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

Category Archives: Crime

IRS Enforcement Arm Continues to Shrink

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 12, 2018:

Complaints over lack of sufficient funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) often appear at this time of year, just as taxpayers are beginning to focus on readying their tax returns due in April. This year is no exception. Whining over insufficient funding began with Dennis Ventry, the chairman of the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC), who complained on Monday that Trump’s tax reform had created a “nightmare” for the agency. He lamented: “[IRS] personnel had to work on reform this year when they otherwise would have been working on something else. So, in some respects, it was a lost year.”

That lost year, Ventry opined, cost the federal government billions in taxes owed but not collected. And it’s all because Congress keeps cutting the IRS budget. As a result, the IRS now employs about 24,000 fewer full-time agents than it did back in 2010 (now down to a scant 76,000), with most of those cuts (17,000) coming from the tax-enforcement arm. Ventry estimates that the agency was unable to collect somewhere between$58 billion to $84 billion over the last eight years due to those cuts.

ProPublica and the Atlantic picked upon the agency’s troubles and co-published a 20-page defense of the agency,recounted its woes, and suggested that Congress (Republican-controlled, that is) was derelict in its duty to fund the agency sufficiently to collect all the taxes that were due. 

They moaned that the rich were getting away with underpaying massively while those remaining enforcement agents were going after the little guy — the taxpayer who was so poor that he claimed the“earned income tax credit” (EITC) — without mentioning that the EITC has spawned an industry fraught with fraudulent advisors helping people who don’t qualify to get the benefit anyway.

They griped that the agency’s staff had been so emasculated that it didn’t have the resources to go after “nonfilers”or those who filed but didn’t include a check for what they owed. They lamented that agents didn’t go after those taxpayers hiding funds in overseas accounts because it took too long — up to three years — to find them, tax them, and collect the amounts due.

They warned that the agency is now so weak that word is likely to get out, that cheaters will multiply, knowing that the chances of their getting caught continue to diminish: “The IRS conducted 675,000 fewer audits in 2017 than it did in 2010, a drop in the audit rate of 42 percent.” They predicted that the damage done to the agency over the past eight years is so severe that it might not ever recover: “Agency veterans wondered whether the damage of the past several years will ever be undone. And they had a greater worry: that the American public will inevitably realize how weak the IRS has become.”

Little was mentioned in the jointly published defense that most of the damage done to the agency was self-inflicted. Think Lois Lerner. Think John Koskinen. It was Lerner who directed the branch of the agency that targeted conservative groups seeking tax exemption. It was Koskinen who took over the agency just after the scandal was made public and hid Lerner’s e-mails, destroyed them, and then lied about it to Congress.Impeachment papers were prepared by the House Oversight Committee, which accused him of failing to prevent the destruction of evidence in allowing the erasure of backup tapes containing thousands of e-mails written by Lerner, and of lying to Congress. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee chairman, said that Koskinen “failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled.”

Neither of these miscreants was ever charged, convicted, or sentenced, and today they remain free to enjoy their retirement pensions from the government.

Of course, targeting wasn’t a new thing under Obama. Previous presidents used the tactic to attack their enemies as far back as FDR. Said Roosevelt’s son Elliott, “My father may have been the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution.”

Included in the impeachment papers prepared for President Nixon (before he resigned) was this: “RESOLVED, That Richard M. Nixon … endeavored to … cause, in violation of the constitutiona lrights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

The agency may be underfunded. It may not have enough agents to prepare themselves for questions arising from taxpayers over Trump’s tax-reform act. It may be leaving money on the table as a result. But at bottom, the agency not only has brought this upon itself by its past and recent unconstitutional behaviors, it also violates the principle that what a person earns he has a right to keep. Instead, through withholding, the government stands in front of the taxpayer to get its share first, allowing the taxpayer to keep what is left. There is no sympathy from this corner. The damage done was done by the agency itself.

Massive Noncompliance to Boulder, Colorado, Assault Weapons Ban

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 6, 2018: 

In May, in a fit of righteous do-goodism, the Boulder, Colorado, city council unanimously banned the sale or possession of so-called assault weapons along with high-capacity magazines and “bump stocks.” As a sop to those among the city’s 100,000 residents who already owned firearms, current possession of such items was grandfathered in. All that was needed was that, by December 27, a firearm owned prior to passage of the law would need to be “certified” by the local police department. A fee would be charged per weapon, and a background check run on the owner.

