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: Crime

More Guns, Less Crime: Concealed-carry Permit Holders More Law-abiding Than Police

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 14, 2019: 

More than 17 million Americans have obtained their concealed-carry permits, and about four out of every 10 of them carry a firearm with them at least some of the time.

This has been the cause of much angst among the anti-gun crowd, which still believes that more guns will equal more crime. Exactly the opposite has been proven to be the case.

It was Guy Smith, writing in his Gun Facts blog, who first alerted his readers to a study showing that “people with concealed carry licenses are 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for violent offences than the general public and 13.5 times less likely to be arrested for non-violent offenses than the general public.” Referring to another study, Smith noted that “the four-year violent crime arrest rate of CCW holders is 128 per 100,000 [but] for the general population it is 710 per 100,000. In other words, CCW holders are 5.5 times less likely to commit a violent crime [than the general public].”

But it was John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, who went one step further:

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Soros’s EU Dream Is Turning Into a Nightmare

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 13, 2019: 

Rarely does the mainstream media expose George Soros’s messianic view of himself or his family’s history of insanity. The biographic at the end of his lament over the pending collapse of his pet project, “Europe, Please Wake Up,” that appeared at Business Insider on Monday is typical:

George Soros is Chairman of Soros Fund Management and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations. A pioneer of the hedge-fund industry, he is the author of many books, including The Alchemy of FinanceThe New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means, and The Tragedy of the European Union.

Soros has been pouring billions into making the world safe for tyranny, but May’s election in Europe isn’t likely to go well for the megalomaniac messiah. Wrote Soros:

Europe is sleepwalking into oblivion, and the people of Europe need to wake up before it is too late. If they don’t, the European Union will go the way of the Soviet Union in 1991. Neither our leaders nor ordinary citizens seem to understand that we are experiencing a revolutionary moment….

 

The next inflection point will be the elections for the European Parliament in May 2019. Unfortunately, anti-European forces will enjoy a competitive advantage in the balloting. There are several reasons for this, including the outdated party system that prevails in most European countries, the practical impossibility of treaty change, and the lack of legal tools for disciplining member states that violate the principles on which the European Union was founded.

Translation: citizens are waking up to the personal and political liberty they lost when they traded it for the promise of an improved economy. The Wizard of Oz has been exposed, his name is George Soros, and they aren’t taking it anymore.

Soros complained that the EU had unnecessarily exposed its iron fist back in 2017:

The EU made a fatal mistake in 2017 by strictly enforcing the Dublin Agreement [whereby the EU controls former states’ immigration policies], which unfairly burdens countries like Italy where migrants first enter the EU.

 

This drove Italy’s predominantly pro-European and pro-immigration electorate into the arms of the anti-European League party and Five Star Movement in 2018. The previously dominant Democratic Party is in disarray. As a result, the significant portion of the electorate that remains pro-European has no party to vote for … a similar reordering of party systems is happening in France, Poland, Sweden, and probably elsewhere.

There’s a dark spiritual side missing from nearly every reference made to the billionaire. From DiscoverTheNetworks.org comes this:

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Latest Gun Death Scorecard From Giffords Is Grossly Misleading

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 11, 2019: 

For years the Giffords Law Center (GLC) has released its annual scorecard on how well states’ gun laws match its bias toward more infringement of the Second Amendment. It then “proves” that those infringements of law-abiding citizens’ rights reduce “gun deaths” in those states. Its latest release illustrates the point.

Consider its ranking of Wyoming, a state that historically has allowed its citizens maximum freedom in exercising their Second Amendment rights:

In 2018, Wyoming legislators put their constituents at risk by enacting a dangerous Stand Your Ground law and passing legislation allowing people with concealed carry permits to bring guns into places of worship.

 

The state has very weak gun laws and a remarkably high gun suicide rate. Wyoming could save lives by, among other things, passing universal background checks and imposing waiting periods on gun purchases.

On the other hand it ranks California as its “best state” in its survey:

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How Many Cities Cook Their Books to Make Their Financials Look Better?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 4, 2019: 

Otto von Bismarck is famous for turning Germany from a gaggle of competing provinces into a nation by binding them together using social insurance promises. But he is best known for telling how he did it – behind the scenes: “Laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made.”

So it is with many of America’s largest cities when it comes to reporting on their finances. Those sausages are warmed up by the fires used to cook their books.

For the last three years, Truth in Accounting, a non-profit that peers into the dark corners of cities’ kitchens, has exposed the chicanery in its annual report, The Financial State of the Cities. It uses GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) to analyze what they officially report, and then it goes deeper to find out what’s really going on.

What they learned is ugly: just 12 cities have enough money to pay their bills out of the 75 cities they analyzed. There’s an interactive graph (see Sources below) to show the details, if one dares to know, behind TIA’s conclusions.

TIA also grades each city from A to F depending upon that “taxpayer burden.” There are no “A”s. There are only 12 “B”s. The rest are rated C to F.

TIA staffers really had to dig behind the public numbers in order to determine just how bad some of the financial conditions are. From the report:

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Most of America’s Largest Cities Can’t Pay Their Bills, Says Truth in Accounting

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 1, 2019: 

The latest report from Truth in Accounting (TIA), a non-profit that peers behind the financial reports issued by the states and 75 of the largest cities in America, reveals that 63 of those cities don’t have enough money to pay their bills. Even if they liquidated every asset on their balance sheets, taxpayers in those cities would still have to ante up the difference. In some cases, those differences are into six and seven figures.

TIA then rates those cities on the basis of just how much taxpayers would owe if they tried to pay all of their bills. Out of the 75 cities reviewed, only 12 have enough on hand to pay all their bills.

There’s an interactive graph available to show the details, if one dares to know, behind TIA’s conclusions.

TIA also grades each city from A to F depending upon that “taxpayer burden.” There are no “A”s. There are only 12 “B”s. The rest are rated C to F.

TIA staffers really had to dig behind the public numbers in order to determine just how bad some of the financial conditions are. From the report:

At the end of the FY 2017, 63 cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. This means that to balance the budget, elected officials have not included the true costs of the government in their budget calculations and have pushed costs onto future taxpayers.

Two cities, Newark and Jersey City, were so far out of compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the reporting of their financial conditions that TIA was forced to add two other cities in their place to complete their study.

Added TIA:

Cities in general do not have enough money to pay their bills. Based on our analysis, the total unfunded debt among the 75 most populous cities amounts to nearly $330 billion. Most of this debt comes from unfunded retiree benefit promises, such as pension and retiree healthcare debt.

 

This year, pension debt accounts for $189.1 billion, and other post-employment benefits — mainly retiree healthcare liabilities — totaled $139.2 billion.

Many of the cities hide the reality from the public in order to make their financials look better:

One of the ways the cities help make their budgets look balanced is by shortchanging public pension funds….

 

Some elected officials have used portions of the money that is owed to pension funds to keep taxes low and pay for politically popular programs.… Instead of funding promised benefits now, they have been charged to future taxpayers.

 

Shifting the payment of employee benefits to future taxpayers allows the budget to appear balanced, while municipal debt is increasing.

TIA refers to those 12 cities with enough money to pay their bills as “Sunshine Cities” which, surprisingly, include two in California: Irvine and Fresno. On a per-taxpayer basis, Irvine has $4,400 surplus per taxpayer, while Fresno has a $2,500 surplus.

Not surprisingly, however, is that among the “Sinkhole Cities” where the taxpayer burden is overwhelming is California’s San Francisco, where that burden is $22,600.

TIA includes commentary on three of the worst “Sinkhole Cities”: San Francisco, Chicago, and, bringing up the rear, New York City.

San Francisco:

 

San Francisco remains one of the Bottom 5 Sinkhole Cities with a Taxpayer Burden of $22,600. However, this burden decreased by $4,900 compared to the previous year as unfunded pension debt declined by $592 million thanks to income earned on pension plan assets.

Chicago:

 

Chicago’s finances seemingly improved, but the city continues to have the second worst financial condition among the 75 most populous U.S. cities. A recent law that requires Chicago to increase its contributions to municipal pension plans led actuaries to raise the percentage rate used to determine the current value of promised benefits, which reduced the unfunded pension debt calculation by $7.8 billion.

Note: This is called “cooking the books,” a non-accounting term for fraudulent manipulation of numbers on paper to make things look better than they are.

New York City ranks dead last:

New York City again ranks last for fiscal health because of its massive and growing debts. The city’s finances continue to deteriorate as the amount of unfunded retiree health care promises balloons. NYC has set aside only $4.7 billion to fund the $100.6 billion of promised retiree health care benefits.

There are budgetary shenanigans even in Wyoming, which TIA rates as an “A” for the prudent handling of its finances. On the surface it shows a taxpayer “surplus” of $19,600, but in a footnote TIA writes, “The state is still hiding $564.3 million of its retiree health care debt. A new accounting standard will be implemented in the 2018 fiscal year which will require states to report this debt on the balance sheet.”

Caution is advised for those wanting to use TIA’s interactive map to learn how their city fares under TIA’s accounting microscope. Caution is also advised when considering Cory Booker’s announcement of his run for the presidency on Friday. He is the former mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Then again, if he wins, he’ll certainly feel right at home with how the federal government runs its own books.

South Dakota Allows Constitutional Carry, Mississippi Fights “Bump-stock” Ban

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 2019: 

The day before signing South Dakota’s “constitutional carry” bill into law, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem tweeted:

 Our Founding Fathers believed so firmly in our right to bear arms that they enshrined it into the Constitution. Tomorrow [Thursday] I will sign SB47 into law. This constitutional carry legislation will further protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding South Dakotans.

This echoed the sentiments of the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Pro Tempore Brock Greenfield: “We’re simply trying to create a situation in which we recognize that the Second Amendment is paramount and will not be infringed.”

SB47 does much more than that.

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Messages From Maduro’s Military Posturing

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 30, 2019:

The hosting of a parade of Russian military hardware in Caracas on Sunday by Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro delivered at least three messages: 1) I am in charge here; 2) With the help of my Russian, Chinese, and Cuban friends, that is; and 3) No tyranny remains in power very long unless it is maintained by force or the threat of force.

The show was enhanced with tank rounds being fired into a nearby hillside and by Maduro exclaiming, “Nobody respects the weak, cowards [or] traitors. In this world what’s respected is the brave, the courageous [and] power.” It was further enhanced with video of soldiers kneeling before the dictator and Maduro bellowing “Are you coup plotters?” and their response: “No!”

These messages were delivered after the defection of Colonel Jose Luis Silva, Maduro’s Washington attaché for the last five years. He told Reuters on Saturday that “the top brass of the military and the executive branch are holding the armed forces hostage. There are many, many, who are unhappy.”

And then he addressed them directly:

Enough! Leave aside the illegal control of our territory and the executive power. The leaders have become millionaires on the backs of the people. Captains, commanders: think about everyone who suffers. Don’t forget that your wives also can’t find milk for your children. Don’t forget that your mothers and fathers also can’t find pills for their [high blood] pressure.

 

Enough already! Let’s recognize the man who, under the law, is the true president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido.

The pressure on Maduro to step down continues to mount despite his claims that he has the unflinching and complete support of his military. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed a special session of the United Nations Security Council on Saturday where he described Maduro as part of an “illegitimate mafia state” and asking the members to join the United States in recognizing Guaido as the country’s only legitimate interim president. Pompeo minced no words: “Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”

Pompeo denounced both China and Russia by name, accusing them of “propping up a failed regime in the hopes of recovering billions of dollars in ill-considered investments and assistance made over the years.”

President Trump’s recognition of Guaido has already been supported by many Latin American countries, including Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina. Following Pompeo’s demand, Britain, France, and Germany got in line as well.

Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, pushed back: [The] U.S. has now stated that all options are on the table which is … dangerous. If it evolves into something more military, that is even more regretful. We think it should be avoided at any cost.”

European Union members met Saturday to discuss the crisis after which they issued a statement that called for “the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections.” The statement hinted that the EU could recognize Guaido if Maduro didn’t announce new elections promptly.

Guaido celebrated the developments, telling a rally in Caracas on Sunday, “We have the EU support. They took a firm step toward our fight for democracy.”

Students of history noted his use of the word “democracy” as a goal to be achieved rather than a danger to be avoided. Those same students wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Guaido has a long history of supporting the socialist impulse. He is a member of Venezuela’s Popular Will party, which is a full member of the Socialist International. That gaggle of left-wing political parties has as its goal the establishment of democratic socialism around the world.

Not surprisingly Guaido, in preparing to take Maduro’s place, is proposing to grant amnesty to Maduro as part of his transition to the presidency. This was noted by Rafael Valera, the communications director of the Venezuelan campaign group Rumbo Libertad:

Guaido is a member of the Socialist International.… Guaido’s Popular Will party has also supported dialogue with Maduro in the past and has called the Venezuelan population to participate in the rigged elections.

 

They are also proposing that dangerous Chavistas be part of the transition, continuing their systematic impunity. They want to pardon mercenaries, criminals, and prominent Chavistas like [former minister] Miguel Rodríguez Torres, [former state oil company head] Rafael Ramírez or [former prosecutor general] Luisa Ortega Díaz.

 

Guaidó’s party can tell us, by its background, that it doesn’t want to really tear the Communist system down but to give more life to it.

That’s the final lesson that Maduro’s posturing in Caracas on Sunday teaches: Socialism not only destroys the price system that allows a free market to operate, thus making way for government controls; it also destroys the culture of independence and morality that grows out of a free market. Guaido’s ascension to Venezuela’s presidency raises the question: How will a new suit occupying that office be any better than the old?

Pressure Building to Remove Venezuela’s Marxist Dictator

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 15, 2019:  

Minutes after Marxist Nicolás Maduro inaugurated himself for a second Term as Venezuela’s president last Thursday a majority of the 35-member Organization of American States (OAS) voted not to recognize its legitimacy. This followed disclaimers from 60 countries around the world that his reelection last May was, in the words of President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, “not free, fair or credible.”

His phony inauguration was preceded two days earlier by the announcement of additional sanctions on more of Maduro’s top officials by the U.S. State Department for allegedly

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Ninety Percent of Guns Used in Crime Not Obtained From Gun Stores/Shows

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 14, 2019:  

The Department of Justice just updated its decades-old study asking criminals where they got the guns they used in committing the crime for which they were currently incarcerated. After asking 287,000 prisoners in 2016 where they got the gun they used, 90 percent of them “did not obtain it from a retail source” and less than one percent obtained it from a gun show.

Half of them obtained their firearm from the “underground” market, while just six percent said they stole it. The survey reported that “most of the remainder had obtained it from a family member or a friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.”

In other words, current or pending laws banning “assault weapons” (usually variants of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle) almost totally miss the mark,

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How Long Will Venezuela’s Maduro Stay in Power?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 11, 2019: 

Now that the Marxist president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has inaugurated himself for a second six-year term, questions are being raised about how he managed to accomplish this while others are asking just how long he is likely to remain in power.

The New York Times asked “So How Did Maduro Secure a Second Term?” on Thursday and then answered its own question: through terror, violence, and military oppression. He long ago destroyed whatever was left of a free market economy through price controls, rationing, and currency destruction. Now he is focused on using all the tools at his disposal to remain in power.

That includes arrests and torture of suspected dissidents even in the military, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW):

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Venezuela’s Marxist President Maduro Inaugurated for Second Term

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 10, 2019:

Venezuela’s Marxist President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for a second six-year term on Thursday despite his presidency being declared null and void by 13 of Venezuela’s neighbors.

In all, about 60 countries have declared that his reelection in May was illegitimate owing to his quashing of his political opponents, his use of food as a political weapon to reward those who would vote for him, and the opposition party telling its voters to abstain from voting in the rigged election. Accordingly, in an election with the lowest voter turnout in the country’s history, Maduro was reelected with 68 percent of those who voted.

The New York Times asked,

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Britons and Europeans Increasingly Arming Themselves Against Terrorists

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 9, 2019: 

Al Capone famously said this about his liquor business: “I am like any other businessman. All I do is supply a demand.” The rule is expanded: when the demand is sufficiently high, supply will come from somewhere. The price will go up, providing additional incentive to businessmen like Capone to make sure his customers are taken care of.

The demand for personal, privately-owned firearms in Great Britain and Europe has gone up recently, thanks not only to the recent terrorist attack at the Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg last month but also

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Rosenstein’s Reasons for Leaving Are Plausible but Incomplete

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 9, 2019: 

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that, based on information from a “person familiar with his thinking,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will shortly depart the Department of Justice, where he has served since 2017.

The Journal listed five reasons for his departure, each of them plausible, but leaving unreported a long list of real reasons.

First, said the Journal,

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Gun Ownership Increasing in Europe Following Terror Attacks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 8, 2019:  

Nine days after the attack in the Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg last December in which an Islamic terrorist killed five and wounded 11, a Washington think tank reported that similar attacks were likely to continue. The terrorist, Cherif Chekatt (who was killed in a subsequent shootout with police), had previously pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, declared that

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Banks, Credit Card Companies Should Prevent Citizens from Buying “Multiple Guns,” Says NYTimes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 7, 2019:

Not happy with the progress being made by banks and credit-card companies in their move to restrict lending to gun manufacturers, Andrew Sorkin published his thinly veiled support for more surveillance of and restrictions on individual gun buyers in the New York Times in late December.

