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: Uncategorized

ADP: More Than 400,000 New Jobs Created in October

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 4, 2020:  

According to payroll processor ADP, more than 400,000 new jobs were created by the Trump economy in October. This is the sixth month of gains in a row since the shutdown, during which the economy has added back almost 10 million jobs from the 19.7 million lost in March and April.

The gains were broad-based, with new jobs being added in every sector: manufacturing (17,000), services (348,000), and franchise employment (49,600).

The job gains reflect the remarkable comeback

Keep reading…

Exit Polling Following Tuesday’s Election Reveals Political Shift Taking Place

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 4, 2020:  

Exit polling by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool conducted on Tuesday revealed the cultural and political shift taking place in the United States. Simply put, secular white voters are finding a home in the Democratic Party while minorities — Blacks and Hispanics primarily — are increasingly comfortable supporting Republicans.

Based on more than 7,700 in-person interviews at 115 polling places across the country and nearly 5,000 telephone interviews with voters, the results were startling to CNN. Wrote staff journalist Zachary Wolf: “Democrats were hoping for a landslide and didn’t get it.… Turnout far exceeded 2016 but that didn’t signal a blue tidal wave as some Democrats expected. Rather, Trump’s supporters kept pace, defending the President from Democrats motivated to defeat him.”

The president won both Florida and Texas thanks to newfound support from Latino voters. Trump won three of 10 minority votes compared to winning just two of 10 in 2016. Edison’s national poll showed that about 11 percent of African Americans, 31 percent of Hispanics and 30 percent of Asian Americans voted for Trump on Tuesday, up three full percentage points from 2016 in all three groups.

Erick Woods Erickson, a conservative evangelical blogger at The Resurgent, wrote that he has been predicting the change but it is happening more rapidly now:

For the last decade I have been saying … that we were headed towards realignment as black and Hispanic voters leave the Democratic Party and secular white people move to the Democrats. This is really happening now….

 

In Florida, Hispanic voters and young black men handed Donald Trump the state [while] in Texas … working-class white voters and Hispanic voters saved the GOP….

 

The Republican Party is becoming a coalition of working-class white voters, young black men, and Hispanic voters.

The ideological chasm between the two parties is illustrated by how those voters view their parties, according to Erickson:

The data overwhelmingly shows these voters are going with the GOP over jobs and education for their kids [while] the policies of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party are anathema to these voters….

 

Donald Trump may win or lose, but the progressive agenda got slaughtered at the ballot box last night. The GOP will most likely keep the Senate. The House GOP has defied all the odds and picked up seats. Even the GOP did not expect that.

In addition, wrote Erickson, the mainstream media’s polling bias may wind up destroying the industry:

Increasingly it is clear the polling industry is not going to survive. Also, I think the traditional media is probably going to die off too. It is clear that the American press has lost touch with those they supposedly report on.

In retrospect Election Day 2020 is likely to prove to be a watershed moment as the American voter finds his voice much differently than he did just a few years ago.

IMF Makes “Significant Upgrade” to U.S. Economic Forecast

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 14, 2020:  

Gita Gopinath, chief economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said during a press conference during this week’s annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington that the robust recovery of the U.S. economy has forced the group to make a “significant upgrade” to its forecast for 2020.

She said:

We’re seeing a fairly quick recovery, which is why we have [made] the upgrades. In the second quarter, the recovery came about sooner than we expected.

 

And then, continuing into quarter three, the indicators have been [even] stronger.

Back in June she was much less sanguine that the U.S. economy would rebound so quickly, predicting at the time that, for the year, the U.S. economy would contract by eight percent. The upward revision brings that number down to half that, a little over four percent. She said:

At the time, we were thinking that the increase in the number of infections [from COVID-19] could imply some decline in mobility and activity, but that has really not materialized during the third quarter.

 

And that has been one of the factors explaining our upward revision.

According to the “nowcast” GDPNow model from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the economy is likely to show an annualized growth of more than 35 percent when it is reported by the Commerce Department just days before the election.

Included in that forecast is that real gross private domestic growth — the oil and gas that fuels the economy — will show an annualized gain of nearly 50 percent in the third quarter.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard concurs, predicting “off the charts” growth when the final numbers are in for the third quarter.

Richard Moody, chief economist for Regions Financial Corporation, predicts annualized growth in real (inflation-adjusted) GDP coming in at more than 30 percent.

There are other factors favoring President Donald Trump’s reelection, including nearly a century’s worth of election-year data. Since 1928, whenever the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has risen in the three months prior to a presidential election, the incumbent has won 90 percent of the time.

Three months before November 3, that index was at 3,271. Presently, it is trading at close to 3,500, a gain of more than 6.5 percent.

There’s the Gallup Poll that reported that “a clear majority of registered voters (56%) [are] saying they are better off now than they were four years ago.” This compares to Obama’s 45 percent in 2012, George Bush’s 47 percent in 2004, and Ronald Reagan’s 44 percent in 1984.

Speaking of Ronald Reagan, it is helpful to remember that in mid-October 1980, he was trailing Jimmy Carter in the polls by as much as eight points. And yet, when the dust settled, Reagan beat Carter in a landslide with 50.7 percent of the popular vote and 489 electoral college votes (to Carter’s 49), carrying 44 states (to Carter’s six, plus D.C.).

It’s also worth remembering that Reagan, then 69, was the oldest person ever to be elected to a first term until Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 at the age of 70.

Court Slaps D.C. Mayor for Discriminating Against Church

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, October 11, 2020: 

After months of attempting to persuade D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (shown) to grant them an exception to her draconian virus-inspired restrictions on in-person meetings by churches, the Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) filed suit in September.

