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

This is the Largest Wealth Transfer in History

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 21, 2015: 

English: Murray Rothbard in the 90's

Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard

Coinciding with the announcement from the IRS that January 20 is the start of the 2015 tax season came the report from two wealth management consultancies, Wealth-X and National Financial Partners, that the largest transfer of wealth in world history is about to take place. With Obama’s help and the acquiescence of the Congress, the IRS is hoping to partake in the windfall.

According to the Family Wealth Transfer Report, an estimated $16 trillion of wealth belonging to 211,275 ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals worldwide will pass to their heirs over the next 30 years. $6 trillion of that wealth is

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China Stock Market Off Sharply After Regulatory Crackdown

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 19, 2015:

Chateau Lafite Rothschild Label for the 1999 v...

Chateau Lafite Rothschild Label for the 1999 vintage

During Monday’s session, stocks traded on the Shanghai stock market fell to their lowest level since June 2008, losing nearly eight percent.

Hardest hit were three brokerages that have been heavily involved in allowing Chinese small investors to open margin accounts, through which investors are able to borrow a portion of the money needed to buy securities, using the securities as collateral. When many of them were unable to settle their accounts, rather than forcing margin calls (a demand by a broker that an investor deposit further cash or securities to cover possible losses), the brokerage houses simply allowed them to

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Rabbi Recommends that European Jews Carry a Little “Something” Following Paris Attacks

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 16, 2015:

 

English: Webley Pocket revolver in .38 S&W pur...

Webley Pocket revolver in .38 S&W

On Tuesday a reporter from Newsweek called Rabbi Manachem Margolin to clarify what he meant about Jews owning weapons to defend themselves against terrorist attacks like those perpetrated by armed terrorists in Paris last week. He said:

Just a gun. I’m not referring to tanks. It’s not about heavy weapons. It’s just that everyone should have something in their pocket.

For years Rabbi Margolin – the General Director of the European Jewish Association and the Rabbinical Centre of Europe – the largest federation of Jewish organizations in Europe – has been trying to get European governments to soften their anti-gun stance and allow Jews to carry guns to defend themselves. He told the Washington Free Beacon:

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Prominent European Rabbi Calls for Jews to Carry Guns

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 15, 2015:

Warsaw Jews being held at gunpoint by SS troop...

Warsaw Jews being held at gunpoint by SS troops. Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 1943.

On Tuesday a prominent rabbi wrote to every member of the European Union urging them to “stop talking and start acting” and allow Jews “to own weapons for the essential protection of their communities … to protect their members from potential terror attacks.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the general director of the European Jewish Association and the Rabbinical Centre of Europe — the largest federation of Jewish organizations and communities in Europe — wrote:

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Auto Loan Bubble a Replay of Housing Mortgage Bubble?

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 12, 2015:

When Patrina Thomas decided it was time to trade in her 2002 Jeep in the summer of 2013, she went back to her local friendly Chrysler dealer. They were only too happy to take her Jeep as a down payment on a used 2008 Chrysler Sebring with the balance, an estimated $10,000, financed at 20.4 percent interest. Because her credit score was below 620, she qualified for “special” financing provided by Santander Consumer USA Holdings, a lender working closely with Chrysler Capital in such cases.

Her payment was so high — $385 a month — that she struggled to make it from the very first month. It finally got beyond her ability to pay, and the car was repossessed a year later. With a market value today of just $4,600 and her remaining loan balance of $7,600, she is upside down by $3,000.

Thomas has lots of company. According to the Wall Street Journal

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New Illinois Governor Facing Torrent of Red Ink

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 12, 2015:

 

Previous Illinois administrations and politicians have been kicking the can down the road for decades. Now, the state has run out of road. Bruce Rauner, Illinois’ new Republican governor, was inaugurated on Monday and is facing a daunting task: a $4 billion backlog of unpaid bills and a budget showing deficits approaching $21 billion in three years unless something is done.

During his campaign that successfully ousted what Huffington Post noted as the “nation’s least popular governor,” Pat Quinn, Rauner made the usual political promises of streamlining government and improving education and the state’s business climate, all without increasing taxes. In fact, he promised

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Yes, Karen, There’s an Auto Loan Bubble After All

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 12, 2015:

2007 Chrysler Sebring photographed in USA.

Chrysler Sebring

There’s little doubt that Karen Weise enjoyed her weekend. Back in August she tried to raise concerns about the bubble in auto financing, but couldn’t pin them down. A reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek in Seattle, all she could find back then were Fed spokesmen pooh-poohing concerns that too many broke people were getting car loans, that such fears were “misplaced,” that “it’s unlikely the composition of auto loan originations in our data will radically change since last year,” as New York Fed spokesman Matthew Ward put it.

She quoted four economists from the New York Fed who were unanimous:

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Boehner Retaliates, Strips Opponents of Committee Responsibilities

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 7, 2015: 

 

In the days running up to the opening of the 114th Congress, speculation was rampant that House Speaker John Boehner’s bid for a third term as speaker was in jeopardy. So much so that Boehner launched a full-court press including meetings with those opposed to his reelection and phone calls to dissidents right up to the last minute before the vote. 

