history in which the downtrodden manage to bring down an unfair economic system without going to the trouble of a revolution.

First they stopped paying their mortgages, a move in which they were joined by many financially stretched middle class folks, though the poor definitely led the way. All right, these were trick mortgages, many of them designed to be unaffordable within two years of signing the contract. There were “NINJA’ loans, for example, awarded to people with “no income, no job or assets.’ Conservative columnist Niall Fergusen laments the low levels of “economic literacy’ that allowed people to be exploited by sub-prime loans. Why didn´t these low-income folks get lawyers to go over the fine print? And don´t they have personal financial advisors anyway?

Then, in a diabolically clever move, the poor - a category which now roughly coincides with the working class — stopped shopping. Both Wal-Mart and Home Depot announced disappointing second quarter performances, plunging the market into another Arctic-style meltdown. H. Lee Scott, CEO of the low-wage Wal-Mart empire, admitted with admirable sensitivity, that “it´s no secret that many customers are running out of money at the end of the month.’

I wish I could report that the current attack on capitalism represents a deliberate strategy on the part of the poor, that there have been secret meetings in break rooms and parking lots around the country, where cell leaders issued instructions like, “You, Vinny — don´t make any mortgage payment this month. And Caroline, forget that back-to-school shopping, OK?’ But all the evidence suggests that the current crisis is something the high-rollers brought down on themselves.

When, for example, the largest private employer in America, which is Wal-Mart, starts experiencing a shortage of customers, it needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror. About a century ago, Henry Ford realized that his company would only prosper if his own workers earned enough to buy Fords. Wal-Mart, on the other hand, never seemed to figure out that its cruelly low wages would eventually curtail its own growth, even at the company´s famously discounted prices.

The sad truth is that people earning Wal-Mart-level wages tend to favor the fashions available at the Salvation Army. Nor do they have much use for Wal-Mart´s other departments, such as Electronics, Lawn and Garden, and Pharmacy.

It gets worse though. While with one hand the high-rollers, H. Lee Scott among them, squeezed the American worker´s wages, the other hand was reaching out with the tempting offer of credit. In fact, easy credit became the American substitute for decent wages. Once you worked for your money, but now you were supposed to pay for it. Once you could count on earning enough to save for a home. Now you´ll never earn that much, but, as the lenders were saying — heh, heh — do we have a mortgage for you!

Pay day loans, rent-to-buy furniture and exorbitant credit card interest rates for the poor were just the beginning. In its May 21st cover story on “The Poverty Business,’ BusinessWeek documented the stampede, in the just the last few years, to lend money to the people who could least afford to pay the interest: Buy your dream home! Refinance your house! Take on a car loan even if your credit rating sucks! Financiamos a Todos! Somehow, no one bothered to figure out where the poor were going to get the money to pay for all the money they were being offered.

Personally, I prefer my revolutions to be a little more pro-active. There should be marches and rallies, banners and sit-ins, possibly a nice color theme like red or orange. Certainly, there should be a vision of what you intend to replace the bad old system with — European-style social democracy, Latin American-style socialism, or how about just American capitalism with some regulation thrown in?

Global capitalism will survive the current credit crisis; already, the government has rushed in to soothe the feverish markets. But in the long term, a system that depends on extracting every last cent from the poor cannot hope for a healthy prognosis. Who would have thought that foreclosures in Stockton and Cleveland would roil the markets of London and Shanghai? The poor have risen up and spoken; only it sounds less like a shout of protest than a low, strangled, cry of pain.

Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed (Owl), is the winner of the 2004 Puffin/Nation Prize.

© 2007, Inc.
Common Dreams NewsCenter

The Kingdom

Mary Lloyd

The Kingdom that we speak of in Christ is not a unified kingdom embracing all religions, but the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It may seem like reason and knowledge and kindness to make way for other faiths by publicly accepting them, but it is not. It is a pernicious diversion from the Truth and those of us with any authority in Christ need to make sure that we are being clear about it, for the sake of the lost, the little ones, the seekers, the weak.

The narrowness of our Way is sliced acutely between the tempering of Truth with Love. To compromise either is to cut a larger swathe, wherein exists all error of falseness: broad is the way to destruction and many there be that go in thereat.

The impossibility of our task is the opportunity for us to seek Jesus, and to find that He is all we need. By Him only is the power to do the impossible, and that is what we are called to do. It is His divine nature that we receive when being born again, that which transforms ourselves, if we permit, and touches those around us, such that things can never be the same again.

