The Beginning Of The End
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Who Tells Us What To Think? Does The Mainstream Media = The Matrix?

Who Tells Us What To Think? Does The Mainstream Media = The Matrix? - Photo by ProperpilotDo you believe that you really think for yourself?  Did you come up with your attitudes, opinions and beliefs on your own, or are they continually being shaped and molded by someone else?  Could it be possible that you and everyone around you is actually hooked into a real life version of “the matrix” that is constantly defining your reality for you?  Sadly, the truth is that almost all of us have willingly hooked ourselves into a colossal media system that literally tells us what to think.  In the United States today, the average American watches 153 hours of television a month.  We also spend huge amounts of time watching movies, surfing the Internet, reading books and magazines, playing video games and listening to music.  Many Americans are so addicted to being “connected” that they will actually become physically uncomfortable if they are at home and there is total silence.  Unfortunately, as I pointed out in a previous article, somewhere around 90 percent of the “information” that we are allowing to be endlessly pumped into our heads is owned by just 6 gigantic media corporations.  So could it be possible that the thousands of hours of “news and entertainment” that you are allowing these gigantic corporations to fill your head with each year is having an effect on you?  Does the mainstream media have more control over you than you ever dreamed possible?  If you want to continue on in blissful ignorance, stop reading now,  but if you want to take “the red pill”, keep on reading because the further down the rabbit hole you go, the stranger that things get.

When you go to work or to school in the morning, what is everyone talking about?

Usually, people are talking about something that they saw on television or that they heard about in the news.

In our society today, the limited interactions that we do have with other people are usually defined by our mutual connection to the media.

The mainstream media literally defines for us what is important and what is not.  If the mainstream media does not talk about something, then it simply does not matter.

I don’t know how many times over the years I have heard someone tell me some version of the following statement: “If that was true we would have heard about it on the news.”

Has anyone ever said something similar to you?

The funny thing is that most of the time I won’t even mention something important that I may have heard in one of my articles unless I can back it up with a “mainstream source”, and I don’t even trust the mainstream media.

I know that the mainstream media often distorts the facts and often tells outright lies, but I regularly link to them because that gives my articles more “credibility” in the eyes of those that are still fully hooked into the matrix.

In a world where the big media corporations have so much power, is there any hope for us?

As long as the big corporations that control the media are dominating and controlling the conversation, is there any chance that there will ever be a mass awakening among the American people?

Our young people seem particularly addicted to being constantly “connected” to the media matrix that is being constructed all around us.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article by Daniel Taylor

According to a 2010 LA Times report, young people spend on average 53 hours a week watching TV, playing video games, and sitting at the computer.

Facebook users spend about 15 hours a month on the social networking site.

People are walking – and driving – blindly while texting, sometimes walking into fountains and even falling off cliffs.

Wow – our young people spend more than 200 hours a month connected to the mainstream media?

But we only have about 480 waking hours a month to work with.

If they are being exposed to that amount of continuous propaganda, what hope do our young people have?

In the old days, kids actually played with each other in the streets and adults actually left their homes to interact with one another.

But these days we spend nearly all of our time sitting passively in our homes staring at flickering screens.

Is that a sign of a healthy society?

We were created to be social creatures.  We were designed to love and to be loved.  But these days people “love” their favorite sports teams or they “love” their favorite television shows but we have an increasingly difficult time having real relationships with each other.

Meanwhile, the global elite rely on the mainstream media to keep us distracted and to control the boundaries of public discourse.  Most of the time, the mainstream media focuses on the latest celebrity scandal or the latest dogfights between the Republicans and the Democrats and they systematically ignore many of the more important things that are taking place out there.

Let me just give you one example of how the mainstream media shapes the news.  For decades, there was almost a complete and total media blackout on the Bilderberg Group meetings that happen every year.  Top newspaper executives from the United States would actually attend these meetings, but then their newspapers would not say a single word about them.

If anyone out there did bring up “the Bilderberg Group”, they were dismissed as wacky “conspiracy theorists” and were told that it simply does not exist.

Of course now we all know that it does exist, although the mainstream media in the U.S. still mostly ignores it.  In fact, this has been by design.  The following is what David Rockefeller is alleged to have said during a Bilderberg Group meeting back in 1991…

We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. … It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.

Even today, many prominent “journalists” in the U.S. mock people when they bring up the Bilderberg Group.  For example, Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC says that he is “way too lazy” to look into the Bilderberg Group and that he “doesn’t know about it, so it must not exist”.

