We live in a busy world. Indeed, it is busier than it ever has been.

But then, the Bible has already informed us of this. The Bible tells us that we are so busy that we “run to and fro…” or, in some cases, “back and forth.”

We go back and forth to work. We go back and forth to school. We go back and forth to do errands. We go back and forth to do shopping and the other innumerable chores that once we get caught up on, well, we get to do them all over again, such as paying monthly bills.

We measure the time given us with time pieces. These time pieces are called clocks or watches. These time pieces are invaluable to us and they help us organize our time into schedules.

There are no shortage of clocks. The world is split up into time zones. In some countries, time is split even further into “daylight” time and “regular” time. This is done to gain an extra hour of daylight in countries in the Northern Hemisphere. This “extra” hour of daylight is deemed necessary to have so that we can pack even more activities into our day. No wonder we seem more tired in the summer months… we have an extra hour to become busier than in the winter.

We reckon time on important events in our lives. We measure different times of our life such as graduation events; marriage events; birth events, and finally, death events.

We measure historical events much the same way. We recall certain national tragedies or tragic deaths and can remember just what we were doing and where we were at the time.

I remember when President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, pretty well, for a very young person. I was in grade school during a presentation in an auditorium when one teacher came to my teacher and told us that JFK had been shot, and killed. She passed the information practically individually on down the row of students. The presentation or entertainment that we were watching wasn’t important anymore. We needed to go back to our familiar classroom and reflect and get back to normalcy as soon as possible in our classroom environment and learning. We did.

I will tell you something about this particular time.

It is, as if, things in America were never quite the same again.

In retrospect, this seems more true than ever. Each passing year, I am more convinced with stronger convictions that this is so. I can easily measure the differences in the United States from 1963-1967 to the present  time although I was somewhat young. It is a sort of perception that seems instinctual.

It was a far different time. In the late 1950’s, a Gallup Poll was taken about the Christian religion in America. An overwhelming response, about 80% to my recall, to the poll, agreed with the statement that Christianity in the United States was increasing almost exponentially and would continue to grow rapidly and in even greater influence.

Ten years later, this same poll was measured again, and the 80% figure had become only 40%….

Today, it is about 15% that would agree with this summation. Unfortunately, that is about the same percentage of folks in the public domain who are estranged from most realities.

What happened?

Well, the “times” have changed!

It doesn’t appear that the times have changed for the better… particularly in the United States.

In 1974, the United States experienced its greatest year of economic prosperity in its population. The standard of living in the United States was at its highest peak. What a person took home in pay in 1974, he had more left than ever in what we now call “disposable income.” This was a great time to live in economically as an American.

Just over forty years later, this has changed.

It has changed dramatically.

Zero Post Industrial Growth, as promoted by the Club of Rome,  which is a group of elitists or think-tankers, came up with this trend of Zero growth in highly developed nations in the  late 1960’s.

These elite “thinkers” targeted the United States as the first nation to experience this economic trend of stringent limitations which amounts to the term, “zero growth.”

You see, according to this “Club,” economic growth in the United States had become “unsustainable.” The economic prowess of the United States could not be continued, as it was a detriment to other “developing nations.” These elitists have forced their agenda on American Government by subversion and infiltration. These so-called “developing nations” were countries where labor costs could be exploited by these rich elitists for additional “mega-profits.” American workers saw this first in Japan, which was bankrupt from World War II as a tremendous economic powerhouse, and then, China.

If you are an American citizen, you will note that no one or no politician has ever told you this. And, they won’t. It is not popular to admit that elitists, or an elite Oligarchy, or a Corporatocracy, really runs and controls the United States.

Hence, the time of easy money in the United States has been over with now, for awhile.

If you have just now noticed this, then it is far too late to do much about it.

The same crowd that gave America the Great Depression, are giving Americans “hope and change” which is “new-speak” for experiencing economic despair instead and being conditioned to live in “times” of economic duress,, or the elite version of “sustainable development” for the United States.

Yep, Americans live in bad “times.”

Here in Panama, where I presently reside, the Panamanian people are said to be living in “good” times. Economic growth here is unprecedented.

Yet, it is not trickling down well to the lower economic classes… as Panama has one of the worst wealth distribution climates in the world. The rich, or plutocrats, known locally here as the “rabi blancos,” (I won’t literally translate this… but it means “white or lighter skinned @$$#$”) are the only ones that consistently are accumulating wealth. Their principal means of deriving such wealth is going to work in, or being appointed or elected to, high government positions and stealing as much as they can from the public coffers… and, I mean, as much as they can. If they ever get caught, they get a slap on the wrist… and keep their millions. They like to park their ill-found gains in other countries that are more stable, such as the United States. When they go shopping, they buy little here in Panama, instead they go to Miami and buy luxury goods.

I guess too, that they don’t want to pay the “middle-man” either. That is just another way to be able to keep more of “your money” in their case, as the rich tend to eliminate the “middle man” in the economic chain where ever possible.

This kind of corruption and very poor income distribution will eventually result in very high civil turmoil among the populace here.

I hope to be out of here by then.

This unrest should all coincide when the reported new Canal that the Chinese Government is building in Nicaragua, is operational and undercuts the Panama Canal fees substantially, attributable to the very “deep pockets” of the Chinese Government. Panama will not be able to compete with the Chinese Government.

The Panamanian Government likes to disparage such a possibility. The Panamanian Canal Authority repeatedly publicly demeans this attempt at a Canal in Nicaragua as a failure.They say that the Chinese Government will not finance it.

I don’t know where the Panamanians get their inside information at regarding the Chinese Government, when privately, U.S. interests are pretty concerned for Panama.

Hmmm…if Panama is not worried that much about it, then why are they so vocal in condemning it.