There is no true evangelism except that which communicates the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That men may prefer to follow other ways is their prerogative. In the end however, it is Jesus Who made us, Jesus Who empowers us, Jesus Who died for us, and Jesus Who is coming back ere long.

When we have wandered off like silly sheep on some cliff-edge of our own making, whatever that might be, it is Jesus to Whom we must return, and Who will return to us, with all restoring power. Speaking as a fellow-wanderer, and habitual silly sheep, I know this to be true.

Jesus is our Answer to all that troubles us in our fear of death. We see others more gentle and loving than ourselves, and they do not know Him. We think, why Lord have you promised me this eternal life when others are obviously more worthy than me?

Answer, because salvation is a work of grace, through faith, and that not of is the gift of God. Our worthiness or otherwise is not relevant. Jesus doesn't ask us to get it right and then we will be in with a chance of eternal life, He asks us to accept His free gift, and let Him work out the details. It has to be this way so that ALL men might be saved, which is the will of God. When some reject the Gospel, on the grounds that those from other faiths are seemingly more deserving, it is because they haven't understood how much God loves us, all of us, and that this is the only way.

Blessings and love Mary

When We Are Weak, Then We Are Strong

Greg Leonard

As a Christian we may learn that what we thought was our life is not our own. As we have been drawn by the love of God in Jesus Christ that we see that His blood was shed for you and for me. The elements of this society have no longer a dominion over our lives as we see the liberty by which we have been drawn into His grace. Our portion has been altered as we see that the basis by which we are sustained have been re-arranged. The portals of life that were once obscureed have been brought into Focus. Our Destiny has been molded and as we alleviate our own aspirations and seek to be empowered by His soveriegn will it is then that we shall be at rest.

There is a providence where all is none and none is all. As we see that our desire is His desire, the need of want will disipate. As we seek to identify ourselves in utter dependancy upon the moving of the Water and that we can find no man that will bring you to the brink of Bethesda, the house of mercy or pity, that your hope may be fulfilled and heart set at ease. For as His body was broken, so shall our troubles and trials fashion our character to subdue all of its enemies till all be made a footstool or a stepping stone. It may be that someone has troubled you... or may it be that you have let them? Would that the fullers soap clean all without soaking? Some stains may be stubborn and require added treatment.

As we lay down our lives and see that to give is better to recieve and that we must place others before ourselves, it is then that we can identify with the hope of eternity, the Lamb of God. We must see Christ as the Lamb ever before you know Him as the Lion from the tribe of Judah. Don't fall unto false pretenses as you may see the rudiments of this society yeilding "their" increases. Be still and know that He is God, He is the Captain of the Host, blessed be His name. Amen

9/11 as a License to Kill

By Norman Solomon

09/11/07 "AlterNet" -- -- It evokes a tragedy that marks an epoch. From the outset, the warfare state has exploited "9/11," a label at once too facile and too laden with historic weight -- giving further power to the tacit political axiom that perception is reality.

Often it seems that media coverage is all about perception, especially when the underlying agendas are wired into huge profits and geopolitical leverage. If you associate a Big Mac or a Whopper with a happy meal or some other kind of great time, you're more likely to buy it. If you connect 9/11 with a need for taking military action and curtailing civil liberties, you're more likely to buy what the purveyors of war and authoritarian government have been selling for the past half-dozen years.

"Sept. 11 changed everything" became a sudden cliche in news media. Words are supposed to mean something, and those words were -- and are -- preposterous. They speak of a USA enthralled with itself while reducing the rest of the world (its oceans and valleys and mountains and peoples) to little more than an extensive mirror to help us reflect on our centrality to the world. In an individual, we call that narcissism. In the nexus of media and politics, all too often, it's called "patriotism."

What happened on Sept. 11, 2001, was extraordinary and horrible by any measure. And certainly a crime against humanity. At the same time, it was a grisly addition to a history of human experience that has often included many thousands killed, en masse, by inhuman human choice.

It is simply and complexly a factual matter that the U.S. government has participated in outright mass murders directly -- in, for example, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Panama, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq -- and less directly, through aid to armies terrorizing civilians in Nicaragua, Angola, East Timor and many other countries.

The news media claim to be providing context. But whose? Overall, the context of Uncle Sam in the more perverse and narcissistic aspects of his policy personality. The hypocrisies of claims about moral precepts and universal principles go beyond the mere insistence that some others "do as we say, not as we do." What gets said, repeated and forgotten sets up kaleidoscope patterns that can be adjusted to serve the self-centered mega-institutions reliably fixated on maintaining their own dominance.

