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[Markets] Obama's CIA Asked Foreign Intel Agencies To Spy On Trump Campaign Obama's CIA Asked Foreign Intel Agencies To Spy On Trump Campaign

Authored by Robert Chernin via RealClear Wire,

The revelation that the U.S. intelligence community, under the Obama administration, sought the assistance of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance to surveil Donald Trump’s associates before the 2016 election is a chilling reminder of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to protect its interests and challenge its adversaries. (The Five Eyes countries are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.) This bombshell, reported by a team of independent journalists, exposes a dark chapter in American political history, where foreign intelligence services were reportedly mobilized against a presidential candidate.

The alleged operation against Trump and his associates, which predates the official start of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, is a stark example of political weaponization of intelligence. The involvement of foreign allies in surveilling American citizens under the pretext of national security raises serious questions about the integrity of our democratic processes and the autonomy of our nation’s intelligence operations.

The narrative that has been pushed for years, that the investigation into Trump’s campaign began with an Australian tip about a boastful Trump aide, now appears to be a cover for a more extensive and coordinated effort to undermine Trump. If reports are accurate, British intelligence began targeting Trump on behalf of American intelligence agencies as early as 2015, long before the official narrative claims.

The implications of this are profound. It suggests an unprecedented level of collusion between U.S. intelligence agencies and their foreign counterparts to influence the outcome of an American presidential election. The use of foreign intelligence to circumvent American laws and surveillance limitations represents a grave threat to our nation’s sovereignty and the principles of democracy.

The fact that this operation was reportedly initiated at the behest of high-ranking officials within the Obama administration, including CIA Director John Brennan, only adds to the severity of the situation. Brennan’s alleged identification of Trump associates for surveillance by the Five Eyes alliance, and the directive to “bump” or make contact with them, illustrates a deliberate strategy to entangle the Trump campaign in a web of suspicion and intrigue.

Moreover, the reported involvement of foreign intelligence in crafting the Russia collusion narrative not only delegitimizes the subsequent investigation but also highlights the willingness of certain elements within the U.S. government to exploit international partnerships for domestic political gain. This revelation demands a thorough and transparent examination to ensure that such abuses of power are brought to light and severely punished to discourage them from being repeated.

As more details emerge, it is imperative that the American public demand accountability from those who orchestrated and executed this operation. The sanctity of our electoral process and the trust in our intelligence agencies are at stake. We must not allow the politicization of intelligence to go unchecked, nor can we tolerate the involvement of foreign powers in our democratic processes.

Robert Chernin is chairman of the American Center for Education and Knowledge. He is a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser, and political confidant, and has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential levels.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 23:45
Published:3/1/2024 12:10:04 AM
[Politics] BREAKING: Judge holds Catherine Herridge in civil contempt for not divulging source Reporter Catherine Herridge has just been held in contempt by an Obama-nominated federal judge and is being ordered to pay a fine of $800 per day until she breaks. That fine, however, . . . Published:2/29/2024 7:16:16 PM
[Security] Obama’s CIA Asked Foreign Intel Agencies to Spy on Trump Campaign

The revelation that the U.S. intelligence community, under the Obama administration, sought the assistance of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance to surveil Donald Trump’s associates before the... Read More

The post Obama’s CIA Asked Foreign Intel Agencies to Spy on Trump Campaign appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:2/28/2024 8:54:35 PM
[Markets] Supreme Court Seems Divided Over ATF Bump Stock Regulation Supreme Court Seems Divided Over ATF Bump Stock Regulation

Authored by Sam Dorman via The Epoch Times,

The Supreme Court seemed divided during oral argument on Feb. 28 over whether it would uphold the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulation prohibiting ownership of bump stocks.

That regulation came after the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas where a gunman used bump stock-equipped firearms. It reversed years of ATF interpretations allowing non-mechanical bump stocks, or those without a spring.

In doing so, ATF reinterpreted a post-Prohibition law that banned the use of machine guns. Unlike other gun rights cases, the attorneys in this case—Garland v. Cargill—didn’t talk much about the Second Amendment. Rather, they sought to convince the justices that the phrases “automatically” and “single function of the trigger” within federal law either did or didn’t apply to bump stocks.

Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote an opinion from 2022 upholding gun rights, peppered the Biden administration with questions focused on teasing out the differences in operating a firearm with or without a bump stock.

Much of the debate focused on whether bump stocks allowed a single trigger pull to initiate a process by which bullets were rapidly released.

Jonathan Mitchell, the New Civil Liberties Alliance attorney arguing for Michael Cargill, repeatedly emphasized that bump stocks only allowed one bullet per trigger pull. He also argued that firing with bump stocks didn’t meet the statutory language of “single function of the trigger” due to grammatical reasons and the fact that bump stock users had to apply pressure to maintain accelerated fire.

Principal Deputy Solicitor General Brian Fletcher and Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson suggested instead that bump stocks allowed users to initiate a process with the bump stock after a single pull of the trigger.

“Once the shooter presses forward to fire the first shot, the bump stock uses the gun’s recoil energy to create a continuous back-and-forth cycle that fires hundreds of shots per minute,” Mr. Fletcher said.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett told Mr. Fletcher that she was “entirely sympathetic to your argument,” stating that “this is functioning like a machinegun would.” She questioned, however, why Congress didn’t pass legislation to cover bump stocks “more clearly.”

The case arose from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which ruled in favor of Mr. Cargill while noting that the legal rule of lenity required they rule against the government when the meaning of a statute was unclear.

NCLA President Mark Chenoweth told The Epoch Times he thought the Court would rule in favor of Mr. Cargill given its textualist composition.

“We have a majority of justices who are textualists, and they‘ll look at the text, and they’ll look at the way that the gun functions, and I think that they will decide that the bump stock is on the outside of the machinegun ban.”

The National Firearms Act

Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh raised concerns about how ATF’s 2018 regulation would apply to people who later owned bump stocks. But most of the questioning focused on how bump stocks operate, the wording of the National Firearms Act, and Congress’ intent in passing the law in 1934.

Story continues below advertisement

The three liberal justices seemed skeptical of Mr. Mitchell’s arguments—particularly Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown-Jackson, who suggested he was asserting an irrelevant distinction for the federal law involved.

Both questioned whether the overall thrust of the 1934 law was intended to prevent use of devices like bump stocks.

“As far as I can tell, the sort of common usage of the word ‘function’ is not its operational design. It’s not the mechanics of the thing. It is what it achieves, what it’s being used for,” Justice Jackson told Mr. Mitchell.

She added that “weapons with bump stocks have triggers that function in the same way. They—through a single, right, pull of the trigger or touch of the trigger, you achieve the same result of automatic fire.”

Mr. Mitchell countered that “a single discharge of the trigger produces only one shot. It doesn’t produce a round of automatic fire. The only way you get to repeated shots with a bump stock equipped rifle is for the shooter himself to continually undertake manual action by thrusting the forestock of the rifle forward with his non-shooting hand.

Part of the confusion surrounding the statute involves ATF’s contention that “single function of the trigger” under federal law included a “single pull of the trigger.” Both Justice Neil Gorsuch and Mr. Mitchell cast doubt on that interpretation, noting that “function” was a transitive verb.

“People don’t function things,” Justice Gorsuch said. “They may pull things, they may throw things, but they don’t function things.”

Justice Kagan suggested that Mr. Mitchell’s interpretation lacked common sense.

“I view myself as a good textualist,” she said. “I think that that’s the way we should think about statutes. It’s by reading them.”

“But, you know, textualism is not inconsistent with common sense,” she added. “Like, at some point, you have to apply a little bit of common sense to the way you read a statute and understand that what this statute comprehends is a weapon that fires a multitude of shots with a single human action.”

“Whether it’s a continuous pressure on a ... conventional machinegun, holding the trigger, or a continuous pressure on one of these devices on the barrel ... I can’t understand how anybody could think that those two things should be treated differently.

Justice Alito asked Mr. Mitchell whether his case was one where “the literal language of the statute had to control even though it’s pretty hard to think that Congress actually meant that to apply in certain situations.”

Potential Congressional Action

Justice Gorsuch indicated he thought Congressional action would have been preferable to an ATF rule interpreting prior legislation. He also asked about former Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) criticizing the use of regulation to ban bump stocks.

Justice Kavanaugh noted that bump stocks didn’t exist around the time of the 1934 law’s passage. He went on to ask Mr. Fletcher: “What’s your explanation, maybe common-sense explanation or some other explanation, for why, when this does become an issue, the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration, Senator Feinstein, all say no?”

Outside of the Court, Mr. Cargill told The Epoch Times he thought Congress had authority over the issue but didn’t think it should pass a law regulating bump stocks.

The Epoch Times asked both he and Mr. Mark Chenoweth whether bump stocks were protected by the Second Amendment. “I don’t know,” Mr. Cargill said.

Mr. Chenoweth similarly said he didn’t know about the Second Amendment question and would have to look at how history did or didn’t support bump stocks’ protection under the Constitution.

“We look at this as an abuse of administrative power case, not as a Second Amendment case,” he said. “If Congress had passed this law, we wouldn’t be challenging it.”

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/28/2024 - 21:40
Published:2/28/2024 8:54:35 PM
[] Biden Checks Into Walter Reed for a Physical as Obama's Aides Publicly Panic About His Age and "Mumbly" Speech We have to talk about Pop-Pop. Former aides who worked directly with then-Vice President Joe Biden in the Obama administration have called current fears over his age "a very real issue" -- with some alarmed at how he has become... Published:2/28/2024 1:09:55 PM
[Markets] Sen. Kennedy: Biden Is "A Cancer On The American Dream" Sen. Kennedy: Biden Is "A Cancer On The American Dream"

Authored by Steve Watson via Modernity.news,

Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy slammed Joe Biden’s economic policies Monday, declaring that inflation under Biden is a “cancer on the American Dream,” and saying Biden is about as popular as chlamydia.

Appearing on Hannity, Kennedy and the Fox News host noted how every problem under Biden is being blamed on something or someone else by his Administration.

“Blame big oil, blame big business. The border isn’t his fault, nothing’s his fault,” Hannity said, adding “Everything is Trump’s fault. The border’s safe and secure, but now it’s the Republicans’ fault…Will they get away with this shifting of blame?”

Kennedy responded, “I did not think President Obama was a very good president but compared to present Biden, President Obama just shoplifted.”

“President Biden stole the whole bank. President Biden’s inflation not only hurts people, but it hurts business’,” Kennedy continued, adding “Shrinkflation exists when a business needs to raise its prices because costs have gone up as a result of inflation, but it’s scared to raise its prices because it’s scared people won’t buy its product. So it saves money by making a smaller product.”

“Unless you were homeschooled by a day drinker, you can see that shrinkflation and inflation are just different sides of the same coin,” Kennedy further posited, adding “Any economist, any reputable economist who didn’t get his degree from Costco will tell you that President Biden’s economic policies caused both inflation and shrinkflation.”

“So much of the attention right now is on present Biden’s age,” Kennedy continued, adding “It’s true that it takes longer than a trip to Jupiter for him to walk across the stage. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that his economic policies have been, almost every time, reliably and dependably wrong.”

“His inflation is a cancer on the American dream. And the American people have figured it out and that’s why if you believe the polls, the president is polling right up there with chlamydia,” Kennedy said, slamming Biden.

Watch:

As we highlighted a fortnight ago, Biden had the gall to post a 30 second Super Bowl PSA complaining about the size of ice cream packaging due to shrinkflation, as if it’s someone else’s fault:

*  *  *

Your support is crucial in helping us defeat mass censorship. Please consider donating via Locals or check out our unique merch. Follow us on X @ModernityNews.

Tyler Durden Tue, 02/27/2024 - 16:20
Published:2/27/2024 3:26:16 PM
[Markets] The Only Rx For Drug Shortages Is Competition The Only Rx For Drug Shortages Is Competition

Authored by Thomas McArdle via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Price controls lead to shortages. This axiom is as dependable and scientifically absolute as the law of gravity. And it is the case even when the controls are elaborately disguised.

A staff member sorts through drugs while filling a prescription at the Clay-Battelle Community Health Center's pharmacy in Blacksville, W. Va., on March 21, 2017. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

So, when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reacts to the shortages suffered in the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns of vital hospital drugs, including those used in chemotherapy like Methotrexate and fludarabine, by launching a probe of distribution companies, it’s like the Federal Aviation Administration searching for ways of blaming the ground for getting in the way of the jetliner that crashed.

To FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, the solution of shortages is a government investigation that “scrutinizes the practices of opaque drug middlemen.” Presumably, the distribution firms under scrutiny will be Cardinal Health, Cencora, and McKesson, while the collective hospital purchasing firms in the federal viewfinder are likely HealthTrust, Premier, and Vizient.

Demand for these life-saving drugs has been on the increase; no one disputes that. In a market with minimum state interference, such demand would be taken advantage of either by existing producers increasing capacity or by new firms entering the fray to deliver what the buyers are ready and willing to purchase. But when you deny manufacturers the ability to make profits in taking advantage of demand, you make delivery of new supply difficult if not impossible.

Treating health care as a right is a deceptive description of what is actually the removal of the profit motive from the production and delivery of things and services of value. When you do that in any field, you exit the reality of human nature. What, after all, is more valuable than medicines and treatments that maintain your health? And the scientists, physicians, and businesspeople who have the expertise, or even genius, to invent, mass produce, and deliver medical care to patients must expect to be compensated based on market value—which, in bad news for the envious, ends up being many, many multiples of the minimum wage—otherwise they will devote their abilities elsewhere.

In other words, like anything else for sale, health care must be opened to customer scrutiny. When it comes to generic drugs, sadly, owing to the laws on the books, it’s like walking down the aisle at the supermarket and finding all the boxes of cereal or jars of jam identical, except for the price differences. No labels, no brand names, and the brand’s accompanying reputations based on past experience buying them. The healthcare consume—be it a patient, a pharmacist or a hospital—can only make a blind, ignorant-by-design comparison.

The Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 vastly expanded the production and accessibility of generic medicines by shrinking regulatory delays in the approval of generic versions of patented drugs. Prices of generics plummeted and their use skyrocketed. The main driver was lots of competition among generics.

But sometimes various factors can reduce that competition for certain of the products; narrow profit margins, for instance, can lead to a manufacturer getting out, and—human nature being what it is—the companies remaining finding little reason not to raise their prices, sometimes with the power of a near-monopoly. New suppliers, in the meantime, face massive regulatory hurdles; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a backlog of thousands of applications from generic manufacturers awaiting approval, and the wait time is years. The FDA jealously and outdatedly guards its approval power even though there is no evidence that the drug supply in the United States today is any less safe than that of other developed countries. Approval in those countries should be trusted here when it comes to often vitally needed imported generics, a move that would make more drugs available, lower their prices, and improve the health of Americans.

When in 2022 a labor shortage at Teva Pharmaceuticals caused delay in production of the  generic Adderall, a treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s harsh production quotas imposed on rival manufacturers prevented them from coming to the rescue and making up for loss of supply.

Brookings Institution Center on Health Policy senior fellow Marta Wonsinska notes, “The price pressure on manufacturers is tremendous and certain types of drugs, especially generic sterile injectables, are particularly vulnerable.” This artificial environment in which buyers are forced to choose based only on price, not weighing it alongside quality, is not a true market.

The Obama administration reacted to less serious prescription drug shortages by issuing a directive on Halloween of 2011 that, among other things, ordered the FDA to work with the Department of Justice on any findings of shortages being used for stockpiling and price increases. As with the FTC today, government is always seeking a villain and refusing to gaze into the mirror.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) was long ago complaining of a “gray market” taking advantage of shortages, “with the potential for price gouging” by secondary wholesalers, causing “serious concerns for patient safety.” It was also long ago recommended that PhRMA set out to forestall more government regulation by advocating an industry-?wide policy, by brand-name and generic manufacturers alike, to require purchase only from the manufacturers themselves and sales made only directly to pharmacies and hospitals, thus eliminating the effect on prices of a gray market distribution chain. Pharmacies and hospitals would require documents recording a drug’s distribution route. The industry’s motivation for embracing this idea is the higher revenues for manufacturers that would result, and the increased safety of the drug supply chain.

Returning to the matter of human nature, setting a high price for medicines when the situation allows is not always as crass and greedy as it may sound. About 90 percent of proposed medicines that go through testing ultimately fail to be offered to health providers and patients because they are found to be unsafe or not to affect a cure or a proper treatment. Thus, the cost between invention and sale to the public comes in on average at billions of dollars for each drug. That means that these evil, greedy pharmaceutical companies recoup their astronomical investments from the one in ten medicines that do make it to shelves.

When you turn these firms into villains, declare their profits to be obscene, shake them down and force them to cut their revenues, all you are doing is making them again and again not devote the money needed to bring new cures to patients. And this remains the truth in spite of the fact of their being bad actors—gougers, con artists, and the like—to be found in the field of medicine, as they are to be found in any and every other walk of life.

As the Manhattan Institute’s Tim Rice warns, “With too many barriers to recouping their investments, pharma companies will stop taking risks, and innovation will suffer.”

Having government treat health care as a right renders that care a scarce commodity. The way for the maximum number of patients to receive the highest quality of care,  including highly expensive, innovative drugs, is to accept the real world of profit and price as necessary mechanisms of distribution in a free society, and keep the heavy, self-serving hand of government out as much as possible.

Tyler Durden Mon, 02/26/2024 - 20:20
Published:2/26/2024 7:38:05 PM
[Markets] Average Americans Are Snuffing Out 'Expert' Gaslighters Average Americans Are Snuffing Out 'Expert' Gaslighters

Authored by Rod Thompson via PJMedia.com,

There is not a ton of positive news for America or Americans, but here’s one so let’s take it: Two recent data points suggest that the dangerously high influence of “experts” on average Americans’ thinking is collapsing.

It cannot come fast enough.

First point, timed right at Presidents Day last week, the Presidential Greatness Project, a survey of historians and scholars, published its latest ranking of U.S. presidents. And, as to be expected, it's a forehead-slapper of reality disconnect.

Coming in this year at No. 14 among all-time presidents is the bumbling, muttering tool of psychopath leftists and corruptocrats everywhere, Joe Biden. This ranking hilariously puts him in the top one-third of all American presidents. The list places Donald Trump dead last, the very worst president in all of American history. Again, hilariously predictable. Of course, these are the same “experts” who in 2015 ranked Bill Clinton and Woodrow Wilson above Ronald Reagan, and put Jimmy Carter ahead of Calvin Coolidge.

Any semi-objective reading of Biden’s and Trump’s first terms by measuring how well Americans fared and how well the world fared finds Trump’s demonstrably better in almost every category, from the economy to wage growth to containment of Russia to peace in the Middle East. 

But here’s the thing: Normal Americans are realizing this.

The tell, of course, is who these “experts” are. The self-own is in their own words: “Respondents included current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, which is the foremost organization of social science experts in presidential politics…” Social science is well understood to be the most leftist of the academic categories. They are the hackiest of the leftist academia.

The authors of the survey further self-own when they write in the Los Angeles Times: “Trump’s radical departure from political, institutional and legal norms has affected knowledgeable assessments not just of him but also of Biden and several other presidents.” Those “norms” are exactly what most Americans have had enough of. Yet the same bubble-dwellers saw no radical departure when Barack Obama promised and pursued the “fundamental transformation” of America. This mindset has resulted in Republicans moving further down the presidential success sweepstakes as Democrats move up.

Their lack of self-awareness in their social science academia seclusion is almost breathtaking.

The second data point, however, completely reinforces how cloistered these people are from actual Americans. It just doesn’t require a college degree to rate Biden and Trump if you literally lived through their presidencies.

Rasmussen found that Americans — those struggling through the Biden presidency in real time — say that Biden has been a dismal failure in his first term. All of the institutional “expert” help and hardened media defense perimeters in the world could not hide Biden’s growing senility and staff incompetence. Nearly 60 percent said that Biden’s presidency has been a failure, including 40 percent who called his presidency to date a “complete failure,” while another 18% called it “mostly unsuccessful.”

A paltry nine percent graded Biden “a complete success,” presumably the most diehard partisans, pretty much the same as the comical experts in the Presidential Greatness Project.

However, Rasmussen found that Americans generally approved of Trump’s first term — particularly in light of what has followed — with 56 percent labeling Trump’s first term a success, including 22 percent saying it was a “complete success.” Even some Democrats agreed, with 28 percent calling Trump’s presidency a success — including 11 percent who called it a “complete success.”

Granted, these are only two data points. But combining them suggests that Americans are turning away from the propaganda poison of the anti-American “expert” class and relying more on their own good senses. This is a good and necessary step forward.

Tyler Durden Mon, 02/26/2024 - 07:20
Published:2/26/2024 6:43:38 AM
[Politics] Michelle Obama: September Savior or ‘Suicide Mission’?

Just how desperate are the Democrats to get Biden off the ballot?

The post Michelle Obama: September Savior or ‘Suicide Mission’? appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:2/25/2024 11:07:24 PM
[Entertainment] You'll Never Guess These Stars' Real Names Malia Obama Say her name, say her name. Nope, not that one.  In the Sundance Institute's "Meet the Artist" spotlight video, Malia Obama revealed she has ditched her famous moniker, instead going by the stage...
Published:2/24/2024 4:55:52 AM
[Markets] Alexei Navalny's Death And Curious Well-Timed Coincidences Alexei Navalny's Death And Curious Well-Timed Coincidences

Authored by Edward Curtin via Off-Guardian.org,

There is propaganda by commission and propaganda by omission, the former often serve to conceal the latter. Timing is crucial.

That the U.S. President Joseph Biden, his British, NATO, Israeli allies, and their corporate media mouthpieces are in need of a major propaganda victory is obvious. They are losing the war in Ukraine, have been condemned throughout the world for the genocide in Gaza, and are ruling over a disintegrating empire. Biden and Netanyahu’s political lives are at serious risk. And so they have just rolled out a full-court propaganda press effort aimed at covering their losses. It should be crystal clear to anyone who can use logic to see the timing involved.

The great French scholar of propaganda and technology, Jacques Ellul, wrote years ago that propaganda “is not the touch of a magic wand. It is based on slow constant impregnation. It creates convictions and compliance through imperceptible influences that are effective only by continuous repetition.”

However, once this groundwork has been laid over time – as it has been with the continuous anti-Russia Putin hysteria and support for Israel’s Zionist policies – it can be intensely ratcheted up in exigent circumstances when the long-serving narrative is in jeopardy, such as it is now.

Once the death in a Russian prison of the Western backed Russian dissident Alexei Navalny was announced on Friday, February 16, 2024, it was immediately followed by a cascade of anti-Russia pronouncements whose aim was to not only continue the demonization of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin but to serve other purposes as well.

With one fell stroke, the calm history lesson about Ukraine, Russia, and U.S./NATO that Putin had just delivered to the world via Tucker Carlson disappeared down the memory hole, as Biden, without any evidence, declared that “Putin and his thugs” and Putin’s “brutality” are responsible for Navalny’s death.

This, of course, is a replay of the false charges sans evidence waged against Russia for an earlier poisoning of Navalny, the Skripals (since disappeared by the British government), Alexander Litvinenko, et al.

Shortly after, Zelensky, performing his puppet routine while coincidently appearing at the Munich Security Conference – on Saturday, February 17, a day after Navalny’s death was announced – with Navalny’s then widow, said it was “obvious” that Putin had killed Navalny, while Biden pushed for more money for Ukraine’s doomed war against Russia, a U.S./NATO war created by the U.S. from the start with its aggressive military push to Russia’s borders and its 2015 Ukrainian coup d’état that ousted the pro-Russian leader, setting the stage for Russia’s incursion into Ukraine in February 2022. That Putin told Carlson these obvious facts, while slyly mentioning to Carlson that he understood that Carlson once tried to join the CIA, is now for most people in the West history lost behind the headlines, if it ever were anything more.

All this happened while Russia pushed through Ukraine’s defenses and took the city of Avdeevka, which had long been contested. With each day that passes, it is obvious that Biden’s Ukraine war strategy is that of a desperate politician on the ropes and that Putin has completely outfoxed the American desperados and their NATO European stooges. The MSM prefer to suggest otherwise, that hope is just around the corner if we send billions more dollars and weapons, and if with the help of our British friends, we take the war further into Russian territory and risk a nuclear confrontation. But we are in a propaganda war for the minds of the Western public.

Much of the rest of the world has seen through the risible MSM headlines used to delude the public that Russia is the great threat to world peace and stability. Like the previous Russia-gate lies, this ongoing one, coinciding with Navalny’s death, is timed to divert the public’s attention from key ongoing matters.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, Julian Assange will have his final appeal in a British court to prevent his extradition to the United States. Biden wants this journalist prosecuted for doing the job that the MSM have failed to do: Exposing the facts about the ruthless U.S. killing machine. But the bruhaha about Navalny has rendered the absolute hypocrisy over the torture and imprisonment of the innocent and brave Assange secondary and “inconsequential.” As intended, this has now become an afterthought as the mainstream media’s Russia-obsessed headlines flow uninterruptedly. The New York Times, the key propaganda organ for the Biden administration and the deep-state, reports just today that “The gravity of President Putin’s threats is now dawning on Europe” and “Navalny’s Widow Promises to Carry on Opposition Leader’s Work.”  These are typical Times’ rants.  As is its Magazine article headline from yesterday “Marilyn Robinson [the writer and friend of Barack Obama] Considers Biden a Gift of God.”

I don’t think the Palestinians would agree, but then too, their slaughter by Israel with U.S. assistance – more than 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza alone have been killed so far – and the coming IDF invasion of Rafah, have also been pushed to the back pages or to nowhere by the propaganda about Navalny and Russia.

I won’t mention the Russian election in mid-March that might possibly factor into all this since we all will be dutifully and timely told that the evil killer Putin is a dictator, ignorant, ruthless – add your own adjectives – and is no doubt trying to rig the fair-and-square U.S. November presidential election – for someone, just as he did in 2016.

Nor mention The NY Times article of February 17 by David Sanger and Julian Barnes that the “U.S Fears Russia Might Put a Nuclear Weapon in Space.”

Everyone knows that the Russians are coming to get us, as they always have. They probably killed JFK, right?

It’s easy to follow along as this propaganda eruption circles the Internet like painted ponies on a carousel. There will be no time to stop and think, to pause; to ask what the hell is going on? The ponies will dip and bob and make you dizzy.

For more corroboration of these matters, read the political analyst Gilbert Doctorow’s astute piece on how the Turkish broadcaster TRT World refused to post the interview that they did with him. Doctorow claims British intelligence killed Navalny. For some reason this should not be broached, according to TRT.

Whether Doctorow is right or not, only a very dimwitted person would think that Putin would have Navalny killed. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing so. Yet the MSM and their government overlords consider most people very stupid and so are trying to blitz them with obvious propaganda through commission and omission.

We have heard this story before.

*  *  *

Edward Curtin is an independent writer whose work has appeared widely over many years. His website is edwardcurtin.com and his new book is Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies.

Tyler Durden Fri, 02/23/2024 - 23:25
Published:2/23/2024 10:52:46 PM
[2020 Election] The DOJ has imprisoned the man who can bring down Biden and Obama

  The depth of the corruption in this administration is utterly mind boggling. The fate of the country is on the line. David Weiss, the US Attorney from Delaware, who ...

The post The DOJ has imprisoned the man who can bring down Biden and Obama appeared first on Flopping Aces.

Published:2/23/2024 1:13:32 PM
[In the Courts] Appellate Court Blows Up Obama Moratorium On Coal Leasing

by Nick Pope at CDN -

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday to essentially axe an Obama-era rule that prohibited new leasing for coal mining on federal lands. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned a previous 2022 court decision that allowed for the reinstatement of an Obama-era regulation that banned new coal …

Click to read the rest HERE-> Appellate Court Blows Up Obama Moratorium On Coal Leasing first posted at Conservative Daily News

Published:2/22/2024 3:17:13 PM
[] The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition One of the Biden/Obama Junta's greatest errors has been the destruction of American petroleum production, and the concurrent significant increase in the price of petroleum on the world markets. Of course that is their plan...to drive up the price... Published:2/22/2024 10:09:03 AM
[Markets] 'Sue And Settle' Looks To Some Like Crony Democracy... And Under Biden's Lawfaring Eco-Politics, It's Back 'Sue And Settle' Looks To Some Like Crony Democracy... And Under Biden's Lawfaring Eco-Politics, It's Back

Authored by James Varney via RealClear Wire,

When the Biden administration announced in 2022 that it would remove some 4 million acres of federal land in Western states from oil and gas exploration, environmental groups hailed the decision as a milestone in their fight against global warming.

“With the oil and gas industry bent on despoiling American’s public lands and fueling the climate crisis, this is a critical opportunity for the Biden administration to chart a new path toward clean energy and independence from fossil fuels,” said Jeremy Nichols, a director with WildEarth Guardians.

But Nichols could just as easily have slapped himself on the back: The administration’s move was part of a private settlement of a lawsuit filed by WildEarth and others over the objections of energy consortiums, whose efforts to intervene in the matter were dismissed.

A similar thing happened last August, when the Biden administration announced it had agreed to exclude 6 million acres of the energy-rich Gulf of Mexico seabed from exploration to settle a lawsuit brought by environmental groups, including the Sierra Club - an announcement that triggered operational delays for the industry and expensive litigation to overturn.

Administration critics say these moves reflect the resurgence of a practice embraced by the Obama administration and rejected during Donald Trump’s presidency: “sue and settle.” The tactic is simple: An advocacy group sues a federal agency for failing to enforce laws or regulations. Agency officials and the plaintiffs then come to a private agreement and that deal is ratified by the courts via a binding consent decree.

The practice is common at every level of government. New York City, for example, is obligated to house and feed tens of thousands of migrants because of a consent decree it entered into to settle a 1979 lawsuit brought by advocates for the homeless. But it is most prevalent in the environmental field, where well-funded groups commonly sue the Environmental Protection Agency or the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of the Interior alleging failure to enforce provisions of the Clean Air Act or regulations regarding federal leases for energy production.

Although such consent decrees do not have the force of laws passed by Congress or regulations issued by the government that have gone through formal review and allow for public comment, they set the rules of the road. Critics say it has allowed government to advance policy goals that cannot be achieved through normal democratic channels. 

“It’s not really an adversarial lawsuit, and with a settlement agreement and consent decree the case is never really over,” said Dave Tryon, director of litigation at the free-market Buckeye Institute. “The EPA is anxious to increase its power and control; it’s always happy to expand that.”

The legal maneuver represents, according to this view, a return to the proverbial smoked-filled backrooms of politics. Huddled privately, without input from citizens or businesses that may be adversely affected by the decisions – let alone the public at large – lawsuits that often involve parties more simpatico than adversarial are settled. The plaintiffs and defendants are familiar to one another from years in the environmental lobbying and litigation world – and because of the “revolving door” between environmental groups and Democratic administrations. These like-minded players approach the issue seeking similar goals, a process that has only intensified with the Biden administration and leftist environmental groups sharing the belief that global warming is an existential threat.

“Overall, it’s harkening back to the bad old days – they do this in order to avoid scrutiny and bypass the regulatory process,” said Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, an advocacy arm of the Institute for Energy Research. “It’s a way to advance an agenda that may be rejected by voters. It’s a nefarious practice in which the agency and the environmental groups get what they want.”

Sue-and-settle is part of an even broader effort known as “lawfare,” in which political parties and advocacy groups seek to achieve their goals not through elections or legislation but in the courts. This encompasses everything from President Trump’s “stop the steal” efforts to overturn the 2020 election through the courts to myriad efforts by Democrats, whose lawfare campaigns have ranged from getting courts to confiscate Trump’s businesses and charge him criminally to removing him from the 2024 ballot.

Settlements are common in the courts. They are often welcomed as a way to avoid costly, protracted litigation while also clearing dockets. But sue-and-settle is different, said Paul Seby, an attorney with GreenbergTraurig in Denver, who often represents the state of North Dakota in energy matters.

“Those deals where someone is asked to enforce mandatory actions – that’s all legit and there’s no real beef with that,” Seby said. “The problem is when there is footsie going on between an agency of the Department of Justice and the non-governmental organization. That’s where they make a deal in a consent decree that says a department must do something more than just comply with some deadline they missed.”

The Western states’ suit, filed in the D.C. federal circuit, is a good example, according to critics. The lawsuit was first filed against the Bureau of Land Management in 2016, alleging insufficient attention had been paid to global warming when approving leases in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. So the BLM and the states agreed to re-do studies under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and, after concluding that the leases complied with the law, the Trump administration-led agency approved the leases again. Environmental groups filed another lawsuit in 2021 and Biden’s BLM settled the case, in effect giving the groups what they wanted.

“You can always do more ‘analysis’ as the environmental groups demand, and the usual remedy is to re-do the analysis,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, another industry consortium that sought to intervene in the case. “But instead of the small things, BLM will agree to reopen the whole resource management. In other words, BLM just agrees to do what the plaintiffs wanted.”

The Trump administration had moved to stop the practice. In 2017, then-EPA administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memo prohibiting the agency from entering into consent decrees with non-governmental actors and also began publicizing any such suit when it was filed. “The era of regulation through litigation is over,” Pruitt declared.

Those policies were rescinded by Biden’s EPA chief Michael Regan, who spent eight years as a vice president with an advocacy group involved in many such suits, the Environmental Defense Fund.

One sign of how the practice has taken off under the Biden administration is the explosion in plaintiffs’ legal fees as part of settlements – meaning taxpayers foot the bill for environmental lawsuits.

In the two years since the Biden administration lifted most of the Pruitt memo restrictions, those fees have jumped to almost $7 million, according to a January report from the fiscal watchdog group OpenTheBooks. That is nearly double the total of Trump’s four years of $3.6 million. It is also more than the $5.8 million in attorney fee payouts for suits brought under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act during Obama’s second term, OpenTheBooks found.

The EPA disputed the characterization that it has radically changed course under Biden. While it acknowledged Regan’s “litigation transparency memorandum revoked and replaced” Pruitt’s October 2017 memo, an EPA spokesperson insisted the agency “has not discontinued or rolled back and practices under Administrator Pruitt’s 2017 directive that the prior Administration had been maintaining.”

EPA has taken steps to enhance public awareness of environmental claims against the Agency and to provide an opportunity for public review and comment on proposed settlement of those claims,” an agency spokesperson said.

But the EPA did not respond to RCI’s interview requests and did not answer questions about how many settlement agreements it may have reached overall with specific plaintiffs. So the exact number of consent decrees signed with them remains uncertain.

The EPA does have a place at its website that lists more than 500 lawsuits against it going back to the Obama administration. That shows that the significantly higher attorneys’ costs under Biden have happened with fewer settlements overall than in Obama’s second term or Trump’s term. A EPA collection of links to consent decrees is not formatted by date, and both congressional committees and attorneys for energy companies believe it is incomplete.

“There’s lawsuits sometimes we don’t know about and there are just so many cases where you would want or need to intervene,” said Sgamma of the Western Energy Alliance.

That intervention can sometimes succeed but it is expensive. In the Gulf of Mexico exploration settlement, a lawsuit filed by the American Petroleum Institute, the state of Louisiana and Chevron managed to overturn the agreement reached between federal agencies and the environmental NGOs. That victory was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the lease sales went through in December - three months after the date initially mandated for them by Congress."

Most of the environmental groups RCI contacted did not respond to questions or an interview request – including the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Environmental Defense Fund. But the National Resources Defense Council defended its courtroom efforts.

These steps and safeguards serve the public interest,” said John Walke, a senior attorney with the NRDC. “They provide the public direct opportunity to influence the scope of federal rules and safeguards. They ensure that agencies administer our laws in ways that achieve what Congress intended.”

Walke also noted the framework of suits and settlements is not new.

“The practice did not stop under the Trump administration, nor did it resume under the Biden administration,” he said. “It is a long-standing, common and unremarkable feature of the federal courts themselves, not unique to federal agencies at all.”

There is an historical irony in that the germ of sue-and-settle tactics came under Richard Nixon when advocacy groups were warning of “agency capture,” meaning the companies that various federal agencies regulate had allegedly come to control the bureaucrats charged with crafting policy. Thus, individual groups were given standing to file lawsuits against the federal government with the idea of empowering those groups that presumably lacked the political and lobbying muscle of big business.

On the environmental front, the policy became widespread during President Obama’s second term, when the EPA was run by Gina McCarthy, who later served as president and CEO of the National Resources Defense Council.

As McCarthy’s move from the EPA to the NRDC indicates, the players reaching the deal are generally familiar to each other. The NRDC and the Center for Biological Diversity, two litigious groups, currently have executives that previously served at the EPA or in the Obama White House in an environmental job.

It’s a tight network of federal appointees and executives of environmental advocacy groups. In addition to Regan, Lisa Garcia, the administrator for the EPA’s Region 2 covering New York, New Jersey and other territory, was with EarthJustice after serving under McCarthy. Matthew Tejada, a senior vice president, and Christy Goldfuss, an executive director, both held positions in the Obama administration, as did Maggie Coulter, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

This cross-pollination between environmental regulatory agencies and the litigious groups also extends to the myriad “environmental law clinics” at law schools across the country.

“Usually, the federal government vigorously defends itself against lawsuits challenging its actions. But not always,” attorney Andrew Grossman, a partner with Baker Hostetler, testified to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government. “Sometimes regulators are only too happy to face collusive lawsuits by friendly ‘foes’ aimed at compelling government action that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve.”

Whether blindsided by regulations the market never saw coming, or handcuffed by the blanket of inactivity a consent decree may throw over an area, the practice of sue-and-settle is a pernicious one, according to its critics.

“The whole thing is bypassing democracy because the litigation delegates power to outside groups,” said Walter Olson, a conservative legal scholar at the Cato Institute. “Because the consent decrees can set the future course of how agencies do business, it means that behind closed doors they are tying the hands of future voters and administrators. That’s not at all how it’s supposed to be.”

In addition, the very nature of the deals, struck between two sides firmly committed to the idea the economy should be pushed toward net zero emissions, reflects what is happening, according to critics. Given that plaintiffs and defendants share the same outlook on global warming and would like to put vast areas off-limits to oil and gas exploration, it is no surprise that is exactly what the settlements accomplish, said Sgamma.

Some believe legislation could reign in global warming lawfare, while empowering voters and taxpayers. House Republicans held at least two hearings on the tactic in 2023, the most recent last December – though critics note that the issue has been a political football at least since the Reagan administration.

In November, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability announced it would investigate the EPA’s “use of secretive ‘sue-and-settle’ practices,” and how the Biden administration is “using sue-and-settle tactics to avoid congressional oversight and implement more burdensome regulations at the bidding of special interests.”

At the end of the year, a handful of Republican lawmakers introduced the “No Regulation Through Litigation” act that would “codify that a federal agency cannot enter into a settlement agreement or consent decree that exceeds the authority of the court,” while also prohibiting the payment of attorneys’ fees in cases that result in such deals.

Despite congressional debate in the House, lawmakers proved reticent about discussing possible solutions to sue-and-settle. RCI reached out to all the Republicans and some Democrats on the committees who heard testimony about the matter last year, and Virginia Rep. Bob Good was the only representative to respond.

“The Obama administration often bypassed Congress, using sue and settle tactics to accomplish what they could not via the legislative process,” Good said. “Biden is continuing that unconstitutional legacy and weaponizing the government against the people.

Similarly, the members of both the American Energy Alliance and the Western Energy Alliance are skittish about angering regulatory agencies and thus declined to discuss the matter.

“The way to solve this is by bringing more people and transparency into the process,” the Buckeye Institute’s Tryon said. “Now, it’s impossible to follow all the lawsuits, and we don’t even know all the things that are happening. With more openness it could be monitored more closely because now people who are afflicted by

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/21/2024 - 22:20
Published:2/21/2024 9:40:43 PM
[Entertainment] Whoopi Goldberg Fiercely Defends Malia Obama's Stage Name Malia Obama, Whoopi Goldberg Whoopi Goldberg is showing her support for Malia Obama. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's oldest daughter raised some eyebrows when it was noted that she is choosing to drop her famous last name...
Published:2/21/2024 7:03:08 PM
[Entertainment] Malia Obama Is Now Going by This Stage Name Malia Obama Malia Obama is voting for a fresh start. As her Hollywood career takes off, Barack and Michelle Obama's oldest daughter has dropped her last name in favor of her middle name, officially going...
Published:2/20/2024 9:17:15 PM
[] The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition It is now axiomatic that the Biden/Obama junta is a collection of pathetic midwits* whose wildly inflated sense of their own intellects is driving their decision making. The only unifying things are their desire for power and their hatred... Published:2/20/2024 10:07:24 AM
[d08dad93-c76f-58aa-ab81-91119ddf405b] South Carolina lawmaker blasts Nikki Haley over stance on Obama refugee resettlement program as governor South Carolina state Rep. Stewart Jones, an ally of former President Trump, ripped Nikki Haley for supporting the Obama administration's refugee resettlement as governor. Published:2/19/2024 3:42:10 PM
[Markets] Who Is The WOAT President? Who Is The WOAT President?

Authored by Tom Rabbe via The Spectator,

I don’t know about you, but I’m all worn out with this GOAT thing.

Every category has a greatest of all time. And while it makes for pregnant discussion, it does get a little exhausting arguing whether Michael Jordan or LeBron James is the GOAT of pro basketball. Whether Tom Brady earns such a monicker, or if the designation should go to Joe Montana or, now, after his Super Bowl LVIII triumph, Patrick Mahomes. And then, a couple of weeks ago, two GOAT football coaches left their jobs on the same day, Nick Saban and Bill Belichick — one voluntarily, the other not — and everything in the media was GOAT, GOAT, GOAT — all GOAT all the time.

As I said … exhausting. 

I think it’s time to give a different category a little exposure — the WOAT (worst of all time).

This is a more restrictive discussion, because we must choose a category in which participants are limited. You could not really acclaim any single major league baseball player as the worst of all time because the pool of qualified candidates numbers in the thousands. You might get away with designating the worst NFL quarterback of all time, but even then, the contenders are legion, some of whom are unknown even to the cognoscenti. For every Ryan Leaf, there might be a truly el-stinko backup QB for the 1947 Chicago Cardinals whose name everybody has forgotten.

No, the category has to be pretty narrow. The Supreme Court might be fertile ground, as the number of justices is limited, but apart from legal scholars, who can name any justices from, say, the 1870s? Vice presidents? Possibly, but it’s difficult to tell which is good or bad, much less the worst, as they don’t do anything to begin with. And besides, it’s impossible to totally obliterate recency bias in that contest (Kamala would win in a landslide). Senators? You’d have a 500-way tie for first place.

On this Presidents Day weekend, as we honor our chief executives of past and present, the only category that makes sense is president of the United States. There are, after all, only 45 of them.

We can eliminate certain presidents who so briefly held office as to be more forgettable than awful. Zachary Taylor was in office for a mere year and a half, which was a lifetime compared to the tenures of William Henry Harrison (he delivered the longest inaugural address in history, only to serve the shortest period of time in office, 31 days) and James Garfield (199 days).

So, the rule is that they must have served one full term to be WOAT-eligible. That eliminates a number of attractive candidates, like Warren Harding, Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur, and John Tyler. It also technically cuts out Andrew Johnson, but he accomplished so much bad in his less-than-one full term that we’re allowing his inclusion.

While it would be plausible simply to list the presidents serving in near proximity to the Civil War and leave it at that, a more expansive and nuanced view of the office is required.

And while he will probably blow away the field once he’s eligible, it seems unfair to include in the list the current president. He has nine months to pad his resumé — and his lead in WOAT-ness — but, as a work in progress, or regress, he gets a pass.

With that in mind, we turn to the nominees:

  • Franklin Pierce: One of a number of pre–Civil War compromisers, Pierce was passionate about adding new slave states to the Union and also signed into law the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which allowed residents of new states to decide whether to allow slavery, and the Fugitive Slave Act. Although from New Hampshire, he was a Jackson Democrat who even proposed at one point annexing Cuba as another slave state. Even while enlisting a pretty good author to write his campaign bio — his buddy Nathaniel Hawthorne — he failed to be renominated by his party for the 1856 race.

  • Jimmy Carter: It says something about one’s presidency when one is called the best ex-president of history. From killer rabbits to Billy Beer, from his “crisis in confidence” speech — known as the malaise speech — to the Iran embassy crisis and the aborted desert rescue, the presidency of the man from Plains was marked with risibility and retreat.

  • Andrew Johnson: On the plus side, while president, the Tennessean did resist fellow Southerners who tried to undo the results of the Civil War. Also, after leaving office, Johnson broke the political mold by showing humility and returning to public life in a lesser capacity (like John Quincy Adams) by serving in the U.S. Senate. But he was a political oaf and made numerous tone-deaf mistakes, showing indifference to the plight of newly emancipated blacks to the point of opposing the 14th Amendment. Plus, he was impeached — which is, contrary to some current spin, still a bad thing — and survived removal by all of one vote. Seems to have been not very popular with his peers.

  • Lyndon B. Johnson: Another of the Johnson boys, Lyndon did as much damage internationally as he did domestically. Ike gave us steadiness; JFK gave us Camelot; LBJ ratcheted up Vietnam to its height. As Bill Murray said in Stripes, when it comes to war, we’re 10 and one, and LBJ is pretty much responsible for the one. He also followed up the New Deal with the Great Society, which nobody thinks is so great anymore.

  • James Buchanan: History has not been kind to James Buchanan, as close to a consensus No. 1 pick as you can get. Think of him as a gopher ball served up to Abraham Lincoln; he is the Ray McLean to Lincoln’s Vince Lombardi, the Mike Shula to Lincoln’s Nick Saban. Even before becoming president in 1856, he was a tergiversator with no equal, supporting measures that perpetuated North–South division, like the Kansas–Nebraska Act, and, in his inaugural address, encouraging the Dred Scott decision. Once in office, his hands went perpetually numb from his sitting on them.

  • Barack Obama: No such list would be complete without the president who vowed to “fundamentally change America” even though most of America pretty much liked America the way it was. As an African American, he also had the opportunity to heal — or at least radically improve — race relations in America but opted to play the same old racial grievance game.

So, who is your WOAT?

Vote in the comments below; write-in candidates are acceptable.

Tyler Durden Mon, 02/19/2024 - 08:07
Published:2/19/2024 7:46:07 AM
[Media] Joy Reid: Black People ‘Literally, Physically, Built this Country,' Obama Our Only Reparation Joy Reid
MSNBC host Joy Reid lamented that black Americans have not received sufficient reparations for "literally, physically" building this country, believing that former President Barack Obama's eight-year tenure is the best they will get.
Published:2/18/2024 10:23:10 PM
[Markets] State Department Threatens Congress Over Censorship Programs State Department Threatens Congress Over Censorship Programs

Authored by Matt Taibbi via Racket News,

A year after its censorship programs were exposed, the Global Engagement Center still insists the public has no right to know how it's spending taxpayer money...

The State Department is so unhappy a newspaper published details about where it’s been spending your taxes, it’s threatened to only show a congressional committee its records in camera until it gets a “better understanding of how the Committee will utilize this sensitive information.” Essentially, Tony Blinken is threatening to take his transparency ball home unless details about what censorship programs he’s sponsoring stop appearing in papers like the Washington Examiner:

The State Department tells Congress, which controls its funding, that it will only disclose where it spent our money “in camera”

A year ago the Examiner published “Disinformation, Inc.”, a series by investigative reporter Gabe Kaminsky describing how the State Department was backing a UK-based agency that creates digital blacklists for disfavored media outlets. Your taxes helped fund the Global Disinformation Index, or GDI, which proudly touts among its services an Orwellian horror called the Dynamic Exclusion List, a digital time-out corner where at least 2,000 websites were put on blast as unsuitable for advertising, “thus disrupting the ad-funded disinformation business model.”

The culprit was the Global Engagement Center, a little-known State Department entity created in Barack Obama’s last year in office and a surprise focus of Twitter Files reporting. The GEC grew out of a counter-terrorism agency called the CSCC and has a mission to “counter” any messaging, foreign or domestic as it turns out, that they see as “undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States.” The GEC-funded GDI rated ten conservative sites as most “risky” and put the Examiner on its “exclusion” list, while its ten sites rated at the “lowest level of disinformation” included Buzzfeed, which famously published the Steele Dossier knowing it contained errors and is now out of business.

In an effort to find out what other ventures GEC was funding — an absurd 36 of 39 2018 contractors were redacted even in an Inspector General’s report — the House Small Business Committee wrote the State Department last June asking for basic information about where the public’s money was being spent. State and GEC stalled until December 3 of last year, when it finally produced a partial list of recipients. Although House Republicans asked for an “unredacted list of all GEC grant recipients and associated award numbers” from 2019 through the current year, the list the Committee received was missing “dozens” of contractors, including some listed on USASpending.com.

The Examiner and Kaminsky subsequently wrote an article slamming GEC for sending “incomplete” records of the censorship investigation, in the process including links to a “snippet” of the GEC’s contractors:

In response to the outrage of this disclosure, the State Department sent its letter threatening in camera sessions until it gets a better “understanding” of how the Committee will use its “sensitive” information. That’s Beltway-ese for “We wouldn’t mind knowing the Examiner’s sources.”

About that: the State letter wrote that the Examiner’s records were “reportedly obtained from the Committee,” and included a footnote and a link to a Kaminsky story, implying that the Examiner reported that it got the records from the Committee. But the paper said nothing about the source of the documents, which as anyone who’s ever covered these types of stories knows, could have come from any number of places. It’s a small but revealing detail about current petulance levels at State.

“Anti-disinformation” work is not exactly hypersonic missile construction. There’s no legitimate reason for it to be kept from the public, especially since it’s increasingly clear its programs target American media companies and American media consumers, seemingly in violation of the State Department’s mission. The requested information is also not classified, making the delays and tantrums more ridiculous.

There are simply too many agencies that have adopted the attitude that the entire federal government is one giant intelligence service, entitled to secret budgeting and an oversight-free existence. They need pushback on this score and have at last started to get it. Thanks in significant part to the Examiner as well as lawsuits by The Federalist, Daily Wireand Consortium News, the latest National Defense Authorization Act included for the first time a provision banning the Pentagon from using “any advertiser for recruitment that uses biased censorship entities like NewsGuard and GDI,” as a congressional spokesperson put it in December. We’ll see how it pans out, but congress withholding money for domestic spy programs is at least a possible solution, now in play.

Perhaps it’s time for the State Department to receive a similar wake-up call. If GEC wants to put conditions on disclosure, can we put conditions on paying taxes? SMH, SMH…

Tyler Durden Sun, 02/18/2024 - 08:10
Published:2/18/2024 7:15:30 AM
[Politics] Opinion: We know how voters feel about Trump and Biden. But how do the experts rank their presidencies?

This Presidents Day, Trumpism is affecting assessments of Obama, Reagan and others. Today's politics have also diminished the likes of Jackson and Wilson.

