Rising Crime Across America Causing Upsurge in Citizen Vigilantism

Rising Crime Across America Causing Upsurge in Citizen Vigilantism

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As violent crime continues to afflict the major cities of the United States, an increasing number of concerned citizens are taking the law into their own hands. This trend is perhaps most graphically demonstrated by a recent incident in Detroit, Michigan. After a 43-year-old Detroit man allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl with Down Syndrome on July 17, authorities delayed the processing of the case for over two weeks until an official rape test kit could be ordered.

While the police dallied, a group of outraged citizens took matters into their own hands—locating the suspected perpetrator and beating him repeatedly with fists and baseball bats. The Detroit community is torn, with some residents expressing horror at this act of vigilantism and others applauding the “justice” rendered by the attackers.

Thirty-four “justifiable homicides” were reported in Detroit last year, representing a 79 percent increase over 2011. A high-ranking Wayne County official told The Daily last year that a rise in “justifiable” homicides and vigilante justice has taken hold in the city as an overloaded court system turns a blind eye.

While “self-defense” killings in Detroit are currently 2,200 percent above the national average, other cities in America may soon start catching up. Residents of a Portland, Oregon, suburb recently decided to expand their definition of “Neighborhood Watch” and establish a “Glock Block.” Many, if not most, of the residents on this block have procured a hand gun, a concealed weapons license and a sign warning, “We Don’t Call 911.”

Criminal gunfire has become so common on the streets of Oakland, California, that even in neighborhoods that once seemed free of violence, residents are no longer shocked by reports of it. “It’s like, ‘Oh, another shooting,’” said Jan Hetherington, who has lived for 14 years in the Oakland neighborhood of Maxwell Park.

With budget cuts forcing Oakland to trim its police force by a third, residents have decided to pay for private security patrols, according to cbs Evening News. These security firms are technically only for the purpose of watching and reporting potential crimes, but some private citizens have started to post their own homemade “wanted” signs. Such an environment could soon begin to breed Detroit-style vigilante justice.

Nationwide, so-called justifiable homicides nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010, when 326 were reported, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of crime statistics from all 50 states.

Violence committed by criminal street gangs and lone-wolf felons represents one of America’s most serious domestic security threats. In part because of concern about this threat, American citizens are buying weapons and personal firearms at a historically high rate. In the four years since Barack Obama was first elected president, an estimated 67 million firearms have been purchased in the United States—more than were purchased in almost seven years before his first election. According to a New Yorker magazine article from last year, there are now nearly 300 million privately owned firearms in the country.

In the fifth chapter of Ezekiel, God reveals that there will be a time of violent looting and rioting in the nations of America and Britain just before they suffer a foreign-led invasion. The proliferation of guns, the prevalence of crime and the rise of vigilante justice are all factors showing that America is nearing this episode of violence. For further proof of these claims and to learn how you can make sure your family is protected, read our article “As Gun Sales Rise, What Is Your Source of Protection?

How Big Was Angela Merkel’s Election Victory in Germany?

How Big Was Angela Merkel’s Election Victory in Germany?

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In Germany’s latest elections, Chancellor Angela Merkel secured a third term and led her party to its best election result in over 20 years.

The German press is hailing it as a mighty political accomplishment. “Her election victory was not just a victory, but a triumph,” wrote Süddeutsche Zeitung. “It is her triumph, not that of her party.”

As director of the think tank Open Europe, Mats Persson called it “a massive public endorsement for Angela Merkel, who has established herself as the most powerful female politician ever.”

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (cdu) and its sister party the Christian Social Union (csu) won 41.5 percent of the vote, coming just five votes short of an overall majority. Any political party receiving less than 5 percent of the vote gets no parliamentary seats. Once all these small parties were eliminated, Merkel held 49.4 percent of the votes.

Had the cdu crossed the 50 percent mark, Merkel could have claimed the chancellorship without the need of a coalition partner. Such a feat is extremely rare in Germany. The only time a single party has won an election outright after World War ii was in 1957 under Konrad Adenauer.

Nevertheless, despite the press’s swooning, it is important to place this victory in the context of current events in Germany.

