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

Kim Dotcom of Megaupload Fights Back!

The Daily Bell: Kim Dotcom Resists, Pussy Riot Protests and the Insane Clown Posse Sues … Internet Reformation Rolls

As the power elite that wants to run the world continues to race against time more and more brutally, what we call the Internet Reformation becomes ever more visible.

It is becoming more visible because as the elites shove the world toward global governance, people being shoved, some of them, push back.

In the past week, we’ve seen three high-profile instances of this sort of resistance. Kim Dotcom, CEO of destroyed Megaupload, has launched a website to proclaim his innocence and begun releasing surprisingly tuneful pop music to plead his cause and shape his public image.

Megaupload and the Twilight of Copyright

Megaupload and the Twilight of Copyright (Photo credit: mikesolita)

Sometimes Anthony Wile goes on a tear, trying to cover way too much to support his point: the internet is generating pushback. But his reference to Kim Dotcom is useful.

Kim’s arrest by police on January 20th this year made headlines around the world. The excessive use of police power simply went beyond describing. Wikipedia’s brief mention of “armed officers arriv[ing] in helicopters and dropp[ing] into the Dotcom mansion courtyard” just barely suggests the ferocity of the attack on him. And for what? Copyright infringement!

But he is fighting back. Having secured a judgment from a New Zealand High Court judge that the warrants used in this raid were unauthorized—see this from Wikipedia:

On June 28, 2012, New Zealand High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann found the warrants used did not adequately describe the offences to which they were related. “These categories of items were defined in such a way that they would inevitably capture within them both relevant and irrelevant material. The police acted on this authorization. The warrants could not authorize seizure of irrelevant material, and are therefore invalid.” Justice Winkelmann also ruled the FBI’s cloning of the seized hard-drives invalid. This judgment calls the admissibility of the evidence in later extradition hearings into question. (My emphasis)

Dotcom is fighting back. He has launched a website proclaiming his innocence in advance of his trial, hoping to influence public opinion in his favor. And the PTB (Powers That Be) can do little to stop him.

And that’s the point of Wile’s article:

But as we long ago predicted, the Internet Reformation is fairly unstoppable at the moment. The European Union is falling apart, the global warming scam is unraveling, the war on terror has not gone as planned in Afghanistan and many other elite promotions have been exposed in detail on the Internet.

The ancient power elite, that evidently wants to run the world and uses its control of central banks to fund its mania, is in no sense defeated but it is facing challenges that it has not faced since the Gutenberg Press itself began exposing the power structure 600 years ago.

May those challenges, like those of Mr. Dotcom, continue and multiply.

A Different Take on Global Warming

Cafe Hayek: An Open Letter to CBS News Radio Commentator Dave Ross

In your segment “What happened to global warming being a hoax?”—aired during today’s 1pm hour on Washington, DC’s, WTOP radio—you played a clip of U.C.-Berkeley scientist Richard Muller saying that “all of this warming over the last 250, 260 years has been caused by green house gases emitted by humans.”

Being no physical scientist myself, I accept Mr. Muller’s claim.  But contrary to most people’s reaction to this news, my reaction is “What a deal!”

Global Warming 1/2

Global Warming 1/2 (Photo credit: lamazone)

Now there’s a different point of view. Rather than contesting the belief (and that’s what it is) that human behavior has raised temperatures, Boudreaux instead accepts the premise and then says “So what?”

I just wrote about a global warming scientist who has, honorably, found that the data doesn’t support the thesis (surprise, surprise) and now declaims it. Here’s the link to my article from The New American.

But Boudreaux says that even if temperatures did rise, a little, it’s more than justified by the enormous increase in human well-being over the past couple of hundred years!  Here he is:

In exchange for slightly warmer global temperatures, humanity gets off-the-charts benefits never before enjoyed by ordinary men and women – benefits that began to flow only 250, 260 years ago.  In industrialized countries, these benefits include a near-tripling of life-expectancy; a growth in average real per-capita income to a level at least 30 times higher than it was a mere three centuries ago; an end to famine and plagues; abolition of the multi-millennial-old institution of slavery; widespread literacy; and an unprecedented expansion in women’s rights and opportunities—all these wonders, and more, from bourgeois commerce and industry powered in part by fossil fuels.  Has humanity ever gotten so much at such a puny price?