Published:2/18/2024 6:22:33 AM
[Clips] GOP Now Owns 'Open Border': Van Jones, Coulter Spar over Border Border
On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” CNN Senior Political Commentator and former Obama Adviser Van Jones and columnist and author Ann Coulter sparred over the failed Senate border bill and the U.S. immigration system. After host Bill Maher argued that Democrats have turned the immigration issue around on Republicans, Jones said, “Look, it turns out there is a conspiracy to keep the border open, to flood the country with undocumented people, and it’s led by Donald Trump and the Republican Party, because, down there, open border. They had the opportunity to close it.” Later on, Jones stated, “It is now the Republicans’ open border.” Coulter countered that the Senate bill was a bad bill and Democrats don’t really care about the issue and cited President Joe Biden’s handling of the razor wire put up by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) while arguing that Biden has the power to act now. Maher acknowledged that there are things Biden can do through executive action, but not other things, and argued that the bill at least moved in the right direction, even if it’s not everything Coulter wanted. Later on in the segment, Jones argued that asylum laws are passed by Congress
Published:2/17/2024 4:29:45 PM
[Markets] How Progressive Policies Are Designed For Civilizational Suicide How Progressive Policies Are Designed For Civilizational Suicide

Authored by John D. O'Connor via American Greatness,

We all understand, in the timeless words of the poet Robert Burns, that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Most Americans are accustomed to assessing the various failed initiatives of our country’s leaders as well-intended actions that turned out badly. The Vietnam, Afghan, and Iraq wars, the 2008 financial meltdown, and the COVID pandemic overreaction, all in hindsight, can be viewed as simply the unfolding of human stupidity in the contingency of time.

In accordance, it is understandable that many are inclined to believe that our country’s current serious problems are, once again, merely the failed result of well-intentioned policies.

But what if, we ask, seemingly fumbled programs were intended to be the initial throes of civilizational suicide? What if apparent missteps were actually directed at the purposeful destruction of a prosperous, free, safe, and secure society?

As we examine the policies pushed by the Biden administration progressives regarding climate, national security, crime, and the border, we can rationally conclude that they are being purposely implemented to render our society unsuccessful, not successful, in its traditional aims, causing what could be the ultimate destruction of a thriving, liberal enlightenment society.

Let us begin with escalating climate mandates, now reaching gas stoves and tires, seeking the total elimination of fossil fuels. Because our mainstream media, more out of reflexive conformity than malevolence, constantly amplify climate alarmism, most Americans believe climate programs are designed in good faith to protect us from planetary disasters. Climate subsidies are aimed, they are led to believe, at increasing prosperity through good “green” jobs in emerging “green” industries, all part of the supposedly improved “Bidenomics” economy, however counterintuitive many think them to be.

When Biden, immediately upon assuming office, stopped issuing new drilling leases, canceled the Keystone Pipeline, and issued EPA regulations effectively shutting down multiple power plants in the near future, was he, however idealistically, trying to wean our country off of fossil fuels in favor of clean, “renewable” energy? If so, what could be wrong with that?

If the administration had calculated that lost energy from stifling fossil fuel sources could actually be replaced, these initiatives, even if overly optimistic, could be viewed as well-intended.

However, within the climate camp, it has been well known that fossil fuels, which power 82% of world energy needs, cannot conceivably be replaced by renewable energy to any substantial degree. So, as these policies take effect over the coming years, our hospitals and medical centers, relying on petroleum-based plastic furniture, fixtures, and equipment, energy-dependent stainless-steel implements, and high-power physical plants, will be hit hard. Health care costs will soar, while treatment will decrease to emerging society levels. Our food costs, already rising dramatically, will skyrocket as petroleum fertilizer, now tripling yields, becomes economically impractical. Housing costs, dependent on fuel-powered equipment and concrete and steel needing massive energy inputs to manufacture, will put homeownership out of reach for all but the rich and reduce housing to cramped, third-world levels. And, of course, transportation will become an expensive luxury for both people and products.

But isn’t this all meant well? For trusting, uncritical moderates and traditional liberals, yes. For the progressives pulling the strings, no.

Maurice Strong, the Canadian socialist responsible for steering the United Nations into the bureaucratic sinecures of the climate alarmist IPCC, has stated from the outset that his intention is the diminishment of the wealth of the Western industrialized nations, making them more like less-advantaged societies.

Although they tout their certainty, climate warriors conceal that for decades, their computerized GCMs (General Circulation Models) have overpredicted global warming by 300%. Well, they respond when confronted by the knowledgeable, the increased heat was swallowed by the oceans, or perhaps tamped down by those pesky aerosols. They know better, but gullible, well-intentioned believers do not.

Documents from a key IPCC research center in East Anglia, the GRU, reveal the fear of climate activists that the public will learn of the Medieval Warm Period and that its temperatures were warmer than today without any claimed assistance from carbon dioxide. Progressive climatologists, in essence, know they are pushing a canard.

Progressive border policies need little discussion. When Biden was elected, the country was led to believe that he would aim to control the southern border, but do so in a humane, non-Trump manner, no longer putting children in cages (which in truth and in fact were Obama-inspired).

Of course, to any rational observer, it is now clear that the massive invasion at our southern border was intended by progressives. The “great replacement” theory is not needed to prove this invasion intentional, obvious to any observer. Three-star New York hotels and thousand-dollar-a-month payments to migrants? Free health care? These are among the positive incentives to illegally migrate, revealing intentionality after the maligned Trump proved that the border was substantially controllable.

The intended result of mass migration is not just new Democratic voters; the most obvious result. It is, more significantly, a deliberately overwhelming burden on our social welfare system, heretofore supported sufficiently by taxes on a powerful economy. With more unemployment and more burdens on social welfare, the progress of the aspiring poor, primarily minorities, will be crushed. Our society is headed, as intended by progressives, to socialism, which, as Winston Churchill noted, has “as its greatest virtue the equal sharing of misery.”

Moving to national security, the tinderbox of the Middle East was not caused by Trump’s irrational temperament, which, in hindsight, has proven its deterrent value. Rather, putting Obama’s progressive policies on steroids, Biden both directly sent cash to Iran and also removed oil sanctions, giving the country financial power to fund Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and, of course, Iran’s own depredations on U.S. troops. Biden’s special Iran envoy, the pro-Hamas Rob Malley, and other pro-Iran and pro-Hamas officials influence our Middle East policy to intentionally favor our enemies.

But what could be the progressive motive for Iran’s hegemony in the Middle East? Clearly, it is to cause the demise of “right-wing” leadership in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, all American allies, so that the region will be controlled by anti-American repressive regimes. Interestingly, progressives revealed their anti-democratic, authoritarian roots by supporting Mullahs who kill members of the LGBT community and subdue women. Again, Iran’s terrorism is not an unfortunate artifact of balanced statesmanship. Rather, it is intended to exterminate a democratic Jewish society and a Saudi regime seeking to modernize itself. In a remarkable exercise in projection, progressives at the same time deem Trump to be a Hitler stand-in.

Similarly, the cause of increasing crime in our cities is no mystery. Progressives applauded, not decried, the George Floyd mayhem, largely an exercise in looting. Beautiful cities such as San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles, all run by progressives, have become dystopian hellholes.

So, sincere, well-meaning liberals should, but generally do not, see that they are being led like lemmings to the sea, toward civilizational suicide, by the progressives they have long trusted as being in the liberal leadership, not the socialist vanguard.

In the nineteenth century, the brilliant French observer of American culture, Count Alexis de Tocqueville, said that democratic despotism would be effectuated, if at all, not by overt state terror but by the infantilization of a trusting population.

The evidence is now clearly established that moderate liberals should face reality and reject the policies of the progressive vanguard, leading them into civilizational suicide.

*  *  *

John D. O’Connor is a former federal prosecutor and the San Francisco attorney who represented W. Mark Felt during his revelation as Deep Throat in 2005. O’Connor is the author of the books, Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat, Covered Up Watergate and Began Today’s Partisan Advocacy Journalism and The Mysteries of Watergate: What Really Happened.

Tyler Durden Fri, 02/16/2024 - 23:00
Published:2/16/2024 10:17:52 PM
[] Report: Obama's CIA Had Foreign Allies Spying on 26 Members of the Trump Team Published:2/14/2024 7:52:44 PM
[Markets] Jeffrey Sachs: The Biden-Schumer Plan To Kill More Ukrainians Jeffrey Sachs: The Biden-Schumer Plan To Kill More Ukrainians

Authored by Jeffrey D. Sachs via Common Dreams,

President Joe Biden is refusing to fold a losing hand as he bets with Ukrainian lives and US taxpayer money. Biden and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer propose to squander the lives of tens of thousands more Ukrainians and $61 billions of federal funds to keep Biden’s disastrous foreign policy failure hidden from view until after the November election.

The $61 billion will make no difference on the battlefield except to prolong the war, the tens of thousands of deaths, and the physical destruction of Ukraine. It will not "save" Ukraine. Ukraine’s security can only be achieved at the negotiating table, not by some fantasized military triumph over Russia.

$61 billion is not nothing. This worse-than-useless outlay would exceed the combined budgets of the U.S. Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, and the Women, Infant, and Children nutrition program.

Almost exactly 10 years ago this month, Biden did much to put Ukraine on the path to disaster. This is well known to those who have looked carefully at the facts but is kept hidden from view by the White House, the Senate Democrats, and the mainstream media that back Biden. I have previously provided a detailed chronology, with hyperlinks, here.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush, Sr. and his German counterpart Chancellor Helmut Kohl promised Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastward if the Soviet Union accepted German reunification. When the Soviet Union disbanded in December 1991, with Russia as the successor state, American leaders decided to renege.

President Bill Clinton began NATO expansion over the vociferous opposition of top diplomats like George Kennan and the opposition of his own Secretary of Defense, William Perry. In 1997 Zbigniew Brzezinski upped the ante, with a plan for NATO to expand all the way to Ukraine. He famously wrote that without Ukraine, Russia would cease to be a great power.

Russian leaders have repeatedly made clear that NATO expansion to Ukraine is understandably the reddest of Russian redlines. In 2007, President Vladmir Putin stated that NATO enlargement to that date was a cheat on the 1990 promise, and that it must go no further. Despite these clear warnings, including by his own diplomats, George W. Bush Jr. committed in 2008 to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia in order to surround Russia in the Black Sea.

William Burns, now CIA director, and then the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, wrote a famous memo entitled “Nyet means Nyet,” explaining that Russia’s opposition to NATO enlargement was across Russia’s political spectrum. Most Ukrainians themselves were also firmly against the plan, favoring neutrality over NATO membership. The Ukrainian Rada declared Ukraine’s state sovereignty in 1990 on the basis of becoming “a permanently neutral state.” In 2009, the people of Ukraine elected Viktor Yanukovych, who ran on a platform of neutrality.

In early 2014, the U.S. decided to help bring down Yanukovych in a coup. This was standard U.S. deep-state operating procedure, one used on dozens of occasions around the world. The CIA, National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, and NGOs like the Open Society Foundation went to work in Ukraine. The point person was Victoria Nuland, who was first Richard Cheney’s principal deputy foreign policy advisor, then George Bush Jr.’s ambassador to NATO, then Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson, and by 2014 Assistant Secretary of State.

This time, the Russians caught the conspiracy on tape, in an intercepted call between Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (now Assistant Secretary of State). Nuland explains to Pyatt that Vice President Joe Biden will help choose and cement the post-coup government. The 2014 Ukraine team, including Biden, Nuland, Jake Sullivan (then and now Biden’s national security advisor), Geoffrey Pyatt, and Antony Blinken (then the deputy national security advisor), remains the Ukraine team today.

It is a team of bunglers. They thought that Yanukovych’s overthrow would quickly usher in NATO expansion. Instead, ethnic Russians in Ukraine virulently rejected the Russophobic post-coup government that was installed by Nuland, and called for autonomy of the ethnically Russian regions. In a referendum, Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join Russia.

Obama, Biden, and their team armed the post-coup government to attack the ethnically Russian regions, thinking this would be the end of it. Yet the regions resisted. Ukraine and the breakaway regions signed the Minsk Agreements to bring an end to the fighting and give constitutional autonomy to the ethnically Russian Donbas. The Minsk II agreement was backed by the UN Security Council, but the U.S. privately agreed with the Ukrainian government that it was okay to ignore it.

In 2021, after 7 years of fighting and more than 14,000 deaths in the Donbas, Putin called on newly elected President Biden to stop NATO enlargement and engage in negotiations with Russia over mutual security arrangements. Biden rejected Putin’s call to end the gambit of NATO enlargement to Ukraine.

In February 2022, Putin launched the Special Military Operation (SMO) invasion to push Ukraine to the negotiating table. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately called for negotiations based on Ukraine’s neutrality. Within a month, a framework agreement to end the fighting was reached between Ukraine and Russia, based on Ukraine’s neutrality and an end to NATO’s enlargement to Ukraine. Biden stepped in to stop the deal, with the U.S. informing Zelensky that the U.S. would not support neutrality.

Biden and team had still more failed tricks up their sleeve. They firmly believed that U.S. financial sanctions—freezing Russia’s assets and cutting it out of the SWIFT banking system—would cripple the Russian economy and cause Putin to relent. In fact, they expected that the ensuing economic crisis would topple him. Of course, nothing of the sort happened.

Then they expected that NATO weaponry would trounce Russia on the battlefield. That too did not happen. Then they expected that Ukraine’s “counter-offensive” in the summer of 2023, backed by Pentagon and CIA planners, would defeat Russia. Instead, Ukraine lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers dead and wounded—its military hardware destroyed.

The entire war, including the loss of Ukrainian territory, the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian casualties, and the utter waste of more than $100 billion of U.S. taxpayer money to date, could easily have been avoided.

Now, Biden and Schumer want to throw more Ukrainian lives and more tens of billions of dollars at this glaring failure. They want to do this in a rushed vote, without any Congressional let alone public oversight, without hearings, and without any strategy. The fact is they want to save Biden from the embarrassment of a decade of puerile and failed plotting, at least until the November election.

There remains one answer for Ukraine’s security: diplomacy and neutrality. That solution doesn’t cost lives or money. It was Ukraine’s choice before the 2014 coup and again in 2022 until stopped by Biden. It is the path that Biden and the Senate Democrats still refuse to take.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/14/2024 - 05:00
Published:2/14/2024 5:27:40 AM
[Markets] Land Of Spooks And Shills And Sheeple Land Of Spooks And Shills And Sheeple

Submitted by Donald Jeffries via "I Protest",

Trust is a rare commodity in today’s world. Maybe it always has been. I remember trusting some older males who were relatives or neighbors, as a child. Then later as an adult, I’d hear from my sister and others about how these fine upstanding men had propositioned them, or touched them inappropriately.

Moral trust is one thing. We all fail to some degree on this count, because we are all sinners. My head will probably always be turned by a good-looking female. It’s just instinctive. I remember a great comedy skit with Richard Pryor, where he was sitting in a crowd with his wife/girlfriend, who was glaring at him, upset over him checking out other women. Then his head turns again, and he tells her, “Can’t you see how strong that shit is? I know you’re gonna be mad, but I still can’t stop it!” While it bothers me when I attend a wedding where the divorced bride’s children from her first marriage are ringbearers or flower girls (mumbling to myself, “I can’t stop thinking she said ‘I do’ to someone else just five years ago’), I understand human weakness. Judge not lest ye be judged.

It’s political trust that’s on my mind. If you listen to me Saturdays at 12 noon on “America Unplugged” with Billy Ray Valentine and Tony Arterburn, you may have heard our discussion this past Saturday on Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin. It was obvious by the comments in the chat, and later on YouTube, that most people disagreed with me. I was arguing that, whatever Carlson’s real motivations, I usually agree with what he’s saying over 90 percent of the time. Yes, I’m aware that his father was the head of Voice of America, and that he once tried to get into the CIA. That he scoffed at 9//1 “truthers” and other “conspiracy theorists.” Maybe his bow tie was too tight. Is he just playing the role of mainstream “skeptic?”

I’m not accustomed to being the least skeptical person in the room about anything. I was a born skeptic. A doubter of all official narratives. But if the alt media is just going to attribute all good reporting, and sensible commentary to a hidden agenda, then what is the point of even addressing any issue? Tucker Carlson, Alex Jones, Rand Paul, RFK, Jr., all compromised. And oddly, they draw the attention (and ire) of many of us trying to provide an alternative to our state controlled media, far more often than the Joy Reids, Sunny Hostins, and Joe Scarboroughs do. Tucker Carlson’s father ran the Voice of America. A pretty, young female intern was found dead in Scarborough’s congressional office in 2001. Isn’t that a bit more incriminating?

Then there is the guy Carlson was interviewing- Vladimir Putin. I don’t have to trust him to agree with his purported comments (and this is assuming they’re being translated accurately) about wanting peace with America. If he really did ban all GMO products, and put out an arrest warrant for any Rothschilds strolling into Russia, isn’t that something we’d all agree with? Maybe he has an agenda, too, but why do we focus so much more on him than say, Angela Merkel or David Cameron? Carlson was blasted from all sides for how he conducted the interview. What was he supposed to ask him? He put Putin on the record. At the very least, we got to see the Russian leader’s impressive knowledge of history. Compare that to our putrid politicians.

In my book Hidden History, I delved into the background of the 1960s counterculture movement. Timothy Leary, the LSD guru who urged the impressionable hippies not to trust anyone over thirty (when he was older than thirty himself), was later outed as working for the CIA. So was Gloria Steinem, the face of “women’s lib” in the sixties and seventies. Her magazine MS was financed by the CIA. Murdered Black Panther Fred Hampton had a bodyguard who was an undercover government operative. So did Malcolm X. The guy cradling Martin Luther King’s head in his hands on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel was an undercover CIA asset. I gave lots of other examples of how undercover plants worked inside the Black Panthers and the Ku Klux Klan.

More than a century ago, Lenin said that the best way to fight the opposition is to lead it. This has obviously been the case in America since at least the 1960s. I haven’t found any evidence, for instance, that the government infiltrated Huey Long’s Share our Wealth movement, or the America First Committee. But in my upcoming book The American Memory Hole, I’ll document the shocking extent to which American capitalism supported and financed the Bolshevik Revolution. There were plenty of spies during the War for Independence and the War Between the States. Things have never been exactly the way they seem.

But if we become too jaded, and don’t trust anyone or anything, then reform becomes impossible. Things can never get better, unless maybe lightning strikes you in a laboratory at midnight, and you develop invulnerable super powers. Then you could adjust the world to your liking. Assuming you have noble intentions, like Superman. Working together is often difficult. Distrust can permeate small businesses and youth sports leagues. People are suspicious of their spouses. They wonder about the motives of the heirs to whatever they have to leave to others. I’ve watched enough Investigation Discovery programs to know that the world is full of husbands, wives, and children who will murder their closest loved ones for a modest inheritance.

I have been told by several people that I can’t be sincere or legitimate, or else I wouldn’t be alive. Think about that; the only way for some people to believe you’re not co-opted is to become part of the Deep State Body Count. Once during an interview, someone in the comments noted that I was wearing a checked shirt, and there was a soccer ball paperweight in the background behind me. This, evidently, demonstrated that I was a high-ranking freemason. Miles Mathis, who has achieved some renown online for his “everything is fake” mantra, once wrote that both Dave McGowan (who was still alive at the time) and I were fake. He called us “ghosts.” Limited hangouts. Controlled opposition. When I emailed him and told him to check out my many video interviews, it didn’t phase him. By the way, he “doesn’t do interviews.”

If I wanted to be cynical, I could name countless high-profile figures in alternative media that I am suspicious about. My spidey sense goes off whenever some character, who has no more charisma or knowledge (and often less) than the rest of us doing anti-establishment podcasts and writing anti-establishment blogs do, attracts a million followers on YouTube. You know who they are. They aren’t entertaining, and provide nothing different than untold numbers of us do. But I don’t just condemn then all with a blanket generalization. Maybe some of them are more interesting than I give them credit for. I’ve never been noted for liking things that become popular. Chicken wings. Gourmet cupcakes. Michael Jackson. “Friends.” “Casablanca.” The mullet. The Rock. The list is endless. I know my tastes are usually different from the masses.

But in our world of often justified hyper paranoia, there should be room for redemption. Why, for instance, do Christians accept that a really bad man named Saul could be converted to St. Paul on the road to Damascus? Is it impossible to imagine that Tucker Carlson could really have been influenced by those he spoke to the past few years, and now honestly believes the government killed JFK, and that Building 7 is significant? Was it only Saul who could be redeemed? Pat Buchanan underwent a similar transformation in the early nineties, when he saw how our trade policies had devastated blue-collar workers in New Hampshire. But no one suspects that he was insincere, or compromised. Is it because Carlson has become much bigger? On the surface, they both seem to have identically transitioned from conservative to populist.

It’s odd that I distrust all institutions, all authority, and yet can still perhaps naively trust individuals. You’d think my affinity for the world’s foremost cynic, Ambrose Bierce, would prevent that. I’ve been burned many times because of this. Women I adored. Men I admired. I did stop lending money to people a very long time ago. That lesson was pretty clear. Like millions of others, I was suckered into voting for Trump in 2016. So I took a chance on the remote possibility that he was sincere to at least some degree. Would it have been better to have voted for Hillary Clinton, the Queen of Corruption? What difference does it make, if they’re not even counting the votes?

I’ve experienced this kind of widespread distrust in the JFK assassination research community. The fractionalization is worse than ever. The few who are trusted are the typical milquetoast, neocon types I have admonished for years. The same huge egos and difficult personalities we see in JFK research dominate other conspiratorial realms, like 9/11 truth. We see them everywhere in the alt media, lording their number of followers and subscribers over lesser mortals like the quarterback and the prom queen do in high school hierarchies. I’ve remarked before on how most of them are harder to communicate with than some genuine show business celebrities. For the record, my publicist was able to get ahold of Tucker Carlson’s producer.

JFK researchers spend an inordinate amount of time trying to discredit conspiracy friendly witnesses. They literally ignore the laughable witnesses whose fanciful and inconsistent testimony was used by the authorities to buttress the official nonsense. Recently, some of them have launched an assault on the late Fletcher Prouty, the individual Oliver Stone based his “Mr. X” character (played by Donald Sutherland) on in JFK. They resent Alex Jones or Tucker Carlson stating publicly that there was a conspiracy, because they despise them personally and hate their politics. They don’t have the same vitriol for the Stephen Colberts and Jimmy Kimmels, who scoff at all “conspiracy theories.” Well, except for “Russiagate.”

But in the alt media, as in society at large, Donald Trump is often the dividing line. Are you fer or agin his overblown personality? Because I belong to the smallest minority group in the world- the Trump Agnostics- I am inevitably caught in the crossfire. I came up with the Trumpenstein Project to explain both my perspective and what I believe was a genuine political psyop of epic proportions. But I still get called a “Trumpster” or a victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Trump exemplifies the problem with the alt media, because most of those who are “awake” to any appreciable degree, were or perhaps still are ardent Trump supporters.

Whenever I watch a video or read something I find compelling, I often try to contact the person who was in the video or doing the writing. These are people unknown to the public, and frequently unknown to most in the alt media. They never respond to me. I don’t see them being interviewed elsewhere, so maybe they’re like Miles Mathis, above doing interviews. At least with the likes of me. And, of course, I wonder why these people aren’t shadow banned like me. They’re being allowed to grow a big following. But I don’t reflexively jump to the conclusion that this means they’re all being sponsored by intelligence agencies. Hired to control the “conspiracy” discourse, as Obama’s aide Cass Sustein proposed.

I take people at face value, until proven otherwise. Roger Stone, for example, wrote the Foreword to my most successful book, Hidden History. I cringe at some of the things he says now. But he loved the book, and wrote a glowing Foreword. Whenever he’s mentioned me (which is very, very infrequently), he says complimentary things. Vivek Ramaswamy, suspected by many in the alt media of being the Republicans’ version of Barack Obama, was seen with my book Hidden History on the shelf behind him, while he interviewed Alex Jones. So he may be a disinfo agent, but I didn’t send him my book. What is he doing reading such subversive material? I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t like him just because of that.

Maybe Tucker Carlson is good friends with Don Lemon and Hunter Biden. But he certainly raked them over the coals on his Fox News show. Donald Trump was friends with the Clintons. As Terry Reed (another guy I’d love to interview- amazed he’s still alive- but can’t find contact info) revealed in his book Compromised, seemingly sworn enemies Bill Clinton and Oliver North worked for the same team in Arkansas, when all those drugs were being funneled through Mena Airport. George W. Bush seems to be as fond of Michelle Obama as he was of gay prostitute/fake reporter Jeff Gannon, who visited the White House hundreds of times, including overnight stays. An alleged Mossad operative produced JFK and other Oliver Stone films.

Perhaps no one is above board. Are we all hiding something? I’ve probably revealed too much of myself here on Substack. But I’m an open book. There aren’t any terrible skeletons in my closet. But I’ve had some relatives who worked for the CIA. I live in the same county where their Langley headquarters are. And the Agency’s library was one of the first to order my book Hidden History. So does that make me suspect? As I’ve said, the address of my childhood home was 3333. Hmm. Combined with the checked shirt, and soccer ball paperweight, we might have something there. One of my father’s hot cousins did marry Rutherford B. Hayes III. Maybe Miles Mathis will read this and conclude that I am a Jew, like seemingly everyone else.

I will form an alliance with anyone, if they profess to be working towards something good. I’ll be able to determine pretty quickly if they have a nefarious agenda. I was able to ferret out that conspiracy whereby young, half clothed women friend or follow old guys like me. I never even took them up on their offer to send me pictures. Rob Reiner, for example, is a typically “Woke” leftist. But he’s doing good work on the JFK assassination. If he ever lowered himself to my level, I’d be happy to work with him on that common cause. Julian Assange believes the 9/11 fairy tale. But that doesn’t detract from the great work Wikileaks did, or make him any less of a political prisoner. Rosie O’Donnell is even more “Woke” than Reiner, but she was publicly telling the truth about 9/11, and got essentially “cancelled” because of it.

There are tiers to the alternative media. You can choose to believe or not believe that I am in the legitimate tier, where honest voices struggle to get a larger platform. The one where shadow bans are common. I would be shocked if anyone I associate with regularly in the alt media wasn’t in the legitimate tier, too. Tucker Carlson would be in the top tier of this world, alongside Alex Jones and now Elon Musk. All suspect because of their backgrounds, or in Jones’s case due to his refusal to focus attention on the power that Zionism wields in this country, and stubborn support of Trumpenstein. Harrison Smith told me, however, that Jones never pressures him about what he can and can’t say, and indeed Smith is a very ardent anti-Zionist.

I believe that the information is what’s important, not the personality. I don't care where truth comes from; if it awakens people to the corruption, tyranny, and injustice all around us, then it’s a good thing. Let’s say hypothetically that someone I usually find to be odious, Bill Maher, held up one of my books on television and said, “This is a great book! Read it!” Would I reject that kind of endorsement, because I’ve found Maher to be so offensive so much of the time? Now, of course, Maher is about as likely to do that as Joe Biden is to come out tomorrow and declare that he’s being controlled by the Illuminati. Or that Hillary Clinton will be struck with a sudden pang of guilt and demand to be put in public stocks and pilloried.

Just as the JFK assassination research community will ultimately never threaten that particular official lie because of its continuous dysfunction, the conspiracy analysis media in general, the alt media, will never overtake the state controlled mainstream media because of all the infighting, distrust, and accusations. We have to be able to talk with the Tucker Carlsons and Elon Musks, along with the Flat Earthers and Holocaust skeptics. I can respect all views, unless they advocate murder or extreme violence. The common goal should be for us to make the sleeping Americans realize that there is a vast conspiracy afoot to deny us all our civil liberties, and cover up the multitude of official crimes committed by the conspirators.

Tucker Carlson responded to all the vitriol directed at him by stating, “I'm not defending Russia. I'm defending my own country. A weak central government in [Russia] with the world's largest nuclear stockpile is insane. You're a freaking nutcase. If you desire that, and we are run by nutcases, the president and that poisonous moron to Victoria Nuland.” Sounds reasonable to me. Just about every other mainstream journalist in America 2.0 despises free speech, hates anything virtuous or traditional, and is overtly anti-White. They cheer on political prosecutions and denial of true process. They shill for every discredited government narrative from JFK to the 2020 election. They demonize dissent. Carlson doesn’t do any of that. What is he being paid to promote? That the government killed JFK? That January 6 was a false flag?

I will continue to believe in some things. It certainly seems hopeless, but we have to live our lives as if there is hope. Frank Capra left his impact on me. I still think the Kennedys were heroic figures. We need heroes. Crusaders for liberty and justice. If a politician speaks up for peace, even if they may be betrothed to Israel like all the others, I support them. How could I not? I always support peace. If we micro analyze potential motives, we will probably always find something to question. If you stay committed to the truth, then eventually the disinfo agents will sort themselves out. No one is perfect. I’ve yet to find anyone that I agree with about everything. Well, maybe Huey Long. Just because QAnon was an obvious psyop, that doesn’t mean that there couldn’t someday possibly be some real white hats.

To say that the alt media eats its own is a massive understatement. Too many seem almost to instantly reject anyone who agrees with them. Kind of like Groucho Marx refusing to join any group that would have him for a member. I’m flattered when someone agrees with me, so I simply don’t get this line of thinking. If what they’re saying sounds too good to be true, it probably is, to paraphrase the old chestnut. As I’ve said, I have my own suspicions about many big names in the alt media, but I’d be happy to appear on any of their shows. I’d be courteous and respectful, and I wouldn’t alter my comments. My views are going to be the same, whether I’m ranting on “I Protest,” or being interviewed by Rachel Maddow. Again, it’s the information, stupid.

If accepting people at face value (until proven otherwise) loses me supporters, so be it. I obviously know the names of the high profile swamp creatures, and accept their lifetimes of crime and corruption at face value. If Barack Obama suddenly started singing the praises of Huey Long, I would recognize a psyop. And would understand instantly that there was an obvious nefarious agenda behind it. Tucker Carlson hasn’t demonstrated that he’s a swamp creature, with a record of crimes and perhaps a Body Count behind him. I focus on the obvious villains, both in politics and the kept press. But like JFK noted in his timeless American University “peace” speech, I recognize that people with views I abhor can still love their children.

Mark Lane was my mentor. I patterned my own civil libertarianism after his. He was a Jew. And he later became not only the counsel for the “anti-Semitic” Liberty Lobby, but best friends with the man who headed it, Willis Carto. So does that mean Lane wasn’t a real Jew? Or that Carto wasn’t a legitimate historical revisionist and critic of Israel? Because they were such strange bedfellows, were they both government operatives? I’ve heard from many who suspect Lane was working for the government. Wasn’t he Jim Jones’ attorney? How did he escape the Kool-Aid? Most people are impressed that I was with his Citizens Committee of Inquiry as a teenager, but some snort that I must be a government agent, too.

Ultimately, it all comes down to good versus evil. God versus Satan. I don’t know how many of those supporting a Satanic agenda are actually Satanists. But some are. They flash those unnatural hand signals like someone is ordering them to. But some Satanists probably don’t walk the walk any more than many Christians. That’s why I keep talking about Frank Capra’s film Meet John Doe. People realizing their neighbor is a pretty good person. People coming together for the most basic common purpose; to be good neighbors and try to follow the Golden Rule. I still think national John Doe Clubs could work. But I still have a lot of naive idealism alongside the populism.

It’s good to be skeptical. No one is more skeptical than I am. But we shouldn’t turn away a potential comrade (not to sound like a commie), exclusively because of his background, or what he once said or did. Or because he doesn’t focus on Israel. Or because he doesn’t talk about all the conspiracies we do. Just as in the general business world, or on ridiculous “reality” shows like Big Brother, we can form alliances that are favorable in some sense. To push truths like Oswald being a patsy, or 9/11 being an inside job, or COVID being a giant psyop. To support free speech. The way they do in Congress when they want to push through some awful legislation. I don’t normally quote Rodney King, but can’t we all just get along, people?

Subscribe to "I Protest" by Donald Jeffries

Tyler Durden Tue, 02/13/2024 - 23:40
Published:2/13/2024 11:41:58 PM
[] New Report Says Obama CIA Worked With International Spy Agencies to Get Trump Published:2/13/2024 6:29:31 PM
[] It's Back to the Supreme Court for Donald Trump in Presidential Immunity Case Published:2/13/2024 8:33:19 AM
[Markets] Victor Davis Hanson: The Absurd Border Con Victor Davis Hanson: The Absurd Border Con

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via The Epoch Times,

In 2021, President Joe Biden opened wide an inherited, secure southern border that had finally stopped mass illegal immigration.

When he overturned former President Donald Trump’s efforts, a planned flood of over 8 million illegal immigrants entered the United States.

Almost all arrived without background checks, health screening, or vaccination certificates—but with massive needs for free housing, education, healthcare, and food entitlements and subsidies.

For four years, President Trump battled the courts, his Democratic opposition, and the open-border establishments within his own party to ensure legal-only immigration. Somehow, he rebuilt some of the old porous border fence. He had begun to build his long-promised new wall to the Gulf of Mexico. He had ended Obama-era catch-and-release.

Would-be refugees had to apply for asylum in their home country. President Trump leveraged Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to police his own border and stop cynically transiting millions of illegal aliens into the United States.

There was general Democratic Party opposition to all of Trump’s measures, both through Congress and via the courts.

For the last three years of Biden’s mass influx, the left has applauded open borders. That is, until late last year, when overwhelmed southern border state governors began busing and flying illegal immigrants en masse to northern sanctuary-city jurisdictions.

For years, these sanctuary zones had preened their liberality about open borders. They smeared as “racists” and “xenophobes” any who insisted on legal-only immigration.

But now they were subject to the real-life ramifications of their own destructive ideologies.

Major blue-state cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., became outraged that they were inundated with tens of thousands of immigrants, all without legality, veritable identification, or background checks.

Some proved violent. Others crowded out scarce resources essential to millions of inner-city poor.

The liberal architects of illegal immigration are usually rich and powerful enough to be insulated from the consequences of their utopian policies.

But not so their poor or minority constituents. They deal first-hand with spiking crime, appropriation of their parks and civic centers, and restricted access to now overwhelmed social services.

So the once open-border Democrat Party and President Biden are in a quandary. They now fear mass defections of core Latino and black voters in an election year.

But how can they square the circle of insisting on open borders with the need to appear to their own voters as determined to close them?

We saw the absurd answer this week. Shameless Democrats tried to enlist naive and foolish Republicans to bail them out with a “comprehensive immigration bill.”

It was really designed to keep the border open while spending billions of dollars to facilitate more rapid and orderly transits—and more substantial welfare support for millions of illegals here and still to come.

Now Democrats claim that anyone who did not sign on to codify and regulate illegal immigration was responsible for their own deliberate open border policies in the first place!

To add insult to injury, they next sought to piggyback their toxic immigration bill onto massive aid for Israel and Ukraine. It was a transparent effort to blame any Republicans for harming Israel and aiding Putin, should they not sign on to a more efficient open border.

The real agenda of the bill’s supporters is absolutely no return to Trump’s legal-only immigration and a secure border.

That simple solution requires no new legislation and almost no new spending. But it does imply acknowledgment that the hated President Trump had solved the problem executively - and that admission is apparently taboo.

Finally, public outrage from the left and conservative anger at foolish and naive Republican enablers stopped the bill.

Still, it remains somewhat unclear why President Biden and his Homeland Security chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, destroyed what President Trump had achieved. Why would they ensure such misery for both American hosts and millions of illegal immigrants?

Did they want new long-term constituents, given that their neo-socialist agendas cannot win over a majority of current Americans?

Is importing millions of the poorest and most in need on the planet a way to ensure a still larger Great Society of entitlements and, with it, higher taxes on the “filthy rich”?

Do they assume that America’s increasingly non-Election-Day balloting ensures far less authentication and rejection of mail-in ballots, and thus it will be relatively easy for non-citizens to vote?

Many, left and right, make no effort to hide their desire for cheap imported labor—even though the current labor participation rate is only 62 percent of the potential American workforce.

Finally, one might expect this artifice from the left that is wedded to open borders.

But why some establishment Republicans aided and abetted these disingenuous efforts is yet another reminder why the doctrinaire Republican Party had to be reinvented by President Trump.

Tyler Durden Mon, 02/12/2024 - 18:20
Published:2/12/2024 5:34:41 PM
[Markets] Hillary Admits Biden's Age Is "Legitimate Issue" As Trump Urges Mandatory Cognitive Tests For All Candidates Hillary Admits Biden's Age Is "Legitimate Issue" As Trump Urges Mandatory Cognitive Tests For All Candidates

...well, well, well, how the turn tables...

Something just changed. Instead of an overwhelming avalanche of gaslit headlines and bullshit punditry projecting mental un-fitness on the opposition (as we have seen from every Democratic operative and mainstream media lackey over the past five years), it's different this time - since special counsel Hur's (independent) report official raised questions about President Biden's mental acuity, describing him as a "well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."

Finding anyone willing to actually defend Biden against these accusations - in any other way but proclaiming that 'well Trump appointed Hur' - has been nigh on impossible (even on Sunday's political talk-shows which seemed designed to do just this week in and week out for years).

Instead, the opposite - some actual reflection by Democrats that maybe, just maybe, all the glitches, stumbles, stammers, gaffes, shaking hands with no-one, angry outbursts, mis-remembering, and talking-to-dead-people - are a thing after all.

Here's top Clinton Advisor Paul Begala practically admitting defeat live on CNN:

"...This is terrible for Democrats. And anybody with a functioning brain knows that... This is going to be a really rough, ugly, unpleasant campaign."

And here's the horse's mouth herself, no lesser mortal than Hillary Clinton, admitting to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner in an interview aired Saturday, that Biden's age is an issue...

"I talk to people in the White House all the time, and you know, they know it’s an issue, but as I like to say, look, it’s a legitimate issue," Clinton told

Of course, she added that it is a "legitimate issue" for former President Donald Trump (who is three and a half years younger than Biden).

But it gets better, as former Obama advisor David Axelrod declared Friday that Joe Biden’s angry reaction to Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report suggesting his memory has faded only served to “reinforce a meme that’s out there,” adding that Biden’s cognitive acuity “is a problem.”

“The central meme that is hurting the president is this issue of age. It’s a big barrier,” he further urged, also noting “you can’t unring the bell.”

Axelrod's comments should not be a total surprise, however, as he has been questioning Biden's running for re-election since November...

Furthermore, The Daily Mail reports that sources indicate Democrats are considering a ‘nuclear option’ of ditching Biden before or at the Party convention in August in favour of either California Governor Gavin Newsom or Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The report cites a “former senior Democrat White House official” who has previously worked with Biden.

“I think it is now panic time. Biden should not be our standard bearer,” the source is quoted as saying. 

Of course, the Trump campaign has been questioning Biden's fitness for office for months, and the former president suggested during a speech at a rally in South Carolina, that “anybody running for President should have tests, and I pass them every time,” adding “I don’t think Nikki would pass the test.”

Trump further stated that “regardless of age,” all candidates for major offices, including Vice President also should be mentally tested.

“They say it’s not Constitutional, I’d be willing to wave it,” Trump urged, before going on to describe Haley as “the candidate of globalists and warmongers who want to spend trillions and trillions of dollars on endless wars.”

Trump went on to tell the crowd of thousands that if you asked Joe Biden what MAGA stands for “he would not be able to tell you,” because his “brain is not working too well.”

Finally, returning to the left side of the aisle, even James Carville is raising doubts about Biden's ability (on CNN no less)...

The fact that Biden isn't doing the Super Bowl interview and probably won't debate, says James Carville, "that's a sign your staff doesn't have much confidence in you."

And while it's "never too late" to change candidates, Carville warns "the later it gets the more confusing the process gets."

Oh, and in case you wondered what Biden is doing on Super Bowl Sunday, he is blaming 'big corporate greed' for shrinkflation and the rising cost of snacking...

Read the fucking room, you clueless twat "well-meaning old man with a poor memory."

And Biden's odds have tumbled in the last few days...

Tick, tock, Mr.President.

Tyler Durden Sun, 02/11/2024 - 14:35
Published:2/11/2024 3:12:14 PM
[2585605e-e8f1-55b9-9723-796b514d2547] Dems one step closer to replacing Biden with Michelle Obama after damning report, Ramaswamy says Former GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy tells Fox News Digital he believes Michelle Obama will be recruited by Democrats to replace President Biden at the top of the ticket. Published:2/10/2024 11:10:02 AM
[Markets] Farage Says Democrats Will Ditch Biden Before Convention Farage Says Democrats Will Ditch Biden Before Convention

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Modernity.news,

Nigel Farage says Democrats will ditch Joe Biden before the Democratic convention in July because he is clearly suffering from “senile dementia”.

The controversy has exploded once again after special counsel Robert Hur concluded that Biden’s memory is so poor that he “did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended, and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began.”

Hur also noted that Biden “did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”

“The man’s got senile dementia, I’ve been saying that for some months,” Farage told GB News.

“He’s got senile dementia, he’s not just the leader of America, he’s the leader of the free world and under his tenure many of these awful things around the world have happened…he is totally incapable of the job,” he added.

The former Brexit Party leader predicted that Biden wouldn’t make it to a presidential run off against Trump.

“I don’t think it will be a Trump-Biden run off, I think they’ll ditch him before the Democrat convention takes place in July, I think he’s just too embarrassing,” said Farage, noting that Biden’s approval ratings are plummeting.

Farage drew attention to the fact that even Biden’s supporters in the media are now accepting the reality of his mental incompetence after another car crash of a press conference last night.

As we highlighted earlier, Biden shouted angrily at reporters for asking questions about his cognitive state, asserting that his memory was fine before referring to Egyptian president El-Sisi as the “president of Mexico”.

“Every single day now something happens that is literally cringemaking, so no, I think they’ve got to get rid of him,” said Farage, while expressing skepticism over the prospect of Michelle Obama being chosen as Biden’s replacement.

The Telegraph also reported earlier that Biden’s embarrassing press conference and the reaction to Hur’s report marks a shift in the narrative because Biden’s cognitive decline can no longer be dismissed as a purely partisan attack.

*  *  *

Your support is crucial in helping us defeat mass censorship. Please consider donating via Locals or check out our unique merch. Follow us on X @ModernityNews.

Tyler Durden Sat, 02/10/2024 - 11:40
Published:2/10/2024 11:10:02 AM
[Markets] How "Wokeness" Took Over How "Wokeness" Took Over

Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com,

My focus is on economics and capital markets. In theory, politics shouldn’t factor much in my analysis.

But in reality, politics has become a major influence on markets, and I can’t afford to neglect the political dimension. I might not like it, but I can’t ignore it.

Sure, politics has always influenced markets to some extent. But today, it’s taken on whole new dimensions.

It’s not the 1990s anymore. The key issues are no longer whether the top marginal tax rate should be 36% or 39%, or if there’s too much government regulation of whatever industry. Today’s key issues are much more fundamental.

Today, many politicians can’t even agree upon what a man is or what a woman is. That would have been inconceivable until just a few years ago. Any such debate would have been a skit on Saturday Night Live as a topic so ridiculous it would never occur in real life. But today, those debates exist.

Ultimately, it comes down to culture.

As the late Andrew Breitbart said, “Politics is downstream from culture.” In other words, politics follows culture. That means that in some sense, markets ultimately follow culture.

What cultural influences are presently dominant, and where did they originate? That’s what I want to discuss today.

A World Turned Upside Down

Many investors and everyday Americans have a sense of a world turned upside down. Investment funds are organized around ESG scores (environment, social and governance) rather than performance. Admissions to schools and promotion in jobs are no longer based on merit but are based on factors such as race and ethnicity.

The administrative state (also known as the deep state) issues orders that are not supported by law and defy common sense. Government spending goes for subsidies to dead-end technologies such as electric vehicles and windmills.

Incidentally, EVs are fine if people want them, but why are they subsidized with tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money? This list of nonsensical policies and mandates goes on.

As recently as the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. was far down the road of racial reconciliation, technological advancement and world-class infrastructure. Some of that still exists, but much has been replaced with animosity, division and decay.

What’s at the root of this change for the worse?

A Blueprint to Undermine the U.S. From Within

I recently read one of the most fascinating political articles ever that addresses this question.

It’s a 39-year-old interview with a Soviet KGB defector to the United States named Yuri Bezmenov.

In it, he describes the psychological and propaganda techniques the KGB used (and that Chinese Communists still use today) to undermine the U.S. from within.

I found his analysis highly accurate and highly credible. He explains how controlling the meaning of words and controlling narratives can be used to undermine the beliefs that citizens have in their own society. From there, it’s all downhill for that society.

He’s not alone in his views. His analysis and prognosis are in line with George Orwell’s, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four; Aldous Huxley’s, author of Brave New World; and many others’.

One of the most prescient commentators on the decline of capitalist and democratic societies was Joseph Schumpeter. In his book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942), he predicted that capitalism would fail and be overtaken by socialism. His reason has nothing to do with a Marxian revolution. He thought that was nonsense.

Instead, capitalism would be a victim of its own success. We would become so wealthy as a society we would take prosperity for granted and forget where the wealth came from. At that point, we would move to socialism (without revolution) on the view that we could afford it.

He said the process would take 50 years. That turned out to be a highly accurate prediction.

A Rogue’s Gallery of Philosophers

The other thinkers along these lines include the post-structuralists (sometimes called postmodernists) including Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Herbert Marcuse and others lumped into the category of deconstructionists.

That’s not a very accurate description and they’re not well understood. Interestingly, the entire French philosophy movement of the 1960s of which they were a part entered U.S. academia at a global conference hosted at Johns Hopkins University in 1966.

This article isn’t a deep dive into political theory. I won’t bore you with that, and you can do your own research if you want. It’s enough to know that these post-structuralists were philosophers who don’t get much respect in France today.

They had a bit of a movement in Germany in the 1970s, but that died out after the rampages of the far-left Baader-Meinhof gang (also known as the Red Army Faction) and the murder of German industrial magnate Hanns Martin Schleyer by the Red Army Faction in 1977.

The only place their philosophy really took off was the U.S. It did not get traction in philosophy departments. But it thrived in English departments, where it spread to primary education.

Words Have No Objective Meaning

Their main idea is that words do not have objective meanings. Words mean what those in power say they mean. Words are used to construct narratives, basically stories that define reality. The “truth” of the narrative is irrelevant. What matters is the power of the narrative to influence perception and behavior.

So those in power define words, construct narratives and control perceptions. This is the real purpose of taking over universities, foundations, media and corporations. You get to control the narrative.

All of this philosophy has its roots in the German philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger (neither liked democracy very much). They are not to blame for the results, but they are indispensable to understanding the outcome.

The practical implications of controlling the narrative are all around us: climate alarmism, pandemic, DEI, ESG, BLM, insurrection and more.

This redefinition of words and reconstruction of culture were implemented at the elementary and secondary school levels. The program was to eliminate critical thinking, SATs and merit-based admissions. One imperative was to stop teaching history.

What’s left is an ideologically brainwashed generation (or two) who know what they have been programmed to believe but lack the ability to challenge their own views, listen to opposing views or process facts.

Of course, the original source of this program was the Italian neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci, who many consider the founder of cultural Marxism. His Prison Notebooks (1929-1935), about 3,000 pages long, are the playbook for everything that has happened since.

So, yes, the Bezmenov interview was revealing, and he got the analysis exactly right. Yet his views should be put in the broader context outlined above.

Trump

Which brings us to today’s political scene. Trump may be vulgar and narcissistic. He’s a bit of a Nietzschean Overman with a will to power that is active, not reactive. But make no mistake, Obama was as just narcissistic as Trump, but he was highly polished so he could conceal it. Biden is also a narcissist.

But the real reason Trump is so hated is because he stands in the way of everything described above.

He is, so to speak, not with the program of the progressives and neo-Marxists. That’s why they will stop at nothing — including criminal prosecutions, dismantling his business empire and personal attacks — to stop his current advance toward the White House.

If Trump wins the White House in November 2024, as seems likely, it’ll still take 20 or 30 years to reverse the educational and intellectual damage that’s been done. After all, these ideologies began their “long march through the institutions” in the 1960s.

Today they control the media, entertainment, government bureaucracies, education — all the major institutions that govern American life. The battleground is everywhere, but primarily in elementary schools and homes.

I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but it really is a culture war. And remember, politics (and markets) is downstream from culture.

Tyler Durden Fri, 02/09/2024 - 15:05
Published:2/9/2024 2:24:06 PM
[Markets] Trump Immunity Denied By DC Appeals Court In Election Case Trump Immunity Denied By DC Appeals Court In Election Case

A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday that former President Trump does not have immunity from prosecution related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

"We have balanced former President Trump’s asserted interests in executive immunity against the vital public interests that favor allowing this prosecution to proceed," the judges wrote in a 57-page opinion reported by CNBC. "We conclude that ‘[c]oncerns of public policy, especially as illuminated by our history and the structure of our government’ compel the rejection of his claim of immunity in this case," the judges continue, upholding a trial judge's previous ruling.

Special Counsel Jack Smith brought the election interference case against Trump in US District Court in Washington DC, where the chances of him receiving a fair trial are slim to none.

Trump is charged in the case with four counts of crimes including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. He has pleaded not guilty.

Defense lawyers, seeking to dismiss the case, had argued to Judge Tanya Chutkan that Trump has “absolute immunity” from prosecution because the charges relate to official acts performed while he was president.

After Chutkan declined to dismiss the charges, Trump’s attorneys brought the immunity argument to the appeals court. That move put the case on hold in Chutkan’s court. -CNBC

Trump's legal team is expected to quickly ask the Supreme Court to overturn the decision, in which the former president's legal team put forth three separate immunity arguments "both as a categorical defense to federal criminal prosecutions of former Presidents and as applied to this case in particular."

"For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant," wrote the panel.

"But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution."

Donald Trump Jr. took to X to rail against the decision, posting: "If POTUS doesn’t have immunity they’ll be incapable of action for fear of future partisan reprisal. That endangers the United States and sets a terrible precedent. If this becomes the norm would a Trump DOJ prosecute Obama for droning an American? If not why not?"

Trump has called the case a "witch hunt."

Tyler Durden Tue, 02/06/2024 - 10:35
Published:2/6/2024 10:00:51 AM
[Markets] Major European Banks At Center Of Complex Iran Sanctions Evasion Scandal Major European Banks At Center Of Complex Iran Sanctions Evasion Scandal

Ever since Obama's very short-lived nuclear deal with Iran was scrapped by the subsequent Trump administration, Tehran has ramped up its efforts at sanctions evasion, which has especially relied on a fleet of 'ghost tankers' sailing primarily to China.

But the story of the secret cooperation of reputable European banks, and sophisticated efforts to hide large Iranian transactions has been a more interesting development, and this week Lloyds and Santander UK (based in Spain) have been in the spotlight, causing their shares to take significant hits on Monday. One Europe-based broker has observed, "The market must be realizing that they may be fined."

A new Financial Times report has raised uncomfortable questions based on smoking gun internal documents which show two of Europe's biggest banks covertly moving Iranian funds around the world on behalf of an Iranian petrochemicals company based in London.

What's more is that the Iran's state-controlled Petrochemical Commercial Company even has offices physically located close to Buckingham Palace. FT writes that the company is "part of a network that the US accuses of raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and of working with Russian intelligence agencies to raise money for Iranian proxy militias."

"Both PCC and its British subsidiary PCC UK have been under US sanctions since November 2018," the report continues. "Documents, emails and accounting records show that during this time PCC’s UK division has continued to operate out of an office in Grosvenor Gardens in Belgravia by using a complex web of front entities in Britain and other countries.

While this has been going on for years, the scandal has likely only broken out into public reporting given the US and UK coalition are slipping into an active state of war with Iranian proxies from the Red Sea to Iran and Syria. The White House has also yet to rule out targeting Iranian territory directly. It's easy to imagine that before the fast-moving events of the Gaza war and its broader regional spillover, Washington and its allies didn't want to probe too deep amid efforts to maintain oil price stability in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war.

But certainly in light of what FT has found, it will be harder to "look the other way" on Iranian malfeasance and enablers in major Western financial institutions

Documents analyzed by the FT show that since being placed under US sanctions PCC has used companies in the UK to receive funds from Iranian front entities in China while concealing their real ownership through “trustee agreements” and nominee directors

One of these companies, called Pisco UK, is registered to a detached house in Surrey and used a business account with Santander UK.  According to the UK corporate registry, Pisco UK is fully owned by a British national called Abdollah-Siauash Fahimi.

