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

China’s Economy Now Number One? Not Quite

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 10, 2014: 

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping a...

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping at the entrance of the Lychee Park in Shenzhen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following the announcement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that China’s economy has just surpassed that of the United States, headline writers and establishment economists had a field day. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Business Insider, “China Just Overtook the US as the World’s Largest Economy,” while London’s Daily Mail chortled, “America Usurped: China Becomes World’s Largest Economy — Putting USA in Second Place for the First Time in 142 Years.”

A cursory glance at the charts and graphs provided by these worthies shows the size of the U.S. economy at $17.4 trillion by the end of this year compared to China’s, which is predicted to be $17.6 trillion. The IMF estimated that as recently as 2005 China’s economy was less than half that of the United States, and forecast that

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Koch Brothers and Friends Pouring Millions Into Midterms

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 7, 2014: 

Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity, one of the Koch Brothers’ key operating units, in its efforts to bring its conservative influence into national politics, is expected to spend more than $125 million in the 2014 elections.

After getting thrashed in the 2012 elections, when the brothers and their friends spent nearly $400 million with little to show for it, they have adopted much of the Left’s political organizing strategy and database management strategies. They’re determined not to make the same mistake twice.

In January, the Koch Brothers were able to raise nearly

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California Retirement System Loses Big in Stockton Bankruptcy Ruling

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 2, 2014:

On Tuesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein surprised nearly everyone with his ruling that Stockton could cancel its contract with the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) as part of its plan for reorganization after filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy two years ago. CalPERS immediately issued a statement claiming that Klein’s decision was not legally binding:

This ruling is not legally binding on any of the parties in the Stockton case or as precedent in any other bankruptcy proceeding and is unnecessary to the decision on confirmation of the city of Stockton’s plan of [reorganization].

CalPERS is certainly hoping so. It manages $300 billion of funds for municipal employees across the state and has been spearheading a drive to negate a similar decision by a bankruptcy judge in the Detroit bankruptcy case. These two similar rulings could open the door

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Are Chicago’s gun permit laws racist?

This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 1, 2014: 

Cover of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understa...

When John Lott, Second Amendment expert and author of More Guns, Less Crime, learned about how Chicago’s gun permit laws were impacting the city’s poor blacks, he said:

You really need to ask whether or not politicians are consciously trying to disarm certain groups of people. Why do they want a law that primarily disarms blacks and gives guns to the well-to-do whites? Don’t they think it should be equal for everyone to protect their lives?

Lott was referring to Chicago’s draconian gun permit laws which require an applicant to

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Chicago’s Gun Laws Prevent Poor From Defending Themselves

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 30, 2014:

The West Garfield Park neighborhood in the South Side of Chicago is one of the deadliest places in the country, according to the Washington Times. Following receipt of information requested under the Freedom Of Information Act, the Times discovered that ZIP Code 60624 (which includes West Garfield Park) has, in the last month, “recorded more homicides, robberies, assaults, thefts and narcotics charges combined than any other ZIP Code in Cook County.”

In contrast, ZIP Code 60464 has experienced only one homicide in the last 10 years. The difference in demographics explains part of the reason why:

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Stock Market Gains Failing to Bail Out Pension Plans

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, September 26, 2014: 

Pension managers’ hopes that investment returns – i.e., pixie dust – would bail them out from their bad assumptions, and keep their plans solvent and fully funded so that they would be able to keep every promise made, have finally crashed on the rocks of reality. Just three months ago, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College released a study showing that the shortfall between promises and assets to pay them for 25 of the largest public defined-benefit pension plans in the country amounted to more than

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Despite Stock Market Gains, Public Pension Plans Fall Further Behind

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 25, 2014:

 

In its latest report on public pension plans, Moody’s announced on Thursday that, despite recent historic gains in the stock market, those plans’ liabilities are increasing even more quickly. Reporting on the 25 largest public defined benefit pension plans in the country, Moody’s Global Credit Research estimates that those plans are now $2 trillion short of where they need to be to pay out all the benefits promised to their beneficiaries. This has occurred despite record gains in the stock market, which,

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Fallout From Scottish Vote: European Separatist Movements Surge

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 22, 2014:

St Andrews, Scotland, "home of Golf".

St Andrews, Scotland

In reporting on the Scottish vote for independence last week, the Associated Press noted that, despite the failure, the vote “sets up a whole new political dynamic in the kingdom.” This has turned out to be a breathtaking understatement. The day after the election results were announced, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, said he would not accept his party’s nomination for leader in November and that he would quit his role as

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British PM Cameron Promises “Devolution” of Powers to Scotland

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 22, 2014:

English: Home nations flag of the United Kingd...

Home nations flag of the United Kingdom. A combination of four flags of the four constituent countries of the UK: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to the Scottish independence referendum last week, a new word has entered the political lexicon: devolution. The day after the election, British Prime Minister David Cameron urged the immediate formation of a cabinet level committee to study exactly how much power the UK will “devolve” to Scotland. He doubled-down by saying that that devolution should also apply to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as well:

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Al Sharpton Looking to Re-incinerate Ferguson, Missouri

This article was first published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 15, 2014:

 

American political activist, Reverend Al Sharpton.

It didn’t take Sharpton long to rearrange his schedule so that he could link arms with Michael Brown’s parents, friends, attorney, and local black clergymen on Tuesday morning on his way down to the city’s Old Courthouse to fire up the locals about America’s racism. It didn’t matter that Ferguson is more than 10 miles away from St. Louis, it was all the same to the old race-monger:

St. Louis is in fact bearing witness for America. The Band-Aid has been ripped off, and all of America is seeing the open wound of racism [that] exists.

The reader can extend Sharpton’s remarks by replaying similar scenes from conflagrations past, such as in Harlem, Crown Heights, and elsewhere. The message is the same: America is racist, and my job is to fix it by inciting riots.

Sharpton is an old communist revolutionary dating back to the early 1970s and the days of Angela Davis. But he didn’t really enter the national consciousness until 1987 when he saw an opportunity and took it. Her name was Tawana Brawley, a 15-year-old black girl from Wappingers Falls, New York. To cover a misdeed, Tawana decided to fake a rape to avoid punishment, and Sharpton got wind of it. Even though it was a lie, Sharpton saw the chance to propel himself into prominence. One of his aides said later:

Sharpton acknowledged to me early on that “the Brawley story [does] sound like [baloney], but it don’t matter….

This is the perfect issue … we’ve got whites on blacks. That’s an easy way to stir up all the deprived people, who would want to believe … that all white people are bad….

Then you’ve got a movement.”

Even though it was later proved to be a hoax and even though Sharpton was slapped with a judgment of $65,000 for defaming the character of one of the investigators (which he never paid, by the way), it was his first taste of national attention, and he liked it.

There was his work as an undercover agent for the FBI (which he later dismissed as irrelevant) helping them to investigate one of Sharpton’s many friends in the drug trade (target this time: Don King). There was his formation of his National Action Network, which he used to hoodwink and blackmail various national companies to fund it.

There was the Crown Heights incident where Sharpton helped foment and encourage anti-semitic riots after a Hasidic Jew accidentally ran over and killed a 7-year-old black boy. A mob of local blacks sought retribution by hunting down, attacking, and then murdering an innocent rabbinical student from Australia. When local Jews accused Sharpton of interference and instigation, he challenged them to “pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house” to settle the score. This was followed by three days and nights of rioting, spurred on by Sharpton with his cries of “No justice, no peace!”

Any virulence like Sharpton’s needs continued sustenance and feeding, so he seized opportunities whenever and wherever they presented themselves. In 1995, he saw opportunity in Harlem. The Jewish owners of Freddy’s Fashion Mart decided to expand their business and told a renter in their building – who just happened to be black – that they wouldn’t be renewing his lease. Sharpton took to the streets along with his thugs and began harassing and haranguing Freddy’s customers, hurling epithets at the owners: “the greedy Jew bastards [are] killing our people”, and calling the owner of the store Fred Harari a “white interloper” even though he had lived and worked there for decades. Facts don’t matter to the old revolutionary, and when one of his followers, Roland J. Smith (aka, Abubunde Mulocko), entered Freddy’s and started shooting the customers and then burning the place down, Sharpton was quick to distance himself from the mayhem and melee, courageous leader that he is. Job one was done, and he was history.

There was his entry into another racial conflagration at Duke University in 2006 when a black stripper claimed that some members of the school’s lacrosse team had beaten, raped, and sodomized her. That all of that later turned out to be a lie didn’t really faze Sharpton, who declared that these “rich white boys” had attacked a “black girl” and warned that he would incinerate the place unless justice was done immediately and forcefully.

There were opportunities galore to keep his kettle of sedition and racism boiling:

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Judge: New Mexico 10 Commandments Monument Unconstitutional

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Bill of Rights Pg1of1 AC

Bill of Rights

James Parker, Senior District Court Judge for New Mexico, ruled last Thursday that the five-foot-tall, 3,000-pound monument inscribed with the 10 Commandments (shown) placed on the lawn in front of the Bloomfield, New Mexico, City Hall is unconstitutional. He ordered it to be removed by September 10.

Parker also expressed reservations about his decision, calling the case

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James Brady’s Legacy: More Guns, Less Crime

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 5, 2014:

James Brady in August 2006

James Brady in August 2006

On Monday the national media and the president noted the passing at age 73 of James Brady, the man who served briefly as President Reagan’s press secretary before being grievously wounded in an assassination attempt on the president nearly 33 years ago.

The New York Times called Brady “a symbol of the fight for gun control,” while President Obama declared, “An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim.” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, agreed, saying that the law named to honor the former press secretary, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, has blocked about two million sales of firearms “to criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people.” Echoing the president, Gross added that there are

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Review: America: Imagine a World Without Her (book and film)

This review first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 24, 2014:

Statue of Liberty

Dinesh D’Souza’s movie America: Imagine the World Without Her, co-produced and directed by John Sullivan and Gerald Molen, is based on his book with the same title and, like his previous offering, 2016: Obama’s America, is filled with nuggets of pure gold. However, just like his previous effort, it takes some effort to mine them and to separate them from the iron pyrite — fools’ gold — that often misleads and distracts the reader and viewer.

His book was released in early June and its initial popularity was unintentionally enhanced by Costco’s decision to pull the book from its stores followed by its awkward reversal to restore it to those same stores. D’Souza’s first film was the second-highest grossing political documentary of all time, while his present effort, released over Independence Day weekend, is already in seventh place, and climbing.

His distractions begin with his title. At no time in either his book or his movie does he answer the question of how the world would look without America’s influence. His first chapter is inaccurately titled as well: Suicide of a Nation. A suicide is self-inflicted, a deliberate purposeful effort to end one’s life. This title assumes that the average American is deliberately immolating his country by ignoring his responsibility as an informed voter in a constitutional republic.

D’Souza quickly corrects that initial idea, however, by focusing his attention on both the myths and the machinations of the disciples of destruction who are deliberately weakening the country by deceiving those voters. D’Souza might have titled his book America: Imagine a World Without Saul Alinsky and Howard Zinn, but that probably wouldn’t have garnered the audience or the coveted A+ rating it received from CinemaScope.

There are other difficulties that need to be exposed before this review can begin in earnest. Underlying D’Souza’s work is the assumption that Progressives want to punish America for its alleged theft: for its stealing of land from Mexico and Native Americans, for its eternal meddling in the Middle East to secure its oil, for its co-opting of the labor from its slaves in the 19th century, for its looting of resources from poor countries around the world. At no time, however, does D’Souza acknowledge the real purpose behind efforts to bring down America’s standard of living: to comfortably submerge the United States into the New World Order. There is no mention of the influence of foundations such as Ford, Carnegie, or Rockefeller. The world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations garners not a single reference in either the book or the movie. Thus, the “punishment” meme is a distraction away from the Progressives’ real intentions.

D’Souza repeats the myth that the Civil War was fought primarily to end slavery, and that Obama absorbed most of his colonialist-oppressive worldview from his father, when instead it came from hard-core communist Frank Marshall Davis. D’Souza claims that America is the “first country in history to be based on invention and trade” without any explanation as to why. He fails to explain the vital and fundamental roles the rule of law, enforcement of contracts, private property, and especially that of a limited government that allowed people to write their own ticket to their futures.

That being said, there is much useful for those involved in the freedom fight, including responses to claims made by Progressives that America is guilty of massive theft and needs to be punished. Early on he makes clear his intentions and purposes:

I intend to turn the progressive critique on its head. [Progressives] are not on the side of the ordinary citizen, because their policies lead to stagnation, impoverishment, indebtedness, and decline — all in evidence today.

It is progressives who rely on government seizure and bureaucratic conquest to achieve their goals and increase their power….

I intend to blow the whistle on these people, starting with Obama and continuing with Hillary Clinton and the whole progressive menagerie.

For instance, he rebuts the claims that America stole vast territory from native Americans without remuneration or guilt:

The Indians have gotten a bad deal. At the same time, we should be clear about what the alternatives are.… You say, “Give us back the Black Hills,” You point out that there is uranium and other minerals in those hills, and now that land is worth a fortune. Once again, no Indian tribe knew how to mine uranium and no Indian tribe knew what to do with uranium if they had it.

Other Americans have added value to the Black Hills by figuring out how to tap its resources, and now the Indians want the land back so they can take advantage of what others have figured out how to do.

He dismisses claims that America stole Mexican territory:

After the [Mexican-American War ended in 1848], the United States immediately recognized as valid the property rights of Mexicans who were now part of U.S. territory. The change was not in any individual’s land ownership but in the fact that people who were once Mexicans now became Americans.

While progressives deplore American aggression … what we do know is that the vast majority of Mexicans who ended up on the American side of the border, following the Mexican War, never attempted to return to Mexico. And neither have their descendants.

His response on the big screen is even more convincing, showing that following the war the United States essentially owned all of Mexico, but gave half of it back. It also paid $15 million to the government of Mexico and assumed some $3 million of debt that government owed to American citizens. So much for colonialism, according to D’Souza.

As far as slavery is concerned, D’Souza was equally candid:

Did America owe something to the slaves whose labor had been stolen? … That debt … is best discharged through memory, because the slaves are dead and their descendants are better off as a consequence of their ancestors being hauled from Africa to America.

He enlists the help of Muhammad Ali to make his point. As D’Souza noted in both his book and movie, following one of his most famous fights in the 1970s held in Zaire, Ali was asked: “Champ, what did you think of Africa?” Said Ali: “Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat!”

D’Souza also makes a compelling point by bringing to light some history that Progressives ignore: that there were black slave owners oppressing their slaves in addition to white owners.

He successfully enlists the help in both his book and the film of Alexis de Tocqueville, who highlighted his astonishment as he observed the American experiment in person in the early 1800s. He noted that people considered themselves equal to everyone else, that it was a voluntary society where people helped other people, and no one ran to the government for assistance. De Tocqueville considered the Christian religion as foundational to political freedom while noting that slavery degrades the work ethic: It makes slave owners lazy, as well as the slaves, as neither has the incentive to engage in work.

Another of D’Souza’s nuggets is his revelation that the first female millionaire in the United States was black: Sarah Breedlove, otherwise known as Madam C. J. Walker, the founder of Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company, a maker of beauty and hair products for black women. In a lengthy clip, D’Souza had a black actress play the part of Breedlove in encouraging other black women to get involved in her company. It was something right out of an Amway recruiting presentation! Over and over again, Breedlove, born a slave but emancipated in 1865, reiterated the American promise: Given the opportunity, anyone in America can make their own future.

D’Souza spent the balance of the 100-minute long film exposing two of the prime movers behind the Progressive lies, Howard Zinn and Saul Alinsky. Zinn, a hard-core communist, authored A Peoples’ History of the United States which has sold more than two million copies and is required reading at colleges across the land. Zinn described his goal in writing it elsewhere as “not a revolution in the classical sense of a seizure of power, but rather from people beginning to take power from within the institutions.”

D’Souza outed Saul Alinsky in two riveting revelations. The first of these was Alinsky’s devotion to Lucifer as the first radical, dedicating his book Rules for Radicals to him:

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer

The second was D’Souza’s revelation that Alinsky was mentored in his youth by Frank Nitti, best known as Al Capone’s “enforcer” and later the front man for the Chicago Outfit following Capone’s incarceration. Alinsky learned firsthand from Nitti just how extortion worked thanks to Nitti’s vast experience in prostitution, gambling, control of labor unions, and blackmailing of the Hollywood film industry.

D’Souza traced the links in his film from Zinn and Alinsky to Obama and Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately the flow charts briefly shown on the screen weren’t reproduced in his book, but his intention is clear: Obama is a disciple of Alinsky who was a disciple of Nitti, all of whom are disciples of the Great Deceiver Himself.

For those not involved in the freedom fight, the book and the movie on which it is based might be a bit much to digest in one sitting. Happily, evidence and proof is available not only in the copious notes provided by D’Souza for each chapter, but also from The John Birch Society (jbs.org).

In this reviewer’s opinion D’Souza has created a good work, despite its flaws, and will help those long involved in that fight with new insights, new revelations, and new responses to old tired charges that America was built on theft.

 

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D’Souza Should have Named it America: Imagine a World Without Zinn and Alinsky

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 23, 2014:

Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky

After viewing the movie and reading the book entitled America: Imagine a World without Her, one is inclined to suggest a new title. For starters, D’Souza, the author and producer of his first film 2016: Obama’s America, never explains what the world would look like without America’s presence. That is left up to the reader and viewer. He starts off badly, as well, naming his first chapter Suicide of Nation. This presumes that American citizens are doing themselves in deliberately, with malice aforethought.

But, as D’Souza shortly points out, that is hardly the case. There are evil forces afoot attempting to

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Costco Pulls, Then Restores “America” to Its Bookshelves

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 9, 2014: 

English: Costco in Moncton, New Brunswick

One month to the day after Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, America: Imagine the World Without Her, was published, and one day before the movie based on that book was to be released in more than 1,000 theatres around the country, Costco ordered its nearly 650 warehouses to pull all copies of the book from its shelves and return them to the vendors. The July 1 order mandated that all copies were to be removed no later than July 15.

One week later Costco reversed its decision, telling its outlets to keep what they had and to continue to reorder to fill demand for the book.

It was all a big mistake, according to Costco CFO Richard Galanti, who blamed the initial decision to return the books on Costco’s book buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello. He added that the decision to rescind the book return had nothing whatever to do with the public furor over the initial decision to return the books to vendors after it was made known to the public by WorldNetDaily. Said Galanti:

We are bringing it back, not for political reasons, but because the book is now selling well. We didn’t pull the book on July 1 for political reasons, and we are not putting it back in the stores now for political reasons. We are doing this because we sell merchandise and D’Souza’s book is now selling well.

Galanti failed to say that D’Souza’s book was already selling well at the time of Ianniciello’s “mistake”; it was ranked at Amazon No. 5 overall and No. 1 in Political Commentary and Opinion. He didn’t say that 4,915 copies had been sold in the first week and another 5,592 in the second week. He didn’t mention that Costco had already sold 3,600 copies of the book nationwide, with 700 being sold just before the release of the movie. He failed to mention that according to the polling site CinemaScore, viewers had already rated the movie a rare A+ which no doubt would have helped drive additional sales of the book for his company.

What he did say, however, was that once the initial order to pull the book had been rescinded, sales of the book soared: “Frankly, because of all the hoo-rah, some Costco locations have sold more of D’Souza’s book today than they sold in the previous four weeks combined.”

Why all the “hoo-rah” that flooded Galanti’s office with calls protesting the decision? Author D’Souza expressed both surprise and suspicion. Referring to Costco’s excuse of poor sales (the book has now leapt to No. 1 at Amazon), D’Souza said:

If that’s the best they’re going to come up with, then I think something underhanded has been going on. I’ve been trying to think of rational explanations other than ideological solidarity with Obama to account for this, and I’m running out of them…. I’m beginning to be forced to come to that conclusion, because there is no other plausible explanation.

That is a plausible explanation given the close relationship that Costco’s co-founder James Sinegal has with the Obama administration. Not only was Sinegal invited to address the Democratic National Convention in 2012 when Obama was nominated for a second term, he has also been generous with his resources as well. Costco has given $100,000 to Obama and another $100,000 to Priorities USA, the pro-Obama super-PAC. In addition, Sinegal has given more than $20 million during the 2012 election cycle in support of Democrat candidates, mostly in the state of Washington, hoping to influence favorable legislation there.

Most of Costco’s employees go along with the boss as well, with 95 percent of their contributions going to support Democrat candidates. And the wife of Sinegal’s business partner, Jeff Brotman, was an Obama “bundler” in 2012 who aggregated more than $500,000 in campaign contributions and forwarded them to the Obama campaign for reelection.

So tight is Obama with Sinegal that Jaime Fuller of the Washington Post called it a “romance” in an extensive puff piece back in January, which explored “some of the highlights of this beautiful friendship.”

Part of the explanation as to why the book was pulled may be gleaned from the book itself. Amazon touted the book as a “reasoned defense of America” that also rebuts “every important accusation made by Progressives” against the country. It exposes, according to Amazon, “how Progressive demagoguery about ‘inequality’ expands the power of government” and how the Progressive agenda of “reform” is “in fact an agenda of totalitarian control of the state over the individual.”

The rest of the explanation behind what likely caused the decision to pull the book off the shelves at Costco, however, comes from the introduction to the book itself: a determination to expose those behind the scenes, including Obama and his friends such as Sinegal. Wrote D’Souza:

I intend to show in this book that the American era is ending in part because a powerful group of Americans wants it to end. The American dream is shrinking because some of our leaders want it to shrink. Decline, in other words, has become a policy objective…. America’s suicide, it turns out, is the result of a plan.

Costco had a little help in providing cover for its initial decision: For the first two weeks following the book’s publication, the New York Times refused to put the book on its best-seller list despite its high ranking at Amazon. It turns out that book buyer Ianniciello uses the Times’ best-seller list as one of her sources to determine which books to purchase and which ones to ignore.

What is clear is that Costco’s fumbling has achieved two objectives, neither of which was sought by the wholesale giant: It has exposed the political machinations operating behind the decision, and it has helped spike sales of the book, keeping it firmly in position No. 1 at Amazon.

 

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As Georgia’s Gun Freedoms Expand, So Do Others

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 7, 2014: 

Jack Hilliard, Deer Hunter, Wears His Handgun ...

When Georgia’s new “guns everywhere” law became effective on Tuesday, July 1, the governor was ecstatic:

[This is] a great day to reaffirm our liberties….

The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the front of our minds.

The new law allows gun owners with carry licenses to do so in churches, schools, bars, and some government buildings that were previously off-limits. It also expands the state’s “stand your ground” laws to cover those previously convicted of felonies. And it prevents police from demanding without cause a person carrying to produce a license permitting him to do so.

Without saying so specifically, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal expressed a point often missed in the gun debate:

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Russian Malware Infecting U.S. Energy Grid

This article was first published by TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 2, 2014:

 

English: United States Power Grid

English: United States Power Grid

An alert from software giant Symantec on Monday announced an “ongoing campaign” by Russia-based cyber-terrorists who have changed their focus from espionage to sabotage. Their primary targets are energy companies using oil and natural gas to provide electrical power to the national grid.

The infections are so powerful that not only can they disrupt internal messaging and controls but they can also disrupt the operations of the physical power plants and pipelines, according to Symantec:

An ongoing cyberespionage campaign against a range of targets, mainly in the energy sector, gave attackers the ability to mount sabotage operations against their victims.

 

The attackers, known to Symantec as Dragonfly, managed to compromise a number of strategically important organizations for spying purposes and … could have caused damage or disruption to energy supplies in [the] affected countries.

The attacks emanating from Russia target not only the United States but Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Poland, but they are focused primarily on the United States and Spain.

Symantec said that Dragonfly is no small group of weekend hackers, either: “The Dragonfly group is technically adept and able to think strategically … the group found a “soft underbelly” … invariably smaller, less protected companies.”

According to Symantec, this a government-sponsored operation: “The Dragonfly group is well-resourced with a range of malware tools at his disposal and is capable of launching attacks through a number of different [malware protocols].”

Eric Chien, the chief researcher for Symantec, is frightened over the implications of its discoveries: “When they do have that type of access, that motivation wouldn’t be [just] for espionage. When we look at where they’re at, we’re very concerned about sabotage.”

Dragonfly has already had success in infecting “industrial control systems” (ICS) equipment providers by using “software with a remote access type Trojan.” Once installed, the software handed off control of physical plant operations to the saboteurs in Russia:

[The Trojan] caused companies to install the malware when downloading software updates [to their] computers running ICS equipment.

These infections not only gave the attackers a beachhead in the targeted organizations’ networks but also gave them the means to mount sabotage operations.

In trying to decipher the attacks for laymen reading their chilling report, it compared the Trojan malware to Stuxnet, the computer worm that targeted Iran’s nuclear power plant’s fast-spinning centrifuges. It resulted in nearly one-fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges spinning out of control, destroying themselves as a result. The big difference is that Stuxnet was focused on a very narrow target, while the latest expansion now targets entire power grids across the country and around the world.

