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: private

Morris Dees is Using SPLC to Achieve His Goal: To Become “Independently Rich”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, September 6, 2017:

the new center being build by the splc

The new center being build by the SPLC

From the very beginning, Dees wanted to get rich and it didn’t matter to him how. As his business partner Millard Fuller recalled: “Morris and I … shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money. We were not particular about how we did it, we just wanted to be independently rich.”

They started by direct marketing the sale of cookbooks and related items. But everything changed when they were able to purchase George McGovern’s mailing list of 700,000 names of liberals following his failed campaign for the presidency in 1972. They found that McGovern liberals were outraged over “southern poverty,” and with that outrage, coupled with Dees’ writing skills, they could rake in millions.

The breakthrough for them came in 1984 when Dees

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Anti-gun Researcher Frightened by How Many Guns Americans Own

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 5, 2017:

Image of the Bill of Rights (United States Con...

The virulently anti-gun group The Trace sent an e-mail blast to its members last week, alerting them to what it said was the danger of an overly and unnecessarily armed American citizenry:

Jennifer Mascia [a member of “TeamTrace”] pulled some numbers from the Small Arms Survey, which gauges gun stockpiles in the hands of civilians, law enforcement, and militaries around the world. She found that with an estimated 270 million firearms owned by everyday Americans, civilians own 70 times more weapons that all police and military services combined.

Mascia is an editorial assistant at the New York Times and was a regular contributor to its anti-gun column “The Gun Report” until it was shut down in 2014. Her source, the Small Arms Survey, is an international anti-gun group purporting to provide accurate statistics on all aspects of private gun ownership worldwide. Unfortunately, its reputation for accuracy has been tainted, with much of its reporting being challenged as “misleading or just plain wrong.”

In this instance, however, the numbers Mascia dug up from the outfit actually understated the “concerns” she expressed about how many firearms are owned by those “everyday Americans.” The real number isn’t 270 million — not even close — but is at least

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Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Third Attempt by D.C. to Restrict Gun Ownership

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 25, 2017:

English: The flag of Washington, D.C. Česky: V...

The flag of Washington. D.C.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Tuesday 2-1 that the district’s third attempt to keep guns out of the hands of its citizens is unconstitutional. The matter has been festering since the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller that individuals have a right to possess a firearm. But that ruling left open the issue of whether that right extends beyond the individual’s home.

The District of Columbia has for 40 years fought to keep guns out of the hands of private citizens, claiming that the city was

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Moody’s Credit Downgrade of China First in Almost 30 Years

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 25, 2017:

China GDP

China GDP

Moody’s Investors Service, one of the big three credit-rating services in the country, downgraded China’s creditworthiness one full notch on Wednesday. It moved the world’s second-largest economy from Aa3 (“high quality [with] very low risk”) to A1 (Upper-medium grade [with] low credit risk”). It explained why:

The downgrade reflects Moody’s expectations that China’s financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to grow as potential growth slows.

That “potential growth” has been slowing since at least 2010. In that year Chinese government agencies reported growth in excess of 10 percent. By 2014, it had slowed to 7.3 percent, to 6.9 percent in 2015, and is now at a reported 6.7 percent.

Moody’s is late to the game.

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John Lott Proves His Premise is Correct Once Again

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 5, 2017: 

The premise of John Lott’s book, More Guns, Less Crime, now in its 3rd edition, is this: when a criminal doesn’t know if his potential target is armed, he reconsiders. When he is assured that his target is defenseless, he has much less reason to do so.

Lott puts it this way:

Criminals as a group tend to behave rationally – when crime becomes more [risky], less crime is committed.

That means that

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John Lott: Half of All U.S. Murders Happen in Just Two Percent of Counties

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 4, 2017: 

Cover of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understa...

In 2014, the latest year for which sufficient data is available, half of all murders in the United States took place in just 63 U.S. counties — two percent of the 3,144 counties in the country. Two-thirds of all murders that year happened in 157 counties — five percent. On the other hand, according to John Lott, the author of the study by his Crime Prevention Research Center, more than half had no murders at all.

This disproportionality has skewed the statistics. Anti-gun politicians often use the United States’ overall violent crime rate as an excuse to impose more gun laws on the populace. But when the worst five percent of U.S. counties are removed from the equation, the nation’s overall murder rate of 4.4 per 100,000 people drops to 2.56.

Lott noted further in his study that

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Social Security Disability Fraud Hides the Biggest Fraud of All

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 12, 2017:

English: Mug shot of Charles Ponzi (March 3, 1...

Mug shot of Charles Ponzi (March 3, 1882 – January 18, 1949).

The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General reported in 2015 that nearly half of the nine million people receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Insurance) benefits were being overpaid, running up $17 billion in excess disbursements over the previous 10 years.

Such overpayments were just the beginning of the story. On Monday, a former Kentucky attorney pleaded guilty to filing more than 1,700 false SSI disability claims in a scheme that netted him millions in fees that he lavishly dished out to his co-conspirators: a Social Security administrative law judge and a psychologist, among others. In his plea bargain, former attorney Eric Conn fingered Judge David Daugherty (whom he said birthed the scheme originally) and Dr. Alfred Adkins.

The fees that Conn collected ran into the millions, while Social Security dished out some $550 million in benefits to beneficiaries who willingly participated, some of them saying later that they didn’t really know what was happening but were happy to pay Conn $200 in cash under the table for his “advice” and assurance that their claims would be approved.

The setup was simple:

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Walmart vs. Amazon: Battle of the Behemoths

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 3, 2017:

English: Walmart Home Office, the headquarters...

Walmart Home Office, the headquarters of Wal-Mart – Bentonville, Arkansas

In one corner is Amazon, the book-seller that Jeff Bezos founded in 1994 that is now the most valuable retailer in the United States as measured by market cap: $425 billion as of March 31. In the other corner is Walmart, the world’s largest retailer when measured by revenue – $485 billion in 2016.

Amazon’s path to the finals is littered with the bodies of its former competitors, some still twitching but whose death is certain: Sears, J.C. Penney, Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy’s, and Target. Walmart is determined not to be carrion in this epic battle.

Accordingly, Walmart has made some serious moves by

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Trump, Nieto Agree to Dial Down Rhetoric Over Border Wall

English: CARTAGENA/COLOMBIA, 7 APRIL 2010 - En...

Enrique Peña Nieto

The flurry of tweets following President Trump’s signing of the Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements executive order last Wednesday resulted in the Washington Post describing “a deep rift” between the United States and Mexico, and Mexico’s former Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda labeling the situation a “crisis” that is “going to last a long time.” On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (shown) canceled a face-to-face meeting he was to have with President Trump this Tuesday after Trump suggested it would be better to cancel the meeting if Mexico refused to pay for the border wall Trump promised to build.

The tempest died down immediately after President Trump and Mexican President Peña Nieto had a nice long chat by phone on Friday. Following that call — originally scheduled to for 10 minutes but lasting more than an hour — the White House said

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Apple Supplier Foxconn Negotiating $7 Billion Plant in Pennsylvania

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 23, 2017:

Speaking at a meeting at company headquarters in Taiwan on Sunday, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou (shown, on left) expanded on his company’s plans to build a $7 billion flat-panel display facility in Pennsylvania. He said the factory could employ between 30,000 and 50,000 people, depending on what kind of deal he could strike with state officials.

Those plans were inadvertently disclosed following a meeting in December between Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. A photo revealed a clipboard Son was carrying that clearly said:

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WikiLeaks’ Assange: E-Mail Source Not Russia; Obama Adm. Trying to “Delegitimize” Trump

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 3, 2016:  

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Sean Hannity in an exclusive interview that, contrary to the claims of the Obama administration, Russia was not the source of the tens of thousands of e-mails WikiLeaks released exposing the seamy side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Assange also said the Obama administration is “trying to delegitimize the [incoming] Trump administration.” The interview took place at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange is living. Part one of the interview is set to air Tuesday night on Fox News, but excerpts from the interview were released beforehand.

Hannity asked Assange about the claim that WikiLeaks’ source for the e-mails was Russia:

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There is No “Permanent” Fix for Social Security

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

Social Security Poster: old man

Social Security Poster:

There’s no doubt that Texas Representative Sam Johnson means well. He and his constituents are concerned about their financial futures and about the viability of Social Security as an important part of those futures. So on Thursday he offered his plan “to permanently save Social Security.” He calls it the “Social Security Reform Act.”

The plan doesn’t deserve a close look.

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Texas Congressman Proposes “Permanent” Fix for Social Security

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, December 10, 2016:  

Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, presented his plan, the “Social Security Reform Act,” on Thursday, which he called “a plan to permanently save Social Security.”

His proposal involves the same solutions often proposed by others trying to keep Social Security from going broke: cutting benefits, raising the retirement age, adding “means” testing, and cutting or eliminating altogether the COLA — Cost of Living Adjustment.

According to Michael Linden, an associate director at the liberal Center for American Progress, the cuts to benefits would be severe — between 11 percent and 35 percent — and they would include those already receiving Social Security benefits. Social Security actuaries who analyzed Johnson’s plan (at his request) came up with different numbers: Cuts would range from 17 percent to 43 percent but over a longer time period and with the same conclusion: everyone in Social Security (with the exception of the lowest-income participants) would take a hit under Johnson’s plan.

Nowhere in Johnson’s plan is any mention of privatizing the program, which is surprising, as it was a topic of discussion during the Republican presidential debates. Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Ted Cruz all expressed their support for privatizing Social Security as the best way to solve its myriad problems.

Here are some of those problems:

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OPEC Agreement to Limit Production Boosts Crude Price 11 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 1, 2016:

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

The global price of crude oil jumped more than 11 percent since OPEC announced on Wednesday its first agreement to limit production by the cartel since 2008. There are many moving parts to the agreement — perhaps too many.

First, the cartel’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, has promised to

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Donald Trump Meets Ayn Rand

The Passion of Ayn Rand

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 30, 2016:  

Ayn Rand passed away in 1982 at age 77 when Donald Trump was just 36. But the astounding success of her masterwork, Atlas Shrugged, led to an interview at the Trump Tower on Monday in the form of one of her most avid fans: John Allison.

Allison, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina in 1971, read a copy of it as a young man and it changed his life. There’s an outside possibility that it might change the life of millions of others.

Following graduation he went to work for BB&T Corporation, a small rural bank in North Carolina. By 1989 Allison was the bank’s CEO. By 2010 he had grown the bank from $4.5 billion in assets to

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Clinton Foundation Donations Fall Precipitously After Trump’s Election

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 25, 2016: 

White House portrait of the Clinton family (un...

Thanks to revelations by Charles Ortel, Peter Schweizer, Dinesh D’Souza, WikiLeaks, and Judicial Watch, the use of the Clinton Foundation by the Clinton family as its own personal piggy bank has been exposed. Donations began dropping off as early as 2014 but they have all but disappeared since Hillary failed to gain the White House.

The “quid-pro-quo” tacit agreements were exposed by the mainstream media with the Washington Post’s revelation in February 2015 that the Clinton Foundation

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The Dumbing Down of America is NOT Complete

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 28, 2016:  

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

YouTube videos of interviews with college students showing their often abysmal ignorance on even basic issues have recently surfaced. One YouTube video, for instance, asks students, “Who won the Civil War?” Those quizzed didn’t know, or they didn’t know there was one, or if it occurred in 1965. Another YouTube video asks students attending George Mason University to identify a photograph of Vice President Joe Biden. None of them could, including one student majoring in political science.

Walter Williams added to the dismay by noting that

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Gallup: Assault Weapons Ban Support at Lowest Level Ever Recorded

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 27, 2016:  

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

Poll results released on Wednesday by Gallup confirm the trend toward the acceptance of the freedom to own guns and support of the Second Amendment. Sixteen years ago 59 percent of those polled favored “a law which would make it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles,” while just 39 percent were opposed. Today those numbers have flipped: Just 36 percent support a ban, while 61 percent of those polled oppose it.

Even those polled who don’t have a gun in their home oppose such a ban. Most surprisingly, however, is that support for such a ban has dropped even among those most likely to support one:

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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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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.

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