The church said, “Meeting in-person as one congregation is a deeply-held conviction for which there is no substitute. Our simple desire is to have a community and one that meets together safely.… CHBC has applied for multiple waivers to the policy but District officials refused to provide CHBC with a waiver beyond 100 persons as part of a mass gathering.”

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden sided with the church, issuing a temporary injunction against Bowser’s attempts to enforce her edicts. He wrote:

Keep reading…

Federal Criminal Investigation of Joe Biden’s Ukrainian Influence-peddling Opened

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 8, 2020:

Former Vice President Joe Biden is under an active criminal investigation into his role in the Ukraine influence-peddling scandal, following the release of additional documents concerning Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election. Paul Sperry, a Washington-based investigative journalist and Hoover Institution media fellow, tweeted on Tuesday:

House investigators have now joined the Senate in requesting the FBI open a criminal investigation into possible foreign influence-peddling & embezzlement involving Joe Biden and his younger brother and son based on suspicious financial activities flagged by US Treasury.

The next day Sperry confirmed that the investigation is active:

Joe Biden is the subject of an active federal criminal investigation into his role in the counterintelligence investigation directed @ the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, including the former vice president’s activities in Ukraine. Ukrainian witnesses are cooperating.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said “the report raises serious questions that former Vice President Biden needs to answer. There are simply too many potential conflicts of interest, counterintelligence and extortion threats to ignore.”

The Jewish Voice wrote back in July that the investigation was likely, stemming from complaints of Biden’s interference in Ukrainian internal affairs by a former Ukrainian prosecutor:

Biden, the presumptive Democratic president nominee, has been formally listed in a criminal case for the crime of firing Ukraine’s former prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in exchange for dropping an investigation into his son, Hunter.

Chanel Rion of One America News Network (OAN) confirmed the report:

Shokin formally called for an investigation into his firing back in February of 2020, claiming the Ukrainian government at the time released Shokin of his post in exchange for one billion dollars in loan guarantees promised by Biden.

 

But at the time Shokin called for this case back in February, the courts named one of the defendants as an “unnamed American,” an individual widely understood to be Joe Biden, Obama’s Ukraine point man. But Biden was never formally named.

 

Now the courts have ruled it is improper to conceal Biden’s name and that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with an investigation.

Biden bragged about his interference in Ukrainian internal affairs during a public conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in 2018:

I remember going over and convincing our team, others, to convince that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from [former Ukrainian President] Poroshenko and from [former Ukrainian Prime Minister] Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

 

So they said they had — they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to — or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said — I said, call him. [Laughter] I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.

Well, son of a b-tch. [Laughter] He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

There was enough evidence in the Congressional reports released in September on Hunter Biden’s corrupt dealings while his father was Vice President that Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) referred Hunter to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation.

From that report it was learned than Hunter benefited far beyond the $50,000 monthly salary he was being paid for being on the board of Burisma. Relationships developed from his presence resulted in him making “millions of dollars,” according to the report.

Worse than that, “The committees also said they obtained records from the U.S. Treasury Department that ‘show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals’.… In addition the younger Biden had ‘business associations with … Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and the People’s Liberation Army.… Those associations resulted in millions of dollars of cash flow.”

It is reasonable to expect that there will be much more evidence of the senior Biden’s influence-peddling and political interference in the 1,000 pages just released to John Durham, the federal prosecutor, on Wednesday.

That investigation will likely extend into President Trump’s second term if he wins in November. If he doesn’t, expect this investigation to disappear into the ether under a Biden administration.

Report: Manufacturing, Service Sectors Expanding

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 5, 2020:  

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reports that the economy is continuing its remarkable and robust recovery from the COVID-inspired and government-mandated shutdown. ISM is the world’s oldest and largest supply-management association and has been tracking world economies for more than 100 years.

According to Timothy Fiore, chair of ISM’s manufacturing survey committee, economic activity in the manufacturing sector “grew in September, with the overall economy notching a fifth consecutive month of growth” following the shutdown. Specifically,

Demand expanded, with the New Orders Index growing at strong levels;

 

The Customers’ Inventories Index [is] at its lowest figure since June 2010, a level considered positive for future production; and

 

The Backlog of Orders Index [is] expanding at a faster rate than the prior two months.

“Five of the top six industries,” said Fiore, are “continuing to expand output strongly.” “Business is booming,” wrote a representative in the Transportation Equipment sector. “Overall business conditions are improving,” said a member in Fabricated Metal Products. From the Machinery sector, a member added, “Our customer order intake is increasing significantly for deliveries in the first half of 2021. [Our] outlook is generally positive.”

A manager in Electrical Equipment, Appliances, and Components said, “Demand remains high [with a] strong finish to 2020 projected, with an even stronger 2021 fiscal year [anticipated].” And from a respondent in Plastics and Rubber Products: “Business has continued to be strong, with September following August. October is also shaping up to be a good sales month as well.”

Manufacturing, however, is overshadowed in size by the Services sector of the U.S. economy, which is enjoying a similar revival. The overall Services Index for September clocked in at 57.8 (any number above 50 indicates an expanding economy), growing for the fourth month in a row. ISM’s Supplier Deliveries Index is at 54.9, its New Orders Index is at 61.5, while its Business Activity Index scored 63 in September.

Sixteen of the 17 Services sectors reported growth in September. Most impressively, ISM’s Employment Index came in at 51.8, the first time since March that it registered expansion in hiring in the Services sector.