Media manifestations of these patterns are frequently a mess of contradictions so extreme that they can only be held together with the power of ownership, advertising and underwriting structures -- along with notable assists from government agencies that dispense regulatory favors and myriad pressure to serve what might today be called a military-industrial-media complex. Our contact with the world is filtered through the mesh of mass media to such a great extent that the mesh itself becomes the fabric of power.

The most repetitious lessons of 9/11 -- received and propagated by the vast preponderance of U.S. news media -- have to do with the terribly asymmetrical importance of grief and of moral responsibility. Our nation is so righteous that we are trained to ask for whom the bell tolls. Rendered as implicitly divisible, humanity is fractionated as seen through red-white-and-blue windows on the world.

Posing outside cycles of violence and victims who victimize, the dominant vision of Pax Americana has no more use now than it did six years ago for W.H. Auden's observation: "Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return."

We ought to know. But we Americans are too smart for that.

The U.S. media tell us so.

The Authority Of Your Words

Teresa Seputis

Precious one, do you have any idea of the authority you carry, and of the power that is released through your spoken word?

You were given authority because you are Mine, and that authority echoes in your spoken word. I have given you the power to tread on snakes and scorpions and over all of the power of the enemy. I have given you authority to command demons, then to watch them flee. I have given you the power to speak forgiveness of sins in My name; setting people free from the bondage and oppression of guilt. I have given you the power to proclaim blessings, then to see that blessing tangibly materialize in a person's life.

All authority on Heaven and earth belongs to Me. I have given you a piece of My authority, and that authority is released through your spoken word. Yes, the spoken word carries great power when it is backed up by My authority. Remember that I spoke the world and all creation into existence. My spoken world literally caused it to come into being, for My word carries great authority. I have loaned a measure of My authority to you, so that you can accomplish My Father's purposes on this earth. That means that your spoken words carry My authority and they release great power.

That is why you must be careful of what you say and of how you speak. If you curse a person who annoys you, a force for harm is released against them, and the enemy of their soul is given a measure of authority to come against them for harm. Yes, dear one, spiritual authority is released from your lips when you speak forth. Because of that, it is important for you to learn to bridal and corral your tongue--it has the power to do harm when you speak amiss.

That is why I have commanded you, saying, "Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" [Matthew 5:44]. I want you to bless and not to curse, no matter how provoked you may feel. Do not misuse My authority, but learn to use it wisely, so that I may give you the full measure of your reward in Heaven.

When one of My own curses an unsaved person by saying "Damn you!" to them, they increase that person's resistance to the gospel. When one of My servants utters those words, they have cursed this person. They have given the enemy an increased power to blind that unsaved person to the gospel. They did not intend to do this, but they have just made it harder for that one to hear and receive the good news of salvation. In a brief moment of anger, you can release curses that do damage against those who I have died to save.

Therefore, become intentional in how you speak. Learn to release blessings and learn to hold your tongue instead of speaking curses. Understand that you carry My authority. Understand that authority releases a measure of spiritual power when you speak things forth. Do not allow yourself to speak amiss and misuse the authority that I have given you. Instead, learn to speak what My Father is saying. Learn to release life and blessing. Speak forth healing and freedom from oppression.

Become mindful of the authority that I have given you; remind yourself that My power is released through your spoken word. Let My words be the words that come out of your lips. Speak life, dear one, and speak forth words of blessing. Be intentional to build up instead of tearing down. Learn to speak only what I am speaking, so that My glory go forth through you.

Pouring Forth

Steve Bliss

I am about to pour forth. My ways are being released. They flow down, drenching those who will embrace Me. They burst the bonds of those oppressed. I will rush upon those who invite Me into their inner rooms. I will bring cleansing and a new refreshing.

My ways thunder from the highest heaven; the enemy can not withstand My surge. I am the creator-God. Those who have will be given more. Those who know Me will express My creative nature in new and unexpected ways. They will learn to see with the new spiritual eyes.

I am the God who knows His children. Each one is blessed and uniquely embedded with My attributes. They are like their Father; you are Mine. The enemy holds no power over you.

Rest in Me. Cease striving for My approval. You can not achieve what is already yours. Walk with Me and I will guide you. My ways are being poured forth. Do not hesitate to step into My rain.

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