Yet, they admit if this Chinese Canal goes through, they will lose, in their conservative estimates, at least 20% of their business.

Nor will Panama, in order to compete with any “deep pockets” of the Chinese, enlist or solicit any nation capable of competing with the Chinese Government, such as the United States, as Panamanians are very provincial and dislike practically everyone.

Locally, they dislike the Colombians greatly; the Chinese considerably; Costa Ricans or “ticos,” quite a bit; the Arabs and Palestinians, they can barely tolerate; and finally, the North Americans and European Caucasians who are labeled uniformly as “Gringos.”

Although a lot of North Americans don’t seem to mind, I don’t like being called a “Gringo.” It is really a racial epithet. It really is a sort of “n”-word designation. I have seen the same bias and force of discriminatory language in using, or spitting out the label, “gringo,” as I have seen in the use of the “n”-word. I am married to a Panamanian woman. Incredibly, my wife’s family, all call me, “the Gringo.” They don’t call me by my first name, which is Joe; they don’t call me by my title, which is Senor; all except for one occasionally as I use his taxi services from time to time,… they call me a racial epithet.

I don’t know if it is ignorance or prejudice. I have talked about it to my wife, but it does not change. And, my wife’s family has some education. One of her brothers is an attorney. Another is a successful rancher. Four of her nephews and nieces are studying medicine to become a doctor. Which ever it is, it is pretty degrading to me as a person, as I am viewed as a …label.

Of course, they have their own version of the “n”-word here, in which blacks are called “chombos.” This is reinforced by the Panamanian census form which asks you if you are “black” or not. This census does not ask for any other racial designation. It does not ask if you are an Anglo, or Asian, or an Indian/indigenous people.

Indeed, the racial discrimination and xenophobia here is the worst that I have ever seen or experienced… and I lived a few years in the “Jim Crow” South where I liked to ride in the “back of the bus” with the “folks,” as they seemed fairly nice to me… and,… it wasn’t that crowded.

In the civil unrest that occurred in Panama in the spring of 2011, one area was completely shut down by protesters for about a week. There was no food, gasoline, or other supplies coming in. In a town there, the demonstrators had taken over the police headquarters in the middle of town, and burned it out. The police had fled earlier, so for several days, there was no law enforcement presence.  The protesters then talked about burning out all the Chinese businesses in that town. In Panama, there are a lot of Chinese businesses. These businesses have a lot of connections with the Chinese Government. In several Chinese stores, you can see a large banner photo of the Great Helmsman himself, Chairman Mao ZeDong, hanging on a wall. There seems to be a lot of resentment from the locals towards the Chinese because of their business acumen. Moreover, along and after “dealing” with the Chinese, there was added talk about going after and robbing the foreign ex-pats, or Gringos, house to house.

This shouldn’t seem too strange. Swiss folks were rounded up and massacred in the same region in the 1940’s, and their properties confiscated. There is no national holiday to commemorate them as there are for some Panamanians who were killed in the Operation Just Cause invasion in 1989, which most Panamanians approved in getting rid of Manuel Noriega, or the attack on the Canal Zone by alleged “students” in the early 1960’s.

Yep, Panama is a very xenophobic country. A debate came up recently in their version of Congress. A representative blamed Colombian immigrants for nearly all the crime in the country. This is a substantial oxymoron, as Panama is a nation that was created out of Colombia, and U.S. “gunboat” diplomacy, and its population were originally all Colombian, plus those who came to work on the Canal from many countries. I read in Panamanian history that the President in the 1940’s was seeking to deport thousands of folks that he deemed as not so Panamanian.

But I digress. I like my Panamanian neighborhood. Folks are fairly cordial to me, unless it is one in which one of the Anti-USA holidays occur, such as Martyrs Day, which the United States seems to get blamed for everything and anything. Then, on only that day, three people greeted me when I was going for my daily walk. The rest of them ignored me or looked away. You can feel the pressure.

The next day, with the holiday being past, nineteen neighbors greeted me… so all was well again. It appears that folks here are easily influenced by such media recognized events and the demagogues who fan the flames to get political capital and status.

My point is, that times will be “a-changin” here in Panama, especially with such a volatile society.

And few discern it… the same as in the United States, with what is developing there, which is an emerging security state.

The bottom line is… no matter nowadays where you are at, or where you go… the times are… changing.

You just hope that the pace of change can be slowed down so that some kind of preparation can be made for it.

But with all this talk about time, a question persists for us in the human condition.

What time is it?

What time is it in our lives and our accountability to God with the gift of life that we have?

Do you have that time? Do you know what time is really is?

The most important thing however, about time, is what God is doing with His.

God has set “times” up. We are presently, at my estimation, in the very End Times.

This time started in 1967.

I am not sure how long we will be in the End Times. It appears that we could be in such a period of time, in which uncertainty and fear are dominant, for as much as another fifty years.

Jesus talked about the End Times. He said that folks who believed in him, would be able to “discern” such times. Apparently, Jesus must not have that many people who really believe on him as hardly anyone can discern what the “Times” are.

In Jesus’ day, folks like to talk about the signs of the sky, to determine, what the weather was going to be like… But they could not discern the “signs of the times” in which they lived.

It is evident that the same class of people are around today.

Jesus called such people, “hypocrites.” I didn’t say this… Jesus did. It seems in several instances that Jesus did not suffer fools all that gladly.

In the 18th century, the mighty Welsh Methodist preacher, Daniel Rowland, said this:

“It is the duty of believers to know of, and understand God’s Time and Judgment, and the Signs of the Times… One sign that judgment is near is when sin has gone over the bounds of shame and conscience, so as to boast of it.”

There you have it. You have a quantity of a medium called time that goes with your gift of life.

Are you redeeming this time in relationship to your Creator?

Thanks for reading.

latest joe piccomments #2

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