From the Construction sector, a member wrote, “Work orders are improving rapidly. Lack of available labor is having a significant impact on our ability to fulfill orders.” In Mining, a member responded, “Activity level is holding steady, with [an] optimistic outlook.” From Retail Trade: “Business has come back solidly since mid-July, with a strong August and September. And from Wholesale Trade: “Very good sales trend in home improvement product sales.”

All of this comes on top of the Labor Department’s report on Friday showing the economy adding 770,000 new workers in September, dropping the unemployment rate below eight percent for the first time since March. Accordingly, unemployment numbers are dropping, reflecting increasing consumer confidence. In fact, the Consumer Confidence Index, published by the Commerce Department, leapt by the biggest amount in 17 years — from 86.3 in August to 101.8 in September.

And the best is yet to come. Forecasters are expecting the Commerce Department to report later this month that growth in the third quarter will come in at well over 30 percent on an annualized basis, just in time for the election on November 3.

So strong is the rebound that expectations are that it will continue well into the New Year and beyond. With additional tax and regulatory cuts promised by the president in his second term, it looks like clear sailing ahead for the U.S. economy.

Trump Declares National Emergency as China Monopolizes Rare Earth Elements

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 1, 2020:  

The day after debating Joe Biden in his bid for another four years in the White House, President Trump declared a national emergency. It concerns the virtual monopoly the communists running China have gained over an obscure but vitally necessary group of 17 minerals called “rare earth elements,” or REEs. They are used to build a wide range of products, both consumer and military.

There is no known substitute for them, and China controls most of their production.

In his Executive Order, the president said, “I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, find that a strong America cannot be dependent on imports from foreign adversaries for the critical minerals that are increasingly necessary to maintain our economic and military strength in the 21st century.”

It is now national policy “to reduce the Nation’s vulnerability to disruptions in the supply of critical minerals.” He warned: “Our dependence on one country, the People’s Republic of China (China), for multiple critical minerals is particularly concerning. The United States now imports 80 percent of its rare earth elements directly from China, with portions of the remainder indirectly sourced from China through other countries.”

His executive order detailed how important just three of the REEs are to the United States:

The United States also disproportionately depends on foreign sources for barite. The United States imports over 75 percent of the barite it consumes, and over 50 percent of its barite imports come from China. Barite is of critical importance to the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) industry, which is vital to the energy independence of the United States.

 

The United States depends on foreign sources for 100 percent of its gallium, with China producing around 95 percent of the global supply. Gallium-based semiconductors are indispensable for cellphones, blue and violet light-emitting diodes (LEDs), diode lasers, and fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications.

 

Like for gallium, the United States is 100 percent reliant on imports for graphite, which is used to make advanced batteries for cellphones, laptops, and hybrid and electric cars. China produces over 60 percent of the world’s graphite and almost all of the world’s production of high-purity graphite needed for rechargeable batteries.

He declared the nation’s dependence upon China a national emergency:

I therefore determine that our Nation’s undue reliance on critical minerals, in processed or unprocessed form, from foreign adversaries constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.

 

I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

That threat has been building for years and has been largely ignored by previous administrations. According to China scholar and co-founder of the strategic consulting firm Horizon Advisory Emily de La Bruyere, China has taken advantage of the COVID virus crisis to promote its takeover of world production of those 17 critical elements.

She explained:

The PRC [People’s Republic of China] has been focused on rare earths for as long as [the industry] has existed. Chinese sources explicitly treat rare earths as tools of power — and coercion — in today’s globalized industrial system.

 

This orientation rests on China’s military-civil fusion strategy: Beijing weaponizes integration into open, cooperative global systems for offensive ends.

In a White House press release issued Wednesday, the president said, “Though these minerals are indispensable to our country, we presently lack the capacity to produce them in processed form in the quantities we need.… We must reduce our vulnerability to adverse foreign government action.… Our national security, foreign policy, and economy require a consistent supply of each of these minerals.”

Accordingly, his executive order urges department heads of all executive offices to start reducing regulatory requirements and licensing restrictions on American mining companies. In addition, the order is offering federal financial assistance to those companies to expand local production and processing of those FEEs.

The United States is late to the game, said Joe Bryan, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. In the race for control of FEEs, “the United States is getting lapped” by the communists running China. President Trump’s order is needed now more than ever.

Governor Newsom: No Fracking Permits by 2024, No Gas-powered Vehicles by 2035

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 29, 2020:

When California Governor Gavin Newsom mandated last week that all new cars and passenger trucks be zero-emission by 2035, he paid homage to the climate-change gods:

This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change. For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe.

 

Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse — and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.

It’s a mandate, to be backed up by supportive legislation from compliant politicians in Sacramento, which means that it’s something free people would not choose to do on their own.

And yet, in the same breath, Newsom admitted that the free market is already heading that way. He just wants to speed things along:

By the time the new rule goes into effect, zero-emission vehicles will almost certainly be cheaper and better than the traditional fossil fuel powered cars. The upfront cost of electric vehicles are projected to reach parity with conventional vehicles in just a matter of years, and the cost of owning the car — both in maintenance and how much it costs to power the car mile for mile — is far less than a fossil fuel burning vehicle.

Missing from his announcement was the admission that there is no such thing as a zero-emission vehicle. Assuming that those vehicles will largely be battery-powered, just where does the energy come from to charge those batteries? Largely from power plants using fossil fuels, i.e., coal and natural gas.

Newsom also asked the California legislature to end the issuance of new fracking permits by 2024.