In the end, a combination of bad weather, a funeral, and a popular Florida Republican’s reluctance to oppose the speaker until the day before the vote spelled victory for Boehner. 

Under House rules, only a majority of those present — not a majority of the total House membership — is needed to elect the speaker. With many Democrats attending the funeral service of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and bad weather delaying flights into Washington, those present numbered just 401 out of House membership of 434 (New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm resigned last week after pleading guilty to felony tax evasion). In the end, Boehner secured his position for another two years with 216 votes. 

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Human Progress Is Accelerating, Says Cato

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 31, 2014: 

Cato Institute

The Cato Institute continues to update its Human Progress website with sources from around the world showing graphically the enormous progress human beings have made in every conceivable area of their lives, especially over the last 50 years. 

From communications to the environment, from housing to transportation, there’s a data set that shows how far the human race has come in a very short period of time. 

Cato’s primary purpose in continuing to develop its HumanProgress.org website, already remarkably robust, is to dispel the common myth that things are getting worse, and at an accelerating rate: 

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John Lott Is No Longer Alone: More Guns Do Mean Less Crime

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 31, 2014:

English: Current Status of Shall Issue Laws in...

Recent Status of Shall Issue Laws in America

With degrees from the University of Chicago, Yale, the Wharton School and UCLA in economics, it was clear from the beginning that John Lott wanted to become an academic, burying himself in esoteric econometric modeling for a narrow audience.

It was not to be. Lott became interested in how anti-gunners were using statistical analysis to prove that more guns would mean more crime, which analysis was then used to buttress political agendas to emasculate the Second Amendment.

He decided, in 1998, to write a small book entitled More Guns, Less Crime, to refute that analysis and present his own. As far as gun ownership was concerned, Lott was an agnostic.

When it was published in June, 1998, his book ignited such a firestorm of protest and indignation among the anti-gunners that he was forced to

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Wall Street’s Hallelujah Chorus Greets New Highs in Stocks

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

 

 

Observers of new highs being put in by stocks at the Wall Street Journal could hardly restrain themselves. Eric Morath and Ben Leubsdorf, writing in the Journal on Tuesday, noted that the economy is now enjoying “a sweet spot of robust growth, sustained hiring, and falling unemployment [which is] stirring optimism that a post-recession breakout has arrived.”

Translation: Good times are here again, and likely to continue. Break out the Brie and Chablis.

Looking past the celebrations and the prognostications seemed, at first view, to confirm the market’s outlook:

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Whistleblowers Get Paid, Countrywide Chairman Gets Off

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 22, 2014: 

Last August, Bank of America agreed to pay out nearly $17 billion to settle sixteen lawsuits over making and marketing fraudulent mortgages leading up to the start of the Great Recession, setting a record in the process. But the details, under the False Claims Act, remained sealed until last week. The big news, according to the Wall Street Journal, was just how much four whistleblowers were getting: $170 million plus.

Even after the IRS and lawyers get their share, those four will enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle for a long time. Three individuals and a small New Jersey mortgage company, Mortgage Now, will share the spoils. Mortgage Now will receive

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New York Times Declares Victory in Release of Alan Gross

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 17, 2014: 

In its 2,000-word summary of the machinations involved in the 18-month-long effort to obtain the release of American citizen Alan Gross (pictured above with his wife) from his filthy Cuban jail cell, the New York Times once again revealed not only its partisan efforts to legitimize the Castro regime but also its intimate familiarity with and support of all the pieces and parts and participants involved in the release of Gross.

The New York Times, of course, has a pro-communist legacy dating back to before the days of Castro’s takeover of that unhappy island in 1959. At that time, the Times’ chief communist apologist,

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The Second Amendment continues to Thrive, says Pew Research

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 15, 2014:

Life has lately been hard for the anti-gunners and those opposed to the Second Amendment. According to Pew Research, it isn’t likely to get easier any time soon. For 20 years, Pew has been asking Americans a simple question:

What do you think is more important – to protect the right of Americans to own guns, OR to control gun ownership?

In 1993, the Second Amendment guaranteeing American citizens the right to keep and bear arms had few friends. According to Pew, just 34 percent of those polled thought it was more important than passing more gun control laws, while 57 percent favored more gun control legislation.

Its popularity hit bottom in March, 2000, about a year after the Columbine High School massacre in a Denver suburb, with just 29 percent supporting it compared to 66 percent wanting more controls.

Since then, however, Pew has been measuring a resurgence of support for the beleaguered guarantee,

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Dollree Mapp, Defendant in Landmark Fourth Amendment Case, Dead at 91

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 10, 2014: 

3,927 days Earl Warren from 1943 to 1953

Chief Justice Earl Warren

When Dollree Mapp answered the door on May 23, 1957, she had no idea of the impact her next move would have on jurisprudence in the United States. 

At her door were three local police officers who were searching for a suspect in a bombing, and they asked permission to enter her home, having been given information that he might be hiding there. She asked them if they had a search warrant. When they said no, she refused entry. 

Two officers left, leaving one behind to maintain surveillance. Three hours later the two officers returned, along with several others who demanded entry into her home. At that point, according to Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, writing for the majority in Mapp v. Ohio, 

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Swiss Issue an Unequivocal Buy Signal for Gold

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 5, 2014:

Rarely do the precious markets receive such an unequivocal, unblemished, unalloyed buy signal as the one issued by the Swiss when they voted down, 3-to-1, a referendum that would have modestly restricted the activities of its central bank.

Months earlier, polls showed that the “Save Our Swiss Gold” initiative was likely to pass, but massive publicity campaigns and moves by Citigroup to cash in on it caused a huge shift in public sentiment, with the final vote on Sunday, November 30 defeating it by a 78-22% margin.

The Swiss, being a direct democracy, are known for referendums, voting on an average of five of them every year, with most of them failing. But this one caused rejoicing among observers and Swiss National Bank (SNB) officials that likely put in a bottom in the gold market. Had it passed, the referendum would have required the SNB to

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The Great Thanksgiving Hoax

This article was written by Richard J. Maybury and appeared a the Mises Institute’s website, Mises Daily this morning, November 27, 2014:

"The Embarkation of the Pilgrims from Del...

“The Embarkation of the Pilgrims from Delfthaven in Holland” (1844) by Robert Walter Weir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year at this time, schoolchildren all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story, and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it. It is all very colorful and fascinating.

It is also very deceiving. This official story is nothing like what really happened. It is a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving’s real meaning.

The official story has the Pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America, and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620–21. This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die. But the survivors are hard-working and tenacious, and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians. The harvest of 1621 is bountiful. The pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God. They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land He has given them.

The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after, each year repeating the first Thanksgiving. Other early colonies also have hard times at first, but they soon prosper and adopt the annual tradition of giving thanks for this prosperous new land called America.

The problem with this official story is that the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful, nor were the colonists hard-working or tenacious. 1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.

In his History of Plymouth Plantation, the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years because they refused to work in the field. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with “corruption,” and with “confusion and discontent.” The crops were small because “much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable.” 

In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, “all had their hungry bellies filled,” but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first “Thanksgiving” was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.

But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, “instead of famine now God gave them plenty,” Bradford wrote, “and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.” Thereafter, he wrote, “any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.” In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened? After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, “they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop.” They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take only what he needed.

This “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that “young men that were most able and fit for labor and service” complained about being forced to “spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children.” Also, “the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak.” So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of the famines. 

Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609–10, called “The Starving Time,” the population fell from five-hundred to sixty. Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614 Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was “plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure.” He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, “we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now.”

Before these free markets were established, the colonists had nothing for which to be thankful. They were in the same situation as Ethiopians are today, and for the same reasons. But after free markets were established, the resulting abundance was so dramatic that annual Thanksgiving celebrations became common throughout the colonies, and in 1863 Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

Thus, the real meaning of Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them.

Pressure Building to Repeal Two Laws Keeping Oil and Gas Prices High

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 17, 2014:

Senator Lisa Murkowski

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski

Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, soon to chair the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is already setting the table for a serious conversation about getting rid of at least one archaic law dating back to the mid-1970s: the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.

That law bans the export of crude oil (with some minor exceptions) and could endanger the oil shale boom as a result. Said Murkowski:

The price American drivers pay for gasoline at their local station is linked to the price of oil set by the global market.

 

Exporting U.S. oil to our friends and allies will not raise gasoline prices here at home and should, in fact, help drive down prices.

As the price of crude oil drops, it increases the chances that smaller marginal crude oil producers will be forced to close unless they are allowed to find buyers outside the United States willing to pay more for their product. One of the bottlenecks has already been opened:

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The President is Rapidly Becoming Irrelevant

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, November 17, 2014:

Matthew Dowd, George W. Bush’s campaign strategist, saw it coming almost a month before the midterms, telling ABC News on September 15th that the president is “fast becoming irrelevant in Washington” and noting further that Obama was at precisely the same point George Bush was in 2005:

That point in time it was basically the beginning of the end of President Bush’s presidency.

 

I think the president [Obama] is a very big fan of history. He watched that go on with [Bush]. Unless the president changes his trajectory, he is on the road to irrelevancy.

He hasn’t, and he is. The Baltimore Sun used the “R” word (relevance) in its review of the demolition of the Democrats on November 4th:

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Obama Way Over His Head at the APEC Summit

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 14, 2014:

Xi Jinping 习近平

Xi Jinping. China’s “Paramount Leader”

Nowhere was President Obama’s shrinking influence in world affairs more apparent than when he opened the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing earlier this week by announcing an “agreement” with China’s “paramount leader,” Xi Jinping, to extend visas in both countries from one year to ten. The enhancements will have little real world impact but they served to give Obama the appearance of being a player.

A U.S. visa only serves as preliminary permission to seek admission to the United States. Final admission remains, as it always has, in the hands of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer who, after questioning and investigation of the nonimmigrant’s purposes, will then issue a Form I-94. That form serves as the official government document authorizing the alien’s stay in the country.

Nevertheless, Obama made the most of it:

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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.