The invaluable Nesaranews contributor and reporter, "Freewill" has been kidnapped and held for ransom, extortion and fraud by an out-of-control local Judge and his coherts. This matter has now been brought to federal court in Michigan.

Please see associated posts, dated Sept. 13 and 27, and Oct. 18, for additional details.

Thank you to those who have demonstrated your good nature, concern and generosity. Freewill still needs as much support and help as he can get with his legal expenses. Please, stand with us, as one community, in holding Freewill's captors accountable for fraud and false imprisonment.

Your continued heart, generosity and aid in this matter are greatly appreciated and most welcome. Donations of any size are appreciated and may be sent via PayPal using the recipient email address the_free_freewill_community@yahoo.com



Wednesday, November 25, 2015




'Staggering' number of Muslims to U.S. under Obama

'Staggering' number of Muslims to U.S. under Obama

Green-card totals over 5 years enough to populate D.C.


The U.S. issued 680,000 green cards to migrants from Muslim-majority countries in the five-year period encompassing 2009 through 2013, according to Department of Homeland Security data.

While while this Islamic “invasion,” as some are calling it, occurred on the Obama administration’s watch, it is a policy that has its roots in the 1980s with the full support of both parties.

To put this number in context, it surpasses the total population of Washington, D.C., which is 660,000.  Yet, the Gang of Eight immigration “reform” bill co-sponsored by GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio would have tripled the number of green cards being issued.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

The data was released by Sen. Jeff Session, R-Ala., who serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary, where he is chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.

Among those receiving green cards are foreign nationals admitted to the United States as refugees, who within one year must apply for lawful permanent resident status, also referred to as a green card.

Refugees, which are hand-picked by the United Nations for resettlement in U.S. cities and towns, have instant access to federal welfare and entitlements, along with local benefits and education services. These costs are not offset, the committee noted.

The 680,000 is not an estimate of total migration, as it does not include temporary migrants who return home, nor is it an estimate of population change, as it does not include births or deaths, among other considerations.

There is no official tally of the Muslim population in America because the Census does not track religious affiliation. The estimates range from 2.8 million by Pew Research based on a 2011 study and 7 million as estimated by the Council for American-Islamic Relations.

“Whatever the exact level, it can hardly be considered surprising that as the Muslim population in the country has expanded, so has the incidence of radicalism,” wrote Ian Tuttle in an article for National Review titled “The Troubling Math of Muslim Immigration.”

In fact many of the recent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil have been carried out by Muslim immigrants, including the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and the Chattanooga shooting earlier this year.

Rubio’s stance on Muslim immigration

Rubio told Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier this week that he would not use Congress’s power of the purse to shut off funding for the refugee program.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Rubio said he’d prefer Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan, which would allow the Obama administration to continue on its resettlement binge — bringing in 85,000 refugees this year from countries including Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo — all nations with active jihadist movements.

Obama’s pledge to bring 85,000 refugees in fiscal 2016 is up from 70,000 a year for at least the past decade. He wants to increase it to 100,000 in 2017. More than half of these refugees will come from Muslim-dominated countries.

Policy is bigger than just Obama administration
Assuming no change in visa policy, the U.S. can expect to give green cards to another 680,000 migrants from these countries over the next five years. A green card entitles recipients to access federal benefits, lifetime residency, work authorization, and a direct route to becoming a U.S. citizen.

The numbers could be higher still: Census Bureau data shows migration from the Middle East to be one of the fastest-growing categories. Additionally, if left in place, the President’s refugee plan would substantially boost the annual number of migrants from this region admitted to the U.S. who, in turn, would be able to petition for their relatives to migrate to the U.S. in the future. Refugee and asylee admissions from Iraq, Somalia, and Iran alone contributed 124,000 individuals from FY09-FY13.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the foreign-born population in the United States is at a record 41.3 million. One-quarter of the U.S. population is now either foreign-born or has foreign-born parents.

The Census Bureau projects the percentage of the population born outside the country will soon pass the highest percentage ever recorded and continue rising to new all-time records never before witnessed – unless Congress passes a law to reduce green card allotments.