For much more on the connection between the mainstream media and the global elite, please see this article: “Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings“.

Instead of telling us what is really going on in the world, the mainstream media keeps us endlessly distracted.  The following are just a few of the headlines that can be found on the front pages of major mainstream news sites right now…

-College student creates condom delivery service

-Michael Douglas is feeling ‘good’

-Golf tournament delayed by kangaroos

-Rock ‘n’ roll hamburger experience

-Lady Gaga cancels tour, set for surgery

Wow – those are some examples of some really hard-hitting journalism right there.

So why do most Americans continue to fall for this nonsense?

Sadly, part of the reason is because we have become so “dumbed down” as a society.

Recently, the Guardian conducted an evaluation of the reading level of every State of the Union address in U.S. history.  What they found is that Barack Obama’s State of the Union addresses have had the second lowest reading level average in history, and that in general the reading levels of the speeches have been significantly declining over time.

But it is not just our presidents that appear to be getting stupider.  The truth is that our public education system is a total joke at this point.  Many of our high school students are as dumb as a rock, and if you can believe it, 23 percent of all Americans cannot even read beyond a fourth-grade level.

Of course the elite are quite pleased with this, because a stupid public is a public that is easier to dominate.

When a large segment of the population can barely read and is accustomed to letting others do their thinking for them, it becomes easier to lie.

For example, on Thursday Paul Krugman of the New York Times made the following statement

“Growing dependence on government is mostly a myth”

Of course most of you that are reading this know that is a flat-out lie.  The charts in this article clearly show that the number of Americans on food stamps is at an all-time high and the percentage of the population that is on food stamps is at an all-time high.

Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a household that got money from the federal government each month,  Now, an all-time high 49 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives money from the government each month.

For many more stats and charts that demonstrate the stunning growth of government dependence, please see this article and this article.

Sadly, the truth doesn’t seem to matter too much to the media these days.  The mainstream media tends to be incredibly arrogant, and most of the time they don’t even pretend to be “objective” or “neutral” anymore.

Fortunately, more Americans than ever are becoming dissatisfied with the mainstream media and are starting to seek out alternative sources of information.  According to a recent Gallup poll, the level of trust that the American public has in the mainstream media is now at an all-time low.

So perhaps there is hope after all.

What do you think?

The Matrix - Photo by Jamie Zawinski

22 Stats That Prove That There Is Something Seriously Wrong With Young Men In America

Young MenWhen are we finally going to admit that we have a very serious problem with this generation of young men in America?  We have failed them so dramatically that it is hard to put it into words.  We have raised an entire generation of young males that don’t know how to be men, and many of them feel completely lost.  Sometimes they feel so lost that they “snap” in very destructive ways.  Adam Lanza and James Holmes are two names that come to mind.  Why is it that mass murderers are almost always young men?  Why don’t young women behave the same way?  Sadly, Adam Lanza and James Holmes are just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem in our society.  Our young women vastly outperform our young men in almost every important statistical category.  Young men are much more likely to perform poorly in school, they are much more likely to have disciplinary problems and they are much more likely to commit suicide.  In the old days, our young men would gather in the streets or in the parks to play with one another after school, but today most of them are content to spend countless hours feeding their addictions to video games, movies and other forms of entertainment.  When our young men grow up, many of them are extremely averse to taking on responsibility.  They want to have lots of sex, but they aren’t interested in marriage.  They enjoy the comforts of living at home, but they don’t want to go out and pursue career goals so that they can provide those things for themselves.  Our young men are supposed to be “the leaders of tomorrow”, but instead many of them are a major burden on society.  When are we finally going to admit that something has gone horribly wrong?

There is even a name for this generation of young men that does not want to grow up.  It is called the “Peter Pan generation”.  They want to enjoy the benefits of being grown up without ever taking on the responsibilities.  A member of this “Peter Pan generation” recent wrote an article for the Daily Mail in which he discussed what he and his friends are going through…

I haven’t yet had to grow up so, well, I haven’t.

Reckless, irresponsible and immature? Yes. But at least I can take comfort in the fact I am not alone.

Last week, I read that there is even a name for people such as me. We are the ‘Peter Pan generation’; a sizeable group of 25 to 40-year-olds who exist in a state of extended adolescence, avoiding the trappings of responsibility — marriage, mortgage, children — for as long as possible.

