Destruction Of The Family: The U.S. Has The Highest Rate Of Children Living With A Single Parent In The Entire World

The family unit is one of the fundamental pillars of any society, and so the weaker our family units become the weaker our entire nation is going to become.  For decades, the traditional family unit has been under assault in America, and the consequences have been absolutely catastrophic.  Today, the marriage rate has dropped to levels that we have never seen before, we continue to have one of the highest divorce rates in the entire world, and more couples than ever are choosing not to get married at all.  As a result, the number of single parents has been steadily rising, and at this point the United States actually has the highest rate of children living with a single parent of any country on the entire planet.  The following comes from Pew Research

For decades, the share of U.S. children living with a single parent has been rising, accompanied by a decline in marriage rates and a rise in births outside of marriage. A new Pew Research Center study of 130 countries and territories shows that the U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households.

Almost a quarter of U.S. children under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adults (23%), more than three times the share of children around the world who do so (7%).

You would think that with how rapidly modern notions of “morality” are spreading around the globe that someone out there would be worse than us, but sadly we are dead last on the list.

In fact, our rate is more than four times higher than India and more than seven times higher than China

In comparison, 3% of children in China, 4% of children in Nigeria and 5% of children in India live in single-parent households. In neighboring Canada, the share is 15%.

Should we really be lecturing anyone else about how they should be conducting themselves when we are such a complete and utter mess?

We like to think of ourselves as a light to the rest of the world and a great example that they should follow, but the truth is that we are a nation of complete and utter degenerates.

Of course it wasn’t always this way.  If you go back to 1960, less than 10 percent of all American children lived with a single parent…

America’s top spot has been a long time coming, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show. In 1960, just 9 percent of U.S. children lived with one parent, and just 3 percent lived with either a non-parent relative or a non-relative. By 2019, the Census Bureau estimated that 26 percent of children lived with single parents (a figure that varies from Pew’s due to methodological differences), while just 4 percent lived with non-parent relatives or non-relatives.

So what happened?

Well, the truth is that there has been a concerted effort to radically change American culture, and this has especially been true when it comes to sexual morality.

Our televisions, our movies, our education system and most of our politicians endlessly assure us that it is perfectly fine to run around like wild animals doing whatever we feel like doing.  As a result, more than 110 million Americans now have a sexually transmitted disease, we have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the industrialized world, and about 40 percent of all U.S. babies are born to unmarried women

In 1960, nonmarital births were quite rare. Today, about two-fifths of all births are to unmarried women. This resulted from a complicated combination of moral and behavioral changes, and a new report from Senator Mike Lee’s Social Capital Project disentangles them.

If we want to turn America around, this is a great place to start.

Just like virtually everything else, our families are collapsing, and the path that we are on clearly leads to national suicide.

If we don’t want to do it for ourselves, we should at least do it for future generations.  Because if we don’t get things turned around, our children will continue to suffer greatly

The results for children are often grim. Although academics debate about causality, single parenting is strongly related to risk for poverty and lower educational attainment on the part of the child, as well as incarceration among boys and teenage pregnancy among girls. As the share of single-parent households increases, the risk of these adverse outcomes also rises.

Of course these days a lot of young adults don’t want to have children at all.

Our society has trained our young people to view parenthood and family life as undesirable, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the U.S. fertility rate has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded

The US fertility rate dropped for the fourth straight year in 2018, and has fallen approximately 15% since 2007, according to the National Center for Health Statistics – which reports that there were 59.1 births for every 1,000 women of childbearing age.

In total, 3,791,712 births were recorded across the country last year – extending a steep decline that began during the 2008 Recession, according to the New York Times.

As one user in Reddit’s “Childfree” forum notes: “Babies are expensive, and we’re all broke,” to which another user replied “Also, pregnancy and its effects on the body are gross and not worth it.”

Incredibly, our fertility rate is now actually below replacement level.

That means that we aren’t even producing enough babies to replace ourselves at this point.

There is no future for any society that does not value children, marriage and family.  You can’t show me one example in human history of any society that has ever thrived for an extended period of time without cherishing those institutions.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what we need to do.  Unfortunately, most of the country is running completely in the opposite direction as fast as they can.

