Have 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.
On 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“.
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.
It 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.
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?
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.*
America 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. 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…
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.
“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.
Are you ready for some inspirational stories that will make your heart jump for joy? These days, it is so easy to get down. Both individually and as a nation, we have so many problems and it often seems like things just keep getting worse. For example, this week we learned that pending home sales in the United States just dropped by the most in 3 years and that they have now been declining for 8 months in a row. And without a doubt, incredibly challenging times are on the horizon. In response, a lot of people are going to choose to complain bitterly and curse the darkness. Others are going to respond with fear and will try to hide from the world as much as they can. But I don’t think that either of those approaches is a good way to react to the problems that we will be facing. Rather, I believe that the right choice is to be a light in the darkness and to try to make a difference. As you will see below, there are many ways that this can be done. You don’t have to be famous, or run for political office, or have a million dollars. All that it takes is a willingness to reach out and love the one in front of you. If all of us decided to do what we could to truly make a difference in the life of one other person, our nation would be a far better place. The following are 5 people who made a conscious decision to shine a light in the darkness…
Kelly Nixon Mayr
It takes a lot of love and compassion to adopt a child into your own home. When that child has special needs, it can be especially challenging. That is why the story of Kelly Nixon Mayr is so inspiring. Along with her husband, she has made a lifestyle out of helping children with special needs…
Kelly Nixon Mayr of Colorado has birthed five children, adopted one troubled teen and fostered several special-needs infants. On Tuesday, she and husband Paul announced, through their family blog, that they had finalized their adoption of Angie, a 2-year-old who was born drug-exposed and clubfooted, whom they had fostered on and off since she was 1.
Now they are preparing for their next adoption—of Rita, an 8-year-old Eastern European orphan with arthrogryposis (a rare syndrome causing unbendable joints) and a case of post-traumatic stress disorder.
But Nixon Mayr, 45, who speaks about her close-knit brood with equal parts passion and humor, insists that she and her husband are not extraordinary.
“I yell at my kids, and I think one might have had Goldfish for breakfast the other day,” she tells Yahoo Shine with a laugh. “The only thing we are is willing.”
It takes a lot of money to raise those children. Kelly and her husband could have used that money on a larger house, luxury cars and expensive vacations. But instead, they willingly chose to live their lives in service to others.
Younger Americans are capable of feats of great compassion as well. For example, a YouTube personality known as “Rahat” could have easily ignored the homeless man that he would often see at the local shopping mall. But instead, he decided to do something about it…
On March 4, a YouTube magician and prankster name Rahat set aside his mischievous pranks to do something really kind for a homeless man he’d often seen hanging around his shopping mall.
He heard that the man named Eric was a “nice and respectable guy,” so he gave him a lottery ticket telling him it was a winner and that he should come to the shop and claim his prize. The store clerk was privy to the stunt and pretended the ticket was indeed a winner and handed over $1,000 in cash to the homeless gentleman.
Rahat, who had secretly given the clerk the cash to give to Eric recorded a video of how excited Eric was to “win” the money.
And thanks to Rahat’s YouTube video and fundraising efforts, a total of $42,000 has been raised for that homeless man, and his future is looking bright for the first time in a very long while.
Sometimes it is an animal that desperately needs some love and compassion. In this economic environment, there are a lot of people that are abandoning their pets, and there are a lot of homeless dogs and cats that are in a tremendous amount of pain right now.
She ended up naming the pit bull Gideon. The dog was in such bad shape that he actually trembled at the sight of humans.
Doctors also discovered that Gideon was suffering from multiple severe bacterial and highly contagious fungal infections. He was put in quarantine.
As you watch the video of the transformation of this dog that I have posted below, you might just find yourself getting choked up over it…
Mark A. Mayo
How many of you would be willing to give your life so that someone else could live?
That is precisely what Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark A. Mayo recently did. It is this kind of heroism that America desperately needs more of…
Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark A. Mayo, 24, was killed during a shooting incident at Naval Station Norfolk Monday. Mayo was assigned to Naval Security Forces, Naval Station Norfolk.
Norfolk Naval Base commander Robert Clark said the young sailor sacrificed himself to save others.
“It was incredibly extraordinary,” says Clark.
The shooting happened around 11:20pm Monday night at Pier 1 onboard the USS Mahan.
Mark Mayo was protecting a sailor who first confronted a civilian intruder. That man, a truck driver, tried to board the destroyer Mahan. He disarmed the watch stander and then turned the watch stander’s gun at Mayo.
“He jumped into the way between the gunman and the petty officer of the watch. She fell to the ground. He covered her and he basically gave his life for hers,” says Clark.
“Doing that, that’s something he would do,” says Virgil Savage, a fellow sailor and close friend of Mayo. “He always stood up for the little guy.”
You can read more about Mayo’s incredible act of bravery right here.
Dan And Linda Catlin
It takes a very special individual to commit your entire life to serving the homeless.
But that is exactly what Pastor Dan Catlin and his wife Linda have been doing for many years.
The following is an excerpt from a profile of the Messiah’s Branch homeless ministry in Wichita, Kansas that was written by Jessiqua Wittman…
Messiah’s Branch is a family-owned homeless ministry. Since the year 2000, Dan and Linda Catlin have been traveling an hour, at least twice a week, to help the homeless in the city of Wichita, Kansas.
When I was a teenager (before we were homeless ourselves), my family had the privilege of working with this family.
We’d arrive at the mission building (a renovated bar), around 12:30 on Tuesdays and Fridays. The homeless people of the city, usually about 50 to 70 of them, would already be trickling into the area. There are a lot more homeless people than that in Wichita. Those were just the people from the surrounding area that could walk there, and had no other ministry that they could go for food. Most churches (besides Messiah’s Branch) require identification before they feed people off the street, and oftentimes homeless people have lost their identification long ago, whether because of drugs, mugging, or police raids (many of the police in Wichita are very hostile towards homeless people).
When you serve the homeless, there are no vacations. It is just a relentless battle against human pain and suffering. To do this year after year, you have got to be driven by compassion…
Sister Linda can hold a knife and cut a potato at the same time, in the same hand! The whole time seasoning her stew and chatting and laughing with a young homeless couple that are hanging around the kitchen door, hungry for more than just food.
And Pastor Dan? What does he do? He takes some people to doctor’s appointments, some to the hospital. Sometimes he buys shoes, or makes sure they find a coat that will fit just right. The way I remember him most is being the resident jar-opener.
In the wintertime, when it reaches a certain temperature, Pastor Dan and Sister Linda open up the building full time. There are so many people that come, they lay them all side-by-side in rows on the floor. For a week sometimes, it’s like this.
I have personally talked to Pastor Dan and I know how hard he has worked to help the homeless of Wichita for so many years.
Whatever you may think about the George Zimmerman trial, the truth is that it is yet another example that shows very clearly how divided America is at this point. I was hesitant to write anything about the Zimmerman trial today, because it seems like the more people talk about it the more divided we become. But we need to have some honest discussions about these issues, because all of this division threatens to literally tear this nation apart. If we do not learn how to love one another and forgive one another, America is not going to have any sort of a future. After all this time, the people of the United States should have been able to get beyond racial hatred. Instead, it appears to be growing with each passing day. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate African-American people. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Hispanic-American people. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Asian-American people. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate white people. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Jewish people. All of this hatred is evil, and it is eating away at our nation like cancer. The problems that our country is facing are immense, and we are never going to have any hope of solving them until we can forgive one another and start to honestly love one another.
When groups of Americans begin to label other groups of Americans that don’t look like them as “the enemy”, we all lose.
We should refuse to listen to those that would attempt to divide us and pit us against one another. We must find a way to come together and overcome all of the bitterness and resentment that is out there. Those that harbor hatred in their hearts are not doing any good and they are slowly but surely destroying themselves.
We need to start understanding that every human life is of great value. I doesn’t matter what someone looks like or where they are from. The following is a direct quote from one of our most important founding documents, the Declaration of Independence…
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Indeed, we are all greatly loved and greatly valued by our Creator. Those that choose to hate a particular group of people are choosing to come against the Creator of us all.
Almost every single day there are people that come to my websites that post comments expressing dislike for one particular group of people or another. And just about wherever you go on the Internet these days, you can see the hatred rising. If this continues, what is America going to look like in a few years?
It seems like almost everyone in America has an opinion about how the Zimmerman trial should have ended. And that is okay. But no matter how you feel about it, you should not be setting fires, burning American flags, smashing store windows or vandalizing police vehicles. You should not be trying to convince us all that one group or another is “sub-human” or that one group or another is “superior”. And you should not be attempting to claim that “the Jews” are the root cause of all of our problems.
If you hate a particular group of people, you are part of the problem.
The United States is clearly in an advanced state of decline. Many people around the world (and even inside America) rejoice at this, but not me. I mourn for the country that I was born in and that I still love. Yes, the United States has never been perfect, but the Republic that our Founding Fathers started truly has been a light to the rest of the world in a lot of ways over the centuries. Unfortunately, our foundations are badly rotting and our nation is collapsing all around us. Many Americans like to think that the United States is greater today than it has ever been before, but the truth is that America is like a patient that has stage 4 cancer that has spread to almost every area of the body. Our nation is being destroyed in thousands of different ways, and more distressing news emerges with each passing day. This article will mainly focus on the economic decline of America, but much could also be said about our social, political, moral and spiritual decline as well. We are simply not the same country that we used to be. Americans are proud, selfish, greedy, arrogant, ungrateful, treacherous and completely addicted to entertainment and pleasure. Our country is literally falling apart all around us, but most Americans are so plugged into entertainment that they can’t even be bothered to notice what is happening. Most Americans seem to assume that we will always have endless prosperity just because of who we are, but unfortunately that simply is not true. We inherited the greatest economic machine the world has ever seen and we have wrecked it, and now a very painful day of reckoning is approaching. But most people will not understand until it is too late.
The following are 34 signs that America is in decline…
#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001. That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011. That is not just a decline – that is a freefall. Just check out the chart in this article.
#2 According to The Economist, the United States was the best place in the world to be born into back in 1988. Today, the United States is only tied for 16th place.
#3 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.
#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures in coming months.
#5 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.
#6 America once had the greatest manufacturing cities on the face of the earth. Now many of our formerly great manufacturing cities have degenerated into festering hellholes. For example, the city of Detroit is on the verge of financial collapse, and one state lawmaker is now saying that “dissolving Detroit” should be looked at as an option.
#7 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.
#10 Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.
#11 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.
#12 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#13 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001. During 2010, manufacturing facilities were shutting down at the rate of 23 per day. How can anyone say that “things are getting better” when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?
#14 Back in early 2005, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was less than 2 dollars a gallon. During 2012, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been $3.63.
#15 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance. Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.
#16 As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center. Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.
#17 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
#18 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.
#19 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned. By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.
#20 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.
#24 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple. Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.
#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government. Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.
#26 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income. Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.
#27 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, 47.1 million Americans are on food stamps.
#29 As I wrote about the other day, according to one calculation the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
#30 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#33 According to a PBS report from earlier this year, U.S. households that make $13,000 or less per year spend 9 percent of their incomes on lottery tickets. Could that possibly be accurate? Are people really that foolish?
#34 As the U.S. economy has declined, the American people have been downing more antidepressants and other prescription drugs than ever before. In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.
So what are our “leaders” doing about all of this?
They just continue to insist that everything is “just fine”.
Sadly, the truth is that they live in a world that is very different from most of the rest of us.
When was the last time you got to take a 20 day vacation?
And most of our “leaders” have no idea what it is like to struggle from month to month on a paycheck.
Overall, more than half of the members of Congress are millionaires. We are led by wealthy men who are serving the interests of other wealthy men.
But the problem with our system is not limited to the president and the members of Congress. The truth is that the political system in America has become a colossal beast that just continues to grow no matter who is in power. The political establishment of both parties is totally dependent on this beast, and they will continue to feed it and serve it because it has been very good to them. The following is from an outstanding article by Steve McCann…
The Republican and Democratic political establishments are made up of the following:
1) many current and nearly all retired national office holders whose livelihood and narcissistic demands depends upon fealty to Party and access to government largesse;
2) the majority of the media elite, including pundits, editors, writers and television news personalities based in Washington and New York whose proximity to power and access is vital to their continued standard of living;
3) academia, numerous think-tanks, so-called non-government organizations, and lobbyists who fasten onto those in the administration and Congress for employment, grants, favorable legislation and ego-gratification;
4) the reliable deep pocket political contributors and political consultants whose future is irrevocably tied to the political machinery of the Party; and
5) the crony capitalists, i.e. leaders of the corporate and financial community as well as unions whose entities are dependent on or subject to government oversight and/or benevolence .
Do you think that there is any chance that this insidious system will be uprooted any time soon?
Of course not.
We will continue on the same path that we are on right now and America will continue to decline.
Many will rejoice as America falls, but I will not.
I will mourn for a mighty Republic that has fallen and for a dream that has been lost.
In case you hadn’t noticed, the United States is a really weird place. Not that “weird” is always bad. Sometimes “weird” can keep life interesting. But without a doubt, the United States is one of the most unique nations in the history of the world. Some of the weird facts about the United States listed below may be difficult for you to believe. Others are likely to completely shock you. Hopefully there is a little something for everyone in this article, and hopefully you will learn some new things from reading it. I know that I certainly learned some new things as I wrote it. In general, everything tends to be larger in America. The people are larger, the cars are larger, the divorce rate is the highest on the planet and the U.S. government has piled up the largest debt in the history of the world. Whether America does something good or bad, it usually does it in a very “big” way. It is easy to love the United States and all the good that it has done, but it is also easy to be horrified by how far this nation has fallen and by the direction that this country is currently headed. So where does America go from here? That is a very good question.
The following are 40 weird facts about the United States that are almost too crazy to believe….
#1 The highest point in the state of Florida is only 345 feet (115 yards) above sea level.
#2 Today, 66 percent of all Americans are considered to be overweight.
#40 It took from the founding of the nation until 1981 for the U.S. national debt to cross the one trillion dollar mark. Today, our national debt is well over 15 trillion dollars and we add more than a trillion dollars to our debt every single year.
Do you have any other weird facts that you think should be added to this list? Please feel free to leave a comment with your feedback below….