Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Constitution

Hillary Wins Popular Vote; Trump Will Be the Next President

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 9, 2016:  

James Madison, Hamilton's major collaborator, ...

James Madison, Hamilton’s major collaborator, later President of the United States and “Father of the Constitution”

Following one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent memory, Hillary Clinton won more popular votes than Donald Trump in the nationwide election — while losing to Trump in the Electoral College vote. As of Wednesday morning (when this is being written), incomplete returns showed Clinton leading Trump by 165,292 popular votes — 59,344,158 to 59,178,867. But since the Constitution still reigns, members of the Electoral College are expected to meet next month and elect Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution states:

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Mass. Superior Court: State’s AG May Demand “Safety” Info From Glock, Remington

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 9, 2016:  

Back in July Massachusetts’ anti-gun Attorney General Maura Healey unilaterally rewrote the law on what constitutes an “assault” weapon and then banned them under her new definition.

At the same time, she issued imperious demands from Remington and Glock to provide her office with all manner of private company information relating to the “safety” of the companies’ ammunition and firearms.

Her anti-gun ideology was clear when she banned the newly defined assault weapons, saying,

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The Passing of Don Kates: More Evidence of the Ripple Effect of One Man’s Life

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 9, 2016: 

University of Texas Law School Professor Sanfo...

University of Texas Law School Professor Sanford Levinson

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “ripple effect” correctly: a spreading, pervasive, and usually unintentional effect or influence on future events. Don Kates, a scholar, lawyer, and research fellow with the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, likely never intended that his scholarly fulminations against the gun controllers of his day would reach all the way to the Supreme Court.

But they did, and every American, whether they own a firearm or not, benefits from his work today.

It started with an unheralded piece of work he did in 1983,

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Don Kates, the Igniter of the Second Amendment Movement, Passes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 8, 2017:  

Compact Glock 19 in 9x19mm Parabellum.

Glock Model 19, the world’s most popular handgun

One week ago today, Don Kates, a scholar with the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, passed away at the age of 75. He leaves a remarkable legacy of influence in the long war on guns, single-handedly igniting the renaissance of today’s pro-gun movement with his scholarly work.

During the iron age of gun control — the decade prior to the passage of the Brady Bill in 1994 during the Clinton administration — Kates’ voice was the only one heard that supported an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. So carefully crafted was his work that his article

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How Bill O’Reilly Has Fooled Millions

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 4, 2016:

Abraham Lincoln famously said that “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” But Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly has come close.

For decades O’Reilly has fooled millions into thinking that he is a conservative. Contributors to his Wikipedia page say that

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Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Calls for All Gun Crimes to Be Federal Crimes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 3, 2016: 

English: Bill O'Reilly at a Hudson Union Socie...

On Wednesday evening Bill O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor, offered his solution to gun violence: make all gun crimes federal crimes to be enforced at the federal level. “That way,” he claimed, “American law enforcement everywhere can not only take guns off the streets but people who illegally carry them and/or use them to commit crimes … and the upshot, pardon the pun, is that legal gun owners would be left alone.”

He expanded on this trashing of precious gun rights by federal police:

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Chicago, Nearly a War Zone

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 1, 2016:  

The year 2016 is set to become one of Chicago’s bloodiest in decades. More than 100 people were shot in just the first 10 days of the year. By the end of March, 345 people had been murdered. The month of May saw 66 people murdered and another 400 wounded. Over Labor Day 13 were killed and another 52 injured by gunfire. By the end of September, 500 people had been murdered and more than 3,000 shot and wounded.

The last weekend in October saw 17 people murdered and another 41 wounded, despite the Chicago Police Department cancelling leaves and putting officers on 12-hour shifts.

By the end of October, 641 people had been killed with more than 3,660 wounded — putting Chicago on track for the worst year for gun violence in decades.

There are multiple causes.

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Dutch Pol Geert Wilders Refuses to Attend His Trial; Says It’s “Political”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 31, 2016:

Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician best known for his criticism of Islam, won’t attend his own trial that begins Monday. He asserted,

Monday, the trial against freedom of speech begins … against a politician who says what the politically correct elite does not want to hear.

