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: History

Food Stamp Dependency Dropping

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 24, 2017:

English: Logo of the .

In its report released last week the USDA reported that SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the old food stamp program – is shrinking, a little. In 2016, 44 million Americans and immigrants (legal and illegal) took advantage of taxpayers’ largess, costing them $71 billion. In 2010, there were 47 million receiving SNAP benefits costing taxpayers closer to $80 billion.

The program, which began in 1969, has virtually exploded, from just 2.9 million beneficiaries that year (costing taxpayers a paltry $250 million) to a peak of 47.6 million in 2013, which cost taxpayers $79.9 billion.

Part of the shrinkage is due to

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New York Times Shrinks Print Staff; 100 Taking Severance Offers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 21, 2017:

English: The New York Times building in New Yo...

On Thursday more than 100 staffers at the New York Times, including copy editors and reporters, took their only option: severance packages offered as the paper continues to shrink its print staff.

Though they were warned well in advance, many of those whose jobs were in jeopardy decided to wait until the bitter end, hoping to snag one of the few new job openings at the Times’ digital operations. For many, those final job interviews turned out instead to be offers to take the severance package, as their job skills no longer fit the new paradigm at The Gray Lady.

Red ink has been flowing for years as the Times struggled with a shrinking print audience and a technology that wasn’t keeping up with audiences switching to online media for their information. In January the Times published an internal report, “Journalism That Stands Apart,” crafted by seven of the newspaper’s journalists. It was blunt in its assessment:

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Trump’s Growth Target Reduced to 3 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 17, 2017:  

For Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s director of his Office of Management and Budget (OMB), reality is setting in. On the campaign trail Trump repeatedly promised four percent growth in the GDP (gross domestic product): “We’re bringing it from 1 percent up to 4 percent. And I actually think we can go higher than 4 percent. I think you can go to 5 percent or 6 percent.” (October, 2016). Later that month he doubled down during a speech to an audience in North Carolina: “I’m going to get us to 4 percent growth and create 25 million jobs over a 10-year period.”

Mulvaney’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday was unapologetic: “We are promoting MAGAnomics — and that means sustained 3 percent growth.” This new tag, which incorporates the acronym for “Make America Great Again,” is a play on “Reaganomics” from the 1980s:

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From Hero to Zero: $2-Billion Private Equity Fund Goes Broke in Oil

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 17, 2017:  

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

EnerVest Ltd., a Houston-based private equity firm run by John Walker, is being taken over by Wells Fargo, one of its largest lenders, to satisfy its unpaid debts. The firm raised capital from large investors, foundations, and pension plans and bought existing oil wells, improved them, and sent the dividends back to the investors.

In 2011, it had come off a very successful year. It owned 19,000 onshore oil wells on four million acres of land in 12 states. Its previous investments delivered a compounded annual return of 36 percent, a track record that made it relatively easy for Walker to raise additional capital. In a classic understatement, Walker said, “We had an outstanding year.” He explained just how he and his company did it; he bought cheap and sold dear, without using borrowed funds:

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Will Mulvaney Have Any More Success with MAGAnomics than Stockman did with Reaganomics?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 17, 2017:

English: Official portrait of US Rep. Mick Mul...

Mick Mulvaney.

After serving in the House as a Republican representative from Michigan, David Stockman served as President Ronald Reagan’s OMB director from January 1981 until he quit 4½ years later in frustration. He got half of Reaganomics passed – the tax reduction part. He failed in getting the other half passed – the government spending cut part.

Mick Mulvaney is now Trump’s OMB Director after serving in the House as a Republican from South Carolina. And his job is likely to be as difficult and frustrating as was Stockman’s.

It’s far too soon to speculate about Mulvaney.

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Goldilocks Stock Market Making Forecasters Nervous

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 13, 2017:  

At the moment, Wall Street investors are enjoying a “Goldilocks” economy: not so hot that it pushes prices up and not so cold that it causes a recession. Translation: Unemployment is low, wages are rising, interest rates are still near record lows, the gross domestic product (GDP) continues to grow (although not as fast as President Trump would like), and inflation is under control.

It isn’t a perfect world, but to Wall Street investors it’s close.

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Trump Keeps Another Promise: Ignore Social Security’s Impending Shortfalls

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 12, 2017: 

English: Scanned image of author's US Social S...