Explained Symantec: “Dragonfly appears to have a much broader focus, with espionage … as its current objective with sabotage as an optional capability.”

Dragonfly is Symantec’s name for the operating group behind the attacks, while other observers call it the “Energetic Bear.” Its existence has been known and tracked since at least 2011, said Symantec, and its initial targets were defense and aviation companies in the United States and Canada. But it shifted its focus to the more vulnerable energy sector in the United States in early 2013.

While using arcane language in its customer alert such as “back doors” and “watering holes” — terms familiar only to computer techies and their managers — Symantec identified seven different companies targeted by the group, one of whom downloaded the infected software to 250 of its unsuspecting customers.

Symantec is not the first to discover the group masterminding the attacks, nor the first to pin the blame on government-sponsored groups in Russia. Stuart Poole-Robb, a former MI6 (British Secret Intelligence Service) agent and founder of a security consulting firm, said:

To target a whole sector like this at the level they are doing … speaks of some form of government sanction.

These are people working with FAPSI [Russia’s Spetssvyaz intelligence service], working to support mother Russia.

CrowdStrike, a California company engaged in exposing Internet adversaries, has been tracking Dragonfly for years, and in its January update, it noted that “Energetic Bear [synonymous with Dragonfly] is an adversary group with a nexus to the Russian Federation that conducts intelligence collection operations against a variety of global [targets] with a primary focus on the energy sector.”

Symantec offers Internet security software and consulting services to help companies protect themselves from such attacks but the U.S. government has also been very busy as well. Recognizing the potential disaster inherent in such potential attacks, which could destroy the energy infrastructure of the country, the United States Cyber Command was established as a part of the United States Strategic Command in 2009 in Fort Meade, Maryland. Its mission is: “To conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to … ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.”

This is being matched by similar cyber warfare units in South Korea and Great Britain.

Neither Symantec nor CrowdStrike offered any scenarios of the possible impact such attacks might have on the United States, but fiction writers such as James Wesley Rawles (author of Survivors) and William Forstchen (author of One Second After) have carefully crafted believable scenarios following successful attacks on America’s power grid. In One Second After, after an electromagnetic pulse shuts down the electric grid, no electronic appliances work, and citizens are largely forced to live an 18th-century life — hunger and die offs of people begin quickly when food storage is compromised.

What is clear from Symantec’s warning to its customers, however, is that Russia is no friend of the United States. It fully intends to extend its present advantage through its “well-resourced” efforts to gain control of America’s electric power grid, while the U.S. government and private companies such as Symantec are playing catchup ball to keep that from happening.

More Proof that US Climate Temperature data is being Manipulated

Cover of "The Real Global Warming Disaste...

Writing in his Real Science blog, Steven Goddard explained how he found out that NASA had altered US temperature readings to show a warming trend where none existed: he compared graphs published on NASA’s website in 1999 to those available today. He even set up an animation of the two temperature graphs to show the extent of the fraud.

He went further by exhuming quotes from climate changers who also have changed their opinions, including the infamous James Hansen. In 2003 Hansen authored a paper for the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change entitled “Can We Defuse the Global Warming Time Bomb?” in which he concluded that “halting global warming requires urgent, unprecedented international cooperation…” with the clear implication that

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The War on Poverty Continues to be a War on the Family

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 6, 2014:

 

Family 1

In less than three months, the War on Poverty announced by then-President Lyndon Johnson in August 1964 will be 50 years old. There ought to be some victors in this war that has cost the American taxpayer more than $17 trillion. And indeed, there are: the initial program, the Economic Opportunity Act, was funded by (in today’s diluted money) $178 billion. Today, there are 126 federal welfare programs and numerous state ones spewing forth taxpayer monies at the rate of a trillion dollars a year. That means government jobs for millions to monitor, track, follow, and spend, and then request additional funds for next year.

But what about the intended beneficiaries? How are they doing?

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Despite the 50-year War on Poverty, more than one in five Children Remain in Poverty

Money Dollar

If further proof is needed that the so-called War on Poverty continues to fail, the latest report from the Census Bureau has just provided it: 21.3 percent of children under the age of 18 – more than one in five – are living in poverty. In 1964, the year that then-President Lyndon Johnson declared the federal government’s war on poverty, that percentage was 22.7 percent.

The news from the Census Bureau provides additional evidence of the war’s failure:

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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.