 

This trial is a political trial, in which I refuse to cooperate.

The trial concerns two public utterances that he made back in 2014, including one where he spoke to political supporters at The Hague. He asked them if they wanted fewer Moroccans in the country, and they responded “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” Wilders responded, “Well, we’ll take care of it, then.”

Some 6,400 complaints were filed with local police, mostly from Moroccans living in the country. The court sorted through them and found 35 that were valid to bring charges of discrimination against Wilders.

Wilders was also charged in 2011 with criminally insulting Islam and inciting hatred as a result. Those charges stemmed from articles that he had penned and statements that he made calling for a ban on the Koran, warning against an “Islamic invasion” of his country and the coming “tsunami of Islamization.” He described Islam as fascist, Moroccan youths as instigators of violence, and compared the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

He authored the script for a 2004 film entitled Fitna, a 17-minute-long argument that Islam encourages acts of terrorism, anti-semitism, violence against women, subjugation of infidels, and sanctions against homosexuals. Wilders explained his intentions, saying that the film (which is free on the Internet) was “a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamisation.”

When he was acquitted of all charges in that trial, Wilders called it victory not only for himself but for freedom of speech.

The present trial is a variation on the same theme: Wilders is being charged with discrimination against a group, not a religion, which in the Netherlands is considered a hate crime. Frans Zonneveld, a spokesman for the prosecution, explained the difference:

Islam is an idea, a religion, [and] according to the public prosecution service, you have a lot of room to criticize ideas. But when it comes to population groups [Moroccans make up about two percent of the 17 million citizens in the Netherlands], it’s a whole different matter. His remarks touched the very being of this population group.

 

You cannot choose to be a part of a population group or not; it’s a group that’s decided by birth, so it’s a whole different matter.

Wilders responded: “It is a travesty that I have to stand trial because I spoke about fewer Moroccans [in the Netherlands]. It is my right and duty as a politician to speak about the problems in our country.”

In the Netherlands, Wilders does not have the guarantees provided Americans under the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, specifically those spelled out by the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Instead he is faced with a greater likelihood this time around of going to jail, or at least paying a fine or doing some community service, for his “crime.” However, his Freedom Party will face the Netherlands’ ruling party in elections in March. At present the race is too close to call. A conviction of Wilders in this case could work to his party’s advantage, as an increasing number of Dutch citizens are becoming aware of his warnings and potential threats to their culture.

California’s Anti-gun Prop 63 Likely to Pass

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 31, 2016:

English: San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom at S...

Gavin Newsom

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign to run for something (either governor of the state or for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat when she retires) in 2018 is likely to get a significant boost when Proposition 63 passes next month. Prop 63 won’t do anything to restrict criminal gun violence, but it will raise him from obscurity, provide his campaign (which he announced in February last year) with mailing lists and funding sources, and propel him into national prominence.

In other words, Prop 63 is all about Newsom. As sponsor of the anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment bill, Newsom has taken plays from the Brady anti-gun playbook and sold them to the California low-information voters,

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Gallup: Assault Weapons Ban Support at Lowest Level Ever Recorded

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 27, 2016:  

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

Poll results released on Wednesday by Gallup confirm the trend toward the acceptance of the freedom to own guns and support of the Second Amendment. Sixteen years ago 59 percent of those polled favored “a law which would make it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles,” while just 39 percent were opposed. Today those numbers have flipped: Just 36 percent support a ban, while 61 percent of those polled oppose it.

Even those polled who don’t have a gun in their home oppose such a ban. Most surprisingly, however, is that support for such a ban has dropped even among those most likely to support one:

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Americans Love Their Guns: All 660 Million of Them

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 28, 2016:  

English: A Luger P08 pistol with long barrel a...

A Luger P08 pistol with long barrel and snail magazine. Taken at the National Firearms Museum.

“If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth” is attributed to Joseph Goebbels. Whether the mainstream media intends it or not, it certainly has an estimate of how many guns are owned by Americans:

Time magazine:  270 to 310 million,

National Public Radio: More than 300 million,

Washington Post:  357 million,

New York Times: 280 to 320 million, and so on.

This so annoyed the blogger at WeaponsMan, a former Special Forces soldier, that he invested hours in his search for the truth. He found it by

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Claim of “Negligent Entrustment” Fails in Lawsuit Against Remington Arms

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 17, 2016:  

Remington Arms

Lawyers decided to attempt to nullify a law passed by Congress a decade ago protecting the gun industry from frivolous (and costly) lawsuits. The law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), signed into law by President George Bush in 2005, specifically and deliberately prohibits civil liability actions against any part of America’s gun industry for damages or injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse – criminal or otherwise – of their products.

There’s an exception built into the law called “negligent entrustment” which

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Superior Court Judge Slaps Down Lawsuit Brought Against Remington Arms

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, October 15, 2016:  

On Friday Fairfield (Connecticut) District Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis dismissed the lawsuit filed in January 2015 by families of victims murdered by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, three years earlier (see memorial above). They hoped to use a legal loophole involving “negligent entrustment” as a way to get around Congress’s intent to protect the gun industry from frivolous lawsuits: the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

The act, prohibiting civil liability claims against not only gun manufacturers but also

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Mexico’s Violence Teaches the Value of the Second Amendment

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 14, 2016: 

Português: Jovem é morto com um tiro na cabeça...

On Monday, Mexico’s National Survey on Victimization and Perception of Public Security reported that three out of every four Mexican citizens don’t feel safe living there, thanks to the violent crime wracking the country. It went on to calculate the ratio of violent crimes per 100,000 population: an astounding 35,497! Translation: more than one out of three citizens is a victim of a violent crime, every year! Compare that to the US where the ratio is 369 per 100,000.

The police are of little help, either through corruption or incompetence. “Cifra negra” – unreported crime – is so widespread that

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Mexican Senator Proposes Expanded Gun Rights

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 13, 2016:  

On Tuesday, Senator Jorge Luis Preciado, a member of Mexico’s National Action Party (PAN), said he is backing a bill to amend his country’s constitution so that bus drivers, cabbies, truckers, and “other transportation drivers” can carry firearms to protect themselves, their cargo, and their passengers.

He said the constitution’s current provisions need to be expanded:

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Runaway Federal Agency Reined in, a Little

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 12, 2016:  

English: Richard Cordray, Attorney General of Ohio

Richard Cordray, Director of the runaway agency

On Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the unconstitutional structure of one of the most pernicious, invasive, and out-of-control federal agencies: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The court’s opinion was penned by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a George Bush appointee. Sounding like a conservative constitutional scholar teaching at the Freedom Project Academy sponsored by The John Birch Society, he got off to a great start:

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Frederic Bastiat Wouldn’t Approve of Social Security

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 12, 2016:  

Frédéric Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat

Frederic Bastiat was a “classical liberal” who lived briefly in the first half of the 19th century in France. But his legacy, including his development of the fallacy of the broken window through his Parable of the Broken Window continues to resonate today. He is perhaps best known for his definition of “legal plunder”:

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

When it was enforced at the point of a pistol by a government bureaucrat, Bastiat opposed it:

I do not dispute [politicians’] right to invent social combinations, to advertise them, to advocate them, and to try them upon themselves, at their own expense and risk. But I do dispute their right to impose these plans upon us by law – by force – and to compel us to pay for them with our taxes.

There’s little doubt, then, that Bastiat would support the philosophy of The Bastiat Society, founded a dozen years ago:

Capitalism is the only economic system to produce widespread peace and prosperity. But if those in the private sector do not understand the intellectual and cultural institutions that make entrepreneurship and peaceful trade possible, what chance do they have to withstand a steady series of attacks from those who desire to bring capitalism and personal freedom to an end?

One of the battles that freedom lost was Social Security. Enacted as part of FDR’s Great Society, it remains a fixture that appears to be immovable. Today the only conversation heard is how to keep it from going bankrupt.

All manner of “fixes” are proposed. Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform came up with ten fixes while The Motley Fool proposed 15:

  1. Cut benefits across the board right now;
  2. Change the COLA;
  3. Raise the earnings cap;
  4. Allow beneficiaries to invest in the stock market;
  5. Do nothing and cut benefits when the [trust fund] is depleted;
  6. Do nothing and enact payroll tax hikes when the [trust fund] is depleted;
  7. Offer a buyout [to the wealthy, removing them from the program];
  8. Link life expectancies to benefit levels;
  9. Means-test [to qualify] for benefits;
  10. Raise the full retirement age;
  11. Use the Estate Tax to cover Social Security [shortfalls];
  12. Freeze the purchasing power of benefits [i.e., eliminate COLA altogether];
  13. Freeze the … benefits on a sliding scale;
  14. Transfer [some] costs to [the] government [now]; and/or
  15. Increase the payroll tax on everyone right now.

Social Security has the peculiar characteristics similar to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme: eventually it is exposed and it ends in bankruptcy. The difference is that Social Security is enforced by people with guns and badges: everyone must be covered and forced to support everyone else, or else.

No one questions the math: the program’s “trust fund” is slowly being liquidated to cover the annual shortfalls between revenues and benefits. Thanks to the Baby Boomers, the liquidation is increasing more rapidly: those Boomers have developed the nasty habit of living longer, far beyond the original mortality tables predicted back in the mid-1930s. There’s also the declining birth rate, which is reducing the number of new entrants into the system whose taxes are needed to support it.

It’s the ideology: freedom versus force. So-called conservatives want to fix it, as do liberals. Conservatives, when pressed, question the intergenerational conflict that requires young people to contribute to a plan paying benefits to seniors. They question the use of resources: tax and spend now, or save and invest for later. Conservatives even argue over who should control the money. They never question its morality.

Liberals think it’s a proper function of government, going along with the Supreme Court’s decision in Helvering v. Davis that the program is constitutional, the Tenth Amendment notwithstanding.

As economist Herb Stein noted: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” With Social Security it will continue as long as it can be patched up with temporary fixes. Eventually the mathematics and the bond market will end it.

Court Upholds Freedom and the Fifth Amendment in Taxi Cartel Case

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 10, 2016:  

On the surface, Judge Richard Posner’s decisions, decided last Friday, appeared merely to expand the freedom of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services to operate more freely in Milwaukee and Chicago. Beneath the surface, however, Posner presents a refreshing and much-needed defense not only of freedom in general, but of the Fifth Amendment and the competitive free market as well.

Posner (shown above) is one of the most respected jurists in the country.

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Gun Background Check Denials Not Prosecuted, Appeals Not Processed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 10, 2016: 

Brady Campaign

The audit released last month of how well the FBI is handling background check denials by the Inspector General’s Office in the Justice Department was designed to “focus on how the DOJ handles” denials. What it revealed was unsettling: “We found that the number of NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] denial prosecutions has dropped substantially since 2002, when 166 subjects were accepted for consideration of prosecution. Between 2008 and 2015 … the USAO [United States Attorney’s Office] accepted for consideration of prosecution 254 subjects … less than 32 subjects per year.”

In other words, since 2008, while background checks have been soaring, the number of those being prosecuted for failing the check has dropped by 80 percent!

How can that be?

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The Background Check System is Working Well – at Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Citizens Without Due Process

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 10, 2016:

Seal of the United States Department of Justice

The Brady Campaign promised back in 1993 that a properly installed background check system, run by the ever-dependable and reliable FBI, would deny permission to criminals trying to buy a firearm. The latest report from the Inspector General of the Justice Department confirms that the system is working well: from 2008 to 2014, the NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] denied approval of 556,000 requests for permission to purchase a firearm with an “accuracy rate that ranges from 99.3 percent to 99.8 percent.”

But buried on page four of the report was this:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.