Warm Your Heart With These Inspirational Stories Of Extraordinary Human Kindness

Despite all of the horrible things that we read about in the news, the truth is that there are still people out there that are making great sacrifices in order to do good for others.  My hope is that these extraordinary stories of human kindness will inspire others to act likewise.  We live at a moment in history when darkness is growing rapidly all around us, and our society can feel so very cold at times.  Those that follow my work regularly already know that I write a lot about this growing darkness.  In fact, just yesterday I posted articles about the collapse of the American family and our wildly out of control drug crisis.  One of the reasons why I write so much about the darkness is so that people will start realizing the need for radical solutions.  As Kirk Cameron has aptly noted, it can be exceedingly difficult to “try to give a cure to a patient who wasn’t convinced of his disease”.  It is time for American to wake up.  The status quo is not acceptable, we are steamrolling down a road that leads to national suicide, and we need to understand the error of our ways before it is too late.

What we should all want is a society that is filled with love.  As humans, we are meant to love and to be loved, but love seems to be in such short supply in our nation today.

Fortunately, there are still a lot of people out there that are trying to do the right thing.

Let me start by sharing the story of a five-year-old girl named Katelynn Hardee.  When she heard that some other families were having a really hard time paying for school lunches for their kids, she decided to take matters into her own hands

After overhearing another child’s mother say she was having a hard time paying for an after-school program, Katelynn Hardee, 5, spoke to her own mother about how she could help other students.

Katelyn set up a cocoa-and-cookies stand, and it turned into a success. She soon decided the money she made would be used to pay off the lunch debt of 123 students in her San Diego County school district.

“I don’t want people to be hungry,” Hardee told NBC San Diego, which did not say how much the bill was.

Sometimes it takes a child to remind the rest of us how we are supposed to live.

I really enjoy interacting with small children, because their hearts have not yet been corrupted by the great evil that permeates our society at every level.  They instinctively understand the value in helping others, and they take great joy in making a difference.

Never lose your joy, because it is a source of fuel that will propel you in the direction of becoming the person that you were always meant to be.

And if you have lost your joy along the way, do whatever you can to get it back.

We all have a purpose, and we all have the capacity to do something really special.

Just consider the story of Nancy Banta of Rumson, New Jersey.  According to her daughter, she has been crocheting blankets for sick children in the hospital for many years

“My mom has been donating crocheted blankets to sick children over the past 20+ years,” her daughter said. “In total she has made 49 afghans this year, 45 of which she just donated to Jersey Shore Medical Hospital’s Pediatric and Pediatric ICU wards.”

This is Banta’s 5th year donating to the hospital.

“She has probably donated over 1,000 blankets to those in need at this point in her lifetime and she’s not stopping anytime soon!” her daughter added.

What a wonderful lady.

That is the kind of person that I want in my life.  People that joyfully give to others consistently are always such a blessing to be around.

It has been said that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and it is also true that being a “giver” makes you a much better person than being a “taker”.

Speaking of giving, a large church in New Jersey made news when they put together over 1,000 food kits for needy children in their community

A New Jersey-based nondenominational megachurch has helped to pack more than 1,000 food kits for less fortunate children living in the area.

The Paramus campus of The Life Christian Church, which meets at an AMC movie theater at Garden State Plaza, helped put together 1,056 food kits on Sunday with other volunteers.

Terry Smith, senior pastor of Life Christian, told The Christian Post that the food-packing event was consistent with one of the church’s core values, namely, to be “enthusiastic servants of all.”

As I document regularly on my website, tens of millions of American families deeply struggle to pay for the basics in this economy, and things are only going to get worse in the years ahead.

But if we had more churches doing this sort of thing, we would be in far, far better shape.

I greatly applaud what they are trying to do, and I believe that they will be greatly blessed for their efforts.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to share with you the story of Bonita the dog.

Bonita spent 500 days in a shelter in Niagara Falls, New York, but now she finally has a forever home

After spending 500 days in an animal shelter in Niagara Falls, New York, a 5-year-old pit bull mix is going home for Christmas!

Bonita, the shelter’s longest resident – and one of its most popular dogs – finally found a home just in time for Christmas after she was adopted by local man Ray Kinz.

In a video captured by the Niagara County SPCA, Bonita is given a loving sendoff by her former family members at the shelter. She jumps up and wags her tail as she passes through the crowd with Kinz.

Sometimes, it is those that have been through the most pain that are the most loving of all, and I have a feeling that Bonita is going to shower Mr. Kinz with a tremendous amount of love and affection in the years ahead.

If you want to live a life that really matters, endeavor to be a person of great love.  The big news networks are unlikely to cover the stories that I just shared with you on their broadcasts, but it is acts of kindness such as these that are going to make our society a better place to live.

The more we love, the more we will grow, and may we never stop growing.

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.

