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

Messages From Maduro’s Military Posturing

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 30, 2019:

The hosting of a parade of Russian military hardware in Caracas on Sunday by Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro delivered at least three messages: 1) I am in charge here; 2) With the help of my Russian, Chinese, and Cuban friends, that is; and 3) No tyranny remains in power very long unless it is maintained by force or the threat of force.

The show was enhanced with tank rounds being fired into a nearby hillside and by Maduro exclaiming, “Nobody respects the weak, cowards [or] traitors. In this world what’s respected is the brave, the courageous [and] power.” It was further enhanced with video of soldiers kneeling before the dictator and Maduro bellowing “Are you coup plotters?” and their response: “No!”

These messages were delivered after the defection of Colonel Jose Luis Silva, Maduro’s Washington attaché for the last five years. He told Reuters on Saturday that “the top brass of the military and the executive branch are holding the armed forces hostage. There are many, many, who are unhappy.”

And then he addressed them directly:

Enough! Leave aside the illegal control of our territory and the executive power. The leaders have become millionaires on the backs of the people. Captains, commanders: think about everyone who suffers. Don’t forget that your wives also can’t find milk for your children. Don’t forget that your mothers and fathers also can’t find pills for their [high blood] pressure.

 

Enough already! Let’s recognize the man who, under the law, is the true president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido.

The pressure on Maduro to step down continues to mount despite his claims that he has the unflinching and complete support of his military. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed a special session of the United Nations Security Council on Saturday where he described Maduro as part of an “illegitimate mafia state” and asking the members to join the United States in recognizing Guaido as the country’s only legitimate interim president. Pompeo minced no words: “Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”

Pompeo denounced both China and Russia by name, accusing them of “propping up a failed regime in the hopes of recovering billions of dollars in ill-considered investments and assistance made over the years.”

President Trump’s recognition of Guaido has already been supported by many Latin American countries, including Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina. Following Pompeo’s demand, Britain, France, and Germany got in line as well.

Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, pushed back: [The] U.S. has now stated that all options are on the table which is … dangerous. If it evolves into something more military, that is even more regretful. We think it should be avoided at any cost.”

European Union members met Saturday to discuss the crisis after which they issued a statement that called for “the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections.” The statement hinted that the EU could recognize Guaido if Maduro didn’t announce new elections promptly.

Guaido celebrated the developments, telling a rally in Caracas on Sunday, “We have the EU support. They took a firm step toward our fight for democracy.”

Students of history noted his use of the word “democracy” as a goal to be achieved rather than a danger to be avoided. Those same students wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Guaido has a long history of supporting the socialist impulse. He is a member of Venezuela’s Popular Will party, which is a full member of the Socialist International. That gaggle of left-wing political parties has as its goal the establishment of democratic socialism around the world.

Not surprisingly Guaido, in preparing to take Maduro’s place, is proposing to grant amnesty to Maduro as part of his transition to the presidency. This was noted by Rafael Valera, the communications director of the Venezuelan campaign group Rumbo Libertad:

Guaido is a member of the Socialist International.… Guaido’s Popular Will party has also supported dialogue with Maduro in the past and has called the Venezuelan population to participate in the rigged elections.

 

They are also proposing that dangerous Chavistas be part of the transition, continuing their systematic impunity. They want to pardon mercenaries, criminals, and prominent Chavistas like [former minister] Miguel Rodríguez Torres, [former state oil company head] Rafael Ramírez or [former prosecutor general] Luisa Ortega Díaz.

 

Guaidó’s party can tell us, by its background, that it doesn’t want to really tear the Communist system down but to give more life to it.

That’s the final lesson that Maduro’s posturing in Caracas on Sunday teaches: Socialism not only destroys the price system that allows a free market to operate, thus making way for government controls; it also destroys the culture of independence and morality that grows out of a free market. Guaido’s ascension to Venezuela’s presidency raises the question: How will a new suit occupying that office be any better than the old?

