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

Despite Kagan, Public Knows Little About Supreme Court

Cover of "The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Sup...

Cover via Amazon

Now that Elena Kagan has been confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court following several weeks of highly publicized hearings, the public remains poorly informed about the Court’s role. And even what is supposedly known is contradictory. Pew Research Center’s latest New IQ Quiz, which was conducted in early July, revealed that “an overwhelming proportion of Americans are familiar with Twitter…yet the public continues to struggle in identifying political figures, foreign leaders and even knowing facts about key government policies.”

For example, barely one in four of those surveyed was able to identify John Roberts as the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Pew goes on to say, “young people fare particularly poorly on political knowledge.”

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Great Depression II: Here We Go Again?

The Causes of The Great Depression / FDR Memor...

Image by Tony the Misfit via Flickr

The unremitting flow of negative news about the economy has finally caught the attention of the mainstream media, causing an increasing number of economists to make comparisons between today’s recession and the Great Depression.

David Rosenberg, Gluskin Sheff’s chief market economist, commented to his clients that the monster drop in new home sales in June compared to May was not exactly “a one-month wonder” but instead invited comparison of the current recession’s similarities with those of the Great Depression. He said they include:

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Railroads, Robber Barons, and Unbridled Capitalism

Steam locomotive O k (O d )

Image via Wikipedia

When Matthew Josephson wrote The Robber Barons in 1934, he tipped his hand as to his personal prejudice against the capitalists of the late 19th century:

Besides the young men who marched to [the Battle of] Bull Run, there were other young men of 1861 whose instinctive sense of history proved to be unerring. Loving not the paths of glory they slunk away quickly, bent upon business of their own. They were warlike enough and pitiless yet never risked their skin: they fought without military rules or codes of honor or any tactics or weapons familiar to men: they were the strange, new mercenary soldiers of economic life.

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Warning Label Goes Viral

Detail of Preamble to Constitution of the Unit...

Image via Wikipedia

When FoxNews.com wrote that a small publishing company put warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and other founding documents of the American republic, the immediate response was negative, and viral. The disclaimer on the publisher’s reprints of Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation, and other historical documents reads: “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.” The disclaimer goes on to warn parents to discuss the contents with their children before allowing them to read those documents.

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50-year-old Book is Amazon Bestseller

Cover of "The Road to Serfdom: Text and D...

Cover via Amazon

When Glenn Beck urged his listeners, “Please, pick it up. The Road to Serfdom. Make it part of your essential library,” sales of Austrian Economist Frederick von Hayek’s book at Amazon.com pushed it to Number 1 the next day. Prior to the election of President Obama, “The book sold respectably at a clip of about 600 copies a month,” according to Bruce Caldwell, editor at the University of Chicago Press. “But then, in November 2008, sales more than quadrupled, and they haven’t slowed down since.”

When John Stossel, host of Fox Business, featured the book on his show on February 21, sales jumped again.

Opinions as to the remarkable interest in a book published in 1944 by an obscure economist vary, but most center on the book’s uncanny prediction that is now being fulfilled in the United States:

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The Breakup of Ma Bell

Southwestern Bell logo, 1939–1964

Image via Wikipedia

Ten years into the 20th century, the United States citizenry were still enjoying the afterglow of a remarkable generation of economic growth, innovation, and expansion.

Popular interests consisted of going to the movies, doing the Tango, and reading the Saturday Evening Post. A hands-off President, William Howard Taft, was in the White House, and people were enjoying clever inventions such as traffic lights, the refrigerator, and the telephone.

Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone on March 7, 1876, but initially it was considered no more than a passing novelty. In fact, Western Union passed up the opportunity to purchase the Bell patents for $100,000.

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Attack on John Birch Society Backfires

John Birch Society

Image via Wikipedia

The recent article in Politico.com by Charles Postel hinting at “dark forces” influencing the Tea Party is another in a recent and growing series of unsuccessful attacks on The John Birch Society. Rachel Maddow’s attacks on the JBS were exposed when she issued falsehoods and innuendos last December, and Karl Rove gave the back of his hand to the Society in a recent op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.

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Stock Rally Owing to Plunge Protection Team Conspiracy?

Polar Bear Plunge 2008

Image by Scott Butner via Flickr

The 60 percent gain in stocks since March was largely caused by secret government purchases of stock-index futures, the CEO of TrimTabs claims.

The Plunge Protection Team (PPT), otherwise known as the Working Group on Financial Markets, has been the target of conspiracy theorists ever since an article in the Washington Post in 1997 first shed light on the operation. The Working Group was created by Executive Order following Black Monday’s market crash on October 19, 1987, when the stock market declined more than 20 percent in a single session. Its purpose was to give recommendations for legislative and private sector solutions for “enhancing the integrity, efficiency, orderliness, and competitiveness of financial markets and maintaining investor confidence.”

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Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?

Mug shot of Charles Ponzi (March 3, 1882 – Jan...

More than $16 billion of investors’ money evaporated in Ponzi schemes in 2009, according to the Associated Press. Although the names Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford were in the headlines in 2009, many other Ponzi schemes were uncovered as the economy declined, making continued payouts to investors impossible.

As Warren Buffet said, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

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The Legacy of Oral Roberts

Oral Roberts

The impact Oral Roberts had on the latter half of the 20th century was staggering. From a dirt-poor childhood to a ministry that touched hundreds of millions worldwide, Roberts, who passed away on December 15 at age 91, set in motion waves that continue to be felt today.

Born outside of Ada, Oklahoma, in 1918, Roberts was raised in poverty with his sister and two brothers. At age 16 he contracted TB so severe that he wasn’t expected to live. A traveling evangelist, George Moncey, held a tent service in Ada that Roberts attended. It was at that service that, Roberts said, he first heard God talking to him: “It was as if I was totally alone. I heard that voice that I’ve heard many times since:  ‘Son, I am going to heal you, and you are to take my healing power to your generation. You are to build me a university and build it on my authority and the Holy Spirit.’”

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Paul Samuelson, ‘Economics’ Textbook Author, Dies at 94

Photo of Paul Samuelson

Long-renowned economist Paul Samuelson died on December 13 at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts, at the age of 94. In addition to writing Economics in 1948 — which became the best selling economics textbook for several decades, having been translated into forty-one languages and selling over four million copies — Samuelson also won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1970.

The chorus of accolades of effusive praise continues to resonate:

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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.