‘Our society is full of lost boys and girls hanging out at the edge of adulthood,’ says Professor Frank Furedi, a sociologist who has been studying this phenomenon, at the University of Kent.

‘Another word sometimes used to describe these people is “adultescent” — generally defined as someone who refuses to settle down and make commitments, and who would rather go on partying into middle age.’

Young men in America didn’t always behave this way.  Several decades ago, men in America moved away from home, got married and had children much earlier than they do now.  But the young men of today seem to want to put off the “markers of adulthood” for as long as possible.  The following is from an outstanding article by Sandy Hingston

Sociologists cite five “markers” or “milestones” that have traditionally defined our notion of adulthood: finishing school, moving away from the parental home, becoming financially independent, getting married, and having a child. In 1960, 65 percent of men had ticked off all five by age 30; by 2000, only a third had. The experts have plenty of explanations for what’s come to be called “extended adolescence” or “emerging adulthood”—or what New York Times columnist David Brooks calls the “Odyssey Years.” They blame helicopter parents, the burden of student loan debt, much higher poverty rates among young people (nearly half of all Americans ages 25 to 34 live below the national level), and a dearth of vo-tech training and manufacturing jobs. Almost 60 percent of parents are now giving money to their grown kids—an average of $38,340 per child in the years between ages 18 and 34. Whatever happened to the son looking after his mom?

So why is all of this happening?

Well, there are a whole host of reasons.  But certainly parents and our education system have to bear much of the blame.  In the old days, young men were taught what it means to “be a man”, and morality was taught to young men both by their parents and in the schools.  But today, most young men have very little understanding of what “manhood” is, and our society has taught them that morality doesn’t really matter.  Instead, television and movies constantly portray young men as sex-obsessed slackers that just want to party all the time, so that is what many of our young men have become.

How much better off would our society be if we had trained this generation of young men to love, honor, protect and take care of others?

How much better off would our society be if we had nurtured the manhood of our young men instead of teaching them to be ashamed of it?

How much better off would our society be if we had disciplined our young men and taught them morality when they were getting off track instead of just letting them do whatever they wanted?

The following are 22 stats that prove that there is something seriously wrong with young men in America today…

#1 Males account for approximately 70 percent of all Ds and Fs in U.S. public schools.

#2 About two-thirds of all students in “special education programs” are boys.

#3 The average American girl spends 5 hours a week playing video games.  The average American boy spends 13 hours a week playing video games.

#4 The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.

#5 One study discovered that 88 percent of all Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games, and that video game addiction is approximately four times as common among boys as it is among girls.

#6 At this point, 15-year-olds that attend U.S. public schools do not even rank in the top half of all industrialized nations when it comes to math or science literacy.

#7 In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years.

#8 According to a survey conducted by the National Geographic Society, only 37 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 can find the nation of Iraq on a map.

#9 According to the New York Times, approximately 57 percent of all young people enrolled at U.S. colleges are women.

#10 It is being projected that women will earn 60 percent of all Bachelor’s degrees from U.S. universities by the year 2016.

#11 Even if they do graduate from college, most of our young men still can’t find a decent job.  An astounding 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed during 2011.

#12 Pornography addiction is a major problem among our young men.  An astounding 30 percent of all Internet traffic now goes to pornography websites, and one survey found that 25 percent of all employees that have Internet access in the United States even visit sex websites while they are at work.

#13 In the United States today, 47 percent of all high school students have had sex.

#14 The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate on the entire planet.  If our young men behaved differently this would not be happening.

#15 In the United States today, one out of every four teen girls has at least one sexually transmitted disease.  If our young men were not sex-obsessed idiots running around constantly looking to “score” these diseases would not be spreading like this.

#16 Right now, approximately 53 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket are living at home with their parents.

#17 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#18 Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.

#19 Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents in the United States right now according to Time Magazine.

#20 Today, an all-time low 44.2% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.

#21 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple.  Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

#22 Young men are about four times more likely to commit suicide as young women are.

So what do you think about this generation of young men in America?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

22 Stats That Prove That There Is Something Seriously Wrong With Young Men In America

The Sobering Reality Of What Life Is Like In Reno, Nevada

What do you do when the city where you live is dying?  All over the United States formerly great cities are crumbling, but some are definitely in worse shape than others.  One reader recently wrote to me about what she sees happening all around her in Reno, Nevada.  The unemployment rate in Reno is now up to 11.7 percent, which is well above the national average of 8.3 percent.  But that doesn’t tell the whole story.  The recent recession hit Nevada particularly hard and people have been moving out of the state in waves.  In fact, the labor force in Nevada has shrunk by close to 20 percent over the past year as workers have moved elsewhere in search of work.  But even though the labor force is now nearly 20 percent smaller, the unemployment rate is still well above 11 percent.  There simply are not enough jobs in large Nevada cities such as Reno and Las Vegas.  Unfortunately for Reno, it does not have the same kind of big corporate money pouring into it that Las Vegas does.  The good news is that you can buy a house very, very cheaply in Reno because homes were foreclosed on in droves during the housing crash.  Even today, some housing developments that were put up near the end of the boom times look like virtual ghost towns.  The main industry in Reno is “entertainment”, but many of Reno’s strip clubs and gambling establishments have aged so badly at this point that they just look kind of depressing.  I guess that is kind of fitting, because Nevada has the fifth highest suicide rate in the nation, and Reno has been ranked as one of the top 10 depressed cities in the entire country.  As the city has declined, gangs have moved in and the drug trade is flourishing.  Reno has been called the meth capital of America, and crime is on the rise.  Despite being surrounded by tremendous natural beauty, Reno has become a very unpleasant place in which to live.  But what is happening in Reno is also happening in hundreds of other communities across the United States.  Our economy is collapsing and our cities are crumbling right in front of our eyes, and it is only going to get worse from here.

A reader of my site named Heather who has been unemployed since November of last year recently shared the following with me….

I am living in Reno/Sparks Nevada and I feel like it is ground zero for collapse. There are a lot of people who are in denial right now and cannot see the larger picture. I keep also saying we are the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country.  It is quite depressing driving around seeing empty office buildings with vacancies and retail areas just empty. Went to the stores and retail seems pretty slow also. I am volunteering at ProNet locally and it helps unemployed people finds jobs and skills. It has been depressing there too with very little jobs out there for many people who need one.

She said that I should share what is happening in Reno with my readers.  She wanted people to know what those living in Reno are going through.

You might think that since Reno is so sunny, so warm and surrounded by such natural beauty that it would be one of the happiest places in America.

Unfortunately it turns out that the opposite is true.

Reno is actually a very sad place.

In fact, last year Men’s Health ranked Reno as the ninth saddest city in the United States.

In response to this ranking, one resident of Reno wrote the following….

In light of this disheartening list-making, it is, of course, important for Nevadans to look on the bright side. Rather than allowing these statistics to depress us further, we can consider them a series of challenges that make living in places like Reno and Las Vegas all the more impressive. You don’t just live in Reno. You survive Reno! To dwell in Reno, you must triumph over the odds that are stacked against you—one of the things we’re supposed to do best here.

If we can withstand all of the emotional curveballs thrown at us because we have selected such a turbulent location in which to reside, we can probably survive anything.

As a lifelong Renoite, I am inclined to respond to these lists with defiance. Yeah, things can look pretty grim sometimes when no one can find a job, and there seems to be no way out.

And that is how many Americans are feeling these days.  They are broke, unemployed, depressed and out of options.

How can you pick up and start a new life somewhere else when you have no job and no money?

Sadly, a lot of younger Americans are turning to drugs in an attempt to escape the pain of their daily lives.

One article that I found attempted to find humor in the raging meth epidemic that is happening in Reno….

Reno has been affectionately called the meth capital of the nation. Some foolishly think mass drug usage can ravage a city as swiftly as it can ruin a user’s clear complexion. In all reality, drug addiction is no more than an endearing quirk, certainly not a cause for concern. Babies and adolescents with addiction-addled parents should stop being coddled and learn how to take care of themselves. I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was six months old­ — I’m sure they can do the same. If there is anything disturbing about the meth problem in Reno, it’s that it shows the lack of variety in this town. Why don’t you try some uppers like MDMA? Your teeth will thank me.

Unfortunately, Reno is far from alone.  In the past I have written about how formerly great cities such as Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore are completely falling apart as well.  This kind of thing is literally happening from coast to coast.

There is a very serious lack of decent jobs in America right now.  At this point only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States are good jobs.

This has made it increasingly difficult for Americans to be able to take care of themselves.

If you can believe it, more than 100 million Americans are on welfare at this point.

And that number does not even include the tens of millions of people that are on Social Security and Medicare.

What in the world has happened to us?

These days most Americans work really hard all of their lives but never end up reaching their dreams.

In fact, one recent study found that 46 percent of all Americans die with less than $10,000 worth of financial assets.

Talk about depressing.

But instead of having us focus on how bad the economic numbers are, the Federal Reserve wants to start measuring how “happy” everyone is.  The following is from a recent ABC News article….

Ben Bernanke wants to know if you are happy.

The Federal Reserve chairman said Monday that gauging happiness can be as important for measuring economic progress as determining whether inflation is low or unemployment high. Economics isn’t just about money and material benefits, Bernanke said. It is also about understanding and promoting “the enhancement of well-being.”

So what would you say if the Federal Reserve contacted you and asked if you are happy?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

Now THAT Is Cold – 19 Signs That America Is Becoming A Very Heartless Place

The economy is not the only thing that is wrong with America.  In order for a society to function smoothly, people need to be able to trust one another and be able to expect that most of their fellow citizens will behave in a somewhat civilized manner.  Unfortunately, we are starting to see the very fabric of our society slowly unravel all over the nation.  The truth is that America is becoming a very heartless place.  People simply do not care about one another the way that they used to in this country.  Of course there are many exceptions, but the reality is that millions of hearts are going cold from coast to coast.  In America today, we are more self-absorbed than ever, more self-centered than ever, and we are more isolated from others than ever.  Just think about the number of people that you personally interact with on a regular basis.  Unless you are involved with a very large organization such as a school or a church, it is probably a very limited number.  Our addiction to entertainment gives us the illusion of being connected to society, but the truth is that Americans spend less time personally interacting with one another than ever before.  Meanwhile, Americans are seemingly becoming more arrogant, more prideful, more angry, more brutal, more greedy and more addicted to pleasure than ever before.  When you combine millions of very cold hearts with an economy that is rapidly crumbling, that adds up to a whole lot of trouble in the years ahead.

Even government authorities are becoming heartless.  TSA agents and police officers are actually trained to “act tough” and to bark orders at us.  In the old days, you could reason with a police officer, but these days if you try to talk common sense with some of these thugs you will get tasered before you even realize what is happening.

The American people can see the deep corruption in Washington D.C. and throughout most of our other major institutions and they wonder why they should keep trying to do “the right thing”.

If our leaders are selfish and heartless, then it is only natural that millions of average Americans will follow their examples.

In America today, we are taught to hate one another.  Democrats are taught to hate Republicans and Republicans are taught to hate Democrats.  We are a deeply divided nation and our hearts are getting colder with each passing year.

Parents are becoming more cruel, thieves are becoming more bold and thugs are becoming more brutal.  Hate, anger and frustration are fueling some really twisted behavior all over the country.  America is changing, and not for the better.

The following are 19 signs that America is becoming a very heartless place….

#1 At one airport in Hawaii, TSA agents recently required one new mother to go to a public restroom and fill up the empty baby bottles she was carrying with breast milk before they would allow her to get on to her flight.  The following is how one local news station described the incident….

She claims agents told her she couldn’t take the pump on the plane because the bottles in her carry-on were empty.

“I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said no, you can go in the women’s bathroom. I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom. I was embarrassed and humiliated and then angry that I was treated this way.

When the bottles were full, she was allowed back on the plane.

#2 One way that a society is judged is by how it treats children.  Unfortunately, stories such as the following one from Texas are becoming increasingly common in America today….

Texas authorities said Tuesday they removed 11 children from a crowded home where a registered sex offender lives after they found eight confined in a small, dark bedroom with restraints tying some to their beds.

Along with the children, 10 adults were living in the one-story, 1,700-square-foot home in Dayton, about 30 miles northeast of Houston, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Gwen Carter said. One month after a raid on the house, authorities are still trying to determine how the children are related and why they were there, she said.

#3 Across the United States, there have been an increasing number of reports of teens randomly attacking people on the street for no apparent reason whatsoever.  In some cases, the victims are actually being pulled out of their vehicles.  The following recent example comes from Philadelphia….

IN A HORRIFIC assault in Center City on Saturday night, three teenagers who were spouting racial slurs pulled a man out of a cab to beat him. And when the cabdriver intervened to stop the assault, the teens turned their rage on him, police said yesterday.

#4 One man down in Arizona was recently charged with skinning and eating a cat.  He told authorities that he did it because he was “hungry”.

