Welcome To The Hell Hole That Is Brussels

Authored by Drieu Godefridi via The Gatestone Institute,
Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale. If you penetrate the thick cloud of professional indignation to scrutinize the reality of the “capital of Europe”, what you see in many respects is actually a hell hole, one where socialism, Islamism, riots and looting are the new normal. When then-candidate Donald Trump noted in January 2016 that, thanks to mass immigration, Brussels was turning into a hell hole, Belgian and European politicians presented a united front at the (media) barricades: How dare he say such a thing? Brussels, capital of the European Union, the very quintessence of the post-modern world, the avant-garde of the coming new “global civilization,” a hell hole? Of course assimilating newcomers is not always easy, and there may be friction from time to time. But never mind, they said: Trump is a buffoon, and anyway, he has zero chance of getting elected. Such were the thoughts of those avid readers of The New York Times International Edition and regular watchers of CNN International.
However, Donald Trump, in his unmistakable, brash style, was quite simply right: Brussels is rapidly descending into chaos and anarchy. Exactly two months after that dramatic Trumpism, Brussels was eviscerated by a horrific Islamic terror attack that left 32 people dead. And that was only the tip of the monstrous iceberg that has built up over three decades of mass immigration and socialist madness.
Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale.
First, there was the qualification of the Moroccan team to the soccer World Cup: between 300 and 500 “youths” of foreign origin took to the streets of Brussels to “celebrate” the event in their own way, looting dozens of shops in the historical center of Brussels, wreaking havoc in the deserted avenues of the “capital of civilization” and, during their riot, injuring 22 police officers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.

Silicone Valley’s ‘Working Homeless’ Shows How Hard Life Is In ‘Democrat’s Paradise’

Silicone Valley is the home to tech giants like Facebook, Apple, and Google. It’s also home to a surging working homeless population who live in dilapidated RV’s, tents, and their own cars, all thanks to the policies Democrats love to implement.
The surging number of those working in Silicone Valley and still unable to afford adequate housing should be a warning about big government, but it sure doesn’t seem like anyone is taking notice as their taxes continue to rise. As governments creep toward socialism though, poverty becomes the norm, not the exception. Silicon Valley has the highest median income in the nation. But a soaring tax burden and expensive regulations have caused housing prices to increase which has also caused homelessness to surge.
More than 10,000 people were living without shelter across San Jose and Santa Clara Counties on any given night in 2016, though that figure is probably low. Thanks to big government, the cost of living is not low. An influx of tech workers along with decades of under-building (thanks again to the regulations of big government) has created a historic homelessness in the Bay Area.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 7th, 2017.

Why Is An Appendectomy In The United States 10 Times More Expensive Than An Appendectomy In Mexico?

This is what can happen when you go to a socialized healthcare system. A lot of people out there believe that the United States has a free market healthcare system, but that is actually not true. The percentage of the population that receives government-subsidized healthcare is rapidly approaching 50 percent, and the healthcare industry may be the most heavily regulated sector of the entire U. S. economy. Every year the rules, red tape and regulations seem to get even worse, and every year health insurance premiums rise much faster than the overall rate of inflation. If we don’t start applying free market principles and start getting healthcare costs under control, our entire healthcare system could very easily implode.
I would like to share with you an excerpt from an article by former DEA agent David Hathaway. According to Hathaway, the average cost for an appendectomy in the United States is $33,000…
My son had an attack of appendicitis late Saturday night. I knew that the Obamacare inflated prices for surgery in the U. S. would be ridiculous and that the service would likely be impersonal, involve long waits, and be nerve-wracking. I have friends in the medical field so I inquired just for grins. The price for the latest routine appendectomy in my area was, my jaw dropped, $43,000. I read on-line that the average cost for an appendectomy in the U. S. is $33,000. I am not near some of the great direct-pay medical facilities in the U. S. like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, but I am near Mexico. I chose that option since I have often utilized foreign medical and dental facilities in the past and find the service and prices to be outstanding.
You can buy a very nice brand new car for $33,000.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on December 4th, 2017.

John McCain Holds The Keys To Tax Reform’s Fate

Anybody who was watching the July Senate floor vote on the Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare will remember the audible gasps that John McCain elicited when he surprised his own party by voting against the plan. And now just four months later, he’s gearing up to do it again.
According to the New York Times, McCain may once again decide the fate of one of the Trump administration’s top legislative priorities.
The senator from Arizona has been tight-lipped about whether he will vote ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on the bill, which was voted out of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday with the support of Bob Corker and Ron Johnson, who have both expressed reservations about the plan – Johnson had even said he wouldn’t vote for it.
As the NYT points out, McCain has staked his career on a platform of fiscal responsibility, and has bucked his party by voting against tax cuts in the past.
McCain’s skepticism of tax cuts stretches at least as far back as 1994. At that time, he was fretting about being fiscally responsible now that Republicans had seized control of Congress. ‘I think we would be making a terrible mistake to go back to the 80s, where we cut all of those taxes and all of a sudden now we’ve got a debt that we’ve got to pay on an annual basis that is bigger than the amount that we spend on defense,’ McCain said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 29, 2017.

Whistling, I Be……

Ready to lynch both your doctor and the government?
No?
After you read this….. you will be.
Back to here if you’re tired of the bull**** — and when your energy level returns, go find your pitchfork and torch. This was written by an actual endocrinologist in….. 1999.
We are all being robbed of $400 billion a year via Medicare and Medicaid and hundreds of billions more in private “insurance” due to this scam that not only makes people sick and results in them spending billions on unnecessary pills, doctors and procedures it literally gets their feet amputated, they go blind, they wind up on dialysis and die.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-11-28.

“Make Or Break”: Senators Push For Sweeping Changes To Tax Bill As GOP Leaders Struggle To Vote It Out Of Committee

With roughly 14 sessions of Congress left before the New Year break, the GOP’s chances of passing comprehensive tax reform by the end of the year – as the White House has promised to do – are looking increasingly remote. So far, the biggest obstacle – as with the Republicans disastrous failure to repeal and replace Obamacare – is the Senate, where disparate groups of lawmakers are opposing the bill for different, and sometimes contradictory, reasons.
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In what has been called a “make or break” marathon negotiating session, at least two Senators have come out against the bill in its current form, sending the administration scrambling to hammer out a compromise on the pass-through rate that would entice Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson and Montana’s Steve Daines to vote ‘yes’.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2017.

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Against Pensions

The Illinois Supreme Court has used STRICT CONSTRUCTION to defend the State against State Employee pensions that have been bankrupting the State. Previously, back in 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that health care benefits provided to state employees were a ‘permanent benefit’guaranteed by the state constitution. That has led to a complete disaster as healthcare costs have risen out of control thanks to Obamacare, which handed insurance companies more money and a monopoly status that everyone had to have insurance even the y7outh who never used it.
Those health care costs are destroying the fabric of the entire economy pushing pension costs over the top. The Supreme Court is mindful of the disaster he caused with its 2014 ruling and they have been obvious under political pressure to reverse it. They figured a way to do this using STRICT CONSTRUCTION. Therefore, the benefit cannot be greater than what was expressed in the statute. Consequently, they now delivered a six-word ruling on Thanksgiving eve refusing to hear the retirees’ appeal of a state Appellate Court ruling that essentially upheld Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s now-completed, three-year phase-out of retiree health care coverage.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 28, 2017.

Two Paths Diverge: Which One Will the President Take?

At the beginning of the year as the President was assuming office, I penned a piece that focused upon the need for the President to ‘clean house’ regarding the Administration, and putting Congress in its place. I also stressed the need for him to run a ‘tight ship,’ as the midterm elections of Congress in 2018 are going to determine the success of his term. As it stands, things do not look very promising. RINO (Republicans in Name Only) members of Congress have derailed his efforts on everything from Obamacare to Border Control. Every effort the President has initiated has met with dogged resistance.
Who are these resistors? To be sure, many of them can be found ensconced within levels of government or government-influenced positions where said position is not necessarily determined or changed by an incoming administration. An example of how this happens is Ben Bernanke, appointed to head the Federal Reserve under George W. Bush, and kept in place by Obama until 2014 when Yellen stepped into the spot.
The prime example of an infestation are the holdovers from the Obama administration in the State Department…the same department boasting such ‘winners’ as Victoria Nuland and Hillary Clinton. The State Department that almost singlehandedly (with the help of Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain) toppled the government of Ukraine via coup d’tat, as well as enabling the ‘Arab Spring’ to unfold.

This post was published at shtfplan on November 24th, 2017.

Venezuela’s Default Disaster

Socialism always promises heaven and gives hell.
In the early hours of Thursday, November 2, the Maduro regime certified its latest failure with what they promised would never happen: technical default. With his usual arrogance, Maduro issued a ‘decree’ demanding ‘the refinancing and restructuring of the debt as of November 3.’ That is, default.
The bad news for investors or high-yield hunters is that the likelihood of being swindled again is almost 100%.
Chavez once said ‘put me oil at zero and Venezuela will not suffer,’ and Maduro stated that ‘a revolutionary government with economic power as the one I preside has plans to surpass any situation arising from any price of oil.’ Reality has now kicked in.
Venezuela was not destroyed by low oil prices, but by high socialism.
Socialism has led Venezuela to an unparalleled economic disaster . No, it’s not ‘the price of oil.’ Venezuela is the only OPEC country that has fallen into default, depression, and hyperinflation. It’s not oil, it’s socialism.
The management disaster is spectacular and the greatest example of the devastating effect of socialism is the state-owned oil company. PdVSA, the national oil company, has gone from being one of the most efficient and profitable twenty years ago, to end up importing oil.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 11/20/2017.

Obamacare Rage: One Family Of 4 In Virginia Is Faced With Paying $3,000 A Month For Health Insurance

Could you afford to pay $3000 a month for health insurance? Previously, Ian Dixon had been paying $900 a month for health insurance for his family of four, but thanks to changes in the Charlottesville insurance market, a similar plan will now cost him more than $3,000 a month. When I first came across this story on Zero Hedge, I have to admit that I got angry. I was angry at the Democrats for destroying our healthcare system in the first place, and I was angry at Republicans for failing to repeal Obamacare even though they have had almost a full year to do so. Obamacare is financially destroying hard working families all over the nation, and Congress must take action immediately.
Originally, Ian Dixon was excited about Obamacare because he thought that it would mean that he could continue to provide health insurance for his family once he left his full-time job. But now that he is facing a bill of more than $3,000 a month, all he is feeling is ‘rage’…
Ian Dixon, who left his full-time job in 2016 to pursue an app-development business, did so because the ACA guaranteed that he could still have quality coverage for his young family, he said.
But when the 38-year-old Charlottesville husband and father of a 3- and a 1-year-old went to re-enroll this month, his only choice for coverage would cost him more than $3,000 a month for his family of four, which amounted to an increase of more than 300 percent over the $900 he paid the year before. And this is for the second-cheapest option, with a deductible of $9,200.
‘Helpless is definitely a good word for it,’ Dixon said. ‘Rage is also a good word for it.’

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 19th, 2017.

OBAMACARE PREMIUM SPIKES IN 2018 NOW GREATER THAN TWO THIRDS OF A FAMILY’S WAGES IN SOME AREAS

Just as in 2016, Obamacare could remain one of the major hot button topics for voters going into the 2018 mid-term elections.
And unless the Congressional Republicans can hammer out some form of repeal, replace, or adaptation of the Healthcare Act before the end of 2017, then premiums are expected to once again skyrocket for the majority of American families next year.
And how high might some of these premiums go? Well in an example from one family in Virginia, their monthly premiums are going to be greater than two-thirds of the average household income for the entire state.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 18, 2017.

