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: Freedom

Egypt: Did Anything Important Happen?

President George W. Bush and Egyptian Presiden...

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When the Los Angeles Times confirmed that protests that started in January in Tunisia and then moved to Egypt were spreading to Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, Morocco, Cameroon, and Kuwait, many concluded that they were being driven by unhappy citizens connected via the internet. On Twitter, for example, protests set for Monday, February 14th, in Bahrain, can be found at #feb14, and #bahman for Libya. Algerian protest details can be found on #feb19, protests in Morocco at #feb20, Cameroon at #feb23, and Kuwait at #mar8.

Some commentators have concluded that there was no one single cause of the Egyptian protests, suggesting that modest exposures of indiscretion by various leaders through Wikileaks had driven disgust into outrage. Some respected writers offered proof that

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Honor Killings, a Liberal Media Blindspot

honour killings

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When Iraqi immigrant Faleh Almaleki ran down and killed his daughter Noor, using his Jeep Grand Cherokee as a weapon, the mainstream media (with the exception of Fox News) ignored it entirely.

Noor’s mother and brother admitted that she was killed for being too Westernized, wearing jewelry and jeans, posting pictures of friends on her Facebook page, watching videos, and drinking Mocha Joes from Burger King — in other words, for being an American girl.

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Are Living Standards Improving?

CD, DVD and SACD player.

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Five years ago Donald Boudreaux, Economics Professor at George Mason University and author of the website Café Hayek, bought a used 1975 Sears catalog on Amazon, and started comparing prices to those current in 2006. His results, at the time, were quite remarkable, and generated much traffic and conversation on the matter. For instance, the lowest-priced electronic calculator in 1975 was $13.88, and with six digits, it allowed one to add, subtract, multiply and divide. When updated for inflation through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website, that would be $56.21 in today’s money. Of course, it’s hard to draw any sort of hard conclusion from a single example. First of all, that calculator is no longer available. Those available today are vastly more powerful and versatile and sell now for just a few dollars.

Here are some others that he found, with updated 2011 prices from Sears.com:

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Senator Rand Paul Is the Real Deal

Rand Paul campaigning in Kentucky.

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A careful review of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s “maiden speech” to the Senate last week reveals what Tea Partiers and other strict constitutionalists hoped they would find: a man of character.

Instead of taking advantage of his first opportunity to address the Senate as a freshman and using his presentation as a coy attempt to ingratiate himself with establishment Republicans, Paul instead figuratively thrust his rhetorical sharp pencil right up their collective (pun intended) noses and drew a line on the floor of the Senate. On one side of the line are those continuing to treat their roles as chefs in the galley of the Titanic, delivering delicious meals to those fortunate enough to be aboard with a First Class ticket. On the other side are a very few who are noisily warning of the iceberg about to pierce the right side of the ship. Paul is one of those, and he isn’t going to compromise.

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Reagan Centennial: Facts are Stubborn Things

President Ronald Reagan appointed 376 federal ...

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As political commentator for the Concerned Women for American’s Legislative Action Committee and former speechwriter for former President George H. W. Bush, Janice Shaw Crouse celebrated Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday with a paean of praise for the former President‘s skills as “The Great Communicator” which perfectly illustrates the perception of Reagan as a good conservative, at least when he spoke.

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Removing Geithner’s Temptation to Play Chicken with Debt Ceiling

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When Austan Goolsbee, chief economic advisor to the Obama administration, was asked about the impact not raising the debt ceiling would have on the country, he said, “This is not a game. If we hit the debt ceiling, that’s essentially defaulting on our obligations, which is totally unprecedented in American history.” He continued:

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Federal Deficit Outrage

A lot of digits

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Back in August of 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the federal deficit for 2011 to be $1 trillion. On Thursday, after revising its assumptions, the CBO announced they missed the mark by $500 billion.  The deficit number has been revised upward to $1.5 trillion, and could bring the national debt to $20 trillion by 2021.

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Military Spending: The New Third Rail

Jet Fighter Escorts

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When the Spending Reduction Act of 2011 was unveiled by House Republicans Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), U.S. News and World Report called it “eye-popping,” referring to the bill’s attempt to rein in government spending by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Rep. Jordan, who is the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), explained the need for such sharp cuts:

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Cutting Government: Where to Start

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Once Obamacare is repealed by the House, the attention of the 112th Congress will turn to the question of where government spending can be cut for the largest immediate impact. Several observers have weighed in with their thoughts, including Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks, who have an article in today’s online Wall Street Journal. After reviewing the fiscal hot water the republic is already in, and discussing attempts to re-set government spending back to “base lines” such as 2009, 2008, or 2007, the authors get down to business.

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Freedom of Information Act: Shield or Bludgeon?

Look, it's AT&T!

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The Supreme Court is about to hear arguments in the case of FCC v. AT&T which could have significant negative impacts on privately-held companies as well as public and private corporations.

It began in 2004 when AT&T discovered that it might have overcharged the federal government for some work it was doing under the E-Rate program (to bring technology to classrooms) in New London, Connecticut. When it notified the FCC of the possible over-billing, the FCC launched a full investigation, requiring (and receiving) all manner of

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Robert E. Lee: A Man Without a Country for 110 Years

Portrait of Gen. Robert E. Lee, officer of the...

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Several states officially recognize and celebrate January 19 as Robert E. Lee’s birthday, including the state of Virginia as part of Jackson-Lee Day which falls on the Friday before the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Day. The state of Texas celebrates Lee’s birthday on the 19th of January as part of Confederate Heroes Day, while Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi celebrate it concurrently with MLK day.

On the other hand, Georgia commemorates Lee’s birthday on

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Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Trim, or Uproot?

Doug Lamborn

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When Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) introduced a bill in the 111th Congress to defund National Public Radio (NPR), two things were working against him: the overwhelming collectivist mindset of that Congress itself, and the fact that NPR hadn’t yet embarrassed itself sufficiently to build public opinion against the agency. In light of NPR’s series of gaffes since then, as well as the more conservative tone of the new 112th Congress, Lamborn has decided to try again.

He observed:

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The 112th Congress: Real Substance, or Just Smoke?

Minority Leader John Boehner

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When the House of Representatives announced new rules for the Congress that convenes on Wednesday, the mainstream media immediately called them “strict” and even “unprecedented.” The first new rule to take effect will be the reading of the Constitution of the United States and its 27 amendments on the floor of the chamber.

Incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner told ABC News: “The American people want a smaller, more accountable government—and that starts with respecting the Constitution. That’s why we will read it on the floor next week. It sends the clear message that starting on January 5th, the House of Representatives will be the American people’s outpost in Washington, D.C.

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FCC Ruling is Irrelevant

Internet Map. Ninian Smart predicts global com...

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There have been sighs of despair and much hand-wringing coming from observers of the latest attempt by the FCC to intervene in the operations of the Internet. The noisiest came from one of the two commissioners who voted against the ruling, Robert McDowell.

Despite a court ruling earlier this year which limited the FCC’s jurisdiction over the Internet, and Congressional pressure to leave well enough alone, McDowell warned that the FCC’s decision yesterday is “likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices.” He concluded that this decision “may end up marking the beginning of a long winter’s night for Internet freedom.”

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Top Secret America: Expensive, Chaotic and Dangerous

Headquarters of the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland.

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Last July the Washington Post published a three-part story on “the huge security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.” This week, the Post published “Monitoring America,” the fourth installment of its “Top Secret America” series, describing security efforts at the local level.

After two years of research, hundreds of interviews, and thousands of hours poring over documents, the Washington Post investigation was unable to determine anything for sure—except, of course, that the security system is massive:

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Smithsonian Exhibit Outrage: Asking the Wrong Questions

The Smithsonian Castle in Washington, D.C.

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Although the “Hide/Seek” exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution opened on October 30th, it didn’t start generating national outrage until CNS News published a lengthy and detailed review on Monday. In that review, astonishing and outrageous videos, paintings, photographs and montages by gay and lesbian artists were displayed, including “an ant-covered Jesus, male genitals, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, and a painting the Smithsonian itself describes in the show’s catalog as ‘homoerotic.’ ”

The historian and co-curator of the exhibit David Ward tried to explain away the reasons behind the exhibit:

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Restoring the American Dream

1957... After the Prom - by Norman Rockwell

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The incessant and never-ending drumbeat of bad news about the economy was deftly summarized here, which concluded that 16 new records had been set over the past 12 months, “and they are all bad.”

These records included:

  • more than 100,000 homes were repossessed in September;
  • 41 million Americans are on food stamps;
  • 43 million are living in poverty;
  • Sales of new homes in July declined to the lowest level ever recorded;
  • Banks are holding an inventory of more than 1 million foreclosed homes; and

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American Ideals Still Highly Favored

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ABC News reported the results of its latest poll indicating that the American public’s optimism had just hit a 36-year low. A quick scan of the headline, however, revealed that 75 percent of those polled “still call America the greatest country in the world.”

What’s remarkable is that this belief in America remains so high in the face of the many assaults sustained by its citizens not only over the past two years of the Great Recession but over the past several decades. For instance, a recent post reviewed 10 signs that the “U.S. is becoming a third world country,” including:

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Roubini v. Rockwell on the Gold Standard

Nouriel Roubini, Turkish economist, professor ...

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New York University economics professor Nouriel Roubini made a name for himself back in 2005 by predicting the Great Recession long before others did. Fortune magazine wrote “In 2005 Roubini said home prices were riding a speculative wave that would soon sink the economy.” The New York Times said he predicted “homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt.” In September, 2006 Roubini warned that “the United States was likely to face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, an oil shock, sharply declining consumer confidence, and, ultimately, a deep recession.”

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Deficit Commission Report: Deficit Reduction Lite

The Deficit Reduction Whopper

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The co-chairs of President Obama’s Deficit Commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, announced many of the possible recommendations that could appear in the report of the Commission due December 1. They included just enough to arouse the ire of partisans on both sides, without making any serious inroads into real deficit reduction. Calling it a “politically provocative and economically ambitious package,” the New York Times said the initial proposals are “igniting a debate that is likely to grip the country for years.”

The co-chairs aren’t expecting much to happen but they claimed they wanted to “start the conversation” now.

Some of the proposals on the reduced spending side include:

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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.