#5 In the Detroit area, an 86-year-old World War II veteran was recently brutally carjacked in the middle of the day at a gas station.  His leg was broken during the assault, and as he slowly crawled across the concrete parking lot many people walked by him and drove by him as if he was not even there.

#6 One 69-year-old woman down in Texas recently went without running water for six years and nobody ever helped her out until just recently.

#7 In Ohio, one man has been charged with raping three children that he adopted and with allowing other men to have sex with them as well.

#8 One man down in Texas was recently fined by the city government for not mowing the lawn of a house that he had already lost to foreclosure.

#9 These days thieves will steal anything that is metal that they think that they can resell.  In the Philadelphia area recently, there has been a rash of brass door knocker thefts.  Thieves have been going up and pulling them right off of the front doors of private homes.

#10 As the price of gasoline rises, gasoline thieves are becoming more creative.  The following is a recent example from the Tampa Bay area….

As gas thefts go, this one was deceptively elaborate.

Inside a blue Chevrolet Venture minivan, criminals had cut out a large hole in the floorboard and set up a portable pumping station, complete with power source, pump and plastic container.

The goal: to steal hundreds of gallons of gas pulled directly from the gas station’s underground storage tank and funneled into a plastic tank inside the van.

Gasoline thefts have become so common in Detroit that one city councilman wants to force gas station owners to hire security guards.

#11 One 29-year-old female tutor was recently arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy that she was supposed to be tutoring.

#12 The ACLU is trying to force one library district in Washington state to allow full public access to pornography on library computers – even if children will be walking by and able to see what is going on.

#13 In America today, a lot of parents are becoming extremely cruel.  Down in Alabama, one 9-year-old girl recently died after being forced by her mother and grandmother to run for three hours straight as punishment for lying about having eaten some candy bars.

#14 Some Americans have become so desperate that they are trying to get sent to prison on purpose.  For example, one ex-police officer in Georgia recently robbed a bank and allowed authorities to catch him so that he could get food, shelter and free medical care in jail.

#15 What can account for the rash of seemingly random violent crimes that we have been seeing lately?  Over near Seattle, an 88-year-old man and an 83-year-old woman were brutally attacked by a 31-year-old man armed with a crossbow and a hatchet for no apparent reason whatsoever….

Prosecutors say 31-year-old John Chase was walking down the highway when he saw Ralph Aldrich, 88, in his back yard. Detectives say Chase shot and killed Aldrich with a crossbow and then went inside the home and repeatedly hit 83-year-old June Aldrich with a hatchet.

#16 In America today, many people are so angry and so frustrated that even the slightest provocation can push them over the edge.  For example, one man in Georgia actually firebombed a Taco Bell because they did not put enough meat in his Chalupa.

#17 These days Americans are having a hard time feeling safe in their own homes.  Down in Maryland, one very sick home invader was recently sentenced to 100 years in prison for doing some very twisted things….

In one case, authorities said, he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl after breaking into her family’s Fort Washington home with a cinder block and forced her to pose nude on a bed as he took photographs and videos of her.  Authorities said in another case, Scott and an accomplice, Marcus Dermanellian Hunter – who has already pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges – held up a Bowie family at gunpoint in April 2009, used their debit cards to steal money from ATM machines and then stole a luxury car.

#18 In America today you never know who is going to come driving up to you on the street.  Most of the time people that you meet will be at least somewhat “normal”, but there is also a chance that the next strangers that you run into will be crack-fueled perverts.  Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to a Montana teacher named Sherry Arnold…

Spell and Waters had left Colorado days before the crime claiming they wanted work in eastern Montana and western North Dakota’s oil fields.

After smoking crack cocaine over the entire trip, Waters allegedly told Spell the drug ‘brought the devil out in him’ and began talking about kidnapping and killing a female, AP reports.

After they spotted Arnold, Spell claims that Waters told him to ‘grab the lady’ and pull her into their Ford Explorer as she jogged by.

After they got her into the Ford Explorer, they choked the life out of her and then buried her body in a shallow grave in North Dakota.

#19 In the Boston area, the FBI recently used a chainshaw to cut through the front door of one apartment during a raid.  They quickly subdued the woman living inside and had her on the floor for 35 minutes as her young daughter cried out to her.  Eventually they figured out that they had the wrong apartment and they issued a “routine apology” to the woman.

As our country falls apart all around us, there is going to be a greater need for love and compassion than ever before.

Don’t count on the government to help those in need.  The government always does  a miserable job of that.