Interestingly, the revelations are the apparent result of Iranian opposition activists, which dumped initial documents online. "However, internal documents, some of which have been leaked online by the Iranian opposition website WikiIran, show that Pisco is fully controlled by PCC and that Fahimi signed an agreement to own the company in trust on its behalf," details the FT report.

Entirely to be expected, China too is involved, but all of these intermediaries are claiming to still be in full compliance with the US-led sanctions regimen: 

In 2021 Pisco’s Santander account received a transfer from a Chinese company called Black Tulip, which internal PCC records show is another trustee company controlled by a PCC employee. The US Treasury last year accused Iranian petrochemicals companies of using multiple front entities to evade sanctions by routing sales through Asia. Santander said it was unable to comment on specific client relationships but was “highly focused on sanctions compliance”.

Some of the internal communications brought to light show that the parties involved are fully aware of the sanctions-skirting activity:

Emails show that in July 2021 a PCC accounting official in Tehran emailed Rejal about a planned payment from China, telling him, “Please send us the safe account No. For payment.” Rejal instructed the accounting official to transfer the money into Aria Associates’ Lloyds account, writing: “Please make sure that there should not be any indication of PCC or PCC (UK).” 

The FT report contains plenty of 'smoking guns' suggesting something akin to Iranian oil/money laundering on a large scale through Western institutions, though Tehran certainly sees it as its "right" to do legitimate business amid the 'illegal' Washington sanctions regimen. 

Via Reuters

Of course, those behind the report, especially the Iranian opposition activists, hope this will receive a response out of a reluctant Biden administration - reluctant given Biden is soon headed into what promises to be a tight election and needs low-priced, stabilized oil, which is also why he's seeking to bring even Maduro's Venezuela "in from the cold" - which as it turns out isn't going too well.

Meanwhile, this raises some other questions concerning misplaced priorities among Western and US politicians especially...

Tyler Durden Tue, 02/06/2024 - 04:15
Published:2/6/2024 3:29:36 AM
[] The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition This a perfect microcosm of the destruction that the Obama/Biden junta is wreaking on America. It is a malign combination of fecklessness, incompetence, catastrophic geopolitical miscalculation, and contempt for America and its armed forces. Terror Groups Evacuate Their Positions... Published:2/1/2024 10:08:31 AM
[Uncategorized] US Climate Leadership “Biden taps John Podesta as his top climate envoy to replace John Kerry: Obama official embroiled in Hillary Clinton email saga gets post to push Joe’s ambitious green agenda ‘Secretary Kerry has put the U.S. back in leadership on climate … Continue reading Published:2/1/2024 8:20:18 AM
[Markets] Greg Abbott And The Invasion Of The Border Snatchers Greg Abbott And The Invasion Of The Border Snatchers

Submitted by Donald Jeffries via "I Protest",

We’ve come a long way from the Boston Tea Party. What would happen to “extremists” throwing tea into a harbor today? Independence Hall. Lexington and Concord. The Articles of Confederation. Patrick Henry declaring, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to my dying day your right to say it.”

The Founding Fathers (sorry, there were no Founding Mothers, and certainly no Founding Transgenders) would all be marginalized if they were living and breathing in the Orwellian mess that is America 2.0. They’d be relegated to writing on Substack. Maybe some of them would be subscribers of mine. No mainstream media outlet would give them even a momentary platform. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Keep your “insurrectionist” thoughts to yourself. That little line should be confined to Ben Franklin’s womanizing. Yes, Ben actually used “would you like to join me in the pursuit of happiness?” as an eighteenth century pickup line. When he wasn’t consorting with prostitutes dressed as nuns in his demonic Hellfire Club.

Aside from Franklin, and certainly the bankers’ stooge Alexander Hamilton, the Founders were a legendary lot. The “greatest generation” if such a thing ever existed. As recently as 1963, Thomas Jefferson was thought so highly of that President Kennedy would tell a state dinner comprised of some of the leading cultural figures of the time, “The is the greatest assemblage of talent ever gathered together in the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” That kind of comment would get any Democrat, and probably any American, “cancelled” today. Sally Hemings was the real talent behind Jefferson. She wrote the Declaration of Independence. Designed Monticello. Ask any court historian. He was a racist rapist.

One of the few responsibilities ceded to the central government under the Constitution is defending the border. Article 4, section 4, states clearly that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion…” Our southern border has been under an invasion of illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, undocumented migrants, whatever you want to call them, for over forty years now. More significantly, the federal government has gone beyond enabling this invasion. They have assisted it. Made it possible. Probably financed much of it.

Greg Abbott has been governor of Texas since 2015. He epitomizes the Stupid Party’s tradition of issuing lukewarm rhetoric about “border security,” but ultimately doing nothing to stop the invasion. For unclear reasons, he has now stepped up the rhetoric decisively. After the Supreme Court- Trump’s supposed court, with his lovely nominee Amy Coney Barrett voting with the Left as usual- made one of its trademark disastrous decisions, Abbott threw down the gauntlet. The Court ruled that Texas can not try to stop the Feds from cutting down the barbed wire fencing they’ve put up in places, in a laughable attempt to stop the flow of immigrants.

Think about that; the highest court in the land- the Supreme Court- has ruled that a state cannot defend its borders. True, the Feds are constitutionally delegated with that power, but they quite blatantly have neglected to do this for several decades now. Under the Biden administration, the numbers coming across the border with literally no resistance from U.S. authorities, have reached such a critical mass that it has finally caught the attention of even the sleeping Republicucks. When you have one of the three branches in government- the Executive- aiding and abetting a foreign invasion, another- the Legislative- encouraging it as well, and now the Judicial branch giving the invasion a legal imprimatur, then you understand the situation.

Abbott’s fiery statements brought to mind visions of Sons of Liberty dancing in our heads. He has sounded remarkably like the Confederates did back in 1860, when he charged that the federal government has broken their “compact” with the states. This was the central premise behind the decision of the southern states to secede. Our fast food culture insists it was all about slavery. The dastardly, tobacco spitting whiter than White secessionists wanted their slaves, and that was that. Abraham Lincoln, the secular saint of our crumbling civilization, responded by declaring, “The Union of these States is perpetual.” That contradicted, of course, the guiding principle of our War for Independence, which was that all people have a right to consent to those who govern them. In 1860, the Confederate states no longer consented.

What exactly does “consent” mean, anyhow? In America 2.0, it has come to be a carte blanche power given to women (well, when there were women- now all gender is fluid), over whether a sexual act can take place. This power has been extended to well beyond the act itself, so that women who have had time to reflect on a bad decision can claim they were “date raped,” or simply maintain that they had said “no,” but the hapless, mindless, horny male used force. If you think about it, Abraham Lincoln was a rapist. Or at least a date rapist. Those poor southern states clearly said “No!” But Honest Able pushed on relentlessly, resulting in nearly a million American deaths. He took their consent and shoved it in them with extreme unconstitutional force.

Now I don’t know that Joe Biden has Lincoln’s raping capabilities, but he is certainly a time-tested hair sniffer and all around creep. Not that he’d be making any decisions anyhow. He’s barely capable of eating his own ice cream cone at this point. If I understood it correctly, the deadline for his first ultimatum to Texas has already passed. Videos of Texans firing their guns have gone viral. There is supposed to be a huge trucker convoy going to the border, to stand with the brave Texans. And most shockingly, the governor of twenty five other states have signed on with their support. This includes the putrid RINO in Utah. This is extremely uncharacteristic behavior on the part of Republicans. The Washington Generals. The apology experts.

If history is an indicator, Abbott will return to form and back down. The other Republican governors will become Republicucks again. “State’s Rights” is an anachronistic term in America 2.0. It brings to mind images of Strom Thurmond, back before he married that pretty woman some forty years younger than him. Or George Wallace, trying to block Black students from entering the University of Alabama, and proclaiming, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” But in both those instances, the underlying motivation appears to have been race. Call it “White supremacy” if you must. You have to go back to 1860 to understand the real principles at stake. The Confederacy and Lincoln weren’t on the same page. Neither are the Biden administration and Texas.

I’ve written extensively about our immigration policy. Which has become a no enforcement policy. A policy of overt favoritism towards those entering this country illegally. Free healthcare. Free VISA cards. Free transportation to various spots across America, usually by a startling coincidence to Republican enclaves with lots of “White privilege.” Free housing and food in some very nice hotels. And now, the Biden administration is supposedly instructing banks not to turn down loans to illegals. I don’t know, maybe that’s all Republican propaganda. It certainly seems hard to comprehend. Especially given that so many American citizens are sleeping in tents on the street, and foraging in dumpsters for food.

I confess to feeling an illicit thrill over the prospect of Texas state authorities standing up to the biggest and most odious Goliath that ever existed. Maybe that’s how people felt nearly 190 years ago, when Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and a small band of other worthies steadfastly defended the Alamo against far superior forces. Remember the Barbed Wire! doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. To whatever degree our horrific leaders still care about public relations optics, it might give them pause before attempting to forcefully overpower Texas officials, and perhaps a lot of angry truckers. Maybe they’ll send a special Transgender SWAT team.

I don’t know how any American could possibly support the federal government sending agents to a sovereign state, to remove the only weak blockade put up to repel a nonstop foreign invasion. But I know millions do. The Supreme Court does. So does the state controlled mainstream media. So does the entire entertainment world. Why would any American citizen be in favor of flooding the job market, and our tenuous government safety net, with unimaginable numbers of the poorest people in the world? We have way too many poor people of our own, and have little desire to help them, so why such generosity for poor people from other countries?

Could this all turn into a Civil War II? Think of the ugly logistics involved. In my own family, outside of my wife and kids, I’m not sure any of my other large collection of relatives would be on my side in any such conflict. Not that I’d be taking up arms, mind you, but I’d have a logical rooting interest for those that are resisting tyranny. If brother fought brother in Lincoln’s war, think how many would be opposing each other in Civil War II. You would have father versus son, mother versus daughter, wife versus husband. As if American families weren’t already dysfunctional enough. I don’t think any of us would be literally fighting, with blue and red uniforms I guess, but the ideological battle would be brutal. And centered around Trumpenstein.

Trump has praised Governor Abbott for his resolve. Frankly, by merely putting up barbed wire, Abbott has done more than Trump did in four years. It’s not much, of course, but it beats tweeting out toothless threats to put troops on the border, end sanctuary cities, end birthright citizenship, deport millions, and the like. Trump couldn’t even end DACA, which Obama created with an executive order. It wasn’t legislation. But he’s preoccupied, what with being ordered to pay millions to an off-the-wall woman who can’t remember the year in which he raped her. The border may be the boiling point, but this conflict is centered around a corrupt and politicized “justice” system, taxation without representation, and a huge cultural divide.

I guess it’s fitting that illegal immigration should be the triggering mechanism for whatever battle that follows. It was Trump’s foundational issue in 2016, and what turned out to be his empty rhetoric on the subject precipitated an intense hatred towards him unlike that for any other public figure in our history. Ever since Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration “Reform” Act in 1986, this has been a bubble issue, waiting to explode like the “dream deferred” Langston Hughes wrote about. The Reagan Supreme Court, no friendlier to liberty than Trump’s Court, decreed that the children of illegals must be given a free public school education. And the 1965 “Reform” Act directed that almost all legal immigrants be nonwhite persons.

As a fiery young radical, I watched all those old timers, along with the yuppies and soccer moms, accept bilingual signs. Bilingual ballots. Shouldn’t you have to be able to read a ballot in the predominant language of the country you’re voting in? Can you imagine being able to vote in France, or Greece, without understanding either language? But no, it’s “Press 2 for Spanish.” Is cheap labor really worth all that? Worth rendering your citizenship status meaningless? After all, if you don’t have to be a citizen to vote, just what advantage is there to being a citizen? And every “Woke” person in America supports noncitizens being able to vote. They’re the ones who will be opposing us in any prospective Civil War.

I have said many times that America cannot continue in its present, balkanized state. I hate quoting the despot Lincoln, but a house divided against itself cannot stand. There is not a single foundational principle today which all Americans agree upon. God? Millions not only don’t believe in God, but mock and ridicule the concept. We don’t agree on when life begins. Probably at least 80 million Americans will never accept the transgender madness. Cancel us all you want, but you cannot make us believe that men can give birth. We will not accept the mutilation of little boys and little girls, sacrificed on the altar of identity politics.

More Whites are becoming fed up with the Great Replacement. And that lies at the heart of what’s happening at the border. Everyone coming across that border is nonwhite. Persons of color. We who oppose this are cast as colorless and privileged. As I’ve noted, this massive influx of nonwhite migrants is happening exclusively in Western nations. Majority White nations. At least for now. Where is the shrill “Woke” demands that China experience some of our “diversity?” Japan? North Korea? Saudi Arabia? India? This is a very simply equation; import nonwhites into White nations. Sure, it’s expensive, but obviously someone is paying for Haitians and Africans to travel great distances to “diversify” England, Canada, Australia, and the U.S.

Nothing reveals the deterioration of America like our immigration policies. That open southern border is the poster child for America 2.0. And that’s with political prisoners everywhere, and citizens fired for politically incorrect social media posts, made on their own personal time. Legal precedents are being set to sue Thought Criminals for speculating about national events, or “exaggerating” the extent of their wealth. Or for even suggesting electoral fraud. The Orwellian term “Hate Speech” is accepted by almost all. Free speech is more unpopular than ever, and not allowed as a defense in American courtrooms. And our infrastructure “rebuild” consists of renaming “racist” roads, not fixing pot holes. Click your heels and repeat “Build Back Better.” But it’s that open border that epitomizes everything. The Beatles of corruption.

If Greg Abbott and other Republicans surprise us all and stand strong, they will be thoroughly demonized. In a society run by the worst criminals in the world, dissent must be crushed. And so it has been. But it’s gone beyond that. The notion of dissent must be as demonized as any present-day dissenters. So the Founders become dead White male “racists,” memorable only as examples of “White Supremacy.” The stirring fight for liberty and independence becomes converted into endless lectures on how awful American slavery was, juxtaposed against the amazing accomplishments of Black Americans who were simultaneously prevented from accomplishing anything. The Civil War was about slavery. Period. Ask the great Nikki Haley. And World War II was a “good war.” It was about the Holocaust. Period. All enemies are “Nazis.”

If the crisis at the border turns out any other way than the Texas officials skulking back to their offices with their tails between their legs, I’ll be shocked. They aren’t going to let states secede. Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president, demonstrated that to the tune of about 800,000 deaths. You aren’t leaving. Our government is like a cheating, abusive spouse, who won’t give us a divorce. The majority of brainwashed, unthinking Speeple have a special brand of Stockholm Syndrome. Let’s say the unthinkable happens, and the Texas guard and trucker convey defeats federal forces decisively. Would the state controlled media even report it? How would they spin even a federal victory? “U.S. Forces Prevent Texas From Defending its Border?”

One senses that we are in the final act of a play. America 2.0, staggering around the ring, primed to be counted out. Have Texans, at least, been pushed perhaps a bit too far? Despite decades of non-enforcement at the border, has the incredible increase in migrants finally got their attention? Are Texans, or any appreciable number of Americans, capable of saying enough is enough? Our ancestors sacrificed everything for the right of self-determination. I’ll be watching with keen interest, remembering Bull Run, and Valley Forge, and Yorktown, and whistling “Dixie.” Just don’t tell the authorities. I’m pretty sure that’s a Thought Crime at this point.

Tyler Durden Tue, 01/30/2024 - 23:25
Published:1/30/2024 11:47:50 PM
[World] Biden won't acknowledge the failure of Obama's Iran strategy Three years into President Biden's presidency, the continuation of the Obama administration's Iran policy -- getting money to the mullahs and relaxing sanctions in hopes of friendship -- has resulted in disaster. Published:1/30/2024 2:41:13 PM
[075d21d8-5d0e-522f-a747-96a500ea05fa] Top Obama official's attack on Biden's foreign policy failures resurfaces after 3 US soldiers killed Former Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates' past criticism of Joe Biden's foreign policy failures have resurfaced following the deaths of three U.S. soldiers at an outpost in Jordan. Published:1/29/2024 8:39:45 PM
[Markets] Our Democracy™: The Democratic Weaponization Of Government And The Need For Decentralization Our Democracy™: The Democratic Weaponization Of Government And The Need For Decentralization

Authored by Roger Kimball via American Greatness,

Reading Matt Taibbi’s summary how the Democrats weaponized the government against Donald Trump, starting before the election of 2016 and proceeding right up to the present moment, I am reminded once again that the issue is not democracy but “Our Democracy™.”

That is, the Democrats and their deep-state allies in the media and the myriad bureaucracies that actually run the country believe that democracy means “rule by Democrats.”  As Taibbi puts it, “To ‘protect democracy,’ democracy is already being canceled. We just haven’t admitted the implications of this to ourselves yet.”

This is true. Hence the plethora of handwringing articles warning that Donald Trump is a “dictator”-in-waiting, a new Hitler, a refurbished Mussolini who, should he be reelected, will mobilize the military to impose his will on a hapless American populace. Taibbi quotes from a December 2023 “strategy memo” in which Biden’s puppeteers describe Trump as “an existential threat to democracy.”

It sounds absurd.  It is absurd.  But, as I and many others have pointed out, that is the story we are being asked to swallow. This is the logic:

Trump is a “threat to democracy.”

Ergo, we must use “any means necessary” to keep him off the ballot.

Otherwise, people might vote for him, and that would be “bad for democracy.”

The arrogance of this gambit is breathtaking. It assumes, with Liz Cheneyesque smugness, that ordinary people cannot be entrusted with so important a task as electing their leaders. Only anointed saviors like Liz Cheney can do that. But alongside the arrogance of the we-have-to-destroy-democracy-in-order-to-save-it mindset is the chilling revelation of the extremes to which the people in power are willing to go in order to preserve their prerogatives. They will, for example, censor any opinion they do not like as “malinformation,” i.e., an opinion that might be true but is not consistent with The Narrative. It all adds up to what I have called “the Sovietization of America.”

What, as Lenin famously asked, is to be done?

I am not sure anything can be done.  There is a good chance that Michael Anton is right. “They Can’t Let Him Back In,” he wrote in July 2022. “The people who really run the United States of America,” he noted, “have made it clear that they can’t and won’t, if they can help it, allow Donald Trump to be president again.”

Anton and Taibbi both outline some of the many things “they”—the agents of the deep state—will do, are in fact doing right now, to prevent this most awful of eventualities.

My crystal ball is cloudy. I do not know what is going to happen in November 2024. But let’s indulge in what Einstein calls a Gedankenexperiment. Let’s say Trump wins in November. Let’s say further that he somehow manages to evade his enemies and actually take office at noon on January 20, 2025.  What should he do then?

Here is an incomplete list.

The overriding imperative, as I have argued before, must be to do everything possible to reduce the place of Washington in the metabolism of American political life. To this end, Trump should endeavor as far as possible to govern the country from outside of Washington. The first symbolic act should be to hold the inauguration someplace other than Washington. I do not insist that it be held in Mar-a-Lago, but why not?

As to specifics, on the first minute of the first day in office, Trump should take a page from Bill Clinton. He should fire every Democratic prosecutor. All of them. With immediate effect.

One of the first things the Clintons did was to fire the head of the IRS and put their own man in place. Trump should do the same. Ditto for the FBI. In 2017, Trump left Sally Yates, a left-wing Democrat, in effective charge of the DOJ. She was a disaster.

There are thousands of political appointments in the gift of the president.  All Democrats and pajama-boy Republicans should be purged on day one by 12:02. All of them.

Washington is the headquarters of the enemy camp. It is not simply that it is overwhelmingly Democrat, though it is that. More important is the fact that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Party State.  What do I mean by the Party State?  I mean that hypertrophied faction that has gained control of the government of the country. It has a monopoly on virtually all the levers of power, cultural as well as political. It presides over a two-tier system of injustice in which its opponents are harassed, indicted, prosecuted, bankrupted, and jailed, even as malefactors in the protected party are quietly sent on their way with muted warnings or a gentle slap on the wrist.

In The Federalist, James Madison warned about the evils of faction. For most of its history, the United States escaped the worst abuses of that most toxic of political evils. Beginning perhaps with the advent of the ironically named “Great Society” in the mid-1960s, as Christopher Caldwell noted in his steely-eyed book The Age of Entitlement: America Since the 1960s, we have been living under a dual system. There is the Constitution, to which lip service is paid. Then there is what Caldwell calls the “rival” to the Constitution, the apparatus of entitlement. The Constitution aimed to limit the power and reach of government; its rival aims to make government triumph everywhere.

It took a while for this totalitarian system to mature and achieve full penetration.  With initiatives like DEI, ceaseless, omnivorous surveillance, and the machinery of universal censorship, the Party State has come of age. It finally happened under the aegis of Barack Obama and is consolidating its hold on power further even now.

I read that thousands upon thousands of truckers, squadrons of police, and national and state guards from 27 states are headed to Texas to challenge the open border proclaimed by the Party State. Will that challenge loosen its grip on power? Would the reelection of Donald Trump? The former, after a little drama, will most likely be absorbed into the paralysis of bureaucratic non-action. Trump’s victory, assuming it comes about, will be Pyrrhic unless he battles the Leviathan head-on. To the extent that he remains a creature of Washington, however, he will fail.

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/29/2024 - 21:00
Published:1/29/2024 8:39:45 PM
[] Biden's Frenz in Iran Direct Their Proxy Armies to Kill At Least Three American Servicemen; Deathcount Likely to Grow The Iranian terror mullahs are our Partners in Peace (TM). That's what Obama and Val Jarrett have decided. And the decrepit idiot Joe Biden is too weak to question them. Three U.S. service members were killed and at least 25... Published:1/29/2024 12:08:14 PM
[Markets] Meet Amy Pope: The UN's Human-Trafficking Czar Meet Amy Pope: The UN's Human-Trafficking Czar

Authored by Robert A. Bishop via American Thinker,

Meet Amy Pope, an open borders advocate, Obama apparatchik, and an accomplice of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. As the UN's Deputy Secretary of the International Organization of Migration (IOM), the preeminent NGO in the field of migration, she plays an integral role in the illegal alien surge at our southern border.

In the Obama regime, as a policy wonk, she held flashy-sounding job titles: DoJ Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, Special Assistant to the President, Transborder Security Director, Interior Enforcement (2010-2016). During Trump's term, she was a partner in the UK Schillings law firm, an Associate Fellow in the UK's Chatham House think-tank, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council (2017-2020). Bonafides of a globalist influencer.

While at Chatham, nonprofit think-tank Migration Policy Institute (MPI) commissioned Pope for a white paper on "Immigration and U.S. National Security." The Institute advocates for permanent legal residence for undocumented immigrants in the United States and global migration policy. Progressive organizations like the Gates Foundation and George Soros Open Society -- the usual suspects -- fund MPI. The report concluded domestic terrorists represent the most significant threat, while asylum seekers pose a relatively low threat.

The primary terrorist threat comes from small pockets of radicalized individuals or “lone wolves,” many of whom were born and raised in the United States or in Europe and would not be obvious targets for exclusion.

Unfortunately, there is also evidence that much-needed resources, political will, and capability are increasingly being siphoned away from addressing meaningful threats to national security and focused on the extremely low threat posed by people seeking asylum, economic advancement, family reunification, or otherwise traveling to the United States.

Is it a coincidence that her conclusion became DHS Secretary Mayorkas's top security priority of domestic violent extremism?

Before the 2020 elections, she appeared before the UK's Oxford Union, the world's most prestigious debating society. She denounced President Trump for his policy on building the border wall and limiting immigration, sanctimonious proclaiming "that this President has failed in every respect to keep the United States safe from harms," the essence of Kafkaesque reasoning.

Pope was a senior advisor on migration with the Biden administration before becoming the Deputy Director for the UN's International Organization of Migration. Last year, the State Department, which provides substantial grants to IOM, successfully campaigned to get her elected to a five-year term as Director General. 

Her coronation occurred at the United Nations 87th Assembly, meeting with world leaders on human mobility to "harness the power of migration," where migration is a powerful driver to fulfill the UN's Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals. She is proud to be moving tens of millions of people from their land of origin to destabilize Western host nations. 

Pope followed up with a victory lap as a panelist on migration at the UN's Climate Change Conference COP28 and the World Economic Forum. Her slogan is "stakeholders around the world," a euphemism for global Marxism. Her ideology is profoundly rooted in the 'America Last' doctrine.

IOM aims to work closely with governments and other United Nations agencies to enable resettlement.  To achieve that goal, it provides migrants with cash-based interventions, supplies, and transit assistance, in addition to coordinating and managing UN way stations like Lajas Blancas and Bajo Chiquito camps in Panama.

Because of unprecedented migration, Pope's bold strategic plan is increasing the 2024 budget to $7.9 billion -- nearly a threefold increase over the 2023 budget. We can be sure that the State Department will help to fill that void.

Pope is subverting American values and principles by facilitating an illegal alien insurgency, unofficially over eight million primarily military-aged males. Destabilizing social order and undermining the rule of law is the definition of an insurrectionist. Ironically, she violates the United Nations’ definition of human trafficking: “The crime of human trafficking consists of three core elements: the act, the means, the purpose.” Defunding the UN and its NGOs will help curtail the global migration flows.

Bob Bishop is a forensic investigator and retired CPA. His social media accounts are LinkedIn, X, and YouTube.

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/29/2024 - 03:30
Published:1/29/2024 3:01:03 AM
[] Claim: Barack Obama Told Joe Biden to Stop F***ing Everything Up or Get Out of the Race Barack Obama can talk really tough when he's protecting his legacy or ordering around a bull. President Joe Biden is stubbornly ignoring polls, pals, and former President Barack Obama, who are all allegedly telling the 81-year-old he needs to quit... Published:1/26/2024 12:18:32 PM
[Opinion] Forget Prosperity, We Have Abortion For All

by Ray Cardello at CDN -

Michelle Obama once said, “If They go low, we’ll go high.” So what does the Democrat’s favorite First Lady have to say about the Biden/Harris Administration putting their reelection campaign on a one-horse pony: abortion? Silence. The Obamas are sending mixed signals on the 2024 election. They are making suggestions …

Click to read the rest HERE-> Forget Prosperity, We Have Abortion For All first posted at Conservative Daily News

Published:1/25/2024 6:36:41 PM
[] Trump Trade Advisor Peter Navarro Sentenced to Four Months in Prison, for Stiffarming the Fake J6 Committee's Fake Subpoenas And yet, Merrick Garland did not take even the first, preparatory step to charging Hunter Biden for defying a congressional subpoena. Sentenced by an Obama judge. Navarro was convicted of contempt of Congress in September for not complying with a... Published:1/25/2024 12:22:10 PM
[Markets] Trump Trade Advisor Navarro Sentenced To Four Months For Ignoring J6 Subpoena Trump Trade Advisor Navarro Sentenced To Four Months For Ignoring J6 Subpoena

Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was sentenced to four months in jail on Friday for ignoring a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee.

The DOJ had sought six months in jail and a $200,000 fine.

As we noted last week, Navarro was arrested at a DC airport in June of 2022 on two misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges for doing exactly what Obama AG Eric Holder did (with zero consequences), and more recently, Hunter Biden - ignore a Congressional subpoena when he told the Jan. 6 committee to pound sand.

"The Defendant chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi in a 20-page sentencing memo submitted last Thursday night, Politico reported at the time.

Navarro was held in contempt in April of 2022 after he refused to provide documents and testimony to the Jan. 6 committee. A grand jury agreed with prosecutors that Navarro knew Trump hadn't asserted executive privilege to bar him from testifying, and that even if Trump had - it wouldn't have barred Navarro from testifying about certain non-covered subjects demanded by the Committee.

"At no time did the Defendant provide the Committee with any evidence supporting his assertion that the former President had invoked executive privilege over the information the Committee’s subpoena sought from the Defendant, or otherwise challenge the Committee’s authority or composition," wrote Aloi. "The Court was left with only the Defendant’s fan fiction version of what the Defendant wished or hoped the former President might have wanted but left unsaid."

Tyler Durden Thu, 01/25/2024 - 12:35
Published:1/25/2024 11:47:31 AM
[Markets] Q4 GDP Unexpectedly Soars, Driven By Lack Of Destocking And An RV Spending Spree Q4 GDP Unexpectedly Soars, Driven By Lack Of Destocking And An RV Spending Spree

With economist and Wall Street strategists confident that in the fourth quarter US growth would slow sharply after the inventory accumulation-driven Q3 surge which saw the economy explode by 4.9% (down from a 5.2% initial print), moments ago Biden's Bureau of Economic Analysis once again shocked everyone when it reported that in Q4, the US economy actually grew by 3.3% (3.280% to be precise)...

... which was not only above the median consensus of 2.0%, not only above the highest Wall Street estimate of 2.5%, but it was a 5-sgima beat to expectations!

So how can literally everyone on Wall Street be this wrong, and what the hell was Biden's BEA cooking?

Well, according to the official report, "the increase in the fourth quarter primarily reflected increases in consumer spending and exports. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased."

Reading down the report we find the following:

The increase in consumer spending reflected increases in both services and goods. Within services, the leading contributors were food services and accommodations as well as health care. Within goods, the leading contributors to the increase were other nondurable goods (led by pharmaceutical products) as well as recreational goods and vehicles.

Keep that last in mind for a minute, we'll revisit it shortly:  Finally, "the increase in exports reflected increases in both goods (led by petroleum) and services (led by financial services)."

That said, Q4 GDP was below Q3, and according to the BEA, the "deceleration in GDP in the fourth quarter primarily  reflected slowdowns in inventory investment, federal government spending, housing investment, and consumer
spending.
Imports decelerated."

A more granular analysis reveals the following details:

  • Personal consumption contributed 1.91%, more than half of the 3.280%. On an annualized basis, this amounted to a 2.8% increase, better than the 2.5% expected, but down from 3.1% last quarter.
  • Fixed Investment also dipped, adding 0.31% to the bottom line number, down from 0.46% in Q3
  • The change in private inventories was flat, contribuing 0.07% of the bottom line number, and denying expectations of a decline due to Q4 destocking after last quarter's 1.27% inventory change surge.
  • Also in the unexpected column was the contribution from net exports, which added 0.43% to the bottom line number, up from 0.03% last quarter, as exports supposedly surged despite the sharp jump in the dollar in Q4.
  • Finally, government contributed another 0.56% of the bottom line number, which while down from 0.99% in Q3, has continued a bizarre series where government remains one of the largest GDP contributors.

And visually:

Turning to the all important consumption, we can't help but smile when noticing that the BEA is again resorting to such favorite GDP-boosting gimmicks of the old Obama administration as spending on healthcare and... RVs! The two contributed to roughly half the growth in consumer spending in the fourth quarter.

Hilarious RV spending spree aside (although in Biden's economy nobody can afford a house so it does make sense), some of the beat was also a function of a lower-than-expected deflator, which also impacted the unexpected positive contribution from exports which, again, made no sense in light of the much stronger dollar.

Turning to the inflation components, core PCE inflation was in line, which is what matters for the Fed, however this number was stale and we will get a more accurate, monthly not quarterly, print tomorrow. Specifically, Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) prices increased 1.7% in the fourth quarter after increasing 2.6% in the third quarter. Excluding food and energy, the PCE “core” price index increased 2.0%, the same increase as in the third quarter, and in line with estimates.

Finally, real disposable personal income (DPI) - personal income adjusted for taxes and inflation -increased 2.5% in the fourth quarter after increasing 0.3% in the third quarter. Current-dollar DPI increased 4.2% in the fourth quarter, following an increase of 2.9% in the third quarter. The increase in the fourth quarter reflected increases in compensation, personal income receipts on assets, and proprietors’ income that were partly offset by a decrease in personal current transfer receipts.

One can also argue that much of the spending came from the continued drain of savings, and one would be right: personal savings as a percentage of DPI was 4.0% in the fourth quarter, compared with 4.2% in the third quarter. This number will keep dropping.

Overall, as Bloomberg concludes, one can argue that the GDP figure was fairly neutral for markets, as private domestic demand was largely in line with forecasts, as was core inflation.

Tyler Durden Thu, 01/25/2024 - 09:21
Published:1/25/2024 8:35:31 AM
[] REPORT: Barack Obama Is Telling Joe Biden to Quit the 2024 Race Published:1/24/2024 3:17:26 PM
[Uncategorized] Federal Judge Rules DEI/CRT Trainings and Policies Can Violate Federal Law

Somewhat surprisingly, Obama appointee Wendy Beetlestone holds that "constant drumbeat" of anti-white DEI/CRT rhetoric can create a "hostile work environment" in violation of federal law

The post Federal Judge Rules DEI/CRT Trainings and Policies Can Violate Federal Law first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:1/23/2024 9:03:32 PM
[World] No better enemy: America continues to empower its adversaries Seven years ago this month, then-Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that the $150 billion in sanctions relief the Obama administration was providing Iran's rulers would -- to a greater or lesser extent -- fund terrorism. Published:1/23/2024 3:55:59 PM
[World] Is Joe Biden Mounting a Civil War at the Border? Published:1/23/2024 2:23:36 PM
[World] Obama is pulling Biden's puppet strings, voters say in poll Most voters told Rasmussen Reports they agree that Barack Obama is the White House whisperer in Joe Biden's ears, and that this administration doesn't do much without getting the go-ahead from the previous commander-in-chief and his cronies. Really, Rasmussen. That's so obvious it's almost comical. Published:1/23/2024 6:48:03 AM
[Uncategorized] “too much energy” Fifty years ago the US was experiencing severe energy shortages due to Arab oil producing states shutting down sales to the US.  Obama’s future science advisor (John Holdren) said that was a good thing. WASHINGTON (UPI) _ Terrorism is less … Continue reading Published:1/22/2024 2:09:11 AM
[Markets] Pennsylvania Gun Restrictions For Adults Under 21 Struck Down By Federal Court Pennsylvania Gun Restrictions For Adults Under 21 Struck Down By Federal Court

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Pennsylvania’s ban on adults under 21 carrying guns in public violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal court ruled on Jan. 18.

GREELEY, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 12: Pistols and other weapons are displayed at a shooting range during the “Rod of Iron Freedom Festival” on on October 12, 2019 in Greeley, Pennsylvania. The two-day event, which is organized by Kahr Arms/Tommy Gun Warehouse and Rod of Iron Ministries, has billed itself as a “second amendment rally and celebration of freedom, faith and family.” Numerous speakers, vendors and displays celebrated guns and gun culture in America. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Constitution’s Second Amendment, which says that “the people” have the right to “keep and bear arms,” applies to all adults, a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit panel said in a split decision.

The words ’the people' in the Second Amendment presumptively encompass all adult Americans, including 18- to-20-year-olds, and we are aware of no founding-era law that supports disarming people in that age group,” U.S. Circuit Judge Kent Jordan wrote for the majority.

In a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the nation’s top court found that gun restrictions must be “consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

Pennsylvania law bars carrying guns in a concealed manner in public without a license. People under 21 cannot apply for a permit.

While most Pennsylvania adults are typically allowed to carry guns openly in public, only those who met certain criteria, such as having a license, were able to do so legally once a state of emergency was declared for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those restrictions violated the constitutional rights of adults under 21, plaintiffs argued in a lawsuit filed in 2020.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled against them in 2021. He said that per guidelines outlined in a 2008 Supreme Court decision, the restrictions were “longstanding” and “presumptively lawful” and thus fell “outside the scope of the Second Amendment.”

The Firearms Policy Coalition and the other plaintiffs appealed, arguing the ruling was wrong. When the Supreme Court issued its 2022 ruling, the plaintiffs notified the appeals court. The 2022 ruling established that the right of adults to carry guns in public “is squarely protected by the Second Amendment” and Pennsylvania “has not carried its burden in proving that the State’s restrictions as to 18-to-20-year-olds are analogous to any historical restrictions,” the plaintiffs said.

Pennsylvania officials argued that the regulations still fell outside the scope of the Constitution, in part because adults aged 18 to 20 are not part of “the people” and should not be struck down.

Judge Jordan, in the new ruling, said that’s not true.

18-to-20-year-olds are, like other subsets of the American public, presumptively among ’the people' to whom Second Amendment rights extend,” he wrote.

That means Pennsylvania officials would have to identify historical laws that limited the population’s gun rights, and they did not do so, the judge added. In fact, an act passed by Congress shortly after the Second Amendment was ratified required all men to enroll in a militia when they turned 18. They were then armed.

“We understand that a reasonable debate can be had over allowing young adults to be armed, but the issue before us is a narrow one. Our question is whether the Commissioner has borne his burden of proving that evidence of founding-era regulations supports Pennsylvania’s restriction on 18-to-20-year-olds’ Second Amendment rights, and the answer to that is no,” Judge Jordan said.

U.S. Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith joined with Judge Jordan. Both were appointed by former President George W. Bush, while Judge Stickman was appointed by former President Donald Trump.

U.S. Circuit Judge L. Felipe Restrepo, appointed under former President Barack Obama, offered a dissent.

“There is no dispute that there is some age threshold before which the protection of the Second Amendment does not apply,” Judge Restrepo wrote, adding later that consultation with various sources led him to believe that “the scope of the right, as understood during the Founding-era, excludes those under the age of 21.”

The decision reversed the earlier ruling against the plaintiffs.

Reactions

The Firearms Policy Coalition cheered the new ruling.

“We applaud the Third Circuit’s decision in this case confirming that 18-to-20-year-old adults have the same right to armed self-defense as any other adult,” Cody J. Wisniewski, counsel for the coalition, said in a statement. “If it wasn’t for 18-to-20-year-old adults being empowered to exercise their right to defend themselves, their loved ones, and their communities, our nation wouldn’t exist–it would be a deep perversion of the Constitution to prevent them the same right today.”

Today’s ruling ensures that these individuals have the ability to defend themselves during a state of emergency,” Adam Kraut, the Second Amendment Foundation’s executive director, added. The foundation was also part of the suit.

Other plaintiffs included Madison Lara, an adult under 21 who owns a rifle and handgun and said she wants to be able to carry them around for self-defense, and Logan Miller, another affected Pennsylvania resident who lawyers said has abstained from carrying guns to avoid being charged with a felony.

The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) was the named defendant in the case.

“PSP has no comment, as our attorneys are still reviewing the ruling,” a spokesman told The Epoch Times in an email.

The office of Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, did not respond to a request for comment.

Tyler Durden Sun, 01/21/2024 - 17:30
Published:1/21/2024 5:06:08 PM
[Markets] Advocates Outraged That Feds Asked Banks To Search Customers' 'Religious Texts' Purchases Advocates Outraged That Feds Asked Banks To Search Customers' 'Religious Texts' Purchases

Authored by Mark Tapscott via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Faith leaders and religious liberty advocates are up in arms over news that the federal government encouraged banks and other financial institutions to search customers’ private accounts using the search term “religious texts.”

Tony Perkins (C), president of the Family Research Council, speaks during an interfaith roundtable on the Chinese Communist Party's threat to religious freedom in Washington on July 12, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

The “religious texts” search term was among those federal officials asked financial institutions to use following the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, a congressional source with direct knowledge confirmed to The Epoch Times on Jan. 18.

Other terms that banks, credit card companies, and financial firms were asked to use in the searches included “MAGA” and “Trump,” according to the House Judiciary Committee. Federal officials at the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department sought the data from such searches as part of their investigation of the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Religious liberty advocates interviewed by The Epoch Times were unanimous in condemning the searches, which were conducted without judicially authorized search warrants.

“This is beyond alarming,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told The Epoch Times. “If we did a word search in history of the type of activities the Biden administration is engaged in, it would return words like ‘KGB,’ ’totalitarian,‘ ’repressive,’ ‘anti-democratic,’ and ‘grave threat to freedom.’”

Family Research Council is a Washington-based nonprofit advocacy group that works on behalf of traditional values, including and especially defense of the family and religious freedom.

The last place you would anticipate this kind of government intrusion into freedom of speech is America and yet it is rife with this administration and with the ‘deep state,’” Liberty Counsel founder and Chairman Mat Staver told The Epoch Times.

“It is a very serious concern and it should be a serious concern, no matter your political beliefs because if this is permitted, then it just depends on who is in power. This is what despotic governments do to suppress people that they don’t agree with,” he said.

Mr. Staver’s organization, Liberty Counsel, is an Orlando, Florida-based nonprofit religious liberty defense foundation.

‘Mockery of Our Laws’

Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO, and chief counsel for the Plano, Texas-based First Liberty Institute, told The Epoch Times the searches exposed by the House panel represent a threat to religious freedom.

“It’s outrageous and frankly chilling that the federal government may be urging banks to monitor Americans for exercising their religious freedom by simply purchasing a Bible or other religious text,” Mr. Shackelford said.

Weaponizing the federal government against religious Americans freely exercising their constitutionally protected freedom is outrageous and a danger to all our freedoms. It makes a mockery of our laws. When religious people are attacked and religious freedom is not upheld, all other civil liberties—including economic freedom—soon start crumbling.”

“This news should serve as a wake-up call for every American,“ warned Jeremy Tedesco, senior vice president of corporate engagement for Alliance Defending Freedom. ”The revelation that the government is working with financial institutions to flag everyday American citizens as ’threats’ because they shop at Cabelas, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or buy religious texts is terrifying.

“No one should live in fear that law enforcement or a financial service provider will flag their account based on the exercise of their constitutionally protected rights.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a Jan. 17 statement that the searches were sought by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Stakeholder Integration and Engagement in the Strategic Operations of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), in conjunction with the FBI.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) accused the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division of politically based prosecutions while questioning U.S. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke during a House hearing about “Oversight of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division” in Washington on Dec. 5, 2023. (Screenshot via NTD)

Mr. Jordan wrote a Jan. 17 letter to Noah Bishoff, the former FinCEN director who is now the anti-money laundering officer for Plaid Inc., a San Francisco digital financial platform developer and marketer.

According to this analysis, FinCEN warned financial institutions of ‘extremism’ indicators that include ‘transportation charges, such as bus tickets, rental cars, or plane tickets, for travel areas with no apparent purpose,’ or ‘the purchase of books (including religious texts) and subscriptions to other media containing extremist views,’” Mr. Jordan wrote.

“In other words, FinCEN used large financial institutions to comb through the private transactions of their customers for suspicious charges on the basis of protected political and religious expression.”

Officials’ Testimony Sought

Mr. Bishoff was asked to provide testimony to the House Judiciary panel about the searches, as was Peter Sullivan, senior private sector partner for outreach in the Strategic Partner Engagement Section of the FBI.

“Freedom of Religion is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution,” Mr. Jordan told The Epoch Times. “It should frighten every American that the federal government is watching people based on their purchases. This is as wrong as it gets and we will continue to expose this blatant attack on faith and civil liberties.”

In a Jan. 17 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Mr. Jordan explained that Mr. Sullivan’s testimony “will help to inform the [House Judiciary] Committee and Select Subcommittee [on the Weaponization of the Federal Government] about the FBI’s mass accumulation and use of Americans’ private information without legal process; the FBI’s protocols, if any, to safeguard Americans’ privacy and constitutional rights in the receipt and use of such information; and the FBI’s general engagement with the private sector on law-enforcement matters.”

Congressional leaders also told The Epoch Times the searches warrant further investigation and corrective action.

FBI Director Christopher Wray looks over notes as he arrives for a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 10, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) also commented.

The Biden administration is bringing back ‘Operation Chokepoint’ from the Obama-Biden era to weaponize our financial system against their political opponents. House Republicans, under the leadership of Chairman Jordan and the House Judiciary Committee, will not tolerate this un-American abuse of power.” Mr. Emmer said.

He was referring to a Department of Justice investigation in 2013 of firearms dealers, payday lenders, and other businesses thought to be vulnerable to money laundering.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told The Epoch Times that “digging through American citizens’ private financial transactions, based on political phrases, is a clear weaponization of the federal government and those responsible must be held responsible.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the searches “outrageous” and claimed “the Biden administration is using federal law enforcement to engage in financial surveillance of Americans. ... Shockingly, the government is even monitoring people for purchasing religious texts like the Bible. This is an Orwellian invasion of privacy, and it should have never happened in the United States. Biden’s bureaucrats running this horrendous financial surveillance system must be held accountable.”

Similarly, Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) told The Epoch Times: “This is yet another example of the federal government being weaponized against Joe Biden’s political opposition, as well as people of faith. This sort of activity is highly concerning and warrants further investigation. I applaud the House Judiciary Committee for digging into this issue and I look forward to investigators exposing and rooting out this misconduct.”

Tactics of Marxism

Shea Bradley-Farrell is an international development professional and president of the Washington-based Counterpoint Institute for Policy, Research, and Education. She told The Epoch Times that the searches are typical of the control measures used by totalitarian regimes to counter dissidents and other groups not approved by the authorities.

Weaponizing the federal government against private citizens for their political or religious beliefs is straight out of the playbook of Marxism, and was also used to identify, crush, and control the occupied peoples under the communist Soviet Union,” Ms. Bradley-Farrell said.

“As I explain in my book, ‘Last Warning to the West,’ these are totalitarian, police-state tactics used to impose ‘docility, discipline and controllability of subject populations. These are warrantless searches that violate the Fourth Amendment.”

A spokesman for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Tyler Durden Sat, 01/20/2024 - 15:10
Published:1/20/2024 2:43:56 PM
[World] Inside Malia Obama's Private World After Growing Up in the White House Malia Obama, Barack Obama Malia Obama was ready to strike out on her own after high school, let alone once she finished college. After committing to Harvard, the first daughter spent a gap year traveling and interning in...
Published:1/20/2024 12:33:35 PM
[Uncategorized] The Art of Projection: Obama ‘Wingman’ Eric Holder Claims Trump Will Use DOJ to Prosecute Political Opponents

"A second Trump term would have a politicized, weaponized -- forget politicized -- weaponized United States Department of Justice that would do the kinds of things"

The post The Art of Projection: Obama ‘Wingman’ Eric Holder Claims Trump Will Use DOJ to Prosecute Political Opponents first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:1/20/2024 9:57:36 AM
[Markets] Judge Orders Wind Farm Dismantled In Win For Tribal Sovereignty Judge Orders Wind Farm Dismantled In Win For Tribal Sovereignty

Authored by Bonner Russell Cohen Via RealClear Wire,

Capping a legal battle that had raged for over a decade, a federal judge in late December handed the Osage Nation a major victory by ordering wind farm developers to dismantle dozens of turbines they had erected on tribal land in northeastern Oklahoma.

By ordering the scuttling of 84 turbines spread over 8,400 acres of land, along with the removal of underground lines, overhead transmission lines, and meteorological towers, U.S. Court of International Trade Judge Jennifer Choe-Groves essentially ruled that the renewable energy project, known as Osage Wind, should never have been constructed in the first place because the developers – Osage Wind LLC, Enel Kansas LLC, and Enel Green Power North America – did not have the required lease from the Osage Minerals Council.

“The developers failed to acquire a mining lease during or after construction, as well as after issuance of the 10th Court of Appeals’ decision hold that a mining lease was required,” Choe-Groves ruled, according to Tulsa World (Dec. 22). 

“On the record before the Court, it is clear that Defendants are actively avoiding the leasing requirement,” Choe-Groves said. “Permitting such behavior would create the prospect for further interference with the Osage Mineral Council’s authority by Defendants or others wishing to develop the minerals lease.

“The Court concludes that Defendants’ past and present refusal to obtain a lease constitutes interference with the sovereignty of the Osage Nation and is sufficient to constitute irreparable injury.”

The reference to minerals is key to understanding the case. Wind turbines not only soar into the air from the surface of the land. Their construction also requires the subsurface smashing of rocks and other excavation necessary to ground the turbines.  The Osage Nation and its Minerals Council have claimed for years that this subsurface excavation activity constitutes mining and is covered by the tribe’s mineral rights.  And for that the developers needed a lease from the Osage Mining Council which they never sought. The developers began leasing the surface rights in 2013 but never bothered to acquire the subsurface mineral rights.  In the end, that was their undoing.

“A Win for Indian Country”

Still, the long, and expensive, court battle took its toll on the ultimately victorious Osage Nation.

“I hope no other tribe has to do what we had to do,” Osage Minerals Council Chairman Everett Walker to Tulsa World in an interview. “This is a win not only for the Osage Minerals Council; this is a win for Indian Country.”

“There are a lot of smaller tribes that couldn’t have battled this long, but that’s why we’re Osages,” Walker added. “We’re here, and this is our homeland, and we are going to protect it at all costs.”

The battle between the Osage Nation and the wind-farm developers got underway in 2011 and has lasted through the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations.  Throughout the litigation, the Interior Department, which administers the tribe’s mineral rights, has supported the Osages’ claims. Even the Biden administration, whose political appointees at Interior have enthusiastically greenlighted wind and solar projects on federal land, stuck with the tribe on the question of mineral rights.

While seeing 84 giant wind turbines disappear will be a bitter pill to swallow for Biden climate crusaders at Interior, they appear to have concluded that this was the wrong fight under the wrong circumstances.

Bonner Russell Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT.

Tyler Durden Fri, 01/19/2024 - 22:20
Published:1/19/2024 9:55:41 PM
[Markets] Obama DOJ Wants To Jail Peter Navarro For 6 Months For Same Thing Eric Holder Got Away With Obama DOJ Wants To Jail Peter Navarro For 6 Months For Same Thing Eric Holder Got Away With

Former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro - the only guy who openly stood up to Anthony Fauci's authoritarian lockdown 'science' - is facing six months in jail and a $200,000 fine if the Biden DOJ gets its way, after Navarro defied a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 select committee.

Navarro was arrested at a DC airport in June of 2022 on two misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges for doing exactly what Obama AG Eric Holder did (with zero consequences), and more recently, Hunter Biden - ignore a Congressional subpoena when he told the Jan. 6 committee to pound sand.

"The Defendant chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi in a 20-page sentencing memo submitted Thursday night, Politico reports.

He will be sentenced by a federal judge next week after being convicted in September of said charges, after Aloi said that he "thumbed his nose at Congressional authority" and would likely do so again if it meant serving the "political interests of his allies and patrons."

The prosecutor said Navarro summarily refused to aid the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation into the causes of the violent assault at the Capitol — including efforts by Trump to subvert the 2020 election and derail the transfer of power. Navarro worked with allies in Congress on a strategy to help slow Congress’ counting of electoral votes via a strategy that he and fellow Trump ally Steve Bannon dubbed “The Green Bay Sweep.”

The Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Navarro to discuss those efforts, but he quickly told them that his testimony was barred by executive privilege, and he declined to participate in their probe. -Politico

Navarro was held in contempt in April 2022, after which the DOJ obtained a grand jury indictment for refusing to provide documents and testimony. According to prosecutors, Navarro knew that Trump had never actually asserted executive privilege to bar him from testifying, and that such an assertion would not preclude him from testifying about at least some of the subjects demanded by the committee.

"At no time did the Defendant provide the Committee with any evidence supporting his assertion that the former President had invoked executive privilege over the information the Committee’s subpoena sought from the Defendant, or otherwise challenge the Committee’s authority or composition," wrote Aloi. "The Court was left with only the Defendant’s fan fiction version of what the Defendant wished or hoped the former President might have wanted but left unsaid."

Eric Who?

Obama Attorney General Eric Holder famously also defied a congressional subpoena, and was held in contempt for concealing documents related to the "fast & furious" scandal, which was tied to the death of an estimated 150 Mexican civilians - while Navarro is refusing to answer House Democrats' questions surrounding the 2020 election and the January 6th riot.

Where's the 'equity' in that?