If we continue to go down this road, the institution of the family is going to continue to collapse in the United States, and there is no possible way that America will ever be great again as long as that is happening.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Boy Punished For Calling Teacher “Ma’am” And A Mother Was Investigated For Letting Her 8-Year-Old Walk The Dog

Is America going completely and utterly insane?  Every day we get even more evidence that this country is going downhill really fast.  I am about to share with you some stories that deeply upset me, but it isn’t because anyone died.  Rather, these stories demonstrate that the America that so many of us once loved is dying.  Liberty and freedom are being eroded with each passing day, and we are rapidly becoming a European-style socialist state in which control freaks micromanage even the smallest details of our lives.  Even our speech is being heavily micromanaged, and anyone that gets out of line is likely to be cracked down upon really hard.  At this point, things have already gotten so bad that it is getting really difficult to determine what is safe to say and what isn’t safe to say.  For example, a 10-year-old boy in North Carolina just made national news because he was punished for calling his teacher “ma’am”

A 10-year-old boy in North Carolina was punished last week for referring to his female teacher as “ma’am.” The incident left his parents both concerned and confused, they told WTVD-TV.

Teretha Wilson noticed her son, Tamarion, seemed upset after leaving the bus Aug. 21 from his school in the town of Tarboro, she told the station. “I asked him what happened. He said he got in trouble for saying ‘yes ma’am’,” Wilson told WTVD’s Michael Perchick.

Are you kidding me?

If you can get kids to use “sir” and “ma’am” in this day and age it is actually a great accomplishment.  But apparently “ma’am” was not this particular teacher’s “preferred title”, and she insisted that little Tamarion quit using it.

And to make her point, she forced Tamarion to write out the world “ma’am” dozens of times on a piece of paper

Tamarion showed her a piece of paper with the word “ma’am” written dozens of times by hand, four times on every line, Wilson said. The boy said his teacher made him write it because he continued to call her “ma’am” after she asked him not to, the mother told WTVD.

This is just another indication of how pathetic our public schools have become.  In recent years we have witnessed a homeschooling boom all over the nation as parents have pulled their kids out of the public school system in record numbers

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education estimated that 1.69 million kids between the ages of 5 and 17 were homeschooled, based on spring 2016 numbers. And that data comes just from the 15 states that track homeschooling, as well as Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix).

As strange as that first story was, this next one is even stranger.

USA Today is reporting that a mother in Illinois was “investigated” for allowing her 8-year-old daughter to walk the dog around the block…

A mother faced a visit from police and an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigation after she allowed her 8-year-old daughter to walk the family’s dog around the block alone on Aug. 2.

Stop the presses and call Robert Mueller!

An 8-year-old girl was allowed to walk the family dog around the block?

What is next?  Are we going to allow kids to bicycle down the street and run outside unsupervised when the ice cream truck comes?

Of course I am being sarcastic.  The truth is that the authorities in Illinois should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.  Literally dozens of people are being shot in the city of Chicago each week, and yet somehow they have time and resources to spend on something like this?

And it probably won’t surprise anyone that this all started with a phone call from a nosy neighbor

The incident happened as Widen’s daughter walked the family dog, Marshmallow, around the block. A stranger saw the girl walking the dog alone and called police, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Widen told the publication that she can see most of the block from her home’s windows. Walking the Maltese dog is the only time her daughter is unsupervised, she said.

I’m not that old, but when I was 8 years old my mother allowed me and my younger brother to freely wander around pretty much anywhere we wanted.

And we even lived in a foreign country at the time.

Yes, I know that times have changed, and this is something that I wrote about yesterday.  But is it really going to be necessary for us to lock our kids up at home all day?

I really detest what is happening to this country, and it is even infecting many of our kids.

For example, just the other day a little girl accused a man of urinating on her and calling her a racial slur.  That man’s life would have been ruined, but fortunately the little girl ultimately admitted that she had made it all up

An outrageous set of accusations claimed a man committed a disgusting act against a child while uttering a racial slur.

But after two days, we find out that the children involved were making it all up.

It started Wednesday when a woman living on Grand Rapids’ Northwest side said that a 5-year-old girl soaked with urine came running to her house. The story that allegedly came from the girl and her friends was that a man urinated on her in an alley in the 1000 block of Leonard Street NW and then used a racial slur against her.

Why can’t people just behave normally?

Sadly, we don’t even know what “normal” is anymore.  We live in “Bizarro America” where up is down, right is wrong and everyone just pretty much does whatever is correct in their own eyes.

