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: reality

The Shriver Report decries gender wage discrimination, ignores White House wage discrimination

When Maria Shriver’s latest book, “A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink”, became available on Amazon on Saturday, January 11, it already had 25 “five star” ratings reflecting its basic theme: there continues to be a huge gender pay gap – 77 percent to be exact – between the sexes. Worthies ranging from liberal Princeton professor Anne-Marie Slaughter to NBA basketball star LeBron James to Beyoncé

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Time has run out for Scranton, Pennsylvania, says Moody’s

When Moody’s Investors Service said back in November that Scranton, Pennsylvania, had run out of options except for bankruptcy, Scrantonians began to think that was a pretty good idea. tax on local bars.

Economics 101 is kicking in, and Mert Gavin, the owner of Mert’s Piano Bar, complained:

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New Detroit Police Chief favors gun ownership, announces declines in crime

When Detroit’s new police chief, James Craig, took over on July 1st last year he made a strong declaration that crime was going to go down on his watch:

No longer will we stand idly by as criminals run rampant and the good citizens are held captive in their own homes.

Gone are the days that a citizen calls 911 and there is no response. Gone are the days that a citizen comes to a precinct only to find that the doors are locked.

We have taken an oath to protect our citizens and protect them is what we will do.

Six months later Craig reported that criminal homicides

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1.3 million Lose Federal Unemployment Benefits, Another 2 million to Follow

Because the budget deal signed into law last week didn’t extend federal unemployment benefits, some 1.3 million people won’t be getting their $1,166 monthly checks, starting in January. By June another 1.9 million will be cut off.

Keynesians are sputtering nonsense about the need to extend benefits. President Obama called it an

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Illinois pension reform is no permanent fix

When Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan opened debate over his bill designed to solve the state’s $100 billion shortfall in funding four of its five public pension plans, he said:

There will be changes here, much-needed changes, but this bill is a well-thought-out bill, a well-balanced bill that deserves the support of this body, the state Senate, and the approval of Governor Quinn.

Something’s got to be done. We can’t go on dedicating so much of our resources to this one sector of pensions.

Madigan instead birthed a

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Walmart’s Two New Stores in Washington DC Embarrass a Preacher

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 9th, 2013:

 

When the Rev. Graylan S. Hagler, pastor of the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, saw the two new Walmart stores opening in DC this past week, he admitted that some of his people were going to shop there despite his protestations:

I know some of my congregants are going to be shopping there. I have not called for a boycott or anything like that.

But … when you make this corporation richer, it’s at the expense of making somebody [else] poorer.

Not according to the shoppers, hundreds of whom voluntarily

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Walmart opens first two stores in Washington, DC, after wage fight

When Washington, DC’s city council passed an ordinance raising the minimum wage just for Walmart’s employees, Walmart threatened to pull five stores planned for the DC area – three of which were already under construction – in response. But after Mayor Vincent Gray vetoed the measure and the council couldn’t override it, Walmart went ahead with two of them, both of which

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In death, as in life, the truth about Nelson Mandela is overlooked

With the widely anticipated passing of South African revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela late Thursday, December 5, presidents and dictators from around the world — as well as everyday people, and especially the press — are in mourning. Lost amid the tsunami of praise and adoration, almost canonization even according to some of his supporters, however, is the truth about the man himself, who was, after all,

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The “Stadium Wave” Explains Flat Temperatures for the Past 15 Years

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 8th, 2013:

Judith Curry’s explanation as to why global temperatures have not changed for the past 15 years makes too much sense, so the global climate-changers are scrambling to find other causes.

Curry is the head of Georgia Tech’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and in her press release she explained the climate-changers’ predicament:

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Delays in the Obamacare Rollout Expose Lies and Deceit

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013:

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” Sir Walter Scott, meet Barack Obama. By trying to hide the real costs – far higher than most expected and way above the savings Obama initially promised – of signing up for Obamacare, Obama ordered his techies to force applicants to

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“13th-month” Checks Just One More Indicator of Detroit Corruption

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, September 27th, 2013:

When Kevyn Orr was named Detroit’s interim financial manager by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder back in March, he was picked because he had experience in resurrecting other cities that found themselves in trouble. But it’s doubtful that Orr had any idea of the width, the breadth, and the depth of the corruption and deceit that awaited him when he began.

By June he had a better idea. In announcing that he was going to seek bankruptcy protection he said

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Detroit’s Bankruptcy Hastened by “13th Month” Checks Issued to Pensioners

When Kevyn Orr was appointed as Detroit’s interim financial manager back in March, he launched an investigation into just how deep the city’s financial hole really was. He should have waited until September when,

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US to Become the World’s Primary Energy Producer in Four Years

In its review of the latest report on world energy supplies from the international energy consulting firm IHS, Inc., writers at Yahoo.com were quick to point out several of the impacts likely to be felt as the United States becomes the number one producer of energy in the world by 2017. Fracking is the prime driver of the US’ resurgence and is bending, changing, questioning and even replacing many of the

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University of California Study: The National Debt is really $70 Trillion

Professor James Hamilton, economics professor at the University of California, San Diego, just published his best estimate of the federal government’s “off-balance-sheet” liabilities and concludes that the real national debt, popularly estimated to be $16.9 trillion, is in fact more than four times larger: $70.086 trillion. This is because of decisions to

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First Detroit, Now Chicago?

The unfunded pension liabilities facing Chicago are only the most recent troubles threatening the Windy City, according to the New York Times. The recent credit downgrade of Chicago’s general obligation bonds by Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch just brought the matter to the surface. Crime, corruption and a shrinking population also are beginning to make Chicago look like an out-sized version of Detroit.

According to the city, the four pension plans for its police, teachers, firefighters and office staff, are all dreadfully underfunded to the tune of some

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Unhappy with Rubio

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 5th, 2013:

 

When the Public Policy Polling results for 2016 were announced on July 25th, suffering the biggest drop was Marco Rubio, falling from a commanding lead of 21 and 22 in January and March all the way to a dismal

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Will Scranton be Next?

Following Detroit’s application for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9 last week, pundits have had a field day predicting which city would be next. Fox News thinks it’s going to be Chicago, which Moody’s just downgraded because of its $19 billion unfunded pension liabilities. The agency said those liabilities are “very large and growing” and as a result the city faces a “tremendous strain.”

Other cities like

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Consumer Confidence Not Matched by Reality

The consumer confidence numbers announced on Tuesday by The Conference Board surprised even the economists who had expected a decline rather than the nearly 10-point increase that the board reported. The index came in at 81.4 compared to economists’ expectations of

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Detroit Creditors’ haircut: 90 percent!

At the conclusion of Friday’s 2-hour meeting of more than 180 of Detroit’s creditors, unions and pension trustees, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to rescue the city from bankruptcy was met with predictable responses: lawsuits and strikes. It was an altar call to accept reality, but denial, anger and threats were the response of many. One unnamed bond holder said, “It’s just too much. It is an unprecedented amount to ask.” Mike Mulholland, secretary of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local # 207, was equally blunt: “When you’re backed into a corner, the only thing you can do is fight and the only way we can fight is to strike.”

Orr was ready for them. In his 134-page proposal, he blamed “financial mismanagement, a shrinking population, [and] a dwindling tax base … over the past 45 years [which] have brought Detroit to the brink of financial and operational ruin.” Indeed, his proposal spelled out the denial of reality that Mayor Dave Bing and his city council had been enjoying for years when it showed that Bing’s people thought that the annual deficit for the city for Fiscal Year 2013 was $47 million when the actual deficit is more than twice that, and for FY 2014 is estimated to approach $200 million. It’s no wonder that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declared a financial emergency, and appointed bankruptcy attorney Kevyn Orr to take over from the city council in March.

The task facing Orr is horrifying. Faced with more than $18 billion in debts and just $68 million in the bank, Orr started off the meeting by announcing that the city would not make a $40 million payment due that day on a $2.5 billion certificate of participation (COP). He announced further that the city wouldn’t be making $104 million in pension contributions that are currently due either. In addition, retirees hoping that the city would be providing them with health care and full payouts of their pension benefits also received the bad news: they too would be forced to rely on the state’s insurance exchanges to obtain health coverage under Obamacare or Medicare, and could expect significant reductions in their retirement checks as well, approaching $800 a month in many cases.

Orr’s report was equally blunt for those hoping for a miracle: “The City is Insolvent” (Page 7): “the city is not paying its bills,” the city’s infrastructure is deteriorating, “costs associated with unoccupied property” continues to mount, the city’s credit ratings were borderline “bankrupt” by all three agencies, and “Priority One” police response times had increased in just one year from 30 minutes in 2012 to 58 minutes in 2013. In 2012 Detroit “had the highest rate of violent crime of any U.S. city having a population over 200,000 [Detroit’s population is just over 700,000, 40 percent of what it was 1950], five times the national average.”

There are “approximately 78,000 abandoned and blighted structures in the City, nearly half of which are considered ‘dangerous’ [while there are] 66,000 blighted and vacant lots within the City limits.” There are between 11,000 and 12,000 fires in Detroit every year, most of them occurring in those blighted and abandoned buildings.

Orr’s plan, on the surface, is elegant simplicity: if the creditors – pension trustees, unions, bond holders and retirees – will sit still for these massive haircuts, then the city can, under a newly created facility, borrow $2 billion to pay off the $11 billion in unsecured creditors. Orr said that translates, after other demands on that new money, to about 10 cents on every dollar owed. Secured creditors will be better off but they will be asked to take a haircut as well. If the proposal is accepted, lawsuits and strikes notwithstanding, then Orr can take this to court as a pre-packaged bankruptcy, giving him the power to enforce the agreement.

On the other hand, if his proposal can’t get sufficient agreement in the next 30 days from all interested (and now properly chastened) creditors, then he’ll ask the court to grant Detroit bankruptcy protection with himself as trustee. In essence, Orr is dealing from strength: go along with me now and get the best deal possible, or push me and you’ll get less, it’ll cost more and it’ll take longer.  Said Orr: “I have a very powerful statute. I have an even more powerful Chapter 9. I don’t want to use it, but I am going to accomplish this job. That will happen.”

There’s a constitutional issue here as well. Under the Tenth Amendment, “powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution … are reserved to the states,” which means that guarantees in Michigan’s state constitution that protect pension and retirement benefits from federal bankruptcy rulings could be put at risk in a court battle. If a high court rules that federal bankruptcy laws override state protections, then every pension plan in the country thinking it has state protection will be affected negatively, with national and perhaps even international ramifications. The municipal bond market is nearly $4 trillion in size, and such a ruling could, at the very last, unnerve that market, raising the cost of borrowing significantly, forcing other cities bordering on bankruptcy over the edge.

Michael Sweet, an attorney at Fox Rothschild who helped the city of Redmond, California restructure its finances in order to avoid bankruptcy, noted: “The last thing [union pension funds] may want is for a judge to rule on that … because if the judge ruled on that against them, it would open the floodgates” for similar cases.

 

Left Coast car buyers still like IC engines, shunning EVs despite Obama and his greenies

This is quite extraordinary: new car buyers in Los Angeles still like cars with internal combustion engines, despite efforts to move them into electrics. Galpin Ford in Los Angeles is having its summer sale: 10,000 new cars in the next three months. When asked how many of them will be electrics, Beau Boeckmann (whose family ownes the dealership) estimates about

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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.