As I have written about previously, already more than 40 percent of all children in Atlanta and more than 50 percent of all children in Detroit are living in poverty.

In the years ahead those numbers are going to get even worse.

But it isn’t just in the major cities where poverty is exploding.  Sadly, today one out of every four children in the United States is on food stamps.

As times get tough, you have two choices.

You can allow your heart to grow cold like so many other people are doing.

Or you can decide that you are going to become more loving and more compassionate than ever before.

America is becoming a very heartless place, and unfortunately there is no sign that trend is going to turn around any time soon.

But you don’t have to become heartless.

Be a light that shines in the darkness.

In the end, you will be glad that you were.

Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read

Back in 1983, approximately 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the United States.  Today, ownership of the news media has been concentrated in the hands of just six incredibly powerful media corporations.  These corporate behemoths control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day.  They own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites. Sadly, most Americans don’t even stop to think about who is feeding them the endless hours of news and entertainment that they constantly ingest.  Most Americans don’t really seem to care about who owns the media.  But they should.  The truth is that each of us is deeply influenced by the messages that are constantly being pounded into our heads by the mainstream media.  The average American watches 153 hours of television a month.  In fact, most Americans begin to feel physically uncomfortable if they go too long without watching or listening to something.  Sadly, most Americans have become absolutely addicted to news and entertainment and the ownership of all that news and entertainment that we crave is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands each year.      

The six corporations that collectively control U.S. media today are Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal.  Together, the “big six” absolutely dominate news and entertainment in the United States.  But even those areas of the media that the “big six” do not completely control are becoming increasingly concentrated. For example, Clear Channel now owns over 1000 radio stations across the United States.  Companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are increasingly dominating the Internet.

But it is the “big six” that are the biggest concerns.  When you control what Americans watch, hear and read you gain a great deal of control over what they think.  They don’t call it “programming” for nothing. 

Back in 1983 it was bad enough that about 50 corporations dominated U.S. media.  But since that time, power over the media has rapidly become concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people….

In 1983, fifty corporations dominated most of every mass medium and the biggest media merger in history was a $340 million deal. … [I]n 1987, the fifty companies had shrunk to twenty-nine. … [I]n 1990, the twenty-nine had shrunk to twenty three. … [I]n 1997, the biggest firms numbered ten and involved the $19 billion Disney-ABC deal, at the time the biggest media merger ever. … [In 2000] AOL Time Warner’s $350 billion merged corporation [was] more than 1,000 times larger [than the biggest deal of 1983].

–Ben H. Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly, Sixth Edition, (Beacon Press, 2000), pp. xx—xxi

Today, six colossal media giants tower over all the rest.  Much of the information in the chart below comes from mediaowners.com.  The chart below reveals only a small fraction of the media outlets that these six behemoths actually own….

Time Warner

Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Walt Disney

ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books

Viacom

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1

News Corporation

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
DIRECTV
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan

CBS Corporation

CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network

NBC Universal

Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Trio
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video

These gigantic media corporations do not exist to objectively tell the truth to the American people.  Rather, the primary purpose of their existence is to make money.

These gigantic media corporations are not going to do anything to threaten their relationships with their biggest advertisers (such as the largest pharmaceutical companies that literally spend billions on advertising), and one way or another these gigantic media corporations are always going to express the ideological viewpoints of their owners.

Fortunately, an increasing number of Americans are starting to wake up and are realizing that the mainstream media should not be trusted.  According to a new poll just released by Gallup, the number of Americans that have little to no trust in the mainstream media (57%) is at an all-time high.

That is one reason why we have seen the alternative media experience such rapid growth over the past few years.  The mainstream media has been losing credibility at a staggering rate, and Americans are starting to look elsewhere for the truth about what is really going on.

Do you think that anyone in the mainstream news would actually tell you that the Federal Reserve is bad for America or that we are facing a horrific derivatives bubble that could destroy the entire world financial system?  Do you think that anyone in the mainstream media would actually tell you the truth about the deindustrialization of America or the truth about the voracious greed of Goldman Sachs?

Sure there are a few courageous reporters in the mainstream media that manage to slip a few stories past their corporate bosses from time to time, but in general there is a very clear understanding that there are simply certain things that you just do not say in the mainstream news.

But Americans are becoming increasingly hungry for the truth, and they are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the dumbed down pablum that is passing as “hard hitting news” these days.

So what do you think about the state of the mainstream media?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

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