When President Trump was asked about Newsom’s latest attempt to force his citizens to comply with his climate-change agenda, the president said, “It just sounds very extreme to me. I don’t know how you do it.… I don’t see this happening elsewhere. I don’t think we should be taking any steps to get rid of fossil fuels … and, by the way, there should be consumer choice for all automobiles, and that includes electric automobiles.”

The mandates predictably will cost California thousands of energy industry-related jobs. Said Rock Ziernan, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, “Today’s announcement to curb in-state production of energy will put thousands of workers … onto the state’s [already] overloaded unemployment program, drive up energy costs when consumers can least afford it.”

He added:

Instead of creating our own local energy, each year California relies more and more upon foreign oil, which isn’t produced with our strong environmental protections, nor does it generate desperately needed local and state tax revenue.

 

At a time when Californians pay more for energy while experiencing manmade “green outs”, it doesn’t make sense to hurt consumers, our economy, and our environment by banning California production.

Mark Green, writing for the American Petroleum Institute (API), said, “It’s difficult to see how the mandate won’t make life in California — already among the most expensive in the nation — more costly, hurting people least able to afford it.

Western States Petroleum Association President Catherine Reheis-Boyd added:

Big ideas are only better if they are affordable for us all and can be backed by science, data and needed infrastructure. There are many questions about all of those concerns in the Governor’s orders.

 

Dismantling our oil and natural gas industry right now means betting everything on alternative energy resources that we don’t have in place and a supporting infrastructure that’s far from being at the scale we need.

AFPM President and CEO Chet Thompson added:

Pursuing this goal would be among the most inefficient, unpopular, and regressive methods to reduce carbon emissions.

 

Forced electrification would deprive consumers of choice for popular vehicles fueled by affordable, reliable, and readily available gasoline and diesel. It also ignores that today’s vehicles are 99 percent cleaner than they were just a few decades ago and continue to get cleaner every year.

If it’s such a good idea, why the mandates? President Trump is right: “It just sounds very extreme to me. I don’t know how you do it.”

By government force, Mr. President.

Trump: Barrett To Be Confirmed “Easily”; Dems: We’ll Obstruct, Delay, Interfere

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 28, 2020: 

President Trump said on Sunday that he believes the Senate confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, will go well, and promptly: “I think we could have it done easily before the election.”

Senate Democrats, on the other hand, under pressure from extremists in the party, recognize her confirmation as a threat to their socialist achievements: abortion on demand, government healthcare for all, affirmation of the LGBT agenda, and so forth.

Barrett confirmed their worst suspicions. She praised her mentor, former Justice Antonin Scalia: “His judicial philosophy is mine, too: a judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”

That’s the crux of the matter: The founders would, if alive, be appalled at how their original intentions have been twisted out of all recognition by the liberal majorities on the Supreme Court. Barrett wants to give them their voice back.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to Politico, “has his caucus on board with an effort to disrupt and obstruct [the process], using a wide range of procedural tools to try to make it difficult.”

Some of the weapons of disruption available to Senate Democrats include invoking a member’s right to delay action. Absent a unanimous consent agreement, exceedingly unlikely, a Senator who gets recognized by the chair can speak at length. Any senator can force roll-call votes on even the most mundane and routine motions to recess or to adjourn as such motions take precedence.

They could raise “points of order” by making an objection to a particular procedure, and demand a roll-call vote on the most frivolous issues. As Politico opined, “One could imagine an extremely large number of procedural questions” that will be raised to stall, delay, and obstruct the proceedings.

There’s the “two-hour rule,” which can be used to end the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings after two hours, pushing the continuation into the next day.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives could also get in on the act by passing legislation that would require immediate Senate attention, such as impeachment or passing a War Powers resolution.

And, once the committee has confirmed Barrett, the final vote can be delayed by a week.

There are costs to be borne by the Democrats, but their fear of the Supreme Court upending their socialist victories seems to be overriding otherwise common sense. To wit, at least half a dozen Democrat senators are in danger of losing their seats in November, and requiring them to stay in Washington during such delayed hearings would keep them from defending their seats back home.

There’s also the fallout from the Kavanaugh hearings that cost, according to Democrat sources, the party at least two seats in the November 2018 midterm elections. The outrage over the last-minute introduction of spurious “evidence” of Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct while in high school and college remains a sour taste in the mouths of voters.

And California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s attack on Barrett over her Roman Catholic faith during her confirmation hearings for the Seventh Circuit two years ago also is a bitter reminder of what happens when the vitriol exceeds a certain level.

What many fear is another “last minute surprise” such as the one that was sprung on Kavanaugh by Feinstein — the letter from Christine Blasey Ford accusing him of sexual misconduct — even though Ford’s testimony couldn’t withstand the light of day.

Every one of these moves puts the Democratic Party at further risk. When it’s over, Barrett is likely to be confirmed. The question is just how much damage will Democrats be willing to inflict upon themselves in the eyes of the public in the process?

