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: rights

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on Inside Track to replace DHS Napolitano

Within hours of Janet Napolitano’s announcement of her resignation as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security names of people to replace her surfaced, but none with the credentials of NYPD Commission Raymond Kelly. Or the political connections. Said Senator Charles Schumer:

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Study Ordered by Obama Contradicts Anti-Gun Narrative

In January, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, President Obama issued a “Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence” along with 22 other “initiatives.” That study, subcontracted out to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, was completed in June and contained some surprises for the president who

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New Revelations about NSA Spying Abroad Enrage European Officials

Saturday’s revelations by the German newspaper Der Spiegel that the US placed bugs in European Union officials’ offices in New York and Washington and hacked into EU headquarters in Brussels have ignited a firestorm of indignation among German and European officials. Coming on the heels of the FISA court’s ruling in April that Verizon must turn over telephone records to the National Security Agency and Edward Snowden’s exposure in June of PRISM that has been vacuuming up American citizens’ internet communications for years, expressions of outrage were heard from German and European Union politicians.

Martin Schulz, head of the European Parliament, said:

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Snowden’s Revelations Confirmed by Three Other Whistleblowers

In a long wide-ranging interview arranged by USA Today on last Friday, three National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblowers and their attorney were grilled about Edward Snowden’s revelations and their reactions to them.  They uniformly exhibited a palpable sense of relief that finally someone had been able to break through and get their message into the public square, something they had failed to do on their own.

The three, Thomas Drake, William Binney and Kirk Wiebe along with attorney Jesselyn Radack, the director of the non-profit public interest law firm Government Accountability Project, were asked pointedly

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Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling on Human Genes is a Split Decision

On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that patents on human genes are now void, while the successful creation of synthetic genes may continue to be patented. Both sides of the lawsuit celebrated victory. Mike Adams of Natural News exclaimed: “Sanity prevails: human genes are not eligible for patent protection!” while the ACLU declared: “Victory! Supreme Court Decides Our Genes Belong to Us!”

On the other hand, Myriad Genetics, Inc., the biotechnology company that holds dozens of patents on human genes, wrote:

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Chicago Sun-Times Photographer Shocked – Shocked! – About Being Laid Off

This article first appeared in the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor newsletter:

 

Steve Buyansky, who was, until last Thursday, a professional photographer for three of Sun-Times Media’s 39 suburban papers, said he was surprised when he was asked to turn in his magnetic employee badge and his photographic equipment: “I’m still in shock. I’m not angry right now. Maybe I will be later.”

On what planet has Buyansky been living? How could he not know what was happening in front of his very eyes? Sun-Times Media hasn’t been profitable for years. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. Where was Buyansky while that was going on? When the group was bought by Wrapports LLC in 2011, salaries were cut by 15 percent, the pension plan went from defined-benefit to defined-contribution, and seniority rights regarding layoffs were ended. Where was Buyansky then?

In March, the Sun-Times fired several editors and staff members for several of its suburban papers, and consolidated operations of those papers to its downtown location to save money. It had fallen behind in making its monthly payments for the Chicago Tribune which was printing its papers after the Sun-Times shut down its own printing facilities.

The paid circulation base for the Chicago Sun-Times has been shrinking, having lost 25 percent in just the last six years. In its announcement last week, the media group said:

The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements.

The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network.

Wrapports thinks there’s still some life in the dinosaur. It’s an investment group made up of Michael Ferro of Merrick Ventures, Timothy Knight (former publisher of Newsday, another newspaper struggling to be profitable), and three other private equity or venture capital firms. They have seen the handwriting on the wall for years. Why hasn’t Buyansky?

The new strategy is to allow, no, require, their remaining news reporters to use their iPhones to take pictures to supplement their articles! What a concept! Talk about being late to the party! Last week it was announced that Facebook gets 208,300 photos uploaded every minute, along with 100 hours of video onto YouTube! Yahoo estimates that next year 880 billion photos will be taken and downloaded somewhere on the Internet.

Efforts to regain profitability have so far come up short. In February Sun-Times launched an online video news program, a 90-second flash news segment. That effort ended in May.

Also in February the paper launched Grid, a Sunday business news magazine that was just ended last month.

Life magazine’s domination of the all-photographic news magazine niche ended in 1972. Efforts to resuscitate the brand failed, and Life published its last issue in April, 2007 – six years ago. Look magazine died in 1972, and no one even tried to resuscitate it. Wasn’t Buyansky aware of that?

Or what about the reality check written by professional photographer Talbert McMullin last summer, entitled “Professional Photography is Going Away?” McMullin saw what’s been happening for years:

My little Panasonic point-and-shoot will take hundreds and hundreds of photos one after another on a single memory card, and it rivals the quality of my Nikon SLRs! That is an amateur photographer’s dream, but unfortunately it is not as beneficial for the pros. Suddenly, the playing field is level for everyone. Technology has not yet put pros out of business, but it is setting the stage – even our mobile phones have cameras!

Professional photography is going away. That’s right, going away. I can’t say it is going to happen today, next week, next month, or even next year, but at some point in the future it will. Fact: The transition has begun. You cannot change it; you can only adapt. Before you wet your pants, please notice I did not say all photography is going away, only professional photography. Ignore or distort the facts at your own peril!

Some professionals will thrive, but the rest will be left behind. The number of successes will continue to shrink until the professional photographer becomes … an anomaly.

What did Buyansky do when he was suddenly informed that his skills as a professional photographer were no longer needed? He joined 10 other equally surprised former photographers from the Sun-Times at the Billy Goat Tavern, a local watering-hole for journos, and celebrated the glory days long past, saying “The Sun-Times had an amazing photo staff.”

The emphasis was on the word “had.”

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Sources:

Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off All Its Full-Time Photographers

Chicago Sun-Times lays off all photographers

Chicago Sun-Times lays off its photo staff

Chicago Sun-Times fires all staff photographers

Reality Check: Professional Photography Is Going Away

How Many Photos Are Uploaded to The Internet Every Minute?

An Editorial: Is the Internet a Photographer’s Friend or Foe?

Look magazine

Life magazine

Wrapports

Newsday

Jay Sekulow files lawsuit against the IRS, as promised

Sekulow heads up the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). The initials reflect a deliberate alternative to the ACLU when it was set up by Pat Robertson back in 1990. Last week he announced his intention to sue the IRS on behalf of a number of Tea Party and Patriot groups singled out by the IRS for “special attention,” and yesterday he did.

He’s suing everyone within shouting distance:

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Colorado Sheriffs and Other Plaintiffs Sue to Void Two Gun Laws

On Friday morning all but 10 of Colorado’s 64 sheriffs along with 20 other plaintiffs gathered in Denver’s Independence Institute’s offices to announce the filing in U.S. District Court of a lawsuit to overturn two of the four gun control measures signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper in March. According to John Caldera, the institute’s president, the lobby – called the Freedom Assembly – was

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Exposure of IRS Malfeasances Continue to Erode American’s Confidence in Big Government

After accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steven Miller (who was going to leave the agency in June anyway), and then reviewing the Treasury’s report on IRS malfeasance in the “conservative charity targeting” scandal, President Obama expressed the sentiments of many on Wednesday:

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Feds Demand Wiki-Weapon Maker Pull Its 3D Gun Blueprints

When Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, received a letter from the U.S. Department of State on Wednesday demanding that he shut down his website that provided free blueprints to build a gun using 3D printing technology, he

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New York City Council Passes Bill Forcing Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave

On Wednesday the New York City Council voted 45-3 to pass the New York City Earned Sick Time Act, a bill which will require employers with more than 20 employees to

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Brownback pushes back!

Yesterday I opined that I could hardly wait to see what would happen following Eric Holder’s letter to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback over the new Kansas law nullifying federal attempts at gun control in Kansas.

I didn’t have to wait long! Here is Brownback’s response:

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Gun Confiscation via the Therapeutic State Moves Ahead in California

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on Wednesday legislation that provides $24 million in funding to hire another 36 “special agents” to scour neighborhoods starting in July to confiscate an estimated 40,000 firearms owned by citizens deemed to own them illegally due to reasons which include a diagnosis of mental illness.

Those approximately 20,000 citizens likely purchased them legally but

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“Control: Exposing the Truth about Guns” by Glenn Beck

His latest book arrived on Tuesday on my Kindle and I read it into the wee hours last night. I’m not finished with it but I thought I’d pass on some initial reactions to it in case you’re thinking of getting a copy.

Beck cranks these out on a regular basis using the skills, abilities and experience of others. I think that’s a good strategy, but

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42 House Republicans Propose Ending “Obama phone” Subsidy

When Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), the sponsor of legislation to end the Lifeline mobile-phone subsidy for the poor, noted that “It’s not fair that people save and work and pay for phones from whatever funds they have, and other people get them for free,” he also said that

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As gun owner base shrinks its voice gets louder

Following the defeat of the gun control bill in Washington this week, pundits from across the political spectrum have commented on it. They range from outrage to joyous celebration. A rather thoughtful and fair article was written by Andy Sullivan of Reuters which often has a more balanced perspective than many others. He reviewed the clout of the NRA and its organized and effective resistance to Obama’s infringements but

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The Real Reason Gun Control Failed

In Gabrielle Giffords’ editorial in the New York Times on Wednesday about the failure of Senators to pass the so-called Toomey-Manchin compromise amendment that doomed Senate Bill 649, she expressed her frustration through vituperation without understanding why the amendment, and consequently the bill, failed to pass the Senate on Wednesday. She wrote:

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What’s all the fuss about CISPA?

Nothing. Just privacy. And the breaching of private contracts. And the rule of law. Aside from that, CISPA is just fine.

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CCRKBA and IFOA fall off the wagon, support background check bill

I generally hold Alan Gottlieb in high regard. He runs both the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). The latter was founded 40 years ago and has more than 600,000 members. I contribute to both. But I didn’t get Saturday’s email:

“If you read the Manchin-Toomey substitute amendment, you can see all the advances for our cause that it contains,” Gottlieb wrote. He then listed the gun rights advantages in the bill: “interstate sales of handguns, veteran gun rights restoration, travel with firearms protection, civil and criminal immunity lawsuit protection, and most important of all, the guarantee that people, including federal officers, will go to federal prison for up to 15 years if they attempt to use any gun sales records to set up a gun registry.”

The Washington Post filled in some of the blanks:

While leading gun-control advocates — including President Obama and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) — back the bipartisan proposal, the announcement of support Sunday from the Citizens Committee reveals that substantial parts of the bill are viewed as “wins” for the gun lobby, including provisions that would prohibit a government registry of gun ownership and make it easier to transport and market weapons across state lines.

Another gun rights group, the Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFOA), also is going along with the compromise. Headed up by Richard Feldman, a former successful regional director for the NRA, endorsed the measure as well. Feldman blew the whistle on the NRA in his book, Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist, but thinks there’s enough in the compromise for his much smaller group to support.

According to WaPo, even with the new language and new promises and guarantees and such, the bill has little chance of passing the Senate because too many Senators are fearful of losing their seats in 2014:

Some have already rejected its argument.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who voted to proceed with debate, labeled the Manchin-Toomey agreement “unworkable and unfair to gun owners” in a message sent to constituents late last week. Because the plan would require gun purchasers to pay for a background check, “visitors to . . . gun shows across America will face a new tax of $30 to $50, and sometimes more, as they exercise their constitutional right to buy a gun,” Coburn said, adding that gun owners “will ignore and reject these changes.”

Other Republican senators who voted for debating the gun bill but plan to vote no on the amendment are Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), John Hoeven (N.D.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.), their spokesmen said Sunday.

Among Democratic senators, moderates Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), who face difficult reelection fights in 2014, voted against proceeding with debate and are expected to oppose the overall gun bill. Max Baucus (Mont.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (La.), who are also facing difficult reelection prospects, voted for debate but have signaled they may vote against the Manchin-Toomey deal.

There must be some political benefit to Alan Gottlieb and Richard Feldman to go along with any attempt to infringe, but I don’t see it. If the bill infringes, it’s wrong and should be opposed. Making deals with politicians is highly risky, especially when they concern inalienable rights.

NRA’s A-Rated Senators Caving on Gun Control

With Senate Bill 649 likely to be the last chance Senate Majority Leader Harry will have to pass gun control legislation in this session, West Virginia Democrat John Manchin has been working hard to bring the National Rifle Association (NRA) into the discussion on how to

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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.