Angels and Devils by Joan Carroll Cruz In the most thorough book about angels in modern times, Cruz  answers virtually every question:  when they were created,  their knowledge of the future, their access to our thoughts -- with facts and insights on everything from Guardian Angels to demons. Many of life's issues are better understood when we comprehend the pervasive nature and good and evil spirits. CLICK HERE



It comes at times like the waft of distant smoke -- moments when it is extremely vague, nearly undetectable, other days when it "smells" like it's very close (and getting nearer). We speak here of the possibility -- in the not-too-distant future -- of civil disturbance.

It is in the wind. There is the economy: no one knows where it will end up. It has been propped by "bailouts" and "stimulus" money -- debt -- but we have seen where debt leads in nations like Greece, where a financial crisis was recently and immediately met with civil uprisings.

Some see a flood of bank failings by 2012 while others warn that the value of the dollar will plummet. Having some gold or silver coins doesn't seem like a bad idea. Are the warnings a bit too radical?

Like a year ago, a cadre of "soothsayers" are again warning of major economic turmoil. Some quick samplings: "First six months of 2010, Americans will continue to live in the 'unreality... The period between July and October is when the financial fireworks will begin" (Robert Chapman). "Forty percent devaluation at first -- the greatest depression worst than the Great Depression" (Gerald Celente). "A very likely second crash by late 2010" (Harry Dent). "Going into 2010, the trends seemed to lead nowhere or towards oblivion" (Alpha-Omega Report). "A second market plunge" (Dr. John P. Hussman). "A massive dollar sell-off" (Peter Schiff).

These are financial analysts and trends analysts. Is it overly gloomy?

There are ethnic tensions. Arizona has enacted a tough law on illegal aliens, sparking protests among both Latinos and those who want strict laws in their own areas. States are bickering with each other over the new law -- with California threatening economic sanctions (against Arizona!). State versus state?

In Britain, far-right activists are said to be targeting Muslim communities.

There are gun sales. These were skyrocketing, and while the peak has faded, from 2011 to 2015 the industry is expected grow at an annual rate of 3.7 percent.

There are militias: increasingly, we hear about those who are rejecting the Big Government atmosphere that has engulfed the U.S. in recent decades.

Will it start with Social Security?

Right now, only forty percent of Americans -- less than half -- are supported by private paychecks. The rest are on pensions, Social Security, welfare, or they work for the federal government.

How long can that last -- how long can less than half the people support the rest, particularly when so many "baby boomers" are set for retirement? Will there be uprisings against taking tax dollars to pay for retirements?

In New York City, it was found that some in the police department retire in the forties with pensions of $100,000 a year.

One civic employee gets a pension of $220,000.

This will spur increased anger as tax rates increase.

Among our young (18 to 24) the unemployment rate is 19.5 percent.

There are fears over martial law. The expansion of government surveillance and control since 9/11 has many concerned that we are well on the way to Orwell's Big Brother, especially in the way of ID cards, new-world-order moves, and microchips. Who controls the banks? Who controls the flow of money? "Obama to snatch up to 75 percent of your income," screams one libertarian news site.

There is rage over the environment. The Gulf spill has caused alarm over corporate abuses to skyrocket, to the point where Americans now are more concerned about the ecology than the economy. There is rage at BP. Already, some groups are taking matters into their own hands, such as an environmental group called Sea Shepherds who use controversial methods -- including throwing acrid stink bombs at another ship -- in order to stop Japanese whalers.

These are some of the "whiffs" of distant smoke or perhaps we could say building waves. There is discontent. There is lack of trust. You can witness this by taking a look at the upsurge in "survivalist" merchants. Just last week, CNN did a story on Christian groups that are learning to live "off the grid" -- independent of government and modern technology.

In Michigan, a group led by a priest is learning primitive survivalist techniques in a woodland devoid of even cell phones.

There is a yearning among many to obtain a small farm (and admittedly, we don't think going back to the old way is a bad idea).

Want to see what kinds of things are selling? See here. Or here. Or here. Even Costco's is selling emergency supplies. At Wal-Mart, you can get water purifiers.

Some call it the "prepper movement": Over recent years, "a huge community of preppers has developed. Perform a simple Google search and you'll turn up plenty of prepper-related stuff, including the Web television portalPrepper TVsurvival blogs, podcasts (such as DoctorPrepper and PrepperPodcast), andforums that cover everything from a woman's perspective to recycling to how to handle dead bodies," notes news site.

"There's even a rash of YouTube videos offering tutorials on such topics as how to construct your own nuclear bomb shelter, what firearms you should own, and how to earthquake-proof your stored food."

It can, however, get iffy. There is now "2012" (when many expect so much to come down) as there once was Y2K.

But there is also legitimate angst.

As we have strayed from God, our world has unraveled around us. Our infrastructure could easily crumble.

We'll place our trust in God. As the saying goes, you can run but you can't hide. He will lead. With Him, no fear. That's not to say, however, that it's silly to be prepared. We can pray and be led on what we should do. Clear debt? Liquidate to cash? Buy gold coins (in small denominations)? Have a hefty supply of food and water? Store medical supplies? Buy a farm?

When it comes to individual farms, it is probably more of what God intended. That much we'll say.

[see also: Living moneyless, Dollar posed for collapse?, U.S. money supply declines at 1930s rate, Will banks collapse?, Martial law  Racial divide, and The Greecing of America]

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