I love it when someone comes along and challenges my perception of reality.

 

Just How Important is the Vice President, Anyway?

Dan McLaughlin: The Vice Presidential Stakes

Ten of the last twenty presidents, dating back to 1900, have been forced from office or come close: one was forced to resign (Nixon), one was impeached (Clinton), two were assassinated (Kennedy and McKinley), one was shot (Reagan), one was shot at twice in three weeks (Ford), two died in office of natural causes (FDR and Harding), one was incapacitated by a stroke (Wilson), and one nearly died of a massive heart attack (Eisenhower).

Romney - Ryan 2012

Romney – Ryan 2012 (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

I’ve been staying away from the presidential election for all the obvious reasons: the contenders are part of the same group that’s been leading us into slavery for years: two wings of the same bird of prey, as some wag cleverly stated. Besides, the real action is in the House and the Senate, in my opinion, as well as on the state and local levels.

So I could care less about who Mittens picks for vice president. It won’t matter anyway as the vice president never gets to influence policy.

But McLaughlin has challenged me to consider the chances of the vice president taking over the presidency. That possibility gets me excited. And the statistics are quite remarkable. After iterating additional statistics to show how important the vice president position could become, McLaughlin sums it up:

All of which is a way of saying that Mitt Romney’s choice of a running mate could have very important repercussions whether or not that choice makes much impact on the outcome of the 2012 election.

Romney seems to be a man of unusual health, vigor and personal ethics, and so less likely than most to leave the Oval Office before his term is out if he’s elected, but he’s also 65 years old; things happen.

Indeed, they do.

What is “Internet Freedom,” Anyway?

The Atlantic: Why Conservatives Must Heed Congressman Issa’s Call

Both conservatives and progressives believe the Internet should remain free. But they have very different views about the potential threats to Internet freedom, which is what tends to drive disagreements on policy.

An icon from icon theme Crystal Clear.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a very important article, one that deserves more attention than I can give it here. I hope you read it.

According to Fred Campbell, writing for The Atlantic,

Conservatives generally believe that governments are the primary threat to Internet freedom. The Internet became a global engine of economic growth, political discourse, and cultural transformation without centralized governance of its technologies or access policies. The highly decentralized nature of the Internet means that no single individual or company can dictate its future. Even the wealthiest private company in the world cannot force people to buy its products and services, prevent people from buying the products or services of its competitors, levy fines and taxes on the people, send people to prison, or declare war.

Whereas the progressives have their own definition:

Progressives generally believe corporations and property owners are equally as dangerous to the Internet as the government. In their view, regulation is necessary because government is the only guarantor against private threats to Internet freedom. Their ultimate goal is for the government to treat the Internet as a public utility subject to the same 1930s-style regulations that supported the Ma Bell telephone monopoly for decades. That’s why progressive advocates often analogize the Internet to public utilities like the electricity grid, waterworks, roadways, and the analog telephone system.

And there it is, in plain view: conservatives (I am one) believe in property rights and free markets. Progressives believe in total government control, all in the name of freedom. Individual rights don’t matter. It’s all about “collective” rights.

Thanks, Mr. Campbell, for a well-crafted and important article on internet freedom.

For a more detailed look at the parallels between “Net Neutrality” and the Ma Bell monopoly, read this article.

2012 Olympics Opening Ceremonies: Cheeky?

Washington Times: With royalty and rock, London opens 2012 Olympics

The queen and James Bond gave the London Olympics a royal entrance like no other Friday in an opening ceremony that rolled to the rock of the Beatles, the Stones and The Who.

And the creative genius of Danny Boyle spliced it all together.

Brilliant. Cheeky, too.

200

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I watched the opening ceremonies, too, and I didn’t think they were “cheeky.” I’m careful with my words, or try to be, and “cheeky” means “impudent” or “insolent” and is synonymous with “saucy” or “audacious” or “bold” according to an online dictionary.

I thought instead that it was disjointed, chaotic, foolish, random, and, in some places, offensive. Some of it was brilliant, like the changing of the stage and the evolution of Britain from “pastoral” to “industrial” with smokestacks rising out of the fields.

But even that didn’t do justice to history. Prior to the industrial revolution life was “mean, brutish and short,” as so well expressed by Thomas Hobbes. Boyle seemed to think, or wanted us to think anyway, that prior to the dirty, smelly (he even managed to insert sulphur smells into his presentation to “remind” the audience of how smelly and filthy and dirty and polluting the industrial revolution was), life was pure, sweet, “green” and “pastoral.”

It was anything but.

I enjoyed James Bond and the Queen arriving via parachute from a helicopter emblazoned with the Union Jack. And the visual of flying over and through London and the countryside was spectacular.

But I failed to grasp the significance of the black rapper which I muted (isn’t technology great?) and I have never quite understood the attractiveness of the Beatles, the Stones and The Who. The Who?

I must be showing my age, and my prejudices. But I am looking forward to the competition.

Who Are the Real Insiders?

Andrew Gavin Marshall: Who Really Runs the World? Conspiracies, Hidden Agendas and the Plan for World Government

David Rockefeller, himself, wrote, “For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

Adam Weishaupt, Illuminati

Adam Weishaupt, Illuminati (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the hurly burly of the real world, I rarely have the time to step back and look at the big picture. The trees get in the way of seeing the forest, so to speak.

But back when I was investigating the John Birch Society in the 60’s, I took the time to look into the society’s—specifically Mr. Welch’s—allegations that there was—is—a secret group of people whom he called “insiders” who really pulled—pulls—the strings behind the scenes.

This article reminded me of those days and my struggle to grasp the provable reality that there really were immeasurably evil individuals seeking to impose their will on mankind.

I remember doing significant research in preparation for a speech on the history of the conspiracy. I went all the way back to the Illuminati and Adam Weishaupt (today you can even find a listing at Wikipedia about him). I only gave that talk twice because it was so upsetting to me. I found myself confronting the ultimate evil: Satan himself.

It was inescapable. The confrontation upset me and kept me awake at nights. When I had an opportunity to look into the JFK assassination I discovered the same dark force and I had to put the book away.

Who runs the world?

When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world. From Matthew, chapter 4, verses 8-10:

Once again, the devil took him [Jesus] to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. “All these,” he said, “I will give you, if you will only fall down and do me homage.”

Satan could offer to give these to Jesus because Satan owned those kingdoms. One cannot give away what one doesn’t own.

That’s who runs the world.

Whatever Else, Call Robert Welch “Correct” [VIDEO]

I was exposed to the John Birch Society in 1966 and after doing a lot of reading (which was required to confirm what I was hearing and to shift my world view from that implanted in me during my time at Cornell), I joined the society in 1967.

In 1974 I attended a JBS dinner where the founder, Robert Welch, gave this talk. It was frightening to me then, and remarkably prescient when compared to our present circumstances. I consider that the efforts of the JBS have bought us at least one generation’s time to expose the insiders and to begin the rebuilding process back to freedom.

Myths About the Marshall Plan

Logo used on aid delivered to European countri...

When establishment historians consider the Marshall Plan, its intents and purposes and alleged successes, they typically make at least two errors–one in logic and the other in history. First, they assume that since Europe began to revive at about the time the Marshall Plan was implemented then that revival must have been because of the plan, not in spite of it.

Second, they fail to make any mention of the forces in the background that had a much different purpose in mind: specifically, how to use the Marshall Plan to further their internationalist agenda.

One example of a “court historian” providing his readers with the accepted view of the Marshall Plan is Robert V. Remini, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, and author of numerous books on the American republic’s early figures, such as Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster. In 2005 Remini was appointed the Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. Remini thus serves as the perfect example of someone who knows his history but fails to tell all he knows, especially when it comes to the Marshall Plan.

In his “A Short History of the United States” Remini had this to say about the Marshall Plan:

Secretary of State, George C. Marshall, then devised a plan, which he outlined in a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, by which the United States would assist European nations to rebuild their shattered economies…

Between April 1948 and December 1951, the United States contributed a little over $12 billion to Europe…

By 1951 Europe had not only achieved its prewar level of production but its level of industrial production rose to virtually guarantee prosperity for the future…

There it is: the United States, out of the goodness of its heart, gave five percent of its gross national product with no strings attached to European nations to help them get back on their feet. And it worked!  Look! By 1951 Europe had fully recovered!

It is tempting to ascribe malevolent intentions to Remini. But that does not preclude asking some questions and pointing out some errors of commission and omission in his establishment view. For instance, who

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Feisty, Fearless Economist Anna Schwartz Dead at 96

Anna Schwartz by David Shankbone

Best known as the co-author, along with Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Freidman, of A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, Anna Jacobson Schwartz died on Thursday, June 21, in New York City at age 96.

A brilliant economist in her own right, she provided the background, the research, and so much of the thinking behind the 859-page A Monetary History that Friedman claimed that “Anna did all the work, and I got most of the recognition.” Considered by many classical economists as the magnum opus on monetary policy (the impact of money supply on economic behavior), by itself it shifted the blame for the Great Depression from the statists’ claim that it was due to excessive laissez-faire capitalism in the 1920s to the interventions by the Federal Reserve that caused the Great Depression and that greatly exacerbated both its depth and duration. So powerful were the conclusions that one of the book’s chapters, “The Great Contraction, 1929-33,” was published as a stand-alone paperback in 1965, and the book itself was hailed by the Cato Institute as one of the most influential economics books of the 20th century. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that A Monetary History “transformed the debate about the Great Depression.”

Accolades abounded following the announcement of her passing, even from those who parted ways with her on the role of central banking in a modern economy and the Federal Reserve in particular. George Selgin, a senior fellow at Cato, remembers Schwartz as being candid and uncompromising: “Anna never held a punch, and when she threw one, it landed square on target.” Robert Higgs, a scholar at the Independent Institute, noted, 

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As Regulations Strangle the Economy, History Provides an Alternative

Small Steps Toward Deregulation

President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...

Because of disappointment over the economy’s rate of recovery which appeared to be confirmed by the March jobs numbers coming in at half the rate expected, the House is making efforts to roll back regulations that are said to be inhibiting the recovery.

The Wall Street Journal explained that, although the jobless rate edged down in March from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent, “that decline was due less to new hiring than people abandoning their job searches.” Indeed, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve a record 88 million people are “not in the labor force,” up from 60 million in the early 1980s.

Regulations emanating from regulatory agencies have turned into a veritable waterfall under the Obama administration, forcing the White House last summer to promise to “review hundreds of regulations that could get streamlined or scrapped in response to criticism from the GOP and business that burdensome rules are holding back the economy.”

Writing at The New American, William Hoar noted that, even if such a review actually took place and then resulted in any kind of rollback of regulations, it would amount to no more than “a speed bump for the diktaks racing out of Washington.” In fact, the White House is a significant part of the problem. Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) noted that since Obamacare became law it has grown from a 2000-page bill to more than 6,000 pages of regulations in the Federal Register.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) got so exasperated with the regulations threatening to asphyxiate the economy that he announced plans to introduce legislation to abolish every

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President Obama Pokes the Supreme Court … Again

First Floor at the Statute of John Marshall in...

President Obama, commenting on the judicial review being undertaken by the Supreme Court on his premier signature legislation, ObamaCare, challenged the court to uphold his law or be considered “activists” legislating from the bench. Said the President:

Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. I guess I would remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. For an unelected group of people to somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law is a good example of that, and I’m pretty sure this court will recognize that and not take that step.

This isn’t the first time the President has directed barbs at the Supreme Court. During his State of the Union address two years ago he looked down on the Justices seated below him and said their recent decision on Citizens United opened the “floodgates” to unlimited independent election spending.

This time the President’s use of the words “unprecedented,” “extraordinary” and “unelected” elicited howls of protest from observers such as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who responded that “It would be nice living in a fantasy world where every law you like is constitutional and every Supreme Court decision you don’t like is ‘activist.’ ” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) joined in, saying he was “disappointed” by the President’s warning:

It is not unprecedented at all for the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional; they do that on a regular basis, so it’s not unprecedented at all.

What is unprecedented is…the president of the United States trying to intimidate the Supreme Court.

Even the Wall Street Journal excoriated the President over his remarks, chiding him that he “needs a remedial course in judicial review.” How could the President, allegedly a constitutional scholar and professor at the University of Chicago and president of the Harvard Law Review, not remember the pivotal case, Marbury v. Madison, decided 209 years ago and considered as perhaps the singular landmark case in the history of law? That case helped define the constitutional boundaries between the Executive and Judicial branches of the fledgling republic and was the first time in Western history that a court invalidated a law by declaring it to be unconstitutional. As noted by the Journal:

In Marbury in 1803, Chief Justice John Marshall laid down the doctrine of judicial review. In the 209 years since, the Supreme Court has invalidated part or all of countless laws on grounds that they violated the Constitution. All of those laws were passed by a “democratically elected” legislature of some kind, either Congress or in one of the states. And no doubt many of them were passed by “strong” majorities.

The decision specifically ruled that “Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional to the extent it purports to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond that permitted by the Constitution. Congress cannot pass laws that are contrary to the Constitution, and it is the role of the Judicial system to interpret what the Constitution permits.” [Emphasis added.] In writing the unanimous decision, Chief Justice John Marshal said, “The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws and not of men…”

Judge Andrew Napolitano made much the same point in this Fox News commentary:

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul also weighed in on the matter by reminding his readers that not only should the Supreme Court

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Speech: Bernanke Fails at Transparency, Rails at Gold Standard

M6 - Money

When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke donned his professorial cap and addressed 30 undergraduate students at George Washington University on Tuesday, he claimed it was all in the interest of transparency. According to the New York Times, “The Fed is concerned that it is neither loved nor understood by many Americans, and that public anger could lead to constraints on its powers.”

A close look at his actual presentation, augmented by slides, confirms his attempt to direct the students’ attention away from the Fed’s obvious dangers, faults, and failures and instead concentrate on its alleged virtues.

For example, his attack on the gold standard was filled with falsehoods and half-truths that failed to convince, only to confuse:

The gold standard as an alternative to a central bank: The gold standard sets the money supply and [the] price level generally with limited central bank intervention.

What the professor fails to state is that there is the gold standard and there is a paper standard that can only be enforced when a central bank is given a monopoly over what citizens may use as money. He fails to make clear that it’s the quantity of gold that “sets the money supply” and from that is derived the value of each piece, which is reflected in its purchasing power in the marketplace. It’s the citizen, freely accepting, using and exchanging gold for goods and services in the marketplace, who sets the price level. Buried in the comment “with limited central bank intervention” is the core of the problem: Bernanke doesn’t want people making those choices and decisions for themselves. Those decisions must be left to experts like

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Obama Economic Recovery Still Underwater

President Barack Obama signs the Tax Relief, U...

For proof that the Obama “recovery” remains unimpressive compared to previous recoveries, Cato Institute scholar Dan Mitchell gathered evidence from a number of sources to make his point.

President Obama promised that at this point in the recovery unemployment would be down to six percent, but it remains stubbornly above eight percent if one believes the government numbers. At least five million people who lost their jobs in the recession are still unemployed or underemployed. The number of Americans living below the poverty level has set a new record. Government spending is virtually out of control with annual deficits now admitted to be above $1 trillion for the foreseeable future. Higher taxes are coming unless the Bush tax cuts are somehow permitted to remain in force. And the housing market is still looking for a bottom.

But according to President Obama everything is coming up roses: More than three million jobs have been created in the past two years and the Dow Jones Industrial Average just exceeded 13,000, nearly doubling from under 7,000 in March 2009.

Thanks to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve’s interactive website, the Obama recovery can easily be compared to (and contrasted with) 10 previous recessions all the way back to 1948. Whether looking at jobs or at economic output, the performance under Obama has lagged behind each of the previous recoveries very significantly. As noted by Mitchell, “Under Obama’s policies…we’ve just barely gotten back to where we were when the recession began…[and] the jobs chart is probably even more discouraging…. [It] is still below where it started.”

On February 2, 2012, Phil Gramm and Mike Solon wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

Never before in postwar America has…employment still been lower four years after a recession began….

If in this recovery our economy had grown and generated jobs at the average rate achieved during the 10 previous postwar recessions…13.7 million more Americans would be working today….

President Ronald Reagan’s policies ignited a recovery so powerful that if it were being repeated today…some 16.9 million more Americans would have jobs.

The negative impact of the Obama administration’s policies is also evident when America’s economic performance is compared to that of

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Predicted Solar Storm Fizzles Out, More Storms Likely

Aurora during a geomagnetic storm that was mos...

Many were surprised when the prediction by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of potential major disruptions of power grids, Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, and internet communications as a result of a solar storm failed to materialize. Most were likely totally unaware of the threat.

Sunspots moving across the surface of the Sun have an 11-year cycle similar to hurricane cycles, and toward the end of the cycle they tend to explode, resulting in a “coronal mass ejection” (CME)—a massive burst of solar particles. The current cycle is nearing its end in 2013 and NASA and others have been watching it carefully. NASA spokesman Alex Young explained that the CME that headed towards Earth earlier this week was pointed in the same direction as the Earth’s magnetic field and so its impact was “soft,” much like an automobile merging into highway traffic.

But it could have been worse. Much worse. Young explained: “If [the fields] are opposite each other…then there’s a much stronger interaction. It allows much more energy to be

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Liberty on the Rocks: Gutenberg Press of the 21st Century [VIDEO]

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The Beauty of Private Property—from China?

English: Deng xiaoping and his family in 1945....

A farmer in the communist collective of Xiaogang, a small village in eastern China, was starving, along with his family and his neighbors. At one of the political indoctrination classes he was forced to attend, Yan Junchang had a revolutionary idea: why not try privatizing the farms and letting the farmers keep what they grow?

He huddled together in his hut with a number of other farmers and, in 1978, signed a secret agreement to establish the beginnings of a private property society. It had to be kept secret because if they were found out, they would be considered “capitalist roaders,” a pejorative term first used by Mao to describe anyone who dared introduce any principles of private capitalism into his collectivist society.

Prior to the agreement, starvation was the rule. There was never enough food. Children went hungry, and wives were forced to make soup from tree leaves and bark. They went to other villages to beg only to discover that they were suffering as well. In 1958 the village population was 120. After Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” 67 of them had died of starvation.

Yan’s agreement divided the collectivist farm into individual pieces with the understanding that any excess food crop beyond what was required by the collective they could keep for themselves. As Yan explained: 

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Could Hungary Break the Back of the EU?

Pál Schmitt: "We should unite not fight i...

The European Commission on Tuesday threatened to take legal action against Hungary unless it revised its brand new constitution to allow the country’s central bank to operate without interference from the Hungarian government. The EC’s threat requires a response within 30 days.

Hungary’s new constitution was a long time coming. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, Hungary’s constitution was amended numerous times, allowing more and more freedom for a free market economy to grow and making other provisions that limited government power. In 2010 the process of developing a new constitution began in earnest which included questionnaires mailed out to all Hungarians for their input and opinion. Nearly one million questionnaires were returned and provisions in the new constitution were either added or deleted based largely on that input. In April the Hungarian parliament approved it overwhelmingly and it was signed into law by President Pál Schmitt, to take effect on January 1, 2012.

Noteworthy are the limits on spending until the public debt drops below 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (it is now about 80 percent) as well as the president’s power to dissolve parliament if acceptable budgets aren’t approved. The life of a fetus is protected from the moment of conception while marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman. It reduces mandatory retirement for judges from the current age of 70 to 62, and limits the powers of the head of the country’s central bank. In addition, its preamble contains references to

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Arrogant ATF Makes Up Rules As It Goes Along

ATF inspector at a federally licensed gun dealer

Robert E. Sanders, a former ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) official for 24 years and now a board member of the National Rifle Association, complained that the ATF’s practice of issuing “private letter rulings” on what constitutes a “weapon” are not only confusing but often arbitrary and even contradictory.

The main reason is that the regulations under which the ATF operates aren’t defined and therefore are subject to interpretation and modification:

It is hard to tell what ATF wants you do to without submitting your product and asking for a letter ruling. You can’t tell what the agency has said in the past to others, because those letter rulings are generally secret. How could somebody know how to comply with the law?

Len Savage, the owner of Historic Arms in Georgia, found out the hard way about the ATF’s capriciousness, and it cost him $500,000. Savage is a firearms designer and manufacturer and was told by the ATF in July 2005 that he could convert machine guns legally owned by collectors into belt-fed weapons. After investing in the tools and machinery to make the conversions, he received another letter from the ATF in April 2006 saying that “upon reconsideration” it was rescinding its previous approval. Savage said the ATF “follows no rhyme or reason” calling it “enforcement by ambush.”

The ATF said it was just following the rules in its National Firearms Act Handbook, to wit: “classifications are subject to change if later determined to be erroneous or impacted by subsequent changes in the law or regulations.” Since those regulations are written by the ATF, their explanation is

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Irony Alert: Keynesian Economists Rip Obama for Failed Keynesian Policies

English: Barack Obama speaking at a rally at t...

The results of a survey by the Associated Press of 36 Keynesian economists—economists who believe that government is the driving force behind a strong economy—are in: President Obama received just “mediocre marks” for his handling of the economy since his inauguration on January 20, 2009. Half of those surveyed rated his performance as “fair” while 13 rated it as “poor.” The remaining five gave the president a rating of “good.” None rated his performance as “excellent.” The survey included explanations for why his performance was so poor even though he has surrounded himself with Keynesians. Some said he didn’t do enough: The stimulus wasn’t big enough. William Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services, said Obama’s administration “generally tried to take the right kinds of measures but [has] often failed to lead with enough vigor to overcome political obstacles.” Some said he tried to do too much and got distracted by hammering Congress into voting for his healthcare takeover. Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economics, said, “Health care wasn’t necessarily the most important thing to be dealing with when you’re in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.” Others said he picked the wrong types of projects to fund, relying too much on public works that took too long to get going. Still others said the President just did the very best he could under the circumstances, noting that the Great Recession was well under way when he took office, and offering the bromide that even if his Keynesian policies didn’t perform as expected, at least he

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“The Economist” Rewrites History

English: MARTIN LUTHER IN CHURCH OF MARTIN LUT...

In last Saturday’s print edition of The Economist magazine, staff writers attempted to compare today’s Internet with the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in 1517. Claiming that by nailing his complaints onto a bulletin board, Luther started the Reformation. This was done, according to The Economist’s rewriting of history, “when Martin Luther and his allies took the new media of their day—pamphlets, ballads and woodcuts—and circulated them through social networks to promote their message of religious reform.” From there the article concentrates on the alleged “social network” that Luther had to promote his views, rather than on the message—the information—contained in those views: 

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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.