Pressure Building to Remove Venezuela’s Marxist Dictator

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 15, 2019:  

Minutes after Marxist Nicolás Maduro inaugurated himself for a second Term as Venezuela’s president last Thursday a majority of the 35-member Organization of American States (OAS) voted not to recognize its legitimacy. This followed disclaimers from 60 countries around the world that his reelection last May was, in the words of President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, “not free, fair or credible.”

His phony inauguration was preceded two days earlier by the announcement of additional sanctions on more of Maduro’s top officials by the U.S. State Department for allegedly

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Ninety Percent of Guns Used in Crime Not Obtained From Gun Stores/Shows

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 14, 2019:  

The Department of Justice just updated its decades-old study asking criminals where they got the guns they used in committing the crime for which they were currently incarcerated. After asking 287,000 prisoners in 2016 where they got the gun they used, 90 percent of them “did not obtain it from a retail source” and less than one percent obtained it from a gun show.

Half of them obtained their firearm from the “underground” market, while just six percent said they stole it. The survey reported that “most of the remainder had obtained it from a family member or a friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.”

In other words, current or pending laws banning “assault weapons” (usually variants of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle) almost totally miss the mark,

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How Long Will Venezuela’s Maduro Stay in Power?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 11, 2019: 

Now that the Marxist president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has inaugurated himself for a second six-year term, questions are being raised about how he managed to accomplish this while others are asking just how long he is likely to remain in power.

The New York Times asked “So How Did Maduro Secure a Second Term?” on Thursday and then answered its own question: through terror, violence, and military oppression. He long ago destroyed whatever was left of a free market economy through price controls, rationing, and currency destruction. Now he is focused on using all the tools at his disposal to remain in power.

That includes arrests and torture of suspected dissidents even in the military, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW):

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Venezuela’s Marxist President Maduro Inaugurated for Second Term

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 10, 2019:

Venezuela’s Marxist President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for a second six-year term on Thursday despite his presidency being declared null and void by 13 of Venezuela’s neighbors.

In all, about 60 countries have declared that his reelection in May was illegitimate owing to his quashing of his political opponents, his use of food as a political weapon to reward those who would vote for him, and the opposition party telling its voters to abstain from voting in the rigged election. Accordingly, in an election with the lowest voter turnout in the country’s history, Maduro was reelected with 68 percent of those who voted.

The New York Times asked,

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Britons and Europeans Increasingly Arming Themselves Against Terrorists

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 9, 2019: 

Al Capone famously said this about his liquor business: “I am like any other businessman. All I do is supply a demand.” The rule is expanded: when the demand is sufficiently high, supply will come from somewhere. The price will go up, providing additional incentive to businessmen like Capone to make sure his customers are taken care of.

The demand for personal, privately-owned firearms in Great Britain and Europe has gone up recently, thanks not only to the recent terrorist attack at the Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg last month but also

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Rosenstein’s Reasons for Leaving Are Plausible but Incomplete

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 9, 2019: 

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that, based on information from a “person familiar with his thinking,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will shortly depart the Department of Justice, where he has served since 2017.

The Journal listed five reasons for his departure, each of them plausible, but leaving unreported a long list of real reasons.

First, said the Journal,

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Gun Ownership Increasing in Europe Following Terror Attacks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 8, 2019:  

Nine days after the attack in the Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg last December in which an Islamic terrorist killed five and wounded 11, a Washington think tank reported that similar attacks were likely to continue. The terrorist, Cherif Chekatt (who was killed in a subsequent shootout with police), had previously pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, declared that

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Banks, Credit Card Companies Should Prevent Citizens from Buying “Multiple Guns,” Says NYTimes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 7, 2019:

Not happy with the progress being made by banks and credit-card companies in their move to restrict lending to gun manufacturers, Andrew Sorkin published his thinly veiled support for more surveillance of and restrictions on individual gun buyers in the New York Times in late December.

In his piece entitled “How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings,” Sorkin made clear his anti-gun worldview in the opening paragraph of the results of his Dealbook Investigation: “Omar Mateen used six credit cards to buy two guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition before he opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub [in June 2016].”

Sorkin rounded up evidence that other “mass shooters” had used credit cards to purchase firearms and accessories and concluded that “Many of the killers built their stockpiles of high-powered weapons with the convenience of credit. No one was watching.”

Now they should, said Sorkin. He took his “evidence” and called on the heads of a number of national banks who, he said, were horrified at what he had found. But they backed away from implementing any sort of tech wizardry that would target individuals buying too many firearms and too much ammunition in too short a period of time:

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Government “Shutdown” Forces IRS To Lay Off Most of Its People

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 2, 2019:  

Tax preparation firm Bacon & Gendreau informed its clients on December 28 that, due to the so-called government shutdown, “the IRS has furloughed all but 12% of its employees across the country.” Because of that, the IRS “will continue to process electronically filed and paper returns with payments” but they “will not issue any refunds.” In addition the agency “will not perform audits or process returns requiring further examination.”

On the surface this should give their clients some comfort that, for the time being at least, they won’t be getting that dreaded notice in the mail that a previously-filed tax return is being audited. However, said Bacon & Gendreau, those layoffs don’t affect “essential employees such as IRS law enforcement agents.”

As The New American reported last month,

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Violent Crime in Brazil is About to Drop Precipitously

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 2, 2019:  

Brazil has the highest rate of violent crime in Latin America and the eighth highest in the world. In Sao Paulo, a city of 12 million people, one in four reports that they have been held up at gunpoint at least once.

Along with this frightening crime wave, a weak economy (unemployment is at 12 percent) helped Jair Bolsonaro win election in October with 55 percent of the vote. Three days before his inauguration, he announced that his first effort would be to keep one of his key campaign promises: to expand his country’s gun laws. He tweeted: “By decree, we plan to guarantee the ownership of firearms by citizens without criminal records.”

That’s a far cry from the law presently in force (since 2003), which

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Decree by Brazil’s New President Keeps His Campaign Promise to Expand Gun Rights

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 1, 2019: 

Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who assumed his office on Tuesday, made many campaign promises. He supported his country’s national sovereignty and opposed abortion, affirmative action, and drug liberalization, while supporting closer relations with the United States and Israel. But his signature promise — supported by his famous finger-gun salute — is to liberalize his country’s gun laws. Since its enactment in 2003 Brazil’s murder rate has soared: Brazil has the highest homicide rate in Latin America and the eighth highest in the world.

Parallels to the U.S. president and the head of the National Rifle Association are obvious,

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Trump’s ATF Playing With Fire in Banning Bump Stocks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 19, 2018:  

The day after retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called for repeal of the Second Amendment back in March, President Trump tweeted: “THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY.”

On Tuesday, Trump’s acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said “WAY” by announcing the final rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) banning so-called bump stocks. He announced the agency’s rule by claiming that it was an “amendment” of an existing rule and not a new ruling per se and therefore didn’t need Congressional approval:

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type devices — meaning “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics — are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger….

 

The bump-stock-type devices covered by this final rule … will be prohibited when this rule becomes effective [estimated to be March 21, 2019].

A senior official from the Department of Justice made clear that they intended to allow the ATF to enforce the law with every asset they had:

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Thatcher Was Right: Maduro Has Not Only Run Out of Other People’s Money, but Now They Want It Back!

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 19, 2018: 

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s line about socialism always got a laugh: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Marxist dictator Nicolas Maduro isn’t laughing now that the lenders of other people’s money to his failed socialist experiment in Venezuela have stopped lending. Now they want it back.

Good luck with that.

Nearly 50 major lending institutions have loaned Maduro $150 billion over the years, and they have been patient. They thought they saw light at the end of the tunnel when Maduro made a final payment of $90 million to Goldman Sachs in May on their “hunger loan.” They thought they saw more light when Maduro somehow made a $1 billion loan payment in October to some of his lenders.

And they thought they saw still more light in November when

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A Million New Jersey Gun Owners Ignore State’s Magazine Ban

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

When New Jersey passed its ban on possession of magazines containing more than 10 rounds in June, it gave the state’s million or so law-abiding gun owners 180 days to comply. The law provided five options: 1) modify the offending magazines so they could accept no more than 10 rounds; 2) “render the firearm [that accepts such magazines] inoperable”; 3) register firearms that cannot be “modified to accommodate 10 or less rounds”; 4) transfer the firearm or the magazine to “an individual or entity entitled to own or possess it”; or 5) surrender the firearm or the magazine to local law enforcement.

The million or so law-abiding gun owners selected option No.6: ignore the law and defy its enforcement.

The 180-day period expired on December 11, and not a single magazine has been turned in to any local law-enforcement agencies, according to responses obtained from Ammoland’s John Crump: “Ammoland reached out to several local police departments in New Jersey to see how they plan on enforcing the ban, and [to learn] what the turn-in numbers have been [as of December 14]. Like the New Jersey State Police, none of these departments have a concrete plan on how to proactively enforce the ban, and none had a single report of magazines being turned over.”

The penalty for being found in possession of one of the newly offending magazines is stiff: It’s a felony, with punishment consisting of up to 18 months in jail, and up to $10,000 in fines, or both.

When gun-hating liberals in the Colorado enclave known to some as “the Peoples’ Republic of Boulder” passed a law banning possession of “assault weapons,” “high-capacity” magazines, and “bump stocks” last May, gun owners reacted similarly. The New American covered the story and estimated that law-abiding citizens living in Boulder owned approximately 150,000 now-offending firearms. They needed to be “certified”under the law’s grandfather clause by December 27 or fines and jail time would be applied to those newly minted miscreants. As of December 1, the Boulder Police Department had certified just 85 of them.

Lest law-biding gun owners reading this think that New Jersey or Colorado are a long way from where they live, and therefore they have nothing to worry about, they should consider the disheartening and threatening move by numerous states to inflict similar injury onto them through “red flag” laws. They should further consider what their response will be when law enforcement shows up at their front door, either wit a demand to turn over offending magazines or relinquish their firearms under an ERPO — an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” — now the law in more than a dozen states with another dozen or so considering such laws.

The New American has reported on the dangers of ERPOs. One individual, Gary Willis, a resident of Ferndale, Maryland, was confronted with such a situation at 5 a.m. in early November. He resisted and it cost him his life.

Local papers covered the incident.Willis was asleep early Monday morning, November 5 when two officers from Anne Arundel County knocked on his door. A law-abiding gun owner, Willis answered the door “with a gun in his hand,” according to a police department spokesman.They were there to serve him with an “extreme risk protective order” and remove his legally owned firearms.

According to a police department spokesman, Willis put his firearm down to read the ERPO but then, apparently recognizing that it wasn’t a legal search warrant issued by a judge in accordance with protections guaranteed to him by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S.Constitution but instead was issued by a local judge under Maryland’s newly minted “red flag” law, he retrieved his firearm.  

The spokesman said that Willis “became irate.” In the melee that followed, one of the firearms carried either by one of the officers or by Willis went off. One of the officers then pulled his own sidearm and shot Willis dead.

FlexYourRights.com has a 38-minute video on YouTube that helps gun owners who take the risk of such a confrontation seriously. For those interested in a lawyer’s take on how to respond, one could consider purchasing Tim Baldwin’s “Police Contact: How to Respond” in DVD format for $20. Says Baldwin: “If a policeman believes you are guilty, being innocent may not be enough to keep you protected. There are many innocent people incarcerated in America’s prisons, or worse. Unfortunately, citizens themselves often help bring on improper conduct [by police] through their own ignorance of the law.”

This writer endorses Baldwin’s explanation. which is designed, as he says, to “keep you out of jail — or out of the morgue.”

Such presentations may still leave unanswered the question of how to respond when a law-enforcement official comes to the door with a warrant that clearly violates or ignores the strictures put in place by the Founders in the Fourth Amendment. How should he then respond? That question needs to be answered long before the doorbell rings.

According to Crump, New Jersey law-enforcement officials either have no plan to enforce the magazine law or aren’t willing to discuss it. Those departments he quizzed refused to answer, or responded with “We do not discuss law enforcement strategies.” 

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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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