The Internet: Gutenberg Press 2.0

In a remarkable coalescence of time and circumstance, Michael Hart typed the Declaration of Independence into his computer on July 4th, 1971, Independence Day, and launched Project Gutenberg,

http://www.gutenberg.org/    Project Gutenberg

the world’s largest non-profit digital library available on the Internet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/business/michael-hart-a-pioneer-of-e-books-dies-at-64.html?_r=3&pagewanted=2   the world’s largest digital library

On his way home from a fireworks display, Hart stopped in at a grocery store and was given a copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed on parchment. He typed the text into his computer, intending to send it as an email to his friends on Arpanet. A colleague persuaded him that his message would cause the system to crash and so Hart merely posted a note that the full text could be downloaded instead. And thus, according to the obituary noting his passing on September 6th, 2011 in the New York Times, “Project Gutenberg was born.”

http://www.gutenberg.org/   Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg, with more than 38,000 free eBooks available online, represents Hart’s goal to “encourage the creation and distribution of e-books to help break down the bars of ignorance and illiteracy.” Even in its infancy Hart saw the potential, according to the Times, of “overturning all established power structures.” (emphasis added)

It is doubtful that Hart in 1971 had any idea of how the growth of the Internet would impact the world, just as the son of a cloth merchant in the small German town of Mainz, Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg   Gutenberg

would have any idea of how his invention of the moveable-type printing press in 1436 would impact his world. Not only is the Gutenberg press responsible for the printing revolution that spread across Europe and the world, it had enormous impact in the flowering of the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. It was responsible for the formation of the basis for the modern market economy, the development and spread of the concept of national sovereignty, and the revolution leading to the Declaration of Independence and the establishment of the American republic.

Gutenberg’s first project was the printing of 180 copies of the Bible, each of which sold for much less than a handwritten Bible which could take a single scribe more than a year to complete. Within six years there were 1000 copies in print.

http://thedailybell.com/2645/Martin-Luther   there were 1000 copies in print

As his printing press was copied and spread throughout the continent,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_spread_of_the_printing_press   spread    through the continent

by the year 1500 one thousand printing presses were in operation and had already produced more than eight million books. By 1600 that number had grown more than twenty-fold to between 150 and 200 million. And the discovery and development of sea routes West (Christopher Columbus, 1492) and East (Vasco da Gama, 1498) greatly expanded the use of his printing press. By 1620 the impact of the Gutenberg press caused English philosopher Francis Bacon to remark that it “has changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world.” In America, Mark Twain wrote:

What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced to this source, but we are bound to bring him homage…for the bad that this colossal invention has brought about is overshadowed a thousand times by the good with which mankind has been favored.

The press enabled friends of Martin Luther to distribute copies of his “95 Theses” across Germany within two weeks, all across Europe within two months, and within the year into France, England and Italy.

The challenge of the Reformation to the existing establishment led to The Thirty Years’ War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years’_War   Thirty Years’ War

which ended with the signing of a series of peace treaties summarized as the Peace of Westphalia, establishing vital concepts now taken for granted: sovereignty of states, right to self-determination, equality between states and the principle of non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westphalian_sovereignty  vital concepts

John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion was propelled by the Gutenberg miracle so that by 1560 the Scottish parliament had repudiated the Pope’s authority and approved in its stead the Protestant Confession of Faith. The Scottish Reformation reached America and influenced the American Revolution. Calvin’s influence was so great that Leopold von Ranke,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_von_Ranke  Leopold von Ranke

one of the profoundest scholars of the times, concluded that “John Calvin was the virtual founder of America.”

Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)   Common Sense

rode not only the revolutionary discontent of the colonies but the increasingly common printing press to become, according to historian Gordon S. Wood, “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era.” First published anonymously in January, 1776, the 48-page booklet sold 120,000 copies in its first three months, 500,000 in its first year, and went through twenty-five editions in its first year alone. George Trevelyan, author of History of the American Revolution, said,

It would be difficult to name any human composition which has had an effect at once so instant, so extended and so lasting…It was pirated, parodied and imitated, and translated into the language of every country where the new republic had well-wishers. It worked nothing short of miracles and turned Tories into Whigs.

And so, from the development of movable type in 1436 to the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in 1455, to the explosive duplication of Luther’s 95 Theses beginning in 1518, to the Scottish immigration to America in the 1600s, to the Peace of Westphalia in 1668, to the bursting forth of “Common Sense” in January 1776, to the Declaration of Independence, one can trace the impact that the Gutenberg Press had on political, social and religious institutions in just over three hundred years.

But it took just three years from the start of the commercialization of the internet in 1995 (the year the first sale on Echo Bay – later to become EBay – was completed)

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/    first sale on Echo Bay

that the political power of the Internet as the “alternative media” began to be felt. Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff had been investigating the relationship between Monica Lewinsky

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewinsky_scandal#Denial_and_subsequent_admission    Monica Lewinsky

and then-President Bill Clinton for nearly a year, and his story was about to be published on Saturday morning, January 17th, 1998. After listening to one of the taped conversations between Lewinsky and a friend, Isikoff’s editors decided to spike the story. Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Drudge_Report    The Drudge Report

an online news aggregator, learned of the decision to withhold the story, and ran his exposé with the headline: “Newsweek Kills Story on White House Intern: 23-Year-Old Sex Relationship with President,”

http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2002/01/17/20020117_175502_ml.htm   ran his expose

which instantly, profoundly and permanently transformed the Internet into an alternative to the mainstream media. By Sunday morning, so many individuals were seeking more information from Drudge’s website that it couldn’t handle all the traffic.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1998/clinton_scandal/50031.stm   couldn’t handle all the traffic.

According to BBC News, “This may be the first time that a story of such consequence developed on the Internet. Love him or hate him, Matt Drudge’s report on the Clinton scandal is the most visible sign to date of the changing nature of journalism.”

The Presidential campaign of 2008 is considered to be the first “Internet election”

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/The-Internet-and-the-2008-Election.aspx   internet election

with candidates using the Internet to promote their positions. PewInternet noted that “a record-breaking 46% of Americans used the Internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views, and mobilize others…[and] 6% of Americans made political contributions online, compared with 2% who did that during the entire 2004 campaign.” One of those enjoying the Internet’s capability to raise campaign funds was Presidential candidate Ron Paul whose “money bomb” raised a record $4.3 million in a single day, followed by another $4.4 million raised just a few days later.

The Internet had a significant role in the retirement of Dan Rather from CBS in 2005. In 1988 Rather interviewed six former servicemen, each of whom had witnessed horrible acts during their time in Vietnam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Rather    interviewed

Two of them said that they had killed civilians and each talked about the impact the war had on their personal lives, including periods of depression, unemployment, drug use, and homelessness. Unfortunately for Rather, authors B. G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley, in doing research for their book Stolen Valor

http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Valor-Vietnam-Generation-History/dp/096670360X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316710624&sr=1-1   Stolen Valor

obtained the service records of all six of those interviewed by Rather and discovered that only one of them had actually been stationed in Vietnam, and that he had only served as an equipment repairer. Bloggers on the Internet had a field day.

http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=421    had a field day

And then in 2004 Rather reported on a series of memos he had obtained about President George W. Bush’s service with the Texas Air National Guard. The memos found their way onto the Internet and were declared by experts to be forgeries. The mainstream media reluctantly printed the story of the forgeries, forcing CBS initially to defend Rather’s report. Two weeks later CBS retracted the story. In 2005 Rather left CBS after being relegated to a corner office with few responsibilities.

The internet’s video-sharing website, YouTube, has more than one billion videos in its online library

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/computers/4458-the-power-of-the-internet    more than one billion

but none more damaging to the credibility of one of the establishment’s favorite institutions, The Federal Reserve System, than the confrontation between Congressman Alan Grayson and Fed spokesman Elizabeth Coleman. In five minutes and 26 seconds,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXlxBeAvsB8&feature=player_embedded   In five minutes and 26 seconds

on May 5th, 2009, Coleman stuttered and stammered and deflected and finally wilted under Grayson’s barrage of questions about the Fed’s off-book balance sheet activity. Her lack of preparation and inability to answer the simplest of questions has been viewed by more than four million people, doing irreparable damage to the prestige of the Fed. As noted by Anthony Wile

http://thedailybell.com/2024/Is-Anyone-Minding-the-Store-at-the-Federal-Reserve.html   noted by

“It is one of the single most astonishing moments (or minutes) ever manifested or preserved in this already amazing digital era.” Wile wrote:

During the questioning of Coleman, Grayson asks her over and over if there is a formal accounting available for the trillions in off-book balance sheet activity for the Fed. He asks patiently, and he repeats the question many times. Coleman stutters, makes statements that are obviously evasive and finally all but admits that she actually has no authority even to examine the Fed’s off-balance sheet activities. She admits this in a frazzled manner, but only after losing her way so badly that she has to ask Grayson to repeat the question (which he has already asked about ten times).

The whistle-blower website Wikileaks.org has proven the power of exposure as a disinfectant, especially in its leaking of the Kroll Report,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Moi    Kroll Report

an intelligence report commissioned by the Kenyan government in 2004. For political reasons the government sat on the report until Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, published the report on the Internet. Interviewed on TED TV by Chris Anderson, Assange said

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/computers/4458-the-power-of-the-internet    Interviewed by

This report…became a dead albatross around [the president’s] neck.

Anderson: And…word of the report leaked into Kenya, not from the official media, but indirectly [via the Internet]. And in your opinion, it actually shifted the election?

Assange: Yes. This became front page [news] and was then printed in all the surrounding countries of Kenya, in Tanzania and South Africa…

It ran for 20 nights straight on Kenya TV [and] shifted the vote by 10 percent…which changed the result of the election.

Anderson: So your leak really substantially changed the world?

Assange: Yes.

The Internet revolution is reaching into the highest levels of the education cartel which for years has required students to pay enormous sums for the privilege of attending prestigious schools to obtain a piece of paper that many are finding of questionable value in today’s marketplace. In 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) started putting all of its courses’ lecture notes, videos and exams online where students could access them for free. In the ten years that followed nearly 100 million students have taken advantage of the opportunity. Recently, MIT introduced “MITx” which grants, for a small fee, a certificate of accomplishment to students proving their mastery of the subject. This innovation challenges at its very core the paradigm that only a wealthy few should have access to such learning. As Kevin Carey noted in The Chronicle of Higher Education,

http://chronicle.com/article/MIT-Mints-a-Valuable-New-Form/130410/  noted

“It is simply untenable [for traditional universities] to claim global leadership in educating a planet of seven billion people when you hoard your educational offerings for a few thousand fortunates living together on a small patch of land.”

The internet is also allowing citizens to stand up against corrupt politicians and police behaving badly. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) discovered how his attempts to keep people attending his town halls from taping them using cellphones failed miserably and led him to change his policy.

http://teapartyeconomist.com/2012/01/19/bonehead-congressman-who-confiscated-cell-phones-backs-off-too-late/  failed miserably

Said a chastened Chabot, “We will be modifying our policy to allow individual citizens to bring cameras to our town hall events…”

Simon Glik was walking by the Boston Common on October 1st, 2007 when he observed what he perceived to be an excessive use of force by three police officers in subduing a suspected drug offender. He used his cell phone to take pictures of the event and was arrested. He sued and courts ruled in his favor: “We conclude…that Glik was exercising clearly-established First Amendment rights in filming the officers in a public place, and that his clearly-established Fourth Amendment rights were violated by his arrest without probable cause.”

http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/10828-courts-and-dept-of-justice-agree-videotaping-police-is-ok  ruled in his favor

Last September the pro-life film “180” was released with expectations that it could change the abortion debate significantly. Producer Ray Comfort said that “knowledge is very, very powerful and when we have knowledge…it can change our whole perspective.” Comfort expressed the hope that the video would go viral. In the first 24 hours of its release on YouTube, there were 30,000 visits. By October 9th, there were 638,000 visits. As of February 15th, 2012, there have been more than 2,350,000 visits.

Attempts to pre-empt the Internet or to restrict it are failing. When Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corporation, purchased MySpace for $580 million in July 2005, he intended on inserting Fox News political content into the site and thus help to redirect the political conversation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Space#Politics   inserting Fox News studio content

At the time, MySpace was the most popular social networking site in the United States, while Facebook, its primary competitor lagged behind. However, by April, 2008, Facebook surpassed MySpace based on monthly unique visitors, and Murdoch’s attempt to get political with his acquisition failed. With three-quarters of its workforce laid off, Murdoch sold what was left of the company in June 2011 for $35 million, taking a loss of half a billion dollars.

When it appeared that federal attempts to threaten the internet such as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Internet Privacy Act) were going to be enacted, users rebelled mightily and loudly. Millions of people signed online petitions, overloaded circuits with phone calls, and generally stood in the gap and said NO. As Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group said:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9223531/Twitter_Facebook_fuel_SOPA_protests?taxonomyId=70  said

“This is huge. [Social networks] pretty much drove the mass objections and stopped this bill from becoming law. I think we are actually seeing the beginning of a huge change in the political process worldwide that [has] social networks at the core.”

Even before the cratering of those efforts to regulate and emasculate the internet, clever individuals had been hard at work developing “work-arounds,” just in case. A Firefox add-on called, appropriately “de-SOPA” allows searchers to get past any sites that might have been censored by using IP addresses instead of web addresses.

http://lifehacker.com/5869665/desopa-for-firefox-bypasses-sopa-dns-blocking  deSOPA

And if that doesn’t work, there’s Pirate Bay Dancing

http://boingboing.net/2011/11/30/mafiaafire-teams-latest-brow.html Pirate Bay Dancing

that also was developed in anticipation of such attempts at regulation.

Telex is another of many innovations designed to foil attempts to restrict the flow of truth by Internet. The developer’s software turns the Internet itself into an anti-censorship device. Software that is installed on a computer connects with the Internet service provider that has Telex stations attached to the wires carrying the digital traffic. “So,” says the developer, “if you’re in China, and you want access to a banned site like YouTube, you just type YouTube.com into your computer, and the Telex station will see that connection, and disguise it as something innocuous. You might be watching YouTube, but to a censor, it will just seem as if you’re visiting a harmless, non-blocked site.” If governments pursue Internet censorship, they will find that the free-market innovators have gotten there first, in plenty of time to make such efforts not only fruitless but obsolete.

Because of the Internet, false renditions of history are exposed. Half-truths are uncovered. Statist assumptions are questioned. George Orwell’s Memory Hole has been illuminated. History, it is said, is written by the survivors. With more than 300 million websites feeding the Internet and billions of people seeking the truth, when this history is written it will proclaim the free unhindered flow of information via the Internet as the victor. With this new information, the final choice lies, where it always has, in the hands of an informed electorate. Writing to William Charles Jarvis on September 28th, 1820, Thomas Jefferson said:

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

All that the Gutenberg press did then, and all that the Internet is doing now, is informing the peoples’ discretion. The rest is up to them.

 

 

 

 

 

Gun Classes for Teachers Taking Off Following NRA’s Suggestion

On the heels of the suggestion by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that schools should have armed protection to prevent another Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, numerous groups have announced training programs for teachers, some for free.  In Ohio, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation is providing teachers with free firearms training. Foundation spokesman Jim Reese said:

Keep reading…

The Background Check System is Working Well – at Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Citizens Without Due Process

Does Cruz’s Iowa Victory Signal the End of Ethanol Subsidies?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 3, 2016:  

Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s surprise upset victory over Donald Trump on Monday night just might have set in place a movement to cut and eventually end ethanol subsidies within the next few years. Not only did Cruz push against Trump’s support of those subsidies (Trump played to the enormous vested interests in Iowa favoring continuing them), Cruz also pushed against Iowa’s Governor Terry Branstad. In January Branstad spoke at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit:

Keep reading…

Irony and Hypocrisy on Full Public Display Following Massacre at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs Last Week

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on

Freelance Journalist’s Efforts May Bring Down Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Obama’s Executive Orders Threaten Separation of Powers

Senate Votes to Continue Sugar Subsidies

This article originally appeared at The New American on May 23rd, 2013:

 

 

 

 

“Kafkaesque” Ruling from FCC Fines AT&T $100 Million

Tracking Freedom’s Decline in America

Santa Clara’s Field of Dreams

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 21, 2014:

Ray Kinsella, meet the Mayor of Santa Clara, California, home of the brand new Levi’s Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers are scheduled to play their home games starting this fall. And where, it is predicted, their fans will come to watch.

Whether enough of them will is an open question.

Already nearly a third of the 49ers’ season ticket holders have given them up, partly because price increases have put them out of their reach and partly because Santa Clara is at least an hour south of San Francisco, one way. On game day that could double, or more.

But never fear, those who built the stadium from the dreams of the dreamers and spending someone else’s money are positively ecstatic that it will all work. At the stadium’s opening ceremonies last Thursday, everyone with a finger in the pot was invited to attend. The beer was flowing, the confetti was flying, enthusiastic self-congratulations were on every lip. Said Jed York, the team’s CEO, to those as yet invisible but greatly needed fans: “You deserve to have the best stadium in the world. And now you have it!” On cue, 49ers’ President Paraag Marathe added: “You can feel the difference [here compared to Candlestick] and you know the fans are going to feel the difference.”