What America Really Needs Is A Lot More Love

This is a very difficult article for me to write.  I cannot remember a time when there was so much hatred in America.  We are a deeply, deeply divided nation, and those divisions are constantly being deepened by all the strife and discord that the mainstream media, our entertainment industry and our politicians are stirring up.  Because of what I do, I spend countless hours on the Internet, and everywhere I go I see hatred.  There is something about this digital world that we have created that makes people feel comfortable saying things that they would never say during normal social interactions, and it is truly frightening to see what is really in people’s hearts.  If we allow all of this hatred to continue to grow, it will ultimately destroy us.

A house divided will surely fall.  The greatest politician that America has ever seen could come along with the greatest political plan in the history of the world, but if we can’t get along and work together, no plan is going to work.  So if we insist on having a society where we all hate one another, we might as well forget about talking about solutions, because they will be useless.

That doesn’t mean that we all have to agree with one another.  Today, many Americans believe that in order to “love” someone you must agree with them, but that is absolutely absurd.  None of us are ever going to agree 100 percent on everything, but we can still care about one another and work with one another to make our country a better place.

Yes, I understand that there are fundamental differences on the most important issues facing our nation today, and I write about those issues all the time.  And it is exceedingly important to be engaged in the battle for the direction of our nation, because if we stay on the path that we are currently on there will be no future for America.  So I am definitely not saying that you shouldn’t fight for the future of our children and our grandchildren.  In fact, I wish that there were millions more concerned Americans that were passionate about changing things.

And let me be very clear about the evil that permeates our society today.  Right now, there are lots of people that are truly evil in positions of power, and that is a major problem.  In fact, I believe that future generations will look back on this time in history with horror.

But just because there are very evil people that want to take our nation in the completely wrong direction, does that mean that we should hate them?

Of course the answer to that question should be obvious to everyone.  Hatred is not the solution for hatred.  The only thing that conquers hate is love, and we need to learn how to love those that disagree with us, that persecute us and that try to mistreat us.

But that is not what I see in America today, and the world of politics is a perfect example of what I am talking about.  We are encouraged to pick one side or the other (even though both sides may be wrong much of the time), and then once we have picked a side we are trained to absolutely loathe those on the other side.

Just think about it.  How many on the left do you think actually love Donald Trump, his family and his supporters?

Alternatively, how many on the right do you think truly love Hillary Clinton, her family and her supporters?

Once again, it is completely acceptable to criticize the ideas, policies and actions of our politicians.  I do it all the time, and we need to hold all of our politicians to the same standards no matter if they are on “our team” or not.

But there is a world of difference between being critical of someone’s ideas and hating that individual.

I understand that it can be very difficult to love someone when they are contributing to the destruction of our nation, our way of life and everything that previous generations worked so hard to build.  But if we ever want to have any hope of turning things around, that is what we must learn to do.

Hatred never rescued anyone from the darkness, but love changes hearts on a daily basis.

Sadly, political hatred is just one of the forms of hatred that is rapidly growing in our society today.  We are being divided in just about every way that you can possibly imagine, and those fueling these divisions seem to take great joy in doing so.

In particular, one form of hatred that greatly disgusts me is racism, but I see it constantly on the Internet.  Millions upon millions of Americans have decided that it is okay to hate someone because of the color of their skin, and I will never understand that.  Countless others spew incredibly vile things about particular nations or nationalities, and that even includes some of the most prominent “religious leaders” in the United States today.

There is no place in America for any of this.  I wrote an entire chapter condemning racism in my most recent book, and I will continue to fight against racism wherever I find it.  No matter where they live or what they look like, every single person on this planet is of immense value.  We were all created for a reason, we all have something to contribute, and none of us is beyond redemption no matter how badly we have gotten off course.

For a moment I want you to imagine something.  In your mind, try to picture what this world would look like if we all greatly loved God and greatly loved one another.  I understand that it may be extremely difficult to imagine, because such a society would be so radically different from what we have today.

But that is what America ultimately needs.  We can sit around all day debating various potential solutions to the great problems that our nation is facing, but all of those potential solutions will turn out to be worthless if hatred continues to grow in our society.

I don’t recall ever ending an article with song lyrics, but today I am going to make an exception.  “Love Is The Answer” was originally written by Todd Rundgren, but it became a huge hit when it was later released in 1979 by England Dan and John Ford Coley.  Here are the lyrics, and I hope that they inspire you as much as they have inspired me…

Name your price
A ticket to paradise
I can’t stay here any more
And I’ve looked high and low
I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a short cut I’d have found it
But there’s no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why
Someday we all must die
We’re all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard
It’s such a lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely world
People turn their heads and walk on by
Tell me, is it worth just another try?

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer (let it shine)
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer (you know the answer is love)

Tell me, are we alive, or just a dying planet?
What are the chances?
Ask the man in your heart for the answers

And when you feel afraid, love one another
When you’ve lost your way, love one another
When you’re all alone, love one another
When you’re far from home, love one another
When you’re down and out, love one another
All your hope’s run out, love one another
When you need a friend, love one another
When you’re near the end, love
We got to love, we got to love one another

Light of the world, you got to shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all (know that love can save the day)
Set us free
Love is the answer
(Just give it, just one more chance)

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer (love, love, love)
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Russian Love Affair With Donald Trump Sours As The U.S. And Russia Move Toward War

NATO Seasparrow surface missile is launched from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush - Publc DomainIn recent months Donald Trump has been severely criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for not being sufficiently “anti-Russia”, but the truth is that the Trump administration has not been working hard enough to repair a relationship that is now souring very rapidly.  When Donald Trump won the election in November, the Russians celebrated tremendously, because they greatly preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton.  But just because Trump was victorious does not mean that our relationship with Russia will automatically improve.  Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin both have huge egos, and it is quite easy to imagine a scenario in which things between them go very, very badly.