Chancellor Merkel has steadily stood up for Germany’s interests in Europe. In a sign of how well Germany is going, Merkel is the only leader within the eurozone to be reelected since the eurocrisis intensified in 2010. Twelve out of the 17 eurozone governments have fallen.

This result isn’t because of Merkel’s spectacular leadership skills. She is a solid leader, but is neither inspired nor inspiring.

Instead, Merkel won because of the spectacular lack of leadership everywhere else. There is simply no other candidate that Germans could see doing the job.

Despite her win, the future is hardly rosy for Merkel. She now faces lengthy coalition negotiations. Her usual coalition party, the Free Democrats (fdp), suffered a historic defeat and fell below the 5 percent threshold—disappearing from parliament entirely. Merkel seems to be forced to form a “grand coalition” with the left wing Social Democratic Party (sdp). She did this once before, in her first term as chancellor, and the sdp still bear the scars. Their popularity plummeted after they joined the coalition, and they will require big concessions before they try it again.

The chancellor could also continue her struggles with Germany’s upper chamber, the Bundesrat. She requires the Bundesrat’s approval for most major domestic legislation. There she lacks a majority, and despite this major victory, she could encounter political deadlock.

The Trumpet has long forecast a radical change in German and European politics and the arrival of a new strong leader. Despite Merkel’s win, Germany still lacks strong leadership. Its politics could easily become bogged down. Continue to watch for the arrival of this leader. For more information on this strong leader, read our article “A Deadly Secret Plot Has Been Uncovered.”

More Proof of King Solomon’s Mines

More Proof of King Solomon’s Mines

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Further evidence of Solomon’s mines (and empire) has surfaced.

Recently unearthed remains of hundreds of copper smelting furnaces and metallic ore residue in Timna Valley of the Arava Desert in Israel provide further scientific evidence of prolific mining activity during the time of King Solomon. The site of the copper mines is known as Slaves’ Hill, and it was excavated by Dr. Ben-Yosef and his team of Tel Aviv University archaeologists, who began work at the site in February.

The evidence from Ben-Yosef’s findings confirms the Bible’s assertions of the wealth and clout of the kingdom of Israel under Solomon.

As is the case with most archaeological findings that confirm the biblical record, the Timna Valley excavations—in the words of a Phys.org article titled “Proof of Solomon’s Mines Found in Israel”—“overturn the archaeological consensus of the last several decades.” (Such archaeological consensus tends to seek to undermine the Bible.)

The mining site was initially argued to have been built by ancient Egyptians three centuries before Solomon’s reign. Archaeologists arrived at this erroneous assertion because of the discovery of an Egyptian temple at the center of the valley in 1969. But tangible evidence from the excavations such as ceramics, clothing, fabrics, ropes and foods like dates, grapes and pistachios were dated at University of Oxford’s radiocarbon accelerator unit to King Solomon’s era in the 10th century b.c.

“The findings at the Slaves’ Hill undermine criticisms of the Bible’s historicity based on a lack of archaeological evidence,” said Dr. Ben-Yosef. “It’s entirely possible that David and Solomon existed and even that they exerted some control over the mines in the Timna Valley at times.”

In 2009, Ben-Yosef worked under Prof. Thomas E. Levy of the University of California-San Diego, who uncovered massive mines that he concluded to be remnants of King Solomon’s mines. Trumpet columnist Robert Morley wrote about that stunning discovery in 2009 and how it flew in the face of Bible scoffers: “As [prominent archaeologist] Dr. Eilat Mazar once said, ‘In the end, the stones will speak for themselves.’ The stones are speaking for themselves! … The detailed accuracy of the Bible is continually being proven correct—word by word, stone by stone, day by day.”

The Bible is a true historical record, and archaeological relics are endorsing it. For more, read Mr. Morley’s article “King Solomon’s Mines—Found!

Why Herbert W. Armstrong Didn’t Meet Leonid Brezhnev

Why Herbert W. Armstrong Didn’t Meet Leonid Brezhnev

RIA Novosti archive/Wikicommons

Franz Joseph Strauss recommended he not talk to the Soviet leader.

On Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1981, Herbert W. Armstrong touched down in Munich for a meeting with German politician Franz Joseph Strauss. The two preceding days he was in Switzerland and Egypt, where the thought came to mind that he simply had to see the governor of Bavaria once again. While Mr. Armstrong was in Egypt, Mr. Strauss was in Russia meeting with Lenoid Brezhnev, president of the Soviet Union and chairman of the Communist Party.

The meeting was set for 9 a.m. on the following day. Mr. Armstrong arrived with three enlarged photographs in hand, featuring Strauss, Brezhnev and Soviet diplomat Andrei Gromyko, whom the governor had not yet met. Official photographer for the West German government and the Plain Truth magazine, Alfred Hennig, had snapped the shots and ensured they were enlarged for the unofficial ambassador to present to his host.

The meeting began with the pair reminiscing about Mr. Strauss’s past visits to the campus of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. A decade earlier he spent two full days at the college. He spoke to a formal assembly of the student body and was later interviewed again for television broadcast by the World Tomorrow program. Before departing the campus, Strauss was guest of honor at a special banquet hosted by Mr. Armstrong at his home. “At the close of the first day, he commented that he had just spent the happiest day of his life. The peace and happiness here are contagious,” recalled his host, the unofficial ambassador for world peace. “Dr. Strauss drank it in. Herr Strauss said, ‘We need an Ambassador College in Germany’” (Plain Truth, September 1979).

Additionally, another topic of conversation was China, which the governor had recently visited, as did the internationally recognized ambassador for peace in early 1980, at the invitation of President Deng Xiaoping, as the first leader from the world of Christianity.

Hoping for 20 to 30 minutes of discussion time, Mr. Armstrong was surprised by the more than 90 minutes afforded him. Their discussion continued, focusing on world events, including the present turmoil in the Middle East, implications of a divided Jerusalem, and Polish-Soviet relations, with Strauss reportedly saying “the Soviets were more afraid of the pope than American missiles” (Worldwide News, Dec. 14, 1981).

When asked whether he should personally meet with the Soviet president, the Bavarian governor, according to the Worldwide News, told his guest “he didn’t think it was a good idea.”

The same December 14 edition reported, “Dr. Strauss said when he met President Brezhnev, the president came prepared with a written speech, which he read in Russian. The speech had three parts: (1) accusations, (2) judgements on other people, and (3) personal accusations as, ‘Why do you want war?’ Dr. Strauss was asked to give an immediate reply. The Bavarian governor said Mr. Brezhnev never speaks without a prepared text.” The meeting concluded with an invitation from Mr. Armstrong to Mr. Strauss to revisit Ambassador College, which he accepted, setting time aside in March 1982 for the trip.

The recommendation that Mr. Armstrong not meet with the Soviet president didn’t stop the delivery of Jesus Christ’s gospel message of Matthew 24:14. The Plain Truth magazine, which Mr. Armstrong founded 30 years prior, had grown into a mass-circulation publication, enabling its publisher to ensure Mr. Brezhnev’s face, as well as specific prophetically focused articles about the Soviet Union, appeared in editions for November 1964, January and December 1975, April 1981, and May 1982, just six months before the Communist leader’s death.

Soon both Strauss and Brezhnev will be thrilled to know that the Bible prophesies of the establishment of an Ambassador College in Germany, Russia, and all nations (Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 30:20; Malachi 1:11). Its current-day successor, Herbert W. Armstrong College, founded by our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, remains an undimmed light in a darkening world, continuing the work and legacy of its namesake. The Russians will soon flock to Jerusalem to join the rest of the world for annual visionary education and instruction, in the wonderful World Tomorrow (Zechariah 14:16).

For more of the plain truth about the people biblically identified in Genesis 10:1-2 as Gog, request a complimentary copy of our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.

The Incredible Human Potential

It’s positively astounding! It has remained undiscovered by science! No religion has revealed it! Higher education has never taught it! Is it possible the whole world has been deceived—regarding the awesome PURPOSE of human life—about the WAY to world peace and how it will come?

Health Care Stalling Businesses

Health Care Stalling Businesses

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With the Affordable Care Act soon to go into effect, businesses are scrambling to minimize the costs.

Health care has been one of the most controversial domestic issues of President Obama’s time in office. The plan was developed to provide health care for people who cannot afford it and for people who do not qualify for it due to preexisting conditions. In some ways it appears noble, but the plan will exact a great toll on businesses.

The Affordable Care Act, set to go into effect at the start of 2014, is causing many companies to restructure their staff in order to avoid having to pay the plan’s high costs.

A Gallup poll taken in June interviewed over 600 businesses to discover the repercussions of the health care bill. Forty-one percent of businesses said they have stopped hiring new employees due to the bill, 19 percent admitted to reducing their number of employees, and 38 percent said they “have pulled back on their plans to grow their business.” The Affordable Care Acts requires any company with 50 or more full-time employees to provide insurance for them. Businesses below that mark have ceased from hiring and businesses slightly above it are laying-off employees. This has led to a virtual stand-still in companies around that level of employment.

The Small Business Administration (sba) says there are over 23 million small businesses in America, which account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. The sba also says that small businesses are responsible for 55 percent of all jobs in the United States.

If growth is not occurring in this sector, it greatly affects the whole country.

The Affordable Care Act also requires that every employer provide health insurance for employees that work over 30 hours a week. These regulations have caused many companies to make cutbacks in order to avoid having to pay the cost of health insurance.

In August, a memo leaked from the clothing store Forever 21 revealed its plans to “reclassify” full-time employees as part-time, which gives them 29.5 hours of work a week—just under the amount required to provide health care.

Darden Restaurants employs nearly 180,000 people nationwide, 75 percent of which are or have recently been reduced to part-time employees. The company has been experimenting since 2012 with different ways it can lower the impact of providing healthcare for employees. SeaWorld, which employs over 18,000 people, has also made cuts to many employees’ hours, from 32 to 28 hours. ups has dropped 15,000 spouses from their medical plan, saying that they are eligible for coverage elsewhere. ups expects to save $60 million a year from this move.

Many of these companies are taking preliminary steps in order to keep up with health care reform, and other businesses are beginning to do the same.

Many businesses have received negative media attention for their actions in response to the health care bill. One commentator wrote to SeaWorld, “If you won’t treat/take care of your employees with fair pay and health insurance, you will not be getting my business.”

Regardless of the course of action the aforementioned companies or others choose to take, someone will be negatively affected. If businesses opt to keep things the way they are, there will be an increase in the price of goods or services in order to cover the costs of providing the insurance. By laying-off employees or making cutbacks in hours, the companies are simply offsetting the price of having to pay for the insurance. Because the bill permits coverage for everyone, it may also lead to an increase in premiums. Forbes reports that there will be a 24 percent average increase in healthcare premiums once the bill goes into effect.

Some states have recognized the crippling effects the bill would have on their economies, and have implemented plans independent of the Affordable Care Act in order to provide health care for those who do not qualify. Oklahoma has recently received an extension from the federal government for its health care plan. Oklahoma subsidizes private health insurance for over 8,000 people and does so with funding it receives from a tobacco tax whose funds are matched by the federal government. Indiana has a similar plan and Arkansas hopes to employ a comparable program in the near future.

As the medical needs of the U.S. continue to increase, health care reform has been one the most important and widely publicized issues of the current administration. Whether it is someone who needs it, a business that must provide it or just an everyday consumer, health care reform affects the whole nation.

The American people have come to rely heavily on health care, and the Affordable Care Act hopes to shift much of that burden onto businesses. The results of that action are already coming to fruition: many businesses in the nation are stalling.

The plans being put into action to offset the costs are solving some problems, but leading to many others. Americans cannot get by without health insurance; the risk is too high to go without it. Having health insurance is a responsible thing for most people to have, but the degree to which it is relied on is doing harm to the nation. America was blessed by God and became one the greatest nations to ever exist. Its people have the opportunity to live long and healthy lives, but all of these blessings are diminishing because the United States no longer looks to the real Provider. The healthcare dilemma is just another curse that is quickly pulling the nation down.

To learn how you can be protected from this widespread problem, request our free booklets Solve Your Money Troubles and The Plain Truth About Healing.