Tyler Durden Fri, 01/19/2024 - 20:00
Published:1/19/2024 7:11:29 PM
[Presidential Election of 2024] Many Americans in Disbelief Over Trump-Biden Election Rematch Unable to fathom a 2020 rematch, many Americans are clinging to forlorn hopes and floating wild theories — including that Michelle Obama might replace President Biden. Published:1/19/2024 10:37:22 AM
[Markets] VDH: The Hysterical Style In American Politics VDH: The Hysterical Style In American Politics

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via American Greatness,

The post-Joe McCarthy era and the candidacy of Barry Goldwater once prompted liberal political scientist Richard Hofstadter to chronicle a supposedly long-standing right-wing “paranoid style” of conspiracy-fed extremism.

But far more common, especially in the 21st century, has been a left-wing, hysterical style of inventing scandals and manipulating perceived tensions for political advantage.

Or, in the immortal words of Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

The 2008 economic emergency crested on September 7, with the near collapse of the home mortgage industry.

Obama took office on January 20, 2009, more than four months after the meltdown. In that interim, the officials had finally restored financial confidence and plotted a course of economic recovery.

No matter.

The Obama administration never stopped hyping the financial meltdown as if it had just occurred. That way, it rammed through Obamacare, massive deficit spending, and the vast expansion of the federal government.

All that stymied economic growth and recovery for years.

In 2016, Donald Trump was declared Hitler-like and an existential threat to democracy.

Amid this derangement syndrome, any means necessary to stop him were justified: the Russian collusion hoax, impeachment over a phone call, or the Hunter laptop disinformation farce.

Eventually, the left sought to normalize the once unthinkable: removing the leading presidential candidate from state ballots and indicting him in state and local courts.

Nothing was off limits—not forging a federal court document, calling for a military coup, rioting on Inauguration Day, or radically changing the way Americans voted in presidential elections.

In October 2017, allegations surfaced about serial sexual predation by liberal cinema icon Harvey Weinstein.

The #MeToo furor immediately followed.

At first, accusers properly outed dozens of mostly liberal celebrities, actors, authors, and CEOs for their prior and mostly covered-up sexual harassment and often assault.

But soon, the once legitimate movement had morphed into general hysteria.

Thousands of men (and women) were persecuted for alleged offenses, often sexual banter or rude repartee, committed decades prior.

#MeToo jumped the shark with the left-wing effort to take down conservative Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Would-be accusers surfaced from his high school days, 35 years earlier, but without any supporting evidence or witnesses for their wild, lurid charges.

#MeToo hysteria ended when too many liberal grandees were endangered.

Most dramatically, former Joe Biden senatorial aide Tara Reade came forward during the 2020 campaign cycle with charges that front-runner Joe Biden had once sexually assaulted her—and was trashed by the liberal media.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States during the winter of 2020 prompted an even greater hysteria.

Without scientific evidence, federal health czars Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins were able to convince the Trump administration to shut down the economy in the country’s first national quarantine.

Suddenly, it became a thought crime to question the wisdom of six-foot social distancing, of mandatory mask wearing, of the Wuhan virology lab’s origin of the COVID virus, or of off-label use of prescription drugs.

Left-wing politicians and celebrities, from Hillary Clinton and Gavin Newsom to Jane Fonda, all blurted out the political advantages that the lockdowns offered—from recalibrating capitalism and health care to ensuring the 2020 defeat of Donald Trump.

The COVID hysteria magically ended when Joe Biden won the 2020 election. Suddenly, the lies about the bat or pangolin origins of the virus faded. The damage from the quarantines could no longer be repressed. And herd immunity gradually mitigated the epidemic.

The lockdown caused untold economic chaos, suicides, and health crises.

One result was the 120 days of looting, arson, death, destruction, and violence spawned by Antifa and Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody in May 2020.

Suddenly, a hysterical lie took hold: American police were waging war against black males.

The details around Floyd’s sudden death—he was in the act of committing a felony, resisting arrest, suffering from coronary artery disease and the after-effects of COVID, and being high on dangerous drugs—were off limits.

The riot toll reached $2 billion in property damage, over 35 deaths, and 1,500 injured law enforcement officers. A federal courthouse, a police precinct, and a historic church were torched.

Police forces were defunded.

Emboldened left-wing prosecutors nullified existing laws.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion commissars spread throughout American higher education as meritocracy came under assault.

Racial essentialism triumphed.

Racially segregated dorms, campus spaces, and graduations were normalized.

Everything from destroying the southern border to dropping SAT requirements for college admission followed.

Sometimes real, sometimes hyped crises lead to these contrived left-wing hysterias—like the January 6 violent “armed insurrection” or the “fascist” “ultra-MAGA” threat.

Otherwise, the progressive movement cannot enact its unpopular agendas. So it must scare the people silly and gin up chaos to destroy its perceived enemies—any crisis it can.

Tyler Durden Thu, 01/18/2024 - 17:00
Published:1/18/2024 4:17:14 PM
[Entertainment] Barack & Michelle Obama's Love Story Is Even Better Than You Thought Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, 2018 If behind every great man there's an even greater woman, reserve all the superlatives for Michelle Obama. Though the former first lady would probably implore you to take it down a notch. Since...
Published:1/17/2024 6:52:20 AM
[Culture] Obama Flinches at His Own Legacy

A movie produced by the former president tries and fails to grasp the consequences of American empire.

The post Obama Flinches at His Own Legacy appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:1/16/2024 11:00:34 PM
[Markets] Dissecting A Modern Vaccine Propaganda Piece Dissecting A Modern Vaccine Propaganda Piece

Authored by 'A Midwestern Doctor' via 'The Forgotten Side Of Medicien' Substack,

Recently, I published an article which discussed how science been hijacked by corporate interests and turned into a dogma no one is allowed to question. After Pierre Kory shared it, it ended up going viral on Twitter.

It got enough traction that even Hotez himself “responded” to it (normally he hides from every chance to debate) by retweeting a zealous adherent of his narrative.

Note: one of the most remarkable things about these tweets is that they disprove themselves, as they deny Hotez believes any of that, but simultaneously states that he does indeed believe it. As this article will show, that type of “logic” is a recurring theme with Peter Hotez.

Based on the feedback I received, I realized a lot of people were interested in knowing what was inside the book and why Hotez is such a frequent target of criticisms. Additionally, given Hotez’s “response,” I felt it was important to share exactly what he proposed doing to those who disagree with him and how the WHO is working behind the scenes to make that happen.

Why Is Peter Hotez Dangerous?

Hotez has long drawn the ire of the vaccine safety community because he will relentlessly defend the narrative and attack anyone who questions vaccine safety.

For example, many parents believe vaccines cause autism because they had a child who was completely normal who then received their vaccines, had a bad reaction to them and then rapidly regressed into permanent autism. Conversely, I do not know of any cases of a child rapidly regressing into autism immediately before their vaccination appointment (which one would expect to happen if the autistic regression “happened by chance”).

Note: I personally believe vaccines cause autism because I and colleagues have seen countless children who:

  • Have similar adverse reactions to vaccination (e.g., high fevers or a non-stop piercing cry) which is then followed by rapid autistic regression.

  • Have numerous signs that microstrokes occurred (e.g., impaired function of the nerves that innervate the face) along with a variety of biomarkers indicating they are trapped in the cell danger response or a hyper inflammatory state—all of which has also been observed by many other clinicians and are a common side effect of vaccination.

  • Improve once the blood flow to the brain is restored, the cell danger response is resolved, or the inflammation in their system is reduced. While this rarely results in a 100% recovery (due to the brain tissue that is permanently lost), we have many cases where we’ve observed remarkable improvements, even in cases that were treated decades after the initial injury.

Peter Hotez (a pediatrician) in turn has spent years speaking on the mainstream media to debunk any link between autism and vaccines, which eventually led him to write a book about his autistic daughter to “definitively” prove vaccines don’t cause autism that he then brandished around each time he spoke in public.

Note: Hotez’s book doesn’t actually disprove the link between vaccines and autism. Rather, it shares his own subjective trains of logic which predictably led him to conclude that it doesn’t make any sense vaccines could cause autism. Conversely, he reveals the limits of his pediatric knowledge (as he had to take his autistically regressing daughter to a specialist to get a diagnosis) and reveals that his daughter had numerous signs of a debilitating vaccine injury (e.g., the piercing cry) that Hotez to this day has not recognized.

While many things in it were quite cruel, some of the most noteworthy included:

  • Denouncing parents who wanted to consider the possibility vaccines caused autism because…it diverts some of the funding away from the social support offered to autistic individuals (which cannot come close to meeting the demand for it as caring for autistic individuals is expensive and more and more people are developing autism).

  • Insisting the only reason parents consider the autism vaccine link was because of a retracted paper Andrew Wakefield wrote (rather than because a lot of people witnessed severe injuries immediately following vaccination). This brief clip illustrates why I don’t support this gaslighting:

Note: for context, Wakefield’s infamous 1998 Lancet paper was simply a case study where 12 children who had experienced both neurological regression (i.e., autism) and gastrointestinal issues (e.g., abdominal pain) shortly after MMR vaccination then had their bowels examined where it was shown they did indeed have bowel inflammation. I have often thought the reason why this paper is still viciously attacked decades later is to both to dismiss the idea people might have a legitimate reason for believing vaccines cause autism and to send a harsh warning to the medical journals to never publish anything which threatens the narrative. I am mentioning that here because Hotez frequently utilizes a similar tactic to dismiss any notion severely injured patients might have that the COVID vaccine was responsible for their illness.

Due to his experience in “combatting vaccine misinformation” as public resistance grew towards the slew of mandates that were enacted across the nation during Obama’s presidency, Hotez became much more vocal in both denouncing the antivaccine movement. In turn, Hotez went on a speaking tour across the country calling for Silicon Valley to censor all criticisms of vaccination online.

During Trump’s presidency, Hotez began actively denouncing each science related policy Trump put forward, but once the Pandemic began, Hotez (an avowed left-wing partisan) became a constant cheerleader for Biden’s vaccine program.

In May of 2020, he published an article about COVID-19 and the antivaccine movement which concluded:

To mitigate the consequences of a reinvigorated antivaccine movement in America it will be essential for the White House, together with the NIH and other elements of our science infrastructure, to shape a well-crafted vaccine communication plan. They must also designate a trusted spokesperson who can articulate and carry the message.

While Hotez repeatedly criticized the coronavirus vaccination development efforts during Trump’s presidency (including doing so before Congress), once the administrations transitioned, Hotez quickly worked to become that spokesman and before long was seen on every network zealously promoting whatever the current vaccine messaging was.

Note: After George W. Bush won the nomination, he assigned Dick Cheney to determine who his vice president should be, who as we know was ultimately chosen for that role. I have often wondered if Cheney inspired Hotez to assume the role Hotez worked to create.

Remarkably (as shown later in this article), in addition to contradicting his previous warning against the vaccines, he quickly began contradicting what he had previous said on television (as the vaccines continually failed to meet their promise and the goal posts had to be moved again and again).

During his previous vaccine tour, like many, I erroneously assumed Hotez was a clown (as much of what he said was so absurd I didn’t see how anyone could take it seriously) and the best thing that could be done was to ignore him. This was a big mistake as Hotez’s speaking tour paved the way for the deadly mass censorship of lifesaving COVID-19 treatments and reports severe vaccine injuries we saw throughout the pandemic.

In his current tour, Hotez has continually advanced the idea that anyone who disagrees with the narrative (e.g., by questioning the safety or efficacy of the vaccines) is a danger to society and must be censored. Before long, that turned into for calls for the government to be mobilized against anyone who challenged the corporate “scientific” narrative):

Many of us recognized how dangerous Hotez's message was and a successful grassroots campaign was conducted which took the wind out of this PR campaign.

Unfortunately, they haven’t given up. Hotez has been given a lot of media time to relentlessly promote a new book which argues “not trusting the science” will bring catastrophic death and the destruction, while the WHO in tandem is pushing for a treaty which will give them the ability to outlaw any dissent against their next pandemic response: (fwd to around 26:00)

Note: this video is really important to watch and it cuts to the heart of why Hotez’s book (which represents the tip of the spear to push the WHO’s provisions forward) is so important to expose.

From reviewing Hotez’s book, it’s quite clear it was targeted to an uninformed audience who are not aware of the broader context which immediately refutes most of his points. For this reason, I believe it’s important to provide that context.

Note: the degree of gaslighting in this book is astounding, and I would in turn advise against reading it if you were seriously harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic policies and are sensitive to someone saying all of that was in your head (this is also why so many parents of autistic children hold great disdain for Peter Hotez).

First Order Thinking

In medical education, one of the primary metrics everyone (e.g., both the students and schools) are judged on is their performance on board examinations, so a “subculture” exists which revolves around the intricacies of those examinations.

One of its foundational concepts are first order vs. second order vs. third order questions. In first order questions, you simply have to recall a testable factoid (e.g., which of the following is a side effect of ciprofloxacin), while in second order questions, you need to be able to link two memorized facts together (which of the following would be an expected side effect of the first line antibiotic to treat this infection), while in third order questions, you need to link three chains of memorized facts together (e.g., based on the patients symptoms, for the condition those symptoms suggest [with the condition not being stated in the question], what is the most common side effect of the drug that would be used to treat it).

Initially medical students receive more first order questions. Then, later in their training as they have more medical knowledge (e.g., they can instantly identify the infection being described by the question stem) their examinations test a great proportion of second or third order questions (you have to pass quite a few to get a medical license).

In the previous article, I argued that the main reason the vaccine propagandists won’t ever agree to public debate is because much of what they espouse has a high enough discordance with reality that it instantly falls apart under cross examination and second order thinking.

Note: in another article I provided numerous examples where the press allowed an open debate on a national vaccination campaign program and in each case public opinion rapidly turned agains the campaign. This predictably led to all discussions which did not wholeheartedly endorse the mantra “safe and effective,” being phased out of the media after Clinton enacted regulations in 1997 that allowed the pharmaceutical industry to buy out the press.

More than anyone else in America, Peter Hotez exemplifies this strategy as he constantly is brought on by compliant news hosts who echo everything Hotez says, but simultaneously, Hotez will never even go in front of a neutral audience who exposes his statements to a basic degree of scrutiny.

After I read his book, I had a realization; the majority of Hotez’s “arguments” are first order statements which immediately are invalidated if you know the related context. Furthermore, Hotez often provided the context that disproves his first order argument in another part of his book. This is remarkable and something I very rarely see authors do.

For example, he justifies the need for everyone to get a polio vaccination by…the fact people are catching polio from the polio vaccine.

Poliovirus strains continue to circulate in the environment primarily because gaps in vaccination facilitate ongoing transmission. In the US and UK cases, the poliovirus discovered was derived from a strain that originated from the live oral vaccine (vaccine-derived poliovirus, or VDPV) but mutated until it acquired characteristics that resembled a wild-type poliovirus. It can then propagate among the unvaccinated. Therefore, the presence of VDPV is a biomarker for “significant numbers of unvaccinated people.

Likewise, Hotez denounces RFK Jr. for falsely claiming that Hotez pushed to make criticizing Anthony Fauci a felony “I never said criticizing Dr. Fauci should constitute a felony.” Beyond failing to mention that RFK Jr. was simply referencing Hotez’s recent publication which called for criticizing scientists to become a hate crime, Hotez actually repeats that call that later in his book.

Note: this duplicity is analogous to how Hotez frequently says public statements which are disproven by previous public statements he’s made.

When this ridiculous style of rhetoric is used, it’s very easy to pick it apart. As a result, it can only work on an audience if they are put placed into a tunnel which emotionally hammers that narrative to the viewer (which sadly aptly describes much of the mainstream media), and likewise illustrates why those venues can never host a scientific debate.

Note: many medical students have shared with me how frustrating they find it that many of their supervising doctors will tell them something they are expected to perfectly memorize and fully believe, but simultaneously those doctors never do the work to provide the full context to their medical factoid and share the nuances behind it. Remarkably, those doctors often feel they “did an excellent job ‘teaching’ the material,” despite them having done nothing except repeat their own soundbites. This is very similar to Dr. Hotez’s method of “educating the public,” as he frequently refers to it as a heroic effort to educate the public, but all he actually does is repeat and repeat the first-order statements which conform to the current narrative.

Remarkably, in many cases, what Hotez proposes is so absurd, both sides of the political spectrum oppose it. For example, this is what an LGBTQ organization said in response to Hotez’s hate crime proposal (which Hotez of course refused to comment on):

Why the Hypocrisy?

No one is perfect, so to some extent everyone is hypocritical and because of this I frequently try to avoid having hypocrisy be a basis for attacking someone’s position.

In general, I find that subtle hypocrisy can only be recognized with second or third order thinking, whereas blatant hypocrisy is often evident to a first order thinker. For this reason, I typically only critique the most egregious examples.

In turn, one of the remarkable themes throughout the book is how often Hotez accuses the other side of doing what he is doing. For example he:

  • Laments the fact people are “persecuting” him by challenging or mocking his less than truthful statements, yet Hotez simultaneously calls for those he disagrees with to be silenced, cancelled and punished and omits to mention the professional, economic or criminal consequences those who oppose the narrative have faced (e.g., consider what Washington’s medical board just did to Ryan Cole because he saved people’s lives by prescribing ivermectin to them).

  • Falsely accuses the vaccine safety community of using the default approach he and the mass media use to defend the narrative:

Its propaganda campaigns employ multiple channels and media approaches in a blitz that is sometimes referred to as a “firehose of falsehood.” The messaging is described as high volume, multichannel, repetitive, and without consistency or even reality”

  • Attributes many of the well-known side effects of the vaccines to not enough people vaccinating:

Especially worrisome are the findings from Oxford University researchers showing gray matter brain degeneration from long COVID, with associated cognitive impairments. Such neurologic damage across large segments of the US population might also have been prevented if vaccines were accepted. There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccinations not only keep individuals out of hospitals and ICUs and prevent deaths but also reduce the frequency and impact of long COVID. The bottom line: We have not even begun to imagine the scope and scale of the mental health devastation that will result from long COVID, loss of parents and other caregivers, and heightened levels of anxiety from a traumatized American public. This occurred in no small measure because a critical mass of Americans refused COVID-19 vaccinations.

This conduct has of course led many to question what is motivating Hotez to do this. Presently, I believe three plausible explanations exist.

First, Hotez has fallen into such a deep hypnosis around his ideology (i.e., a “mass formation”) that he has lost the capacity to recognize how hypocritical and discordant with reality many of his positions are.

Second, Hotez’s business model revolves around branding himself as a champion of “science” and “neglected tropical diseases” (he even wrote a paper bragging about this) so he can get grants to develop vaccines for those diseases of poverty. This in turn requires him to get as much free advertising as possible (e.g., being brought on every day to speak about the COVID vaccines while simultaneously always being sure to mention his grift). His grift in turn has been remarkably successful as over the decades, he has diverted at least 100 million of grant money to his projects—much of which went into funding the creation of his hookworm vaccine which has still gone nowhere.

Note: I have often wondered if Hotez’s left-wing leanings have been influenced by the fact rapidly partisan liberal news networks were happy to give a platform to anyone who criticized Trump during his presidency.

Third, he (and likely the WHO) are aware that the public is waking up to what they pulled throughout COVID-19, and as a result, has realized the only option Hotez has is to double down on his audacious lies.

Note: it was repeatedly observed in the USSR that as their governments began to collapse (e.g., due to the communist economy imploding), the propaganda used to sustain the government became increasingly absurd and at odds with reality.

While I disagree with the overall message of Hotez’s book, I think many of the individual points he makes are valid. One of those is that there have been many previous periods in history where the public (or the government) eventually turned against its doctors or scientists. Hotez understandably pleads for this not to happen, but simultaneously fails to recognize that the dishonesty from many members of his profession is what’s actually causing that to happen and that if wants to prevent the public from rebuking his profession, honesty and humility rather than hypocrisy and manipulation is what’s needed to restore the public’s trust in science. People don’t like being gaslighted and no amount of propaganda can change that.

Demonizing the Opposition

One of the most frequent tactics used to defend an argument you can’t defend is to attack the other side’s character rather than their argument (which is known as an ad-hominem attack).

This tactic is the most common approach in Hotez’s book, and continually reminded of a well-known internet meme:

Hotez’s primary approach has been to associate much of the modern conservative movement with the term “far right,” a term that has become so broad it has become nothing more than a meaningless slander (e.g., I used to be “liberal” but now I’m “far right” because I always opposed catastrophic wars occurring overseas which squander our national budget to enrich war profiteers). Hotez in turn tries to make the “far right” sound as evil as possible while simultaneously associating “not trusting the science” with belonging to the “far right.” For example:

  • He continually tries to associate “anti-semitism” with any criticism of the COVID science.

  • He continually tries to associate individuals opposed to the January 6th protests with anti-vaccine sentiments, and hence argues that individuals with anti-vaccine views are also dangerous insurrectionists.

  • He continually emphasizes that certain Conservative groups like the Proud Boys (which have been labeled as being “far right”) are sometimes seen protesting in concert with anti-vaccine groups, and hence tries to juxtapose all the nasty labels the media has given to those groups onto everyone else there too.

Note: my own experience was that the only groups I saw behave in a fascist manner throughout the last 8 years were left-wing ones. However, since the media selectively focused on the right-wing ones, those without the complete context (e.g., first-order thinkers) were left with a very negative impression of the immense danger these right wing groups represented.

  • He chose to depict Canada’s trucker convey as a horrible act on the people of Canada (which I would argue was quite misleading). Additionally, Hotez emphasized that Swastikas were there in order to argue the protest was infested with Nazis, while neglecting to mention (which even Snopes acknowledged) that a small number on Nazi symbols were there and were clearly directed at protesting Canada’s Nazi-like behavior, not to be an endorsement of Nazism.

  • He continually repeats the trope that anti-vaccination content is Russian propaganda being flooded to destabilize the United States and implies anyone who doesn’t support the vaccine narrative is a traitor to the country (likewise Hotez repeatedly claims he and his fellow scientists are the “true patriots”).

Likewise, he used many other made-up slanders, which are non-sensical, but leave an uninformed reader with a very bad impression of what’s happening:

Berenson and other prominent vaccine skeptics, including those connected to the “Intellectual Dark Web,” who challenge liberal ideologies while in some cases openly espousing anti-vaccine viewpoints, have appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience, one of the most popular podcasts around the world, with more than 100 million downloads per month.

Note: one of my favorite Hotez-isms was how he “addressed” the fact that people who hold opposing views to him have a much better case for their position by saying the following:

Oftentimes, the arguments of the contrarian intellectuals are extremely clever, using real facts woven together in devious ways to spin false narratives about the ineffectiveness or harmful outcomes of COVID-19 vaccinations and other prevention measures.

In parallel to this, Hotez repeatedly asserts that many people died as a result of their choice not to follow the COVID-19 mitigation policies (e.g., he repeatedly cites the claim 200,000 people died because they weren’t vaccinated during the Delta Wave), and in turn uses this relentlessly argue that “antiscience” can’t be ignored because it’s killing a lot of people.

The problem with this argument is that there’s a great deal of data showing the exact opposite of everything Hotez claims (additionally, keep in mind how many times Hotez stopped claiming much of what he previously said about the vaccines when he tried to sell them to America over the News Networks—and in many cases then denied ever having said his original statements).

For example, across the world, after the vaccines were introduced, deaths significantly increased, which was the opposite of what had been expected to transpire with the virus over time (as we’d already developed a degree natural herd immunity to the virus, the most vulnerable members of society had already died, more was known about treating it, and over time viruses typically mutate to less deadly variants). Yet, instead COVID became much more deadly once the COVID-19 vaccines hit the market (something quite a few people had sadly predicted would happen).

Note: to some extent Hotez acknowledges this by stating—"In 2021, the third year of the pandemic [and the year the vaccines hit the market], the deaths from COVID-19 really began to climb. Initially it was a terrible wave from the Alpha variant in the winter, followed by a summer–fall Delta wave."

Furthermore, in each case where it was possible to track the change in excess deaths once the vaccines was received by a large group of people, the same pattern was seen:

Note: current estimates are that the vaccine has killed around 1 in 800 people, or around 17 million people world wide. Tragically, this does not even account for the far more common debilitating but not life threatening injuries many have experienced after vaccination (e.g., one large survey found 34% of Americans believed they experienced a minor side effect from the vaccines while 7% believed they’d experienced a major one).

Additionally, in the one case where it was studied in a large group over time, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that vaccination made you more likely to catch COVID not less likely (which may explain why repeatedly boosted individuals are now getting COVID far more than the unvaccinated):

Hotez’s 200,000 deaths estimate was based on the assumption that the unvaccinated were 16.3 times as likely to die from COVID as the vaccinated and that at least 80% of the 245,000 deaths which were attributed to COVID during the Delta Wave [May 1 2021-Dec 31 2021] occurred in the unvaccinated. There are a variety of issues with these assumptions (e.g. what I mentioned above and the fact that many hospitalized vaccinated individuals were mislabeled as “unvaccinated” in the official statistics). Of the sources I’ve seen refuting his claims however, I believe they are best shown by this graph:

From looking at this, it should be quite clear it’s intellectually dishonest to say the vaccine almost completely eliminates your risk of dying of COVID and hence that 80% of all COVID deaths must be attributed to vaccine refusal.

However, Hotez of course does not do that, and then proceeds to argue again and again that this “200,000” death toll proves the far-right activity which gave rise to “antiscientism” and hence must be stopped at any cost. Additionally, he made a point to use every opportunity available to slander anything associated with conservatism while claiming the high ground for doing so:

Moreover, I felt that many politicians who endorsed an anti-vaccine agenda did so not out of ignorance but for reasons of partisan expediency. When I began expressing my disgust and anger toward those willing to sacrifice American lives for political gain, that too caused many viewers (judging by the e-mails and notes on social media I received) and journalists (judging by the interview requests following a cable news appearance) to take notice.

A meme I saw shared after the previous article aptly describes the new normal Hotez has pushed for:

Gaslighting

Since Hotez has a very weak case for his narrative, like many gaslighters before him, he has to continually:

  • Completely rewrite the history of what happened.

  • Cite the opinions of rapid partisans as proof of his points.

  • Claim he is a faultless victim everyone is just being mean to.

Note: many internet memes exist to describe individuals who continually poke at hornet’s nest and then complain about getting stung.

This aptly describes Hotez, who is happy to fling very dangerous accusations against anyone who does not support his narrative and simultaneously laments how terrible and unjustified it is that people then tell him they don’t like him.

Indeed, during our calls, Peter [another individual directly involved in creating COVID-19] confirmed his distress and expressed concerns for the safety of his family. What also came through in our conversations was his righteous indignation. He became a scientist to help humankind, only to be vilified as an enemy of the state. For me as well, this aspect of the situation is especially demoralizing. We became scientists to help the nation and the world; as I have explained to Peter on several occasions, we are the true patriots, not the phony ones who attack us.

Some of these same groups even tried to draw me into GOF or lab leak accusations by falsely asserting that our coronavirus vaccine development efforts somehow supported GOF-related work.

Note: this tweet, seen by over a million people concisely describes how Hotez, did in fact do just that and then worked tirelessly to cover it up.

More remarkably, he frequently equated these “unfounded” criticisms against him and Fauci to being treated as an enemy of the state by the totalitarian regimes of the past (e.g., the USSR)—even though most of the press bends over backwards to defend Hotez and his colleagues.

As I explained earlier, attacking science itself rarely suffices in a rising authoritarian regime, whose leaders soon find it necessary to go after individual scientists. We had become enemies of the state.

In parallel to repeatedly dramatizing the suffering he’s experienced from people disagreeing with him, Hotez also makes numerous absurd arguments to support his contention that the pushback he’s gotten (for being the national vaccine spokesman) are completely unfair and unjustified.

For example, Hotez continually claims the animosity he’s received was simply because of the terrible scourge of anti-semitism.

On many occasions I lost my concentration at work or woke up in the middle of the night because I was so upset by these unfounded accusations. In addition to sadness, my other emotion was righteous indignation. After all, I obtained my MD and PhD and worked all my life to develop lifesaving interventions for diseases of the poor. Now a segment of American society sought my public execution in a manner befitting a Nazi doctor. The fact that I am Jewish and had family members suffer in the Holocaust made this period especially demoralizing. Increasingly, I began to notice a connection between anti-science and anti-Semitism. I was targeted in this manner in part because I am a Jewish scientist, and many elements of the far-right embrace attacks on and harassment of the Jewish people.

Yet, Fauci (who is not Jewish) has received far more pushback than Hotez (which Hotez even admits). This hence suggests the pushback they received is the result of something besides bigotry, such as the immensely harmful policies Fauci and Hotez relentlessly promoted and shoved down the public’s throat throughout the pandemic.

Note: like Hotez I am Jewish. One of the major issues I and many in my circle hold towards Hotez is that whenever someone uses “anti-semitism” an excuse to dismiss criticisms of their egregious conduct, it creates genuine animosity towards Jewish people, especially if the individual continually does so on a large public platform.

Similarly, Hotez continually says science should not be politicized and constantly laments that the “far right” is persecuting America’s scientists, but simultaneously, Hotez continually attacks conservatives (and comes up with a variety of rationales to support him politicizing science).

In my case, it is not so much that I care to enter into political disputes, but rather, what I desperately seek is to find ways to convince far-right groups to shun the anti-science element. Because anti-science is such a killer and destroyer of lives in America, my message is to say: This is not ”“your fight. You are entitled to your conservative political views, even extremist views in many cases, but please distance yourself from the anti-science. Too often, however, my efforts to uncouple the anti-science from political extremism are interpreted as something other than my best efforts to save lives. Particularly if I say this on CNN or MSNBC, considered by the mainstream GOP and far-right groups to represent liberal views, my efforts to defeat anti-science are misinterpreted as political theater.

Note: If you explore Hotez’s twitter feed, there are countless examples of him demonstratig that he is very left wing and committed to his political ideology.

Much of this partisan divide emerged during Obama’s presidency, after he made the choice to ally his party with the pharmaceutical industry and support a WHO plan to push childhood vaccine mandates across the country (which at the time Sherri Tenpenny told us was being done to pave the way for adult vaccines in the future). Since much of the public opposed these mandates (e.g., because there were many parents with vaccine injured children), they were met with significant protest. In turn, in each state where it was debated, Democratic legislators voted in unison for the mandates while the Republican legislators (who were not bought out) were eventually persuaded by their constituents to veto the mandates.

This caused vaccination to become a political issue (previously almost everyone in both parties agreed with it). At the time, the pharmaceutical industry was very worried about the issue becoming politicized and turned into a debate. In turn, numerous articles came out (e.g., see this one and this one) that chastised anyone politicizing vaccination and cautioning against legislative actions which could further politicize the issue. Remarkably, it seems that this position was abandoned during COVID-19, which I suspect was the result of the industry concluding the mRNA vaccines were so dangerous the only way they could be pushed on the public was through blind partisan loyalty.

Silencing the Opposition

As health freedom propaganda accelerated in the United States during the previous decade, it became clear that the counteroffensive to halt its progress was insufficient. Private nonprofit and government-led vaccine advocacy groups made heroic efforts to promote positive vaccine messages and provide timely and accurate vaccine information to the public. However, such pro-vaccine advocacy needed parallel efforts to confront anti-vaccine and anti-science aggression and its political ties to conservative politicians, news outlets, and other far-right elements. Health freedom politics proceeded mostly without strong opposition. Then there was the community of professional scientists. While the biomedical scientific community was not exactly invisible, it often lacked the drive and capacity to work aggressively and strategically to dismantle anti-vaccine and anti-science activities.

After arguing “antiscience” was a grave threat to society, Hotez proposed a predictable solution to this “problem”—silence everyone who challenges the scientific narrative, which he quantified through this diagram.

Note: leaked documents recently revealed the Federal Government has begun working with private contractors to censor all dissent online (e.g., by destroying the character of people who speak out so there is an excuse to overtly censor them and by removing their access to the financial system). This approach is done so that the government can bypass the constitutional restrictions prohibiting it from directly censoring speech (e.g., Biden vs. Missouri, the largest government censorship case in modern history, resulted in an injunction being placed against the government working behind the scenes to censor content on social media). When you review Hotez’s suggestions, you’ll notice much of what he is calling for the government to do is what those contractors are already doing behind the scenes and the WHO is trying to publicly enact across the world.

Some of Hotez’s (and presumably the WHO’s) suggestions included:

The fact that the DHHS and US surgeon general have responded at all and that they now work with the major social media platforms is a positive development and one that should continue to be encouraged. However, these actions do not address those generating the content from the far-right, the role of the disinformation dozen in monetizing the Internet, or the Russian government’s weaponized health communication. Given the 20 years of relative neglect by the US government in tackling anti-science aggression [anti-vaccine content], I believe we must realize that this issue goes way beyond the health sector. We need input from other branches of the federal government such as the Departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Justice—and even State, given the Russian involvement.

Until now, such agencies have been employed to combat more conventional and globalizing threats [e.g., terrorism]. Anti-science aggression now warrants this level of engagement and a counterresponse.

We must seek ways to demonetize the use of the Internet by the disinformation dozen or halt the anti-science aggression emanating from Fox News and elected officials, but in ways that do not violate the Bill of Rights or the US Constitution.

The type of risk-management help should range from legal advice to managing online threats and even assistance with law enforcement. Another opportunity might be to expand the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, adopted in 2021 to protect Asian-Americans against political violence, to protect American scientists as well.”

Along those lines, the White House should consider establishing an interagency task force to examine such possibilities and to make recommendations for action to slow the progression of anti-science.

In the meantime, the US government response to anti-science aggression remains modest. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) focuses its energies on Facebook and the social media companies, encouraging them to adjust their computer algorithms to reduce the tidal wave of disinformation. While helpful, this approach by itself does very little to stop the far-right from generating dangerous Internet content or the elected officials who campaign on their successes in attacking science and scientists. The Biden administration is concerned, but so far it has not tapped expertise outside the health sector and sought advice from cabinet departments ranging from Homeland Security to Justice and State. Similarly, the UN agencies wring their hands about the “infodemic” but do not raise this issue with authoritarian leaders in the UN Security Council or General Assembly. Halting anti-science aggression both within their borders or internationally remains a second-tier priority. Regarding GOP extremism, an umbrella under which falls this new anti-science, the Nobel laureate in economics, Paul Krugman, writes, “it cannot be appeased or compromised with. It can only be defeated.” He may be correct.

Finding strategies to slow the spread of anti-science by authoritarian regimes or entities has become one of our great challenges. While the US government and Office of the Surgeon General focus on Facebook or the other social media companies in spreading misinformation, few governments or United Nations agencies wish to confront the source. Therefore, anti-vaccine or health disinformation generated by Russia and other authoritarian governments now proceeds without significant interference…As the State Department and major US intelligence agencies work to diffuse Russian bots and trolls, there is still no national plan to confront anti-science aggression from the far-right and authoritarian regimes. We now face our own internal authoritarian ecosystem whose leaders portray scientists as threats. Some political scientists express concerns that such activities, especially in the context of the January 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol, threaten the future of democracy in the country.

In parallel, I have suggested to the Biden administration the creation of an interdisciplinary task force of experts from departments such as Homeland Security, Commerce, Justice, and others in recognition of the fact that the loss of human life on this scale, as a result of partisan politics and defiance, is far bigger than what can be managed only by the Department of Health and Human Services. To date, there are no efforts planned to hold congressional hearings on the origins of vaccine refusal leading to this American tragedy. Certainly, there is no enthusiasm for creating an entity that resembles a truth-and-reconciliation commission at the national level similar to efforts made in post-Apartheid South Africa during the 1990s, in order to identify those individuals or groups who encouraged vaccine defiance.

Note: Hotez is effectively saying not only does he want to win, but he wants everyone who disagreed with him to be put through struggle sessions where they are forced to prostrate themselves and apologize for ever not supporting vaccination. That is evil.

This media and political empire is causing unprecedented losses of human life. The pervasive role of disinformation from this segment of society has not gone unnoticed by the Biden administration. In 2021, they proposed forming a new disinformation advisory board through the Department of Homeland Security to begin tackling issues related to not only COVID-19 prevention but also the 2020 US presidential election and other key issues. However, these efforts met with significant opposition from the Senate GOP. As one former intelligence official in Homeland Security pointed out, “You can’t even use the word ‘disinformation’ today without it having a political connotation.” For now, the advisory board has been tabled, and the anti-science political ecosystem continues largely unchallenged.

Conclusion

Now that you have read this entire article, I hope you can appreciate the full context behind the videos I showed at the beginning and I sincerely hope you were able to watch: (fwd to 26:00)

It is my belief that if Hotez can be seen for the deranged individual he is, that will be the most effective way to show the absurdity of what his book puts forth and halt the much darker plans the WHO has been working on behind the scenes.

Fortunately, as the last few years have shown, much of what the vaccine zealots push is so absurd that if we simply use humor to show what they are doing, that is enough to destroy their credibility and derail their plans (and arguably the most effective approach).

Lastly, I need to mention that fellow substacker Maryl Nass MD has been doing a lot of incredible work behind the scenes to stop the totalitarian WHO pandemic treaty. If you would like to know more about her critical work, please consider visiting her non-profit’s website.

*  *  *

I sincerely thank each of you for your support of this publication (sharing critical stories really helps) and how much each of you has done to help shift a narrative I originally thought was an insurmountable mountain could never be challenged.

The Forgotten Side of Medicine is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/15/2024 - 23:35
Published:1/15/2024 10:55:40 PM
[Markets] "90% Of The Population Will Be Dead Within A Year" - Dennis Quaid Warns Tucker Of Inevitable Major Solar Storm Destroying All Tech "90% Of The Population Will Be Dead Within A Year" - Dennis Quaid Warns Tucker Of Inevitable Major Solar Storm Destroying All Tech

"Basically, there is a 100% probability that our sun, generating what they call a GMD, which is a solar storm, that hits hard, hits our Earth, and the magnetic field we have around the Earth, and can fry everything that is electric above the ground, including our entire grid," actor Dannis Quaid explained to Tucker Carlson in one of the former Fox anchor's most surreal yet terrifying interviews yet.

Scared yet? You should be.

Accomplished actor and musician Quaid shares insights on his upcoming documentary titled "Grid Down, Power Up", highlighting the inevitability of a massive solar storm (a Carrington event such as occurred in 1859) impacting Earth in catastrophic ways.

At the time, Quaid notes, the GMD (geomagnetic disturbance) devastated the then-existing telegraph system, and asks Carlson to consider the potential magnitude of such a disaster in today's electrically-dependent society. He notes:

"imagine what that would do now with a very large storm... it would take out not only the electricity but all of our infrastructure," the actor exclaims, adding that:

“There wouldn’t be water in your tap. You couldn’t get gas for your car because the whole system is broken down."

Quaid hopes that by bringing attention to the potential catastrophe he can nudge politicians into action to harden the grid against such events (natural or terrorist-driven)...

"It's something we don't like to think about but it's... whether from the Sun or a bad actor this is something that 100% chance it's going to happen and we are just no nowhere no way prepared for it." ;

...although he is not optimistic given the challenges posed by regulatory agencies and the private ownership of power companies.

"President Trump actually signed an executive order to harden our grid to protect ourselves against an event like this happening. Obama tried to get that going as well and it's stuck in these Regulatory Agencies."

And if we don't do something about it, basically all the worst bits from the bible...

“Everything that we rely upon would be gone. The food would melt in our refrigerators..." Quaid states, warning that "within a year, 90% of the world’s population would be dead from starvation, disease, or killing themselves in total and utter social catastrophe."

He concludes the interview with thoughts on American democracy and the need for balanced political discourse, advocating for education about the values that make us a nation and urging for cooler heads to prevail in politics.

Watch the full interview here (from behind a pillow)...

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/15/2024 - 18:20
Published:1/15/2024 5:38:56 PM
[] Iowa Upset in the Making? Published:1/15/2024 1:53:23 PM
[Markets] NBC News Admits 'Deep State' Exists... To Save Us From Trump's Return NBC News Admits 'Deep State' Exists... To Save Us From Trump's Return

The last time Donald Trump got within striking distance of the Oval Office in 2016, the Clinton campaign, the Obama administration, and various foreign accomplices invented a hoax accusing the real estate tycoon of being a secret Russian agent, who would use the power of the United States to do Vladimir Putin's bidding (Which begs the question; why wouldn't Putin have just invaded Ukraine when his 'puppet' Trump wouldn't have waged a proxy war?).

And when Donald Trump asked Ukraine about obvious corruption by the Biden family, one of the key 'deep state' players in his impeachment behind the scenes was none other than Mary McCord - who went from taking down Michael Flynn after the FBI set him up, to helping Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to peddle a "whistleblower" complaint about Trump's Ukraine call.

McCord is back with a new hoax to peddle, telling NBC News that the Deep State is preparing for Trump's return - and is taking action to limit his ability to 'become a dictator' and use the military to those ends.

"We’re already starting to put together a team to think through the most damaging types of things that he [Trump] might do so that we’re ready to bring lawsuits if we have to," McCord - executive director of the Institution for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law - told the outlet.

The quotes from this fine piece of yellow journalism from NBC are simply hilarious...

  • "Donald Trump is sparking fears among those who understand the inner workings of the Pentagon that he would convert the nonpartisan U.S. military into the muscular arm of his political agenda as he makes comments about dictatorship and devalues the checks and balances that underpin the nation’s two-century-old democracy."

  • "A circle of appointees independent of Trump’s political operation steered him away from ideas that would have pushed the limits of presidential power in his last term."

  • "In a new term, many former officials worry that Trump would instead surround himself with loyalists unwilling to say no."

  • "He’s a clear and present danger to our democracy."

  • "His support is solid. And I don’t think people understand what living in a dictatorship would mean."

  • "There are an array of horrors that could result from Donald Trump’s unrestricted use of the Insurrection Act."

  • "The military is hundreds of thousands of people strong, and ultimately Trump will find people to follow his legal orders no matter what ... The Insurrection Act is a legal order, and if he orders it there will be military officers, especially younger men and women, who will follow that legal order."

This one might be the best: "We’re about 30 seconds away from the Armageddon clock when it comes to democracy," said William Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine and defense secretary in the Clinton administration. "I think that’s how close we’re coming to it when you have a presidential candidate who can be indicted on 91 counts, who can be [found liable for] sexual aggression, who we have seen lies pathologically, who has flouted every rule in the book."

Wow!

Narrative: Trump is going to appoint loyal peons to subvert democracy and declare himself a dictator.

But wait, the deep state cavalry is here!

"Now, bracing for Trump’s potential return, a loose-knit network of public interest groups and lawmakers is quietly devising plans to try to foil any efforts to expand presidential power, which could include pressuring the military to cater to his political needs."

Part of the aim is to identify like-minded organizations and create a coalition to challenge Trump from day one, those taking part in the discussions said. Some participants are combing through policy papers being crafted for a future conservative administration. They’re also watching the interviews that Trump allies are giving to the press for clues to how a Trump sequel would look.

Other participants include Democracy Forward, an organization that took the Trump administration to court more than 100 times during his administration, and Protect Democracy, an anti-authoritarian group.

...

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is crafting a bill that would clarify the act and give Congress and the courts some say in its use. Its chances of passage are slim given that Republicans control the House and are largely loyal to Trump.

You tell us what that sounds like... 

deep state
noun

  • a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy.

"We are preparing for litigation and preparing to use every tool in the toolbox that our democracy provides to provide the American people an ability to fight back," according to Skye Perryman, president of Democracy Forward. "We believe this is an existential moment for American democracy and it’s incumbent on everybody to do their part."

Ah yes, another 'existential moment.'

Remember, the first rule of 'Deep State' is you do not talk about 'Deep State'.

Tyler Durden Sun, 01/14/2024 - 18:05
Published:1/14/2024 5:43:56 PM
[Markets] FBI Stonewalls Over Seth Rich Laptop Production FBI Stonewalls Over Seth Rich Laptop Production

The FBI has asked a federal court for a second delay after being ordered to produce information from Seth Rich's computer to a Texas resident, Brian Huddleston who has sued the bureau.

Huddleston says that the court should force the agency to produce the information before the 2024 presidential election, as it may show that Rich, not Russians, was Wikileaks' source of leaked emails which were damaging to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US election.

On Thursday, the FBI asked Obama-appointed US District Judge Amos Mazzant to reconsider their request not to produce the documents, and should be withheld under exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The filing was a response to Mazzant's Nov. 2023 order to hand over images of Mr. Rich's personal computer, as well as an index of his work computer.

It gets better; the FBI initially claimed that they didn't have said records - only to later admit to being in possession of Rich's personal and work computers, along with other items.

As if it wasn't suspicious enough that the FBI is stonewalling on information related to a 'mugging gone wrong.'

Seth Rich is pictured on a poster created by police officials to urge people with information about his murder to come forward. (Metropolitan Police Department)

According to Ty Clevenger, Huddleston's attorney, the judge should deny the FBI's latest bid for a production delay.

"A presidential election is fast approaching, and voters have the right to know (1) whether the FBI knowingly framed one of the frontrunners, i.e., former President Trump; and (2) whether the FBI is still trying to cover up its partisan political activities," he wrote.

"It is bad enough that FBI personnel took opposition research from the Hillary Clinton campaign and used it to open a bad-faith investigation of Mr. Trump, thereby sabotaging him for more than two years," Clevenger added. "It would be considerably worse and considerably more scandalous, however, if FBI personnel knew all along that Seth Rich—not Russian hackers—was responsible for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks."

Many believe that Rich was indeed the source of the leaked DNC emails provided to WikiLeaks – a rumor which was fueled by the odd circumstances surrounding his death, the sudden retirement of D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier five weeks after the murder, and an email John Podesta sent to Hillary’s inner circle about 'making an example' of a suspected leaker, written more than a year before Rich's death.

Troves of emails were published by Wikileaks giving insight into the corrupt inner machination of the Democratic National Committee. While Rich was never officially revealed as the source of the leaked emails, it has been heavily suggested. Julian Assange was one key figure who made that suggestion when he highlighted Rich's murder during a 2016 interview in which he was asked about the risks that come with operating WikiLeaks. Megavideo founder and entrepeneur Kim Dotcom said in May of 2017 that he worked with Rich to connect him with Assange.

At one point, Assange heavily implied Rich was his source for the DNC emails. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks offered a $130,000 reward for information leading to the murderer of Rich.  

Tyler Durden Sat, 01/13/2024 - 19:15
Published:1/13/2024 6:28:48 PM
[Markets] "Disinformation Doomsday Scenario": AI-Powered Propaganda Is The Latest Threat To Humanity (That Must Be Censored) "Disinformation Doomsday Scenario": AI-Powered Propaganda Is The Latest Threat To Humanity (That Must Be Censored)

The Trump-Russia hoax was one of the most notable disinformation operations in modern history. A major component of the hoax was the notion that Russia had influenced the 2016 US election through disinformation, and tricked the American public into electing Donald Trump.

In the fullness of time of course, it was revealed that the Clinton campaign, Obama administration, and their allies in corporate media had peddled fabricated information themselves. Yet, the threat of 'disinformation' has blossomed into an entire ecosystem of collaboration between governments and private think tanks which has been used to censor free speech around the globe. 

To that end, the World Economic Forum from has now declared "Disinformation" to be the world's greatest threat according to their 2024 "Global Risks Report," which will obviously require more control over free speech.

WEF founder and chairman, Klaus Schwab

As Jonathan Turley writes in a Friday note;

The report shows just how engrained this anti-free speech movement has become among the world elite from media to business to politics.

The absurd finding is consistent with the warning of other international figures and groups. We previously discussed how WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has supported censorship to combat what he calls the “infodemic.”

So “1,490 experts across academia, business, government, the international community and civil society” looked at all of the world’s military, economic, and environmental threats and concluded that the greatest threat to humanity is too much free speech. A “global risk” is defined as “the possibility of the occurrence of an event or condition which, if it occurs, would negatively impact a significant proportion of global GDP, population or natural resources.”

Turley points to how "experts" supported censorship and blacklisting (ahem) during the Covid crisis, and points to several examples.

Yet, we've now gone beyond simple 'disinformation.' The world is now under threat from 'AI-Powered' Disinformation!

According to the Financial Times, disinformation created via artificial intelligence is on the horizon. The outlet points to an incident during the September elections in Slovokia - in which a mysterious recording of the liberal opposition candidate, Michal Šimecka, could be heard plotting with a journalist to buy votes and rig the result. Yet, the recording was fake. The Slovokian police warned voters to be cautious online of nefarious actors with "vested interests."

image via AmolThorat

Šimecka lost the election to a populist "pro-Russia rival," which of course the FT uses to imply Russia was behind the recording, and the threat to democracy is greater than ever before!

Online disinformation has been a factor in elections for many years. But recent, rapid advances in AI technology mean that it is cheaper and easier than ever to manipulate media, thanks to a brisk new market of powerful tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI art start-up Midjourney or other text, audio and video generators. At the same time, manipulated or synthetic media is becoming increasingly hard to spot.

Already, realistic deepfakes have become a new front in the disinformation landscape around the Israel-Hamas and Russia-Ukraine conflicts. Now, they are poised to muddy the waters in electoral processes already tarnished by dwindling public trust in governments, institutions and democracy, together with sweeping illiberalism and political polarisation.

"The technologies reached this perfect trifecta of realism, efficiency and accessibility," said Henry Ajder, an expert on AI and deepfakes and adviser to Adobe, Meta and EY. "Concerns about the electoral impact were overblown until this year. And then things happened at a speed which I don’t think anyone was anticipating."

Authorities warn

In November, UK officials raised the prospect of "AI-created hyper-realistic bots" and increasingly advanced deepfake campaigns that could influence the country's election. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of US Senators recently proposed legislation which would ban "materially deceptive AI-generated" political ads.

This has put pressure on social media platforms, including Meta, Google’s YouTube, TikTok and X, to censor deepfakes and ramp up 'moderation' (censorship) when it comes to ambiguous media.

The report then warns that said social media giants are 'less equipped to do so than in previous big elections.'

Some, including Meta, trimmed their investment in teams dedicated to maintaining safe elections after the tech stock downturn in early 2023. In the case of Elon Musk’s X, content moderation resources have been cut back drastically as he vows to restore what he dubs free speech absolutism.

The efforts of the US-based tech groups to invest in fact-checking and tackling misinformation have also become politicised, as rightwing US politicians accuse them of colluding with the government and academics to censor conservative views. -FT

So - to recap, big tech is now afraid to censor because conservatives have accused them of censorship, and "Multiple left-leaning disinformation experts and academics warn this dynamic is forcing the platforms, universities and government agencies to pull away from election integrity initiatives and collaborations globally for fear of retribution."

Now, with the 'rising threat of AI deepfakes,' the Financial Times warns of a 'disinformation doomsday scenario' (not kidding, their words), in which "a viral undetectable deepfake will have a catastrophic impact on the democratic process — is no longer merely theoretical."

"I think that the combination of the chaos that the generative AI tools will enable and the drawback of the programmes that the platforms had in place to ensure election integrity is this unfolding disaster in front of our eyes," says one anonymous head of a digital research non-profit. "I’m extremely concerned that the victim will be democracy itself."

FT then goes on for thousands of words, describing examples and scenarios of the digital scourge and what we should do to stop it.

Bottom line, censorship isn't going away anytime soon.

Tyler Durden Fri, 01/12/2024 - 19:20
Published:1/12/2024 6:33:58 PM
[4f1b10ca-2abb-5edd-a5d8-9ebad60ba12b] DeSantis slams Kerry, Obama, Biden on climate change during debate: 'Guys talk out of one side of their mouth' Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed Presidents Obama and Biden along with climate czar John Kerry arguing their climate change warnings don't match up with their lifestyles. Published:1/11/2024 5:24:26 AM
[Markets] "Globalist Tempter Tantrum Looms": Luongo On Where Do We Go From Here In 2024, Part 2 "Globalist Tempter Tantrum Looms": Luongo On Where Do We Go From Here In 2024, Part 2

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

When I hit the streets back in ’81
Found a heart in the gutter and a poet’s crown
I felt barbed wire kisses and icicle tears
Where have I been for all these years?
I saw political intrigue, political lies
Gonna wipe those smiles of self-satisfaction from their eyes

— Marillion, White Feather

In my last post, Part I, I asked the question, “Where do we go from here…” knowing that we have political upheaval in the West we haven’t seen in the US since the 1860’s. Joah Bii-Den! fulfilled his promise to divide the country further with a speech commemorating the riot at The Capitol that sounded better in the original German (H/T Dennis Miller).

The general theme of my first five observations on where things are headed in 2024 build off the basic premise that Davos et.al. would rather burn the world to the ground than give up their perception of control over it.

Like in 2023’s prediction post the controlling idea of inflation returning in the second half of the year informed most of my commentary, this Globalist Temper Tantrum is central to my thinking this year.

And believe me, I will be happy to be wrong about this. Happier than I can fully express in words.

That temper tantrum, however, is now facing the natural opposition from, for lack of a better term, normal people. So, bound up in these predictions will be the idea of the counter-revolution as people come into their own, master their fear of the establishment, and stride forth with purpose. I’ve seen it building for years across the West. 2024 is, I believe, where these two titanic societal forces meet on the battlefield and determine humanity’s future.

It will come down to how hard will they beat us while we decide just how ungovernable we will become. History tells me people always win over systems.

#6 – Political Upheaval in the Heart of Globalism

For years I’ve been developing the idea that the European Union is the model for Davos’ more perfect technocratic union. It’s built on many of the ideas put into practice in the 20th century in the USSR and China.

It’s one of the controlling ideas of everything I write about on Gold Goats ‘n Guns. Globalism isn’t just an idea, it is a religion and a process to be methodically implemented over time. This is a multi-generational thing. It doesn’t mean that anyone is actually in charge of anything, it means that there are people pulling levers as if they are in charge of everything.

So, what’s been building for years in Europe has been wholly predictable as there are wildly different cultures, histories of inter-tribal wars, language barriers, and differing legal constructs all embedded deeply within the DNA of the people who live there.

Hungary is off the reservation and takes control over the European Council Presidency in July. The Netherlands held massive farmers’ protests which ended in snap elections and Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) winning. The heart of the EU is seizing at the exact moment when the EU is pushing to consolidate political and economic power.

The European Parliamentary elections won’t likely change anything ultimately as the European People’s Party (EPP), currently the largest party in that body, will win again. There won’t be any change at the nominal top. It’s digging into the details of what is happening in Germany, however, that is the key to seeing what comes next.

Because the EU rests on the idea of a Germany willing not only to lead the EU, in a kind of political Fourth Reich, but also spending what’s left of its soul as Germany to make that happen.

I was expecting to write about Germany’s political woes in this post before I heard about their trucker’s revolt that’s going on as I type. The current coalition government is unwieldy. It’s polling numbers are actually worse than US Democrats’ at this point.

And under anything close to normal circumstances, the German government would have already collapsed. But it hasn’t because it is still under orders not to give in. The Traffic Light Coalition’s job now is to ram through what they can before state elections later this year.

Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia all go to the polls to elect new governments in 2024. Alternative for Germany (AfD) is expected to sweep them, polling in the mid-30’s in those three states. Predicting an AfD win in those states is no challenge. Neither is predicting the roadblocks in front of them entering into any coalition government.

What is hard to predict is whether those roadblocks will succeed in stopping the populist juggernaut building in the former East Germany. Because if AfD wins a big enough victory in those states then that will preclude the kind of back-stabbing that Angela Merkel engaged in after Thuringia’s vote in 2020. Review my coverage on this from 2020. The effects on the CDU were profound, causing real and deep divisions within the party. You can see that the seeds to defying Merkelism (which is just Davos’ wishes) should sprout this spring into full blown political revolt.

This is why there is a new CDU splinter group trying to head AfD off at the electoral pass, in the hopes of draining some of its support. Meanwhile AfD are preparing thousands of meals for the farmers protesting peacefully for a saner future. Winning of hearts and minds, exactly as I exhorted them to do when they first crossed the 16% Chasm.

If AfD enters the governments of those three states it gives them veto power over 12 of the 69 votes in the German Upper House, the Bundesrat. The Greens will still have a massive veto majority. The question then is will that translate into a collapsed coalition for Scholz and snap elections later this year.

With the FDP voting last week to stay in the coalition, despite serious questions as to the vote’s legitimacy (where have we heard this before), the answer right now is no. But Mark Rutte was forced out of office in the Netherlands. Never say never.

#7 — Japan will Strengthen the Yen, Nikkei Will Soar

Per my last discussion with Francis Hunt, The Market Sniper, we came to the conclusion that Japan was one of the most interesting fulcra on which the global financial system rests. When former Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda shocked markets in December 2022, at his last meeting, by widening the band on the bank’s yield curve control (YCC) policy to 0.5% it was a harbinger of big changes coming.

When the new guy, Kazuo Ueda took office he slow rolled those changes, disappointing markets that, as always, got way ahead of themselves. For most of 2023 I commented on Japan saying that the BoJ would re-enter the global game of monetary policy poker, after being the fish at the table for three decades.

The standard analysis of Japan is that they are screwed because of their insane debt-to-GDP ratio. But, in a world where all the first world economies are running massive deficits I have to ask the question as to why Japan gets singled out?

Japan is in the same position as the EU: an energy importer that needs to exit QE because the Fed has done so and has to contain inflation. For Japan, however, inflation burbled up slower than it did in the US and Europe. This is why Ueda has been able to slow roll his changes to monetary policy, with the YCC cap on the 10-Year JGB now a ‘soft’ 1%, up from Kuroda’s 0.5%.

Now, you can argue, rightfully, that 3% inflation in Japan is a far more important political issue than 4% or 5% here, but the point still stands, they have a much different problem than we’ve had.

As we enter 2024, the Q4 “Buy All the Things” Rally will attenuate across all asset classes. A stronger yen will tame inflation, especially at moderate energy prices, while also allowing the BoJ to begin shrinking its balance sheet. Japan will adopt Powell’s monetary policy.

Once rates rise above 1% on the 10-year JGB, the breakout and consolidation we’ve seen in the Nikkei 225 will end and a new rally will begin on the rotation trade. My target for the yen to hit 125 this year, with the Nikkei following along rallying towards 45,000.

#8 — Soft Secession in the US and Canada

In Canada the two themes of Climate Change and Sovereigntism came together beautifully in the form of a good ‘ol fashioned North American tax revolt. In the US states are openly defying the Federal government on immigration (Texas) and health policy (Florida declaring the vaccines dangerous).

Last fall in Alberta, Premier Danielle Smith invoked the Sovereignty Act to tell Ottawa to stuff their new energy grid regulations and demands up their ass. Right after that, in Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced the province will stop collecting the carbon tax on both natural gas and electricity.

It will be met with indifference by Justin Tru-DOH! and the unfortunately-named (Freeland?) “Nationalist” bitch who actually runs the show there, but it won’t matter.  

This is how you express your sovereignty. This is how you say, no. Simply just say, we’re not collecting the taxes and sending them to Ottawa. And, given that these two provinces provide the lion’s share of the tax revenue they have a lot of leverage.

You can expect to see a lot more of this going forward; open defiance of the central government.  Number #6 is about Europe, but it’ll be expressions of state sovereignty and the return of Federalist principles that will make the difference.

Now, that said while this is a very good thing for Canada, it may not be for the US.

No one gives a damn about Canadian bond yields except the Canadian government.  It’s not like the loonie and CGB’s are the backbone of the global financial system.  

A state standing up to a corrupt central government over something as important as this is a direct attack on the validity of the central government and, by extension, its government bond markets/currency. Danielle Smith understands this. It’s why she went straight to the jugular in Ottawa.

This will put upward pressure on bond yields as Alberta takes one step after another towards financial and regulatory independence. Given the way the Bank of Canada has comported itself, Smith and Moe have more friends than you may think.  

Expect Ottawa and Davos to strike back. But, again, like in Germany, if the attack fails and Smith wins this round, it will mark the beginning of the end of the central government in Ottawa.

Secession from Ottawa would be devastating to the British Crown, Davos, and all these freaking globalist ghouls.

Like Syria was to the Middle East — telling the OPEC nations someone could stand up to the US — Alberta standing up to Ottawa makes Saskatchewan stronger.  It makes, by extension states like Idaho in the US stronger as well.

20 states in the US are organizing and introducing their versions of the Sound Money Act, making gold and silver transactional currencies. New Hampshire is first this week to present it to the legislature.

But, on the flip side, now consider California trying the same thing during a 2nd Trump term, but this time over the exact opposite, refusing to give up their mandated insanity for anyone doing business in California and threatening to break off.  

That achieves the WEF goal of breaking the US bond market, creating political doubt over the very markets that prevent them from running the table and consolidating power in the West under Europe’s control.

I know I’ve made these points before but it’s important to keep tying current events to the general thesis of who’s agenda does which event serve and why.  Alberta isn’t California for a lot of reasons, but the big one is whose debt-ox is gored by their acts of rebellion.

#9 — Removing the Putinator?

In April, Russia goes to the polls. 2023 ended with many bangs, escalations against Russian civilians with western-supplied weapons. 2024 continues this trend. Nothing about the war in Ukraine is over, even though most people want it over, especially Ukrainians, Russians and the people paying the bills for this globalist culling of Slavs.

Putin will win re-election. Of that there is no doubt. What also is not in doubt is the Neocon crazies continuing to degrade his position through attrition and embarrassment. Putin is no immune to political fatigue, despite what some folks may believe. Yes, he’s made a strong case to the Russian people that this is a civilizational war with the West. But everyone tires of seeing their sons come home in body bags.

He’s fighting a war against people who do not care about anyone except themselves. They will sacrifice us all to their ends. Like Trump, they will do anything to stop him from stopping them. So, we cannot rule out the possibility of one of these assassination attempts against Putin succeeding.

The point of the civilian bombings is to empower the hard core reactionaries in the Kremlin who feels Putin is too soft. Martin Armstrong has written extensively about this and I’m hard-pressed to disagree with him about this part of the story.

Putin’s temperance in the face of Neocon insanity has changed a lot of hearts and minds over the past two years. I run into new people all the time who I wouldn’t expect to see this and they offer to me that we’re damn lucky he’s running Russia.

Every crazy infrastructure attack — NS2, Kerch Bridge, supply ship in port, civilian bombing — radicalizes a few more Russians but also breaks the spell about the evil Putler for many in the West.

Armstrong has targeted his Economic Confidence Model’s turning point as May 7th, the day of Putin’s next inauguration. Will this be the time GCHQ finally gets their man?

Even if Putin survives and takes office, something is likely to happen surrounding Ukraine this summer that will ensure the war goes into 2025 and beyond.

Sec. of State Antony Blinken met with Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman to keep the Israeli/Gaza situation from metastasizing further. Is Blinken suddenly becoming anti-war after ginning up three different major conflicts in as many years?

Hellz no. He’s a neocon through and through. Any ‘pause’ in any conflict is simply an admission that we’re not prepared for escalation today, so let’s have a ‘ceasefire’ so they can reload. Or are people still confused about what the Minsk Accords were all about?

Putin understands that when the West, especially British-aligned US actors, offer a ceasefire that means it’s time to step up operations, not down. This is why Russia pressures Ukraine across the entire front, probing for weaknesses, degrading their capabilities.

Ukraine will look like it’s on the back burner in 2024, but it will be the biggest poison pill for whoever is president in 2025. It will leave Putin with few options but to continue focusing his economic output on it.

#10 — No Recession in 2024

The hardest part of making predictions in a chaotic world isn’t just that the data is faulty, it is that the past isn’t much of a guideline beyond what you can expect from the main actors. We understand how the Fed views the economy. We know what the Globalists’ goal structure looks like. We can even know how a lot of these things meet and interact.

What we don’t know is how the people will react to them and what their overall behavior will be. And that, ultimately, is what decides whether there will or won’t be an economic contraction. Recessions are very technically-defined things. Two consecutive quarters of contracting spending, GDP contraction.

In the real world it’s far more complex and difficult. Last year I stuck to the technical definition of a recession and was right. GDP growth never went negative. Deficits are high, while the Fed is doing QT Congress is outspending the Fed’s balance sheet improvements. Something will give in 2024.

Barring a six-sigma event, which so far we have avoided in the capital markets, there won’t be a recession in the US in 2024 either. We needed one of those in 2023 to set the stage for this year. We didn’t get one. We may get one this year, but that would set up for the big event in 2025.

Think the repo event of 2007 setting up Bear Stearns, then Lehman Bros. The Repo seizure in September 2019 setting up the COVID crisis, the attack on Oil prices, the CARES Act and the return to the zero-bound in 2020.

There needs to be that inciting incident beforehand to get the main event later, with at least a six-month lag effect. We’re still at least three months from the Reverse Repo Facility running out of money and then there will still be months of set up before the banks have a crisis of reserves.

So, with that said, and even if fiscal ‘sanity’ begins to take root in Washington as we approach the election this November, there is too much money still floating around to see spending go negative. Sorry, folks, but in the GDP game, no ticky, no washy. You have to have the spending stop to get the recession.

We may buy hookers, blow, and South American revolutionaries with it… wait, this isn’t the 80’s…

We may buy Pornhub subs, Cheetos, and Ukrainian Naht-sees with it, but it’s still spending.

The question is what will we buy that money, not Hunter Biden.

If the Fed cuts rates a little bit (50-75 bps in 2024), begins talk of tapering QT even starting in Q3, then we’ll see things get tougher, but not so much that spending retards overall. The quality of the spending will go down the value chain, towards lower-order good (food, shelter, etc.). But the spending will still be there.

I’m with Joseph Wang on this, per his latest interview with Blockworks. Lower rates, as we’ve seen in the mortgage markets, will improve Main St.’s balance sheets to the point where we can and will muddle through. Inflation will still be higher than anyone wants. It may suck, but from a household spending perspective, so what?

That won’t necessitate something radical from the Fed. What will is a sovereign debt crisis from a major government collapsing. But, I still maintain that is much more likely somewhere other than the US (despite Obama’s gaslighting) first. When Reuters is running articles like this:

That’s where you should be looking. If you want your black swan event to undermine this call just think about what Europe will do to prevent Viktor Orban from running the European Council for more than the normal six-month term.

*  *  *

All of the trends highlighted last year are still happening this year. The US dollar is still stronger than anyone expected. De-dollarization is still happening, it’s just that De-euroization of global trade happened first (in 2023). Iraq is now openly hostile to US military presence there. US troops in Syria are coming under increasingly heavy fire in retaliation, I think, for the UK and Ukraine attacking civilians in Belgorod.

And the Globalist soul-sucking vampires still bear their fangs, and make pronouncements of how much blood we owe them. But, the less said about Ursula Von der Leyen the better at this point.

I will wear your white feather I will carry your white flag
I will swear I have no nation but I’m proud to own my heart
We don’t need no uniforms, we have no disguise
Divided we stand, together we’ll rise

*  *  *

Join my Patreon if you want to become #ungovernable

Tyler Durden Wed, 01/10/2024 - 23:40
Published:1/10/2024 11:50:12 PM
[Markets] "Politics Is So Confusing Right Now" - Dems & Reps Have Switched Sides & Now Half Of Voters Identify 'Independent' "Politics Is So Confusing Right Now" - Dems & Reps Have Switched Sides & Now Half Of Voters Identify 'Independent'

Authored by Peter Savodnik via The Free Press,

The Great Scramble

Democrats and Republicans have switched sides—and nearly half of voters now call themselves independent. Peter Savodnik meets the politically homeless...

In 2016, Shelle Lichti voted for Donald Trump. She got tons of blowback from other gay people who thought she’d betrayed them.

She was 45 at the time, and she’d been doing things her own way since she was 11, since she was adopted by the big Mennonite family in Missouri, and ran away, and came out, and became a trucker, hauling beef and pork across the American hinterland in a rainbow-painted eighteen-wheeler. 

It had been tough being a woman. And a lesbian.

But she’d forged a new life for herself. 

She had built a portable home in the back of her truck—with the kitchenette, the curtains, the warm little lights, the generator, and her bed on the lower bunk, and all her clothes, first-aid gear, and dry goods in the top bunk—and she’d traversed an array of politics and religions. (She was into Buddhism—the calm, the focus. “I choose to say I have faith, but I’m not religious,” Lichti said.) She liked to listen to audiobooks—she was into Nora Roberts, the romance novelist—and she loved to turn up Sia when she was “laying down some miles,” which meant going for hours and hours, not stopping, pushing on to wherever she was going.

“Everybody is on their own ride,” Lichti tells The Free Press. “We have to respect that.” (Jamie Kelter Davis for The Free Press)

What she had learned from riding around the country in her little home in her big rig was you never knew as much as you thought you did about other people. “Everybody is on their own ride,” she said. “We have to respect that.”

Over the years, she noticed the homophobia had waned, but it had gotten harder to make a living, mostly because of the influx of truckers, most of whom were from Somalia and the Middle East.

“I don’t have a problem with them—they’re out here making a living for their families,” Lichti said. But with the new truckers, it was harder to get a raise. “When I started”—in 1993—“I made 19 cents a mile. Now, I barely make double that.”

Shelle Lichti works on her truck, The Rainbow Rider, on December 10, 2023 in Joliet, IL. (Jamie Kelter Davis for The Free Press)

It wasn’t just Lichti who was struggling. It seemed to her like the country was falling apart. “A lot of roadside motels and hotels look like crack houses,” she said. “Not enough people coming through.” On top of that, she said, Main Streets everywhere had been devoured by Walmart, Costco, Amazon. “The billboards on Route 66”—the 2,500-mile highway connecting Chicago and Los Angeles—“are mostly gone.” 

Then, in June 2015, Trump announced his presidential bid, and the bluster, the fireworks, the who-gives-a-fuck about sticking to your talking points—that was refreshing in the face of all the decline.

A lot of her gay and lesbian friends thought she’d gone crazy. “I was like, ‘If you want to unfriend me because of my beliefs, then you’re no better than the people that hate on us,’?” Lichti said.

But after Trump got into office, Lichti started to see the world differently yet again. Trump seemed too nasty in his rhetoric, like a “toddler,” she said. 

Then, she learned her son was transgender, and it seemed like a dangerous time to be trans or Muslim or Mexican. “My son’s own twin brother has blown him off,” she said.

Then came Covid, George Floyd, the riots. And Trump didn’t seem to make life any better for truckers, Lichti said. “It got even worse.” 

By Election Day 2020, she said, “I wanted anybody but Trump.” Lichti voted for Joe Biden.

More than three years later, she doesn’t know what to believe. She says she feels unmoored. She considers Biden a “seat-filler.” She doesn’t care for Democrats. She kind of cares about climate change, and she’s pro-choice, and she’s heartbroken about the people dying in Ukraine and Gaza, but she doesn’t think it’s America’s problem, and she can’t stand the kids in the LGBTQ+ movement with their “20 zillion acronyms.”

She said she isn’t a “conservative” or “progressive,” and definitely not a Democrat or Republican. 

“Our society has made it to where we’re supposed to fit in a certain mold,” she said. “A lot of us, you know, well, it’s like taking a plus-size girl and trying to squeeze me into a size 2. Just not gonna work.”

Lichti rejects labels like “Democrat,” “Republican,” “progressive,” and “conservative.” “Our society has made it to where we’re supposed to fit in a certain mold,” she said. “It’s like taking a plus-size girl and trying to squeeze me into a size 2. Just not gonna work.” (Jamie Kelter Davis for The Free Press)

Shelle Lichti is hardly alone. 

Nearly half of Americans now identify as independent—not necessarily because they’re centrists, or moderates, but because neither party reflects their views.

That’s because, over the past several decades, the parties have switched places, leaving tens of millions of voters unsure about what they stand for or where they belong, Yuval Levin, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of A Time to Build, about reviving the American Dream, told me.

Levin described two axes in American political life—one right-left, and the other insider-outsider. Traditionally, the party of the right has been the party of the inside—the establishment—and the left has fought for those on the outside—the poor, the disenfranchised.

“But in the twenty-first century, they’ve switched sides,” he said. “Democrats are the elites, and Republicans feel like they’re fighting the establishment.”

One way to think about it, said Michael Lind, author of The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite, was geographic: “From Lincoln to Reagan, New England, the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes, and the western states were the Republicans, and now they’re the Democrats—while the interior was all the Democrats, and now they’re the Republicans.” 

This switch has “created a huge amount of confusion, because it’s happened without either party recognizing it,” Levin added. “Republicans have gotten pretty comfortable with it, while Democrats are very uncomfortable being the insider party.”

That’s because it’s “political suicide” to acknowledge you’re the party of the elite, Thomas Edsall, a New York Times columnist who has reported on national politics for a half-century, told me. 

“Democrats are elite, but they can’t say it,” Edsall said.

Consider that, in 2016, the median home price of a Hillary Clinton voter was $640,000, while that of a Trump voter was $474,000. In 2018, Democrats took control of the 10 wealthiest congressional districts in the country—all of them on the coasts, mostly in New York and California. Of the top 50, they held 41. 

And, increasingly, Democrats recruit their future leaders—their ideas—from a handful of universities that cater to the American elite.

From 2004 to 2016, 20 percent of all Democratic campaign staffers came from seven universities: Harvard, Stanford, New York University, Berkeley, Georgetown, Columbia, and Yale. By contrast, the University of Texas, Austin; Ohio State University; and University of Wisconsin–Madison provided the most Republican staffers.

The reasons for the Great Scramble are legion and stretch back decades, if not longer: the breakup of the Democrats’ New Deal coalition, the end of the Cold War, globalization, the internet, the decline of organized religion and the two-parent family, the forever wars, the opioid and fentanyl crises. 

“Things are definitely in flux,” Michael Lind said.

*  *  *

What I know for sure is that I first glimpsed it on Election Night 2022, at a “victory party” in Phoenix for Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

Lake’s supporters seemed to fall outside the old left-right construct. Racially, economically, ideologically—they didn’t fit the preconceived categories. 

My surprise was obvious when I interviewed a Latina in her fifties in an Iron Maiden t-shirt. 

How was it, I asked, that she supported a candidate who had run against more Latinos coming to America? Had she not seen Lake’s campaign manager’s “racist tweet” a few weeks before? 

That’s when she started lecturing me about “gangbangers coming here” and then “Big Tech” and “Big Pharma,” but also her friend’s biracial daughter and Martin Luther King Jr., and why Washington should “pump trillions” into the rural parts of the country decimated by fentanyl and cheap overseas labor. 

Our conversation wasn’t that dissimilar to a conversation I had several months later with a Democratic bundler in Brentwood—he’s worth, I’m told, about $400 million—who was going on about how “the climate and AI are everything” (he thought the former was the end of us, and the latter was our salvation), and how he was “scared shitless about the gender stuff.” When I asked him whether he’d be supporting Biden in 2024, he said, “Of course,” but then he added, “As for the other fucktards”—he meant younger, more progressive, down-ballot Democrats—“no way, no can do.”

There were other weird signs: the Democratic poll, in November, showing that the base of the party—including blacks, Latinos, college women, and millennials—prefers Trump to Biden; GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley saying government shouldn’t bar minors from transitioning; Senator John Fetterman, once lionized by progressives, insisting “I’m not a progressive,” while touting his support for Israel and calling for tougher border controls—prompting Helen Qiu, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for New York City Council, to call Fetterman a “Christmas Miracle.”

Compounding our confusions about the Great Scramble is the language we use to talk about politics—to describe the country we want to live in.

“Our language is impoverished, left over from the French Revolution, with us just saying ‘right’ and ‘left’ and what we think we mean by that,” Oklahoma City attorney Jason Reese, who has spent 25 years in GOP politics, told me. 

In the 1980s, when he was a kid, Reese was a Reagan Republican. He believed in capitalism, and thought the Soviet Union was evil, and the unions, like liberals and high taxes, were a relic. His mom called him “Alex P. Keaton,” after the Family Ties character.

But in 1992, just as conservatives were triumphing over everyone—with the USSR now dead, and China and India embracing market economics, and the Democrats, under Bill Clinton, morphing into moderate Republicans—the movement suffered its first shock. So did Reese.

“Ross Perot was the catalyst for this,” he said, referring to the third-party candidate blamed by many Republicans for President George H.W. Bush’s loss to Clinton. “He broke up that old Republican coalition.”

It was Perot who suggested there was a contradiction baked into Reagan’s GOP: while the party embraced free trade and free markets, he argued those policies threatened working-class voters who had recently flocked to it. 

Perot was especially upset about the North American Free Trade Agreement, which, he said, would lead to a “giant sucking sound going south”—as blue-collar jobs moved from the United States to Mexico.

That proved prophetic.

Reese saw the political shift happen in his own extended family, in Kentucky and Texas. In the early 1990s, he said, they cared a lot about abortion. By the 2010s, they were talking nonstop about jobs and immigration.

That colored his own thinking. Today, Reese said, he’s an “economic nationalist” who backs tariffs and a higher minimum wage, and a “foreign policy realist” (meaning, no more wars unless they must be fought), and he’s skeptical of capital punishment. 

This confusion also extends to the left, which includes “liberals” and “progressives” and people who believe in minimizing economic disparity and people who think talking about economic disparity is racist. 

Obama was the “perfect distillation of liberalism,” Tyler Harper, a comparative literature professor at Bates College who has written on politics and identity, and supported Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid, told me. 

“Progressives,” Harper said, are the people who think racial identity reigns supreme and have no serious objection to capitalism.

“I don’t think they’re left-wing in any substantive sense at all,” Harper said of progressives. He saw progressivism and “corporatism” as “natural allies.”

Exhibit A: the $8 billion U.S. companies spend yearly on DEI training. 

“We desperately need a new vocabulary,” he said.

That is how Priyanka Wolan feels—unsure of how to describe herself or what she believes. 

She had immigrated to the United States from India with her family when she was eight, and she had always leaned Democratic. 

It’s not that she doesn’t know what she believes. She is definitely pro-choice, but she also wants to curb “unauthorized immigration.” She thinks the new gender politics is insane, but she believes strongly in defending civil liberties. And she’s giving her four daughters a traditional homeschool education that includes Latin and classical music. 

Priyanka Wolan first realized she wasn’t on the left when she started homeschooling her daughters. (Jenna Schoenefeld for The Free Press)

The trouble is that all of these things do not fit together into one party or camp or label.

We were having dinner at the house in the hills of Los Angeles that she and her husband, Alan, share with their daughters. My 9-year-old and hers had become friends in an after-school math program.

“The present-day conservative movement doesn’t align with my life experience in the way I used to think the Democratic platform did, but the Democratic Party no longer aligns with that either,” Wolan said. 

“The first time I realized I wasn’t on the left was when I started homeschooling, and people were like, ‘This isn’t supporting public education, what’s wrong with public education?’?” she said. “That’s when I started to see, ‘Oh, I’m not falling into line.’?”

But then, in 2019, she started to feel the tug of identity politics, and it was like a whirlpool. She and Alan, who is Jewish and 18 years older, had always been “sparring partners.” Now, it felt more personal, as if she, a “brown woman,” were facing off against whiteness and the patriarchy.

During the summer of 2020, “it became really difficult for us to have a conversation,” she said. He thought defunding the police was idiotic, and worried about illegal immigration and crime. “I remember saying at one point,” she continued, “?‘You know what, let’s not talk politics. You’re never going to understand me, because you’re white, a man, privileged’—all the jargon.”

Priyanka Wolan at her home in Los Angeles, CA. (Jenna Schoenefeld for The Free Press)

She added: “At one point, I remember my dad saying, ‘You’re not doing a service to yourself or your kids when you’re constantly thinking in terms of your identity. We didn’t come to America for you to think this way.’?”

It was other moms who made her rethink things, albeit unwittingly. They didn’t approve of what she was teaching her girls: Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, the poetry of Robert Frost, Mozart sonatas.

“At the height of the decolonization narrative, people would say, ‘Why are you teaching them this? This is the Western canon,’?” Wolan, 42, said. She was surprised. She wanted her daughters, as she said, to “have it all”—the most rigorous liberal-arts education that would not only get them into a top college but enable them to think critically.

It wasn’t that her views had changed. She mostly believed in the same things she always had. “I’m liberal in the old sense of the word—the not believing whatever you’re told to believe,” Wolan said. 

When I asked Wolan whether it was hard being politically homeless, whether it would be easier to join one of the available tribes, she half-smiled and said it wasn’t so tough fending off criticisms of homeschooling or deciding who to vote for. (She can’t vote for Biden again; she’d probably vote for Vivek Ramaswamy, if he wins the GOP nomination.) The hard thing was getting comfortable with people knowing her husband supported a candidate who everyone she knew thought was evil.

“I didn’t want people knowing he was for Trump,” Wolan said of Alan. “It took me a while to get to the point where I thought, ‘You know what, he’s allowed to have whatever opinions he wants.’?”

*  *  *

Brian Lasher, a retired Navy commander and high-school history teacher in Erie, Pennsylvania, could not care less whether people know he plans to vote for Trump. Not that he’s excited about it. He thinks Trump’s “an asshole.” 

But he has to vote—he hasn’t missed an election since he first voted, in 1980—and he doesn’t believe in voting for protest candidates. He wants his vote to count. (In 1992, he voted for Ross Perot. “That’s a vote I regret,” Lasher said. “Clinton is the best Democratic president of my lifetime.”)

His father came from a family of Calvin Coolidge Republicans—“He refused to have an FDR dime in his pocket”—and his mother was religious and liberal. 

He was raised Lutheran, and he is pro-life, but he thinks there need to be exceptions, and he is worried about inflation, and he thinks we have to stop illegal immigration—“human trafficking is grotesque”—but he supports legal immigration—“some of the best students I’ve had were immigrants”—and it is obvious the poles are warming, but it is also obvious we shouldn’t do away with oil and gas. “That’s just suicidal,” Lasher, 62, told me. 

During the lockdowns, he’d watched his students disappear into their screens. The school couldn’t make them turn on their cameras, so almost all turned them off. Usually, he had no idea whether they were even there.

Anyway, the “institutional rot” was everywhere, he said, and everything that came out of D.C. reflected as much—not only the Covid protocols and deficit spending, but Russiagate, which he called “bullshit,” and the corruption. He meant the Clinton emails, the Hunter Biden pay-to-play thing, all of it.

If it looks like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., now running for the White House as an independent, might win Pennsylvania, he’ll vote for him.

But generally he’s pessimistic about things. “We’re seeing extremes in both parties drive America toward an abyss,” Lasher said. 

He recalled Christmas 2007. He was in Baghdad with the Navy, and he was at dinner in the mess hall at Saddam Hussein’s old Republican Guard Palace, and General David Petraeus’s chief chaplain was talking about the new “religious reconciliation initiative.”

Lasher was asked to be the chaplain’s note-taker, and the two of them spent the next six months hopscotching around Baghdad meeting Shiite and Sunni religious leaders talking about why they hated each other, and what could be done to stem the violence. 

“We were at the house of a sheik, he was a Shiite, and he was explaining the differences between the Iranian Shiites and the Iraqi Shiites.” The sheik said he was going to Iran in three weeks, and he asked, “Is there some message you want me to deliver to the Iranians?” 

After a moment, Lasher recalls saying, “I told him to tell the Iranians that our symbol is the American eagle. In its talon are either arrows or the olive branch. The choice is theirs. ‘Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.’ He responded, ‘Yes! Yes! This is what I have been preaching all my life. I will tell them this.’?”

Later, after Iraq, after he came home, after the polarization and anger in America seemed to billow out of control, he would often remember that night in Baghdad, the competing forces. 

“We have far more that brings us together than separates us,” he said. 

Sometimes that’s hard to remember. He wants to be hopeful. He’s a big fan of Catherine Bowen’s Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention. George Washington’s “Farewell Address” is his favorite speech.

But those stories, those pieces of the sacred American past, feel far away. People no longer listen to each other, he said. “We’ve tuned each other out.” It’s like everyone is shouting into a Tower of Babel, unaware of who they’re shouting at, or what they’re angry about. 

“A lot of that, I fault the media for,” he said. “They’re not being honest about the people they report on.”

Rory Fleming, 23, is majoring in history at Yale University. He said college and Covid have pushed him politically to the right. (Christopher Capozziello for The Free Press)

Rory Fleming, a 23-year-old senior at Yale, agreed that no one really knows who they’re screaming at.

“Ever since 2016, it’s been like whiplash,” he told me. 

In 2016, he was in high school, and he knew a lot of kids from Guatemala and Venezuela and Paraguay, and he understood why they felt targeted. He found Trump noxious.

But then he got to Yale, which “has been the opposite experience,” Fleming said. “It’s pushed me to the right.”

The big thing was Covid, the lockdowns, how the university went all in with masking and shutting down campus life. 

For Fleming, just like Shelle Lichti, everything came into focus in the summer of 2020. That was when the upside-downness revealed itself.

“I really felt that for the first time in July 2020, when my friend and I took this 45-day, cross-country road trip,” he said.

“New York was shut down, and I remember getting to North Dakota, where there were ‘no mask’ signs everywhere. They were reacting against what they felt was authoritarianism, and they weren’t wrong. There was something about the Democratic reaction that was authoritarian.”

Rory Fleming thinks the United States needs to be strong, and he respected that Trump “carried a big stick.” (Christopher Capozziello for The Free Press)

Post-whiplash, it was hard to know where he belonged. 

Fleming believes the government should be spearheading the “green revolution”—starting with renewable projects in places like West Virginia—and he is pro-choice, and pro-civil liberties, and he thinks the United States needs to be strong. “That was something I did respect about Trump’s presidency,” Fleming said. “He carried a big stick. We shouldn’t have Houthi rebels with drones firing missiles in the Red Sea. Terrorists should fear the United States, and I don’t think they are right now.” 

He recalled his semester abroad, in Dublin, and being at a pub with friends, all foreigners, and someone making fun of the United States. “I remember saying, ‘You don’t know how lucky you are that it’s us, and not China or Russia running the world,” he said. 

No one argued with that.

What’s confusing, Fleming said, is that so many Americans don’t get this. 

Lichti agrees.

“Politics is so confusing right now,” she said. “The people that stay in their camps, that pretend or don’t know it’s not confusing—they’re the ones who are really confused. For me, saying you’re confused is being honest.”

*  *  *

Peter Savodnik is a writer and editor for The Free Press. Read his last article, “I Was Wrong About John Fetterman,” and ??follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @petersavodnik.

Tyler Durden Wed, 01/10/2024 - 17:40
Published:1/10/2024 5:02:36 PM
[Education] Barack Obama Could Be Perfect, Actually

State of the Union: Harvard tends to overcorrect when it gets rid of a president.

The post Barack Obama Could Be Perfect, Actually appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:1/10/2024 1:05:31 PM
[Markets] Hunter's Art Dealer Contradicts White House Claims Over Art Sales Hunter's Art Dealer Contradicts White House Claims Over Art Sales

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Over the last two years, ethicists and public interest groups have raised concerns over the selling of art by Hunter Biden as an avenue for Biden donors and allies to funnel money to the family.

In response, then White House Press Secretary (and now MSNBC host) Jen Psaki repeatedly assured the public that there was a special ethical plan in place with the gallery to prevent Hunter from knowing who purchased the art.

Yet, according to Georges Bergès, Hunter Biden’s art gallerist, he never spoke to anyone with the White House.

Not only did he confirm that the White House never contacted him, but said that Hunter knew who purchased roughly 70% of the value of his art, including Democrat donors Kevin Morris and Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali.

The media dutifully reported at the time how the White House was grappling with the ethical questions and, according to the Washington Post, “the White House officials have helped craft an agreement.”

That appears to be news to Bergès who said that he had no contacts with the White House and Hunter knew the identity of the purchasers of most of the art.

Notably, Bergès was reading these same reports in the news but never objected to the alleged misrepresentation. He simply continued to be a conduit for the funds to Hunter.

In the meantime, the White House continued to swat down questions by citing an ethical plan created for the sales. Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the White House, said in a statement that “the President has established the highest ethical standards of any administration in American history, and his family’s commitment to rigorous processes like this is a prime example.”

Psaki stated:

“Well, I can tell you that after careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards […] But all interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be handled by a professional gallerist, adhering to the highest industry standards. And any offer out of the normal course would be rejected out of hand. And the gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities, with Hunter Biden or the administration, which provides quite a level of protection and transparency.”

The White House can now explain how it implemented this ethical plan without involving the gallery controlling the information and sales.

Some other details are concerning. Bergès admitted that Hunter knew that Naftali was one of the purchasers. However, he also reportedly admitted that he pushed Naftali to buy some of the pieces in 2020 without success. However, two months after Joe Biden became president, Naftali purchased her first piece of Hunter Biden’s artwork and later, in July 2022, President Biden announced Naftali’s appointment to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

Likewise, Bergès admitted that most of the art was actually purchased by lawyer Kevin Morris, who has reportedly given Hunter millions to cover unpaid taxes and expenses. So, as media was reporting how Hunter’s art was being eagerly purchased by art lovers, it appears to have been an illusion. It was Morris, and he only paid Bergès’ 40% commission on the $875,000 purchases.

Bergès admits that he has never seen a deal where the purchaser just paid his commission.

The strange arrangement reenforces the view that this was all a sham from the alleged ethics plan to the purchases themselves. Morris, a major Democratic donor, had only briefly met Hunter when he started to pay off his debts and support his lavish lifestyle.

The art sales were portrayed as a way for Hunter to support himself in a new (and successful) emergence as an artist. The Independent gushed how buyers were “floored” by Hunter’s talent and eagerly flocked to the shows.

However, it was largely Morris according to Bergès. So Hunter sent the art to New York and the press played up his success as an artist. Morris then bought most of the art and just paid Bergès his fee. The public was then left with the impression that Hunter was not only a successful artist, but supporting himself.

Bergès knew that. Morris knew that. And, more importantly, Hunter knew that.

Tyler Durden Wed, 01/10/2024 - 10:45
Published:1/10/2024 10:04:33 AM
[Markets] The Perpetual War On Free Speech The Perpetual War On Free Speech

Authored by Donald Jeffries via "I Protest" substack,

The Founding Fathers made the Constitution palatable by including a Bill of Rights.

Without the First 10 Amendments, the Constitution is just what its early critics, including Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, said it was; a dangerous consolidation of power far less representative of liberty than the Articles of Confederation.

The First Amendment was always a huge concern with statists of every era.

Those who thirst for power, and will compromise themselves in order to attain it, have never looked favorably upon those critical of them.

John Adams, the second president of the United States, passed the Alien and Sedition Acts for just this reason.

He bristled at criticism.

Fortunately, Thomas Jefferson succeeded him in office and scrapped this tyrannical concept.

But the notion reared itself again in 1860, with the election of Abraham Lincoln. Adams was a civil libertarian compared to Lincoln. “Honest” Abe didn’t pass any new Alien and Sedition Acts; he just shut down over two hundred newspapers that opposed any of his unconstitutional actions.

Woodrow Wilson revived these odious acts during World War I. Eugene Debs and others were imprisoned for opposing the pointless shedding of blood, and America’s participation in it. The Supreme Court, in perhaps its worst ruling ever, upheld Wilson’s right to jail antiwar protesters. Great “liberal” justice Oliver Wendell Holmes coined the phrase “yelling fire in a crowded theater” to justify such heinous oppression, placing an ugly asterisk on free speech. Apparently no concerned American asked at the time, just how protesting a war could be construed as yelling fire in a crowded theater. This expression gained great renown across the land, and is forever on the lips of those who seek to censor dissent.

Franklin Roosevelt built upon the actions of Wilson, who was inspired by the maniacal despot Lincoln. One of the countless unconstitutional agencies created under the New Deal, the Federal Communications Commission was in effect a national Alien and Sedition Act for the radio stations, and would go on to control content in Hollywood and on every television network. It banned selling advertising that discussed “controversial issues.” Vulgarity and “extremist” opinions were strictly forbidden. FDR pushed several inquisitions in Congress, most notably the one chaired by then Senator Hugo Black. You know, the former KKK member who went on to become a “liberal” Supreme Court justice and arbitrarily awarded the 1948 Senate election to “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson, who was the first to court the dead vote.

The Black Committee and other inquiries attempted to severely curtail the ability of journalists to criticize the New Deal. FDR himself is documented to have personally tried to ruin the careers of his political opponents. And all of this was years before the Pearl Harbor false flag. Once America entered the war, FDR went after draft evaders, and memorably incarcerated American citizens in concentration camps. Not just Japanese Americans, but German and Italian Americans, too. The Roosevelt administration also stole billions in personal property from these poor souls. Much as Lincoln had locked up any northern antiwar voices without any due process, FDR imprisoned those opposed to his war. In 1945, his successor Harry Truman had antiwar poet Ezra Pound arrested, and he spent a decade in a mental institution.

We must consider today’s “Woke” authoritarianism in its historical context. The precedents are all there.

Cancel culture was born when Lincoln “canceled” his critics in the press, and threw thousands of uncharged citizens into makeshift prisons. Wilson followed this precedent, but FDR expanded it into a totalitarian art form. His administration “canceled” its critics in a variety of ways. FDR used J. Edgar Hoover to target some of them. His administration confiscated millions of telegrams to and from Roosevelt opponents. Long before Richard Nixon’s laughable efforts to use the IRS to monitor his critics, FDR had the fledgling agency audit almost everyone who opposed him. Indeed, FDR led a veritable crusade against free speech.

The Social Justice Warriors might look different. Tattooed. Pink or purple hair. Transitioned into countless new “genders.” Utterly addicted to name-calling. But they are the logical descendants of those who supported the Alien and Sedition Acts. Who threw citizens into jail that objected to our involvement in faraway wars. Who wanted to use the IRS, and the FBI, to “cancel” critics of the political elite. Not enough tried to stop this onerous censorship in 1860. Or 1918. Or 1939. And too few are trying to stop it now. The January 6 political prisoners are a testament to that, subjected to the cruel and unjust punishment explicitly prohibited by the Constitution, which was inflicted on northern “Copperheads” during the Civil War, and anarchists and “Reds” during World War I, and “Nazi sympathizers” during World War II.

The crazed adherents of Identity Politics are hardly the first to want to silence their critics. Get them fired from their job, and rendered unemployable. And increasingly, prosecuted for their Thought Crimes. Those opposing Lincoln’s mad war and suppression of civil liberties were the Thought Criminals of their time, long before Orwell gave a name to them. Everyone reading this little missive is a modern day Thought Criminal. There are millions of us. Is there room in their overcrowded prisons for all of us? As Lord Acton, the great lover of liberty who was friends with Robert E. Lee, not Ulysses S. Grant, reminded us; power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those in power in America 2.0 are absolutely corrupt.

How many of us truly believe in free speech? Almost everyone has a big “but,” to quote the late Pee Wee Herman. Sure, I’m for free speech but…not for “Holocaust denial.” Disbelievers in the Apollo moon landings. Or their even more extreme bedfellows, the flat earthers. Those who think mass shootings were a hoax, or “fake news.” White people outraged by the Great Replacement. Just referring to the Great Replacement can get you canceled, unless you’re supporting such a thing. Which all of our horrific leaders do. Try mentioning how the average American woman today weighs what the average American man did sixty years ago, and see what happens. There are a lot of caveats to the mainstream ideal of “free speech.”

The symbolic prosecutions, these figurative “fire in a crowded theater” abridgements of free speech, are in full swing. Alex Jones supposedly owes nearly a billion dollars to selective Sandy Hook parents. And now any mention of Sandy Hook is even more anathema to public discourse than the Great Replacement is. Jones also apologized for “Pizzagate.” Which was ridiculous; look at those disturbing pictures on Instagram, and the Podesta emails published by Wikileaks. If Donald Trump had paintings of children with freshly spanked bottoms on the walls of Mar-a-Lago, do you think it might be reacted to differently than it was in the case of Podesta’s brother? Now Rudy Giuliani owes almost $150 million to two particular “offended” election poll workers?

The only acknowledged exceptions to free speech at one point were overtly slanderous or libelous comments. This is understandable; people do have a right to protect their reputation. But it’s a slippery slope, and obviously applied in a wildly unfair manner. There’s a fine line between libel and justified criticism. Donald Trump, think whatever you want to think of him, has been the object of slander from numerous national figures. This includes physical and even death threats. But if Trump ever brought a slander suit against the Fake Media he rages against, it would be laughed out of every courtroom. Because it’s Trump, not because it isn’t slander. Obama, Clinton, Biden- they’d all be treated much more respectfully by this hopelessly corrupt, Tik Tok “justice” system of ours. Some slander is more equal than others.

But slander and libel have been supplanted now by the Orwellian term “hate speech.” Which has been accepted by almost everyone, even though the very term immediately destroys any concept of free speech. And now “disinformation” and “misinformation,” entirely subjective terms (like “hate speech”), are being bandied about as potential “crimes.” This is essentially what Jones and Trump are being prosecuted for; the notion that they are misleading others with speech that the State finds “offensive,” or “racist,” or “disinformation/misinformation.” Trump is being tried in court for contesting the results of an election. And for exaggerating the value of his assets. That doesn’t seem to worry most Americans. They need to remember that whole, “First they came for the Communists” thing. Don’t think they won’t come after you.

If we were really protected by the First Amendment, then there would be no possibility of being prosecuted for our views on an election. Or a virus. Or a vaccine. Or any historical event. Every opinion is protected under the First Amendment. Well, theoretically. If you say something “offensive” to any of the groups and individuals that are allowed to be perpetually “offended,” then you are now subject to a politicized prosecution. No one should want to go anywhere near one of our Orwellian courtrooms. They’re nearly as dangerous as hospitals. Thought Criminals, by definition, are not being pursued for their actions. They aren’t robbers. Or rapists. Or murderers. It’s a difficult task to prosecute the thoughts of others. But our authoritarian leaders are up to that task. And millions are complicit by their silence.

Today, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube ban, suspend and “cancel” those users who have unwelcome views. First Amendment be damned. As the “conservative” defenders of the cancel culture remind us, “They’re private companies! They have a right to ban people!” As I would respond, you mean like restaurants, for instance? So did business owners in the segregated south have a right to deny service to certain people? They don’t need a reason, right? After all, they’re private companies! What exactly is the difference between denying admission to a restaurant, or a store, or a neighborhood, on the basis of skin color, or on the basis of political philosophy? Or even simply wearing a MAGA hat? It’s a selective discrimination thing, you wouldn’t understand.

It isn’t easy being a true supporter of free speech, in a society that doesn’t value it. Where more people than not are fine with stipulations on it. “The First Amendment doesn’t protect hate speech,” their nauseating mouthpieces in our state controlled media will bleat, as effortlessly as they will bleat “Oswald killed Kennedy” or “Diversity is our Strength.” The word “hate” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution itself. But there is no one there to counter them when they make these statements, which are disinformation if anything is. I’ll be waiting for someone, perhaps a member of the loyal “opposition,” to point that out. But fewer people have probably read the Constitution than have read the Bible.

I thought the internet was beyond their control. They let us have unfettered access to true diversity of thought for a few decades. But the social media conglomerates gave them their opening. FDR “canceled” the editors and radio commentators of his day. Now, the “Woke” leftists can get big tech to deny access to crucial internet platforms to those who write or say discouraging words. Many in the alt media cheered the de-platforming of Alex Jones. YouTube and Facebook are shells of their former selves. Many like me are “shadow banned.” They restrict our access to a larger audience. That’s one way to control the competition. FDR and Lincoln would have loved it. What they ideally want is an FCC to control internet content. Millions of Americans don’t believe in God. So they don’t value rights that the Founders said come from God.

The Right, though victimized by politicized prosecutions in America 2.0, hardly believe in true free speech. Witness their reaction to the mostly nonwhite students on college campuses, protesting Israel’s brutal retaliation against the Palestinians. At Harvard, these students were “doxxed,” just like so many right-wingers have been. Their names were published, and powerful Jewish businessmen tried to blacklist them from employment. Most conservatives, being Zionist defenders of Israel, applauded this particular “canceling” on campus. It was educational to watch the Ben Shapiros and Meghan Kellys of the world display such obvious hypocrisy. Everyone seems fine with suppressing some speech. Who supports all speech?

We are at war. I’m not referring to the continuous interventionism in other, smaller sovereign nations, which is the foundation of our disastrous “bipartisan” foreign policy. Our leaders are at odds with the concept of free speech. They hate it more than they supposedly hated any foreign bogeyman. I don’t know why they just don’t treat the Bill of Rights like a troublesome Confederate memorial, and remove it from the Constitution. All they’d have to do is declare it’s “racist,” and the majority of White people would start cucking and jiving. If sleep, and birds, and proper grammar, are “racist,” why not free speech? If you don’t have free speech, you don’t have a free country. No one to “hate us for our freedom.” Democracy isn’t threatened by any speech.

But we are threatened by those who don’t believe in freedom of speech.

Maybe we can start up a new American Civil Liberties Union. One that is, you know, actually concerned about the protection of civil liberties. Civil liberties begins with free speech. If you can’t say what you want, it’s obvious you can’t do what you want. The mass arrests after the truly mostly peaceful January 6 protest demonstrated that we don’t have the right to peacefully assemble, as is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Well, some do. BLM, for instance. It’s not about protest, or speech, itself. It’s about what the speakers and protesters are speaking or protesting.

Abridged speech is not free speech. If you don’t support speech you disagree with, you don’t support free speech. Some speech is not more equal than others.

Tyler Durden Tue, 01/09/2024 - 23:40
Published:1/9/2024 11:39:00 PM
[Markets] FDA Commissioner Promotes Products Off Label, An Illegal Pharma Marketing Scheme Long Criticized By Democrats FDA Commissioner Promotes Products Off Label, An Illegal Pharma Marketing Scheme Long Criticized By Democrats

Authored by Paul Thacker via The Disinformation Chronicle,

During his first stint as FDA Commissioner during the Obama administration, Dr. Robert Califf proposed allowing companies to advertise their products off-label. This marketing practice is illegal under FDA’s regulations that cover drug advertising, and Dr. Califf received pushback from Senator Ed Markey who sent him a stiff letter demanding that he address off label use of opioids.

“The FDA must not become complicit in the growing prescription fentanyl problem this country is combating,” Senator Markey wrote. Indeed, Pfizer pled guilty to a U.S. criminal charge and paid a record $2.3 billion in 2009 for illegally marketing over a dozen drugs off label. Multiple federal agencies investigated Pfizer at that time, including the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI).

“We expect this agreement to increase integrity in the marketing of pharmaceuticals," the Justice Department claimed in the settlement’s announcement.

When Biden chose Dr. Califf to run the FDA a second time in 2021, The New York Times reported that Obama officials had actually killed Dr. Califf’s attempt to allow increased off label promotion. “[T]he proposal, which many public health experts considered dangerous, was blocked by others in the Obama administration, according to a person familiar with it.”

But with his critics now in the rearview mirror, Dr. Califf is speeding forward with his “dangerous” proposal. And this time, the Commissioner himself is promoting products off label. A week before the Christmas break, Commissioner Califf posted a message on X, promoting COVID vaccines off label to allegedly protect children against long COVID.

“The FDA-approved and authorized coronavirus vaccines are indicated for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),” an FDA official emailed me. “The vaccines are not approved or authorized as a treatment for long COVID.” In follow up email, FDA clarified that the COVID vaccines are also not approved or authorized to “prevent” long COVID.