In fact, we may already be starting to see such a scenario play out.  As you will see below, under President Trump U.S. troops are being deployed to a very sensitive area of Poland, and they are also being sent to key areas of Bulgaria and Romania.  That is not sitting well with the Russian government, but they were much more upset when Trump insisted that Russia must give the Crimea back to Ukraine.  This is something that the Russians would never do, and they were quite stunned that Trump would even suggest such a thing.

On the flip side, the Pentagon was quite annoyed when Russian fighter jets buzzed a U.S. warship in the Black Sea just a few days ago, and when a Russian spy ship set up shop just off the coast of Connecticut recently, President Trump told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that “the greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that’s 30 miles off shore right out of the water”.

When I first heard about that quote I thought it might be “fake news”, but it was actually reported by ABC News and a whole host of other prominent news outlets.

I know that Trump doesn’t have much of a filter, and that is a good thing when he is dealing with the mainstream media, but it can be a very, very bad thing for foreign policy.

Look, you may think that it is a good idea to blow a Russian spy ship out of the water, but you never, ever say such a thing out loud.

The Russians think like mobsters.  That means that they are quite paranoid, and it also means that they take whatever you say very, very seriously.

In a few days, most of us living in the United States will completely forget what Trump said about that Russian spy ship, but over in Russia they will remember this quote forever.

This is just how the Russians operate – they never forget, and they never, ever forgive.

When you are dealing with Russia, you have got to be very, very careful.  Unfortunately, being cautious is not one of Trump’s strengths, and the wild optimism about Trump in Russia is now being replaced by disappointment and anger

The new U.S. president has been in his role for just under a month, taking office in a transition that has been marked by chaos and missteps. And already, from the right of the political spectrum to the marginalized Russian left, a mixture of disappointment with the new U.S. president — who came into office promising to remake relations between the two countries — and a sense of vindication that Trump couldn’t be trusted after all has crept into Russian political chatter.

“Is Trump already out of fashion?” the independent Russian journal Russkaya Fabula asked on Wednesday — the same day that the Trump administration was dealing with the fallout stemming from revelations about National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. The site pointed to a small demonstration by hard-line nationalists this week, which picketed a major state-run news outlet and demanded the end of the “cult of Trump” in Russian media.

And in a sign of how far things have already deteriorated, Putin has ordered state media over in Russia to cut back on their coverage of Trump

The Kremlin ordered state media to cut back on their fawning coverage of President Donald Trump, reflecting a growing concern among senior Russian officials that the new US administration will be less friendly than first thought, three people familiar with the matter said.

Just before Trump took office, Barack Obama aggressively moved U.S. troops toward the Russian border, and I highly criticized him for that.

So now that Trump is doing the exact same thing, I have to be critical of him as well.  Somebody needs to tell Trump that stationing 1,000 U.S. troops in northeastern Poland is not going to help our relationship with Putin…

The US Army’s Europe headquarters located in Wiesbaden, Germany announced late Saturday that 1,000 US troops and their vehicles would be sent to northeastern Poland at the end of March.

The unit – part of 4,000 US troops being deployed in rotation along NATO’s eastern flank  under its “Atlantic Resolve” mission – will be located at Orzysz.

That particular Polish city is less than 90 miles from the extremely sensitive Russian city of Kaliningrad.

If I was Trump, this is something that I would not have done.

At this point, the Russians are not quite sure what to make of Trump.  In fact, they have even gone so far as to prepare a “psychological dossier” on him to help Putin prepare for his first meeting with Trump…

A dossier on Donald Trump’s psychological makeup is being prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser.

Unfortunately, Trump tends to listen to those in his immediate vicinity, and in Washington he is surrounded by war hawks that absolutely hate Russia.  The following comes from Pat Buchanan

The anti-Putin paranoia here is astonishing.

That he is a killer, a KGB thug, a murderer, is part of the daily rant of John McCain. At the Munich Security Conference this last weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham promised, “2017 is going to be a year of kicking Russia in the a– in Congress.”

Members of Congress such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham are playing a very dangerous game.

It is okay to be critical of Russia, but if you are constantly making inflammatory statements all the time that is just going to push us toward war.

And as I explained in my latest book, we do not want a war with Russia.

For years, the Russian military has been laser-focused on preparing for a war with the United States, while at the same time the U.S. military has been primarily focused on fighting wars in the Middle East.

So the Russians have been working very hard to upgrade their strategic nuclear arsenal, and at this point their arsenal is far superior to ours.  The following comes from an article that I came across earlier today

Russia is constantly improving its nuclear deterrence and is very close to deploying new technologically-advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles which can defeat any US missile defense systems, a Russian deputy prime minister said in an interview.

“These weapons will soon appear in our armed forces,” Dmitry Rogozin told Rossiya-1 TV on Sunday. While not naming the new ICBM, the deputy PM in charge of the defense industry said the missile will have the capacity to penetrate any American air defenses.

“These weapons are able to clear the United States’ missile defense both of today and of tomorrow – and even of the day after tomorrow,” Rogozin said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to rely on weapons systems that were developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Russians are a very dangerous foe, and it is in our national interest to try to have a positive relationship with them.

There are going to be times when we strongly disagree with what the Russians are doing, but our interactions with them should always be focused on trying to avoid a nuclear conflict.

So yes, we should let the Russians know when we are upset about something, but constantly making provocative and incendiary statements is a recipe for disaster.

Hopefully our leaders will start to realize this very soon, because right now our relationship with Russia is deteriorating very rapidly.

Are Trolls Turning The Internet Into A Festival Of Hate?

Love Hate - Public DomainHave you noticed that people say some of the most hateful things imaginable on the Internet?  Earlier today, I came across a Time Magazine article entitled “How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet“, and it made me reflect on my own experience as the publisher of a number of prominent websites.  Over the years, I have often gotten to see what is really going on in some of the darkest hearts in our society.  There are people that come to my websites that somehow think that making crude sexual remarks about the wives and children of people that they have never met is perfectly acceptable behavior.  There are others that say incredibly vile things about people that have a different skin color than they do, and some people have a hatred for Christians and the Christian faith that is absolutely frightening.  I can’t understand why anyone would want to be like that, but apparently this kind of behavior is very widespread.  In fact, one Pew Research Center survey discovered that 70 percent of all 18-to-24-year-olds who use the Internet have experienced harassment at some point.

Sadly, the truth is that the relative anonymity of the Internet allows people to reveal what is really in their hearts.  For some people, the Internet magnifies the kindness and goodness that is in their hearts, but for others it does the exact opposite.  From the safety of their own homes, they endlessly spew speech that is so abusive that it is hard to imagine that the person spewing it is actually human.

These people are commonly known as “trolls”, and the following is how the Time Magazine article that I mentioned above describes these trolls

Psychologists call this the online disinhibition effect, in which factors like anonymity, invisibility, a lack of authority and not communicating in real time strip away the mores society spent millennia building. And it’s seeping from our smartphones into every aspect of our lives.

The people who relish this online freedom are called trolls, a term that originally came from a fishing method online thieves use to find victims. It quickly morphed to refer to the monsters who hide in darkness and threaten people. Internet trolls have a manifesto of sorts, which states they are doing it for the “lulz,” or laughs. What trolls do for the lulz ranges from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats.

Whatever happened to treating other people the way that you would like to be treated?

When did the Golden Rule go out of style?

As our society becomes more evil, hearts all over the country are growing cold, and one of the results is that the Internet is being transformed into a festival of hatred.  The same Time Magazine article detailed some particularly disturbing examples of troll hate

They’ve been steadily upping their game. In 2011, trolls descended on Facebook memorial pages of recently deceased users to mock their deaths. In 2012, after feminist Anita Sarkeesian started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of YouTube videos chronicling misogyny in video games, she received bomb threats at speaking engagements, doxxing threats, rape threats and an unwanted starring role in a video game called Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian. In June of this year, Jonathan Weisman, the deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, quit Twitter, on which he had nearly 35,000 followers, after a barrage of anti-Semitic messages. At the end of July, feminist writer Jessica Valenti said she was leaving social media after receiving a rape threat against her daughter, who is 5 years old.

On a very basic level, the Internet allows people to reveal who they really are.  Unfortunately, we are finding out that a lot of us are truly vile human beings.  Some time ago, a team of Canadian researchers did some research on Internet trolls, and what they found out was quite alarming

They conducted two online studies with over 1,200 people, giving personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their Internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.

They found that Dark Tetrad scores were highest among people who said trolling was their favorite Internet activity.

It should be no surprise that our society is crawling with narcissists, psychopaths and sadists.  For decades we have been pushing God out of every corner of public life, and as a result we have seen a moral decline that is absolutely unprecedented in our history.

So what can be done?

Is there a way that the trolls can be stopped?

Some big websites have stepped up their efforts to ban people that are advocating hatred and violence.  For instance, the New York Times says that Twitter just suspended 235,000 accounts “that promoted terrorism”…

Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism over the last six months, as part of a continuing effort to keep people from using the social network for extremist causes, the company said Thursday.

“The world has witnessed a further wave of deadly, abhorrent terror attacks across the globe,” Twitter said in a statement. “We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform.”

And I definitely applaud Twitter for that.

But where does the censorship stop?  All too often, the definition of “extremists” goes far beyond violent terrorists.

Just consider what is happening during this campaign season.  Virtually all of the big tech companies have engaged in some form of “pro-Trump censorship”, and this was brilliantly detailed in a recent piece by Liz Crokin.  The following is a short excerpt…

I began looking into how strong the bias and censorship runs in these forums after I did an interview on the pro-Trump podcast, MAGAPod. The show’s host, Mark Hammond, was disappointed Apple wouldn’t run his show without an “explicit” warning. Hammond’s podcast didn’t contain content that would be deemed explicit under Apple’s policy, and most other shows in the News & Politics category aren’t labeled as such.

On June 18, Hammond talked to Sandra, a representative from Apple. She explained that, since the description of his show is pro-Trump, his show is explicit in nature—because the subject matter is Donald Trump. So, an Apple employee concluded the Republican presidential candidate is explicit.

iTunes has dozens of podcasts discussing Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler—none of which is marked explicit.

And of course it probably won’t surprise you to learn that Apple CEO Tim Cook is a huge Hillary Clinton supporter and recently hosted a $50,000 per plate fundraiser for her campaign.

So where do we draw the line?

On my websites, I try to let everyone have their say as much as possible.  I very much believe in the “marketplace of ideas”, and I very much believe that the interaction between light and darkness can produce some extraordinary results.

But that also means that I often allow people to say things that I find highly offensive.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do know that the problem is growing.  As our society continues to come apart at the seams, the hatred on the Internet will continue to increase.

The Internet is used for all sorts of horrible things, but it can also be used to do great things as well.  As the darkness rises, I would encourage all of us to choose to be lights.

In a world filled with hate, love is desperately needed.

So instead of responding to hate with even more hate, let us seek to become people of great faith, great hope and great love.

War Is Coming And The Global Financial Situation Is A Lot Worse Than You May Think

city skyscrapers clock time stopwatch seconds - public domainOn the surface, things seem pretty quiet in mid-July 2016.  The biggest news stories are about the speculation surrounding Donald Trump’s choice of running mate, the stock market in the U.S. keeps setting new all-time record highs, and the media seems completely obsessed with Taylor Swift’s love life.  But underneath the surface, it is a very different story.  As you will see below, the conditions for a “perfect storm” are coming together very rapidly, and the rest of 2016 promises to be much more chaotic than what we have seen so far.

Let’s start with China.  On Tuesday, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.  The Chinese government announced ahead of time that they do not recognize the jurisdiction of the tribunal, and they have absolutely no intention of abiding by the ruling.  In fact, China is becoming even more defiant in the aftermath of this ruling.  We aren’t hearing much about it in the U.S. media, but according to international news reports Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army “to prepare for combat” with the United States if the Obama administration presses China to abandon the islands that they are currently occupying in the South China Sea…

“Chinese president Xi Jinping has reportedly ordered the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for combat,” reports Arirang.com. “U.S.-based Boxun News said Tuesday that the instruction was given in case the United States takes provocative action in the waters once the ruling is made.”

A U.S. aircraft carrier and fighter jets were already sent to the region in anticipation of the ruling, with the Chinese Navy also carrying out exercises near the disputed Paracel islands.

Last October, China said it was “not frightened” to fight a war with the U.S. following an incident where the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen violated the 12-nautical mile zone China claims around Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago.

Meanwhile, the relationship between the United States and Russia continues to go from bad to worse.  The installation of a missile defense system in Romania is just the latest incident that has the Russians absolutely steaming, and during a public appearance on June 17th Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to get western reporters to understand that the world is being pulled toward war…

“We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.

And of course the Russians have been feverishly updating and modernizing their military in preparation for a potential future conflict with the United States.  Just today we learned that the Russians are working to develop a hypersonic strategic bomber that is going to have the capability of striking targets with nuclear warheads from outer space.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not feel a similar sense of urgency.  The size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has declined by about 95 percent since the peak of the Cold War, and many of our installations are still actually using rotary phones and the kind of 8 inch floppy disks for computers that were widely used back in the 1970s.

But I don’t expect war with China or Russia to erupt by the end of 2016.  Of much more immediate concern is what is going on in the Middle East.  The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, but it is Israel that could soon be the center of attention.

Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration wanted to revive the peace process in the Middle East before Obama left office, and that a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel and set the parameters for a Palestinian state was still definitely on the table…

The White House is working on plans for reviving long-stalled Middle East negotiations before President Barack Obama leaves office, including a possible United Nations Security Council resolution that would outline steps toward a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, according to senior U.S. officials.

And just this week, the Washington Post reported that there were renewed “rumblings” about just such a resolution…

Israel is facing a restive European Union, which is backing a French initiative that seeks to outline a future peace deal by year’s end that would probably include a call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the creation of a Palestinian state. There are also rumblings that the U.N. Security Council might again hear resolutions about the conflict.

For years, Barack Obama has stressed the need for a Palestinian state, and now that his second term is drawing to a close he certainly realizes that this is his last chance to take action at the United Nations.  If he is going to pull the trigger and support a UN resolution formally establishing a Palestinian state, it will almost certainly happen before the election in November.  So over the coming months we will be watching these developments very carefully.

And it is interesting to note that there is an organization called “Americans For Peace Now” that is collecting signatures and strongly urging Obama to support a UN resolution of this nature.  The following comes from their official website

Now is the time for real leadership that can revive and re-accredit the two-state solution as President Obama enters his final months in office. And he can do this – he can lay the groundwork for a two-state agreement in the future by supporting an Israeli-Palestinian two-state resolution in the United Nations Security Council.

Such a resolution would restore U.S. leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. It would preserve the now-foundering two-state outcome. And it would be a gift to the next president, leaving her or him constructive options for consequential actions in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, in place of the ever-worsening, politically stalemated status quo there is today.

Sadly, a UN resolution that divides the land of Israel and that formally establishes a Palestinian state would not bring lasting peace.  Instead, it would be the biggest mistake of the Obama era, and it would set the stage for a major war between Israel and her neighbors.  This is something that I discussed during a recent televised appearance down at Morningside that you can watch right here

At the same time all of this is going on, the global economic crisis continues to escalate.  Even though U.S. financial markets are in great shape at the moment, the same cannot be said for much of the rest of the world.

Just look at the country that is hosting the Olympics this summer.  Brazil is mired in the worst economic downturn that it has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and Rio de Janeiro’s governor has declared “a state of financial emergency“.

Next door, the Venezuelan economy has completely collapsed, and some people have become so desperate that they are actually hunting cats, dogs and pigeons for food.

Elsewhere, China is experiencing the worst economic downturn that they have seen in decades, the Japanese are still trying to find the end of their “lost decade”, and the banking crisis in Europe is getting worse with each passing month.

In quite a few articles recently, I have discussed the ongoing implosion of the biggest and most important bank in Germany.  But I am certainly not the only one warning about this.  In one of his recent articles, Simon Black also commented on the turmoil at “the most dangerous bank in Europe”…

Well-capitalized banks are supposed to have double-digit capital levels while making low risk investments.

Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, has a capital level of less that 3% (just like Lehman), and an incredibly risky asset base that boasts notional derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP.

But of course Deutsche Bank isn’t getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media right now because of the stunning meltdown of banks in Italy, Spain and Greece.  Here is more from Simon Black

Italian banks are sitting on over 360 billion euros in bad loans right now and are in desperate need of a massive bailout.

IMF calculations show that Italian banks’ capital levels are among the lowest in the world, just ahead of Bangladesh.

And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of problems in other banking jurisdictions.

Spanish banks have been scrambling to raise billions in capital to cover persistent losses that still haven’t healed from the last crisis.

In Greece, over 35% of all loans in the banking system are classified as “non-performing”.

Even though U.S. stocks are doing well for the moment, the truth is that trillions of dollars of stock market wealth has been lost globally since this time last year.  If you are not familiar with what has been going on around the rest of the planet, this may come as a surprise to you.  During my recent appearance at Morningside, I shared some very startling charts which show how dramatically global markets have shifted over the past 12 months.  You can view the segment in which I shared these charts right here

I would really like it if the rest of 2016 was as quiet and peaceful as the past couple of days have been.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that is going to be the case at all.

The storm clouds are rising and the conditions for a “perfect storm” are brewing.  Sadly, most people are not going to understand what is happening until it is far too late.

8 Reasons Why It Is So Hard To Find Someone Decent To Marry

Love And Marriage - Public DomainIt is not easy to be single in America today. If you are a man, it can be exceedingly difficult to find a good woman to marry. If you are a woman, it is literally a miracle if you can find a good man to marry. So is it just our imaginations, or has the process of finding a mate become much more challenging in recent years? Well, it is a fact that fewer people are getting married these days. For the first time in our history, there are more single adults in our country than married adults, and Time Magazine says that 25 percent of Millennials will never get married even once in their entire lifetimes. And of course those that do get married are taking far longer to do so than previous generations. Just recently, I wrote about how the average American woman is getting married 7.0 years later than she did in 1956, and the average American man is getting married 6.7 years later than he did back at that time.

So why is this happening?

Why has finding love become so challenging?

Below, I would like to share 8 reasons why it has become so hard to find someone decent to marry…

#1 The Me-Centered Society

We live in a “me-centered” society in which tens of millions of us are literally in love with ourselves. When pleasing self becomes the highest priority, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for the kind of self-sacrificial love that marriage requires. An astounding 24 billion “selfies” were uploaded to Google last year, and that says a whole lot about where we are at as a nation. So many of us are inclined to stay with our “partners” for only as long as they make us happy, and the instant that ends many of us wish to dispose of them. And that is a lot easier to do if you are “living together” instead of being legally married.

#2 It Has Become Much More Difficult To Find Someone With Good Values

The moral collapse of America is something that I write about extensively.  As a society, we have rejected the values of previous generations, and today most people generally do whatever they feel like doing. But this can become a major problem when you are looking for someone “that shares your values” to get married to. According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of all Americans that belong to the “Silent Generation” attend religious services weekly, but less than 30 percent of all Millennials do.  With each passing generation, we have become less Christian, less “conservative”, and less moral.  Unfortunately for young single adults, these trends do not seem likely to change in a major way any time soon.

#3 A Lot Of Young Adults Are Obsessed With Money And Materialism

A lot of single people these days will not date someone unless that individual has “good prospects” for the future. In fact, one survey found that 75 percent of American women would not date an unemployed man. Of course it is entirely reasonable to want a spouse that will work hard, but many young people are taking their obsession with materialism to ridiculous extremes.

I want to share with you what is going on in China these days, but similar scenes are playing out all across the rest of the world as well…

Parents often provide their male children with a home or car to make them appear more attractive. Women are often encouraged to “marry up” and not to settle for anyone who can’t provide material benefits.

A woman from the southwestern city of Chengdu rejected her boyfriend’s flash mob proposal last December, when she saw the ring and thought the diamond was too small.

She later told a friend that the man had agreed to “buy me a diamond ring as large as one carat,” Soho News reported.

It was reminiscent of a famous line from a 2010 Chinese dating show, when a contestant said, “I would rather cry in the back of a BMW than smile on the back of a bicycle.”

#4 A Lot Of Young Men Of Marriage Age Have Turned Into Bums

Have you noticed that a lot of young men in their twenties and thirties would rather spend all day watching television and playing video games than doing something constructive?

And record numbers of them have moved back home with no apparent intention of moving out. Today, 32 percent of all American Millennials are living at home with Mommy and Daddy. In some cases this is being done out of necessity because there aren’t enough good jobs, but in other cases it is simply pure laziness.

So what are quality young women supposed to do?

Are they supposed to actually consider these unambitious young men that seem perfectly content to indefinitely camp out in the basements of the homes that they were raised in?

#5 Sexual Immorality Is Absolutely Rampant

If you are looking for someone sexually pure to get married to, good luck with that. Everywhere you look in our sexually-hypercharged society, people are behaving like animals.

This is even happening in the wealthiest areas of our nation. The following is an excerpt from a recent Vanity Fair article about what is going on in the Hamptons right now…

Cops put the kibosh on a burlesque party at East Hampton’s Maidstone hotel. A professional orgy-planning outfit is hosting its first bacchanal later in June. Wednesday Martin, the author of Primates of Park Avenue, warns that married, heterosexual women in the Hamptons are conducting steamy affairs with their female fitness instructors. “Female flexuality,” she calls it. A randy rabbi, who blazed through five ex-wives, finally got the ax after running around town with a former flight attendant who was decades his junior. And a Southampton schools superintendent was investigated after one of his X-rated selfies made the rounds on campus.

The CDC says that there are 20 million new STD cases in America each year, and our young people are being corrupted at younger and younger ages. In fact, I just came across a headline earlier today about a “sexy school teacher” that got pregnant by a 13-year-old boy

The Aldine Independent School District Middle School teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student turned herself in to Montgomery County police Wednesday after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Prosecutors said Alexandria Vera had a sexual relationship with one of her students and also got pregnant by the eighth-grader.

#6 An Increasing Percentage Of Our Young People Don’t Even Want Someone Of The Opposite Sex

According to the Daily Mail, the percentage of men and the percentage of women that have had sexual relations with a member of the same sex has approximately doubled since 1990…

Researchers from San Diego State University, Florida Atlantic University and Widener University in Pennsylvania, analysed data from the General Social Survey – a nationally representative survey of more than 30,000 adults that has asked Americans about their attitudes toward same-sex sexual behaviour since 1973 and about sexual partners since 1989.

They found that between 1990 and 2014, the percentage of men who reported having had sex with at least one man increased from 4.5 percent to 8.2 percent.

In the same time-frame, the number of women reporting having had sex with at least one woman increased from 3.6 percent to 8.7 percent.

#7 Sexual Immorality Is Running Rampant Even In The Church

Did you know that the rate of teen pregnancy is about the same for Christians in America as it is for society as a whole?

Very few of our churches like to talk about sin, commandments, holiness or eternal judgment anymore, and as a result many people in the church are going just as wild as people in the world.

Let me share with you one example that comes from an article authored by Dr. Michael Brown

Well, during an I Love New York celebration at a recent women’s conference hosted by Hillsong in New York City, a Hillsong youth pastor was onstage, dressed up as the Naked Cowboy, meaning that he too was wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, briefs and a guitar.

But hey, after all, what’s wrong with that? We don’t want to get religious now, do we? What’s wrong with a youth pastor standing onstage in his underwear during a women’s conference? (Sarcasm fully intended.)

#8 A Large Percentage Of Our Young People Are Not Marriage Material Because They Are Addicts

You definitely do not want to marry an addict. In America today, millions of young people are addicted to alcohol, millions are addicted to illegal drugs, and millions are addicted to legal drugs.

But for this piece, I want to talk about pornography addiction in particular. As I have mentioned before, there are more than four million adult websites on the Internet, and collectively they receive more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

According to a recent Charisma article, 68 percent of all Christian men watch pornography on a regular basis, so even if you go to church “to find a man”, there is still a very good chance that you could be getting an addict.

And of course all of these sick images are resulting in an explosion of very bizarre “alternative lifestyles” in America including “puppy play”, “ecosexuality” and “polyamory”. Everything about sex, marriage and relationships is literally being turned upside down, and the United States will never be the same from this point forward.

Before I finish this article, I want to leave you with one final thought…

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that we would put men on the moon.

In May 2016, Barack Obama announced that we would put men in women’s restrooms.

The very foundations of our society are being systematically destroyed, and yet very few people seem upset about this.

If we continue going down this path, is there any hope for the future of our nation?

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

Trump Rallies Reveal Increased Tensions Among Americans As This Nation Plunges Toward Civil Unrest

Anti-Trump Protesters In Chicago - Photo by nathanmac87America is coming apart at the seams, and Trump rallies have become the latest flashpoint for the rising tide of civil unrest that is sweeping the nation.  For years, I have been writing about the increasing levels of anger and frustration in this country, but now they are reaching a fever pitch.  And rather than channeling all of our anger and frustration into solving our problems, we have allowed ourselves to become deeply divided and many Americans seem to be taking glee in fighting with one another.  Instead of learning to hate one another, we should be learning how to love one another.  Unfortunately, America has chosen another path, and 2016 is very rapidly starting to look very much like the chaotic political year of 1968.  No matter how the rest of this election season plays out, it appears that we have entered a time of violence, chaos, civil unrest and greatly increased tension among Americans.

On Friday, thousands of radical leftists showed up at a planned Trump rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago with the express purpose of disrupting it.  Fortunately Donald Trump cancelled the rally, because there was a very real possibility that mass violence could have erupted.  The following description of what happened comes from Wikipedia

On March 11, 2016, the Donald Trump presidential campaign canceled a planned rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), in Chicago, Illinois, citing “growing safety concerns” due to the presence of thousands of protesters in and outside of his rally[3]. Thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators responding to civic leaders’ and social media calls to shut the rally down had gathered outside the arena, and several hundred more filled seating areas within the UIC Pavilion, where the rally was to take place. When the Trump campaign announced that the rally would not take place, there was a great deal of shouting and a few small scuffles between Trump supporters and anti-Trump protestors.

The Daily Caller has identified three groups that were heavily involved in organizing the planned disruption of the Trump rally in Chicago.  Those three groups are ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Chicago, the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Rights Reform, and La Raza Chicago.

In addition, MoveOn.org also appears to have been involved in what took place in Chicago.  The following comes from Infowars

“Mr. Trump and the Republican leaders who support him and his hate-filled rhetoric should be on notice after tonight’s events,” the George Soros funded MoveOn web page states. “To all of those who took to the streets of Chicago, we say thank you for standing up and saying enough is enough. To Donald Trump, and the GOP, we say, welcome to the general election.”

Following the cancelled rally in Chicago, a radical leftist protester named Thomas Dimassimo attempted to storm the stage while Trump was speaking at an event in Dayton, Ohio.  This YouTube video contains footage of that chilling moment…

Thomas Dimassimo has been identified as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and even though his Twitter account has now been erased, this screenshot was taken while it was still up…

Marlon Bando Tweet

There was also another tweet where he said that his goal was “martrydom“.  I have seen some news reports that link Dimassimo to ISIS, but those reports are being disputed.  Either way, the fact that the Secret Service had to intervene to protect Trump from this lunatic is more than just a little bit alarming.

Following the incident in Dayton, a Trump rally in Kansas City was disrupted more than a dozen times by political agitators.  At one point, police actually used pepper spray on some of the protesters.

Scenes such as these are starting to cause many people to make direct comparisons between 2016 and 1968.

And if the chaos is this bad already, what will things look like during the general election?

Candidates on all sides should be calling for peace and calm, but instead they are pointing fingers at one another.

For example, Hillary Clinton is putting the full blame for the unrest on Donald Trump

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said this weekend that Trump is guilty of “political arson,” adding that “the ugly, divisive rhetoric we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement of violence and aggression is wrong, and it’s dangerous,” The New York Times reported.

And Donald Trump is placing the blame at the feet of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

“You had professional disruptors, thousands of them, from Sanders and to a smaller extent, Hillary (Clinton),” he said of a Friday night event in Chicago that Trump canceled after chaos broke out there.

Unfortunately, most Americans have absolutely no idea where all of this is leading.

A house that is divided will fall, and America is now more divided than at any other time in my entire lifetime.

If there was a single set of values or principles that united us, it would be possible for us to come together as a nation and solve our problems.  But there isn’t.  We have rejected the values and the principles of our founders, and these days Americans are being pulled in dozens of different directions.  In fact, if you ask 100 different Americans what we need to do to get our country back on the right track you are probably going to get 100 different answers.

The chaos and violence around our political process is going to get a lot worse than this.  And we are going to see more communities erupt just like Ferguson and Baltimore did.

In the end, Americans are going to kill Americans, our cities are going to burn, and we are going to experience a period of governmental shaking unlike anything that we have ever seen before.

All of this could have been avoided if we could have simply learned to love one another.  But instead, we have allowed ourselves to be divided in just about every way imaginable, and the mainstream media is constantly tossing more fuel on the fire.

This isn’t about Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton or any other politician.  Rather, this is about a once great country that is deeply, deeply divided and that is coming apart at the seams right before our very eyes.

May God have mercy on the late, great United States of America.

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