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

50-year-old Book is Amazon Bestseller

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

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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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Robin Hood: The Movie, the Critics, and the Tea Party

Robin Hood - Russell Crowe

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Moviegoers worldwide have enthusiastically rewarded Robin Hood since its opening in May with gross ticket sales of more than a quarter of a billion dollars, and the film is well in the black for Universal Pictures and its producer Ridley Scott. Predictably, liberal reviewers have taken significant verbal umbrage at the underlying theme of the film: lower taxes and less government.

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The Breakup of Ma Bell

Southwestern Bell logo, 1939–1964

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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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$13 Trillion and Counting

Tax Day Debt Protest 2009

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When former Comptroller General Bill Walker, who headed the U.S. Government Accountability Office, said two years ago that the “official” debt of the United States “is only around $10 trillion,” he wryly suggested that since this number was produced by “government accounting, which…allows one to ignore Social Security, Medicare and the new prescription drug benefit [it was like] ignoring rent, food and utilities in your household budget [and] it will lead to a few bounced checks.” However, he added, “Our real debt is about ten times higher,” or about $100 trillion.

At the time this was a breath-taking number, but Walker was just repeating what Richard Fisher, President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, had said just a couple of months earlier.

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SENATOR Rand Paul?

Rand Paul

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If Rand Paul’s poll numbers are confirmed in today’s Republican primary in Kentucky, it will, according to the New York Times, “mark one of the most important moments yet for the Tea Party.”  Establishment Republicans such as Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and former Vice President Dick Cheney have endorsed Paul’s opponent, Trey Grayson. But it is Paul who is leading by double-digits in thelatest polls, and the polls also show Rand leading his potential Democrat challengers, state Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo. That is, it appears likely that Rand Paul will not only win today’s primary but will go on to win the Senate seat now held by retiring Senator Jim Bunning in November.

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Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan: Clearly Opaque

days Elena Kagan since 2010

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When President Obama named Elena Kagan as his nominee for justice of the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, he said she “embodies that same excellence, independence, integrity and passion for the law” as did Justice Stevens. Obama said Kagan is “one of the foremost legal minds” in the country, and is “a trailblazing leader.”

As was immediately pointed out by Conservative Action, the words “independence” and “trail-blazing leader” translate into “Liberal Judicial Activist.”  Conservative Action then went on to offer rebuttals to various “talking points” the administration is using to promote her nomination:

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Media Calls the Tea Party Patriots “Seditious”

Joe Klein David Shankbone 2010 NYC

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When Joe Klein of Time magazine was forced to defend his comments about Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck coming “close to being seditious,” he backed off—a little. His original statement was made on the NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show” on Sunday, April 18th:

I did a little bit of research just before this show—it’s on this little napkin here.  I looked up the definition of sedition, which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state.  And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up close to being seditious.”

He posted his backpedal on Time’s “Swampland” blog:

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Eminent Domain and the Kelo Echo

Stop Eminent Domain

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“This is abuse…. It’s [another] case of eminent domain abuse,” said Renee Smith-Ward, owner of Wag’In Tail, a dog-grooming salon in Auburn, New York. As reported by Fox News, the city is threatening to use “eminent domain” to seize her salon and other private property nearby to allow a builder to construct a hotel conference center.

Smith-Ward said, “I don’t believe it’s right to take someone’s property away from them for a hotel, for a private developer.” She said she thought eminent domain was “for power lines, roads, schools, hospitals [but] not for a private developer.” Another property owner, Michael Kazanivsky agreed: “These people just want to come in and steal it from you. They’re trying to take it from me. It’s not right.”

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10,000 Commandments—The Hidden Tax

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

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When the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced the conclusions of its annual “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State” earlier this week, it came as no surprise to learn that the rules and regulations placed on the economy by illicit agencies of the “fourth branch of government” constitute an enormous burden that is largely uncounted.

What was surprising was the horrendous cost of that burden which constitutes an additional tax on the economy.

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The Income Tax and Sovereignty

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April 15th is the day when American taxpayers must file their income tax returns, and Tea Partiers are protesting those taxes all across the country. One question not being raised is: If these citizens are sovereign over their government, who can explain the income tax? How did this happen? Are the citizens not sovereign after all?

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he clearly relied on the thinking of his mentors, especially including John Locke. According to Jim Powell,writing for The Freeman, Locke “expressed the radical view [at the time] that government was morally obligated to serve people, namely by protecting life, liberty, and property. He explained the principle of checks and balances to limit government power. He favored representative government and a rule of law.”

Locke published two treatises on government in 1689 in which he said:

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Will America Get a Value Added Tax (VAT)?

President's Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker sent up a trial balloon at the New York Historical Society April 6 when he said that a Value-Added Tax (VAT) needed to be considered in light of the huge deficits facing the country. According to Volcker, the VAT is “not as toxic an idea” as many have considered it to be in the past, and “if at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes.”

He wasn’t the first one to float this recently. Charles Krauthammer wrote late last month that “as the night follows the day, the VAT cometh” and that “a national sales tax near-universal in Europe is inevitable.” Because of the huge deficits facing the nation, exacerbated by the newly passed ObamaCare bill, there is no way out except to raise taxes, according to Krauthammer.

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Can ObamaCare Be Repealed, Nullified?

Repeal ObamaCare

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U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who has earned a “Freedom Index” rating of 90 percent in the current Congress to date, has introduced a bill in the House to repeal ObamaCare. In her press release, Bachmann reminded her constituents that “the government already owns or controls about one-third of U.S. economic activity through the takeover of General Motors, the bankruptcy reorganizations of Chrysler, the partial ownership of two of the country’s largest banks in Bank of America and Citigroup, and the seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as AIG. Taken all together, [with ObamaCare] we’re looking at half of the American economy in the grip of the federal government.” Bachmann said that it “will do nothing to spur economic growth … [but] will serve only as an obstacle to actual recovery and smother the spirit of innovation and freedoms that made this country great.”

Her bill is simplicity itself:

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Sestak Coverup

Congressman Joe Sestak's official Congressiona...

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The main reason Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, is pressing the issue over Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA.) is owing to the reticence of the White House to be forthcoming about the matter. Most of the time, plausible deniability and the passage of time work well to make any potentially contentious or dangerous issue “go away.”  But not this time.

Back in July of 2009, well before liberal Sestak (Freedom Index rating of 0) decided to make a run for Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) Senate seat in November of 2010, he was approached by someone from the Obama administration who asked him to back off.  As incentive to leave Specter alone, Sestak said in an interview on Larry Kane’s Voice of Reason show in February this year, that the White House offered him a federal job.  Here is that conversation:

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ObamaCare: The Final Nail, or the Last Straw?

Barack Obama addressing a joint session of Con...

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In responding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) incredulous “Are you serious?” about the constitutionality of Obamacare, many have written persuasively that the healthcare law is in fact unconstitutional.

Michelle Morin in her blog reminded her readers that Article 1, Section 8 limits the federal government to specific and enumerated powers, with all other unenumerated powers being left to the states or to the people. Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center analyzed the purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as limitations and restrictions on the power of the federal government. He concludes his analysis with these words:

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Greenspan’s Implausible Denial

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Board o...

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In his 48-page paper presented on March 19 to the Brookings Institution, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan now blames the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resurgence of the Chinese economy as causes of the Great Recession that was ushered in on his watch. And his arguments have just enough plausibility to be considered, if only briefly. But looking more closely is another matter.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, millions of workers were then free to “enter the global marketplace,” creating huge demand for consumer goods. And with the Chinese government allowing a modicum of free enterprise to placate their workers, many of them have created such significant savings that many billions of dollars were looking for a home. And consequently, many of those dollars returned to the United States in the form of mortgage capital that helped fund the housing boom. Greenspan said, “In short, geopolitical events ultimately led to a fall in long-term mortgage interest rates that in turn led, with a lag, to the unsustainable boom in house prices globally.”

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Free Markets, Deregulation, and Blame

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

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Free markets, in the full sense of the phrase, exist only in the minds and imaginations of free-market economists from the Austrian School, such as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.

The classic definition is simply a market without intervention or regulation by government. In truth, commerce in any developed country is always controlled to some extent by government. A free market requires the right to own property, which means that the wages, earnings, profits, and gains obtained by providing products and services to others belongs to the individual generating them. The assumption is that an individual with this kind of freedom would only make an exchange that gained him a benefit.

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Jobs Bill: The Law of Intended Consequences

London | 2009

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With great fanfare, the Obama administration celebrated its first policy victory of the year—the $17.6 billion jobs bill. Eleven Republican Senators helped push the bill through the Senate, 68-29.

The economically flawed and unconstitutional law provides employers an exemption from Social Security tax withholding through the end of the year on any employees added to the payroll who have been unemployed for at least 60 days. And if the employees stay on that payroll for at least a year, the employers would receive an additional $1,000 tax credit. In addition, the law spends $20 billion on federal highway construction and other public improvement projects.

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Mitch McConnell: One Smart Political Pragmatist

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Republican Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had a strategy even before President Obama was inaugurated, according to the New York Times. Recognizing that Republicans had lost control of the Senate as well as the presidency, that strategy was to use his 30-plus years of political wheeling and dealing to slow down the Democrat juggernaut, and wait for reinforcements.

During the current healthcare debate, McConnell bet that by presenting a united, even if a minority, front against Obamacare, and putting in place delaying tactics, Republicans would force the Democrats to use “parliamentary back flips” to get the bill passed and onto the President’s desk. Such Democrat efforts as reconciliation, the Slaughter tactic, and the “deemer” strategy would so dismay the average American voter as to derail the juggernaut before it became law.

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TSA and the Fourth Amendment: Take another Look

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When Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that Major General Robert Harding was President Obama’s latest nominee for the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), she said, “Mr. Harding has the experience and perspective [emphasis added] to make a real difference in carrying out the mission of the agency. If there was ever a nominee that warranted expedited…consideration in the Senate, this is it.”

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Latest Unemployment Numbers: Shoveling Snow?

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When the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced last Friday that the economy lost only 36,000 jobs in February, the usual choristers took that as good news. Christina Romer, the Chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers said, “Today’s report on the employment situation is consistent with the pattern of stabilization and gradual labor market healing we have been seeing in recent months.”

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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.