We like to think that we are a “light” and an “example” for the rest of the world, but we aren’t.

Instead, the rest of the world is laughing at us, and we desperately need to get our act together.

This article originally appeared on The Economic Collapse Blog.  About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Mass Shooting At Texas Church Shows Why Every Church In America Needs To Have Armed Security

The mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday morning is already being called the deadliest church shooting in modern U.S. history, and we need to be in prayer for the victims and for their families.  At about 11:30 AM, a heavily armed man entered the sanctuary and began shooting.  At this point it is being reported that “at least 27 people have been killed” and at least another 30 have been injured.  Tragically, reports indicate that several small children are among those that were murdered.

As I write this, we are still waiting to hear from authorities about a motive.  We do know that the gunman is dead, but we haven’t been given any information about his identity.

But whatever the motive was, this just goes to show that something like this could literally happen anywhere.  Only about 400 people live in Sutherland Springs, and I am sure that nobody ever expected something like this to happen on a Sunday morning…

At least 27 people have been killed and 30 people have been injured in a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

A witness reported seeing the as-yet unidentified man walk into First Baptist Church and began shooting around 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Wilson County commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. told a CNN reporter that the gunman fled in a vehicle after the shooting and is now dead after a brief pursuit.

Of course Democrats were already calling for gun control within minutes of this being reported by the national news.

But gun control won’t stop tragedies such as this.  The bad guys are always going to find ways to get guns, and so disarming the rest of the population is a really, really bad idea.

What we really need to do is to make sure that there is armed security at every church in America from now on.  If there had been armed security at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday morning, a whole lot of lives could have potentially been saved.

Instead, the gunman was able to murder innocent people at will, and at one point he even stopped to reload his gun

The gunman was said to have fired a semi-automatic weapon into the packed congregation of about 50 during the middle of the service – stopping only to reload his gun, before fleeing.

So many of us are victims of “normalcy bias” when it comes to tragedies such as this.  Since we grew up in an America where things like this rarely ever happened, we just assume that we don’t need armed security at churches, schools and other public events.

But times have changed, and so must we.  Islamic terror is on the rise, Republican members of Congress are being attacked, anti-Christian hate is at unprecedented levels, and the number of mentally unstable people running around in our society has never been higher.

So let’s do a couple of things.

Number one, like President Trump let us grieve with the people of Sutherland Springs.  The following comes from Fox News

President Trump, who’s currently traveling in Asia, tweeted: “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.”

Number two, let us push for armed security at all of our churches from now on.  Someday it may be your church that is attacked, and when that happens having armed security on hand will make all the difference.

Personally, I am promising all of you that when I go to Congress I will never back down even a single inch when it comes to defending the 2nd Amendment.

The left wants to take away all of our guns so that the bad guys with weapons can have free reign like they currently do in major cities such as Chicago.

But the truth is that an armed society is a polite society, and we need to greatly resist any efforts by the left to take our guns away.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

How The Elite Dominate The World – Part 5: The Endgame Is Complete And Utter Global Domination

Do you want your children and grandchildren to grow up in a global socialist “utopia” in which everything about their lives is micromanaged by bureaucrats working for a worldwide system of government instituted by the elite?  To many of you this may sound like something out of a futuristic science fiction novel, but the truth is that this is exactly where the elite want to take us.  This is their endgame.  Their agenda has been quietly moving forward for decades, and if we don’t take a stand now, future generations of Americans could very well end up living in a dystopian nightmare with none of the liberties or freedoms that we enjoy today.

Bill Clinton’s mentor at Georgetown University, Dr. Carroll Quigley, wrote about this network of elitists in a book entitled Tragedy and Hope

In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960’s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments…my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known…because the American branch of this organisation (sometimes called the “Eastern Establishment”) has played a very significant role in the history of the United States in the last generation.

In other parts in this series, I have discussed the tools that the elite are using to achieve their goals.  In part I, I talked about how debt is used as a tool of enslavement, and in part II I explained how central banking is a system of financial control that literally dominates the entire planet.  Professor Quigley also mentioned this system of financial control in his book

“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.”

Today, a system of interlocking global treaties is slowly but surely merging us into a global economic system.  The World Trade Organization was formed on January 1, 1995, and 164 nations now belong to it.  And every time you hear of a new “free trade agreement” being signed, that is another step toward a one world economy.