If the owner cleared the background check, and his check cleared the bank, he would then be issued two “certificates of ownership” showing the particulars of the firearm and the date it was issued: one to be kept with the firearm, the other to be kept somewhere safe, just in case the first one was lost or misplaced.

The city council promised

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Will China Change Its Strategy Over the Next 90 Days?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 5, 2018: 

Donald Trump’s tariff negotiators have 90 days to accomplish the impossible: get China to give up on its plans: first, to be the dominant power in East Asia, and second, to challenge, threaten and then subdue the U.S. in its drive for global hegemony.

One has to give Trump credit. He has rushed in where angels have long feared to tread: first, by exposing the media as being nothing more than the mouthpiece for the Democrat Party; and second, by exposing China’s plans to gain complete global economic and political control.

Consider its “Made in China 2025” policy designed to challenge the West in eleven key areas: information technology, numerical control tools and robotics, new materials, state-of-the-art vehicles (rail, ships, aviation, and electric), agricultural machinery, power equipment, medical devices, and 5G wireless communications technology. As Insight (the Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai) explained:

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Social Security Benefits Have Lost One-Third of Their Purchasing Power Since 2000

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 23, 2018:

The latest survey from the Senior Citizens League (SCL) revealed that Social Security, the welfare program originally designed to help workers in their old age, is instead slowly impoverishing them:

Over the past 18 years, Social Security benefits have lost 34 percent of their buying power, according to the findings of this study.

 

Many of the goods and services purchased by typical retirees increased several times faster than annual Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs) from January 2000 through January 2018.

As The New American recently pointed out, for three out of every five of the more than 60 million Americans receiving Social Security, that monthly check represents half or more of their total monthly income. Because many have not planned for the future, or been able to, by the time workers start receiving their benefits, four out of 10 will be living at or near the poverty level.

There have been previous attempts to “adjust” the purchasing power of those checks including using cost-of-living-adjustments or COLAs. For 2019 those 62 million Social Security recipients will see their checks increase by 2.8 percent.

But since 2000 those COLAs have

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Social Security COLA for 2019 Is 2.8 Percent, or $40 a Month

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 19, 2018: 

Starting in January, the 62 million Americans receiving Social Security will get a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in their benefit checks of about $40 a month. For three out of five of them, their check represents about half of their total monthly income.

For those waiting to cash in, more than half don’t have enough saved elsewhere to support a “decent” retirement, according to the Center for Retirement Research. More than 90 percent don’t have a pension plan at work and half of those who do, don’t participate. Translation: By the time they start receiving Social Security, four out of 10 will be living at or near the poverty level.

In other words, of the three legs of their retirement stool, two legs are missing and the third is getting weaker.

Trustees of Social Security just announced the dreaded “inflection point,” where they are starting to have to dip into the trust funds’ reserves to pay out the benefits. That’s due to a number of factors:

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The Federal Ponzi Scheme Hits Its “Inflection Point”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, November 19, 2018: 

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. After all, former Social Security commissioner Robert Ball called the scheme “social insurance” designed to help people

when earnings stop because one is too old to work or too disabled to work, or because the wage earner in the family dies, or because there is no job to be had, or when there are extraordinary expenses connected, say, with illness.

But it was a Ponzi scheme from the start, enforced by government mandate to keep people from leaving when they learned it was a scam after all. Those careful with words and their meanings knew it was a lie from the start: it was called FICA, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, illicitly borrowing the credibility of insurance companies that didn’t go bankrupt in the Great Depression to cover up the fact it was never actuarially sound from the beginning.

The scheme is simple:

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Gurus at Treasury Jiggering Its Offerings

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 31, 2018:

The announcement from the U.S. Treasury was terse:

Total net marketable securities issued in the fourth quarter will be a projected $425 billion.

 

That will bring total debt issued in 2018 to $1.34 trillion, the highest since $1.59 trillion was issued in 2010.

 

2018 debt issuance also jumped 146% from 2017, when just $546 billion was issued.

It took Liz McCormick at Bloomberg to explain just how Treasury was going to manage all of that: stay short and provide inflation protection. Specifically, Treasury’s latest offerings will focus on five-year maturities or less, and brush the dust off its TIPS – Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.

