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

Tag Archives: Constitution

Former Marine Corps General Pleads Guilty in Leaks Case

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 20, 2016: 

English: General James E. Cartwright, USMC,

General James E. Cartwright, USMC

On Monday retired Marine General James Cartwright (left) agreed to plead guilty to charges that he lied to the FBI during its investigation into leaks over the clandestine Stuxnet operation back in 2013. Stuxnet was a computer virus, or worm, that was designed to harm Iran’s ability to produce weapons-grade material for its nuclear program. (On that same day, the FBI released documents charging that the Department of Justice offered the FBI a “deal” to reclassify some of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails retroactively.)

As Josh Rogin noted in the Washington Post,

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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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Mexico’s Violence Teaches the Value of the Second Amendment

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 14, 2016: 

Português: Jovem é morto com um tiro na cabeça...

On Monday, Mexico’s National Survey on Victimization and Perception of Public Security reported that three out of every four Mexican citizens don’t feel safe living there, thanks to the violent crime wracking the country. It went on to calculate the ratio of violent crimes per 100,000 population: an astounding 35,497! Translation: more than one out of three citizens is a victim of a violent crime, every year! Compare that to the US where the ratio is 369 per 100,000.

The police are of little help, either through corruption or incompetence. “Cifra negra” – unreported crime – is so widespread that

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Mexican Senator Proposes Expanded Gun Rights

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 13, 2016:  

On Tuesday, Senator Jorge Luis Preciado, a member of Mexico’s National Action Party (PAN), said he is backing a bill to amend his country’s constitution so that bus drivers, cabbies, truckers, and “other transportation drivers” can carry firearms to protect themselves, their cargo, and their passengers.

He said the constitution’s current provisions need to be expanded:

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Runaway Federal Agency Reined in, a Little

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 12, 2016:  

English: Richard Cordray, Attorney General of Ohio

Richard Cordray, Director of the runaway agency

On Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the unconstitutional structure of one of the most pernicious, invasive, and out-of-control federal agencies: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The court’s opinion was penned by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a George Bush appointee. Sounding like a conservative constitutional scholar teaching at the Freedom Project Academy sponsored by The John Birch Society, he got off to a great start:

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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.

Court Upholds Freedom and the Fifth Amendment in Taxi Cartel Case

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 10, 2016:  

On the surface, Judge Richard Posner’s decisions, decided last Friday, appeared merely to expand the freedom of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services to operate more freely in Milwaukee and Chicago. Beneath the surface, however, Posner presents a refreshing and much-needed defense not only of freedom in general, but of the Fifth Amendment and the competitive free market as well.

Posner (shown above) is one of the most respected jurists in the country.

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Will Mainers Make the Same Mistake as Coloradans?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Thursday, October 6, 2016:  

Question 3 on the November ballot for Mainers, if passed, would require a gun buyer and seller to meet at a licensed gun dealer and go through a background check. That requirement would also apply to a resident of Maine who loans a firearm to a friend.

The similarities to Colorado’s experience are beyond coincidence:

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Maine Sheriffs Oppose Universal Background Check Ballot Initiative

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 6, 2016:  

On the ballot in November in Maine will appear Question 3, requiring for the first time that a gun buyer and seller meet at a licensed gun dealer and go through a background check before transferring a firearm. If approved by Mainers, the requirement also will apply to those just lending a firearm to a friend.

On Tuesday, 12 of Maine’s 16 county sheriffs announced their formal opposition to the ballot initiative:

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Permitless Carry Passes in Missouri; Gun Sales Soar Nationwide

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 5, 2016:


Three weeks ago Missouri became the fourth state this year to allow “permitless” concealed carry of firearms by its citizens, its legislators voting to override Democrat Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill. Missouri joins West Virginia, Mississippi, and Idaho in allowing its citizens this year to enjoy rights enshrined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, bringing the total of such states to 12.

As Tim Schmidt, president of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association — which provides training and liability insurance coverage for its members — put it:

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Closing the Loop on the Surveillance State in America

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 5, 2016:  

English: A surveillance camera at a traffic li...

A surveillance camera at a traffic light (mainly used to watch people)

In 2012 the Wall Street Journal published a 10-page warning about the surveillance state being enhanced through the use of license plate scanners. It showed that, with this final piece of the surveillance puzzle put into place, an individual’s private life can be built, observed, tracked, followed, and, when determined necessary, intercepted by federal agencies. Wrote the Journal:

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Congress Pushes Back Against Gunsmith Edict

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

English: Gunsmith counter at H&H Shooting Spor...

Last week, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced a bill in their respective chambers that would effectively rescind the State Department’s “guidance” issued in July that would have forced many small gunsmiths out of business. The bill is not a direct confrontation but a demand that the authority of the State Department be transferred to the less anti-gun and more business-friendly Department of Commerce, according to Scalise:

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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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Override of Obama Veto Could Be Costly

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

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

The joy of the first override of one of President Barack Obama’s vetoes is likely to fade as its future negative impact on U.S. security and intelligence services is revealed. Conservative constitutional scholar Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said nothing about this in his commendation of the Senate’s vote on Wednesday to override President Obama’s veto of JASTA — the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act:

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Trump Expands List of Potential Nominees to Supreme Court

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 26, 2016:  

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

The United States Supreme Court in 2010.

In what could turn out to be a shrewd political move, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump expanded his list of potential Supreme Court nominees on Friday. The timing, just before the first debate on Monday night, couldn’t be better. It sets the tone and part of the conversation of that debate and puts his opponent, Democrat contender Hillary Clinton, on the defensive: She has yet to provide voters with her official list of nominees for the high court.

In addition to the 11 nominees announced back in May by the Trump campaign are the following:

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Was CIA Director Brennan’s 1976 Vote for a Communist Just a Youthful Indiscretion?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 26, 2016:

English: Founding members of the . Standing L-...

English: Founding members of the .Congressional Black Caucus

During a panel discussion Thursday at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, CIA Director John Brennan was trying to make the point that just because an individual has an “activist” background, that wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, keep him from working for the federal government in sensitive positions. After all, he said, the CIA hired him even after he admitted voting for a communist in the 1976 presidential elections.

In 1980, Brennan was trying to obtain a top security clearance for the Central Intelligence Agency, and part of the process involved taking a lie detector test. He was asked: “Have you ever worked with or for a group that was dedicated to overthrowing the US?” Brennan explained to the panel what happened next:

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CIA Director John Brennan Probably Isn’t a Communist

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 26, 2016:  

English: John Brennan

John Brennan

He’s not a duck, either, but he talks like one and hangs around with other ducks who speak the same language. Relevant is Brennan’s visit to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation last week, where he told the left-wing crowd that if he could get into the CIA with his record, so could they.

The Foundation has close ties to the Congressional Black Caucus, which has more than 40 members with backgrounds so criminal and extreme that each of them rates a special page at DiscoverTheNetworks.org. Among them are names that are no doubt familiar to students of the left, including

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Moment of Truth for Koskinen in Probe of IRS Targeting of Conservatives

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 14, 2016:  

Representative John Fleming (R-La.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, filed a motion on Tuesday to bring a “privileged resolution” to the House floor calling for the impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (shown). He told reporters at a press conference that “after so many months of waiting, it was time to move forward.”

Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman of the caucus, agreed, saying, “On Thursday we’ll find out if we actually have the votes and move forward.”

Skepticism abounds.

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If Hillary Falters, Kaine Will Move Her Anti-gun Agenda Forward

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 12, 2016: 

Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia.

Tim Kaine

Even as concerns over Hillary’s health continue to grow, alternative media websites are putting disclaimers on articles suggesting that she is hiding Parkinson’s Disease. For example, Inquisitr.com warns its readers that Reno Berkeley’s report “is entirely the opinion of Reno Berkeley and does not reflect the views of the Inquisitr.” Concluded Berkeley:

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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.