During his presidential campaign, Republican Party candidate Donald Trump made it abundantly clear that he would not do anything to restore the financial integrity of Social Security:

I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid. Every other Republican is going to cut, and even if they wouldn’t, they don’t know what to do because they don’t know where the money is. I do.

Now that he is president, he no doubt has discovered just “where the money is”: It’s been spent by the government. And likely due to the commitment by the Democrats to oppose anything and everything he’d like to do, he’s just going to leave the failing and shrinking program alone.

This has caused angst among realists who see the federal program failing to meet its promises in less than 17 years and offering various ideas and suggestions on how to “fix” it.

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Robots May Take 2/3 of Las Vegas Service Jobs

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 10, 2017:

Two college professors from the University of Redlands, California, looked at the occupations at the highest risk of being automated or replaced by robots, analyzed 100 American cities with working populations over 250,000, and listed those cities most at risk. They included Bakersfield and Riverside, California; El Paso, Texas; and at the top of the list, Las Vegas. The professors predict that over the next two decades, at the present rate that robots are replacing workers, 65 percent of the jobs in Las Vegas will be done by robots.

They will include robots

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When Will the Luddites Ever Learn?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 10, 2017: 

Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine

Two Oxford University professors, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, wrote back in 2013 that the robotic revolution would overtake and virtually displace human workers in broad expanses of U.S. industry. Those occupations most at risk include loan officers (98 percent chance of being replaced by a robot), receptionists and information clerks (96 percent), paralegals and legal assistants (94 percent), retail sales people (92 percent), taxi drivers and chauffeurs (89 percent), and fast food cooks (81 percent).

At the bottom of the list are elementary school teachers and physicians and surgeons (0.4 percent chance), lawyers (4 percent), musicians and singers (7 percent), and reporters and correspondents (11 percent).

They found that almost half of those currently employed in the United States were in their “high risk” category, defined as jobs that could be automated “relatively soon, perhaps over the next decade or two.”

Two other college professors, this time from the University of Redlands, California, decided to take the Oxford study and apply it to American cities with more than 250,000 workers. They concluded that

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Florida Judge Rules that the Legislature Cannot Modify a Law it Passed Earlier

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 5, 2017:  

One of the essential doctrines involved in limiting government is the separation of powers. By putting governmental powers into separate hands, the founders hoped that each would constrain the other and thus protect liberty. Article I of the federal Constitution states that “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Article III states that “The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

Florida’s constitution is very similar:

The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court, district courts of appeal, circuit courts, and county courts. No other courts may be established by the state, any political subdivision, or any municipality.

When it comes to practices and procedures, however, it’s different:

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Anti-gunners’ Victory Celebration in Peruta v. San Diego Likely to be Short-lived

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 28, 2017:

In one of the more inane and nonsensical effusions of rejoicing over the Supreme Courts decision on Monday to let stand a lower courts anti-gun decision, Californias Attorney General Xavier Becerra sullied his credibility and those of similar view with this:

[Its] welcome news for California and gun safety everywhere. It leaves in place an important and common-sense firearm regulation, one that promotes public safety, respects 2nd Amendment rights and values the judgments of sheriffs and police chiefs throughout the state on what works best for their communities.

This packs more misstatements, half-truths and just plain damnable lies into one paragraph than has been seen in recent years. By disarming its citizens, California has virtually guaranteed an increase in violent crime, especially gun violence. The onerous restrictions on the Second Amendment applied to law-abiding citizens fail to respect it but instead do serious if not fatal damage to it. And as far as judgments by local sheriffs and police officers as to the applicability of the Second Amendment to its citizens, one needs only to bring to mind the history of tyrants operating without restraint.

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Illinois Governor Gives Tax Increases to Placate Democrats Before Deadline

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 22, 2017: 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (shown), speaking briefly to a closed session at the state house on Tuesday night, urged “unity” in solving the state’s staggering and rapidly accelerating financial problems. Those present reported afterward that the governor declared, “Failure to act [on his budget proposal] is not an option. Failure to act may cause permanent damage to our state that will take years to overcome.”

The state has already suffered massive damage.

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Maine’s Cut in Its Welfare Rolls a Model for Trump

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 31, 2017: 

As predictable as the sunrise, the Obama administration was outraged over Maine’s SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) reform instituted in late 2014, and even threatened to cut off some federal funding if it went ahead with it. To his credit Governor Paul LePage signed the bill anyway.

What happened next is historic.

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Media Ignores Ongoing Socialist Disaster Unfolding in Venezuela

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 31, 2017: 

Media Research Center (MRC), the conservative media watchdog whose stated mission is to “prove through sound scientific research, that liberal bias in the media does exist,” reported on Tuesday more evidence that the media is now guilty of publishing “no news,” at least when the subject is the ongoing meltdown taking place in Venezuela.

Readers of these pages are well-informed about that meltdown:

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Moody’s Revelation: “Managed” Economies fail

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 26, 2017:  

Perhaps without knowing it, Moody’s downgrade of China one full notch on Wednesday exposed the fallacy of managed economies: that government bureaucrats with fancy degrees from the University of Chicago, Harvard, or Yale know what they’re doing. One of those fallacies that have been promoted for years came from Yale grad Arthur Laffer as far back as the Reagan administration. On the surface it sounds eminently logical: cut taxes and the economy will grow. The fallacy is knowing just how much to cut, whose to cut, when to cut, and how long to cut.

The Laffer Curve undergirds the whole idea of “supply side economics” –

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Trump’s Budget: a Mixture of Magic, Hope, Pixie Dust, and Gimmicks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 23, 2017:

Now that the long-awaited Trump budget for Fiscal Year 2018 has been released, it hasn’t failed to deliver what skeptics initially expected: Growth coupled with lower taxes will drive the economy to levels that will balance the budget — by 2027  — much of it based on magic, hope, pixie dust, and gimmicks.

First, the “magic.”

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Whistleblowers Ask Trump to Drop Investigation Into WikiLeaks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 17, 2017:  

The Courage Foundation released a letter on Monday signed by more than 100 free speech activists (including Noam Chomsky and Edward Snowden) asking President Donald Trump to drop his administration’s investigation into Julian Assange and his organization WikiLeaks.

The Courage Foundation funds legal defense for whistleblowers and journalists such as Assange and Snowden. The letter presses the point that the real issue is freedom of the press under the First Amendment:

The threat to WikiLeaks escalates a long-running war of attrition against the great virtue of the United States: free speech. The Obama Administration prosecuted more whistleblowers than all presidents combined and opened a Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks that had no precedent….

 

It is reported that charges, including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act are being considered against members of WikiLeaks, and that charging WikiLeaks Editor, Julian Assange, is now a priority of the Department of Justice.

This refers to Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ comments during his visit to the southern border last month:

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Uber Facing “Existential Threat” From AVs?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 8, 2017:

When ride-sharing company Uber bought Otto, the company developing autonomous car driving software, last August, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said the purchase was “existential” to the company: “The world is going to go self-driving and autonomous … a million fewer people are going to die a year [worldwide]. Traffic in all cities will be gone. [There will be] significantly reduced pollution and trillions of hours will be given back to people — quality of life goes way up. Once you go, “All right, there’s a lot of upsides there” … If we weren’t part of the autonomy thing? Then the future passes us by.”

No less an authority than the Wall Street Journal agrees.

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Zig Ziglar’s Fleas and the Johnson Amendment

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 8, 2017:

By the time of his passing in 2012, Zig Ziglar had motivated millions and written more than a dozen self-help books. His best-known were his first, See You at the Top, written in 1975, and his last, Born to Win: Find Your Success Code, published just months before he died.

But he called himself, first and foremost, America’s “flea trainer.” This was from one of his favorite stories told in his signature talk “Biscuits, Fleas, and Pump Handles.” Apparently, when placed in an open jar, fleas tend to want to escape to freedom, and jump right out. But if a lid were placed on the jar, the fleas would soon learn that their attempts to escape were fruitless to the point where the lid could be removed and they would only jump to where the lid once was. The obstacle to their freedom had been removed but the fleas behaved as it if were still in place.

Robert Jeffress (shown) has never been a flea.

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Senator Ted Cruz Introduces Bill to Have Drug Lord El Chapo Pay for the Wall

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 1, 2017: 

When Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced his bill — the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act — on Tuesday, he said the $14 billion seized from the Mexican drug lord would help build President Trump’s wall:

$14 billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border.

The money isn’t available just for the taking, added Cruz:

The U.S. government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering.

As part of the agreement between Mexico and U.S. authorities, El Chapo won’t face the death penalty, but his confiscated assets might be available if Cruz’s bill passes the Senate and the House, and is signed into law by the president. Confiscated assets such as these are usually directed to law enforcement efforts in the United States.

Cruz told Tucker Carlson on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Wednesday that it’s “only fitting” that drug money be used to build the wall:

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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.