But of course that hardly addresses the underlying problem: a government continuing to spend beyond its (taxpayers’) means. The numbers are ugly: The national debt of the United States Government jumped by $1.3 trillion during its fiscal year that ended on September 30. The gap between the government’s spending and its income for that fiscal year was $779 billion, a jump of $113 billion over the year before.

At some point, the question will be raised: Who will buy? That was the question raised back in 2011 when Standard & Poor’s cut the government’s credit rating and put it on its “negative” watch list. Said S&P at the time:

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China, Russia Rushing to Keep Venezuela Alive as Crisis Deepens

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 29, 2018:  

Senior delegations from Russia and China are meeting with top Venezuelan officials on Monday in Caracas to work on, as Bloomberg put it, “a plan to stem the brutal economic collapse” of their key Marxist ally in South America. The state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PdVSA, not so coincidentally, happens to have a $949 million bond payment due on Monday, and those officials from Russia (which provided a lifeline to Maduro’s dictatorship a year ago by rescheduling some $3 billion of Maduro’s debt) were there to make sure they got their money. Investors, now called speculators, are owed an estimated $7 trillion by Maduro’s bankrupt regime.

According to Russia’s Finance Ministry spokesman Andrey Lavrov, the Russian team will “provide assistance to Venezuela in developing measures to manage the economy in a crisis situation.” Rather like asking an alcoholic for advice on how to kick the habit, remedies from Russia and China aren’t likely to help the average citizen.

To an American citizen, the situation facing the average Venezuelan is nearly incomprehensible.

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Report Confirms That China’s Policy to Weaken the U.S. Is Working

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 24, 2018:  

Supporters of the World Trade Organization (WTO) celebrated China’s entry into it in 2001 by claiming that the move not only would create U.S. jobs and increase U.S. exports to China, but would also persuade China’s communist leaders to integrate into the world of sovereign nations and abide by global rules of fair play and free markets. It was sold as a way to move the Chinese economy away from its communist rule and toward a freer private capitalist system.

Instead, said the authors of a study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI),

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New Jersey Democrat Senator Menendez’s Reelection Campaign Is in Trouble

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 24, 2018:

Liberal Democrat Senator Bob Menendez has been a fixture in New Jersey politics for at least a quarter of a century, and his reelection to the Senate in November appeared to be locked up. His constituents, unconcerned over either his history of corruption or his unconstitutional votes in the Senate, anted up $6 million following the announcement in January by the Trump Department of Justice that it wouldn’t seek a retrial. Menendez and his “good friend” Salomon Melgen faced 18 charges of corruption, self-dealing, and failures to report income, but Menendez’s trial ended with a hung jury.

Democrats need to gain two Senate seats in November to wrest majority control from Republicans. A loss to a Republican in New Jersey, which hasn’t sent one to Washington since 1972, would almost be a fatal blow to that hope.

The depth and breadth of Menendez’s corruption was summarized by The New American:

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Corrupt New Jersey Senator Facing Serious Challenge in November

This article was published by The McAlvany intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 24, 2018: 

This writer expressed surprise and dismay in this space back in February after learning that President Trump’s Department of Justice had dismissed charges of corruption against New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. The depth, breadth, and length of those charges made the case against Menendez by the DOJ appear to be airtight. In his article titled “Corrupt New Jersey Senator Dodges Another Bullet” he wrote:

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Did the Private Citizen with a Concealed Carry Permit Legally Intervene in Last Week’s Shootout in Chicago?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 17, 2018: 

Massad Ayoob wrote the book that put him in the forefront of authors dedicated to teaching others the enormous responsibility that comes with carrying a sidearm for personal protection, In The Gravest Extreme. In it, he wrote:

The man who wears a gun carries with it the power of life and death, and therefore the responsibility to deport himself with greater calm and wisdom than his unarmed counterpart, whose panic or misjudgment in crisis situations will have less serious consequences.

 

The power of the gun is never ignored, no matter how accustomed one becomes to the weight on his hip. A man carrying a gun for the first time is acutely, even uncomfortably, aware of its presence.

 

After a time, he ceases to notice both the weight and the responsibility, not because he has forgotten them, but because they have both been assimilated into his bearing and demeanor.

A shootout in a Chicago suburb Thursday evening began during a “routine” traffic stop (experienced police officers will say that there is no such thing as a “routine” traffic stop) when the suspect, rather than complying with orders to pull over, accelerated up an on-ramp leading onto heavily-trafficked southbound Interstate 55. The officers successfully boxed him in and he sprinted away while firing back at the officers. The suspect hit Cicero police Officer Luis Duarte four times.

