Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Patrick Buchanan: Is War With Iran Now Inevitable?

With his declaration Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is not in the national interest, President Donald Trump may have put us on the road to war with Iran.
Indeed, it is easier to see the collisions that are coming than to see how we get off this road before the shooting starts.
After "de-certifying" the nuclear agreement, signed by all five permanent members of the Security Council, Trump gave Congress 60 days to reimpose the sanctions that it lifted when Teheran signed.
If Congress does not reimpose those sanctions and kill the deal, Trump threatens to kill it himself.
Why? Did Iran violate the terms of the agreement? Almost no one argues that — not the UN nuclear inspectors, not our NATO allies, not even Trump's national security team.
Iran shipped all its 20 percent enriched uranium out of the country, shut down most of its centrifuges, and allowed intrusive inspections of all nuclear facilities. Even before the deal, 17 U.S. intelligence agencies said they could find no evidence of an Iranian nuclear bomb program.
Indeed, if Iran wanted a bomb, Iran would have had a bomb.
She remains a non-nuclear-weapons state for a simple reason: Iran's vital national interests dictate that she remain so.
As the largest Shiite nation with 80 million people, among the most advanced in the Mideast, Iran is predestined to become the preeminent power in the Persian Gulf. But on one condition: She avoid the great war with the United States that Saddam Hussein failed to avoid.
Iran shut down any bomb program it had because it does not want to share Iraq's fate of being smashed and broken apart into Persians, Azeris, Arabs, Kurds and Baluch, as Iraq was broken apart by the Americans into Sunni, Shiite, Turkmen, Yazidis and Kurds.
Tehran does not want war with us. It is the War Party in Washington and its Middle East allies — Bibi Netanyahu and the Saudi royals — who hunger to have the United States come over and smash Iran.
Thus, the Congressional battle to kill, or not to kill, the Iran nuclear deal shapes up as decisive in the Trump presidency.
Yet, even earlier collisions with Iran may be at hand.
In Syria's east, U.S.-backed and Kurd-led Syrian Democratic Forces are about to take Raqqa. But as we are annihilating ISIS in its capital, the Syrian army is driving to capture Deir Ezzor, capital of the province that sits astride the road from Baghdad to Damascus.
Its capture by Bashar Assad's army would ensure that the road from Baghdad to Damascus to Hezbollah in Lebanon remains open.
If the U.S. intends to use the SDF to seize the border area, we could find ourselves in a battle with the Syrian army, Shiite militia, the Iranians, and perhaps even the Russians.
Are we up for that?
In Iraq, the national army is moving on oil-rich Kirkuk province and its capital city. The Kurds captured Kirkuk after the Iraqi army fled from the ISIS invasion. Why is a U.S.-trained Iraqi army moving against a U.S.-trained Kurdish army?
The Kurdistan Regional Government voted last month to secede. This raised alarms in Turkey and Iran, as well as Baghdad. An independent Kurdistan could serve as a magnet to Kurds in both those countries.
Baghdad's army is moving on Kirkuk to prevent its amputation from Iraq in any civil war of secession by the Kurds.
Where does Iran stand in all of this?
In the war against ISIS, they were de facto allies. For ISIS, like al-Qaida, is Sunni and hates Shiites as much as it hates Christians. But if the U.S. intends to use the SDF to capture the Iraqi-Syrian border, Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia could all be aligned against us.
Are we ready for such a clash?
We Americans are coming face to face with some new realities.
The people who are going to decide the future of the Middle East are the people who live there. And among these people, the future will be determined by those most willing to fight, bleed and die for years and in considerable numbers to realize that future.
We Americans, however, are not going to send another army to occupy another country, as we did Kuwait in 1991, Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq in 2003.
Bashar Assad, his army and air force backed by Vladimir Putin's air power, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, and Hezbollah won the Syrian civil war because they were more willing to fight and die to win it. And, truth be told, all had far larger stakes there than did we.
We do not live there. Few Americans are aware of what is going on there. Even fewer care.
Our erstwhile allies in the Middle East naturally want us to fight their 21st-century wars, as the Brits got us to help fight their 20th-century wars.
But Donald Trump was not elected to do that. Or so at least some of us thought.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

Mailvox: convergence in the churches

SC wonders where it starts:
In your chapter in SJWADD on the SJW convergence sequence, you talk mostly about corporations and how they can be slowly infiltrated. You do mention churches in places, particularly the saga of North Heights. I have one question about the infiltration/reinforcement stage as it applies to churches. You point to HR as the primary locus of SJW infiltration in companies. What do you think it is in a church? I would say the two best places would be children's ministry and a deaconess ministry (if a church already has one); basically, stuff that allows someone to have behind-the-scenes or administrative influence.
The first place it starts is the Sunday Schools, because it is always hard to find the teachers and women are much more inclined to take on the role of educating children. The second place is the administrative functions, because those are not traditionally considered to be subject to the various strictures relevant to the Biblical standards. After all, the Bible may limit pastoral duties and the Elders to men, but says nothing about accountants and secretaries.

The third place is the singles ministry. Because no one, least of all good Christians, wants to blame single mothers for their poor choices, and because too many of the men who attend the singles' groups tend to be low in socio-sexual status, there is a natural tendency to gravitate toward secular standards and feminism that provides an entry point for convergence. Be particularly wary of any pastor who moves into leadership from either the singles or women's ministry.

It would probably be very useful to research how the women who end up in the pulpit at converged churches began their careers in the church. That would provide a sound basis for what is merely casual observation and conjecture at this point. Where, for example, did Mindy Bak first begin her career at North Heights?

For more about this, read SJWS Always Double Down.



Fleeing Obamacare: How Doctors Are Insuring Their Own Families - By Robin Dolgin

It isn’t a secret that physicians in private practice despise insurance companies and view them as (well) the enemy.
Now, more than ever, doctors who (even) voted for Obama -- not once but twice -- admit to scrambling to escape federally-mandated insurance for themselves and families. Most patients haven’t caught on that a growing number of practitioners are defecting and reveling in saner cost guidelines offered by healthshareministries. They started out as small religious groups who would share medical expenses: They could never have anticipated the hundreds of thousands who would come banging on their doors in hopes of opting out of the (un)Affordable Care Act. (There are approximately four major faith-based groups in the country.)
This doesn’t sit well with the biggest ACA cheerleader of them all, Barack Obama, who worries that the trend could challenge the stability of the insurance markets.
That hasn’t stopped the idea from catching on like wildfire, even among Jewish doctors. “I couldn’t believe the hypocrisy of the government to say ‘catastrophic insurance’ doesn’t measure up as quality insurance,” says Steve Davidson, a cranial osteopath in private practice in Phoenix. “But isn’t that what the ACA is now offering: Families are stuck paying an average of $25,000 annually (for four), and absorbing out-of-pocket medical costs because of exorbitant deductibles?” He sums up the inverted federally-mandated logic with: “Wouldn’t you call that catastrophic coverage -- only you’re forced to purchase services you don’t need or want.” Dr. Davidson joined the stampede among his colleagues to sign up with a faith-based medical cooperative.
Apparently, Forbes magazine’s projection of a $25,000 annual health care insurance bill for a family of four may be a thing of the past. “I thought my insurance company made a mistake,” averaging nearly $1,000 per family member, says Junella Chin, an osteopathic physician in New York with a family of four. No mistake about it. Dr. Chin fired her insurance carrier, rather than paying the astronomical $46,800 annual premium. She had heard from more than one colleague about a cooperative, Liberty HealthShare, based in Ohio, which was earning a reputation for integrity in paying out claims. Many physicians struggling with spiraling costs for themselves and patients still worry about the uncertainty of pooling medical expenses. Some take a more pragmatic view.
“How could any group be worse than BlueCross BlueShield?” said one physician who wanted to remain anonymous. “The company is becoming more creative at denying claims with each passing quarter.” He, too, opted out of federally-mandated insurance for a ministry healthshare. “I felt like I was aiding and abetting the enemy,” said the doctor of his monthly payments to the behemoth-size carrier.
Surprisingly, the ministries are starting to garner positive coverage in the financial newspaper of record, the Wall Street Journal. Kristine Willington, 37, of Beverly, Mass., was reportedly horrified to learn that her family’s insurance was almost doubling to $2,100 a month with a $5,000 deductible, according to the WSJ. Willington nearly sounded like an advertisement for the healthshare cooperative she decided to join, pointing out that her revised payment was nearly 75 percent less, paying $475 a month, with a $1,500 annual deductible. Her son’s $30,000 hospital bill was taken care of by members, answering her worries about consumer risks in a faith-based group, according to the article.
Group members even pray for you, at no extra charge.
Ironically, leaders of the ministries thought signups would be slow because of subsidized payments being offered on the ACA insurance exchanges. “Our purpose is ministry, not profit,” said the Rev. Howard Russell, chief executive of Christian Healthcare Ministries, whose philosophy serves as the abiding principle for the religious group. Their message is being heard loud and clear by taxpayers, not necessarily all Christians, desperately trying to opt-out of ObamaCare. Ministries are accepting non-Christians, but they are not PC about who they choose. They are known to routinely turn away marijuana users, and applicants suffering from obesity and/or addictions, along with many pre-existing conditions. They will insure members when they become sick. 
A self-employed painter -- who launched Samaritan Ministries International -- from his remodeled chicken coop in his backyard, recalls members began joining in 1994.
The group has moved into a three-story headquarters and recently threw a luncheon celebrating 50,000 members, according to the WSJ. “None of us imagined it would be this big,” said James Lansberry, executive vice president of Samaritan. 
Perhaps he should consider thanking Obama, because his numbers are only expected to grow from here.
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/10/fleeing_obamacare_how_doctors_are_insuring_their_own_families.html

This Is How Tyranny Rises and Freedom Falls: The Experiment in Freedom Is Failing - By John W. Whitehead

“Every day I ask myself the same question: How can this be happening in America? How can people like these be in charge of our country? If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I’d think I was having a hallucination.”—Philip Roth, novelist
It is easy to be distracted right now by the circus politics that have dominated the news headlines for the past year, but don’t be distracted.
Don’t be fooled, not even a little, no matter how tempting it seems to just take a peek.
We’re being subjected to the oldest con game in the books, the magician’s sleight of hand that keeps you focused on the shell game in front of you while your wallet is being picked clean by ruffians in your midst.
This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.
What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing.
We are being ruled by a government of scoundrels, spies, thugs, thieves, gangsters, ruffians, rapists, extortionists, bounty hunters, battle-ready warriors and cold-blooded killers who communicate using a language of force and oppression.
Our nation of sheep has, as was foretold, given rise to a government of wolves.
The U.S. government now poses the greatest threat to our freedoms.
More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, even more than the perceived threat posed by any single politician, the U.S. government remains a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us.  Battlefield America: T... 
This has been true of virtually every occupant of the White House in recent years.
Unfortunately, nothing has changed for the better since Donald Trump ascended to the Oval Office.
Indeed, Trump may be the smartest move yet by the powers-that-be to keep the citizenry divided and at each other’s throats, because as long as we’re busy fighting each other, we’ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny in any form.
As American satirist H.L. Mencken predicted almost a century ago:
“All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
In other words, nothing has changed, folks.
The facts speak for themselves.
We’re being robbed blind by a government of thieves. Americans no longer have any real protection against government agents empowered to seize private property at will. For instance, police agencies under the guise of asset forfeiture laws are taking Americans’ personal property based on little more than a suspicion of criminal activity and keeping it for their own profit and gain. In one case, police seized $53,000 from the manager of a Christian rock band that was touring and raising money for an orphanage in Thailand. Despite finding no evidence of wrongdoing, police kept the money. Homeowners are losing their homes over nonpayment of taxes (for as little as $400 owed) and municipal bills such as water or sewer fees that amount to a fraction of what they have invested in their homes. And then there’s the Drug Enforcement Agency, which has been searching train and airline passengers and pocketing their cash, without ever charging them with a crime.
We’re being taken advantage of by a government of scoundrels, idiots and cowards. Mencken calculated that “Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons.” By and large, Americans seem to agree. When you’ve got government representatives who spend a large chunk of their work hours fundraising, being feted by lobbyists, shuffling through a lucrative revolving door between public service and lobbying, and making themselves available to anyone with enough money to secure access to a congressional office, you’re in the clutches of a corrupt oligarchy. Mind you, these same elected officials rarely read the legislation they’re enacting, nor do they seem capable of enacting much legislation that actually helps the plight of the American citizen. More often than not, the legislation lands the citizenry in worse straits.
We’re being locked up by a government of greedy jailers. We have become a carceral state, spending three times more on our prisons than on our schools and imprisoning close to a quarter of the world’s prisoners, despite the fact that crime is at an all-time low and the U.S. makes up only 5% of the world’s population. The rise of overcriminalization and profit-driven private prisons provides even greater incentives for locking up American citizens for such non-violent “crimes” as having an overgrown lawn.  As the Boston Review points out, “America’s contemporary system of policing, courts, imprisonment, and parole … makes money through asset forfeiture, lucrative public contracts from private service providers, and by directly extracting revenue and unpaid labor from populations of color and the poor. In states and municipalities throughout the country, the criminal justice system defrays costs by forcing prisoners and their families to pay for punishment. It also allows private service providers to charge outrageous fees for everyday needs such as telephone calls. As a result people facing even minor criminal charges can easily find themselves trapped in a self-perpetuating cycle of debt, criminalization, and incarceration.”
We’re being spied on by a government of Peeping Toms. The government is watching everything you do, reading everything you write, listening to everything you say, and monitoring everything you spend. Omnipresent surveillance is paving the way for government programs that profile citizens, document their behavior and attempt to predict what they might do in the future, whether it’s what they might buy, what politician they might support, or what kinds of crimes they might commit. The impact of this far-reaching surveillance, according to Psychology Today, is “reduced trust, increased conformity, and even diminished civic participation.” As technology analyst Jillian C. York concludes, “Mass surveillance without due process—whether undertaken by the government of Bahrain, Russia, the US, or anywhere in between—threatens to stifle and smother that dissent, leaving in its wake a populace cowed by fear.”
We’re being ravaged by a government of ruffians, rapists and killers. It’s not just the police shootings of unarmed citizens that are worrisome. It’s the SWAT team raids gone wrongmore than 80,000 annually—that are leaving innocent citizens wounded, children terrorized and family pets killed. It’s the roadside strip searches—in some cases, cavity searches of men and women alike carried out in full view of the public—in pursuit of drugs that are never found. It’s the potentially lethal—and unwarranted—use of so-called “nonlethal” weapons such as tasers on children for “mouthing off to a police officer. For trying to run from the principal’s office. For, at the age of 12, getting into a fight with another girl.”
We’re being forced to surrender our freedoms—and those of our children—to a government of extortionists, money launderers and professional pirates. The American people have repeatedly been sold a bill of goods about how the government needs more money, more expansive powers, and more secrecy (secret courts, secret budgets, secret military campaigns, secret surveillance) in order to keep us safe. Under the guise of fighting its wars on terror, drugs and now domestic extremism, the government has spent billions in taxpayer dollars on endless wars that have not ended terrorism but merely sown the seeds of blowback, surveillance programs that have caught few terrorists while subjecting all Americans to a surveillance society, and militarized police that have done little to decrease crime while turning communities into warzones. Not surprisingly, the primary ones to benefit from these government exercises in legal money laundering have been the corporations, lobbyists and politicians who inflict them on a trusting public.
We’re being held at gunpoint by a government of soldiers: a standing army. As if it weren’t enough that the American military empire stretches around the globe (and continues to leech much-needed resources from the American economy), the U.S. government is creating its own standing army of militarized police and teams of weaponized bureaucrats. These civilian employees are being armed to the hilt with guns, ammunition and military-style equipment; authorized to make arrests; and trained in military tactics. Among the agencies being supplied with night-vision equipment, body armor, hollow-point bullets, shotguns, drones, assault rifles and LP gas cannons are the Smithsonian, U.S. Mint, Health and Human Services, IRS, FDA, Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Education Department, Energy Department, Bureau of Engraving and Printing and an assortment of public universities. There are now reportedly more bureaucratic (non-military) government civilians armed with high-tech, deadly weapons than U.S. Marines. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the government’s arsenal, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, and the speed with which the nation could be locked down under martial law depending on the circumstances.
Whatever else it may be—a danger, a menace, a threat—the U.S. government is certainly no friend to freedom.
To our detriment, the criminal class that Mark Twain mockingly referred to as Congress has since expanded to include every government agency that feeds off the carcass of our once-constitutional republic.
The government and its cohorts have conspired to ensure that the only real recourse the American people have to hold the government accountable or express their displeasure with the government is through voting, which is no real recourse at all.  A Government of Wolves... 
Consider it: the penalties for civil disobedience, whistleblowing and rebellion are severe. If you refuse to pay taxes for government programs you believe to be immoral or illegal, you will go to jail. If you attempt to overthrow the government—or any agency thereof—because you believe it has overstepped its reach, you will go to jail. If you attempt to blow the whistle on government misconduct, you will go to jail. In some circumstances, if you even attempt to approach your elected representative to voice your discontent, you can be arrested and jailed.
You cannot have a republican form of government—nor a democratic one, for that matter—when the government views itself as superior to the citizenry, when it no longer operates for the benefit of the people, when the people are no longer able to peacefully reform their government, when government officials cease to act like public servants, when elected officials no longer represent the will of the people, when the government routinely violates the rights of the people and perpetrates more violence against the citizenry than the criminal class, when government spending is unaccountable and unaccounted for, when the judiciary act as courts of order rather than justice, and when the government is no longer bound by the laws of the Constitution.
For too long, the American people have obeyed the government’s dictates, no matter now unjust.
We have paid its taxes, penalties and fines, no matter how outrageous. We have tolerated its indignities, insults and abuses, no matter how egregious. We have turned a blind eye to its indiscretions and incompetence, no matter how imprudent. We have held our silence in the face of its lawlessness, licentiousness and corruption, no matter how illicit.
Oh how we have suffered.
How long we will continue to suffer depends on how much we’re willing to give up for the sake of freedom.
It may well be that Professor Morris Berman is correct: perhaps we are entering into the dark ages that signify the final phase of the American Empire. “It seems to me,” writes Berman, “that the people do get the government they deserve, and even beyond that, the government who they are, so to speak. In that regard, we might consider, as an extreme version of this… that Hitler was as much an expression of the German people at that point in time as he was a departure from them.”
For the moment, the American people seem content to sit back and watch the reality TV programming that passes for politics today. It’s the modern-day equivalent of bread and circuses, a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population.
As French philosopher Etienne de La Boétie observed half a millennium ago:
“Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.”
The bait towards slavery. The price of liberty. The instruments of tyranny.
Yes, that sounds about right.
“We the people” have learned only too well how to be slaves. Worse, we have come to enjoy our voluntary servitude, which masquerades as citizenship.
Unfortunately, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we won’t be able to sustain this fiction much longer.
“Things fall apart,” wrote W.B. Yeats in his dark, forbidding poem “The Second Coming.” “The centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world… Surely some revelation is at hand.”
Wake up, America, and break free of your chains.
Something wicked this way comes.
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead [send him mail] is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He is the author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and The Change Manifesto (Sourcebooks).
Copyright © 2017 The Rutherford Institute
Previous article by John W. Whitehead: American Power Corrupts Everything


Trump, Hands Off Iran - LewRockwel

President Trump has been notoriously inconsistent in his foreign policy. He campaigned on and won the presidency with promises to repair relations with Russia, pull out of no-win wars like Afghanistan, and end the failed US policy of nation-building overseas. Once in office he pursued policies exactly the opposite of what he campaigned on. Unfortunately Iran is one of the few areas where the president has been very consistent. And consistently wrong.
In the president’s speech last week he expressed his view that Iran was not “living up to the spirit” of the 2015 nuclear agreement and that he would turn to Congress to apply new sanctions to Iran and to, he hopes, take the US out of the deal entirely.
Nearly every assertion in the president’s speech was embarrassingly incorrect. Iran is not allied with al-Qaeda, as the president stated. The money President Obama sent to Iran was their own money. Much of it was a down-payment made to the US for fighter planes that were never delivered when Iran changed from being friend to foe in 1979. The president also falsely claims that Iran targets the United States with terrorism. He claims that Iran has “fueled sectarian violence in Iraq,” when it was Iranian militias who prevented Baghdad from being overtaken by ISIS in 2014. There are too many other false statements in the president’s speech to mention.
How could he be so wrong on so many basic facts about Iran? Here’s a clue: the media reports that his number one advisor on Iran is his Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Ambassador Haley is a “diplomat” who believes war is the best, first option rather than the last, worst option. She has no prior foreign policy experience, but her closest mentor is John Bolton – the neocon who lied us into the Iraq war. How do these people live with themselves when they look around at the death and destruction their policies have caused?  Swords into Plowshares 
Unfortunately the American people are being neoconned into another war. Just as with the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq, the media builds up the fear and does the bidding of the warmongers without checking facts or applying the necessary skepticism to neocon claims.
Like most Americans, I do not endorse Iran’s style of government. I prefer religion and the state to be separate and even though our liberties have been under attack by our government, I prefer our much freer system in the US. But I wonder how many Americans know that Iran has not attacked or “regime-changed” another country in its modern history. Iran’s actions in Syria are at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian government. And why won’t President Trump tell us the truth about Iranian troops in Syria – that they are fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda, both of which are Sunni extremist groups that are Iran’s (and our) mortal enemies?
How many Americans know that Iran is one of the few countries in the region that actually holds elections that are contested by candidates with very different philosophies? Do any Americans wonder why the Saudis are considered one of our greatest allies in the Middle East even though they hold no elections and have one of the world’s worst human rights records?
Let’s be clear here: President Trump did not just announce that he was “de-certifying” Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. He announced that Iran was from now on going to be in the bullseye of the US military. Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?
Dr. Ron Paul is a former member of Congress and Distinguished Counselor to the Mises Institute.
Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Previous article by Ron Paul: Beware of Tax Reform


Geert Wilders for Voice of Europe: “The Patriot Spring is not over yet. It is just beginning.”

Geert Wilders is leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) in The Netherlands.
With 1.3 million votes his party became the second largest in the latest elections in March this year. The main themes of the Party for Freedom are: de-Islamisation, leaving the EU and better healthcare.

VoE: What is happening in Europe?
Wilders: We are being conquered by Islam. Not only through acts of terror but mostly through a process of population replacement. Our people are being substituted and the consequences will be devastating because the bulk of the massive flow of immigrants replacing the indigenous Europeans are Islamic. Islam is a dangerous totalitarian ideology, Islam hates us and intends to wipe away all our Western values and freedoms.
Everything the EU does makes matters worse.
VoE: What is the role of the EU in the migrant crisis?                               
Wilders: Instead of stopping it, the EU is facilitating the process of population replacement. The open border policies imposed by the EU on its member states prevent these countries to control their own borders. The EU Court of Justice dismisses sovereign laws of member states and tramples on their rights to approve who enters their countries. The EU is forcing countries to take in quotas of (mostly Islamic) immigrants. EU Frontex ships pick immigrants up at sea and transport them to the EU instead of sending them back. Everything the EU does makes matters worse.
VoE: Can Europe be saved?
Wilders: Yes, but only if we get rid of the EU, restore national sovereignty and de-Islamise our societies. And that is exactly what we intend to do.
VoE: What is the task of this generation?
Wilders: We are facing an existential crisis. If we do nothing, we will cease to exist. This generation will either be the last free generation in Europe, or it will be the first of a new European renaissance. This generation decides whether the generations after it will still be living in a free and democratic Europe or whether they will be living in the Islamised continent of Eurabia.
More and more people want to save their nation and its national identity
VoE: What about the wave of populism you predicted?
Wilders: I predicted a wave of patriotism and I have been proven right. More and more people want to save their nation and its national identity, its values, traditions and freedoms for their children and grandchildren. In the Netherlands, the PVV, a party which barely existed ten years ago, has become the second biggest party in the country. In France, Marine Le Pen made it to the second round in the presidential elections, with one in three people voting for her. In Austria, a patriot almost became President. In Britain, the people voted for Brexit. In Eastern Europe, governments that want to protect their countries against Islam are immensely popular. The Patriot Spring is not over yet. It is just beginning.
VoE: Would you like to see Ayaan Hirsi Ali to join your party?
Wilders: I greatly respect Ayaan Hirsi Ali who is a very brave and intelligent woman. But your question is hypothetical since she does no longer lives in The Netherlands.
VoE: What are your plans for the future? Is there a plan if something happens to you?
Wilders: Our plan is to expand the party even further and embed it even deeper in Dutch society. Next year, we will participate in dozens of municipal elections all over the country. We already have a strong and competent group in both Houses of Parliament, in all the provincial councils and in the European Parliament. I do not intend to leave politics for a very long time.
I read Voice of Europe every day and draw a lot of information and insights from it.
VoE: What is your opinion on Voice of Europe?
Wilders: I greatly admire your valuable and unique work. I read Voice of Europe (VoE) every day and draw a lot of information and insights from it. We are fortunate to have VoE as an antidote to the indoctrination by the fake media. I wish you luck and hope that ever more Europeans will find their way to you.


The Budget Cut That Would Restore Our Liberty - by Gary North

Every ideologically driven citizen has one law that he would like to see enacted. The trouble is, there is no agreement about which law it should be.
We all have our favorite hobby horse, our recommended silver bullet.
I suggested two laws on Lew Rockwell's site back in May 2000. It was the first article by me that he posted. Since then, he has posted about 1,700 more. The site no longer numbers them, so I am not sure how many. The article was titled, "Two Teensy-Weensy Legal Reforms."
Every American visitor to this website probably has a cabinet-level agency that he thinks should be abolished first. I dream such dreams, too. But as I grow older, I become less utopian. So, I’m going to recommend two minor technical revisions of the tax code.
Repeal withholding on all federal income taxes.
Move the date that federal taxes are due to the first Monday of November.
Federal elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November.
You can read my arguments here: https://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig/north1.html.
As I wrote then, I regarded these as non-utopian. What reform would I pursue if I wanted to go full utopian?
In deciding what reform it should be, I have in mind a practice of the U.S. government that is inherently messianic. It is a widely accepted practice that identifies the U.S. government as semi-divine. If it were prohibited, it would shrink the federal government to its authority of 1860.
The key phrase is "widely accepted." This identifies the surrender of liberty on a widespread basis. It marks a practice that is not controversial, but is in fact the crucial lever of power of the federal government over the voters. It has to be a practice that, in colloquial American English, no one thinks twice about.
Finally, it has this unique two-fold characteristic. Murray Rothbard identified it as the Achilles' heel of the state, and the Bible identifies it as Satanic.
Most people know what an Achilles' heel is. It comes from Greek mythology. Here is a summary from Wikipedia.
In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die young. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx, which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into the water; however, as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. One day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him shortly afterwards.
Have you figured out what the practice is?
The Government's collection of statistics.
ROTHBARD ON GOVERNMENT STATISTICS
In 1961, Rothbard wrote an article for the Foundation for Economic Education. Its title: "Statistics: Achilles' Heel of Government." He made a cogent argument about the nature of government planning. In order to justify government planning of any kind, the bureaucrats have to have access to statistics. If it were not for statistics, nobody would believe that bureaucrats in a government agency have the ability to plan much of anything.
He argued that there is no justification for government-collected statistics. Citizens have to pay for this: taxation. Also, they are coerced into providing the data. Here are some of the article's highlights.
While private agencies and trade associations do gather and issue some statistics, they are limited to specific wants of specific industries. The vast bulk of statistics is gathered and disseminated by government. The overall statistics of the economy, the popular "gross national product" data that permits every economist to be a soothsayer of business conditions, come from government.
Furthermore, many statistics are by-products of other governmental activities: from the Internal Revenue bureau come tax data, from unemployment insurance departments come estimates of the unemployed, from customs offices come data on foreign trade, from the Federal Reserve flow statistics on banking, and so on. And as new statistical techniques are developed, new divisions of government departments are created to refine and use them.
The burgeoning of government statistics offers several obvious evils to the libertarian. In the first place, it is clear that too many resources are being channeled into statistics-gathering and statistics-production. . . .
Hidden Costs of Reporting
Secondly, the great bulk of statistics is gathered by government coercion. This not only means that they are products of unwelcome activities; it also means that the true cost of these statistics to the American public is much greater than the mere amount of tax money spent by the government agencies. Private industry, and the private consumer, must bear the burdensome costs of record keeping, filing, and the like, that these statistics demand. Not only that; these fixed costs impose a relatively great burden on small business firms, which are ill equipped to handle the mountains of red tape. Hence, these seemingly innocent statistics cripple small business enterprise and help to rigidify the American business system.
But aren't these statistics useful to the public? Don't they provide information that we can use to make our own decision-making more efficient? No.
The individual consumer, in his daily rounds, has little need of statistics; through advertising, through the information of friends, and through his own experience, he finds out what is going on in the markets around him. The same is true of the business firm. The businessman must also size up his particular market, determine the prices he has to pay for what he buys and charge for what he sells, engage in cost accounting to estimate his costs, and so on. But none of this activity is really dependent upon the omnium gatherum of statistical facts about the economy ingested by the federal government. The businessman, like the consumer, knows and learns about his particular market through his daily experience.
Then he got to the heart of the matter.
Statistics are the eyes and ears of the bureaucrat, the politician, the socialistic reformer. Only by statistics can they know, or at least have any idea about, what is going on in the economy. . . .
The Master Plan
Certainly, only by statistics, can the federal government make even a fitful attempt to plan, regulate, control, or reform various industries — or impose central planning and socialization on the entire economic system. If the government received no railroad statistics, for example, how in the world could it even start to regulate railroad rates, finances, and other affairs? How could the government impose price controls if it didn't even know what goods have been sold on the market, and what prices were prevailing? Statistics, to repeat, are the eyes and ears of the interventionists: of the intellectual reformer, the politician, and the government bureaucrat. Cut off those eyes and ears, destroy those crucial guidelines to knowledge, and the whole threat of government intervention is almost completely eliminated. . . .
Surely, the absence of statistics would absolutely and immediately wreck any attempt at socialistic planning. It is difficult to see what, for example, the central planners at the Kremlin could do to plan the lives of Soviet citizens if the planners were deprived of all information, of all statistical data, about these citizens. The government would not even know to whom to give orders, much less how to try to plan an intricate economy.
Thus, in all the host of measures that have been proposed over the years to check and limit government or to repeal its interventions, the simple and unspectacular abolition of government statistics would probably be the most thorough and most effective. Statistics, so vital to statism, its namesake, is also the State's Achilles' heel.
This is good stuff. But he missed a crucial point about Achilles' heels. They are inescapable concepts. It is never a question of Achilles' heel vs. no Achilles' heel. It is always a question of whose Achilles' heel.
Voters around the world have surrendered their liberty to statist central planning. Their willingness to allow civil governments at all levels to collect statistics has led to their silent, unthinking surrender to the messianic state. If they had organized to stop the collection of statistics, the modern Keynesian state could not exist.
The defenders of the messianic state shot a poisoned arrow into the liberty of the citizenry. Citizens should return the favor.
A SATANIC CENSUS
In the Bible, there is a story about census collecting. You probably have never heard a sermon on it. It deserves one. It surely deserves a Sunday school lesson.
King David decided to number the Israelites. He ordered his senior military commander, Joab, to collect the statistics. Joab knew this was morally wrong, and he argued against it, but David forced him to do it. This story is found in Second Samuel and First Chronicles. It is a remarkable story. Here is the version in Chronicles.
Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the people of Israel—from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north—and bring me a report so I may know how many there are.”
But Joab replied, “May the Lord increase the number of his people a hundred times over! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?”
But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab traveled throughout all Israel to count the people. Then he returned to Jerusalem and reported the number of people to David. There were 1,100,000 warriors in all Israel who could handle a sword, and 470,000 in Judah. But Joab did not include the tribes of Levi and Benjamin in the census because he was so distressed at what the king had made him do. (I Chronicles 21:1-6)
In II Samuel 24, the author blames this on Israel. "And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah" (v. 1).
Why was David wrong? Didn't Moses take a census twice? He did. He conducted a census immediately after the exodus. This was in preparation to invade Canaan. It was an act of military aggression. This invasion was delayed by 40 years (Numbers 14). In his old age, Moses numbered the people again in preparation for the invasion of Canaan.
In Israel, the census was a military act. It was not legitimate under any other circumstances. War centralizes power. Taking a census also centralizes power. Joab, a general, understood that it was illegitimate for David to conduct a census. There was no war on the horizon.
There was a price to pay.
And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. And the Lord spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Choose thee Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.
Notice that these were three familiar curses: famine, war, and pestilence.
And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.
So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men (I Chron. 21:7-14).
David did not pay the price. The people of Israel paid the price. God held them accountable. We read in Second Samuel 24: "And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah" (v.1).
This was a joint effort: king and people. The people decades earlier had been warned by Samuel about placing a king over them. This is recorded in the famous passage in First Samuel, chapter 8. God warned them what was going to happen. They were going to pay tyrannically high taxes: 10%. (Note: Israel under the kings would be regarded today as a tax haven.) The king was going to intrude into their lives. He was going to send their sons off to war. They paid no attention. So, they got exactly what they deserved. They wanted a king like the nations around them, and the nations around them were tyrannical. The nation had not resisted this expansion of central power, so they paid a heavy price. They paid it over and over and over. The history of the nation of Israel after the installation of the king was a series of disasters.
THE MESSIANIC STATE
Bureaucrats in government agencies that attempt to plan the economy or anything else in society do this only on the assumption that they possess the power of God.
You may think I'm exaggerating. I am not. Theologians say that there are incommunicable attributes of God. Three of them are these: omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence.
Government planners operate on the assumption that their ability to collect statistics and evaluate them places them in the position of an omniscient deity. They believe that coercively collected statistical data are the equivalent of God's omniscience. Second, they use the threat of coercion to direct the economy's production and distribution. Here, they imitate God's omnipotence. Third, they send out agents to report on people's activities. This completes the triad of God's incommunicable attributes: omnipresence.
The modern central planning state is messianic. It is therefore a threat to our liberties. It is also a threat to our future economic productivity. The state needs power and resources to direct the economy. The resources are collected from the public. Wealth that would have been used for personal productivity and personal consumption is transferred to the planning state. The bureaucrats use this wealth to direct productivity along lines that they approve of. They think they are immune from public reprisal, and generally this is the case.
FLYING BLIND
Rothbard got to the point in his essay. Without statistics, central planners are flying blind. Of course, Mises made that point back in 1920. He said that, even with statistics, socialist economic planning is inherently irrational. It has no prices to guide the planners. There are no capital markets that produce reliable prices. He said this in an essay, "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth." But the general public has never read that essay, and for 70 years the vast majority of economists who had ever heard of it, let alone read it, dismissed it as irrelevant. Then, in 1991, the Soviet Union went bankrupt. It turned out that Mises was right.
The central planners are flying blind. The problem is this: the public does not perceive just how blind the central planners really are. The public does not know about the theoretical problem of socialist economic calculation. But the public does know about bureaucrats. The public knows that these people are not noted for either efficiency or common sense. Most voters think that the central government has some ability to plan the economy, but if the fig leaf of statistics were ever removed, nobody would believe this anymore. This is why the fig leaf should be removed.
Without statistics, the central planners are the three monkeys of the statue: deaf, dumb, and blind.
CONCLUSION
Statistics are the Achilles' heel. Today, they are the Achilles' heel of the voters. The government uses this weakness against them. The restoration of liberty requires that the voters come to their collective senses, and that they shoot the poisoned arrow into the heels of government agencies that collect statistics directly or purchase these statistics from the free market.
To restore liberty, the budgets of government agencies must be cut. The best possible place to cut any agency's budget is to cut 100% of the budget devoted to the collection of statistics or their purchase. The statistical department of the agencies should be eliminated. The payoff from such budget cuts would be greater in terms of the restoration of liberty than any other single alteration of modern civil government.
Therefore, if I had one agency to abolish, I would not choose the Internal Revenue Service. It would be the Bureau of the Census.
It would be replaced by a new department. It would have only one function: to collect data on how many people reside in each state. This information could be used for only one purpose: to determine each state's representation in the House of Representatives. I would call this agency the Department of Pre-Gerrymandering.