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

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.

Former Goldman Sachs Head Avoids Trial, Gets Slap on the Wrist Instead

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 7, 2016: 

Then Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ)

Jon Corzine

Five years ago this summer, former New Jersey Governer Jon Corzine’s high-risk futures and options trading company, MF Global, began having liquidity problems, thanks to risky trades that he had made with company money. When those trades began going sour the firm’s lenders starting issuing margin calls. When he couldn’t meet them, instead of admitting he’d erred by liquidating the failed trades and taking his losses, he simply called up the company’s treasurer and ordered her to raid customers’ accounts to meet the demands.

It’s one thing to risk one’s own money. It’s another thing entirely to push that risk onto unsuspecting and uninformed customers. Even worse, it’s wrong to lie that he never intended to do it.

Now Corzine will pay a small fine and move on.

The details of the final days of MF Global were spelled out by the New York Times last Thursday:

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British Prime Minister Announces Delay of Brexit Trigger

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 3, 2016:  

In a speech on Sunday to her British Conservative Party’s conference, Prime Minister Theresa May (shown) made it sound as if she had been a supporter of Brexit all along:

[After Brexit, the United Kingdom will be] a fully-independent country [no longer under the] jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.… [Brexit] was a vote for Britain to stand tall, to believe in ourselves, to forge an ambitious and optimistic new role in the world….


Brexit should make us think about our role in the wider world. It should make us think of Global Britain, a country with the self-confidence and the freedom to look beyond the continent of Europe and to the economic and diplomatic opportunities of the wider world.


Because we know that the referendum [to leave the European Union] was not a vote to turn in ourselves, to cut ourselves off from the world.

Accordingly, she announced that

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The “Ratchet Effect” at Work Once Again, This Time Against Gunsmiths

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 3, 2016:

English: This image is of economist Robert Higgs.

Robert Higgs

In interpersonal relations, the ratchet effect has been called “What’s mine is mine; what’s yours is negotiable.” In politics it’s been called “Two steps leftward, one step back.” Robert Higgs, a Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute for nearly a quarter century, described the effect much more elegantly: once a crisis that calls for more government has passed, state power usually recedes, but it rarely returns to its original levels; thus each emergency leaves the scope of government a little wider than before.

Thomas Jefferson put it this way: “The natural progress of things is for the government to gain ground and for liberty to yield.”

The latest example is the State Department, through its Directorate of Defense Trade Affairs (DDTC), expanding its definition of “gunsmithing” so that it is called “manufacturing,” thus allowing it to

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Some thoughts on last night’s massacre (Trump v. Clinton)

Joe Louis looks for an opening during boxing m...

Joe Louis looks for an opening during his first match with Max Schmeling in 1935

The parallels between last night’s so-called debate and the first boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling in 1935 are worth mentioning. In that first match Louis, the reigning world heavyweight champion, failed to prepare for the match and instead of training, he played golf. Schmeling, on the other hand, age 30 (considered over the hill) trained intensively, encouraged by Hitler and the Nazis to show Aryan superiority over the negro. The match lasted 12 rounds and ended when Schmeling knocked Louis out.

The rematch took place three years later, with vastly different results. Louis, not only for national pride but for “personal reasons”, trained hard. When the two met in Yankee Stadium before a crowd of 70,000, Louis pounded Schmeling into submission in the first round, with Schmeling’s trainer throwing in the towel. Schmeling was only able to land two punches before he went down.

It is this writer’s hope that Trump has learned the same lesson. He hopes that Trump learned that he is dealing with a trained professional, not with some weak-kneed bitter old lady with health problems. He missed many opportunities to put Hillary away last night, through lack of preparation. If Trump has learned that he is dealing with a political professional, the next debate just might turn out differently – perhaps much differently.

Mainstream Media’s Increasingly Blatant Liberal Bias May Backfire in Elections

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 19, 2016:  

FOX Business Network's Mix/Minus and IFB board

FOX Business Network’s Mix/Minus and IFB board

Just three days after Pew Research reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans think the news stories they read, hear, and watch are biased, along came Gallup with a similar conclusion.

Pew found that 63 percent of its respondents doubted the veracity and neutrality of the stories they get from the mainstream media, a full 10-percent decline just since 2007. Pew also reported that the mainstream media finds itself in increasing financial difficulty owing not only to increasing distrust by its readers but competition from Internet-based sources.

For instance, newspaper advertising dropped by

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The Mainstream Media Has Blown Its Cover

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 19, 2016:  

FOX Business Network's control room screen

FOX Business Network’s control room screen

In its rush (some say panic) to denigrate and neutralize Donald Trump’s appeal in the presidential race, the liberal mainstream media’s bias has become so blatant that it may actually be turning off those it is trying to influence.

On September 11, Pew Research reported that

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Autonomous Vehicles to Put Four Million People Out of Work?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 16, 2016:  

Whenever economic change takes place, there are those who ask: Where will those displaced find other work? In counting the costs involved as autonomous vehicles (i.e., driverless cars, self-driving cars, robotic cars, etc.) continue to revolutionize how people move, Wolf Richter of Wolf Street concluded that more than four million people will lose their jobs:

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Much More at Stake Than Just Exiting the Establishment

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 26, 2016:  

Nigel Farage, a bold and uncompromising critic of the European Union, has long been a thorn in the side of the insiders pushing for world government. He has had the audacity to stand up repeatedly in its official chambers and call out the other unelected bloviating members of the so-called European Parliament, exposing their real purposes behind the EU.

When he appeared onstage with Donald Trump on Tuesday night in Jackson, Mississippi, in front of 15,000 noisy supporters, the mainstream media didn’t quite know what to make of it. First,

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California’s Gun Violence Restraining Orders: Grandpa Older, Armed, Therefore Dangerous?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 22, 2016:  

Richard Swift could be anyone’s grandfather. Born in 1949, he grew up around guns. He got his first .22 at age 12 and learned how to pick off rodents on his family farm in southeastern Pennsylvania. Said Swift: “Mostly, I was just shooting things that were there, like a stick floating down the creek. I’d shoot bumblebees if they settled on a limb … any kind of small, challenging target.”

When he joined the National Guard, he competed in marksmanship matches, and when he delivered cash between branches of a local bank, he carried a firearm for protection.

But now he’s retired and still owns that .22, along with a couple of other rifles, two pistols, and a pair of shotguns. And he has no plans to dispose of any of them.

And that makes Shannon Frattaroli very nervous.

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Rights Are Lost Slowly, Over Time, and Then All at Once

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 22, 2016:  

German Pastor Richard Niemoller (pictured) wasn’t the first to discover how totalitarians complete their takeover, but he is remembered for waxing poetic about just how the strategy works:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist.


Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist.


Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.


Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

In the early 1930s, Niemoller supported Hitler. But when he observed the tyrant’s strategy of isolating his enemies and then eliminating them one by one, he opposed him. Niemoller spent years in a German concentration camp, and, upon his release in 1946, explained what he had seen with his own eyes:

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Fully Self-driving Cars by 2021, Says Ford CEO

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 18, 2016:  

On Tuesday, during a hectic day of media interviews about the coming revolution being caused by autonomous vehicles (AVs), Ford’s CEO Mark Fields told Wall Street analysts that such vehicles “could have just as significant an impact on society as [Henry] Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago.” He told workers at a Ford plant in Palo Alto, “This is a transformational moment in our industry … it is a transformational moment in our company. We are making people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.”

He said that his company’s foray begins with e-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft and will expand to the consumer market by 2021 if not sooner.

He’s not alone.

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Violating Rule Number One Costs Careless Silicon Valley Investors Millions

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 8, 2016:  

Every investor has, or at least should have, rules. A few good ones are: If your barber starts giving you investment advice, find another barber. Tips are for waiters. Never get into something that you can’t get out of. Always set a stop loss. If you miss one opportunity, don’t worry: there’s another one right behind it.  Wherever possible, hedge. And so on.

Above all these is Rule Number One, a rule so hackneyed it’s almost embarrassing to put it down on paper:

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Sixty Percent of Brazilians Expect Economic Losses From Olympics

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 27, 2016:  

Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics bid logo.

The theory — and the marketing materials — claim big benefits for Rio de Janeiro for hosting the 2016 Olympic Games: 500,000 people and more than 10,000 athletes attending and spending; improved infrastructure that lasts long after athletes and attendees leave; greater global exposure and enhanced credibility; and, if all goes well, increased revenues that will offset the costs and maybe even leave a little profit behind.

Brazilians aren’t buying it.

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Black Lives Matter Ideology Rebuffed by Black Scholar

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 13, 2016: 

FRSO logo from freedomroad.org .

FRSO logo from freedomroad.org .

Founded by Marxists and serving as one of many front groups for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), the Black Lives Matter movement’s primary purpose is to overthrow the government of the United States and to replace it with a totalitarian dictatorship. One of the stumbling blocks to BLM and FRSO, happily, is the fact that local police are outside of federal control.

If local police can be replaced with federal or national police forces, the rest is easy:

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Resurgence of Nationalism Following Brexit Making Insiders Nervous

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 29, 2016:  

European Council on Foreign Relations

The first successful pushback against the machinations of the New World Order elites last week was followed by much hand-wringing, second-guessing, and suggestions that the citizens of Great Britain didn’t know what they were doing and should take a mulligan (golf term: a do-over). The Wall Street Journal published a timeline of the exit process, which could take as long as two years.

Calling it a potential “multi-year tussle,” that process has the global elites in a pickle:

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Does the Media Lie? Only When It Serves Its Purposes

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 15, 2016:  

English: Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in...

The brouhaha over Donald Trump’s revocation of press credentials from the Washington Post has reignited the question: can the press lie in order to prove a point or promote an agenda?

The Donald doesn’t think so. On Monday morning, following the massacre in Orlando, Trump said this on Facebook:

I am no fan of President Obama, but to show you how dishonest the phony Washington Post is, they wrote, “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando shooting” as their headline. Sad!

Twenty minutes later he pulled the plug on WaPo journos:

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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.