Of course economics is just one element of their overall plan.  Ultimately the goal is to erode national sovereignty almost completely and to merge the nations of the world into a single unified system of global governance.

The United Nations is the apex of this planned structure, and the globalists are always looking for ways to transfer more power to this institution.  For example, that is what the Paris Climate Accord was all about.  Since the climate affects everyone, it gives the globalists a perfect excuse to argue that the world needs to “work together”.  The following comes from the official UN website

To address climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in Paris on 12 December 2015. The Agreement entered into force less than a year later. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Implementation of the Paris Agreement is essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and provides a roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

“Protecting the environment” sounds like a reasonable goal, right?

Well, when you click on the link for the “Sustainable Development Goals”, it sends you to a website where you can read about the 17 pillars of the plan to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all” that were agreed to by all of the members of the UN in September 2015.

This plan is also known as “Agenda 2030”, and when you dig into the details of this plan you quickly realize that it is literally a blueprint for global government.

Sadly, most Americans don’t realize this, and neither do they understand that this has been the goal of the elite for a very long time.  For instance, during an address to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1992, President George H.W. Bush made the following statement

It is the sacred principles enshrined in the United Nations charter to which the American people will henceforth pledge their allegiance.

Say what?

Once you start looking into these things, you will see that the elite are very openly telling us what they intend to do.

One of my favorite examples of this phenomenon is a quote from David Rockefeller’s book entitled Memoirs

Some even believe we are a part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty and I am proud of it.

As David Rockefeller openly admitted, they are “internationalists” that are intent on establishing a one world system.

Candidates for Congress are not supposed to talk about this stuff, but if I am elected I am promising to fight the globalists on every front.

We are literally in a battle for the future of our children and our grandchildren.  If the globalists have their way, American sovereignty will continue to erode and the United States will slowly but surely be merged into a one world system.

But that isn’t going to happen on our watch.  Those of us that love liberty and freedom are going to take this country back, and we will never stop fighting the insidious agenda of the globalists.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Tis The Season For Credit Card Debt: This Christmas Americans Will Spend An Average Of 422 Dollars Per Child

christmas-gifts-public-domainFor many Americans, the quality of Christmas is determined by the quality of the presents.  This is especially true for our children, and some of them literally spend months anticipating their haul on Christmas morning.  I know that when I was growing up Christmas was all about the presents.  Yes, adults would give lip service to the other elements of Christmas, but all of the other holiday activities could have faded away and it still would have been Christmas as long as presents were under that tree on the morning of December 25th.  Perhaps things are different in your family, but it is undeniable that for our society as a whole gifts are the central feature of the holiday season.

And that is why so many parents feel such immense pressure to spend a tremendous amount of money on gifts for their children each year.  Of course this pressure that they feel is constantly being reinforced by television ads and big Hollywood movies that continuously hammer home what a “good Christmas” should look like.

Once again in 2016, parents will spend far more money than they should because they want to make their children happy.  According to a brand new survey from T. Rowe Price, parents in the United States will spend an average of 422 dollars per child this holiday season…

More than half of parents report they aim to get everything on their kids’ wish lists this year, spending an average of $422 per child, according to a new survey from T. Rowe Price.

To me, that seems like a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a single child, but this is apparently what people are doing.

But can most families really afford to be spending so wildly?

Of course not.  As I have detailed previously, 69 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.  That means that about two-thirds of the country is essentially living paycheck to paycheck.

So all of this reckless spending brings with it a lot of additional financial pressure.  But because we are a “buy now, pay later” society, we do it anyway.  We are willing to mortgage a little bit of the future in order to have a nice Christmas now.

Another new survey has found that close to half the country feels “pressure to spend more than they can afford during the holiday season”

The SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) annual Holiday Financial Confidence survey reveals that 43 percent of Americans feel pressure to spend more than they can afford during the holiday season. Pressure to overspend is up four percent since the survey was first conducted in 2014 by Harris Poll, but down slightly from a high of 46 percent last year.

Ultimately, much of this spending ends up going on credit cards, and credit card debt is one of the most insidious forms of debt.

And the truth is that credit card debt was already surging nationally even before we got to the holiday season

But at least one indicator suggests that much of the US is actually struggling financially: Americans are piling on credit card debt at record levels that we haven’t seen since the financial crisis.