In his piece entitled “How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings,” Sorkin made clear his anti-gun worldview in the opening paragraph of the results of his Dealbook Investigation: “Omar Mateen used six credit cards to buy two guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition before he opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub [in June 2016].”

Sorkin rounded up evidence that other “mass shooters” had used credit cards to purchase firearms and accessories and concluded that “Many of the killers built their stockpiles of high-powered weapons with the convenience of credit. No one was watching.”

Now they should, said Sorkin. He took his “evidence” and called on the heads of a number of national banks who, he said, were horrified at what he had found. But they backed away from implementing any sort of tech wizardry that would target individuals buying too many firearms and too much ammunition in too short a period of time:

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Government “Shutdown” Forces IRS To Lay Off Most of Its People

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 2, 2019:  

Tax preparation firm Bacon & Gendreau informed its clients on December 28 that, due to the so-called government shutdown, “the IRS has furloughed all but 12% of its employees across the country.” Because of that, the IRS “will continue to process electronically filed and paper returns with payments” but they “will not issue any refunds.” In addition the agency “will not perform audits or process returns requiring further examination.”

On the surface this should give their clients some comfort that, for the time being at least, they won’t be getting that dreaded notice in the mail that a previously-filed tax return is being audited. However, said Bacon & Gendreau, those layoffs don’t affect “essential employees such as IRS law enforcement agents.”

As The New American reported last month,

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Violent Crime in Brazil is About to Drop Precipitously

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 2, 2019:  

Brazil has the highest rate of violent crime in Latin America and the eighth highest in the world. In Sao Paulo, a city of 12 million people, one in four reports that they have been held up at gunpoint at least once.

Along with this frightening crime wave, a weak economy (unemployment is at 12 percent) helped Jair Bolsonaro win election in October with 55 percent of the vote. Three days before his inauguration, he announced that his first effort would be to keep one of his key campaign promises: to expand his country’s gun laws. He tweeted: “By decree, we plan to guarantee the ownership of firearms by citizens without criminal records.”

That’s a far cry from the law presently in force (since 2003), which

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Decree by Brazil’s New President Keeps His Campaign Promise to Expand Gun Rights

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 1, 2019: 

Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who assumed his office on Tuesday, made many campaign promises. He supported his country’s national sovereignty and opposed abortion, affirmative action, and drug liberalization, while supporting closer relations with the United States and Israel. But his signature promise — supported by his famous finger-gun salute — is to liberalize his country’s gun laws. Since its enactment in 2003 Brazil’s murder rate has soared: Brazil has the highest homicide rate in Latin America and the eighth highest in the world.

Parallels to the U.S. president and the head of the National Rifle Association are obvious,

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Trump’s ATF Playing With Fire in Banning Bump Stocks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 19, 2018:  

The day after retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called for repeal of the Second Amendment back in March, President Trump tweeted: “THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY.”

On Tuesday, Trump’s acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said “WAY” by announcing the final rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) banning so-called bump stocks. He announced the agency’s rule by claiming that it was an “amendment” of an existing rule and not a new ruling per se and therefore didn’t need Congressional approval:

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type devices — meaning “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics — are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger….

 

The bump-stock-type devices covered by this final rule … will be prohibited when this rule becomes effective [estimated to be March 21, 2019].

A senior official from the Department of Justice made clear that they intended to allow the ATF to enforce the law with every asset they had:

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Thatcher Was Right: Maduro Has Not Only Run Out of Other People’s Money, but Now They Want It Back!

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 19, 2018: 

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s line about socialism always got a laugh: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Marxist dictator Nicolas Maduro isn’t laughing now that the lenders of other people’s money to his failed socialist experiment in Venezuela have stopped lending. Now they want it back.

Good luck with that.

Nearly 50 major lending institutions have loaned Maduro $150 billion over the years, and they have been patient. They thought they saw light at the end of the tunnel when Maduro made a final payment of $90 million to Goldman Sachs in May on their “hunger loan.” They thought they saw more light when Maduro somehow made a $1 billion loan payment in October to some of his lenders.

And they thought they saw still more light in November when

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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.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann