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

Greek Austerity, Privatization Programs Won’t Be Enough

George Papandreou

Image by Parti socialiste via Flickr

In its efforts to avoid restructuring (i.e., defaulting on) its debt, Greece announced the sale of some of its assets to raise funds and to satisfy the austerity requirements imposed on the country last March. It is trying to raise $70 billion by 2015. Its efforts won’t be nearly enough.

For sale is the country’s 1/6th interest in OTE, Europe’s largest telecom company, its one-third interest in the Post Savings Bank, all of its interest in the country’s two largest port operators. It will also reduce its ownership shares significantly in

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Greece is Out of Options

Greek Flag

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Writers for The Wall Street Journal’s lead article on Tuesday expressed surprise that Greece’s fiscal problems are “coming to the boil once more.” After all, when Greece went hat in hand to members of the eurozone last year, they were able to secure a $158 billion bailout whose strings attached required severe austerity measures on the Greek citizens to resolve the matter. The matter has obviously not been resolved, and Greece is back to the table, asking for more assistance. This time it’s a much tougher sell.

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Carson & Huckabee Tell the Truth—Politicians Lie [VIDEO]

Mike Huckabee in Rochester NH - 22

Image by Aaron Webb via Flickr

In a moment, perhaps, of unintended clarity, potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, “You have to govern in a way that is different than the way you campaign.”

Huckabee amplified his response to Fox News host Bill Hemmer on Friday that Ronald Reagan would have a tough time getting nominated by the Republican Party for 2012. When Hemmer asked why, Huckabee responded:

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Republicans Take Medicare Changes Off the Table

Pill tablet

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Writers Carl Hulse and Jackie Calmes, in the New York Times, could scarcely contain their delight that House Republicans have decided to put any proposed changes to Medicare on the shelf for the time being. Recognizing that Medicare modifications are a critical component of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) “Road Map,” the pair ascribed the Republicans’ backing off to “the difficulties and political perils of addressing the nation’s long-term fiscal problems.” Translation: Democrat control of the Senate assures that any attempt to modify Medicare at present will

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Chile’s Privatized Social Security Program is 30 Years Old, and Prospering

The Coat of arms of Chile

Image via Wikipedia

As a quiet example of how privatizing Social Security works in the real world, Chile’s 30-year experiment is succeeding beyond expectations. Instead of running huge deficits to fund the old “PayGo” system, private savings now exceed 50 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Prior to May 1, 1981, the Chilean system required contributions from workers and was clearly in grave financial trouble. Instead of nibbling around the edges to shore up the program for another few years, José Piñera, Secretary of Labor and Pensions under Augusto Pinochet, decided to do a major overhaul of the system:

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Atlas Shrugged: the Movie

Atlas Shrugged

Image by eflon via Flickr

Something is terribly wrong. The Dow has dropped below 4,000, gasoline (when available) costs $37.50 a gallon, the nation’s infrastructure is deteriorating, businessmen are wearing sandwich boards asking for work. Government’s response to the enervated economy is to impose even more regulations and forced wealth-redistribution on already-highly regulated business and industry. A gray palpable pall hangs over the land. Meanwhile, the nation’s most productive citizens begin to disappear voluntarily, one by one. But why? The question is answered by another question as mysterious as the disappearances themselves: “Who is John Galt?”

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Investors in U.S. Debt at Tipping Point?

Teeter-Totter Crossing

Image by SushiFugu via Flickr

When Terence Jeffrey, writing for CNSNews.com, noted that true federal spending for the fiscal year 2010 wasn’t $3.7 trillion after all, but closer to $11 trillion, he discovered an old accountant’s trick to make things look worse (or better) than they are: either double count, or don’t count at all.

In the process of sorting out the accountant’s trick, however, Jeffrey uncovered an unnerving fact:

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$4 Trillion in Cuts Proposed by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday”, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), chairman of the House Budget Committeeoutlined many of the details of the GOP‘s 2012 budget proposal that will officially be announced on Tuesday. He said, “We can’t keep kicking this can down the road. The President has punted. We’re not going to follow suit. ” Implying that the proposal would cut the deficit by “much more than” $4 trillion over the next decade, he offered a synopsis of what to expect on Tuesday:

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Portugal PM Resignation Rattles EU

Sócrates

Image by José Goulão via Flickr

When the Portuguese Parliament failed to pass an austerity bill on March 23, the country’s Prime Minister, Jose Socratesresigned. That move leaves Portugal leaderless for at least two months while facing a significant financial crisis: it must refinance nearly $13 billion of short-term debt by June. Investors have already pushed interest rates on Portugal’s sovereign 10-year debt to almost 8 percent, while credit-rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s both downgraded that debt’s quality on March 24.

The European Union (EU) has already bailed out Greece and Ireland, and a top official announced that the EU has the resources to rescue Portugal, if necessary. The bailout would cost an estimated $60 billion to $80 billion.

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Tea Party Cements Patriot Act Into Place

"A Patriot Act"

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In light of recent extensions of the Patriot Act, it can be concluded that many Tea Partiers are reneging on parts of the Tea Party agenda. Of the 41 Tea Party-backed candidates, 31 voted to extend the Patriot Act, eight voted against it, and one did not vote. As John Tyner stated at Lewrockwell.com: “Despite the eight nea votes, Tea Party-backed candidates overwhelmingly backed an extension of the Patriot Act.”

It took Congress scarcely six weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to write, deliberate, and then overwhelmingly pass the Orwellian-named USA PATRIOT Act on October 26, 2001, and the Bill of Rights hasn’t been the same since. In its chilling summary of the law, Wikipedia noted

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CFR: Tea Party Dangerous, Obstructive

Walter Russell Mead

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When the internationalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) decided it was time to take a hard look at the growing influence of the Tea Party movement in America, it selected “one of the country’s leading students of American foreign policy,” Walter Russell Mead, to do the study. Appearing as the headline article in Foreign Affairs for March/April 2011, his article is entitled “The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy.”

Mead’s credentials for representing one of the leading lights of the Anglo-American Establishment are impeccable:

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Supreme Court: Corporations Are Persons without Personal Privacy

The current United States Supreme Court, the h...

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When the Supreme Court was given the opportunity to extend the realm of privacy for corporations, it failed, 8-0. The case of FCC v. AT&T, which began nearly seven years ago, concerned a malfeasance by AT&T and schools in New London, Connecticut, and was resolved, briefly, by the payment of a fine to the FCC.

In 2005, however, CompTel, a trade association made up of some of AT&T’s competitors, petitioned the FCC under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to release the information they had gathered in the course of the investigation. The obvious purpose was to

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Bill of Rights Slows Government Probe of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange

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On Tuesday, the quiet subterranean fishing expedition by the government into the WikiLeaks document disclosures last fall came to light for the first time in the courtroom of U. S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Carroll Buchanan in Alexandria, Virginia. In its search for incriminating evidence, the government demanded that Twitter release information about three suspects linked to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange:

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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.

Image via Wikipedia

 

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

Official portrait of United States Secretary o...

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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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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.