Households added $21.9 billion in credit card debt in the third quarter — the largest increase for that period since 2007 — bringing the amount of outstanding credit card debt to $927.1 billion, according to the latest study from WalletHub.

Debt takes future consumption and brings it into the present, but there is a price to be paid for doing that.

Because we have to pay interest on that debt, we always have to pay back more money than we originally borrowed.  And because interest rates on credit cards are so high, paying back credit card debt can be particularly painful.

According to Business Insider, the average American household currently owes nearly $8,000 to the credit card companies, and it is being suggested that this is a sign that the economy is much weaker than we have been led to believe…

The fact that the average household with debt now owes $7,941 to credit card companies, according to WalletHub, suggests that America’s putative economic strength might be a mirage — that the economy may in fact be a lot weaker than all the happy indicators are leading people to believe.

“I think it is a cause of concern because it says consumers are struggling despite the low unemployment figures,” says Lucia Dunn, an economics professor at Ohio State University. “I think the rise in debt arises from weakness in the economy. People whose incomes have dropped may be trying to maintain an older level of consumption by just charging everything.”

And guess what?

The Federal Reserve just raised interest rates, and so that means that paying off credit card debt will be even more painful for Americans in 2017 than it was in 2016.

Could it be possible that we have lost our way?

Could it be possible that we need to entirely rethink our approach to “the holiday season”?

According to an old NBC News story, one survey discovered that 45 percent of all Americans would prefer to skip Christmas altogether because of all the financial pressure…

Some 45 percent of those polled said the holiday season brings so much financial pressure, they would prefer to skip it altogether. Almost half said their level of stress related to holiday expenses is high or extremely high.

That’s probably because nearly the same amount — some 45 percent — say they do not expect to have enough money set aside to cover holiday expenses.

As a society, we need to learn that things will never make us happy.

Life is not about accumulating toys.  Rather, we were created to love and to be loved.

If you want to live a great life, learn how to be a person of great love.  Unfortunately, most people never seem to learn that lesson.

A couple of months ago, I reported that the total amount of household debt in the United States had reached a grand total of 12.3 trillion dollars.

If you break that number down, it comes to approximately $38,557 for every man, woman and child in the entire country.

In addition to that, we must also remember that corporate debt has approximately doubled while Barack Obama has been in the White House, state and local government debt is completely out of control, and the U.S. national debt is now sitting just under 20 trillion dollars.

Our greed is absolutely killing us, but we can’t stop.

So we will continue to party until eventually somebody comes along and turns out the lights.

What It Feels Like To Be Homeless For The Holidays In America

child-sitting-in-door-and-crying-public-domainCould you imagine spending the holidays in a homeless shelter, in a tent city surrounded by drug addicts and prostitutes, or in a sleeping bag on the cold, hard streets of an urban jungle?  Unfortunately, that is what real life looks like for an increasing number of Americans.  Most of the time when we think of “homeless people”, the image that comes into our minds is one of a grizzled old man asking for some spare change, but the truth is that vast numbers of women and children in our country do not have anywhere to live.  In fact, Poverty USA has reported that last year a grand total 1.6 million U.S. children stayed either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing.  And you never hear the mainstream media report this number, but the truth is that the number of homeless children in the United States has risen by 60 percent since the “end” of the last recession.   For the moment the wealthy are getting wealthier, but meanwhile things have just continued to get harder and harder for those that are struggling to survive in this economy.

In Wal-Mart parking lots and campgrounds all over America tonight, you will find formerly middle class families that are living in cars, trucks and recreational vehicles during this holiday season.  Most of them will never complain and will try to put on a happy face outwardly, but inside the worry and fear are eating them alive.

As the weather gets cold, many homeless Americans head for warmer climates, and this is one of the factors that is fueling the unprecedented homelessness crisis in Los Angeles.  The following comes from L.A. Weekly

By nearly every metric, Los Angeles has the worst homelessness crisis of any city in America. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more people suffering from chronic homelessness in L.A. than anywhere in the country, and their number is growing at a faster clip than those in New York City.

One homeless man in Los Angeles has decided to do what he can to make the best of his circumstances.  He has transformed a depressingly bleak area underneath a freeway underpass into his own “personal paradise”

A homeless man who turned a freeway underpass into his personal paradise by furnishing it with a make-shift jacuzzi and four-poster bed has become a viral hit and unlikely tourist attraction.

Ceola Waddell Jr, 59, began living in the underpass in L.A.’s  110 freeway near Coliseum six months ago.

He has since foraged two porcelain toilets, discarded refrigerators, couches and two beds to transform the space into his personal refuge.

You can’t help but smile when you read what Mr. Waddell has done, but the truth is that the homelessness crisis in the state is rapidly getting way out of control.  In fact, Los Angeles is swamped by so many homeless people at this point that the L.A. City Council has asked California Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.

On the east coast things are getting really, really bad as well.

You may find this hard to believe, but the number of homeless people in New York City has never been higher

The number of homeless people living in New York City has reached a record-high.

The Department of Homeless Services reported there were 60,252, up 200 in two weeks.

Now, some are saying the city’s current plan to combat homelessness isn’t working.

So why is this happening?

The stock market is at an all-time high and the mainstream media keeps telling us that things are getting better, and yet poverty just continues to rise.

Other than the very wealthy, the truth is that things are not getting any better for virtually everyone else.  In fact, it has been reported that over half of all New Yorkers “are teetering on the brink of homelessness”…

More than half of all New Yorkers are teetering on the brink of homelessness — without enough cash in the bank to cover them in the event of a disaster or lost job, a troubling new study has found.

Nearly 60 percent of all New Yorkers don’t have enough emergency savings to cover at least three months’ worth of household expenses like food, housing and rent, according to a recent report from the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development.

This is one of the reasons why I am always encouraging my readers to build up their emergency funds.  Sadly, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that most of the country is only a couple of paychecks away from losing everything.

To give you an idea of how deep the suffering can be this time of the year for those that have already lost it all, I want to share with you a story of a precious little dog named Ollie

When Ollie was found, his fur was matted and so long you couldn’t see his adorable little eyes. He was clearly in need of dire help.

A woman and her sister saw Ollie outside her apartment, shivering in the freezing cold. They brought him in and quickly called the Michigan Humane Society to help take care of the dog.

Once Ollie was brought in, it was discovered just how sick he is. Had he not been rescued, he would have suffered a very painful death alone in the streets.

Very few people could come across a hurting dog like Ollie without helping him out, but what about the countless numbers of our fellow Americans that no longer have a warm home and will spend the night shivering in the cold?

Look, the truth is that you don’t have to have a whole lot of resources in order to make a difference.  In Tennessee, there is a group of elderly women that refer to themselves as “the bag ladies” that are turning old plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless

It all starts with cutting plastic bags into strips, tying those strips together, and rolling them into a ball.

The Bag Ladies call it “plarn,” instead of yarn. They then crochet the “plarn” into mats.

It takes 600 bags to make an 18 square foot mat. So far, this year, they have used 52,000 bags to make 88 mats.

“This is not young ladies doing this. This is older ladies with the arthritis,” said Akin.

How marvelous is that?

A single act of kindness can make a world of difference.

In the months ahead, temperatures are only going to get colder and economic conditions are only going to get tougher for those that are already living in poverty.

I would encourage all of us to think about what we can do to make a difference for those that are deeply hurting this time of the year.

Creepy Clowns Are Terrorizing Children, Parents And Schools All Over America

creepy-clown-posted-by-karen-mann-hicks-on-facebookAn epidemic of creepy clown sightings is sweeping America, and authorities don’t know who or what is behind it.  In some instances, clowns with horrific expressions painted on their faces have been spotted standing on the side of the road, lurking near the edge of the woods or just roaming about town staring at random people.  But in other instances there have been reports of clowns actually attempting to lure children with gifts, and there have even been some reports of children running away from creepy clowns that were chasing after them.  While doing research for this article, I came across recent creepy clown sightings from South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, California, Alabama, Georgia and West Virginia.  This is truly a nationwide phenomenon, and many believe that it will get even worse as Halloween approaches.

This creepy clown trend appears to have begun with a very disturbing case at an apartment complex in South Carolina

Donna Arnold, one of the people residing at the complex who received the letter, said she called the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office to come out to Fleetwood Manor after her son and others reported seeing clowns behind the basketball court.

“I thought my child was seeing things,” Arnold said. “And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, ‘Did you see the clown in the woods?”

Community activist Bruce Wilson said he is getting involved at the apartments to make sure children are safe, even if the sightings turn out to be harmless.

Authorities say that their investigation into this incident found that the clowns were approaching children with the intent “to persuade them into the woods further by displaying large amounts of money“.

At least one child that personally interacted with these clowns testified “that they had candy and they would give it to them if they came there“.

Whether people are dressed as clowns or not, attempting to abduct children in no joke.

Unsurprisingly, this case made national headlines, and at that point it appears that a whole host of copycats started to come out of the woodwork.  The following is how an article in the Week summarized what happened next…

A week later, a boy at an apartment ten miles away reported seeing a man in a clown mask in the woods near his home. Later that night, a boy at an apartment just three miles from Fleetwood Manor reported seeing another clown. That apartment also sits on the edge of a wooded area. There was another local sighting the next day. The following day, a woman told police she saw a clown standing outside a Greenville laundromat, simply staring at her.

By then, the clowns had begun to mobilize. The previous day, a 14-year-old boy in Columbus, Ohio, said that a man wearing a clown mask chased him with a knife while the boy was walking to his school bus stop. Less than a week later, on Sept. 5, two children in Winston-Salem, N.C., claimed a clown was offering candy, as long as they would follow him into the woods. Later that night, a woman in the area claimed that a clown tried to coax her into the woods, except this one was carrying a machete. He wore black gloves and a black tie. The next morning, in the nearby town of Greensboro, a man said he saw a clown in the woods behind his apartment. Yellow polka-dotted shirt, blue pants.

Since that time the creepy clown sightings have not stopped, and one of the most alarming incidents of all just took place in McDuffie County, Georgia

“It was this morning at 6:30 when we were leaving at the house,” said Cameron Frails, who saw the clown.

But as Frails and his neighbor, Hannah Rice, started walking, they noticed something.

“I was standing over there,” said Rice. “And I was like, ‘who’s that guy following Cameron?'”

“We saw a man with all black on, clown mask and a red wig,” said Frails.

They said they saw at least two men dressed in all black coming toward them between two trailers, so they started running.

But that isn’t the only report of these creepy clowns trying to chase down children.  Here is another one from Georgia

According to the police report, the woman said the children told her they were leaving the community center as it was getting dark Monday evening when five people dressed as clowns and wearing masks emerged from a white panel van and began chasing them.

The 48-year-old woman also told police she saw a white panel van slowly driving past her home prior to the supposed incident at the community center around the corner, on McKinley Drive.

A lot of the copycats out there may be doing this sort of thing as a prank, but law enforcement authorities are beginning to take this threat very seriously.

In fact, Time Magazine is reporting that two schools in Alabama “were put on lockdown” on Friday due to threats from a group known as “Flomo Clowns”…

Two southern Alabama schools were put on lockdown Friday because of threatening Facebook messages and emojis posted on the now-deleted page of a group called the ‘Flomo Klowns.’

The sinister Facebook messages said “It’s going down tonight,” followed by revolver emojis, and “I love kids.” A parent also contacted the Flomaton Police Department to say her child had been sent threatening messages by the group.

The entrances to Flomaton High School, which has around 400 students, and Flomaton Elementary School, which has about 300, were locked, as well as internal doors. Local officers and sheriff deputies secured the school grounds and searched the area, AL reports.

I think that this is another example of how sick and twisted our society has become.  There are a lot of unbalanced people out there that get a thrill from spreading terror, and the initial clown stories have inspired them to capitalize on this trend.

If you are able to take a photograph or some video of these creepy clowns, please feel free to contact me.  “Killer clown” costumes are always extremely popular during the Halloween season, and I have a feeling that this wave of terror is only going to intensify as we approach the end of October.

One photograph of a creepy clown that was taken on Simmons River Road near Duhring, West Virginia has gotten a lot of attention on social media.  It was originally posted by Karen Mann Hicks on Facebook, and you can view it right here

creepy-clown-posted-by-karen-mann-hicks-on-facebook

Hopefully this creepy clown craze will soon fade, but it is a quick way for deeply disturbed individuals to “get on the news”, and so it seems likely that there will be even more copycats.

But those that are tempted to dress up like creepy clowns and terrorize children should be aware that police all over the nation are taking this very seriously, and arrests will likely be made at the first sign of trouble.

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