On January 27, 1838, a 28-year-old Abraham Lincoln made his famous Lyceum Address before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, in which he stated, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
It’s incredible how relevant the entire speech is to the present-day United States. I don’t want to gush too much about Lincoln’s wisdom, but it’s not an exaggeration to say I could write a hundred articles about the problems affecting our nation today and be able to quote the speech in every one of them. In it, he warns that the only real threat to the United States are the people within who disregard the values that define our nation and undermine the institutions put in place to defend those values. He warns that our decisions must be guided by reason, not emotion, or else we’ll allow demagogues and tyrants to take control of our government and destroy us, if not in a literal sense, then certainly an ideological one.
Emotions like anger and fear can cause us to make passionate decisions without considering the consequences they’ll have in the long run. When exploited properly, these emotions can even be used to make us willingly act against our own best interests. History is littered with stories of leaders who were able to gain immense power by convincing people there was a threat to their well-being that only a strong leader with unchecked power would be able to protect them from. It’s how men like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were able to transform democratic nations into fascist dictatorships; they were masters at using people’s emotions to control them.
While I highly doubt a leader like Hitler or Mussolini would ever rise to power in the United States, the methods they used to take power can still be used by our government to expand its authority. In fact, the government has been doing that very thing for decades, particularly when it comes to exploiting people’s emotions, and there’s no better example of this than the Patriot Act.
Americans were angry and terrified in the aftermath of 9/11. They wanted to make sure the people responsible for the attacks were brought to justice and, more importantly, that no attacks of that magnitude happened again. The government promised to do both of these things for us, the only requirement being that we allow it to expand its power at the expense of our own liberty and privacy. It seemed like a small price to pay at the time and many Americans were happy to make the trade, but it’s been nearly two decades and we’re still paying for it. Once the government got that nice, stable foothold in the form of the Patriot Act, it gradually but continuously expanded its power even further than was initially required.
The power was taken bit by bit, slowly enough that most people aren’t even aware just how much things have changed since 9/11. Hell, many adults aren’t even old enough to remember what America was like before 9/11. Each individual loss of freedom seems too small to be worth fighting against, but it all adds up. How many other concessions have we made to the government in exchange for assurances of safety, or even convenience? Americans continue to allow emotions like anger and fear to influence their decisions and we’ve become less free as a result.
Even when people don’t like a change, so long as the change is too small to warrant much of a fuss, everyone will eventually become accustomed to it and forget that it even happened. Once the change becomes the norm, another small change can be made, which will eventually also become the norm, and the cycle repeats. This is known as creeping normality, and it’s terrifying how effective it is. Entire societies can be make to accept things that, previously, they would have found unthinkable. They can have their mindsets completely altered so long as the alterations are made gradually over a long period of time.
That’s why it’s so important for us to let reason, not emotion, influence our decisions. The government will take a mile for every inch we give them and it’s incredibly difficult to get that mile back, so we need to be careful not to give it another foothold it can use to expand its power even further. We made a mistake with the Patriot Act, but mistakes can be some of the most effective lessons. Hopefully we learned from this one because I don’t think it’ll be long before we need to avoid making a similar mistake.
The growing epidemic of fake news has been stirring up a lot of emotion in the United States. As I described in a previous article, Russia is conducting a social engineering operation in the United States in an effort to destroy us from within, and it’s working. Not only are Americans angry that Russia is so brazenly manipulating us, they’re afraid of how effective that manipulation has proven to be. They’re becoming more and more desperate for solutions, and the most popular solution I’ve seen proposed is one that’s about as slippery as a slope can get.
The solution I’m referring to is to create a system that identifies and labels, or even removes, fake news on the Internet. This idea genuinely terrifies me, because who is going to create the system(s) we use to combat fake news? Will it be tech giants like Facebook and Google? I certainly hope not considering how the two of them effectively have a duopoly on web-based information already and have demonstrated numerous times that they’re willing to use that power to push their own agendas. Will it be a consortium of news outlets? Most major news outlets are owned by billionaires or huge media conglomerates that are even more willing to push their agendas than Facebook and Google. Will it be a government agency? That’s quite literally the worst-case scenario and if I need to explain why then you’re on the wrong website.
Plenty of individuals and organizations on every point of the political spectrum are already using the term “fake news” as a weapon to dismiss whatever news or opinions they don’t like. Imagine what kind of weight the term would have if it were an official label branded by an organization that had social influence or, God forbid, legal authority. How powerful do you think an organization that literally gets to define “truth” would be? That’s what I mean when I say this is a slippery slope. We need to avoid creating such a system at all costs. No matter how bad fake news is, a solution like that would be a million times worse.
So if autocratic and oligarchic systems of combating fake news are too risky, what does that leave? A democratic system? Perhaps we could create a platform that compiles links to as many articles and videos as possible and then relies on users to vote on their truthfulness. Maybe instead of voting on articles, users vote on the writers or news outlets themselves. The idea is certainly worth exploring, but I think a democratic system would be far too vulnerable to manipulation to be reliable. No, I don’t think any system, not even a democratic one, will provide us with a solution to the fake news epidemic without causing more problems than it solves. So, when organizations and systems are unable to help us, what do we do?
Well, we just need to learn to help ourselves. Americans need to learn how to find the truth themselves instead of having someone else’s version of the truth spoon-fed to them. They need to put in the research and thought required to actually become informed about important topics instead of regurgitating someone else’s biased, oversimplified take on those topics. They need to start conversing with people they don’t agree with instead of condemning them. They need to let their decisions be influenced by reason instead of emotion. Our democracy can only function properly when the people participating in it are informed and rational, guided by facts and logic. It’s our own responsibility to ensure we meet those requirements and we can’t rely on other people to do it for us. Relying on some system, especially a government one, to do the job for us just undermines the very democracy we’re trying to contribute to.
Ezekiel’s prophecy and the truth about false prophets
The topic of “false prophets” is often difficult to discuss on the internet in general and social media in particular because invariably whenever we warn of false prophets, we’re accused of being false prophets. Such is the nature of our struggle to live a faithful life and spread the Gospel. Naysayers and mockers are always there.
This topic in particular is a challenging one because it’s based upon a set of verses that some believe has been misinterpreted in most churches today. The verses in question are found in Matthew 24, verses 4 and 5.
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
The standard interpretation says that there will be people in the end times who claim to be Christ. While this is also true, as we see regularly, an alternate (and in my opinion, much more credible) interpretation is that false teachers will come in the end times in the name of Jesus Christ and will lead their flocks astray.
The argument is all in how the context is understood. Most read it as people saying, “I am Christ,” as in they’re claiming to be Christ. But what I believe he’s saying is people shall come in His name saying that He (Jesus) is Christ, and then shall deceive many. It changes the risk factor for believers because it insinuates there are those who may be leading a church today who pretend to be teaching the Gospel but are actually preaching a self-serving version of it that still claims to be a message from our Lord and Savior but is actually a great deception.
Those who have seen or even been brought into the prosperity “gospel” may have a very clear idea of what I mean.
This video goes into much more detail about prophetic events told of in both the Old and New Testament. I strongly recommend watching it, if only to make you think about what’s happening in the world around us.
Two TEDx videos warn us to fear the coming AI overlords
Artificial intelligence is here. We’ve talked about it in the past and we won’t stop talking about it until general artificial intelligence, the true threat to humanity, is here. If and when that happens, this site will probably already have been taken down anyway.
But specialized artificial intelligence is already in play today. It’s spreading at such a rapid pace that some are calling on scientists and technology firms to pump the brakes before it goes too far, too fast. At this early stage, we don’t know what we don’t know, which is the scariest aspect of the whole topic.
TEDx, which we often sift through in order to find the rare gems, presented a pair of them tonight. They both talk about artificial intelligence, the dangers associated, and actions that must be taken to prevent it from becoming dangerous. The better of the two videos is above, but both are worth watching.
This isn’t the Haley Joel Osment movie. This is real and it’s much more worrisome than just about any technological advancement out there right now. It’s time for Americans to start paying attention so we know how to react when it reaches its tipping point.
Most in society don’t realize the creeping occultism that surrounds us
Many in modern western society are heading down a very dark path and most who are on it have no idea. If we’re being completely honest with ourselves and not succumbing to the instant cringe that comes over many of us when a “conspiracy theory” is discussed, we’ll realize that things we may have once considered harmless expressions are quickly turning towards actual manifestations of ungodliness.
It’s in our clothes. It’s in our music. It’s on the television, in movies, and on the internet. Some would argue that it’s no different than it was when rock n’ roll first hit the scene or when graphic violence and sexuality became commonplace on popular television shows. But it is. This is very different. Claims by those crazy old folks who saw the devil in everything new have been considered silly in today’s society. I thought so as well. Now, I believe they may have simply been the distractions necessary to start normalizing the drastic changes we’re seeing today.
What preceded these changes may have been precursors to prepare society for darker variations of the theme, but these new iterations have forgone the subterfuge they used before. They embrace the evil in a way that makes it seem good. For example, the alleged basis behind Celine Dion’s new line of children’s clothing seems plain enough. On the surface, few in society would recognize the problem of gender-neutral clothing that puts skulls, all-seeing eyes, and the words “New Order” on clothing worn by infants, toddlers, and children. A cursory reading of the company’s mission seems harmless enough. But it’s far from harmless. It’s transformative, and not in a good way.
I’ll go into greater detail about what’s happening in the world in a future article, but for now I’ll turn to this video by Truthstream Media. They’ve done an excellent job of breaking down what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what to look forward to if it’s allowed to continue.
The Biblical worldview has been under attack for millennia. Today, in the 21st century, we’re seeing the culmination of the machinations of principalities and powers that are steering human existence. Wear the whole Armor of God at all times, folks.
The faithful must recognize the truth. Lest we forget Isaiah 5:20: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Harden scores 48 points, Rockets beat Lakers 138-134 in OT
PolitiFact demonstrates pure partisanship declaring Trump’s physical barrier claims as “Mostly False”
Pirro: Democrats putting politics over people
‘Unsolved Mysteries’ is coming back, only ‘Stranger’
Best-selling 2020 Ford Explorer keeps distancing itself from the competition
This nation deserves a better class of news outlets
As media, Democrats turn to other topics, we need to keep up the pressure for the wall
As progressive tariffs continue, China scores biggest trade surplus in history
3 reasons to build the wall despite polls showing it isn’t popular
Understanding the real crisis at the border and how to frame it properly
A reminder to GOP lawmakers from Justin Amash
What Allen West has been saying for years is extremely relevant today
Art Laffer on why a trade deficit is a good thing
Thomas Sowell isn’t a fan of tariffs
Rand Paul didn’t like the Democrats raising foreign aid as the border wall goes unfunded
Culture and Religion2 days ago
How ‘Progressives’ are a small but vocal political minority
Democrats2 days ago
The Onion’s take on Kirsten Gillibrand is hilarious (and not completely satirical)
Media2 days ago
Mueller’s office debunks Buzzfeed’s report
Culture and Religion1 day ago
Does Matthew 22:29-30 indicate Jesus was referencing the Book of Enoch?
Conspiracy Theory1 day ago
Ezekiel’s prophecy and the truth about false prophets
Culture and Religion1 day ago
The ‘church fathers’ and the Book of Enoch
Immigration1 day ago
No national emergency declaration: Trump’s “major announcement” will be an offer Democrats can’t refuse
Democrats1 day ago
Cartoon: Is that another huge immigration caravan?