In his promotional post on X, Commissioner Califf linked to a news article in Nature Magazine as proof the vaccines prevent long COVID. And here’s where the story gets even weirder.

Nature’s news story discusses a small, observational study that had been presented at a conference some months prior and has not been peer reviewed. Even more disturbing, Nature’s reporter supported this slim study with positive quotes sprinkled throughout the article from Dr. Jessica Snowden, a pediatric infectious-disease specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. However, Nature failed to provide readers with one rather important detail: Pfizer has disclosed paying Dr. Snowden to provide marketing talks for their COVID vaccine and she serves on the company’s advisory board. 

She clearly should have disclosed her Pfizer funding, especially as her commentary could contribute to increased sales of Pfizer’s vaccines,” said Dr Barbara Mintzes, a professor of evidence-based pharmaceutical policy, at the University of Sydney. “Companies choose who to fund. They don’t fund experts who highlight a product’s limited effectiveness or have serious safety concerns.”

Science news or pharma advertising?

The December news article in Nature reported on a presentation given last October at a medical conference and that was led by a medical officer at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study evaluated mRNA COVID-19 vaccines’ impact on children getting long COVID, but relied on self-reports of long COVID, not a physician’s diagnosis. The results that found a positive correlation with vaccination were based off 28 kids who either self-reported or were reported by a parent to have long COVID.

“This is really important data,” Dr. Snowden told Nature in one of her many quotes littered throughout the article. “This will demonstrate to families how important it is that we protect our kids, not just from acute COVID, but from the longer-term impacts of COVID as well.”

In a 2018 report, Nature Magazine editor Richard Monastersky stated that Nature was updating their news section’s conflict-of-interest and ethics policies to make them more comprehensive. Last week, I sent several questions to Monastersky asking why Nature had not included Dr. Snowden’s ties to Pfizer and whether Nature reporters are required to look into an experts’ financial ties before quoting them in news pieces.

Read the rest here... (including details on payments from Pfizer)

Tyler Durden Tue, 01/09/2024 - 21:00
Published:1/9/2024 8:35:33 PM
[] Drama Queen Michelle Obama Shares Donald Trump Keeps Her Up At Night In Fear He Could Be President Again Published:1/8/2024 9:50:38 PM
[Markets] Victor Davis Hanson: A Culture In Collapse Victor Davis Hanson: A Culture In Collapse

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via American Greatness,

In the last six months, we have borne witness to many iconic moments evidencing the collapse of American culture.

The signs are everywhere and cover the gamut of politics, the economy, education, social life, popular culture, foreign policy, and the military. These symptoms of decay share common themes.

Our descent is self-induced; it is not a symptom of a foreign attack or subterfuge. Our erosion is not the result of poverty and want, but of leisure and excess. We are not suffering from existential crises of famine, plague, or the collapse of our grid and fuel sources. Prior, far poorer, and war-torn generations now seem far better off than what we are becoming.

What is happening to us is not due to an adherence to a too strict conservative tradition but is almost exclusively the wage of the progressive project.

In short, we are seeing fissures that America has not experienced in our cultural history since the Civil War. The radical Left apparently feels such chaos, anarchy, and nihilism are necessary to topple past norms and customs and thereby adhere to a socialist, equity agenda that no one in normal times would stomach.

Some of the decay is existential and fundamental; some anecdotal and illustrative. But either way, while decline came about gradually over decades, its sudden and abrupt chaos during the three years of Biden’s presidency has shocked Americans.

Financial Implosion

As long as interest rates were de facto zero, both parties ran up gargantuan debt. Now the national debt has hit $34 trillion. But two odd things have also happened under the Biden administration that are beginning to undermine the very existence of the U.S. financial system:

1) Interest rates have soared from de facto zero and are on a trajectory to 5.5%—meaning that the interest on the debt, in theory, in the not too distant future will require 20 percent of the annual budget, squeezing out both entitlements and defense.

2) Yet the upcoming rendezvous with economic Armageddon has not slowed a Biden administration intent on borrowing nearly $2 trillion in the current fiscal year.

The public is baffled: is the Left playing chicken with us? Is the strategy to “gorge the beast,” thereby demanding even higher federal taxes, which, combined with many state taxes, now exceed 50 percent of one’s income?

Is the goal massive “redistribution” by ensuring “equity” by gouging the middle class and rich? Or is the left’s goal more nihilistic: to force a remedy for insolvency by ensuring high inflation, renouncing government debt, or government appropriation of private capital?

Military Crises

Americans have lost deterrence abroad.

Confusion reigns among the public over why the Biden administration fled from Afghanistan, leaving behind billions of dollars of munitions and equipment in the hands of Taliban terrorists. Why did it allow a Chinese spy balloon to traverse the continental U.S. with impunity?

And why did Biden signal to Russia when preparing an invasion of Ukraine that our reaction would depend on the magnitude of Putin’s offensive? Why has military recruitment cratered, shorting the Pentagon of thousands of soldiers?

Why do Iranian proxies attack almost daily U.S. installations abroad and ships in the Red Sea, apparently without fear of reprisal? Why did Hamas slaughter Israelis on October 7? What explains our indifference or ennui?

Is the answer a deliberate effort to curb supposed American “arrogance” by once more leading from behind? Are we rebooting the Obama Administration’s bankrupt idea of empowering an Iranian crescent from Teheran to Damascus to Beirut to Gaza to ensure “creative tension” between Israel and the moderate Arabs and Persian-led theocratic Shiites?

Why do our officer classes rotate in and out of lucrative military consultantships, lobbying billets, and board membership on corporate defense contractors—as if their innate talents rather than their lifelong contacts with current serving procurement officers earned their exorbitant fees?

Why did our retired four stars with disdain violate the uniform code of military justice by serially and publicly trashing the commander in chief? Why has the Pentagon revolutionized the entire system of recruitment, promotions, and tenure in the armed forces by predicating them in large part on race, gender, and sexual orientation rather than merit or battlefield efficacy? Did we learn anything from the old Soviet commissariat system? Would we prefer to lose a war by promoting equity than win one by ensuring liberty?

Why did the top brass go after supposedly “insurrectionist” white males (who died at twice their demographics during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan) in the military, only to discover from their own internal investigations that no such cabal of “domestic terrorists” existed, and only to drive out thousands more of the maligned by stupidly requiring COVID vaccinations from those with naturally acquired immunity?

In sum, the U.S. will either undergo a post-Vietnam-like revolution in the military or, in late Roman imperial fashion, our armed forces will be unable to defend the interests or indeed, the very safety, of the U.S.

Race

Why, when so-called non-white ethnicities and races were achieving parity with or exceeding the majority population in per capita income and when racial intermarriage was commonplace, did we blow up the values of the civil rights movement and revert to precivilizational tribalism? Who were the sophists who convinced us that racially segregated dorms, safe spaces, and graduations, or using race as an arbiter of admissions and hiring, were not racist?

When did we lump together an entire cadre of diverse ancestries, ethnicities, religions, politics, classes, and values and dub them all “white,” and then smear them collectively in stereotypical fashion? When did we calibrate race as the chief determinative factor in our identities? Have we become premodern tribal people—feuding clans right out of the Norse sagas, ghosts of the Balkans nursing ancient grievances and hatreds? Since when in history has a nation’s “diversity” ever been preferable to its “unity”?

The Sexes

Did anyone in, say, 2004 believe that in just twenty years, the Left would try to mainstream the previously rare medical malady of gender dysphoria into a transgendered civil rights issue by insisting on three rather than two sexes?

Would anyone have believed that leftists, gays, and feminists would have done their best to destroy a half-century of female athletic achievement by allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports and thereby erase the record performances of three generations of women?

Would anyone have believed that a feminist and accomplished swimmer like Riley Gaines would be cornered, swarmed, threatened, and barricaded in at a university for the crime of daring to state the obvious: that transgendered women are still, in terms of their musculoskeletal physiques and frames, males and thereby have no business competing in women’s sports?

Would anyone have believed that a gay senate aide would have engaged in passive, unprotected sex in a public and hallowed Senate chamber, filmed in graphic detail his act of sodomy, had it circulated among friends and social media, and then, when outrage followed, claimed victimhood by accusing those offended of being homophobic toward him and his active homosexual partner?

Lawlessness

We are witnessing the steady erasure of jurisprudence, both civil and criminal. Does the law as we knew it a mere decade ago still exist? Massive looting with impunity is now largely exempt from justice in our major blue-state cities. In Compton, a van slams into a Mexican bakery as waiting crowds swarm, loot, and destroy the business. And for what? Some free pies and cakes? Or the nihilist delight in ruining the livelihood of a hardworking family business?

Such smash-and-grabs rob stores of billions of dollars in revenue each year. Can we even comprehend that employees and security guards are now ordered to stand down, as if the apprehension of such thieves might in some way seem illiberal or racist?

Does anyone even care that pro-Hamas protestors—many in America as guests on green cards and student visas—shouted support for the October 7 massacre of Jews, screamed for the destruction of Israel and the Jews in it, shut down the Manhattan and Golden Gate Bridges, defiled the Lincoln Memorial and White House gates, and disrupted Christmas celebrations in our major cities with complete exemption? Is storming the California legislature, and disrupting it in session, now a felony in the manner of those convicted after January 6, or do we have two sets of laws, dependent on ideology, race, and party affiliation?

In one of the most chilling videos in memory, Las Vegas Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus was recently violently attacked by an unshackled career felon defendant (with three prior violent felony convictions and facing additional new felony counts). The assailant, Deobra Redden, leaped over the justice’s bench with ease and began beating her and pulling her hair before two bailiffs, with great difficulty, managed to restrain him. Why was Redden out on parole given his violent record, and why was he not shackled given his toxic past? His self-admitted effort to kill the judge, his ability nearly to pull it off, and the record of past leniency accorded him are a commentary on a sick society.

But then again, in our major cities, George-Soros-subsidized prosecutors have all but destroyed civil society. They have been systematically releasing felons with violent criminal records on the same day they are arrested, freeing convicted felons early from prisons and jails, and sabotaging the law by arbitrary enforcement on the grounds that it is inherently either unfair or racist.

The post civilization civil bookend to that precivilizational subterfuge was a systematic legal effort, for the first time in American history, to remove in an election year the leading primary and general election candidate Donald Trump from various state ballots. The Soviet-like charge was that he was guilty of “insurrection,” a crime he has never been charged with, much less convicted of. Meanwhile, three state prosecutors and one special federal counsel—all leftists and some previously bragging in their own election campaigns of their intention to destroy Trump—have charged candidate Trump with an array of felonies. The vast majority of Americans agree Trump would never have been so charged had he just not sought to seek reelection—or had been a liberal Democrat.

Education

In ancient times, the President of the Harvard Corporation was a signature scholar and intellectual, befitting Harvard’s own self-regard as the world’s most preeminent university. No longer.

Now-resigned president Claudine Gay’s meteoric career was based on a flimsy record of a mere 11 articles—the majority of them plagiarized. Her entire career was fueled by the tired pretext that the privileged Gay was somehow deserving of special deference given her race and gender.

Confronted with such corruption, the Harvard Corporation, its legal team, and 700 faculty sought to downplay Gay’s intellectual theft. Indeed, they smeared her critics as racist—only then to deal with her new billet as a professor of Political Science with a long record of plagiarism that was exempt from the sort of punishments dealt out to students and faculty for less egregious defenses.

How did Ivy League degrees so quickly become mostly certifications of ideological and woke orthodoxy? Or is it worse than that? Does a Stanford history major or Yale literature graduate know anything, respectively, about the Civil War or Shakespeare’s plays? Do they even know that we, the public, know that they don’t know?

Was Elizabeth Warren really Harvard’s first law professor of color? Was Claudine Gay truly an impressive and respected scholar of political science? Are the governing members of the Harvard Corporation the nation’s best and brightest?

How in less than five years did our elite universities destroy meritocracy, abolish SAT requirements, require DEI oaths and pledges, and mirror the worst commissariat institutions of the old Warsaw Pact nations and Soviet Union? How and why these elite universities blew themselves up in a mere decade will baffle historians for decades to come.

The End of Sovereignty

The Biden administration has shattered federal immigration law, as some 10 million illegal entries will have crossed unlawfully and with impunity in the first Biden term—all by intent. The southern border is not merely porous; it no longer even exists.

Did the Left want new constituents? New entitlement recipients to grow government and raise taxes on the clingers and deplorables?

Did it want a larger DEI base to replace the steady exodus of non-whites from left-wing agendas? Does it shun sovereignty, preferring a global village without arbitrary borders? Do these utopians in Malibu and Martha’s Vineyard similarly feel their own yards and grounds need no walls, no barriers, and no boundaries to deny the underprivileged their rights to enjoy what the predatory classes possess?

In this new America of ours, Joe Biden is hale and savvy, while Hunter did nothing wrong.

Our heroes are Dylan Mulvaney, Gen. Rachel Levine, and the two Sams, Bankman-Fried and Brinton.

In today’s America, Karin Jean-Pierre is truthful, while Alejandro Mayorkas is honest. An innocent and saintly George Floyd was randomly murdered; his death proof of systemic police racism. And defunding the police brought calm and quiet, in the way our border is secure and the homeless are mere victims.

Dr. Jill is an impressive academic. Oprah and LeBron are the downtrodden and victimized. Gen. Mark Milley is a brave maverick, and so is Adam Schiff. The flight from Afghanistan marked a brilliantly organized retreat.

The Chinese balloon really did not take too many pictures of sensitive areas. January 6 was an armed insurrection, preplanned by fiery conspirators and revolutionaries. Ashli Babbitt deserved to be blasted in the neck for entering a broken window.

Kamala Harris is a wordsmith. Russian collusion really happened. So did Russian laptop disinformation. Christopher Steele’s dossier was mostly true, in the fashion of Claudine Gay’s dissertation and Barack Obama’s memoir. And 51 former intelligence authorities bravely came forward to offer their expertise in certifying that Hunter’s laptop was cooked up in Moscow.

With all this, what do we think the Iranians, Putin’s Russians, the communist Chinese, the Houthis, Hezbollah, and Hamas now think of the United States?

That we are the nation that won World War II or fled from Afghanistan? Did the eight million who broke our laws and simply walked across our border respect us, fear us, admire us, or come here to manipulate and use us? Did Hamas appreciate the hundreds of millions of dollars we gave them, in the same way Iran was friendlier after we lifted the sanctions?

In sum, American civilization has been turned upside down, and we have a rendezvous soon with the once unthinkable and unimaginable.

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/08/2024 - 19:00
Published:1/8/2024 6:15:15 PM
[Biden Administration] Bad Friends: The Obamas Think Biden Is Going To Lose

Barack and Michelle Obama apparently don't think Joe Biden has what it takes to win reelection. Rather than projecting confidence in Biden's political talents, they are sounding the alarm.

The post Bad Friends: The Obamas Think Biden Is Going To Lose appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/8/2024 4:09:11 PM
[Markets] Prosecutor On Special Counsel Jack Smith's Team Shut Down FBI Investigation Into Clinton Foundation In 2016 Prosecutor On Special Counsel Jack Smith's Team Shut Down FBI Investigation Into Clinton Foundation In 2016

Authored by Debra Heine via American Greatness,

A top prosecutor on Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team recommended that the FBI shut down an investigation into the Clinton Foundation in 2016, despite ample evidence of suspicious activity related to hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign transactionsFox News reported.

In his May 2023 report on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Special Counsel John Durham identified Ray Hulser, the former chief of the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section (PIN), as the official who “declined prosecution” of the Clinton Foundation. Hulser now serves on Smith’s team currently prosecuting former President Donald Trump for alleged crimes related to January 6.

According to Durham’s report, in late 2014, the FBI began investigating a “well-placed” confidential source’s claims that two foreign governments had attempted to make illegal donations to buy influence with Hillary ahead of her presidential campaign.

By early 2016, three different FBI field offices, in Washington, D.C., Little Rock, Arkansas, and New York, had opened investigations into the Clinton Foundation for “possible criminal activity,” but Hulser shut them down, claiming there was “insufficient predication” for opening the investigations. He reportedly declined to prosecute during a meeting on February 1, 2016.

An individual present for the meeting told Durham that the Justice Department’s reaction to the Clinton Foundation briefing was “hostile.”

According to Durham’s report, the investigation out of Washington was opened as a “preliminary investigation, because the case agent wanted to determine if he could develop additional information to corroborate allegations in a recently-published book, ‘Clinton Cash’ by Peter Schweizer, before seeking to convert the matter to a full investigation.”

Durham asked Hulser about his decision to shut down the Clinton Foundation probes as part of his investigation. Hulser told Durham that he thought the “FBI briefing was poorly presented and that there was insufficient predication for at least one of the investigations due to its reliance on allegations contained in a book.”

However,  the New York and Little Rock investigations included predication “based on source reporting that identified foreign governments that had made, or offered to make, contributions to the Foundation in exchange for favorable or preferential treatment from Clinton,” according to the special counsel’s report.

Durham included the incident to show “the contrast” between how the FBI handled Clinton investigations in comparison to the Trump-Russia probe, in which members of Trump’s campaign team were improperly surveilled, legally harassed and some prosecuted for unrelated financial crimes and process crimes.

The Durham report revealed that because three different FBI field offices opened investigations related to the Clinton Foundation, there was a “perceived need to conduct coordination meetings between the field offices, FBI Headquarters, and appropriate U.S. Attorney’s offices,” as well as “components” from main Justice Department.

“These meetings likely were deemed especially important given that the investigations were occurring in an election year in which Clinton was a declared candidate for President,” the report states, including details from those meetings.

One meeting detailed in the report took place on Feb. 1, 2016. Present for that meeting were several FBI officials, as well as Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell and Hulser, who, at the time, was Public Integrity Section chief.

“Hulser downplayed information provided by the New York Field Office CHS [confidential human source] and recalled that the amount involved in the financial reporting was ‘de minimis,’” the report states.

However, Durham’s team reviewed the financial reporting to better “understand the allegations”—and found otherwise.

“The reporting, which in itself is not proof of wrongdoing, was a narrative describing multiple funds transfers, some of which involved international bank accounts that were suspected of facilitating bribery or gratuity violations,” the Durham report states.

“The transactions involved occurred between 2012 and 2014, and totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

While the Durham report does not explicitly state the words “Suspicious Activity Report” (SAR), the activity described within “would normally be the subject of such reports,” Fox News reported.

A source familiar with the matter told Fox that “there were multiple SARs filed related to the Clinton Foundation,” including in 2012, when Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state.

Banks have a duty to file SARs, but it is up to the Justice Department to determine if there is any criminality.

Due to the Clinton name, the Clinton Foundation or Clinton-related accounts likely had a “PEP” designation within financial institutions. PEP is short for politically exposed person, meaning the individual, through their prominent position or relationships, could be more susceptible to being involved in bribery or corruption.

The Hunter Biden federal criminal investigation was predicated, in part, by SARs on funds from “China and other foreign nations.” Those SARs have been reviewed as part of the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden, led by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky.; Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo.

Although Hulser in 2016 “declined prosecution” of the Clinton Foundation on behalf of the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, he told Durham that he “made it clear” that “his decision was not binding on the various U.S. Attorneys’ Offices or FBI field divisions.”

“There are mega indications that the Obama Justice Department slow-walked and discouraged the Clinton Foundation investigation, including discouraging the FBI from pursuing it,” former federal prosecutor and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy said.

With regard to Hulser, McCarthy told Fox that “it has been obvious from the beginning that the decision by the Biden Justice Department to appoint a special counsel was utterly political and done to create distance between the attorney general and the president from the decision to bring charges against Trump, that Smith has conducted it throughout with an eye on the election calendar.”

“Nobody should be surprised if people on Smith’s staff have been involved in situations that make it politically conflicting for them to be involved in this,” McCarthy said.

As for the Clinton Foundation probes, in another meeting in February 2016, then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe “initially directed the field offices to close their cases, but following objections, agreed to reconsider the final disposition of the cases.”

According to current Deputy FBI Director Paul Abbate’s interview with Durham’s team, he recalled McCabe stating that the DOJ said “there’s nothing here” and “why are we even doing this?”

At the end of the meeting, it was announced that for “any overt investigative steps to be taken,” McCabe’s approval “would be required.”

Meanwhile, by May 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey directed the FBI’s New York Field Office to “cease and desist” from the Clinton Foundation investigation due to “some undisclosed counterintelligence concern.”

Durham was “not able to determine what the counterintelligence issue raised by Comey was.”

“As an initial matter, the NYFO and WFO investigations appear to have been opened as preliminary investigations due to the political sensitivity and their reliance on unvetted hearsay information (the Clinton Cash book) and [confidential human source reporting],” the report states. “By contrast, the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was immediately opened as a full investigation despite the fact that it was similarly predicated on hearsay information.”

Durham also pointed out that while the DOJ appeared to have had “legitimate concerns” about the Clinton Foundation investigation occurring so close to the presidential election, “it does not appear that similar concerns were expressed by the Department or FBI regarding the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.

Durham found that the FBI “failed to act” on a “clear warning sign” that the bureau was the “target” of a Hillary Clinton-led effort to “manipulate or influence the law enforcement process for political purposes” against Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Hulser was the top prosecutor for the government’s 2015 corruption case against New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, which was dismissed after a hung jury failed to reach a verdict. He also was involved in the Justice Department’s prosecution of former Trump White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who was convicted of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee.

On Thursday,  Trump’s attorneys filed a motion calling for a federal judge to hold Smith in contempt of court for allegedly “repeatedly violating” a stay order in his 2020 election investigation.

Smith’s case against Trump, the 2024 GOP frontrunner, is on pause as Trump’s attorneys appeal the case and argue that presidential immunity protects him from being prosecuted. The trial had been set to begin on March 4.

“The Stay Order is clear, straightforward, and unambiguous,” Trump attorney John Lauro wrote in the filing. “All substantive proceedings in this Court are halted. Despite this clarity, the prosecutors began violating the Stay almost immediately.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges related to Smith’s investigations into Jan. 6, 2020 election interference, and his handling of classified records.

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/08/2024 - 13:40
Published:1/8/2024 12:56:26 PM
[Markets] Is Biden About To Put 10 Million Hispanics On The Path To American Citizenship? Is Biden About To Put 10 Million Hispanics On The Path To American Citizenship?

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Substack,

If Biden gets the Republicans to go along with his Mexican counterpart’s proposal to grant work visas to those 10 million Hispanics who the latter claims have worked in the US for 10 years, then they’d be able to apply for a green card and eventually citizenship five years after that, which could lead to the imposition of one-party rule by 2032 if those new citizens in battleground states vote Democrat as expected.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who’s known by his initials as AMLO, revealed during a press conference on Friday that “Mexico asked US authorities to grant visas to at least 10 million Hispanic migrants that have worked for more than 10 years in the country.”

It also asked that the US pay regional states $20 billion in exchange for helping stem illegal immigration. AMLO added that the sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela should be lifted too since he partially blames them for this process.

If Biden complies with the first of his three requests, then that would place 10 million Hispanics on the path to American citizenship since they could turn their work visa into a green card, after which they could apply for citizenship with full voting rights after five years. The Pew Research Center cited US Census Bureau data from 2020 to report last November that at least 1.6 million illegals live in Texas and 900,000 in Florida, which could have serious implications for forthcoming elections if they’re legalized.

The UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative “determined that Latino voters were decisive in sending President-elect Joe Biden to the White House”, with Latinos in 12 of the 13 states that they analyzed “support[ing] Biden over President Donald Trump by a margin of at least 2 to 1. And in nine of the 13 — including the battleground states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — the margin was at least 3 to 1. Only in Florida was Biden’s margin among Latino voters less than 2 to 1.”

With this trend in mind and recalling that Trump won Texas by a little more than 600,00 votes and Florida by less than 400,000 according to the Federal Election Commission’s official results from the 2020 election, those two could permanently turn blue by 2032 if their illegals obtained citizenship. Battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin could join them considering the thin margins within which Biden won them and their own large illegal populations.

Referring back to the Pew Research Center’s official Census-informed report, it’s estimated that between 75k-175k live in Michigan and Wisconsin while 175k-400k live in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Seeing as how Biden won those states by around 150,000, 20,000, 10,000, 10,000, 40,000, and 80,000 votes respectively, each of them with the possible exception of Michigan would easily turn Democrat if those illegals obtained citizenship and the UCLA’s identified trend holds as expected.

It was predicted in mid-November 2020 that “Biden’s America Would Be A Dystopian Hellhole” because “Amnesty & Open Borders Will Revolutionize The Electoral Landscape” by placing the US on “The Path To One-Party Rule”, which could then lead to mass disarmament and more state-backed racist violence. The first step in this plan is to place all illegal immigrants on the path to US citizenship, which is precisely what AMLO just proposed amidst the US’ fierce debate over its de facto open southern border.

The issue is so serious that the Republicans won’t approve more Ukraine aid unless Biden implements comprehensive border security reform to stem the tide after literally millions of illegals flooded into the country over the past three years of his presidency. Seeing as how so-called “moderate” Republicans have a tendency to sell out their principles after some time, and the vast majority of the party consider themselves to be “moderates” instead of MAGA, they might agree to amnesty as a “compromise”.

Biden could promise to implement more robust border security and order the government to turn back all illegals caught crossing the frontier instead of retaining his “catch-and-release” policy that’s encouraged so many to invade the country in exchange for them going along with amnesty. He might even add a humanitarian and economic dimension to his argument by claiming that it’s “the right thing to do” and could lead to them paying more taxes, which could sway most “moderate” Republicans.

If the Republicans agree to this “compromise”, then they’d be handing the country over to one-party Democrat rule by 2032, after which the dystopia that was warned about three years ago would become an irreversible reality. Their opponents’ liberal-globalist policies that would be imposed in the aftermath would also forever put an end to their own conservative-nationalist ones that they claim to support, thus completing the latest “American Revolution” that’s been ongoing since Obama’s time in office.  

Tyler Durden Sun, 01/07/2024 - 15:10
Published:1/7/2024 2:26:43 PM
[Markets] Obama's Weird New Movie And America's Extreme Vulnerability To Cyber-Attack Obama's Weird New Movie And America's Extreme Vulnerability To Cyber-Attack

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us

There has been a lot of buzz lately about a recently released film by Netflix titled ‘Leave The World Behind’ based on a novel by the same name.  The plot revolves around a catastrophic collapse in the US triggered by a cyber attack (and mass drone attack) that shuts down the internet and disrupts the global economy, leading to questions of who might have been behind the sabotage?

The most interesting aspect of the film is not so much the story (which is lackluster at best), but the fact that Barack Obama was so deeply involved in the making of the film as executive producer and as adviser on the script. This has led many people to suggest the movie is actually predictive programming – Propaganda designed to acclimate the masses to the idea of an event that is planned to happen in the near future.

Similar concerns were raised back in 2021 when the World Economic Forum oversaw a “war game” called Cyberpolygon, an event meant to simulate a massive cyber attack on the vulnerable functions of the world-wide web. The reason Cyberpolygon raised so many eyebrows was perfectly understandable; the WEF had also hosted another simulation at the end of 2019 called Event 201. The game, which included the CEOs of some of the most powerful health and media corporations in the world along with numerous government officials, “coincidentally” focused on the outbreak of a global coronavirus pandemic, and it was held only a couple of months before the real thing happened.

In other words, it was as if the globalists at the WEF knew that covid was about to strike.

While Hollywood interpretations of cyber attacks are usually exaggerated in terms of the true effects, there is a very real and considerable threat associated with such a disaster. So-called “experts” in the tech field often dismiss the wider dangers to the internet itself because they have been indoctrinated into believing that the design of the web has too many redundancies. In other words, they act as if it is invincible.

This is not really the case. Though data loss can be prevented through cloud storage, the internet as a mechanism can still be shut down or taken down deliberately for long periods of time.

In the past I have written about a very interesting event that was barely covered by the corporate media called the “Fastly Outage.”  In June of 2021 there was an internet outage that led to large swaths of the web going completely dark, including a number of mainstream news sites, Amazon, eBay, Twitch, Reddit. A host of government websites also went down. All this happened when content delivery network (CDN) company Fastly experienced a “bug.” Although Amazon had its website back online within 20 minutes, the brief outage cost the company over $5.5 million in sales.

A content delivery network is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. They make up the what is known as the “backbone” of the internet.

Fastly identified and fixed the problem within two hours and continues to claim the outage had nothing to do with a cyber attack. However, a huge vulnerability for the internet (a center of structural support Carl von Clausewitz would’ve called a “schwerpunkt”) was revealed to the public. A sizable portion of the web is dependent on only a handful of CDN companies, including Fastly.

It is also through collusion with these companies that governments are able to implement an “internet kill switch” in the face of possible civil unrest. A cyber attack would simply remove the government as the arbiter (or act as a false flag scapegoat so the government can avoid blame).  But what would really happen if we lost the internet for a week, or a month or a year? In the US the result would be calamity because our economy has become far too dependent on digitization.

Around 10% of US GDP is directly tied to online commerce. This doesn’t seem like much, but a loss of that GDP would send the US into immediate and steep recession. Around 17 million jobs in the US are generated by commercial internet enterprises, and around 38% of these workers are employed by small businesses. According to surveys 70% of American workers say they cannot do their jobs effectively without internet access.

Keep in mind, if the trend of “work from home” during the covid lockdowns had stuck, an even bigger piece of the economy would be dependent on the health of the web.

The five industries considered most vulnerable to cyber attack are public administration, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, finance and insurance, education and retail. That is to say, these are the industries that are attacked most often. Attacks on vital utilities are usually the favorite set pieces for disasters portrayed in fiction and film, but these are actually far less worrisome. The real danger is the potential for an attack on the internet as a system. All it would take is for a couple CDNs or more to be hit simultaneously to cause vast online blackouts.

Most important of all are the ways in which international banking and finance utilize online networks to maintain the flow money. Without the web, trade velocity dies immediately and building it back from implosion could take years.

But who would benefit from such an attack? Certainly, foreign powers might see the crippling of America’s digital infrastructure as a way to severely damage the country without having to fight directly and militarily. However, there are also a number of benefits to the globalists.

For example, one of the biggest obstacles for the elites during their attempt to institute medical tyranny and the ‘Great Reset’ during covid was the proliferation of factual data that debunked the pandemic narrative. American conservatives represented a serious barrier to their success with tens of millions of gun owning patriots refusing to comply. The harder they pushed, the greater the chance of an armed insurgency.

Even though the establishment had every single Big Tech conglomerate on their side when it came to mass censorship of contrary information, they still failed to stop the spread of the truth – Covid was nowhere near the threat they hyped it up to be and the public was quickly made aware of this by the alternative media. The elites did not have as much control over the web as they thought they did.

In the event of a large scale cyberattack, the internet could be shut down completely, leaving only corporate media sources to filter information and control the narrative. The alternative media would be silenced and the public would be left in confusion, desperately searching for answers. Interestingly, this is a core theme of Obama’s ‘Leave The World Behind’ – The idea of a population utterly cut off from reliable information and scrambling to figure out who is attacking them.

The internet has become an integral pillar of western economies to the point that a majority of people would not know how to live without it should it disappear. This is the disturbing reality we face in the midst of a growing series of geopolitical conflicts and more oppressive governments. It would seem it’s only a matter of time before there’s a major disruption.

The solution is pretty straightforward – Localization of trade and production is the way to prevent full spectrum collapse, and alternative communication networks such as ham radio networks can prevent information silence. There is no reason why Americans should have to become subservient to the whims of globalism, the interdependent supply chain or digitization; they can and should create their own backup plan. Getting people to realize this and implement basic local measures is where we run into difficulties. Sadly, a lot of first-world citizens assume that the system will always be there for them when they need it, and they don’t actively seek out solutions until disaster is at their doorstep.

Tyler Durden Sat, 01/06/2024 - 23:20
Published:1/6/2024 10:52:19 PM
[] Barack Obama Hits Panic Button on Biden Campaign, And I’m Laughing Hysterically Published:1/6/2024 4:30:04 PM
[Markets] Trump Drops New Campaign Video Vowing More Transparency On JFK Assassination Trump Drops New Campaign Video Vowing More Transparency On JFK Assassination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Modernity.news,

Donald Trump dropped a new campaign video featuring Bill Clinton meeting with Jeffrey Epstein, while the ad also promised more transparency on uncovering the full story behind the JFK assassination.

The video opens with Ronald Reagan’s ‘thousand years of darkness’ speech where he called on Americans to tell their elected officials that national policy should be based on a shared sense of morality and is soundtracked by Aerosmith’s Dream On.

It also features Trump’s promise to obtain transparency surrounding the assassination of JFK, featuring footage of Kennedy being shot before highlighting the lyrics, “you got to lose to know how to win.”

The ad then shows footage of when Trump was ‘arrested’ along with a passage from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War which reads, “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

The chorus then drops showing Trump with his supporters before clips showing Bill Clinton meeting with Jeffrey Epstein.

The lyrics “dream on” are then illustrated with images of Trump’s Republican rivals Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie and Mike Pence before showing footage from Trump’s 2016 victory.

World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, George Soros, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are also told to “dream on”.

The song’s ‘scream’ part is then illustrated with the infamous meme of the obese Democrat screaming in anger at response to Trump winning.

The ad finishes with Trump declaring:

“As long as the American people hold in their arms deep and devoted love of country then there is nothing this nation cannot achieve – the best is yet to come.”

Compare Trump’s ad to Biden’s latest effort, which demonizes Trump supporters as extremists.

*  *  *

Your support is crucial in helping us defeat mass censorship. Please consider donating via Locals or check out our unique merch. Follow us on X @ModernityNews

Tyler Durden Sat, 01/06/2024 - 14:00
Published:1/6/2024 1:02:14 PM
[Markets] SpaceX Sues Federal Agency Over 'Unconstitutional' Structure SpaceX Sues Federal Agency Over 'Unconstitutional' Structure

Elon Musk's SpaceX has filed a lawsuit against a federal agency alleging that it's out of control in violation of the constitution.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has a panel of judges which hear cases brought against companies over workers' rights. One such complaint lodged in December against SpaceX is being sent there for adjudication - however SpaceX argues that they're essentially a rogue agency.

The U.S. Constitution requires the president to have “sufficient control” over the judges, and an appeals court concluded in 2022 that administrative law judges (ALJs) in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are unconstitutionally shielded from presidential oversight.

The same reasoning applies to the ALJs of the NLRB, including the ALJ assigned to preside over the pending NLRB proceedings against SpaceX,” SpaceX said in the Jan. 4 suit.

The company is asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to rule that the current makeup of the NLRB is unconstitutional. -The Epoch Times

"To prevent SpaceX from undergoing protracted administrative proceedings before an unconstitutionally structured agency—after which SpaceX is unlikely to have a chance to secure meaningful retrospective relief—the court should stay or enjoin the current agency proceedings, declare that the NLRB’s structure violates the separation of powers under Article II of the Constitution, and permanently enjoin the NLRB and its general counsel from pursuing unfair labor practice charges against SpaceX before agency officials that are unconstitutionally insulated from presidential oversight, " reads the filing, which also claims that the NLRB's five-member board is structured improperly, and is the "very definition of tyranny." 

US District Judge Rolando Olvera, an Obama appointee, was assigned to the case after the NLRB accused SpaceX of violating federal law by firing workers who spoke out against the company's practices.

In a 2022 open letter to management, workers complained about Musk's posts on Twitter, calling them "a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us," and complained that it should be made clear that "his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values."

According to NLRB officials, SpaceX, in a "wave of wrongful retaliatory terminations," fired workers who signed the open letter, and others involved in activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act.

More via the Epoch Times;

Deborah Lawrence, one of the workers whom SpaceX fired, told news outlets in a statement through her lawyers that the company has a “toxic culture.”

“We wrote the open letter to leadership not out of malice, but because we cared about the mission and the people around us,” she said.

As of now, a hearing in the matter is scheduled to take place on March 5 in Los Angeles, California, before an administrative law judge.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon capsule and a crew of four private astronauts, lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on May 21, 2023. (John Raoux/AP Photo)

Campaign Against Musk

The NLRB is one of several government agencies that have brought actions against Mr. Musk after he became a critic of President Joe Biden and the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in August 2023 sued SpaceX, saying the company illegally only hired U.S. citizens and permanent residents. A countersuit in the same federal court in which the new suit was brought said the company was complying with federal law that governs companies involved with sensitive technology.

Judge Olvera ruled in favor of SpaceX and paused the case, finding that the way the DOJ’s administrative law judges act does not adhere to the Constitution.

The proceedings before the judges “are unconstitutional because the attorney general is not allowed to review” their decisions, he said.

The Constitution says presidents must appoint federal “principal officers,” although Congress can authorize the head of departments to appoint “inferior officers.” Those inferior officers, though, must be “directed and supervised” by a principal officer. The judges are not inferior officers because they’re not supervised, according to the ruling.

If the proceedings were not paused, SpaceX “will likely suffer irreparable injury,” Judge Olvera added.

He also addressed how the judges cannot be directly removed by a president. Judges can only be removed by board members, who themselves can be removed by a president. That structure may be unconstitutional but the removal restrictions are severable by the courts, he said.

The appeals court in the SEC case, which is set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, found that because presidents cannot directly remove the administrative law judges, they are unconstitutionally insulated from the chief executive.

A judge who dissented disagreed, creating a split decision that the nation’s top court will resolve.

Tyler Durden Fri, 01/05/2024 - 21:20
Published:1/5/2024 8:28:26 PM
[Politics] [Josh Blackman] Today in Supreme Court History: January 4, 2012 1/4/2012: President Obama makes three appointments to the NLRB. The Supreme Court would find these appointments unconstitutional in NLRB v. Noel Canning. Published:1/4/2024 7:08:50 AM
[bbac3693-7bd8-5ec8-95f0-1e4c50c57f05] Obama silent on resignation of Harvard's Claudine Gay amid reports about his efforts to try to save her job Harvard President Claudine Gay's resignation this week comes after former President Obama reportedly attempted to campaign for her to keep her position. Published:1/4/2024 3:34:00 AM
[Markets] Like It Or Not, 2024 Is The Year Of Trump Like It Or Not, 2024 Is The Year Of Trump

Authored by Frank Miele via RealClear Wire,

Ladies and gentlemen, start your election engines.

Ready or not 2024 is here, and that means you are in for the ride of your life! The all-important Iowa caucuses are here in just two weeks, and by the end of the month New Hampshire voters may have slammed shut the door for any candidate other than Donald Trump to grab the Republican Party presidential nomination.

But that’s all right, we don’t need plain politics to make this election year interesting. For that we have the Democrats’ rigged indictments and novel legal theories. There are four criminal trials scheduled throughout the year, any one of which could force Trump off the campaign trail long enough to significantly alter the election. Then there is the absurd effort to remove Trump from the ballot in multiple states due to an inventive reading of the 14th Amendment’s ban on Confederate rebels holding office in the U.S. government.

And if that weren’t enough, House Republicans have ordered up an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden that will compete with Trump’s legal woes for your attention. Does the GOP with its slim majority in the House have enough votes to actually impeach Biden? Possibly not, but it may not matter as long as the mainstream media covers the inquiry with a degree of fairness. There is nothing appetizing about the Bidens’ dealings with foreign entities over the last two decades, and voters may choose to spew out their already lukewarm affection for the Democratic candidate.

So where to begin?

It has to be declared upfront that the election cycle takes precedence over the legal cycle and even the impeachment cycle. Remember, there is nothing to prevent Trump from running for president even if he is a convicted felon. There is nothing to prevent him from taking office if he is a convicted felon. So the only way such a conviction might impact the election is if voters reject the former president as a result of something they learn from the legal proceedings that turns them against Trump.

But as I showed in my last column, voters are already well informed about Trump’s eccentricities, and they prefer him over more “normal” candidates. Instead, they became even more enthusiastic about Trump’s candidacy as soon as the Deep State brought its first indictment against him in March of 2023. The verdict that matters is already in: A plurality of U.S. voters apparently agrees with Trump that the legal persecution being waged against him is election interference, and they aren’t happy about it.

So let’s focus on the likely outcome of the Iowa GOP caucuses on Jan. 15 and ponder how the election race might proceed from there. A Fox Business poll on Dec. 20 was typical. Trump led with 52%, Ron DeSantis had 18%, and Nicki Haley had 16%. Everyone else trailed badly. To put it plainly, the poll shows Trump leading by 34 percentage points, a lead which is virtually unheard of in a contested primary. It is highly unlikely that Trump will lose, and if his lead remains anywhere near 34 points on Caucus Day – and he runs the table in New Hampshire eight days later – then the race is effectively over.

What the Never Trump forces seem to be counting on is a late “surge” by Nikki Haley. The trend as seen on RealClearPolitics is that Haley has either tied or leads DeSantis in Iowa. If she manages to secure second place in the caucus state, she would try to turn that into a momentum boost in New Hampshire, where she is already generally acknowledged to be in second place, although down by 21 points to Donald Trump, according to the RealClearPolitics Average.

But let’s be realistic. Haley is a media darling, but she hasn’t caught on among conservatives, and her path is winding and unlikely. It’s DeSantis who has won the endorsement of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa’s leading social conservatives. That wouldn’t be enough to help him surpass Trump, but the power of an on-the-ground political machine could easily help him hold off Haley for second place. Should that happen, Haley would be deprived of her boost going into New Hampshire and would likely be a distant second-place finisher to Trump.

Even if Haley somehow finishes in a strong second place, it would have the opposite effect of what she hopes. A DeSantis collapse in Iowa, where the Florida governor has pinned all his hopes, would be devastating for his candidacy. With his donors abandoning him, DeSantis would very likely withdraw before New Hampshire, sending a large number of voters back into Trump’s arms and hurting Haley at a crucial moment.

The other scenario that could play out in New Hampshire is that Chris Christie, who has positioned himself as a one-man Trump wrecking crew, gets out of the race and endorses Haley. That could certainly help her, but it might be countered by an endorsement of Trump by Vivek Ramaswamy, the outsider candidate who touts himself as Trump without the baggage. Besides, Christie’s ego probably won’t let him step aside until he’s bankrupted his super PAC and exhausted his options. And after Haley’s odd flub on the causes of the Civil War, Christie noted caustically, “She's unwilling to offend anyone by telling the truth.” Not exactly endorsement language.

Which brings us to South Carolina. Did I mention that Haley is the former governor of South Carolina, and is counting on its Feb. 24 primary one month after New Hampshire to cement her as the legitimate challenger to Trump? But that could only happen if she wins in her home state. If she loses there, she is toast. And if she has any hopes of running for president successfully in the future, that is a fate she cannot endure.

Therefore, if she comes out of New Hampshire with no momentum, she may withdraw from the race before her home state votes to avoid an embarrassing loss. And since Trump has a 30-point lead over Haley in the RealClearPolitics Average for South Carolina, embarrassment is the most likely outcome. Gov. DeSantis, if he is still in the race after New Hampshire, is no more likely to see a path to the nomination after South Carolina, where he trails by 38 points.

And remember, this all takes place before Trump is required to set foot in any courtroom. Moreover, Trump’s appeals and his legal motions have made it almost impossible that there will be any trial on election interference before the election. That leaves only the case brought in New York by District Attorney Alvin Bragg as a threat to Trump, but is it a real threat? Bragg has pieced together a case against Trump based on a vague legal theory that he hid payments to porn star Stormy Daniels that were paid through his attorney Michael Cohen. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say, if CNN is willing to publish an op-ed calling the case weak, then there is a good chance it will be dismissed outright or end with a mistrial or acquittal.

It was Bragg’s case that kicked off all the legal shenanigans against Trump, and which boosted Trump in the polls because it appeared to be a political attack rather than a legitimate criminal case. Therefore, even if Bragg should gain a conviction (which would likely be overturned by the Supreme Court after the election) it will just strengthen the argument that Democrats will do anything to stop a candidate they cannot beat at the polls.

Realistically, there is only one thing that could prevent Donald Trump from winning the GOP nomination and very possibly from reclaiming the White House – and that is Donald Trump. His willingness to say anything for attention (such as “dictator on Day One only”) has the potential to backfire when Democrats seize on it. Of course, Day One is when a new president issues multiple executive orders to counteract existing policies. Obama did it. Biden did it, and yes Trump will do it, too, if he gets a chance. That is not being a dictator, but the mainstream media will twist it into the latest evidence that Trump is Hitler. We know the Democrat playbook, and it’s dirty politics through and through.

If Trump gives them an opening, they will be entirely happy to shut him down. Otherwise, the year 2024 belongs to Donald Trump.

Tyler Durden Wed, 01/03/2024 - 07:20
Published:1/3/2024 6:37:41 AM
[Markets] DeSantis Promises 'Day One' Firing Of Special Counsel Jack Smith If Elected DeSantis Promises 'Day One' Firing Of Special Counsel Jack Smith If Elected

Authored by Caden Pearson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Republican presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis told Iowa voters that if he is elected in 2024, he would fire special counsel Jack Smith on his first day in office.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to guests during a campaign rally at the Thunderdome in Newton, Iowa, on Dec. 2, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The declaration came during a campaign event on Thursday and aimed at setting himself apart from his chief GOP rival, former President Donald Trump, who faces two federal prosecutions led by Mr. Smith.

The Florida governor expressed his concern that President Trump, as the Republican nominee, would overshadow the election, focusing on legal issues and investigations rather than addressing the nation’s challenges.

Should President Trump become the Republican nominee for the third consecutive time, said Mr. DeSantis, then “the whole election will be about him,” his behavior, and “all these different investigations and legal cases.”

Which, look,” he added, “I think are unfair. I will fire Jack Smith on day one when I’m president. That is without saying.”

The Epoch Times contacted the Department of Justice (DOJ) for comment.

Mr. DeSantis has been united in the view of the former president and his supporters, who have characterized the DOJ prosecutions as a “weaponization” of the government against President Joe Biden’s likely primary opponent.

The governor emphasized his belief that the media and Democrats were keen on making the election solely about President Trump, diverting attention from holding President Biden accountable for what they say are his failures.

Mr. DeSantis argued that focusing on President Trump’s legal battles would play into the Democratic playbook and ultimately lead to Republican losses across the country.

“Even if somehow he could surmount that, you have a lame-duck president on day one,” Mr. DeSantis said, referring to President Trump. “How are you going to be able to get things done? How are you going to be able to recruit personnel that you need?”

While making his pitch to Iowa voters, Mr. DeSantis went on to outline his vision for the presidency, emphasizing the need for a diverse team to enact meaningful change.

“We will go in on day one, and we are going to upend this swamp in Washington. We’re going to do it,” he declared.

(Left) Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks in Washington, on Aug. 1, 2023. (Right) Former President Donald Trump attends his fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in New York City, on Dec. 7, 2023. (Drew Angerer/David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Smith ‘Should Be Scared,’ Says Trump Lawyer

Mr. Smith has brought two federal criminal cases against President Trump, one in Florida over classified documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago estate and another in Washington, D.C., related to his efforts to challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential elections.

President Trump is also facing several other legal cases, both civil and criminal.

The former president has repeatedly claimed during public appearances and on Truth Social that all of the cases are tantamount to election interference, forming an effort to keep him from seeking the White House again.

Recent national polls put President Trump leaps and bounds ahead of his Republican rivals in the 2024 race.

Mr. Smith recently filed papers in the election case arguing that President Trump should be blocked from telling jurors that the cases against him represent selective prosecution by federal officials.

In a motion, Mr. Smith’s office specifically asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an appointee of President Barrack Obama who is presiding over the case and trial, to rule that the former president cannot say in court that he is being prosecuted for political reasons, saying that it could be prejudicial.

Lawyers from Mr. Smith’s office told the court in filings that President Trump has, via public statements, court filings, and arguments in hearings, tried to “inject into this case partisan political attacks and irrelevant and prejudicial issues that have no place in a jury trial.”

Although the court can recognize these efforts for what they are and disregard them, the jury—if subjected to them—may not,” lawyers working with Mr. Smith wrote.

Trump attorney Alina Habba, responding to the filing, said it shows that Mr. Smith is “running scared,” and he “should be scared,” she told Newsmax on Thursday.

“He doesn’t want, basically, any defense being brought by the defense,” Ms. Habba said, referring to Mr. Smith. “It’s what happened with the last trial I tried. It’s what will happen with the next one I try.”

Ms. Habba has suggested that prosecutors are trying to rush a conviction of the former president before the election. The District of Columbia trial case is scheduled for March 4, one day before the Super Tuesday nominating contest for the 2024 presidential election.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Tyler Durden Sun, 12/31/2023 - 20:20
Published:12/31/2023 7:57:48 PM
[bb1c8777-02b9-5751-a8af-82e7ba412227] Former top Obama adviser says if Trump prevented from running it ‘would rip the country apart' Former President Obama adviser David Axelrod warned that a court decision to remove former President Trump from the primary ballot “would rip the country apart." Published:12/30/2023 6:32:44 PM
[Markets] Must We 'Leave The World Behind'? Must We 'Leave The World Behind'?

Authored by Bert Olivier via The Brownstone Institute,

The recent movie, Leave the World Behind (Sam Esmail, Dir; 2023; Netflix), based on the novel by Rumaan Alam (2020) is not what it seems, to wit, a disturbing narrative of a family’s holiday weekend gone awry when an unfolding cyberattack paralyses their electronic devices and gradually wreaks havoc in the air, in cities and on roads, as perceptible in some scenes.

Debbie Lerman’s perceptive article highlighted a number of relevant aspects of this significant movie – not ‘significant’ because of any outstanding cinematic features, but because of its symptomatic importance, as I shall try to show – but I would like to focus on another side to it. Although compatible with Lerman’s piece – I particularly found myself agreeing with the title of her essay – this interpretation aims to concentrate on several scene-sequences in the film, as well as other related considerations, in an attempt to uncover some of the probable intentions behind its production. 

But is this not a matter of reading something into the movie that is not there? In a certain sense, yes, namely that – on the face of – it is a disaster movie of sorts. ‘Of sorts,’ because the ‘real disaster’ which the narrative hints at in an open-ended manner is only just beginning to play out where the movie ends, with Rosie starting to watch what seems like the last episode of her favourite television series, Friends, in a neighbour’s underground bunker stocked with ‘prepper’ supplies. 

This is itself a significant scene: Rosie, the young daughter of the white couple (the Sandfords), escapes into a sitcom fantasy (which ‘makes her happy’) at the very moment when it appears that everyone is completely helpless in the face of an unfolding series of events too vast to grasp adequately, let alone address by effective intervention. 

Hence, ostensibly it is a disaster film, but several things – both intra-cinematically and extra-cinematically – strongly suggest that it is much more than that. The first concerns the unsightly Klaus Schwab, real-world counterpart of the ‘Emperor Palpatine,’ or Darth Sidious, in George Lucas’s Star Wars, although his oft-melodramatic outfits suggest that he rather fancies himself as the ominous Darth Vader. Not long ago Darth Schwab’s organisation, the World Economic Forum, issued a stark cyberattack warning, comparing the rate at which its effects would spread to that of the ‘novel coronavirus’ that caused Covid-19. Schwab himself has weighed in on this possibility, too, as seen in this video, where The People’s Voice presenter somewhat bluntly claims that Barack Obama used the film to ‘order governments to prepare [the] public for [an] imminent depopulation event.’ Presumably this is because the Obamas’ company, presumptuously titled Higher Ground Productions, produced the movie, while the couple also acted as executive producers.      

While his statement is ingenuous, the presenter in this The People’s Voice video (linked above) is nevertheless on the right track. However, by producing a cinematic narrative that is easily recognisable as belonging to a specific genre – that of disaster films, related to action and thriller movies – Obama can rely on what is nowadays known as ‘plausible deniability’ (particularly on the part of those responsible for ‘sudden deaths’ among individuals who received the Covid ‘vaccines’).

One of the elements of the film that cleverly provides such deniability is the references (through a conversation with Danny) to the probability that the cyberattack was launched by China, or North Korea, or Iran. Yet, one cannot avoid wondering in what way, as executive producer, Obama was able to tweak Esmail’s direction, and perhaps did so, given the apparent frequency with which he communicated with the latter about this:

Alam’s critically-acclaimed novel was on former President Obama’s 2021 summer reading list, and Esmail shared that as the film was adapted into a suspenseful screenplay, the American politician offered useful feedback.

“In the original drafts of the script, I definitely pushed things a lot farther than they were in the film, and President Obama, having the experience he does have, was able to ground me a little bit on how things might unfold in reality,” Esmail says to Vanity Fair.

The filmmaker also talks about his fear of working with the former president and receiving his critiques.

“He had a lot [of] notes about the characters and the empathy we would have for them,” Esmail says.

He continues, “I have to say he is a big movie lover, and he wasn’t just giving notes about things that were from his background. He was giving notes as a fan of the book, and he wanted to see a really good film.”

It does seem like an extraordinary degree of involvement in the scriptwriting and directing of a movie by an executive producer, and reading between the lines of Esmail’s account of Obama’s ‘interest,’ one discerns inklings of more than just a movie fan’s eagerness to have a hand in a film he is producing (as opposed to directing). Take this, for example: ‘…I definitely pushed things a lot farther than they were in the film’, ‘…how things might unfold in reality’, or ‘…his fear of working with the former president and receiving his critiques.’ 

For Esmail, who earlier directed the television series Mr Robot (a nihilistic critique of techno-capitalism) to critical acclaim, to be intimidated by Obama is significantly improbable, recalling that, the similarly apocalyptic tenor of the earlier series notwithstanding, it contrasted noticeably with the recent movie in terms of images of resistance to totalitarian control in the guise of vigilantism. Furthermore, Obama’s interest in shifting Leave the World Behind in a more realistic direction should be seen in light of the intended audiences of the film, which are global, given Netflix’s reach. Why would the former president of the US want to dish up something with a taste of reality (to come) to audiences? 

A preliminary clue about the answer to this question is found in the film’s dialogue, where GH says to Clay, sitting next to him in his car, referring to a three-stage, destabilising ‘program’ that terrified a client of his (after finally persuading Danny to part with some of his medical supplies for treating Archie’s strange, tooth-shedding condition): 

This program was considered the most cost-effective way to destabilize a country because if the target nation was dysfunctional enough it would do the work for you. Whoever started this, wants us to finish it.  

The last sentence is the symptomatic giveaway.

It is a classic example of what is known as ‘predictive programming (or coding)’ – the subtle preparation of audiences for future events by inserting references to them into movies, television programmes, or newspapers. (In The People’s Voice video, linked above, several other such recent examples of predictive coding are discussed, as well as philosopher Alan Watts’s revealing comment on it.) The whistleblower, Karen Kingston, did not waste any time to draw this conclusion in the December 15 edition of her Substack, where she asks pointedly: “Are the Obamas Showing Us Their Exact Plan for America?” This question is prompted by her observation that:

There’s also [a] disturbingly prophetic scene in the film where two of the female characters are staring at New York City from afar, watching massive explosions combust along the 5-mile Manhattan island. Coincidentally, the Con Edison Plant in New York City exploded at 5 minutes to midnight last night, leaving millions in darkness. 

Needless to stress, the news about the explosion at the power facility seemed to Kingston to adumbrate worse to come. Commenting on the last sentence in HG’s remark in the film, quoted above –Whoever started this, wants us to finish it – she writes:

The enemies of America who are fueling our internal wars want us to finish what they started. I say we take them up on their offer in finishing what they started, but not according to their agenda. We reunite and emerge from their deployed chaos in accordance with God’s laws – with repentance, respect, forgiveness, justice, and unity, while maintaining our liberties and constitutional rights.

It is superfluous to say that I fully endorse this sentiment. But the precise nature of this elaborate piece of cinematic deception has not been demonstrated yet, and I use the term ‘deception’ advisedly, because that is precisely what it is, although far more sophisticated than meets the eye. It has to do with what psychoanalytic theorist, Jacques Lacan, calls the ‘lure,’ which first makes its appearance when the child engages ‘in the dialectic of the lure’ as he puts it in his 4th Seminar, The Object-Relation (p. 186).

What happens here is that the child makes ‘himself a deceptive object’ or ‘turns himself into an object meant to trick’ the mother (p.187). Lacan emphasises that ‘This is not merely a sort of immediate lure, as can be produced in the animal kingdom where the one that is decked out in all the colours of display has to establish the whole situation by parading around.’ 

At stake is the child’s attempt to be the mother’s ‘fulfilment’– because she or he senses the mother’s desire for this – to be ‘everything’ for her, which is, of course, impossible. Hence the child has to resort to deception, or the lure. In other words, there is a kind of double lure at play here – the child does not simply desire the mother’s attention and hence, tries to lure her into giving it; because the mother’s unfulfillable desire is sensed by the child, the latter has to hide this realisation, and pretend to be what she desires, by deceiving or tricking her. 

By contrast, when birds engage in mating behaviour, for instance, the lure, or deception, is biologically direct, but with human beings it is evidently more complicated, as Dylan Evans explains in An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis (p. 107):

Whereas animal lures are straightforward, the human being is unique in being capable of a special kind of lure which involves a ‘double deception.’ This is a kind of lure which involves deceiving by pretending to deceive (i.e. telling a truth that one expects to be taken for a lie)...

The classic example of the properly human lure is the joke quoted by Freud (and often cited by Lacan) about the two Polish Jews: ‘Why do you tell me you are going to Cracow so I’ll believe you are going to Lvov, when you are really going to Cracow?’…Other animals are incapable of this special kind of lure owing to the fact that they do not possess language. 

This little theoretical detour affords one the means to explain the sense in which Leave the World Behind is a lure, a ‘double deception.’ Its double structure, analogous to the Polish joke alluded to by Evans, above, is this: through the film, ‘those behind it’ warn us that there is going to be a cyberattack, so that we will think there won’t be one (because ‘no one would say so openly,’ would they?), but in fact, they are planning a cyberattack.

The deception is therefore more sophisticated than it seems at first sight.

The only problem is, unlike the Freudian story about the two Polish Jews, it is no joke. 

Tyler Durden Fri, 12/29/2023 - 02:00
Published:12/29/2023 1:24:54 AM
[] As Iran's Proxy Army in Gaza Crumbles, The Mullahs Ramp Up Production of Weapons-Grade Uranium Thanks Obama! Thanks Biden! Thanks Val Jarrett! Our "Partners in Peace" are saber-rattling with nuclear fuel. Iran has boosted its production of highly enriched uranium after a slowdown earlier this year, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog said in a report on... Published:12/27/2023 1:46:39 PM
[Markets] "This Is Our Town" - Inside A Small-Town Battle Against A Giant Chinese Battery Plant "This Is Our Town" - Inside A Small-Town Battle Against A Giant Chinese Battery Plant

Authored by Nathan Worcester via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Two common signs stood out on the front lawns and street corners of Manteno, Illinois, on Dec. 13: “Keep Christ in Christmas,” sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, and “Choose Manteno: No Go on Gotion!”

Ten miles south of where Chicago’s suburban sprawl finally peters out, Manteno is the latest battleground over Chinese companies coming to middle America—in this case, the electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer Gotion Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of China’s Gotion (or Guoxuan) High-Tech Co.

While a recent Manteno board decision to rezone a manufacturing site favorably to Gotion came as a setback for opponents, the war for the industrial future of Manteno—and America—is far from over.

The recently formed group Concerned Citizens of Manteno fired back with a lawsuit against Gotion and the village on Dec. 22.

In Manteno and towns like it, Americans are steeling themselves for a struggle.

“The Chinese government does not like us. Look what happened with the coronavirus. ... But this is our town, not theirs, and we’re going to fight to save it,” Gotion opponent Ryan McHeffey told The Epoch Times.

The story begins in early September, when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, came to Manteno and revealed that Gotion would site a $2 billion EV battery plant in the community.

The proposed location was a 100-plus acre property at 333 S. Spruce St. that includes a former Kmart distribution center. The parcel lies on the west side of Interstate 57, the north–south artery that cleaves Manteno in two as it whooshes down to the Missouri Bootheel.

The deal came with $536 million in incentives from the state of Illinois. Kankakee County has also offered the company a 30-year property tax abatement. The project could also be eligible for federal green energy tax credits.

The project will deliver “2,600 new good-paying jobs in Manteno,” Mr. Pritzker said in a statement.

Mayor Timothy Nugent, who has ruled the village with little opposition since the mid-2000s, described the Gotion announcement as a “huge win.”

Although there were rumblings about Gotion in the weeks beforehand, Mr. Pritzker’s September announcement caught many by surprise—and it galvanized opposition.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a ceremonial groundbreaking at the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago on Sept. 28, 2021. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“All of a sudden, everybody heard about it,” Manteno resident Julie Holda told The Epoch Times.

Ms. Holda is one of numerous locals campaigning against Gotion.

Manteno activists who spoke with The Epoch Times cited a range of worries, including over highly toxic materials employed in lithium battery production, the use of taxpayer subsidies for a foreign company, possible threats to flora and fauna, destabilizing development of the sleepy village, and the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In a September letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen requesting an in-depth look at Gotion by the Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other Republican officials describe those alleged ties.

Li Zhen, the company’s founder and chairman, is a member of the Anhui Provincial Federation of Industry and Commerce, which is part of the CCP’s United Front system and takes direction from the CCP. His son, Li Chen, who is also Guoxuan’s CEO, is a member of the Baohe District Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee, which is an advisory body of the CCP,” the lawmakers wrote.

Annette LaMore, a retired postal carrier and anti-Gotion activist, told The Epoch Times, “We are inviting our enemies into our town.”

Mike Barry, an area football coach, questioned the impact of the property tax cap on homeowners as well as the project’s long-term effect on property values.

How am I going to sell my house ... with a lithium battery factory?” he asked.

Michael Barry (L) and other opponents of the proposed Gotion factory in Manteno, Ill., on Dec. 13, 2023. (Nathan Worcester/The Epoch Times)

A Town Divided

November polling by a center-right group, Cor Strategies, revealed that a majority of Kankakee County residents oppose the development, with just 27 percent in support. The results suggest that Gotion critics have most of the area’s public on their side.

But Manteno residents who spoke with The Epoch Times acknowledged that the issue has raised tensions in the town.

At one point, while leading The Epoch Times’ reporter through a business in town, activists explained why they were so circumspect.

This is literally the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s right now. We just walked into the McCoy’s territory,” one of them said.

Manteno resident Marina Fisher said: “It hurts so bad. This has really divided this town.”

She spoke to The Epoch Times with her 13-year-old son, Emilio, and her 1-year-old boy, Evers. Evers is her “rainbow baby”—a child born after a miscarriage.

Like others who spoke with The Epoch Times, Ms. Fisher came to Manteno to get away from all the problems in Chicagoland.

Now, she's worried that toxic materials at the plant could make her new home unsafe. At issue are lithium, the base material for the batteries, and other chemicals used in battery manufacturing.

In a 2023 review on the health risks of lithium-ion batteries, Polish researchers noted that lithium has long been prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder, meaning that scientists have some insight into lithium toxicity in people. The health of the kidneys, thyroid gland, and parathyroid gland can all be jeopardized. Lithium has also been linked to birth defects.

Locals are particularly concerned about another chemical, N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), that may or may not be at play in Manteno.

Robert Dube, an attorney involved in the Manteno lawsuit, told The Epoch Times that Gotion "could not confirm" whether it would use it in its proposed facility.

Marina Fisher, with her sons, Evers, 1, and Emilio, 13, says she will move away if Gotion's lithium battery plant comes to town, in Manteno, Ill., on Dec. 16, 2023. (Nathan Worcester/The Epoch Times)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded in 2020 that the use of NMP in lithium-ion battery manufacturing presents "unreasonable risks." It has linked NMP exposure to kidney toxicity, liver toxicity, neurotoxicity, and more.

Pollution, including water pollution, is nothing new to the region. Northern Illinois is dotted with superfund sites designated by the EPA. In places such as Ms. Fisher’s old neighborhoods in Chicago, Back of the Yards and McKinley Park, a map developed by University of Illinois researchers reveals dangerous levels of lead, a neurotoxin, in the soil.

In June, ABC reported that residents in nearby University Park still stick to bottled water four years after lead was found in the drinking water. The water was supplied by a private utility, Aqua Illinois, at about the time it began sourcing from the Kankakee River rather than wells. Aqua Illinois is the same utility that supplies water to Manteno (reporting from the period doesn't indicate that lead pollution affected Manteno).

Village of Manteno officials have said that “residential water supply will not be affected by the water needs from the Gotion plant,” citing assurances from Aqua Illinois. It stated that the plant’s wastewater will be low risk after some level of pre-treatment of the sort common for “other manufacturing plants in the area.”

But Ms. Fisher isn’t satisfied. She worries that air and water pollution could sicken her and her young children.

Not everybody can afford cases of water,” she said.

Like some others in Manteno, she feels that she “would be forced to move” if Gotion comes to town.

Lithium batteries are displayed in the workshop of a lithium battery manufacturing company in Anhui Province, China, on Nov. 14, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Mrs. LaMore is also concerned about the health hazards to Manteno residents. She pointed out that the proposed facility isn’t far from residential subdivisions on both sides of Interstate 57.

“If there’s a leak, and it gets into our water, we’re doomed,” she told The Epoch Times.

Locals also worry about what the prevailing westerlies could carry into town from the Gotion facility. The proposed plant is on the west side of town and almost directly west of an elementary school.

Another Gotion critic, Bob Forsythe, questioned the safety of operating a lithium battery plant so close to rock quarry blasting activity.

Shannyn Dockery, known as the "butterfly lady,” fears that wastewater from the plant could imperil endangered or otherwise significant plants and animals in the region. Those unique flora and fauna include the Kankakee mallow, a flowering plant with a native range restricted to a single island in the Kankakee River, Langham Island.

“We are also talking about monarch butterflies,” she said, noting that monarchs regularly migrate through the area.

“My house is a monarch waystation. I have plants specifically for the monarchs.”

Ms. Dockery worries that Mr. Pritzker’s power over the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board could affect how the state assesses those potential threats as it moves closer to approving Gotion’s plan. Board members are appointed by the governor.

Fran Ludwig and Bob Forsythe, two of the many local residents who have organized against a proposed Gotion electric vehicle battery plant, in Manteno, Ill., on Dec. 13, 2023. (Nathan Worcester/The Epoch Times)

Wider Opposition

Manteno isn’t the first place Gotion and its political sponsors have met with citizen resistance.

The company already faced backlash from residents in Green Charter Township, Michigan, where township board members were recalled in November over a Gotion battery plant proposal.

Jeff Peticolas, a Michigander who opposes the plant there, told The Epoch Times that he’s upset that the Gotion plans have been “dropped on unsuspecting little townships and villages, towns that didn’t see it coming.”

Read the rest here...

Tyler Durden Tue, 12/26/2023 - 21:00
Published:12/26/2023 8:08:07 PM
[] Biden Orders Airstrikes Against Iran After Nth Iranian Attack on Americans Won't it be great when Biden and Obama have finally delivered a working nuke to them? President Biden ordered retaliatory airstrikes against Iranian-backed militia groups after three U.S. service members were wounded, one critically, in a Christmas Day drone attack... Published:12/26/2023 11:21:33 AM
[Markets] Behind The Democrats' Efforts To Regulate The Supreme Court Behind The Democrats' Efforts To Regulate The Supreme Court

Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Democrats’ push to impose a code of conduct on the U.S. Supreme Court is driven by their desire to exert power over a court that hasn’t been ruling their way on key issues, legal experts say.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images, Shutterstock)

Democrats and their left-wing activist allies have been incensed over the past two years as the court sent abortion matters back to the states, axed affirmative action in college admissions, bolstered gun rights and public prayer, backed a website designer’s right not to promote a same-sex wedding, and strengthened private property rights while weakening the government’s regulatory powers over the environment.

Several experts told The Epoch Times that the left cannot accept the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, so it will keep agitating against it and try to undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

So far, the activism has propelled the court to adopt its first-ever formal code of conduct, issued on Nov. 13, but Democrats say it’s a toothless gesture and won't fix what they say is a court that's overly sympathetic to business interests and conservative causes.

“The court’s new code of conduct falls far short of what we would expect from the highest court in the land,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said.

“While the code of conduct prohibits the appearance of impropriety, it allows the justice to individually determine whether their own conduct creates such an appearance in the minds of ‘reasonable members of the public.’ This is something that justices have repeatedly failed to do over the last few years.”

To remedy the supposed crisis at the court, Mr. Durbin backs the proposed Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act of 2023, which his committee approved on a party-line vote in July.

The proposal, which Republicans have denounced as unconstitutional, would create a system allowing members of the public to file complaints against justices for violating the proposed code of conduct or for engaging “in conduct that undermines the integrity of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Among other things, it would also impose mandatory recusal standards and create a panel of lower court judges to investigate complaints against the Supreme Court.

Democrats are proposing their code of conduct “so they can control the Supreme Court," said Steven J. Allen, a distinguished senior fellow at Capital Research Center, a watchdog group.

"They’re doing this to get rid of one or more Republican appointees so they can be replaced,” Mr. Allen said.

“That’s almost the definition of ‘lawfare’—using the legal system to wage war on your opponents. You pack the court by knocking off a Republican or two.”

Mr. Durbin, a longtime antagonist of Justice Clarence Thomas, who's considered by many to be the court’s preeminent conservative jurist, has been particularly focused on the justice’s alleged transgressions.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas arrives for the ceremonial swearing in of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the White House in Washington on Oct. 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Justice Thomas has been a lightning rod for criticism from the left for a long time.

Mr. Allen predicts the "smear campaign" against Justice Thomas "will continue as long as he’s alive."

Mr. Durbin and his committee colleagues issued a blizzard of public condemnations when earlier this year it was reported that billionaire Harlan Crow, a big Republican Party donor, gave Justice Thomas a series of luxurious vacations and tuition support for a grandnephew the latter raised and purchased real estate from the justice’s family.

Justice Thomas didn’t disclose the events at the time, saying he was advised that it wasn’t required, but he has vowed to disclose such events going forward.

No evidence has been uncovered to suggest that the justice’s vote in specific cases before the court was influenced by the gifts. Having wealthy friends isn’t against the law, the justice’s defenders say.

Justice Thomas is also routinely attacked by critics for the conservative activism of his wife, Ginni Thomas, a high-profile supporter of President Donald Trump.

Democrats, who have characterized Republican efforts to contest the 2020 presidential election after Election Day as an affront to democracy, were angered that Ms. Thomas reportedly signed form letters urging state lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Ms. Thomas has also said she believes the 2020 election was rigged.

A video from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' 1991 confirmation is played during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about Supreme Court ethics reform on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 2, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Liberal groups have called upon Justice Thomas to recuse himself from a plethora of cases related to the election and to President Trump’s ongoing criminal prosecutions. They argue that Justice Thomas and his wife are too close to Republicans.

Veteran Supreme Court watcher Curt Levey, president of the conservative Committee for Justice, said it's a one-way street.

What are the odds that Senate Democrats would call on one of the liberal justices to recuse if that justice’s spouse had expressed strong public opinions about the 2020 election being fair?” he said.

They would never demand that a liberal justice recuse "because a spouse had expressed political opinions about newsworthy events," he said.

Pressure Campaign

Jim Burling, vice president of legal affairs for the Pacific Legal Foundation, a national nonprofit public interest law firm that challenges government abuses, said the Durbin-backed SCERT bill and his committee’s investigation of conservative justices is an effort “to try to limit the legitimacy of the court.”

“They don’t like the fact that we have a court nowadays that’s not doing what the progressives think that the court should be doing,” he said.

It bothers them that the court is “very different today” from the way it was under Chief Justice Earl Warren (1953 to 1969) and Chief Justice Warren Burger (1969 to 1986) when the court veered left, Mr. Burling said.

“It upsets them that they can’t win the case on the merits, so you just throw mud around instead and try to obfuscate what the real issue is here," he said.

Demonstrators protest at the entrance of the gated community where Supreme Court Justice Thomas Clarence lives in Fairfax, Va., on June 24, 2022. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr. Levey said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), sponsor of the SCERT Act, has shown that he wants to keep putting pressure on the court’s conservative members.

The fact that the court adopted its own code shows that “even the Supreme Court, where they have lifetime tenure, can be pressured,” he said.

This is why the Democrats are constantly attacking the Supreme Court because it does have an effect and you see the effect here,” Mr. Levey said.

“This is just another form of trying to harass and intimidate the court. Democrats have discovered over the years that if you let the conservative justices know that you’re going to make life difficult for them ... some of the center-right justices are fairly easily intimidated.”

Maybe about half of those justices will then “go out of their way not to anger the Democrats too much.” Mr. Levey said.

Politicians have been trying to manipulate the Supreme Court for a long time, Mr. Allen said, "by way of essentially harassing them."

He pointed to the 2010 State of the Union address when President Barack Obama took the unusual step of chastising the robed Supreme Court justices seated before him for their ruling in the Citizens United case, which changed campaign finance restrictions.

“With all due deference to separation of powers,” he said, the Citizens United precedent “will open the floodgates for special interests—including foreign corporations—to spend without limit in our elections.”

Justice Samuel Alito shook his head in disagreement, appearing to mouth the words, “Not true.”

And in March 2020, at a pro-abortion rally outside the Supreme Court, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed unspecified retribution against conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh should they vote to uphold a Louisiana law that imposed abortion restrictions.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/25/2023 - 21:00
Published:12/25/2023 8:26:39 PM
[Markets] Dave Collum's 2023 Year In Review: Down Some Dark Rabbit Holes, Part 2 Dave Collum's 2023 Year In Review: Down Some Dark Rabbit Holes, Part 2

Authored by David B. Collum, Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology - Cornell University (Email: dbc6@cornell.edu, Twitter: @DavidBCollum),

This Year in Review is brought to you by healthcare, broken markets, law-and-order, and the case for a multi-year bear market...

Every year, David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis (2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018) full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year’s is no exception, with Dave striking again in his usually poignant and delightfully acerbic way.

Contents

Part 1 (Read Part 1 here)

  • Introduction

  • Contents

  • My Year

  • Healthcare

  • Investing – Gold, Energy, and Materials

  • Gold and Silver

  • Broken Markets

  • Multi-Decade Bull Market: 40 Years of Recency Bias

  • The Case for a Multi-Decade Bear Market

Part 2 (see below)

  • Law and Order

  • Media

  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

  • Climate Change-Epilogue

  • News Nuggets

  • Lahaina Fires and DEWs

  • The War in Ukraine–Epilogue

Part 3 (coming in January of 2024)

  • January 6–Epilogue

  • Woke Culture and Rising Neo-Marxism

  • Transgenderism

  • Pedophilia and Geopolitics

Download a pdf of Parts 1 and 2 here.

*  *  *

Law and Order

We have a law-and-order problem in which some facets look seriously problematic and others beyond repair. It is the perfect storm:

  • The opioid epidemic is raging unchecked. Although the Sackler family and big-cap pharma deserve credit, but massive fentanyl flows from China might be profit-driven or a Sun Tsu strategy (and maybe payback for the opium wars).

  • The response to Covid not only destroyed lives, it allows guys to walk into stores fully concealed by masks and nobody bats an eye. Crime becomes T-ball.

  • We have opened the borders to unimaginable numbers of undocumented immigrants. These are not the old-school Hispanics from South of the Border looking for work to send money home but rather military-aged men from around the world. Credible eyewitness accounts estimate 98% are non-Hispanic.1

  • Defunding the police in 2020 in the wake of the George Floyd riots emanated from the neo-Marxist brain trust. Add to that officers quitting because the job carries legal risks and you have gutted police forces. 911 calls go unanswered. Even in my small college town of Ithaca, NY the police force has been gutted. 911 calls at unsafe locations requiring police escorts are going unanswered.

  • We are long overdue for an economic downturn with all the accompanying pain and suffering, but it hasn’t started yet. Society is supposed to exit the top of economic cycles euphoric. I would call this dysphoric.

  • The current administration has politicized and weaponized the justice system from top to bottom with potentially profound consequences. This is a hot-button issue for me that distinguishes Biden et al. as uniquely treasonous.

  • A six-year-old Alabama boy was suspended from school and had his “permanent record” threatened for making ‘finger guns’ during a game of cops and robbers.2

  • Some good news: Three men accused of planning to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were acquitted on all counts.3 The other twelve unindicted conspirators—all working for the FBI—never saw the inside of a courtroom. The lives of William Null, Michael Null, and Eric Molitor will never be the same. The twelve FBI agents who set the trap should rot in hell. If I was a religious guy I would be quite optimistic. Do I sound mad?

Immigration

Our profound immigration crisis is squarely on the Biden administration and the psychiatric wing of the democratic party. See Invaded: The Intentional Destruction of the American Immigration System by J. J. Carroll in “Books”. The rallying cry to support open borders because “we are a nation of immigrants” is specious. We had vast unpopulated acreage for expansion westward, and the welfare state had not yet been invented. You cannot run an overdeveloped welfare state with open borders. The political right accuses the left of recruiting voters but that seems asinine; these undocumented democrats can’t vote legally for years if not decades, right? Well, the ass-clowns inside the beltway—the City Council—passed a law granting voting rights in local elections to undocumented aliens. It is said that Congress could have intervened, but they didn’t.4

When a man flees war, he takes his family with him. When a man heads to war, he leaves his family behind. Our Nation is being infiltrated by Military-Aged Men from every corner of the globe.

~ Kari Lake, lingering United States Senate candidate from Arizona

You can’t blame America’s border crisis on incompetence (Hanlon’s razor) because nobody is that incompetent. This is hauntingly similar to the immigrant invasion of Europe a few years back.5,6 My best guess is that globalists are trying to destroy the US, the primary bulwark against a New World Order. You begin by shredding the concept of borders. A darker consequence is described by a veteran border agent who was charged with grabbing military-aged men on terror lists called special interest aliens (SIAs) and deporting them. They were exceedingly rare and all of them were deported. This changed in 2020. He now estimates that over 100,000 of these SIAs have crossed the border in the last two years.7 That is a lot of sleeper cells. Let’s hope his theory that we will suffer relentless terror attacks is dead wrong. For now, let’s peek at the messes that pale in comparison.

The immigrants hit the welfare state immediately. They are given a $2,200 per month allowance or a $5,000 debit card,8 bus and plane tickets, housing, food, and medical services.9 “They used to do the monitors on the ankles, and those were being cut off. So now they give them phones.” Unmarked buses deliver them to destinations in the middle of the night to avoid blatant detection and minimize the optics.

They take our phones, but they don’t take our phone calls.10

~ Congressman Barry Moore, responding to testimony immigrants are given cell phones but then disappear

Sanctuary cities like New York City came up with wildly progressive “Right to Shelter” laws, jamming immigrants into what used to be hotels and nursing homes. The mayor claims that half of New York City’s hotels (or at least what were hotels) are filled with immigrants living on the local taxpayers’ dime.11 The democrats, including NY Governor Kathy Hochul, are back peddling on this one. Bill Clinton declared, “It’s broken. We need to fix it… It doesn’t make any sense.”12 Then Adams lost his mind or played reverse psychology brilliantly and proposed that people invite these SIAs into their homes with rent paid by tax dollars. “It is my vision to take the next step to this faith-based locale and then move to a private residence.” The State of Massachusetts made a similar plea for AirBNB service from homeowners.13 Boston hotel reservations for a veteran-rich fan base to see the Army-Navy football game got canceled to house illegals.14 This is what they fought for?

ABC sends reporters to Ukraine but advises their reporters to stay away from San Francisco.15

~ Jesse Watters

Looting

California is the home of many bad ideas including a particularly oleaginous dynastic douche bag whose presidential aspirations will be riding the wave of disasters on his watch. San Francisco authorities are a particularly brain-damaged crew. They decided that minor crimes like shoplifting should go unpunished as long as the tab stays below a $1000 threshold. These undocumented shoppers predictably morphed into flash mobs that could clear out a store like Biblical locusts. What the bliss ninnies in California failed to realize is that a functional system of law and order system is part bluff—the fine citizens far outnumber the cops—and the masses called their bluff. Major retailers pulling businesses out of Shit City include Nordstrom,16 John Chachas,17 165-year-old Gump’s,18 and Whole Foods.19 I imagine every other store will eventually leave. San Francisco is now Detroit but without Detroit’s charm.

Stores like Walgreens and Walmart are chaining up their cabinets like an antique emporium, a failed business model requiring a massive staff to supervise and assist customers.20,21 The icty now has a real live pirate problem—argh!—in which thieves steal boats to steal other shit.22 San Francisco belatedly ended its mask mandate, but landlords are still waiting to charge rents.23 The city’s problems have it on the cusp of insolvency, looking at over $200 million in budget cuts to avoid a “doom loop.”24

We’ll look carefully to see whether this is a one-off situation and they’re fundamentally law-abiding people…

~ Larry Krasner, progressive Philadelphia district attorney on arrested looters

The devil is in the details:

  • While doing a story on the deplorable condition of San Francisco, the CNN truck under heavy surveillance by paid guards got ripped off in four seconds.25 Pit crews at the Indy 500 are studying the footage.

  • One ambitious guy got arrested ten times in one month. His tenth was at the police station, when he tried to retrieve his property with a stolen car.26

  • The Cruise robo-taxi startup supposedly running autonomous taxis in San Francisco—I did not know they existed yet—has discovered they are excellent for both amateurs and pros for quickies.27 I get the name “cruise”.

  • Police are urging people to carry air horns.28

  • Five percent of Target’s inventory somehow bypasses the barcode scanners.

It should come as no surprise that looting spread to other cities when the locals realized that San Francisco didn’t lack the laws but rather the manpower to stop flash mobs.

  • Name-brand items like Tide detergent are not being carried because there is a strong black market for the good stuff….by the Tide Podlers.29

  • Portland, Oregon lost Walmart, REI, and Nike because of shoplifting.30,31 This is Kharma for the Portland lefties. Cracker Barrel is pulling out because there are too many lefties and not enough crackers.32

Efforts to mitigate the damage ushered in by bad decisions led to more bad decisions and goofy solutions worthy of bullets:

  • Baltimore is suing Kia and Hyundai because their cars are too easy to steal.33

  • The democratic brain trust in Chicago came up with a great plan: ask the criminals to only shoot guns between 9 PM and 9 AM to minimize the risk of innocent people.34 That’s right up there with a proposal to have city-owned grocery stores as Walmart and Whole Foods exits, leaving behind “food deserts.”35

  • D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has decided her call to defund the police was boneheaded and is calling for more police to stem the soaring murder rate.36

  • A union in Los Angeles wants to fill all hotel rooms left vacant at 2:00 PM into rooms to be provided to the homeless.37 That would be all hotel rooms.

  • A prominent Minnesota Democrat changed her tune on defunding and dismantling the police department after a carjacker put some whoop-ass on her.38 “These men knew what they were doing. I have NO DOUBT they have done this before. Yet they are still on OUR STREETS.” Where is Kyle Rittenhouse when you need him?

  • The Austin, Texas police have urged robbery victims not to call 911 but rather call 311, the line for non-emergencies.39

  • The entire police force of Goodhue, Minnesota resigned.40

  • A left-wing Philadelphia journalist relentlessly mocked those concerned with rising crime in Democrat-run cities. In one tweet he was chortling at some guy predicting he would be dead if Biden got elected. He was shot to death in his home.

Frontier Justice 

My dad told me a story of a friend who was being shaken down by a two-bit thug. The cops said he could defend himself, so he bought a gun and, during the next shake-down, emptied it into the punk. Problem solved. Twitter is beginning to be populated with videos of store owners defending their property—exercising “castle doctrine.”

When I was in NYC in the late 70s, Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels patrolled the subway system to restore law and order. In a recent looting, a couple of patrons at Home Depot tackled a looter and constrained him with zip ties until the cops arrived. Meanwhile, to avoid legal risk, corporate America is firing employees who defend the stores.

Are we entering a period in which vigilante justice is our only option? Such a turbulent period may be unavoidable, but invisible forces are opposing this response. Take the shopkeeper who got the drop on a thief threatening to pull a gun and managed to beat the crook with a stick. It was quite the win for the good guys until the district attorney decided to prosecute the shopkeeper for assault.42 That district attorney is worthy of the business end of a Louisville Slugger. When we punish the law-abiding citizens for defending their rights, society has stage-III syphilis.

The Saga of Daniel Penny

This brings us to the sad and ominous story of Daniel Penny and Jordan Williams. Mentally unstable Jordan Neely gets on the subway in NYC and starts threatening people: “I don’t care if I have to kill the motherfucker, I will. I’ll go to jail, I’ll take a bullet” recalled him saying by one passenger. “The people on the train, we were scared. We were scared for our lives.” Neely had been arrested 44 times43 for various subway assaults, including rearranging the face of an old lady. Riders panicked and dialed 911, which requires quite a risk to trigger 911 calls from New Yorkers.44,45 One of the witnesses who filmed the event told NBC that Neely got on the train and “began to say a somewhat aggressive speech, saying he was hungry, he was thirsty, that he didn’t care about anything, he didn’t care about going to jail, he didn’t care that he gets a big life sentence.”46

After some delay, ex-marine Daniel Penny joined forces with African-American Jordan Williams to subdue Neely. Let me digress for a moment by explaining what this means. My wife has, on several occasions, delivered some ‘tude to a stranger that could have been avoided. (I especially appreciated the guff given to a heavily tattooed gentleman at a demolition derby.) I explained the flaw in her thinking as follows (paraphrased from memory, of course):

Here is the deal, Sweet Potato: you could have left me with no option but to get physical. At that point, I am in a life-and-death situation. I have no choice but to get the drop on my would-be assailant and incapacitate him, possibly permanently, because I can’t afford to exchange punches. I will then end up in court and possibly even prison, so please stop picking fights for me.

This may sound rash if you are a cloistered nitwit who has no idea how brutal street fights can be. I suggest you check out Twitter feeds including @FightMate or search “Fights at IHOP” on YouTube. The key message is that physical intervention is a serious step into the darkness. In the case of subduing an angry assailant, it can get worse owing to what is called “excited delirium” in which the state of the assailant’s agitation enables superhuman strength and irrational behavior. From a research paper in Police Practice and Research:47,48

Researchers recognized excited delirium as “a state of extreme mental and physiological excitement, characterized by extreme agitation, hyperthermia, hostility, exceptional strength and endurance without apparent fatigue….Intervention options are less effective against people experiencing excited delirium. Unfortunately, this may mean more force will be necessary to overcome resistance, and with more force, there is an increased risk of officer and suspect injury…Excited delirium encounters can be dangerous medical emergencies that simultaneously place officers, subjects, and communities at risk. It’s recommended that officers who intervene in cases involving probable excited delirium respond with containment and quick, coordinated, multiple restraint techniques that minimize the suspect’s exertion and maximize their ability to breathe.

From the above excerpt and all those videos I urged you to watch, if you release the constraint prematurely, you may die. Here is a good samaritan who paid a price:

The bottom line is that if you get into it with some whackjob, you may have to kill him. A witness said that Penny “refrained from jumping in and using force to subdue Neely until there was a threat of violence,” but eventually Penny and Williams moved to constrain Neely. Some witnesses were concerned that Neely was looking a little sketchy (choking on his spit), but Williams (the black dude) assured them they were not choking him: “He’s not squeezing,” said Williams. Neely eventually stopped struggling and Penny and Williams released him 90 seconds later—I timed it49—and immediately positioned him on his side to optimize his breathing. He either died on the spot or died at the hospital, depending on your source. You might even be able to see Neely take a breath after Penny released him but that could be the non-scientific “death rattle.”50 Witnesses on the scene said Penny and Williams were heroes. “Mr. Penny cared for people. That’s what he did…This isn’t about race. This is about people of all colors who were very, very afraid and a man who stepped in to help them.”51

The liars in the press looking to stir up a race war decided to create George Floyd 2.0 by vilifying Penny as a murderer while leaving the role of African-American Williams oddly in the shadows. (I keep saying African-American because some mouth breathers lack the intellectual minetailings to spot the racial motivations of the authorities.) They said Penny choked Neely for “15 minutes” rather than 90 seconds,52,53 ignoring the 13.5 minutes of excited delirium and that a real choke hold can knock somebody out in under 20 seconds. In 2020, I dug into what it takes to kill a guy by choking him while examining the Floyd death and the role of Derek Chauvin.54 It takes more than five minutes, not 90 seconds, before death becomes a risk. Daniel Penny described how the events played out.55

Penny was charged with manslaughter. What about Williams who teamed up with Penny? They worked together as a team. Well, after a protracted couple of weeks, they eventually realized they had to pretend to indict him, but then all charges were dropped.56 So this is pure racism by the prosecutor. Did the district attorney succumb to public pressure? Not really. The district attorney who brought the charges was Alvin Bragg,57 the same Morlock who weaponized the judicial system for political gain by going rogue on Trump.58 He is a despicable opportunist. A piece of shit. Go get your fourth booster Mr. Bragg.

The family that let Neely wander the subway and be homeless for a decade without finding a way to assist him suddenly decided that they cared about him quite deeply after all and have sued Daniel Penny for wrongful death.59 Good luck collecting after he is destroyed by legal bills.

Why make such a big deal of this one event? First, this is January 6th revisited for me. The weaponization of the justice system will be a major contributor to the downfall of our nation. If you don’t think so, just wait until “the other team” is in power and they start putting your sorry ass in the slammer. More importantly, Bragg’s moves have sent a very clear message: never help a person in distress because you will end up being prosecuted. Just pull out your cell phone like every other coward in society whose testicles never descended and film the atrocity. It’s a shame Daniel Penny doesn’t have Alec Baldwin’s street creds. Well, time to move on cause this ship isn’t gonna sink itself.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Ideas that are annealed in the furnace of debate.

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

The media serves up an AI-generated image of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. telling you what he says and thinks. He is a total crank. Just ask the mainstream media filled with well-seasoned prostitutes trying to take him down. If, however, you actually listen to what he says, it creates a very different picture. He is this election cycle’s rising dark-horse progressive. Maybe I am not being fair to Vivek Ramaswamy who says all the right things from the right wing, but Vivek seems too produced, manifesting the authenticity of a boy-band. RFK Jr is the most exciting entrant to the political arena with no chance of inheriting the Oval Office. I have a long-shot bet that the DNC accepts their responsibility to serve up a potentially credible leader as their candidate and bites the bullet with a Kennedy nomination.

Much the way Trump weaponized Twitter for his presidential run, RFK Jr and Ramaswamy have tapped the Age of the Podcast. Kennedy will do any podcast including Greenwald,1 Dave Smith,2 Lex Fridman,3 as well as such luminaries as Alex Jones (which I can no longer find), Mike Tyson,4 and Dane Wigington (of Chemtrails fame).5 Having binge-watched many podcasts and even spent some time on a Zoom call with Kennedy, I will say that he is not the perfect candidate but is attempting to express his ideas clearly and honestly. He is by no means a crank but rather an outspoken progressive who has been scarred by fights with powerful forces over decades as he legally battled regulatory capture. There have been stumbles, corrections, and maybe a few fibs, but he is also a very quick learn on complex subjects and can openly and frankly change his stance. For those who have an aversion to one of his views, chin up: he may learn and change.

So let’s take a quick peek at my takes on his takes. This, of course, is paradoxical because I admonished you seconds ago not to read about what he said, but at least I provide the links to help you check.

Anti-vaccine quack RFK Jr. has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president as a Democrat… Kennedy is such a healthcare menace, in 2019, even his cousins wrote an op-ed criticizing his anti-science views on life-saving vaccines.6

~ Jake Tapper, CNN talking head, DNC shill, and all-around jackwagon

Vaccines.

Kennedy’s views on vaccines are the stuff of legend. I will reiterate a couple but urge you to read The Real Anthony Fauci to understand his multi-decade battles with pharma that have left him bruised and battered with a deep-seated disdain for Fauci. I doubt any reasonable person can read 100 pages without getting irate. Kennedy’s public stance is that he supports all vaccines that are safe and effective, but he trusts few of them. He takes serious issue with their excessive use and with the manufacturers, after getting hit with $35 billion of legal penalties, demanding and getting a complete backstopping of all culpability by the government. When pharma is immune to the consequences of vaccine injuries, they will promote unsafe vaccines without fear of consequences.7 I agree with Kennedy.

Lockdowns.

He emphatically declared the lockdowns to have been unwarranted and the $16 trillion cost prohibitive.8 He refers to the pandemic and the State’s response to it as a coup d’etat, coming off as more libertarian than bark-eating liberal.9

Only two families said they were claiming political persecution. The rest just told us openly they were coming here to make money, coming here for a better life. So, they didn’t even have that claim. And those immigrants shouldn’t be allowed into the country. We should stop that at the border…. They get extorted. They get raped. They get robbed.10

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Immigration.

RFK was an open-border supporter. His sister Rory Kennedy created an award-winning 2010 documentary The Fence making a case against The Wall. But then he visited the border for two days in 2023 and morphed into an advocate of immigration control.11 On his visit, he found only two families claiming persecution with arguments that reached the legal bar. Hispanics were AWOL, with North Africans and Chinese representing the vast percentage of immigrants.

I went down to the border feeling that Trump has made a mistake on the wall, but I feel like people need to be able to recalibrate their worldview when they’re confronted with evidence.

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Social programs.

He is a classic social democrat, proposing programs for those not living the American dream that sound good but have little history of working. On the heels of his relatively new views on restricted immigration, one can’t help but wonder what his views on the homeless might become. His openly stated desire to bring US spending under control, however, causes him to overtly denounce solutions involving big-government programs. An old-school liberal with a fear of budget overrun is arguably not an old-school liberal.

We must provide Israel with whatever it needs to defend itself — now.

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Israel.

RFK’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict cannot possibly be a minor campaign issue nor is it likely to be static over time given that the conflict is looking quite kinetic. He has, however, come out squarely in support of Israel:12,13,14,15 This might be shaped by an awkward moment in which he casually noted that the Chinese and the Jews showed a greater resistance to Covid.16 Those at the table flinched. On cue, he was immediately pegged as anti-semitic. It just so happens that he was quoting a scientific paper that showed the biochemical basis of his statement.17,18,19 What he learned that day is something Dave Chappelle relayed to Kanye West: nothing good comes from putting two words together—“the” and “Jews.”

I have been fighting engineering solutions to environmental problems.20

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Climate Change.

This is a hot-button topic for me, and my first exposure to Kennedy’s ideas appeared to be place him squarely in opposition. (See the section on “Climate Change.”) A video showed him threatening to jail climate deniers, which sounds like it might include me:21

I think they should be enjoying three hots and a cot at the Hague with all the other war criminals that are there. I think those [politicians] are selling out the public trust. I think those guys that are doing the Koch Brothers bidding and who against all the evidence of the rational mind are saying that global warming doesn’t exist that they are contemptible human beings, and I wish there were a law you could punish them under. I don’t think there is a law that you can punish those politicians under, but do I think the Koch Brothers should be punished for reckless endangerment? Absolutely. That’s a criminal offense, and they ought to be serving time for it.

He responded by pointing out that it was taken out of context and parsed very conveniently.21 I found his explanation in which he was referring to overt polluters to be extreme but not psychotic. Where it gets interesting is that he notes in other statements that climate issues are being “exploited” to impose “totalitarian controls” over the populace, drawing an analogy to Covid.22

Climate issues and pollution issues are being exploited by … mega billionaires…The same way that Covid was exploited to use it as an excuse to clamp down top-down totalitarian controls on society and then to give us engineering solutions.ref yy

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Bitcoin.

As a bitcoin agnostic, I don’t care too much but in a podcast with a bitcoin enthusiast he left me slack-jawed by his grasp of the nuances of cryptocurrencies.24 As noted above, he is a fast learner.

If the government has the capacity to shut down your bank account and starve you to death and get you thrown out of your home and make it so you can’t feed your children, it has the capacity to make slaves of all of us.25

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Chemtrails.

In a rather remarkable podcast, RFK chats with Dane Wigington, one of the more legendary promoters of how those streaks in the sky are nefarious actions of the New World Order. RFK largely played devil’s advocate on the existence and purpose of chemtrails. I will touch on this topic again, but Kennedy neither endorses nor summarily dismisses the chemtrail narrative.

Ukraine.

Kennedy laid out in detail that our foreign policy in Ukraine is atrocious and we should get the hell out of there.26,27 His position squares nicely with mine laid out in lurid detail in 202228 and amplified below. He also admits in the same Greenwald interview that he got duped by the Russia collusion story used to attack Trump and has now done a 180.29

I would put a statue of Snowden in Washington. What Snowden released nobody in our country knew about. That the intelligence agencies were mining all of our data and spying on Americans…Assange I’m going to pardon.30

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Opposition.

As noted, I don’t think RFK is getting near the Oval Office. He got pushback that was reminiscent of Ron Paul in 2008 on almost every topic. Here are some examples of opposition showing its true colors:

  • The democrats tried to stop him from testifying to Congress on the evils of censorship.31 The irony of censoring talks on censorship was lost only on the Congressional democrats. He proceeded to beat them like rented mules in his testimony. He noted that the 101 Congressmen and women who signed the letter to censor him played the anti-Semite card.

  • RFK’s interview by Mike Tyson describing how the CIA whacked his father and how the case against Sirhan Sirhan would have crumbled had it gone to court was deleted by YouTube.32 As is becoming patently obvious, the CIA has the final say on all online media sites.

  • In an ABC interview, RFK got massively censored (edited) with a follow-up disclaimer that we are not allowed to see what he said because he made false claims about the vaccine.33 That is what worthless sacks of shit called “mainstream media” do in authoritarian states.

  • The DNC declared that they had “no plans to sponsor primary debates,” even with multiple candidates vying for the party’s nomination.34 They provided their full support to that child sniffing,35 compulsively lying,36 and underachieving former senator who is 51 cards short of a full deck. (Yes: I am fed up with Potus.) The DNC decided that the primary votes accrued by any candidate who even sets foot in Iowa or New Hampshire would default to President Brandon.37

The CIA is the world’s biggest sponsor of “journalism.”38

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Many are unaware that the DNC is a private not-for-profit with the power to pick candidates any way they want. They were kept in check historically by two restoring forces: (1) anybody with a half of a brain would abandon them and start a new party, and (2) I could imagine that RICO charges could be levied for raising funds using pretenses. (Of course, the DNC has weaponized the Department of Justice, so that would never happen…unless the RNC regains power.) The superdelegate system is so lopsided that an interloper like Kennedy has no chance of commandeering the nomination; he is now an independent. I hope he does some damage. It is quite clear that the DNC has lost all moral or legal obligation to offer us a candidate even minimally capable of leading the nation. Cornpop39 would be an improvement over Biden.

They’ve passed a rule that says any candidate who actively campaigns in New Hampshire that the delegates they win will not be allowed into the convention. It’s not a good template for Democracy.40

~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Assassinations.

It seems pretty clear to many that if RFK got even a whiff of the presidency he would follow in the family tradition and get his ass capped by the CIA to the applause of Big Pharma. He has been inflicting huge reputational damage to the CIA by accusing them of killing his uncle (JFK)41 and his father (RFK, Sr.) After years of turning a blind eye, he looked at the case against Sirhan Sirhan and suggested that Sirhan Sirhan was a product of MKUltra,42 the CIA’s program for brainwashing assassins-in-training and patsies. (Sorry folks, but MKUltra is real and, in my opinion, still today.)

I have determined that Secret Service protection for Robert F Kennedy, Jr is not warranted at this time.43

~ Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, after 88 days of stalling

All viable presidential candidates have been offered Secret Service protection since his father was shot, but RFK, Jr was denied.44 When Joe Rogan asked him what he thought would happen if he managed to get into office, Kennedy replied, “I gotta be careful. I’m aware of that danger. I don’t live in fear of it — at all. But I’m not stupid about it, and I take precautions.” I suspect he would release the last of the Warren Commission papers, the ones that Tucker Carlson claims show the CIA did it.45 Watch for those little red laser dots on your chest, Bobby. I also fear that his flame burned brightly and dimmed too early. His social media presence may have peaked. The Onion showed why the Babylon Bee is the New King.

Jeffrey Epstein.

It turns out RFK, Jr. rode on the Lolita Express twice. Oh, here come the Guardians of Gotcha! Welp, it turns out to have been in 1993, the trips were to Florida, and he brought his wife and kids. Kinda puts the damper on the pervy shit.46

Climate Change–Epilogue

The Only Way to Get to 1.5 Degrees of Global Warming is Money, Money, Money, Money, Money, Money, Money.1

~ John Kerry, US climate Czar

As of 2016, I was largely on board the climate change narrative owing to my faith in the scientific community. After I was challenged to question that stance by my brother and a digital acquaintance, Dr. David Walker, I have done a U-turn and am sanguine with my current stance that climate change is the largest hoax in the history of science to paraphrase Richard Lindzen, geophysicist at MIT. The hoax is fueled by a combination geopolitical forces and tens of trillions of dollars of government largesse—an estimated $150 trillion over the next decades2—to buy adherents of many and complicit silence from others.

“You don’t believe in climate change? What a Luddite!” is the rallying cry of the cultists, and I do not use the term cultists loosely. I wrote about my journey in 2019 (pg 53).3 This grift demanding an urgent response to ward off catastrophe decades from now will obstinately persist because it will always be decades from now. One of the early denialists, Michael Crichton, reminds us to read headlines from decades ago and ask how many catastrophic predictions played out as the panicky press declared.4 We are forever being shamed to do it for our children and grandchildren.

I will not adjudicate the case again for my climate denial stance, but each year I top off my denial narrative with fresh tidbits. Here is a decent primer for those who did not realize it was a debate and not just “The Science.”5 For serious analyses and fabulous archival data, check out Watts Up With That?6 I also did a podcast with climate denialist, Tom Nelson, that touched upon climate change before I drove it off a cliff into darker topics.6a

How can I possibly spit in the face of a massive scientific community that has reached a nearly perfect 97% consensus? Let’s begin with that 97% consensus narrative as one of the biggest lies. It stems from a horrifically bad survey of the literature in which half the papers were irrelevant, and by the miracles of statistical massaging, 0.4% of the papers claiming climate change is a crisis was spun into a 97% consensus.7,8,9 This garbage is cited widely by a community willing to knowingly live with the lie. There are many more lies. Princeton physicist and former presidential advisor, Will Happer, laments that they keep changing the data from the past to fit the narrative.10

If you have to lie to make your point you don’t have a very good point.

~ Jimmy Dore

The absence of credible scientists denying climate change is another whopper. A few hours of thoughtful pursuit will reveal that many prominent scientists—especially a large population of elite physicists—have nothing but scorn for the field (pg 53).11,12 Those doing good climate science—and there are undoubtedly many—are forced to sell their scientific souls through willful blindness and unwillingness because their professional lives depend on not calling out the con artists. The authorities and their captured media lied us into every military conflict for over a century. Metaphorical Wars on Drugs, Terror, Poverty, and Communism are designed to be fought at considerable cost but never won. Replace “War” with “Grift” and you are getting closer to the truth. The Gell-Mann amnesia effect—our ability to doubt the media on subjects we understand but to believe all the others—allows these narratives to move forward unimpeded.