“Helpless, Raging” Charlottesville Families Shocked By These 2018 Obamacare Premiums…”It’s Horrific”

Over the past several months, Democrats have jumped on every opportunity possible to blame the Trump administration for yet another year of staggering Obamacare premium increases. Ironically, despite arguments from the Left that Trump’s defunding of Obamacare’s marketing budget would cause 2018 signups to plunge, as Politico recently noted, they’re actually up in 2018…which begs the question: was the Obama administration just wasting $100 million a year in taxpayer money for nothing? Shocking thought, we know.
Meanwhile a fresh barrage of outcries from Democrats, most notably Ms. Nancy Pelosi, came after Trump’s decision to cut federal subsidies, an action which the CBO insisted could result in devastating premium increases of up to 20%.
Of course, if Trump is responsible for 20% of Obamacare’s premium hikes in 2018, then perhaps Nancy Pelosi should explain to the Dixon family in Charlottesville, VA precisely who is responsible for the other portion of the 235% premium hike they just received.
As the Washington Post points out this morning, the Dixons, a family of 4 in Virginia, were shocked earlier this month to find that their Obamacare premiums were going to surge from roughly $900 per month in 2017 to over $3,000 per month in 2018.
Ian Dixon, who left his full-time job in 2016 to pursue an app-development business, did so because the ACA guaranteed that he could still have quality coverage for his young family, he said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.

Here’s what real US-Russian collusion looks like

The late great author and researcher, Antony Sutton (1925-2002), labored for many years to unearth US-Russian collusion at the highest levels. That’s why Sutton was censored by mainstream news and academic institutions.
The Best Enemy Money Can Buy (1986), and his three-volume classic, Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development, published between 1968 and 1973, exposed the deep historic relationship between US and Russian power players.
The recent Clinton Uranium One scandal, which gave Putin control over 20% of American uranium, should be viewed in the context of a much larger history.
Sutton meticulously documented the transfer of key technologies from the West to the USSR.
Why would the Rockefellers, Armand Hammer, and others take the lead in such a covert transfer program, over the course of decades? Because: money and profits, on one level.
On another level, bolstering the Russian Communist/Socialist State was part of the elite Rockefeller plan to expand socialism, in many forms, across countries all over the world.
Under the phony guise of helping the downtrodden establish a new and better world for all, the socialist goal was, as usual, top-down control. The theoretical foundation (Marx) was modern; the tyranny was as old as the hills.
Further, supplying Russia with vital technology it sorely lacked would eventually produce the Cold War. That mighty stand-off was a gigantic money maker. It was also created as a threat to Europe, which justified the rise of the European Union – another major Rockefeller/CFR/Bilderberg plan to extend the covert agenda of Socialist Globalism. The EU IS a regional face of Globalism.

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on Nov 15, 2017.

The New York Times and the “Lost Cause” of Bolshevism

A century ago this week, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia ushered in a century of mass murder, starvation, summary execution of millions of people, destruction of ancient social institutions, wars, a vast network of death camps, and the evisceration of liberty, at one time, of a third of the planet.
According to the New York Times, we should be mourning the passage of this era and all of its promises of a better life for all.
You read that correctly.
For the past few months, leading up to the centennial of when the followers of Lenin and Trotsky overthrew the Provision Government of Russia and established ‘all power to the Soviets,’ the Times has run a series of op-ed articles by people mostly mourning the ‘Lost Cause’ of communism and all of its promise. We have learned that Bolsheviks were wonderful parents, that women under communism had great sex, Mao liberated women(when he wasn’t murdering them), that Bolshevism promoted a pristine, clean environment and we should all be communists if we want environmental purity (except that the communist bloc had much worse pollution problems than the so-called polluted capitalist West), and that the revolutionary fervor of communism can lead to a glorious socialist future.
As one reads these articles, it becomes clear that to the NYT, the end of communism as we knew it – except for a few backwaters like North Korea and Cuba – really was the end of hope for a better life, the end of hope of liberation from the slavery of capitalism, and the end of hope that the state could forcibly destroy human institutions from marriage to religion and replace them with peace, love, and brotherhood. If only.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Nov 14, 2017.

Mainstream Economists Whitewashed the Evils of Communism

To ‘commemorate’ the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in Russian, I’ve been sharing a series of columns on the evil of communism.
On October 30, I looked at the death toll resulting from communist tyranny. On November 5, I discussed the shameful actions of communist apologists. On November 7, I shared some amusing mockery of totalitarian communism. Today, I’m going to target my profession.
But I’m going to bend over backwards to be fair. I’m not going to condemn the economists back in the 1920s and 1930s who were sympathetic to central planning. They were horribly wrong, but that was before economists from the Austrian School prevailed in the ‘Socialist Calculation Debate.’ So we’ll give them an undeserved pass.
And we’ll even excuse the wrongheaded thinking of economists who sympathized with communism in the first couple of decades after World War II. After all, maybe they were just naive when they blindly accepted and regurgitated statistics from the Soviet Union (just as I think some people today are being somewhat gulliblewhen they accept stats today from Beijing).
But there’s no excuse for any sentient being – especially an economist – to have praised the decrepit communist economic model by the time we got to the 1980s.
Yet some very prominent economists were guilty of whitewashing the sins of communism. I condemned Paul Samuelson two years ago (albeit only in a postscript) for his Pollyannish assessment of the Soviet economy. There was absolutely no excuse for him to write that, ‘…the Soviet economy is proof that…a socialist command economy can function and even thrive.’
Especially since he made that claim shortly before the Berlin Wall collapsed. That takes a special type of ignorance.
But Samuelson wasn’t the only academic economist to disseminate nonsense. Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution shares some additional examples of mal-education.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 11/10/2017.

Blame Game Over Obamacare’s 2018 Premium Surge Reaches Feverish Pitch, Will It Matter In 2018?

As Americans head to the exchanges to purchase their Obamacare plans for 2018, many are experiencing a bit of sticker shock. As the Wall Street Journal points out this morning, folks in Deaf Smith, Texas can expect their premiums to surge 87% next year while those in Clinton, Iowa are looking at a sickening increase of 171%, with monthly premiums surging from $288 to $781.
In Deaf Smith, Texas, for example, a 40-year old single individual who earns too much for federal aid will see premiums jump 87% – from about $290 to $540 – according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of prices for a popular, midprice health plan. Only people who make less than 400% of the poverty level – about $48,000 in most states this year – are eligible for federal aid.
In Clinton, Iowa, premiums will rise from $288 to $781, an increase of 171%, for the same plan.
‘There is unquestionably a growing divide in affordability between lower-income people who qualify for premium subsidies and middle-income people who do not,’ said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
AnnMarie McIlwain, a patient advocate in Summit, N. J., pays $1,087 a month for a family policy, and her premiums next year are going up 39%. With their deductible, the family’s annual health costs could surpass $20,000.
‘I find it outrageous. I think there’s going to be a huge outcry,’ said Mrs. McIIwain, 56. ‘They have gone up year over year, but never like this.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 9, 2017.

Disaster In Red: The 100th Anniversary Of The Russian Socialist Revolution

November 7, 2017, marked the one hundredth anniversary of the Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution in Russia that happened on that date in November 1917, which lead to the communist ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and ushered in an epoch of totalitarian tyranny and mass murder both in Russia and in every other country where socialism was put into practice.
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Historians estimate that as many as 150 million people, if not more – innocent men, women and children – were killed in the name of building the collectivist utopia.
They were shot, tortured, worked or starved to death in prison cells, in interrogation rooms, in labor camps, or just in the places where they lived.
‘Socialism-in-practice’ created a chamber of horrors in which the individual was reduced to a mere expendable ‘cog in the wheel’ to serve the collective good, or made into ‘enemies of the people’ to be eliminated as the prelude to building the ‘bright, beautiful communist future.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 9, 2017.