The event was jaw-dropping. Mike Rosenberg, an observer with the San Jose Mercury News who attended the gala event, saw

hundreds of workers wearing white “I built Levi’s Stadium” shirts and hard hats march[ing] down two red-carpeted giant staircases. Thousands of white, red, and gold pieces of confetti burst into the air at the end of the event, as dozens of cheerleaders waved their pom-poms and guests rushed to take selfies in front of a giant screen on stage.

One could hear echoes from Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.” The math requires that most of the seats in the 70,000-seat stadium be filled with fans coming to see every game. If they don’t, this could be one of the biggest municipal fiscal implosions in the history of professional sports.

The 49ers tried to cut a deal to stay in San Francisco, offering to demolish the old and aging Candlestick Park and build a new one on its parking lot. But owner squabbles and parking and traffic problems got in the way, and in 2006 the team’s new owners announced they were moving south, to Santa Clara, a high-end but very tiny (116,000 population) town. The wining and dining of the city council began in earnest and before long Measure J was offered to the taxpayers in the form of free money: no increase in taxes, no liabilities assumed, no hidden charges. Trust us.

Here’s some of the language that the taxpayers bought into:

No use of City General or Enterprise funds for construction; no new taxes for residents for stadium; private party pays all construction cost overruns; no City/Agency obligation for stadium operation/maintenance…

25,000 taxpayers showed up to vote on that fateful day in June 2010, with 15,000 of them voting to shackle everyone to the harness of a potentially impossible burden of debt.

In less than a year after passage, the language of the proposal, now law, had been breached, both frontally and behind the scenes. Frontally, the city gave up $114 million in cash and incentives to meet the 49ers’ demands. Behind the scenes, they set up a stadium “authority” granting it the power to borrow up to another $330 million, just in case it was needed.

Goldman Sachs was the lead lender in the deal, offering to raise $850 million to help build the new stadium and taking its usual ten percent commission off the top. The NFL ponied up another $200 million on the condition that it be paid back from gate revenues, leased seat revenues, beer and trinket sales, parking lot fees, and an increase in hotel room taxes. Levi Strauss paid $200 million (over ten years) to name the stadium. Nowhere could this writer find any financial contribution to the stadium by the 49ers. The only thing found was a promise that any cost overruns would be covered by the team.

Ignoring for the moment that most sports stadia built over the last twenty years in this country have never paid for themselves (a single exception: New Jersey’s Meadowlands Stadium), the assumptions underlying a successful experience in Santa Clara are unnerving:

  • The 49ers must continue to have winning seasons,
  • The fans must continue to be willing to pay to see them win,
  • Interest rates must stay low, and
  • New infrastructure costs and their maintenance expenses must be low.

If any of these assumptions go awry, then the Levi’s Stadium could indeed make history of another kind: we built it, but no one showed. For instance, if interest rates rise just a little, refinancing of the debt incurred (thanks to Goldman), which is required by 2015, could put debt service out of reach of the city’s stadium authority.

There are also the unmentionables that were omitted from the initial calculation: the subsidies. Judith Long, an urban planning specialist who teaches at Harvard University, noted that

Governments pay far more to participate in the development of major league sports facilities than is commonly understood due to the routine omission of public subsidies for land and infrastructure and the ongoing costs of operations, capital improvements, municipal services, and foregone property taxes.

 

Adjusting for these omissions increases the average public subsidy by $50 million….

Adding $50 million to the $114 million already spent, plus the $330 million borrowing authority not yet tapped by the city’s stadium authority, would bring the total cost to Santa Clara taxpayers awfully close to $500 million. And this in a town whose annual budget is less than $140 million a year.

A couple of writers at Bloomberg said that Santa Clara “is taking what may be the largest per-capita risk for any municipal sports facility [in the country.].” Roger Noll agrees. Noll, a retired economics professor from nearby Stanford University, looked at the same numbers and called this deal a dog:

The thing that makes this such a dog is that Santa Clara first of all is a small town. There’s some amount of financial hit the city could probably pay [if things don’t pan out as projected], but the probability that it’s going to exceed that is certainly not zero.

This is how a college professor, trying to be polite, says that the city has made a helluva mistake.

From a pure population viewpoint, Santa Clara and its environs, including the county, number about 1.7 million. San Francisco, on the other hand, sports 17 million. Even drawing a circle around Santa Clara, say 100 miles, from which the 49ers might draw its fans, leads to an inevitable mathematical conclusion: the city council has bitten off way more than it can chew.

There will be a period of “normalization,” after which it will be clear whether all the assumptions made will pan out: winning team, traffic congestion, maintenance expenses, interest rates, etc. Give it three years, maybe five, and the taxpayers will know all they need to know about their experiment with their Field of Dreams.

—————————-

Sources:

Time: Football: A Waste of Taxpayers’ Money

The New American: NFL Extends Its Winning Streak on Tax Breaks

Levi’s Stadium

San Jose Mercury News: 49ers open Levi’s Stadium with showstopping NFL ceremony

San Francisco 49ers

Bloomberg: Santa Clara Borrows Against Odds of Gain With 49ers

Full Count: The Real Cost of Public Funding for Major League Sports Facilities

Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara County, California

San Francisco

Field of Dreams

Entrepreneur magazine: Why the Motto “If You Build It, They Will Come” is BS

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann