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

Donald Trump Officially Names Ben Carson as Head of HUD

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 5, 2016:  

As expected, on Monday President-elect Donald Trump nominated retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD, shown), stating:

I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.

Armstrong Williams, a Carson confidant, said the nomination is a perfect fit for the nominee: “HUD is a place that has an impact on something that Dr. Carson cares tremendously about: the inner city and urban America. Dr. Carson really has a passion for those issues where [he] could really make a difference.”

Others weren’t so “thrilled” with the nomination.

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Venezuelan Currency Lost Half Its Value in November

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 28, 2016:  

Português: Brasília - O chanceler da Venezuela...

Nicolas Maduro

Bloomberg reported last Thursday that Venezuela’s currency — the bolívar fuerte or “strong bolivar” — has lost 45 percent of its purchasing power so far this month, with six days to go. The underlying cause was put simply by Professor Milton Friedman, a member of the “Chicago School” of economic free market thinking and winner in 1976 of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences: “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon … and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”

On the other hand, Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro,

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Obama Presents Presidential Medal of Freedom to DeGeneres, Others

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 25, 2016:  

President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to 21 individuals, telling them how impressive they are in their life experiences and adding: “These 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way…. Everyone on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way, in ways that they probably couldn’t imagine.”

The award is the highest civilian award offered by the United States and is supposed to recognize those who

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Dallas to Declare Bankruptcy?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 21, 2016:  

The New York Times just reported that the Dallas police and firefighters pension plan is $7 billion short of meeting its obligations and needs an immediate bailout of $1 billion just to stay afloat. The problem is that Dallas’ annual budget is $3 billion.

Three years ago Dallas wasn’t on anyone’s “watch” list.

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Multi-nationals Are Leaving Venezuela, Selling Out at Fire Sale Prices

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 16, 2016:  

Over the last year, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, auto parts maker Dana, Clorox, Kimberly-Clark, Bridgestone Tire, and Liberty Mutual have either sold out their Venezuelan interests at huge losses, have given their factories and properties away for free, or are planning to. Those who used to work for them are now working in another profession: as bachaqueros. This is slang for “giant ants,” used as a pejorative to describe street vendors offering their wares in the black market.

General Mills sold its operations at half the assessed value, while Dana was lucky

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Mutt and Jeff? Laurel and Hardy? Crosby and Hope? Preibus and Bannon?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 16, 2016:  

Cover of "The Road to Hong Kong"

The Mutt and Jeff comic strip began in 1907 and lasted until 1983, with Al Smith drawing them for nearly 50 years. The slapstick comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy played to audiences from 1927 to 1950 while Bing Crosby and Bob Hope made seven “Road” films starting in 1940 and ending with “the Road to Hong Kong” in 1962. An eighth “Road” film was planned in 1977, “The Road to the Fountain of Youth,” but it was canceled when Crosby died of a heart attack that year.

Question: how long is the “co-equal” partnership of Reince Preibus and Steve Bannon likely to last?

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

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

University of Texas Law School Professor Sanfo...

University of Texas Law School Professor Sanford Levinson

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

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

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

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

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

Compact Glock 19 in 9x19mm Parabellum.

Glock Model 19, the world’s most popular handgun

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

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

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Former Attorney General Janet Reno Passes Away

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 7, 2016:

As Janet Reno formally ended her public career following her failure to win a primary for governor of Florida in 2002, she quoted George Washington about her legacy: “If I were to write all that down I might be reduced to tears. I would prefer to drift on down the stream of life and let history make the judgment.”

Her stream of life ended on Monday at age 78 when she passed away following complications from Parkinson’s disease. History will remember her for one thing:

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Three Election Models Pick Trump to Win on Tuesday

English: Donald Trump at a press conference an...

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 7, 2016:  

Poll-watching junkies are having a field day. There is one poll or another publishing its results on an almost hourly basis. As this is being written on noon Sunday, for instance, Investors Business Daily (IBD), which touts its survey as “the most accurate poll in recent presidential elections,” has Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton by one point. The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times’ “Daybreak” poll shows Trump ahead of Clinton by five points.

Nate Silver, in his FiveThirtyEight 2016 Election Forecast, has Clinton’s chance of winning at 64.7 percent versus Trump’s 35.3 percent. Silver predicts Clinton will win 48.4 percent of the popular vote (versus Trump’s 45.5 percent, which will give her 291 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 246.

In its running summary of other polls, Real Clear Politics shows Clinton up by 1.8 percent over Trump in the popular vote, while in the Electoral College it’s Clinton with 216 and Trump with 164, leaving 158 votes as “toss ups.”

There are at least two other prognosticators who don’t rely on polls at all, and they are predicting Trump will win on Tuesday. The first was explained by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge back in January when he said that the stock market would predict November’s winner:

This relationship occurs because the stock market reflects the economic outlook in the weeks leading up to the election. A rising stock market indicates an improving economy, which means rising confidence and increases the chances of the incumbent party’s re-election.

 

Therefore, your time might be better spent from August through October watching the stock market rather than the debates if you want to know who will be President for the next four years.

Right on cue the stock market has declined nine days in a row (through last Friday), the first time that has happened since 1980. But more importantly is how it has behaved since Monday, August 1. The S&P 500 Index has declined by 4.5 percent which, according to Durden, translates into an 86 percent chance of Trump’s winning on Tuesday.

And then there’s the professor from Stony Brook University, Helmut Norpoth, and his “Primary Model”. Writes Norpoth on his website:

Winning early primaries is a major key for electoral victory in November. Trump won the Republican primaries in both New Hampshire and South Carolina, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders split the Democratic primaries in those states….

 

For the record the Primary Model … has correctly predicted the winner of the popular vote in all five presidential elections since it was introduced in 1996….

 

For elections from 1912 to 2012 the Primary Model [has retroactively picked] the winner … every time except in 1960.

 

Accordingly, Norpoth gives Trump an 87 percent chance of winning Tuesday’s election.

There’s also his “pendulum” model:

What favors the GOP in 2016 as well … is the cycle of presidential elections. After two terms of Democrat Barack Obama in the White House the electoral pendulum is poised to swing to the GOP this year….

 

Donald Trump is predicted to defeat Hillary Clinton by 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent.

In the “for what it’s worth” category, as this is being written, futures for Monday’s open are also turning negative. If the market closes down again on Monday, the 10th day in a row, it will only add validity to both Durden’s and Norpoth’s prediction: Trump will win on Tuesday.

Also, Professor Norpoth has such confidence in his models that he is using his own money to bet on Trump to win.

The S&P 500 is Picking Trump to Win

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, November 7, 2016:

Back in January, Tyler Durden (a pseudonym), writing at ZeroHedge, said one would be far better off watching the markets than the debates if one wanted to know who the next president would be:

This relationship occurs because the stock market reflects the economic outlook in the weeks leading up to the election. A rising stock market indicates an improving economy, which means rising confidence and increases the chances of the incumbent party’s re-election.

 

Therefore, your time might be better spent from August through October watching the stock market rather than the debates if you want to know who will be President for the next four years.

Right on cue, the stock market has declined nine days in a row (through last Friday), the first time that has happened since 1980. But more importantly

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City Council Votes to Put “In God We Trust” Plaque in City Hall

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

Dwight D. Eisenhower, official portrait as Pre...

Dwight D. Eisenhower

When then-President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the country’s motto “In God We Trust” on July 30, 1956, he stated, “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

Last week, the City Council of Chesapeake, Virginia, agreed with Eisenhower, unanimously voting to

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Gallup: Assault Weapons Ban Support at Lowest Level Ever Recorded

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

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

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

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

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

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Americans Love Their Guns: All 660 Million of Them

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

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

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

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

Time magazine:  270 to 310 million,

National Public Radio: More than 300 million,

Washington Post:  357 million,

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

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

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Tom Hayden’s Passing: New York Times’ Eulogy Versus Reality

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 26, 2016:  

English: Activist and author Tom Hayden (left)...

Activist and author Tom Hayden (left) with Mark Rudd. Hayden was promoting his book, “Ending The War In Iraq”

When Barbara Williams, Tom Hayden’s third wife, discovered that her husband, Tom Hayden, had died on Sunday, one of the first things she did was to let the New York Times know. He’d had a stroke last year but it didn’t incapacitate him severely enough to keep him from attending the Democratic Party’s national convention as a delegate in July. But it was enough to do him in. He fell ill while at the convention and never recovered.

Apparently she knew that the Times would treat his passing with all the dignity usually accorded one of their own:

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Tom Hayden, 1960s Radical, Dead at 76

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 24, 2016: 

English: Photo of Tom Hayden addressing an ant...

Tom Hayden addressing an anti-war demonstration in Boston during the 2004 Democratic National Convention

On Sunday Tom Hayden, after falling ill while attending the Democratic Party’s convention in July, passed away, according to his third wife, Barbara Williams.

Hayden left behind a legacy that included forming the radical group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and writing its 25,000-word manifesto, the Port Huron Statement.

He took to heart his determination to change American society, conspiring with several others, including Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman, and Jerry Rubin, to disrupt the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. He along with the others were convicted of inciting a riot

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Investors Remember Black Monday 1987: Dow Loses 22 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 19, 2016:  

Wednesday is the 29th anniversary of the largest percentage sell-off of stocks in the history of Wall Street, including the sell-off that triggered the Great Depression on October 28, 1929. On that day in 1929, the Dow dropped 13 percent. In 1987, it dropped 22 percent.

Concerns abound about whether a repeat is likely to take place this month.

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Venezuela’s Collapse: Horror Beyond Belief

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 18, 2016:  

The Coat of arms of Venezuela

When Matt O’Brien updated his previous article on the slow-motion collapse of Venezuela on Monday for the Washington Post, he reviewed the symptoms achingly familiar to those following the events: the collapse of oil prices; the incompetence of the cronies running the state-owned oil company (former Marxist Hugo Chávez replaced the workers who knew what they were doing with political cronies who didn’t); the inflation of the currency followed as night follows day, with price controls to mask the resulting inflation; inflation, as measured by the black market’s pricing of the Venezuelan bolivar, causing the bolivar to lose more than 90 percent of its value in just two years; the empty supermarket shelves; the oppression by police of those standing in long lines to purchase whatever might be left in those stores; and on and on. As O’Brien lamented:

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Candidates Silent as Government Spending Jumps, Deficit Increases

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 17, 2016:  

On Friday, the Treasury Department published the final revenue and spending numbers for the federal government for Fiscal Year 2016, which ended on September 30. According to Treasury’s report, spending increased significantly (by nearly five percent) over the previous year, to more than $3.8 trillion, while revenues remained essentially flat from the year before, at $3.25 trillion. That left a shortfall of approximately $600 billion, forcing the government to borrow 15 cents of every dollar it spent last year. And the two presidential candidates have remained disturbingly silent about the issue.

Said Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a non-partisan group that favors reducing the deficit,

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Frederic Bastiat Wouldn’t Approve of Social Security

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

Frédéric Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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