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

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What he did say, however, was that once the initial order to pull the book had been rescinded, sales of the book soared: “Frankly, because of all the hoo-rah, some Costco locations have sold more of D’Souza’s book today than they sold in the previous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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Barbara Walters Calling it Quits After 50 Years

Barbara Walters at Ralph Lauren's 40th Anniver...

Barbara Walters at Ralph Lauren’s 40th Anniversary celebration in the Conservatory Garden, Central Park, New York City, September 8, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Barbara Walters ends her 50-year career of inviting liberals to promote their progressive causes “de jure” on Friday, the New York Daily News said she will be “wrapping up a half century in which she became one of the most influential and recognizable news and talk personalities on television.”

Born in 1929, Walters (her family’s original Jewish surname was Warmwasser) received her BA in English from Sarah Lawrence College and immediately began working at a small advertising agency in New York City. A year later she unofficially began her career as a researcher for NBC. Officially, her career began in 1962 when

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Defense Department Announces Latest Presidential Helicopter Contract

UTC Sikorsky logo

UTC Sikorsky logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It didn’t take long for the skeptics to scoff at the costs of the latest effort to upgrade the fleet of presidential helicopters announced by the Defense Department on Wednesday, May 7. They say the $1.2 billion contract awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation will be just the beginning.

There are at least two reasons to be skeptical: the open-ended nature of the White House requirements and recent history. The Department of Defense outlined its requirements, stating that Marine Helicopter Squadron One which currently operates 19 presidential helicopters, must provide

 

Safe and timely transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States, heads of state and others as directed by the White House Military Office.

In addition, each aircraft must be equipped with various self-defense features such as bullet-proof glass and body panels and specialized communications equipment that allows the president to maintain “critical command functions” while airborne. Each needs to be large enough to carry up to 14 passengers and several thousand pounds of baggage while being small enough to operate from the White House lawn.

Each must have a minimum range of 300 miles and carry a full complement of defensive countermeasures to thwart heat-seeking and radar-directed missiles and also be hardened against an EMP (electromagnetic pulse), either from an enemy or from the sun. It must be able to send and receive encrypted communications and hold secure teleconferences while in flight.

And each must have air-conditioning and a toilet.

Under the contract Sikorsky promises to deliver two prototypes by 2016, with another 21 fully operational aircraft six years later.

Several questions arise. First,

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House holds Former IRS Official Lois Lerner in Contempt

Lois G. Lerner

Lois G. Lerner (Photo credit: SuperSleuther)

On Wednesday the House of Representatives charged former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress, and then voted minutes later to ask the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the targeting scandal centered (so far) around Lerner.

The first vote passed 231-187 with every Republican and six disaffected Democrats voting for contempt. The second vote passed 250-168 with two dozen Democrats supporting the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The issues now arrive at the desk of Washington, DC’s US attorney, Ronald Machen who,

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New polls Suggest huge gains for Republicans in November

Cover of "Tragedy and Hope: A History of ...

Cover via Amazon

The change in attitude towards the November midterms is breathtaking, according to the latest poll by Pew Research. Last October when Pew asked “If the elections were held today, would you vote for/lean toward the Republican candidate or the Democrat candidate for Congress in your district?”, 49 percent of those polled favored the Democrat, while just 43 percent favored the Republican. In less than six months, just 43 percent now favor the Democrat while 47 percent favor the Republican.

The shift, according to Pew, reflects dissatisfaction on a number of fronts, including

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GM Bailout Cost Taxpayers far more than just $11 Billion

General Motors HydroGen4

General Motors HydroGen4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Detroit Free Press’ announcement on Wednesday that taxpayers lost more on the General Motors bailout in 2009 than originally thought was brief, to the point, and missed most of the real story behind the GM bailout. Taxpayers lost $11.2 billion following the government’s sale of the last of the stock it held in GM following the company’s government-assisted bankruptcy and restructuring, according to the announcement.

The key quote from a Treasury spokesman, however, was revealing. Said Adam Hodge:

The goal of Treasury’s investment in GM was never to make a profit, but to help save the American auto industry, and by any measure that effort was successful.

Not if one was a bondholder in GM. Not if one believed that

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America’s Welfare State is Thriving

Margaret Thatcher

Cover of Margaret Thatcher

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 30, 2014:

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum, “The only trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” isn’t factually correct, nor is it complete. Lazy thinkers assume from this that eventually the welfare state will just fade away like a bad cold or a nightmare, and that everything will be okay in the morning.

Here is what Thatcher actually said during an interview in 1976:

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BLS Reports one in five Families has no one Working

grateful

(Photo credit: woodleywonderworks)

In its awkward but astonishing revelation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday that “of the nation’s 80.4 million families, 80.0 percent had at least one employed member in 2013.” Translation: 20 percent of those families had no one working in 2013!

How is that possible? The BLS defines a family as

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Obama’s New Budget Raises Taxes and Increases the National Debt

OBAMA: COMMUNIST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

(Photo credit: SS&SS)

This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 29, 2014:

The Congressional Budget Office, in introducing its latest analysis of President Obama’s proposed budget, could just as easily have quoted Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society, who said back in 1974 that the future would bring:

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Congressional Budget Office Confirms Obama’s Continuing Attack on the Middle Class

Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robert Klein, a nationally renowned accountant who has written widely on taxes for many respected journals, was astonished to learn how much the taxes on his wealthy clients jumped just in the last year:

For [my] clients in the 39.6% tax bracket … their average federal income tax liability was $436,000, $51,000 greater than their 2012 tax liability … an average increase [of] 13.3%…

 

In summary, if you were in the 39.6% tax bracket in 2013, the 4.5% increase in your tax bracket, combined with additional income-tax liability resulting from additional tax on Medicare wages, a loss of itemized and personal exemption deductions, a 5% surcharge on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends, and the 3.8% tax on net investment income, reduced your spendable income considerably.

 

The damage was [even] greater for those subject to state income tax to the extent that unfavorable state tax law changes took effect in 2013.

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Earth Day 2014: 45 Years of Pseudo-Science Indoctrination

Creation of Adam ( )

Creation of Adam ( ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 23, 2014:

On Tuesday, April 22, more than a billion people “celebrated” the holy day of green environmentalism, Earth Day, in more than 190 countries. At least that’s the estimate of Denis Hayes, the head of the Earth Day Network. Hayes was appointed – anointed – head of Earth Day by its self-proclaimed founder, one Gaylord Nelson, former Governor and Senator from Wisconsin.

That self-proclamation differs greatly from reality. The real founder of Earth Day was John McConnell, a simple man of faith who recognized

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IRS Revokes Tax-exempt Status from Patrick Henry Center

English: US Postage stamp, Credo issue of 1961...

US Postage stamp, Credo issue of 1961, 4c, famous quote by Patrick Henry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, at last, Gary Aldrich is free to speak his mind on matters of great concern to him without having to worry about overstepping the bounds imposed on his First Amendment rights by the Internal Revenue Service. His Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty had its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code revoked, effective last July. The final determination letter was dated December 31 but just released to the media this week. It said:

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Welfare Recipients 3, Taxpayers 2

Say Goodnite America!

Say Goodnite America! (Photo credit: Templar1307)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 21, 2014:

The Census Bureau, teaming up with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, confirmed what many have long suspected: the United States is a welfare state, and the recipients are gaining on the taxpayers. According to their just-released Current Population Survey, there are nearly 150 million people on the dole compared to fewer than 90 million being squeezed to make the payments. And the longer the game goes on, the worse the score will get.

After Terence Jeffrey, former editor at Human Events and now senior editor at CNSNews, dissected the pages-long survey, he lamented:

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The President’s lies are Finally Catching up with him

OOPS I THINK THE SHINE IS OFF THE PEACH .........

(Photo credit: SS&SS)

In the latest Fox News poll 37 percent of those polled think that President Obama lies “most of the time” while another 24 percent say he just lies “some of the time.” 20 percent say he lies “only now and then” while 15 percent say he never lies. Put another way, 85 percent of those polled thinks the president lies, while

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Census Bureau Reports 62 Million more Takers than Payers

Attack of the Giant Leeches

Attack of the Giant Leeches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest Current Population Survey, a joint venture between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau , showed 148 million “benefit takers” compared to the benefit providers – workers in the private sector – who number less than 90 million. According to Terence Jeffrey, the senior editor at CNSNews, that’s a ratio of 3:2 and it’s only going to get worse: “As more Baby Boomers retire and as ObamaCare comes fully online … the number of takers will inevitably expand. Eventually there will be too few carrying too many, and America will

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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.