His partner took off after the suspect on foot.

That was the moment when a nearby motorist, stuck in traffic, saw the incident develop, and intervened. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported,

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Was CCW License Holder Who Helped Chicago Police Justified in Shooting at Suspect?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 17, 2018:  

When individuals obtain their concealed carry permit they take on an enormous responsibility. They carry the power to kill and must apply that power exceedingly judiciously.

Last week a concealed-carry permit holder was commended by police for voluntarily intervening in a shoot-out in a Chicago suburb. The incident raises the question as to when an armed private citizen should intervene — and when he should not do so.

The New American explained how the incident unfolded in our initial report on the shoot-out:

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The President is Determined to Learn Who Wrote the NYT Op-Ed

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 10, 2018: 

During and after his speech in Billings, Montana on Wednesday night, President Trump made crystal clear his feelings about the anonymous Op-Ed published by The New York Times earlier that day: “The Times should never have done that because, really what they’ve done is, virtually, you know, it’s treason.” He called the author a “gutless coward” whose name “The New York Times should publish … at once.”

And then the president predicted:

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Trump Determined to Find Author of Anonymous Op-Ed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 7, 2018:  

During and after his speech in Billings, Montana, on Wednesday night, President Trump made crystal clear his feelings about the anonymous op-ed published by the New York Times earlier that day: “The Times should never done that because, really what they’ve done is, virtually, you know, it’s treason.” He called the author a “gutless coward” whose name “The New York Times should publish … at once.”

And then the president predicted: “At some point this whole thing is going to be exposed.”

The effort to ferret out the anonymous writer — whose identity the Times’ editors declare they know but are keeping secret at the request of the writer, who fears retribution if he is found out — has already begun. The machinery is already in motion. It began with a presidential tweet questioning whether the author actually holds a position in the Trump administration:

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Ocasio-Cortez: Gazette Shooting Was “195th Mass Shooting This Year”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 2, 2108:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasted no time in seizing as an opportunity the shooting in the offices of the Capital Gazette on Thursday not only to burnish her anti-gun image but to pick a number out of the air to support it. She tweeted: “Horrifying. This is our nation’s 195th mass shooting — this year.”

This confirms her far-left stance as reported by The New American on Friday: “Her platform was other-worldly: Medicare for all, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college, and abolition of ICE — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In addition she made clear her contempt for the Second Amendment by promising to push for more gun control.”

Where she got the number 195 was not revealed. But it doesn’t matter, anyway: Since there is no standard definition of “mass shooting,” any number will do to reinforce her position. When the Washington Post said in late 2015 that there were 355 mass shootings for that year, the figure was so far removed from reality that Mother Jones editor Mark Follman took the time to investigate the number, and refute it: “At Mother Jones, where I work as an editor, we have compiled an in-depth open-source database covering more than three decades of public mass shootings. By our measure, there have been four ‘mass shootings’ this year.”

CNN has taken the lead in inflating the numbers. Following the mass shooting on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Florida, the network claimed that there was one school shooting “on average” every week.

Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety tweeted on that same day that there had been 18 school shootings so far this year. But Breitbart looked into the matter and concluded “that Everytown had reached the number ‘18’ by counting suicides … and eight non-suicide firearm-related incidents in which there were no injuries or fatalities.”

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) defines “mass public shooting” as a multiple-homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms in at least one public location, including schools. According to that definition, CRS reports that there were 66 mass shootings from 1999 to 2013, with just seven of them happening in schools or college campuses.

And then there’s the Gun Violence Archive, which claims on its website that, so far this year, there have been 154 mass shootings. A closer look at this outfit reveals an inherent bias even as its website claims it has none: It just counts every incident involving a gun and then lets researchers draw their own conclusions. Founded in late 2012 by Michael Klein, a wealthy attorney, it claims to “provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States.”

Klein is also the founder of Sunlight Foundation, which was launched in 2006 with $3.5 million of his own money. Since then, Klein has enlisted the financial assistance of a number of Deep State deep pockets, including George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bloomberg, it will be remembered, also helps fund Everytown for Gun Safety.

Even if the Gun Violence Archive has honest intentions about reporting all of the facts on gun violence in the United States, it has a serious problem in supporting its claim of 154 mass shootings for 2018 alone. It claims that “GVA uses a purely statistical threshold to define mass shootings based ONLY on the numeric value of 4 or more shot or killed, not including the shooter.” But a download of its statistical conclusions reveals just 11 shootings so far this year where four or more individuals were killed by gunfire.

But this really doesn’t matter, at least to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who seems content to have pulled the “195” out of the air. She is counting on that number — unsourced but likely accepted as true by her adoring fans — to confirm her position that guns are responsible for such shootings, while leaving the blame on the shooter entirely out of the conversation.

As AWR Hawkins noted at Breitbart: “When suicides, accidental discharges, and firearm-related incidents with no injuries or fatalities are counted as ‘school shootings,’ alongside heinous attacks like those on Parkland or Great Mills, we have reached the point where the phrase ‘school shootings’ no longer communicates anything.”

The terminology “mass shootings” also no longer has meaning when coming from the upstart radical who is using her phony number to reinforce her public anti-gun position as she prepares to take the seat of 10-term New York Democrat Joe Crowley in January.

Shooter Kills Five Journalists in Maryland Before Police Can Arrive

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 29, 2018:

When Jarrod Ramos blasted his way through the front glass door of the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday afternoon and started shooting, journalists working there dove for cover. They hid behind desks and curled up in corners so as not to be seen, holding their breaths, hoping to avoid being shot.

It took 60 seconds for armed police to arrive to subdue the shooter, but by then it was too late: Five people were killed and two others injured before he was neutralized. Phil Davis, the paper’s courts and crime reporter, explained his feelings:

I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff … all the time. But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.

He added:

There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk, and then hear[ing] the gunman reload.

Reporter Selene San Felice took a more active approach: She used her iPhone to text her parents to tell them that she loved them.

“When seconds count, the police are minutes away” goes the proverb. Even though the police were just 60 seconds away, it was more than enough time for the shooter to end the lives of Rob Hiassen, 59, the paper’s assistant managing editor; Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor; Wendi Winters, a features reporter; reporter John McNamara; and sales assistant Rebecca Smith. If the shooter, who had been nursing a grudge ever since the paper reported back in 2011 about a harassment case in which he pled guilty, was seeking the two responsible, they weren’t there. The columnist who wrote the original article, Eric Hartley, doesn’t work for the Capital Gazette any longer, and Thomas Marquardt, the paper’s former editor and publisher, had retired to Florida years earlier.

Media coverage focused on the motives of Ramos, calling him “recalcitrant,” angry, and uncooperative under questioning by the police. They learned that, since losing his lawsuit in 2015, Ramos had continued a long series of attacks on the paper on social media, often expressing his anger through obscenities and threats. When asked about Ramos, Marquardt said that he feared that he might be a threat to the paper, and even considered filing a restraining order against him, but ultimately decided not to.

Media reported that Ramos is being charged with murder in the first degree, as police stated that he had carefully planned the attack in advance. Bail was denied on Friday.

What the media isn’t reporting is why the journalists working Thursday afternoon at the newspaper had no means to defend themselves. Not a single one took the time to search for the real culprit: Maryland legislators who, not being bound by the state’s constitution with any protection to its citizens to own firearms (there is none), have taken it upon themselves to make it virtually impossible for anyone to obtain a concealed carry permit. Just 15,000 of the state’s six million citizens have succeeded in persuading local authorities, operating under “may issue” guidelines (instead of “shall issue” orders) to obtain one. These restrictions not only keep locals from obtaining permits but significant proof exists that police harass visitors to the state who carry concealed, thinking that their own state’s permission also applies to Maryland. They do not.

Wikipedia notes the problem: “Maryland is a ‘may issue’ state for concealed carry. Applicants must demonstrate a ‘good and substantial reason’ to carry a handgun. Permits are normally very difficult for ordinary citizens to obtain.” Once obtained, the permits must be renewed annually, providing continuing proof of the citizen’s “good and substantial reason” to carry. Personal protection against deranged and angry shooters such as Ramos is not a sufficient “good and substantial reason,” and so the journalists on Thursday were left with just desks and iPhones to defend themselves with.

Had they been allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights (missing as noted above from the state’s constitution), the police, arriving 60 seconds too late, would have found themselves performing forensics on the likely deceased shooter and giving post-shooting interviews to most if not all of those who died on Thursday.

The Communist-led War Against the Republic has Just Escalated

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 27, 2018: 

In his The Art of War, dating back to the 5th Century BC, Sun Tzu issued a warning that applies today:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Many have written off Maxine Waters, considering her to be a far-left unhinged California Democrat, seeking the spotlight for obscure and largely unimportant reasons. But a closer look at her background reveals an enemy of the American republic whose treason goes back decades.  Waters has a communist and anti-American history that covers 26 pages of the aggregator DiscoverTheNetworks.org.

For instance,

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The War On Trump: From Confrontation to Harassment to … Violence?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 26, 2018:

After The New American reported on the harassment of White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, on Friday night, her father told talk show host Laura Ingraham what happened next:

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Sickness — Fiscal, Human, and Cultural — Sinking Venezuela Further Into Darkness

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 11, 2018:

The latest poll from Gallup — the 2018 Global Law and Order Index — places Venezuela at the very bottom of the 140 nations it surveyed. This is the second year in a row that Venezuela is perceived by its citizens to be the most dangerous place in the world to live.

One-quarter of the population reported that they had been assaulted at least once in the last 12 months, while more than four out of 10 claimed they had been robbed in the last year. This places the socialist-ravaged South American country behind Afghanistan and South Africa in Gallup’s ratings.

Additional evidence of the continuing breakdown of Venezuelan society, thanks to socialist policies, showed up on Sunday with the first case of polio being reported in the country in 30 years. Long considered to be eradicated, it, along with other diseases such as diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles, and malaria, are gaining purchase among Venezuelans, especially those in the poorest neighborhoods. Dr. Jose Felix Oletta, Venezuela’s former minister of health, explained: “The [polio] virus especially affects people in conditions of malnutrition and unvaccinated, as in this case.”

And that’s because President/Dictator Nicolas Maduro’s policies (called “Chavismo” for his predecessor Hugo Chavez) have all but removed essential medicines and vaccines from pharmacists’ shelves.

As reported repeatedly by The New American and elsewhere, the poor are reduced to picking through garbage dumps to find food to feed themselves and their families. But it is now reported from Caracas that they have gone one step further: seizing the plastic bags in which the garbage is placed and trading the bags themselves for food and other essentials on the black market.  As the Wall Street Journal noted:

This sounds absurd, but it is believable in a country where extreme poverty has spread like the plague. Human capital is fleeing. Oil production is plummeting, and the state-owned oil company is in default. The garbage bag, imported with dollars, is a thing of value.

The sickness that is now Venezuela has permeated down to the most vulnerable: Young girls and women are being enticed into prostitution and then into slavery. According to an investigation by the Mexican newspaper El Universal, sex traffickers entice them with promises of well-paying work and then capture them and send them out of the country to serve as sex slaves.

It’s aided by cultural decline. The network aiding the traffickers, contacts uncovered by the newspaper, consists of drug cartels, weapons traffickers, corrupt policemen paid to look the other way, soldiers seeking self-gratification, and border officials being bribed to ignore the flow. In Mexico, for example, those traffickers pay up to $1,000 to immigration officials at Mexico City’s international airport to allow these girls, some as young as 11, into the country from Venezuela. From there they are shipped to Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. A Venezuela study reported that, as the economic conditions have declined, sex trafficking has risen enormously, from an estimated 60,000 in 2016 to almost 200,000 this year. And the study suggests that that number could rise to 600,000 by 2020, less than three years from now.

The Venezuelan culture has been destroyed by socialist practices, practices that initially were inflicted on the populace long before Maduro’s arrival. Rent controls were set in place in 1939 but not rigorously enforced until 1960 when Romulo Bentancourt gained power. Since that time not a single apartment building has been built in the country.

Carlos Andres Perez seized the presidency in 1974 and mandated salary increases for the entire country, along with a minimum wage. He instituted price controls, put limits on foreign investment, nationalized the oil company, took virtual control of the coffee and cocoa industries, and seized the previously independent central bank.

When Luis Herrera Campins took control in 1983, he announced exchange controls and placed price controls on everything that Perez had ignored: cement, hotels, banking, meat, milk, sugar, and even parking lot fees.

Fast forward to February 1999 when Chavez was inaugurated, followed by Maduro in 2013.

Even if (or when) Maduro is removed from office, the spectre of socialist destruction will remain. American Founding Father John Adams pointed out the uniqueness of the U.S. Constitution: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” But once the foundations of a moral and righteous society have been rotted away by the cancer of collectivism, “what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann