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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The anti-Putin paranoia here is astonishing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So why is this happening?

Why has finding love become so challenging?

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

#1 The Me-Centered Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what are quality young women supposed to do?

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

#5 Sexual Immorality Is Absolutely Rampant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#7 Sexual Immorality Is Running Rampant Even In The Church

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is America The Most Materialistic Society In The History Of The World?

When it comes to materialism, has any nation ever surpassed what we are seeing in the United States right now?  We define our lives by how much stuff we have, to a large degree our personal and business relationships are defined by how much money we make, and even most of the important dates on our calendar are all about materialism.  Just think about it.  We throw outrageous birthday parties for our kids and we shower them with gifts.  Most of our “holidays” have become highly materialistic, and the biggest holiday of all in our society, Christmas, is an absolute orgy of materialism.  We make lists of the “wealthiest Americans” and we glorify their achievements.  We spend most of our time either making money or spending it.  Even the phrase “the American Dream” reveals how materialistic we are.  When most people are asked what “the American Dream” is, they start talking about a house, a car, vacations, retirement, sending your kids to college, etc.  The American Dream has become all about money and stuff.  Sadly, no matter how big our homes are and no matter how many shiny new toys we accumulate, we never seem to be happy.  We always want more, and we always seem to be willing to go into more debt to get it.  We are the most materialistic society in the history of the world, and our endless greed is going to end up swallowing us alive.

When it comes to materialism in America, there are outrageous examples all around us, but one of my favorite examples is the “Rich Kids of Instagram“.  It is a Tumblr blog of photos from Instagram of young Americans showing off how they are enjoying the vast wealth of their parents.  The following is how the Washington Post describes the blog….

The controversial new Tumblr is a collection of snapshots from the photo-sharing site that depicts the children of wealth and privilege — summering in the Hamptons, lounging on yachts and posing by their luxury cars.

One does a back-flip out of a helicopter near St. Tropez. Others snap pictures of their restaurant bills — allegedly paying thousands of dollars for lobster, champagne and high-end liquor.

In the warm patina of the Instagram, the youngsters appear to be living over-the-top lifestyles — and enjoying every moment.

“Our everyday is better than your best day,” reads one caption, a bit tauntingly. And, “Do you have a horse in your backyard? Didn’t think so.”

But just because you have a horse on your property does that make your life better than the rest of our lives?

Of course not.

Wealth does not equal happiness.

Unfortunately, however, most Americans have totally bought into this lie.

Most Americans believe that more money equals a better life.

In response to “the Rich Kids of Instagram”, the Huffington Post recently put together a piece entitled “the Rich Cats of Instagram” that features photos of cats as they “model upscale accessories, lounge with bottles of champagne, sail on yachts and ponder life while relaxing atop piles of money.”

Of course a lot of those pictures are quite funny, but they also reveal a deep truth about our society.

We have spent our lives chasing after the almighty dollar thinking that it will make us happy.  Study after study has shown that we tend to link wealth and happiness.  The following is from a recent NBC News article about one of those studies….

Many parents already know older children can be materialistic. Some tweens not only want the latest games and clothes, but also think owning these things will bring them happiness, friends and popularity. And marketers are eager to get them to buy: Tweens spend $28 billion a year, not including the more than $200 billion their parents spend on them, according to market research company C+R Research.

But even though we have an incredibly high standard of living compared to most of the rest of the world, are most of us actually happy?

No way.  In fact, Americans take more anti-depressants than anyone else on the planet.

It is really easy to get caught up in materialism though.  Let me share an example from my own life.

Several months ago our old truck completely died.  Instead of pouring thousands of more dollars into fixing it, we decided that we would get another used truck.

So the other day I stopped by a dealership while my wife was grabbing some things from Home Depot.  The salesperson started showing me some of the used trucks on the lot, but after a while I suggested that he show me some of the new trucks that were sitting on the other side of the lot.

Before I knew it, I was sitting in the most expensive truck on the lot and he was showing me all of the cool features it had.

And I have to admit – for a few moments there I was really enamored with that truck.  It was the coolest truck that I had ever seen in my life.

Of course my wife and I don’t need a truck like that.  We only need to haul stuff around a few times a month.  And we certainly do not need the amount of debt that it would take to buy such a truck.

But for a few moments there I really wanted it.  The pull of materialism can be very strong.

So would that truck have “changed my life” or brought me lasting happiness?

Of course not.

It would have brought some thrills for the first couple of days, but after a while it would just be sitting in the garage taking up space just like any other truck would.

So did I end up buying a truck?

Not yet.  But we need one soon.  My wife has been without a truck for quite a few months now and she is getting impatient.

But whether we get a nice used truck or a used truck that has one foot in the grave, it really isn’t going to change our lives much.

In the end, our lives should not be defined by what we own or by how much money we have in the bank.

But how do we refer to ourselves in this day and age?

The American people are called “consumers” and the truth is that we consume far more than anyone else on the globe does.

Just look at our eating habits.  Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese.

The next time you go into a store, take note of how many people are overweight.

It has not always been this way.  Back in 1962, only 13 percent of all Americans were obese.

But now overeating is a national sport.  At this point, approximately 36 percent of all Americans are obese, and it is being projected that number will rise to 42 percent by 2030.

While we are gorging ourselves with food, what else do we like to do?

That’s right – we love to watch television.  In fact, the average American watches 28 hours of television every single week.

We have become completely and totally addicted to entertainment, and we have become trained to be constantly “plugged in” to something.

Our lives have become all about constantly feeding our greed and our selfishness.  In fact, that is a major reason for the breakdown of the family in America.  We tend to view marriage as a temporary condition that can be quickly discarded when it no longer makes us happy.

Sadly, the United States has the highest divorce rate in the world by a very wide margin at this point.

In addition, more Americans than ever are putting off marriage these days.  Young Americans are being told that “an education” and “a career” are more important.  According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all American adults are currently married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in America were married.

As a result of these factors, we are an incredibly lonely nation.  Today, the United States has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire globe.

In order to fill the void, the American people turn to things that will numb the pain.  American use more legal drugs than anyone else on the planet and they also use more illegal drugs than anyone else on the planet.

We have more “stuff” than any other society in the history of the world has ever had, but it has not made us happy.

And how did we pay for all of this?

We paid for a lot of this with debt.  In fact, we have accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.

During my lifetime, the debt of the U.S. government has gotten more than 30 times larger.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “27 Things That Every American Should Know About The National Debt“.

But the federal government is not the only one with a debt problem.  The truth is that our entire society is absolutely drowning in debt.

Over the past 50 years, the total amount of debt in the U.S. has grown from less than a trillion dollars to nearly 55 trillion dollars….

We have used massive amounts of debt in an attempt to feed our endless greed and materialism and we have gotten ourselves into a whole lot of trouble.

This is one of the reasons why I write.  I want people to understand how bad things have really gotten.

Thanks to our foolishness, our economy has been declining, it is going to continue to decline, and a massive economic collapse is coming.

Some people believe that this is a message of “doom and gloom”, but that is not the case at all.

Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that somehow everything is going to be just fine is not going to do anyone any good.

Instead, I believe that warning people about the coming economic collapse is a message of hope.

There is hope in understanding what is happening, developing a plan to deal with it, and preparing yourself and your family for the storm that is coming.

It is the people that are ignoring all of the warnings that are going to be in real trouble.

Millions upon millions of people will be absolutely blindsided by what is coming.  Many will give in to total despair once they realize that their prosperity is gone and they have done nothing to prepare for what they are now facing.

My hope is that the information that I write about will be shocking enough that it will wake people up and motivate them to get prepared so that they can handle the incredibly challenging years that are ahead.

And the truth is that our lives should not be about our money and our stuff anyway.

Your possessions are just temporary.  None of them are going to last forever and you certainly cannot take them with you when you die.

Even though our economy has had some rough times, we still have a higher standard of living than 99 percent of the humans that have ever lived on this planet have had.

You would think that would be enough for us.

But it isn’t.  We have hoarded our wealth and we have lived in luxury and self-indulgence.

When our debt-fueled prosperity disappears, most Americans are not going to know how to handle it.

Most Americans will believe that their lives are “over” at that point.

But those that are not caught up in materialism and that have prepared for what is ahead will understand that the next chapters of their lives can be the greatest chapters of all.

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