“Without such changes, the Census Bureau projects that, for each coming year the total number of immigrants in the United States will increase, the annual rate of immigrant admissions will increase, and the foreign-born share of the population will increase,” according to a statement from Sessions office.

“Pew polling data shows that 83 percent of the public (across all parties) opposes this growth baseline and believes the level of immigration should either be frozen or reduced,” Sessions’ statement said. 

“By a nearly 10-1 margin, Americans of all backgrounds are united in their shared belief that companies with positions to fill should raise wages instead of bringing in new lower-wage labor from abroad. And yet, despite this, the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill would have tripled the issuance of green cards over the next decade, and this year’s I-Squared bill would substantially increase both low-wage guest-worker admissions and green card allotments – all on top of the existing record-breaking and unprecedented growth in future immigration.”

Green Card Totals, FY09-FY13

Pakistan (83K), Iraq (83K), Bangladesh (75K), Iran (73K), Egypt (45K), Somalia (31K), Uzbekistan (24K), Turkey (22K), Morocco (22K), Jordan (20K), Albania (20K), Lebanon (16K), Yemen (16K), Indonesia (15K), Syria (14K), Sudan (13K), Afghanistan (11K), Sierra Leone (10K), Guinea (8K), Senegal (7K), Saudi Arabia (7K), Algeria (7K), Kazakhstan (7K), Kuwait (5K), Gambia (5K), United Arab Emirates (4K), Azerbaijan (4K), Mali (3K), Burkina Faso (3K), Kyrgyzstan (3K), Kosovo (3K), Mauritania (2K), Tunisia (2K), Tajikistan (2K), Libya (2K), Turkmenistan (1K), Qatar (1K), Chad (1K)

[Note: These are the specific DHS green card totals during this time range for Muslim-majority countries which sent at least one-thousand or more migrants, and include any refugees or asylees who adjusted to LPR status.]


New Madrid Seismic Zone struck by Earthquake Swarm

New post on Dutchsinse

11/25/2015 — New Madrid Seismic Zone struck by Earthquake Swarm — Major Global Seismic unrest underway

by Michael Janitch
As if we needed any more signs the North American Plate is under heavy stress - now an earthquake swarm has broken out along the New Madrid Seismic Zone in South Missouri.
new madrid seismic zone swarm november 25 2015 earthquakes
A major global seismic unrest event is currently underway.   Over the past 1-2 weeks a noticeable increase in earthquake activity has taken place worldwide.
An earthquake forecast (and warning) was issued for the Pacific plate to be on watch for large earthquakes to strike, as well as Europe, The United States and Asia.     All the areas which were warned have been struck by noteworthy movement.
See the most recent earthquake forecast video here, even talking about the New Madrid in this broadcast warning issued 1 week ago:
As the earthquake forecast video talked about, we are now seeing the seismic pressure transfer EASTWARD from the Pacific -- starting with a new swarm of M4.0+ earthquakes in Vancouver BC, also a new swarm of M4.0+ (to mid M5.0) earthquakes struck the fracking operations in Oklahoma.
When the fracking operations can't take the pressure any more, the pressure transfers Eastward towards the New Madrid, causing earthquakes as the pressure travels along the craton edge, building towards the East coast.
Indeed the pressure has pressed further East from the fracking operations, and it has caused a new earthquake swarm to develop along the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ).  This pressure transfer should be cause for some alarm in the United States, especially in the Midwest, and along the East coast.
See the line of earthquakes over the past 3 days (up to November 25, 2015) - the progression of earthquakes along the craton / plate edge is obvious.
past 72 hours of earthquakes north america November 25 2015 progression craton
Professional Geologists and Seismologists have come to my pages in the past to DENY that earthquakes are progressing from West to East (across the craton) over the course of days.
For instance, to maintain the status quo on Geology theories, professionals who read this post will literally overlook (or deny) this above graphic showing the past 3 days of earthquakes means that earthquakes are progressing.  Many even will go so far as to say it's just "chance" that this keeps happening over and over again along the craton edge.
Literally, the professionals were (are still?) in denial on the facts regarding pressure transferring from W to E over a short time.   The reason they're in denial is because THEY say (and also teach) the plate moves from East to West.  Everything they were ever taught about earthquakes transferring to other areas is (was) wrong.
In reality, the plate is moving from West to East.
The facts are confronting professionals taught "dogmas" based on false suppositions from long ago, so the professionals deny the facts until they can figure out how to save face while still admitting they're totally wrong about the direction of plate movement.
The earthquakes progress, and plates move 100% opposite, 180 degree direction difference between what "they" say about the plate movement vs. what we SEE the plates doing.
We should keep watch for possible larger movement to strike the Midwest to East coast, and also watch the Pacific plate for further activity as well.
The deep large M7.6 / M7.7 earthquakes which struck the Southeast Pacific last night (November 24th into 25th), and the other swarms of large earthquakes in the West Pacific are also signs of greater stresses showing globally.
If you live in a seismically prone area, dust off your plans OR develop an earthquake plan now.
Be prepared - just in case.
Information on this New Madrid earthquake from the USGS , largest of the swarm was a M3.0 (so far):

M3.0 - 6km SSE of Lilbourn, Missouri

Magnitude/uncertainty3.0 md± 0.2
Location/uncertainty36.538°N 89.601°W± 0.2 km
Depth/uncertainty8.7 km± 0.3
Origin Time2015-11-25 07:08:53.120 UTC
Number of Stations62
Number of Phases87
Minimum Distance4.26 km (0.04°)
Travel Time Residual0.15 sec
Azimuthal Gap30°
FE RegionMissouri (486)


Dutchsinse: Two M7.7 Earthquakes Hit Pacific / South America

Dutchsinse 11/25/2015 — Large Earthquake Warning — Two M7.7 Earthquakes Hit Pacific / South America

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 2:26

Please get the word out to the people who need to know!
The Pacific plate is currently in a state of serious unrest – people need to be made aware of this current global ‘seismic storm’ so they can prepare in prone areas.
 Two back to back M7.7 (M7.6) earthquakes struck the Southern border of Peru, near the coast of Bolivia, and also across the border of Brazil.

Full website post covering the large Peru earthquakes here:

These large earthquakes struck at a depth of over 300 miles — this means we need to be watching for additional large movement to strike adjacent areas to these deep earthquakes which just struck Peru.

The whole Pacific is showing heavy activity (currently) – thus the need to pay attention to every event is crucial to knowing what may be coming around the corner (seismically speaking).

It would be wise to pay attention (not ignore or dismiss) these progressing large earthquakes which have occurred over the past couple weeks. 

Multiple mid to upper M7.0 earthquakes have struc over the past 3 weeks, and nearly 15 different M6.0+ earthquakes in nearly the same amount of time.

All of this large movement elsewhere around the Pacific plate means the “silent” areas which normally see movement should be on watch for much larger activity in the next several days going into the middle/late next week.

This is not a time to downplay, ignore, dismiss the growing threat … nor is it time to deny that a threat exists for populated areas in the United States, Central America, and Asia.
Watch the earthquake forecast issued on November 17th here:

Watch the most recent earthquake update issued November 21st here:


Final Stages Of The Economic Collapse

US Govt/Central Banks Preparing Final Stages Of The Economic Collapse 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 8:55

The Recovery in the Euro zone is non existent and the talking heads are now blaming it on the Paris attack. 

The housing bubble is now ready to pop as prices and existing home sales collapse. 

US manufacturing PMI collapses to a 25 month low. National economic activity collapses in the last 3 months signalling a major collapse is on its way. 

 US Goverment/Central Banks 
Are Preparing The Final Stages 
Of The Economic Collapse - Episode 825a
All source links to the report can be found on the x22report.com site.

The X22 Report is “one man’s opinion”. Anything that is said on the report is either opinion, criticism, information or commentary. If making any type of investment or legal decision, it would be wise to contact or consult a professional before making that decision.
Check Out The X22 Report Spotlight YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1rn…

Get economic collapse news throughout the day visit http://x22report.com

Americans demonstrate at Irving Texas mosque

Americans With AR-15’s and AK-47’s Surround Texas Mosque… Send Brutal Message to Muslims

Monday, November 23, 2015 20:27

It’s bad enough we have radical Islam coming after us, but rather than uniting the country to fight as one, we have a pathetic 'president' that spits venom and tries to divide the nation with every opportunity from his bully pulpit.  

In the first video, one protestor says “the pot is boiling and the kettle is a about to blow…” Whether the kettle blowing is right or wrong is irrelevant at this point… we’re about there. Then what? Martial Law? Jade Helm Activated? We’ll find out soon enough I suppose… 

In the second video below, a group of armed protesters gathered outside the Islamic Centre of Irving in Texas, Saturday, in response to claims that a Sharia court had been set up at the mosque. The protesters were also angry at the prospect of Syrian refugees being allowed to enter the US. 

Dean James of America’s Freedom Fighters writes:

A group calling itself the Bureau on American-Islamic Relations, or BAIR, gathered outside an Irving, Texas, mosque on Saturday, armed with AR-15’s, AK-47’s and other firepower. They are protesting “the Islamization of America” and the continued influx of Syrian refugees and they were there to make a point.


According to KDFW-TV, the group picketing outside the Islamic Center of Irving numbered about 15. One carried a placard that said “Solution to Islamic terrorism,” with an arrow pointing to another protester — an armed man in fatigues.

Police and SWAT were there, not to protest the Jihad invasion but to keep the Americans in check. Thanks Obama you Kenyan pile of garbage.

One man who didn’t want his name used said, ” It’s a boiling pot. The kettle…the top on this kettle is on really really tight and it is going to blow.”

He also added, “I may look like their version of a racist but I’m not. I’m not even a racist here. I just don’t want them to push their beliefs down my throat.”

Look, if you are white it doesn’t mean you are a racist. These people are realists. To deny the threat that Muslims pose to America and the entire world is blind ignorance.

“We are here protesting Syrian refugees coming to America, protesting the Islamization of America,” said David Wright, BAIR spokesman.

“I think the popular belief is, people are scared. They’re scared to say anything about it. They’re scared to come out to a place like this and stand in front of a mosque and protest Islam.”

While this is a good start, I think it’s going to evolve into a much more aggressive situation- that is unless Americans don’t mind having their head’s cut off and kicked around like a soccer ball. 



Obama warns ISIS about pending attack

U.S. Caught  Helping         ISIS  Again!

Obama warns ISIS militants about upcoming attack

Drudge: America Arming ISIS

Drudge Tweets: “America Has Been Arming ISIS…”


Some interpret alternative media mogul's post as a teaser for an upcoming revelation

Extortion? By a 15 year old muslim kid

BREAKING:  Clock  Kid  Threatens  Texas  Town  With  60  Day  Deadline Or  He’s  Gonna  Do  Something  SICK

The Muslim teenager in Texas who brought a fake clock to school that looked all too much like a real bomb is demanding $15 million from the city and school district he used to live in — or he’ll try to get even more in a civil rights lawsuit.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Ahmed Mohamed – whose family has announced it’s moving to Qatar to escape the 'racist United States' – wants the money as compensation for the day in September when he was detained at his school and led away in handcuffs because authorities were suspicious about the device he brought to school.

The teenager’s case became a cause celebre among leftists – including 'president' Barack Obama who issued an invitation to the White House Mohamed accepted even after it was established that he never built the “homemade clock” he brought to school with him.

But the ordeal of being invited to the White House, getting to meet celebrities and becoming a celebrity himself was apparently too much for the family.

The letter claims the boy’s life was turned upside down. In addition to the money — $10 million from the city of Irving, Texas, and $5 million from the Irving School District, the Ahmed is demanding an apology – in writing – for everything he went through.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the letter gives the city and the school district 60 days to come up with the money for the 'torment' — and includes the petulant question: “What must that do to a young man?”

Indeed. It must have been worse than we can imagine – what with meeting Middle East royalty, hobnobbing with celebrities and being feted by the best and brightest of New York City and all.

Well, if going through a storm of leftist media adoration wasn’t the kind of thing a Muslim kid can’t handle, we probably wouldn’t be having such a problem with the attention-hungry thugs of the Islamic State.

Hopefully, the officials of Irving, Texas and the Irving School District will treat this extortion with the contempt it deserves.

H/T Young Conservatives

INVASION: Muslims Take Over U.S. Town

women in burqasINVASION:  Muslims  Take  Over  U.S.  Town…  Immediately  Begin  Implementing  Shariah  Law

Hamtramck, Michigan is the first city in America with a majority Muslim population. According to the Washington Post, the population finally got up the numbers to put their people into city and local government.

And, boy — they didn’t take long to show exactly what a Muslim-run city council was going to do for the impoverished Michigan town.
Hamtramck has been, for decades, a town of Polish immigrants.

Right after the Nov. 3 election, community organizer Ibrahim Algahim expressed glee that the immigrants who had built the town up were no longer in power. “Today, we show the Polish and everybody else,” he said.

And this in a town, according to the Washington Post, that openly flaunted prohibition by keeping bars open.

However, according to one of the men on the city council, Saam Almasmari, it’s not their fault.

“I don’t know why people keep putting religion into politics,” said Almasari, the highest vote-getter in November’s election. “When we asked for votes, we didn’t ask what their religion was.”

The Washington Post describes the city as “row after row of two-story, turn-of-the-century bungalows packed into two square miles.” After manufacturing jobs left, as with the rest of the Michigan, property values in the town plummeted, which led to massive demographic shifts. 

Now, 27 languages are spoken in Hamtramck’s schools. “The Polish people think we were invading them,” said Masud Khan, a leader of the town’s al-Islah Islamic Center. “We were a big threat to their religion and culture. Now their days are gone.”

Do you think the story of Hamtramck should serve as a warning to America?


Peru - 7.5 earthquake


11/24/2015 — Peru South America struck by large M7.5 earthquake

by Michael Janitch
A large M7.5 earthquake has struck Peru in South America.
m7.5 earthquake nov 24 2015
Global seismic unrest has been progressing across the Pacific plate, and adjacent plates spanning West from the Pacific towards as well as East towards the Americas.
After a deep M6.0 struck the West Pacific a few hours ago (Nov. 24) , now we see another deep earthquake has struck -- measuring M7.5 in size.
European agencies showing TWO events.. M7.1 + M7.0 ... the USGS is showing a single M7.5 (started out as a M6.9 then upgraded).
A large Pacific plate earthquake warning was issued yesterday in light of the multiple deep earthquakes which struck across the whole plate over a few hours time.
Here is the warning which was issued, telling people to watch out for a coming large earthquake in the  next few days.  Peru / Chile border region was warned a full 24 hours prior to this large earthquake striking.
Full information on this M7.1 from the EMSC + USGS:

M7.5 - 173km WNW of Iberia, Peru

Magnitude7.5 mww
Location/uncertainty10.585°S 70.966°W± 8.8 km
Depth/uncertainty602.3 km± 7.4
Origin Time2015-11-24 22:45:38.310 UTC
Number of Stations
Number of Phases123
Minimum Distance369.02 km (3.31°)
Travel Time Residual1.06 sec
Azimuthal Gap44°
FE RegionPeru-Brazil border region (112)

M 7.1 - CENTRAL PERU - 2015-11-24 22:50:54 UTC

MagnitudeM 7.1
Date time2015-11-24 22:50:54.6 UTC
Location10.11 S ; 71.08 W
Depth605 km
Distances684 km E of Lima, Peru / pop: 7,737,002 / local time: 17:50:54.6 2015-11-24
272 km W of Cobija, Bolivia / pop: 26,585 / local time: 18:50:54.6 2015-11-24
214 km NW of Iberia, Peru / pop: 4,386 / local time: 17:50:54.6 2015-11-24

Source parameters provided by:
 GeoForschungsZentrum (GEOFON) -- Potsdam, Germany (GFZ)

M 7.0 - PERU-BRAZIL BORDER REGION - 2015-11-24 22:45:37 UTC

MagnitudeMw 7.0
Date time2015-11-24 22:45:37.6 UTC
Location10.59 S ; 70.94 W
Depth593 km
Distances684 km E of Lima, Peru / pop: 7,737,002 / local time: 17:45:37.6 2015-11-24
242 km W of Cobija, Bolivia / pop: 26,585 / local time: 18:45:37.6 2015-11-24
170 km NW of Iberia, Peru / pop: 4,386 / local time: 17:45:37.6 2015-11-24

Source parameters reviewed by a seismologist
More information at:
 GeoForschungsZentrum (GEOFON) Potsdam, Germany

Training exercises highlight troubling times

Chinese troops train on U.S. soil while New York prepares for terror attack with simulated mass shooting exerciseChinese troops train on U.S. soil while New York prepares for terror attack with simulated mass shooting exercise

Training exercises highlight troubling times  


(INTELLIHUB)In what is being touted as a groundbreaking first, Chinese troops are currently conducting training on U.S. soil despite recent tensions with the Communist nation.

The training, part of the 11th Disaster Management Exchange, is being conducted at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State and includes at least 80 soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army.

Shockingly, American soldiers are apparently happy about the exchange with one even quoted by the New Tribune as saying how nice it was to be working with the military of a communist nation with continued gross 
human rights violation.

“With all the craziness in the world, it’s nice to be working with the Chinese army,” Spc. William Soyster said, according to the Tribune report.  “It’s a reminder that we’re all in this together. We’re all human.”

The training is ostensibly about disaster preparation but considering the times we now live in one has to wonder the real reason for this unprecedented exercise, especially when you consider the recent problems between the two nations surrounding military exercises in the South China Sea that some media pundits theorized could lead to World War 3.

Also one must ask the obvious question which is when did the United States start needing the help of Communist China in order to respond to disasters around the world!?

Interestingly, the U.S. Navy also recently started a week-long training exercise, this time in China, with the guided missile destroyer USS Stethem arriving in Shanghai early last week ahead of planned communications exercises and a surface rescue simulation.

“The ship’s commanding officer, Harry Marsh, told reporters the visit was intended to “build mutual trust” between the two navies,” reported Defense News.   “US sailors, he said, would learn about their counterparts’ “maritime experiences, so that when we operate at sea we can do it safely, and we understand what they are doing and what we do”.

Mass Shooting Exercise in New York City

As Chinese troops begin their training in Washington State and the U.S. Navy continues its joint naval operation with the Communist country, authorities in New York City recently conducted a major mass shooting simulation, apparently in response to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and in preparation for the upcoming massive Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the training exercise was planned long ago but got a “last-minute update” after the Paris attacks that included role players wearing suicide vests.

“The three-hour active-shooter exercise took place in the pricey Soho neighborhood populated by art galleries and boutiques. Members of the police, fire and federal Homeland Security departments went into action after a mock call reporting a gunman on the station platform,” reported the AP.

“Of about 30 simulated straphangers in the station, a dozen suffered “critical wounds” from weapons firing blanks. Firefighters removed them on thick yellow plastic sheets — some covered with fake blood — and law enforcement personnel took on the threat.”

The AP also reported that homeland security used the exercise to test new technologies, including cameras worn by first responders and gunshot detection systems designed to give police and other emergency response officials information to better coordinate their responses.

According to NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton, the systems are being developed for surveillance of the subway system itself.

The training comes on the heels of the horrific terrorist attack in Paris, an attack that may or may not have been a government sponsored false flag, but one that was definitely at least partially helped along by western intelligence agencies.

One may be asking themselves what a mass shooting simulation in New York City has to do with Chinese troops training on American soil but, while they may not be directly connected, these two key events happening so close to each other deserves further scrutiny.

As alternative media researchers have detailed for years, whenever a false flag happens there are usually “hallmark” signs which include there being a training drill going on at the same time as the real attack that just so happens to be simulating the exact scenario that is playing out in real life. This fact alone makes the recent mass shooting exercise in New York worth paying closer attention to.

Couple that with the fact that many researchers have also pointed out that, in the event of a declaration of martial law, authorities would most likely try to use foreign soldiers to help police the populace and you have even more reasons to dig deeper into these two seemingly unrelated events.

What do you think?

Why has Obama invited Communist China to train inside the United States? 

Is the recent mass shooting exercise in New York connected or are both these stories just more evidence that we truly are living in trying times?