Precious few are willing to question credentialed experts. We just witnessed a wholesale delusion because scientists and doctors were unwilling or professionally unable to challenge even a shard of the Covid narrative. Trust The Science.TM We never witnessed open and active debate. Those who questioned the narrative suffered massive destruction of their careers and livelihoods. To quote Elon Musk, to those who foisted the lie on otherwise decent people, “Go fuck yourselves.” Climate scientists who step in front of the climate narrative suffer a similar fate. To those pushing this narrative by preventing open and honest debate, “Go fuck yourselves.”

The following nuggets are not intended to convince Eric Hoffer’s “True Believers”13 to re-evaluate their position—it would take an act of God to do that—but to throw more shade on the narrative to assist and perhaps entertain those already in doubt. Meanwhile, the Associated Press and other news agencies will continue to accept bribes to push the catastrophe narrative.14 The Flagulents will continue to stop rush-hour traffic by gluing themselves to the road,15 deface priceless paintings,16 vandalize gas-guzzling SUVs,17 and even block London’s pride parade.18 PBS will teach us to cope with “climate anxiety.”19 (Let me help: turn off PBS.)

Claims 

The press is a goldmine of preposterous claims illustrating the triumph of ignorance. Climate change is the default for brain addled journalists incapable of forming coherent thoughts on their own. Here are some of the ideas spewing from their brain stems:

  • Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere leads to more plants growing more quickly. Because plants don’t consume all the CO­2 they absorb, that means more plants are releasing even more CO­2­ into the atmosphere!20 Nobody would buy this crap right? Think again…

  • There were 500 more major league home runs because of climate change over the last decade.21 So much for Big-League Science. For the sake of humanity, stop injecting the trees with steroids.

  • Climate change is causing kidney stones in children owing to dehydration.22 They say hospitals are opening up “stone clinics.”23 They are, no doubt, to be subsidized by money allocated to fight the crisis. Given that a couple-hundred-foot change in elevation or a few hundred miles north or south can alter the average temperature, parents should choose where they raise their kids carefully. If you live in New York, do not move to Pennsylvania.

  • The Messenger Business tells us climate change is ruining the quality of your beer (unless you still drink Bud Light, which has been declared turtle piss as of this year.)24

The natural instinct of the entire world to blame every hiccup on climate change leads to a rhetorical question that haunts me. Recall all the problems we have faced and solved through clear-headed reckoning. Imagine that we were facing the loss of the raptors in the world because DDT was thinning their shells, causing a massive collapse in their populations. If that problem from the 1960s surfaced today, would we be able to get to that conclusion or simply blame it on climate change? Answer: We would royally fuck it up.

Solutions and Mitigation

Because of the pandemic of juvenile kidney stones and major-league home runs, we must do something. Some shockingly stupid solutions are being batted about:

  • The crowd blaming trees for expelling CO­2 has recommended mass deforestation.25

  • Britain’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) told the Limeys not to heat their homes in the evening. To get to the Net Zero target by 2030 either home heating or private jets are gonna have to go.26 To say the enthusiasm for the plan was muted would be an understatement.

  • Scotland chopped down 16 million carbon-sequestering trees to build windmills.27

  • Many support geoengineering as our savior. That is where you intentionally blanket the earth with a cloud of shit (aluminum particles, for example), to block the sun’s rays.28 I cringe at the damage they could do to the planet but chuckle at how blocking the sun would undermine that grand scheme to exploit solar energy. All of the solutions to the problems caused by bad weather rely on predictably good weather. In a 1995 Simpsons episode, Mr. Burns built a giant shade to block the sun as part of a plan to force the city to rely on his power plant,29 which explains why Bill Gates likes the idea so much. This idea is so insane that the solar-powered bright bulbs of Congress are now interested.30

  • Democrats in the State of Washington State want incarceration for those using gas-powered leaf blowers and edgers.31

  • Klaus Scwab’s daughter seems to be carrying the authoritarian standard into the fray by promoting “climate lockdowns.” She is from a mutant lineage. There are tons of fact checks denying this one. Collum’s Law: the more fact-checks, the more somebody is hiding something.

  • In one of the more comical chapters, the People’s Republic of California proposed a total replacement of gas-powered vehicles by electric vehicles (EVs) the same week that they asked the citizenry to abstain from charging their EV’s owing to the fragile grid.32 On the not-so-improbable chance Gavin Newsom rides in to save the Democratic ticket on a solar-powered steed, remember: you are voting for a member of a crime family.

  • Some Scientologists suggest it is time to bring back food rationing.33,34

Green energy has two problems: it’s not really green, and it’s not really energy.

~ Alex Epstein

  • Gasoline cars spew out 3% of global CO­2 emissions,35 so go ahead and buy that Tesla, but you better check into the cost of replacement batteries (up to $20,00036) and generic repair work before you plunk down the cash. Also, hope it doesn’t blow the hell up.37

  • Get rid of gas stoves! This idea also came out of the Bad Idea Factory, California, but found its way inside the Beltway fast.38,39

  • RedState says couples are passing up having kids altogether.39 If you decide you don’t want to have any children, just call John Podesta to take them off your hands.

  • The Los Angeles Times endorses the occasional blackout.40

  • Daily Mail says some doctors suggest that using less anesthetic during surgery would measurably reduce our carbon footprint.41 Some doc tries that on me, and I will pull out of my shallow stupor and personally reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Introduce climate taxes.42 This one is already here and growing.

  • Gigantic solar-powered air conditioners could cool the Earth. OK. I made that one up, but it’s no dumber than some of the others.

  • The Federal Reserve has decided that climate change mitigation is under their jurisdiction now that they have gotten control over inflation and dollar debasement.43

  • The New York Times suggests that if we mate with shorter people this will decrease the carbon footprint of our offspring.44 It has added perqs if the little lady has a flat head.

  • We could elect a new president:

It’s only gonna get worse with global warming and climate change ’cause people can’t live in certain parts of this world.45

~ Joy Bahar

The Climate Grift

At the turn of the century, the titans of industry and carpet baggers bribed politicians to stay out of their way. In the modern era with huge government budgets, politicians are bribed to hand over huge sums of what was formerly your money. We are in the Age of Grift, and climate change is running neck-and-neck with the War Machine.

  • The carbon baggers at JPMorgan Chase are going green by purchasing $200 million of carbon credits from several companies building a pipeline to ship CO­2 from somewhere to somewhere else. It’s kind of like the bathtub ring in The Cat in the Hat. The businesses haven’t any carbon and nobody has a clue what to do with it anyway, but the carbon credits (a generous grift from the government) will “neutralize the bank’s environmental footprint” whatever the hell that means. This clown show promises to be profitable as JPM cleans up by moving bathtub rings.46 The Fed hikes will do wonders to reduce carbon footprints of regional banks.

  • The Biden administration is increasing the tax credit for solar and wind facilities in low-income areas.47 Will that make the farmers wealthy—I presume they are not installing them in “the hood”—or cause them to lose their farms by eminent domain?

  • A new $4 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Kansas is powered by enough coal to light up a small city (200–250 megawatts.)48 Leaving the idea of free market capitalism aside, why does a “$4.7 billion” plant need $6.8 billion subsidy from the ironicly named, “Inflation Reduction Act?”

  • China has fields packed with thousands of undriven electric cars left to rot (or explode).49

  • Batteries that consume huge natural resources, rely on massive child slave labor in the Congo, inflict environmental damage, and risk fires are a small price to pay for green soon-to-be toxic waste dumps masquerading as solar farms.

If you actually have a superior product, you don’t need the government to force it on people. If someone has a competitor to the iPhone, we would never say, ‘Oh, let’s just give them some $10 billion in subsidies.50

~ Alex Epstein (@AlexEpstein), climate pragmatist but naïve on “free market subsidies”

New Science

A few bits of scientific insight crossed my field of view despite my best efforts to stop consuming my relatively limited ATP and time on the issue. Some are new and others are new to me or just new perspectives.

  • Evidence from Greenland ice cores provides no support whatsoever of man-made climate change.51

  • Even as a chemist, it surprised me to learn that there’s more argon than CO2 in the atmosphere.

  • Arctic sediments show it was warmer 10,000 years ago and ice-free in the summers.52

  • Maine researchers noted a one-month spike of sea temperatures above the norm and declared a disaster.53 Check your gauges. Run a few controls. Statistically speaking, the odds of your panic being justified are 1/astronomical.

  • CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere. 3% of that came from humans and 5% of that 3% came from the US. Ergo, CO2 from the US is 0.00006% of the atmosphere.54 And if you drive an electric car it will change this math by 1/1.0 google.

  • Over the last 10 years, the US has witnessed a statistically random (average) number of temperature records.55 “The 1930s are still champs!” according to climatologist John Christy.

There are all kinds of myths and pseudoscience all over the place. I may be quite wrong, maybe they do know all these things, but I don’t think I’m wrong. You see, I have the advantage of having found out how hard it is to get to really know something, how careful you have to be about checking the experiments, how easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself. I know what it means to know something, and therefore I see how they get their information, and I can’t believe that they know it. They haven’t done the work necessary, haven’t done the checks necessary, haven’t taken the care necessary. I have a great suspicion that they don’t know, that this stuff is [wrong] and that they’re intimidating people.

~ Richard P. Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (1999).

Now let’s look at a few charts for laughs.

The average temperature over the last 10 years…

The average temperature in all climate stations in February back to 1920…

…or the number of record highs reported across all weather stations back to 1920…

OK. This isn’t working. Let’s try average days between billion-dollar disasters over four decades…

Bingo! Eat that, Dave, you climate denier! Now correct for changes in the US population (up 1.5-fold), real rather than corrupted CPI-based inflation, and monotonically expanding coastal land development, and you realize this plot is total bullshit.56 Ignore it, or chuck some tomato soup on a Renoir.

Even if that plot were legit, let’s gander at deaths in Europe, a continent with some legendary wholesale death stats over the centuries, attributable to temperature extremes

How ‘bout global deaths attributed to all extreme weather events…

There is one stat that really got the Cult’s underwear in a bunch. NASA says that the Antarctica ice coverage has been growing for over a decade,57,58 but everybody’s underwear shot right up their asses this year when the quantity of Antarctica sea ice plummeted. The first figure below shows the drop that Helen Keller could see. The figure after that shows the much more useful and monumental drop in units of standard deviations.59 Six standard deviations is a one-in-a-billion event. This is extraordinary, especially in the absence of any foreshadowing. But first, take a peek at that other year in which it also dropped six standard deviations in November but then fully recovered in a month. Seems improbable, eh? Also, if you Google this story, you find plots with different fine structures—different jiggles and wiggles. This does not happen with real data.

To explain this result, we bring out a modified version of Nassim Taleb’s story of Fat Tony:

Vinnie: “Hey Fookin’ Tony. I have a legitimate coin and flip it heads 30 times in a row. [That’s a 1-in-a-billion probability.] What are the odds if I flip it again I’ll get tails?

Tony: Zero.

Vinnie: Nope. It’s 50:50 odds.

Tony: It’s zero. The coin is rigged.

Vinnie: I said the coin was legitimate.

Tony: You lied.

I don’t know what went wrong with their data, but somebody lied. The other maxim is that when data deviates from your model by six standard deviations, it’s time to get another model (said in the voice of Bullwinkle Moose.) A more thoughtful analysis says that the ice got pushed by high winds poleward, causing the mass to remain constant, but the thickness change went undetected.60 It still seems like 1-in-a-billion probability that the climate scientologists inadvertently failed to account for ice thickness, so I am going with, “you lied.”

Opposition

The overwhelming impression conveyed is one of impending disaster riding in on the menace of global warming.61 The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres refers to it as “global boiling.”62 Could you be anymore hyperbolic than that, Tony? I pay attention to prominent climate deniers if for no other reason than to feel like one of the cool kids. And I am seeing more and more papers challenging the climate clowns continue to surface. (I suspect the horrific performance of the scientific community’s handling of Covid might be growing some spines.) I find it especially encouraging there were some interesting cameo appearances by those willing to ponder alternative narratives.

  • Outspoken climate change expert and critic, Roger Pielke Jr., called it “one of the most egregious failures of scientific publishing that I have seen” when a top academic journal retracted published research doubting a climate emergency after negative coverage in legacy media.63

  • I had been waiting for Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying to take a stand on climate change. While not prominent scientists in the usual sense, they are fearless and pedagogically brilliant. I was not disappointed as they tore at the scientific adipose hanging off the narrative.64 I tried to get Joe Rogan to take it on a few years back, but he balked and replied: “Is this anything you’ve ever spoken about publicly? It’s such a land mine discussion.” Getting on a Rogan podcast is my Holy Grail.

  • The winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics, John Clauser, joins a long list of elite physicists calling bullshit on climate change.65 His big gripe is the total failure to account for clouds, which are estimated to be 200 times more important than CO2­,66,67 noting that many are proferring “very dishonest information” and are guilty of “breaches of dishonesty.” “We’re talking about trillions of dollars…powerful people don’t want to hear that they’ve made trillion-dollar mistakes.” Of course, the climate community jumped on him immediately, noting he was just another old, white physicist who is not a member of The Cult. Once his views on climate change went viral, his scheduled talk at the International Monetary Fund was cancelled.68

  • A prominent climate scientist named Patrick Brown wrote an op-ed about the amount of bullshit he recently had to sling to get a climate change paper published in the elite journal, Nature.69,70 He admits to the hyperbole, omission of less flashy details, and focus on the flashy and spectacular parts necessary to “publish or perish.” It was a refreshingly honest confession, but as a 20-year veteran journal editor, I am unconvinced he understood the magnitude of the fraud he committed. He left academia a year ago “partially because I felt the pressures put on academic scientists caused too much of the research to be distorted.” He may have inadvertently left the publishing world altogether and maybe his current job too.

  • John Stossel interviewed Judith Curry.71 as part of her book tour.72 Judith was an elite climate scientist who broke from the narrative and was left to scientifically die on a (melting) ice flow.

  • Berlin voters appear to have had enough green activism, voting 82% to bag the idea of attaining Net Zero by 2030.73

  • Senator John Kennedy (R, Louisiana) hammered two cluelessness climate experts who were promoting tens of trillions of dollars in spending to repel global warming.74 They had no idea what would be done, the cost, and the effect. They were also incapable of predicting what the big polluters—China and India—would be doing during our period of great sacrifice.

  • The Climate analog of the Great Barrington Declaration—a petition to declare climate change is not an emergency—was passed around to carefully vetted elite scientists. It got over 1,800 signatures, including mine.75 (OK. Maybe not “elite” but carefully vetted.) I know names that are not there that should be, so this is a work in progress.

  • A University of Chicago poll shows that the belief in the climate narrative has slipped from 60% to 49% in the last five years. A more global poll showed 40% now believe the changes are natural.76 “The ‘official narrative’ on man-made climate change has been vehemently amplified by every single major government entity, corporation, media outlet and cultural institution in existence.”76a I’ll repeat, overplaying Covid and the vaccine may have come at a considerable loss of scientific credibility. How does the scientific community get its credibility back? Simple: stop lying your fucking asses off and clean the charlatans out of the field. Otherwise, GFY.

  • Fed Governor Christopher Waller has dared to proclaim that climate change does not pose “significantly unique or material” financial stability risks that the Federal Reserve should treat it separately in its supervision of the financial system. “Climate change is real, but I do not believe it poses a serious risk to the safety and soundness of large banks or the financial stability of the United States…I believe risks posed by climate change are not sufficiently unique or material to merit special treatment.”77

  • Michael Shellenberger, famous conservationist turned climate denier, testified to Congress this year on media censorship78 and gives brilliant talks about third rails.79,80

Conclusion

While Greta was faking arrests81 in a vain attempt to keep her carbon footprint well-funded and the fact-checkers were busting keyboards protecting her legacy, the globalists pushing the climate narrative for fun and profit appear to be replacing Greta with Stanford student Sophia Kianni as the face, voice, and physique of the climate movement.82 It is a tactical mistake, in my opinion, but I can see serious merits—an activist with benefits

In moments of maximum frustration, I take an alternative approach by suggesting to my unsuspecting victims (formerly called friends) that we accept the climate predictions and ask, Do you really think you can see evidence of climate change by looking out the window? If the temperature is rising at some fraction of a degree per year, does the fact that your’s or Sophie’s ass was dripping sweat last summer tell you anything? (Is it getting warmer or is that just me?) Can you see where that heat spell in your hometown would fit on this long-term plot? See that flicker at the end? That is us emerging from what is referred to as “the Little Ice Age.”83

Weber’s law states that the change in a stimulus that will be just noticeable is a constant ratio of the original stimulus. It has been shown not to hold for extremes of stimulation.84

And if the sea level is rising 3 mm per year (which it has been doing for almost two centuries85), can you see it in the floods near your house? Can you see it in the chart below?

Deaths Caused By Hurricane Hillary To Be Labeled Suicides.

~ Babylon Bee

Will your beach house still be there in 50 years even if the sea level is not rising at all or hurricanes are not more frequent? Speaking of which, can you see the marked increase in hurricanes that is so obvious to Cultists and fear-mongering pundits?

Finally, can you really detect the ramping up of natural disasters in general?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, get your urologist to check you for kidney stones, breed with flat-headed hobbits, and buy a Tesla. The only electric vehicle that I would ever consider owning would be a two-seater with drink holders and room for two sets of golf clubs on the back.

Let me close this chapter on a somber note. I used to think the climate cultists were comical, but their prevalence stems from a much deeper, darker plot playing a central role in rising neo-Marxism and authoritarianism. The globalists will be monitoring and curbing your carbon footprint while the bankers and the techies consolidate an increasing percentage of the global wealth.86 The merging of corporate and government interests is the definition of fascism. Despite a noticeable stalling this year, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scoring will be used to allocate bank credit only to the politically correct and connected. The bankers are telling corporations to “get woke or go broke.” You will either toe the line—endorse the narrative—or lose access to the banking system.87 Hey Larry Fink: GFY.

Brandon Smith88 via Zerohedge89 noted that French President Emmanuel Macron says “the world needs a public finance shock” to fight global warming, noting the “the spiraling cost of weather disasters intensified by global warming”—a claim unsupported by any hard data—”is destabilizing.” Another globalist chimed in: “What is required of us now is absolute transformation and not reform of our institutions.” UN leader Antonio Guterres suggests tackling climate issues would “take a giant leap towards global justice.” Of course, trillions of dollars of “emission taxes” are locked and loaded for redistribution. The most authoritarian “Central Bank Digital Currencies” will be central to the globalists’ coup.

Farming needs to stop because it is the biggest driver of climate change.

~ Young man on the street displaying the IQ of a walnut

There is a war on farmers couched in the language of climate change. Farmers in Ireland and in Northern Europe have been nearly destroyed by the War on Farmers90,91,92 as brilliantly laid out by the Epoch Times.93 The claim is that farmers are creating nitrogen pollution from all that fertilizer. That is total horse shit. This thinly veiled authoritarian move superficially centralizes food production but also strips away farmland and slashes food production for reasons I cannot yet grasp. (One theory asserts that major tracts of farmland are being flushed free of farmers to make way for “smart cities.”)94 This “eating bugs” bullshit may be true, but it is also a distraction. The too-big-to-fail banks are already lining up to tell us what we can eat by controlling the money used to purchase food.95 John Kerry says that “food and agriculture can contribute to a low-methane future by improving farmer productivity and resilience,” but he is a clueless liar.96 Gates is the largest owner of farmland in the US, but I cannot yet grasp what evil lurks in the skull of this Club of Rome eugenicist by birth and by actions.97 I wrote dozens of pages on rising authoritarianism back in 2021 (pg 242).98 It is coming faster than I thought.

Let’s redo that and finish on a positive note. Here is the transcript of a compelling speech given to the Oxford Union by brilliant political satirist, Konstantin Kisin, who I had the extraordinary pleasure of sitting down for a chat this fall. I would have led with the speech, but it renders my analysis unneeded. I recommend listening to it,99 but here is the transcript. What is extraordinary is that I did not have to clean up the grammar, only add punctuation. He talks like this.

Konstantin Kisin Oxford Union speech:100

I want to talk to those of you who are woke and who are open to rational argument, a small minority I accept, because one of the tenets of wokeness, of course, is that your feelings matter more than the truth, but I believe in you. I believe there are those of you here who are woke, who are open to rational arguments. So let me make one. We are told that your generation cares more than any other about one issue in particular, and that issue’s climate change. We’re told that many of you suffer from climate anxiety. You wish to save the planet and, for tonight and tonight only, I will join you. I will join you in worshipping at the feet of Saint Greta of Climate Change.

Let us all accept right here right now that we are living through a climate emergency, and our stocks of polar bears are running extremely low. I join you in this view. I truly do. Now what are we to do about this huge problem facing humanity? What can we in Britain do? We can only do one thing. You know why? This country is responsible for two percent of global carbon emissions, which means that if Britain was to sink into the sea right now it would make absolutely no difference to the issue of climate change. You know why? Because the future of the climate is going to be decided in Asia and in Latin America by poor people who couldn’t give a shit about saving the planet. It’s going to be decided by poor people in Asia and Latin America who don’t care about saving the planet. No thank you. No thank you. You know why? Because they’re poor. Because they’re poor. I come from Russia, which is not a poor country. It’s a middle-income country.

Twenty percent of households in Russia do not have an indoor toilet. What they have is an outdoor toilet, and I don’t mean one of those nice porta loos that we get here. I don’t even mean a Glastonbury porta loo. I mean a wooden shack with a hole in the ground. The hole’s a collected fermented memory of the last 10,000 visits. How many of you are going to go home tonight and say, “Let’s rip out our bathroom and erect a Siberian shithouse in the back Garden”, and if you’re not why should they? 120 million people in China who do not have enough food? I don’t mean that they don’t get dessert. I mean they suffer from malnutrition; that means that their immune system is breaking down because they don’t have enough food. You’re not going to get them to stay poor.

Imagine Xi Jinping, the leader of China. When you were ten years old there was a revolution—a cultural revolution in your country—and people came, and they threw your father in prison, your mother had to denounce him, your sister killed herself, and you, no longer enjoying the protection of your formerly powerful father, were sent to a village where you lived in a cave house. And here you are decades later; you have clawed your way up the bloody and greasy pole of Chinese politics to be the undisputed supreme leader of the very Communist Party that destroyed your family, and you know that the main thing you have to do to survive and to stay in power is to deliver the one thing that the people of China want: prosperity—economic growth. Where do you think climate change ranks on XI Jinping’s list of priorities? A third of all children who live in extreme poverty in the world live in India. That means they are starving and dying of preventable diseases now.

Now about 15 months ago my wife got pregnant—not me, because we’re old school—and for nine months we talked about what our boy would look like, what he might do when he grows up. We looked at baby scans and videos on YouTube about what the fetus looks like at nine [weeks] and 12 [weeks] and 20 [weeks] and eventually he was born, and he is this cute little bundle of joy. He’s cuter than about eighty percent of puppies, right? Now if you said to me that I had a choice: either my son had a serious risk of starving or dying from a preventable disease in the next year or I could press a button and he would live, he would go to school, he would bring his first girlfriend home, he’d go to university and graduate and become a woke idiot. And then he’d get a job and get married and have children and become a man. But all I have to do is press this button and for every day of my son’s life, a giant plume of CO2 is going to get released into the atmosphere. Now you’re all very young, and most of you are not parents. Let me tell you something: there is not a parent in the world who would not smash that button so hard their hand bled. You are not going to get these people to stay poor. You’re not even going to get them to not want to be richer.

And so I put it to you, ladies and gentlemen: there is only one thing we can do in this country to stop climate change, and that is to make scientific and technological breakthroughs that will create the clean energy that is not only clean but also cheap. And the only thing that wokeness has to offer in exchange is to brainwash bright young minds like yours to believe that you are victims, to believe that you have no agency, to believe that what you must do to improve the world is to complain, is to protest, is to throw soup on paintings. And we on this side of the house are not on this side of the house because we do not wish to improve the world. We sit on this side of the house because we know that the way to improve the world is to work, is to create, is to build, and the problem with work culture is that it has trained too many young minds like yours to forget about that.

Thank you very much.

[loud applause]

News Nuggets

I love collecting news nuggets that tickle my fancy. They are usually a tad edgy. I was torn about whether to include them in part 2 on the logic that they are really part of the year being reviewed or holding them until the belated part 3, when sorting through more notes is likely to dredge up more human folly. I’ve chosen the former.

Nuggets are presented randomly as follows:

  • A Chinese weather balloon flew across the country while people were mesmerized at how stupid we are. Seems likely that the entire story is slathered with bullshit. In an effort to regain public confidence the military shot down a kid’s high school science project,1 prompting Eddie Snowden to muse, “please tell me the white house did not spend the month of february scrambling jets to fire $400,000 missiles at the local hobby club’s TWELVE DOLLAR BALLOON.”

  • A 22-foot submarine taking tourists to the Titanic disappeared with all those onboard, which included the CEO of the OceanGate, the modern era’s Davy Jones. He didn’t want to hire “50-year-old white guys” noting that, they weren’t “inspirational” and that “anybody can drive the sub.” Although that was a bad call, Mate, at least you were politicaly correct.2 Titanic director James Cameron, who visited the Titanic 33 times onboard a submersible, suggested this was pretty stupid.3

  • As Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos infamy struggled to stay out of prison we discovered her deep throaty voice was also faked.4,5 An excellent Holmes imitation surfaced.6 I still wonder if Cristine Blasey-Ford’s squeaky voice was real.

  • Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as Sam Bankrupt-Fraud or SBF for short, founder and destroyer of the FTX Crypto Exchange, was looking at serious jail time because he “misappropriated billions of dollars in customer money, defrauded investors, and violated campaign finance laws.”7,8 (This was covered in detail in the 2022 YIR.9) It should come as no surprise as the second biggest Democrat donor in the 2022 midterms and money launderer of Federal funds through Ukraine for the DNC that he is shedding charges faster than Hunter Biden (especially all campaign finance charges.10) A ruling in the Bahamas appeared to allow him to challenge the rest11 and even get his legal fees reimbursed.12 FTX hopes to restart its crypto exchange in 2024.13 He got some convictions and we await sentencing.

  • As many of you may recall, Paul Pelosi got hammered at the end of 2022. I would get hammered if I were married to Nancy, but this was by an assailant under highly suspicious circumstances delineated in the 2022 YIR. In 2023, the video of the incident surfaced.14,15,16 One is struck by two details: (1) it took long enough that one could fathom that the video was staged; and (2) while getting whacked with a hammer as the cops entered the Pelosi house, Paul did not spill his drink. Bravo! Nancy magnanimously noted that the assailant “has the right to a trial to prove innocence”, prompting Ben Shapiro to note “Uh it’s…innocent until proven guilty.”

  • In 2020, I took a risky tact by laying out why convicting Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd could be tricky because I thought the evidence was strong that Floyd died of an overdose. Well, I was wrong on two counts. The obvious one is that they convicted him. The less obvious is that according to the expert witness in the civil trial—a doc with considerable experience in treating this type of problem—said that Floyd definitely did not die from an OD or the knee on his neck, but rather two knees on his back. The owners of those knees got some time but nothing like Derek. Curiously, that obscure doctor would become rather famous in his views on Covid: it was Pierre Kory.17 Chauvin got stabbed over 20 times in prison this year. The surprising parts are that he lived and that the assailant was an FBI informant.18 Chauvin is appealing his conviction.19

  • Hobbyhorsing is claimed to be an environmentally friendly and much cheaper sport than equestrian events. “The main difference from equestrian sport is the replacement of a live horse with a plastic one.” Finnish teenagers who started this grueling sport hope to make it an Olympic event.20 The Canadians are considering it to train their Mounties.

  • Teenagers who took to swallowing Tide Pods have discovered they were gateway drugs to Benedryl—the “Benedryl Challenge”—to “trip their asses off.”21 It would be safer to vaccinate.

  • The train wreck in East Palestine dropping car loads of vinyl chloride caught the world’s attention and became clickbait for the ages. Attempts to block reporters from on-site coverage brought up first-amendment issues.22 There is no question that East Palestine has a problem—they are now a toxic waste dump23—but the horrors of it being a widespread catastrophe24 were put to rest by an analysis from blogger Doomberg noting that the hyperbole was over the top.25 I know who Doomberg was in his previous career and can say that nobody is more qualified to make such an assertion. The RNC Twitter feed turned it into a daily tally of the days since Biden did not visit the site. It is not obvious to me that is in his job description. The Babylon Bee wryly noted that Ilhan Omar withdrew her support of East Palestine after discovering it’s in Ohio.26

  • Mosquitoes were in the news. Four people from Sarasota, Florida got malaria. No biggie. It’s easily treated. On a more somber note, scientists concluded they can solve this problem by releasing mosquitoes genetically engineered to cause death in the female offspring to reduce the malaria risk.27 I went through the math and believe that the technology will not just cull the population but necessarily cause that particular species to go extinct. Of course, there are 3,500 more species of mosquitoes, but somehow, yet again, scientists appear to be underestimating the consequences of their interventions. This Michael Crichton talk is a phenomenal tutorial on why it is not nice to mess with Mother Nature.28 One scientist noted that “there is little doubt their full extinction could have indirect effects.”29

  • 176 pound, 5’ 5” Deuce Vaughn was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round. Recall that other loser, Tom Brady, went in the sixth round. The Deuce is Loose and jersey’s with the Galloping Toddler’s name and #42 were moving even faster. So far, The Deuce is not pummeling opposing teams, racking up 68 total offensive yards.

  • ‘Super Pigs’ are coming south from Canada.30 They are a cross between domestic pigs and European wild boars, weighing up to 600 pounds. They are said to be meaner than Canadian hockey players and more intelligent than the boneheads who created them.

  • It leaked out that Ebay ran a formal harassment/death squad to deal with news site founders who were not friendly to Ebay.31,32 Kinda makes you wonder what they were selling on Ebay.

  • A Delta flight spent 3 hours on the Arizona tarmac without air conditioning.33 Passengers were told they could leave but might not get to their destination for days. Paramedics wheeled three out on gurneys. Delta came clean with a mea culpa: “We apologize for the experience…which ultimately resulted in a flight cancellation.”

  • Baron Trump is now 12 feet tall.

  • John Lennon’s assassin, Mark David Chapman, is now suspected to have been innocent.34 It was similar to RFK’s argument as to why Sirhan Sirhan could not have killed his father.35 It has the fingerprints of the CIA’s notorious mind-control program MK-ULTRA and its legion of psychiatrists all over it. They create patsies.

  • Michael Block became the only club pro in history to make the cut in the PGA Championship.36 Entering the final round in eighth place, he slipped up but then dropped an ace on 15, finishing high enough to make $300,000 and an automatic qualification for next year.

  • Speaking of golf, the Saudis have set up the LIV Tour and have been buying up exclusive rights to some of the best players with petrodollars. Desperate PGA execs were squealing about the Saudis’ human rights violations. Discussed mergers of the two leagues were sketched out in which the PGA would be in charge of holes 1-8 and 12-18 with the Saudis responsible for 9-11.

  • Tennis phenom Novak Djokovic won the U.S. Open after being banned because he was unvaccinated by beating another unvaccinated player. ESPN’s “Shot of the Day” was sponsored by Moderna.37

  • A historically literate 12-year-old kid was suspended from school for wearing the Gadsden flag from the Revolutionary War—”Don’t tread on me.”38 The school said it has “origins with slavery,” which is a claim completely void of facts. The kid looked smug even by teenager standards. Mom showed she shouldn’t be treaded on either…as did the Colorado governor and the Heritage Foundation. He should have worn a Che Guevara T-shirt. It kept the Twitter Memosphere active for days.

  • After a spectacular performance of providing four of the most illustrious anti-Fauci/anti-lockdown/anti-vaxxers on the planet—Jay Bhattacharya, Scott Atlas, John Ionnides, and Victor Davis Hanson—in 2021, Stanford regressed to the mean. Their president was brought to his knees by a diligent freshman newspaper writer calling out fraud.39 At least he left before he could come under scrutiny of Congressional testimony about Hamas. Their entering class of neurosurgical residents managed to have no white men (outdoing the NBA), representing either great progress of the underrepresented or improbable discrimination.40 The Stanford Law School invited an elite judge to speak and then managed to humiliate themselves by denying him the right to speak with one of their deans leading the charge.41 You’d think the law school would teach about the Constitution. This is all coming on the heels of Stanford faculty members’ role in the 2022 FTX collapse42 and epiphanies that Stanford’s Internet Observatory is a CIA outpost and hub of censorship.43 There are more problems at Stanford delineated here.44

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled…There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

~ Michael Crichton

  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson tried to take over Stanford’s dominant lead single-handedly by taking on Del Bigtree on the vaccine debate and getting annihilated as he preached to Del about consensus science.45 In another podcast, he banged out support for transgender going against Michael Shermer, trying to make scientific arguments and arguing that separating boys and girls will “seem silly in the future.”46,47,48 Consensus—there is that word again—is that Neil’s brush with multiple accusations of inappropriate behavior some years back has put him over a barrel.49,50,51 I root for the guy because I think he does a great service, but he should stop digging.

  • The world’s smallest “Louis Vuitton” handbag just sold for $63,000 at Sotheby’s. It is 0.66 x 0.22 x 0.7 millimeters. It is not actually by Louis Vuitton. The NFT sold for almost twice that but is now worth zero.

  • The song of the year if not the decade—Rich Men North of Richmond by Anthony Oliver—captured the hearts and minds of America. Early attempts to paint this as a white supremacist’s anthem failed because everybody hates those motherfuckers. Montages of people’s facial expressions while listening to the song were fabulous and very cleverly focused on black men grooving.52

  • Black women are complaining about a shortage of black sperm donors.53 Seems legit.

  • Here is a shocker. We found out this year that one of Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged victims who wrote to Senator Grassley was a fraud.54 The good news is that she is being charged. That sordid character assassination was loaded with lies as noted in my 2018 writeup.55

  • With a not-so-improbable run of Michelle Obama for the 2024 election, the dirt is already flying, some of which looks self-inflicted. The big headline was that Barack is gay, which is said to be old news and should be irrelevant in 2023. The argument that he has lived a lie is disingenuous given that most gay men have. The drama, however, got curiouser when an ex-girlfriend from decades ago decided now was the time to rat him out on his fantasies56 with Barack’s brother piling on.57 The smear had begun long before that when a 2012 article in The Globe—not exactly the Gray Lady—suggested that somebody whacked three former lovers during his 2007 campaign.58,59 In 2023, however, it got very real when his rather studley personal chef named Tafari drowned in a midnight paddleboard accident. The police report had redactions and missing details on the 911 call, leading to speculation that it was either a midnight trist being managed60,61—Barack’s Chappaquidick—or something more sinister. Barack showed up on the golf course several days later with taped fingers and a shiner.62 (Beware of photoshop.) Defenders said the tape was for golf, but taping your fingers does not help your golf game.

Yes, @BarackObama, please dry up and go away and retire to your beach front property and take your paddle board with you. We’re sick and tired of your BS.

~ General Michael Flynn, getting a little testy

Larry Sinclair, a highly flawed individual by any standard and by his own admission, stepped forward in 1999 to announce that he had done crack and given blowjobs to then-Senator Obama.62 Why would he step forward? Well, it could have been politically motivated or an attempt to release the hounds to avoid getting suicided to keep the secret. Larry showed up again in 2023 looking a little worse for wear but telling the same story,63 scoring a Tucker Carlson interview.64 Scott Adams of Dilbert fame connects an arrest of Larry Sinclair by Beau Biden years ago with Joe’s placement on Obama’s presidential ticket.65

Michelle certainly must have known about this and was OK with it. Excluding the guaranteed-to-be-excluded Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Michelle looks like the strongest candidate the DNC has to pull off a twelfth-hour substitution of Biden. That may be why the plot is thickening as we head into 2024. Get ready for debates about Sasha and Malia surrogate births,66 infinite loops of Joan Rivers’ offhand remark,67 Michelle praising Harvey Weinstein,68 dance routines with Ellen Degeneres,69 Pizzagate re-runs,70,71,72,73 and Chrissy Tiegen blurting out about trists with John Legend and the Obamas,74  multiple contacts of Epstein in the Whitehouse with now-dead Whitehouse counsel,75 Big Mike jokes, and endless memes, including this humorous deep fake starring Fake Hillary.76

Lahaina Fires and DEWs

On August 8, 2023, fires broke out in the historically interesting coastal town of Lahaina on Maui, destroying 2,000 structures and killing untold numbers (very untold). Contributing factors include:

  • the decision not to sound the alarm out of concern that it would confuse people;1

  • the power company’s failure to turn off the power, although the company claims the power was turned off six hours before the fires began exacting their damage;2,3

  • some guy deciding to turn off the water (which Wikipedia attributes to melted pipes) just days after posting a philosophical screed about “diversity, equity, and inclusion” underlying water rights;4

  • 80 mph winds from a hurricane 700 miles East blowing the fire from the inland hills through the town.

  • residents being told to shelter in place (like being told to stay in your twin-tower office on 9/11.)

Warning

I went to Wikipedia for some updates on fatalities and costs only to find that Wikipedia’s writeup5 was unrecognizable in the context of the two dozen pages of notes I had collected as the story unfolded. Wikipedia founder, Larry Sanger, personally told me that Wiki is worthless for politically tricky topics is under total control by Deep Staters. The Lahaina writeup concluded with scornful allusions to Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns, accusing the QAnon Army led by General Stew Peters. I am unable to determine where these QAnon guys came from and where they hang out. My hunch is that QAnon is a concoction of the CIA. I appear to be a member of this fictional tribe of misguided miscreants.

FEMA projected the Lahaina death toll up to 2,000,6,7 which was slightly higher than Wiki’s number of 99. Biden offered $700 per household ($1.9 million total),8 which is slightly below the $12 billion listed by Wiki. Davvy Crocket would say that neither is appropriate because the money “is not yours to give” in an allusion to the Georgetown fires.9 Even so, the paltry Lahaina bailouts were awkward in the shadow of our generosity to Ukraine.

The horror story was that the kids had been sent home from school, many to their deaths. Articles and videos began appearing with parents fruitlessly demanding information about their missing children.10 USAToday put the number of missing kids at 966,11 which doesn’t square with Wiki’s complete silence on the topic.12 Ten days later the Mayor of Lahaina still wouldn’t fess up as to how many children were missing.13 One family found the remains of their child and dog embraced, eliciting images of post-Vesuvius Herculaneum.14 The narratives just kept getting creepier.14a

A Lahaina old-timer said he fled on foot because the departing traffic was at a dead standstill in the main artery out of town as the fires raged. He claims the cops had a roadblock, preventing people from leaving, and they were “just following orders.”15 Epoch Times reported that several other Lahaina residents survived only by “driving around or through the police roadblocks.”16 “We hoped to get to the highway and jaunt to the next bypass. Instead, we were blocked off by police and [traffic] cones.”

Drone footage is dramatic while showing an odd selectivity in which the fires burned most of Lahaina, which is a narrow band along the north-south coast.17 Some buildings were incinerated to dust while others nearby remained unblemished.18,19 The embers had not cooled before the internet was filled with accusations of nefarious activity and lying.

Unscrupulous investors are trying to take advantage of the fire disaster on Maui to take over properties…You would be pretty poorly informed if you try to steal land from our people and then build here.20

~ Hawaiian Governor Josh Green

A Land Grab 

Protests about a land grab appeared within hours of the fire. Catherine Austin Fitts, the former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has been a relentless proponent that suspicious destruction of property and property values are tied to real estate entrepreneurs looking to buy at fire sale prices (quite literally in this case).21,22 Her position at HUD may have given her insights into this grift. On cue, real estate speculators came in with buy-out offers to desperate residents as fast as they could find law firms to deliver them.23 This is predatory but also to be expected. What is odd, however, is that insurance companies immediately began declaring the houses not covered because they were not up to code.24 (Y’all may recall this happened in the Katrina aftermath too.) OK, you skanky whores: it was your job to assess their insurability when you issued the policies. This left homeless and destitute former homeowners grieving over dead loved ones with no promise of a forthcoming check. To top it off, tenants claimed they were receiving eviction notices within the week.25 This all smacks of collusion.

The government’s role was very suspicious. The locals had been under pressure for years to sell, but Lahaina’s strict development codes designed to retain the town’s charm and history kept developers in check. There were also plans to turn Lahaina into a “smart city” (super high-tech), but zoning codes kept those plans at bay too. Both the facts and the waves of fact-checkers confirm the story.26

I’m already thinking about ways for the state to acquire that land, so that we can put it into workforce housing, to put it back into families, or to make it open spaces in perpetuity as a memorial to people who were lost..But we don’t want this to become a clear space where then, yes, people from overseas come and decide they’re going to take it. The state will take it and preserve it first.27,28,29

~ Hawaiian Governor Josh Green, blaming foreign evil-doers

Curiously, just one month before the fires Governor Green had declared by fiat that the strict building codes would be null and void in case of a natural disaster.30,31 Good timing, Governor. After the fires, the Governor suggested the state buy the land to protect it from speculators.32,33 And, of course, he would never then sell it to his land-speculating cronies, right?

Speaking of wealthy cronies, Oprah and The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) ended up on the hot seat for their fundraiser to help Lahaina.34,35 Multi-billionaires asking you to dig deep into your pockets to help a town in which they own huge tracts of property didn’t sit well. Oprah had scooped up 2,000 acres on Maui, 870 acres in 2023 alone.36,37 In 2017, she got guff when fires and mudslides near her house allowed her to scoop up nearby land on the cheap.38 It is so lucky that Oprah and, for that matter, many wealthy Lahainians, may benefit from these fires while the fires miraculously missed their houses.

Authorities Take Cover

It seems clear that the authorities realized they botched their response and went into full ass-covering mode. Links to Tweets with seemingly good info disappeared much like they did after the Las Vegas shootings. Residents were blocked from returning to Lahaina for several weeks.39,40 When was the last time you heard of that happening in a disaster zone? Supplies entering Lahaina by boat were being turned away, reminiscent of FEMA blocking Walmart trucks from helping Katrina victims.41 A Maui Times reporter was denied access to the town.42 Immediately after the dust settled, authorities built tall fences along the main artery through town, preventing filming of the wreckage. The official story that eventually emerged was that they were dust screens, although screening dust from what is unclear.43 The school buses were missing from the bus garage: where did they go after dropping the kids home?44 Hold that thought for Part 3.

Suspicious Fires 

We are now going to enter the Heart of Darkness. This is highly speculative material that deserves both serious consideration with considerable skepticism. The American Vagabond does well-documented deep dives into contentious issues and emerged from this one troubled.45 The Lahaina fires manifested oddities that had been noted in fires in California, across the continental US, and Europe that captured the imaginations of us QAnon types. They are claims not rigorously documented but with non-zero probabilities of being legit

Videos from Maui asserting mysterious aspects of the fire appeared almost immediately. Locals hit TikTok hard, claiming these weren’t natural (kind of like a man-made virus). It is hard to say which opinions should carry weight, but there were a lot of them. The oval burn pattern shown below, for example, makes little sense in a wind-driven firestorm.

Boats moored 50 yards offshore ignited.46 Meanwhile, desperate residents jumped into the surf to survive the fires.47 Even on the leeward side of the island, 80 mph winds would make that a harrowing experience. Many cars burned beyond recognition while others remained unscathed. Locals and the internet obsessed over burned cars with puddles of aluminum from wheel rims and engine blocks as well as melted auto glass.48 Locals show two burnt cars in a field with aluminum rims, engine blocks, and glass melted.49 The only fuel within the acre-sized lot was in the gas tank. The tall grass next to the car remained unburnt. I have struggled to ascertain if these are just generic car fires or something more.

Oddly, the wind blew off the mountains East-to-West but the entire town stretching as a narrow band running North-to-South was taken out. Some witnesses said the winds came on abruptly. One felt tremendous pressure changes in her noggin akin to Havana Syndrome, and that cell service failed contemporaneously.50 Hold that thought. The 80 mph winds attributed to a hurricane 700 miles away fly in the face of meteorological data showing such high winds are not observed beyond 150 miles from the eyes of even large hurricanes.51

Residents, including this veteran firefighter,52 claimed that the fires behaved unnaturally—too hot and exhibiting irrational travel patterns—but who the hell knows? Speculations began about how the trees all somehow survived while the houses only feet away were burnt to white ash. The fried buildings yet barely singed trees were eventually attributed to smart meters on the houses, which sounds like seriously hot bullshit.53

Forensic arborist, Robert Brame, chimed in. He has investigated over 100 fires54,55,56 including many in California considered suspect.57,58 He notes cases in which highly flammable trees with high sap content—trees that he says he could “light with a cigarette lighter”—remain untouched whereas those with high water content get fried. Vegetation deeply rooted in swamps or along riverbanks was being destroyed down to the roots. Trees burning on the inside are particularly curious. Meanwhile, plastics were not getting burnt. Cars proximate to trees were frying but not the trees. Steel-belted radial tires or tires on rims burned whereas metal-free tires lying on the ground were left untouched. Fence posts with wire attached showed burning at the wood-metal contact:

Lahaina and the DEWs

So what is my point? Brame and many others59 have tried to force the Overton Window wide open by attributing the odd burn patterns to directed-energy weapons (DEWs). I used these assertions as an excuse to dig into DEW technology in earnest below, but let me for now simply say that they are weapons based on radio frequencies (lasers and masers) or particle beams that can either be ground- or satellite-based. In short, they are Ronald Reagon’s Star Wars program. Whether Lahaina was a target—laboratory if you will—DEWs are real and may be massively destructive. There are said to be two major ground-based facilities with DEWs in the US: one is on Maui.60,61 Go figure.

Anything tarp-blue—cars, pool umbrellas, and houses—were said to be left unscathed.62,63 It is claimed that rich people in Lahaina had painted their houses blue,64 but this seems to be internet debris despite excessive fact-checking rousing my curiosity.

Sensitivity to laser light, however, is color dependent as illustrated in this video in which all but the tarp-blue paper burns.65 I checked with a laser jock and confirmed this. Here’s what troubles me: Scott Savitz, senior engineer at Rand Corp, dismissed the whole laser theory, noting that “No one can start a wildfire and burn only specific colors.”66 When I catch somebody lying, I always ask, why? Starting forest fires is openly stated to be a military weapon and well within the DEWs capabilities.67

As noted above, locals and The Internet obsessed over burned cars with puddles of aluminum and melted glass.68 I find the evidence odd, but they may just be car fires. The firepower of such high-tech weapons will be discussed below. For now, I would like to underscore one particular oddity to pique your interest: the Quebec fires this summer appeared to start in two dozen sites simultaneously: the video is compelling (50-second mark).69,70 I tried to capture the time sequence with two screen grabs:

That buckshot plume pattern cannot possibly be spread by the wind: (1) airborne embers would follow the wind patterns lighting them sequentially downwind, and (2) it covers an area approximately 300 miles in diameter.71,72 A determined army of arsonists could, in theory, start them on cue, but so could a DEW in orbit. Laser sightings over Lahaina proliferated.73 These claims are suspect, but the carpet bombing with fact-checks is suspicious. One narrative was that the Chinese were monitoring the weather,74 which is highly suspect.

He who controls the weather will control the world.75,76

~ President Lyndon Baines Johnson

DEWs – A Tutorial 

Lahaina aside, what can we say about DEWs? The Army put out a nice synopsis of milestones in the development of DEWs77 as did the Office of Technology Assessment.78,79 The latter is technical and thorough, but it is also unclassified and 40 years old. It foreshadows what may lurk behind the industrial-military complex paywall four decades later. A GAO report also summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of DEWs.80 High-energy lasers in the infrared-to-visible light produce a very narrow, highly focused beam of light, and are most likely used on single targets. The beam can be pulsed or continuous, generating a power capable of melting steel (or more). Millimeter wave weapons have larger beam widths than high-energy lasers and therefore can zap multiple targets at once. High-power microwave weapons producing more than 100 megawatts of power—150,000 times more powerful than a microwave oven—tend to be good for broader targets. The really powerful stuff is not mentioned, which in no way means that it doesn’t exist. Here is a well-referenced and intriguing off-off Broadway assessment from the recesses of the internet with considerable discussion of how weird it could all be, including Lahaina fire connections, weather control, etc.81

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.

~ Noam Chomsky

A few bulleted claims are in order. Some may stretch your imagination to its limit and be bullshit.

  • DEWs in the South Pole are claimed to cause earthquakes.82,83

  • A decade-old video of well-known physicist Dr. Michio Kaku (@MichioKaku) describes trillion-watt lasers that can alter the weather.84

  • The Hutchison Effect is said to cause “anomalous heating of metals without burning adjacent material,”85 which might include burnt cars while leaving vegetation intact.

  • Air Force documents discuss weather control by 2030, which means they have it already.86

  • The defense rag, National Defense, describes a 300,000-watt DEW based on a “spectral beam combination architecture,” delivered to the Pentagon by Lockheed Martin.ref87

  • Prominent policy wonk, Pippa Malmgren, alludes to directing space-based solar power to “a target on Earth and burn it to smithereens”88 while pondering use for green energy too. She also casually suggests WWIII has begun.

  • DEWs’ biggest technical challenge is penetrating clouds. A thesis from the Air Command and Staff College describes weather control to use clouds to defend against the scary DEWs.89 The author also describes laser-based missile defense involving burning holes through them. The author discusses 10 million watt lasers are coming. Using a terawatt tunneling pulse laser to burn a hole in the atmosphere to allow the destructive laser to reach its target is clever tech.

  • In a 2020 speech, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said China already has seriously dangerous DEWs,90 declaring we must dominate space.

  • Havana syndrome, which gets its name from the US embassy in Havanna, Cuba, was said to rattle the brains of embassy residents.91,92 This is referred to as fifth-generation warfare.

  • There are claims of an enormous DEW facility in Antarctica.93

  • An article in Forbes describes low-powered DEWs in the form of a microwave-based “heat ray” unveiled in 2001 to be used as non-lethal crowd control.94 The author notes, “The weapon is certainly effective; the problem is that it is too scary to use… those that are effective are not safe, those that are safe are not effective.” Terms like ‘pain beam’ have human rights activists up in arms (but probably reluctant to protest.)

  • The DEW story gives the Chemtrail theorists an interestingly new lease on lunacy. One claim is that they are seeding the atmosphere with particulate matter as a defensive strategy to prevent penetration of DEWs into our critical infrastructure. Other claims include geoengineering to cause global dimming as well as generalized weather control. None of these theories is high up on my probability scale. What keeps my attention? The massive fact-checking attempting to dismiss a lunatic-fringe theory that should require little comment.

DEWs and 9/11

Imagine, if you will (said in the voice of Rod Serling), that the DOD has nuclear-powered DEWs (as described in the 1984 report) that could deliver energy measured in megatons what you could do. Oh, that would be impossible, right? Impossible isn’t a fact; it’s an opinion. It is amazing how fast the impossible became fact on August 6, 1945:

I am gonna drag y’all down the darkest of rabbit holes. I have no problem (no doubts actually) that 9/11 was an inside job. If the Truther Movement and the theory that 9/11 was not as we are told is unfamiliar to you, I would say you need a crash course. This five-minute montage is very snarky and very good.95 The New Pearl Harbor and Loose Change documentaries are your best all-expense-paid trip to the Dark Side.96,97,98 A 2023 vintage interview of architect and 9/11 expert, Richard Gage, brings up points I had not heard.99 New and compelling footage I had not seen asks where the hell is the plane that hit the Pentagon?100 While answering that, you might wonder where the plane went in Shanksville, PA, which was just a hole in the ground.101 Crash sites normally look like yard sales—shit everywhere.

Enter Judy Woods, who has presented a model for 9/11 and the destruction of the Twin Towers that even has the Truthers uneasy. She wrote a book102 and has done several talks and podcasts.103,104 Judy points to oddities about what occurred on 9/11 without concluding how, but she is clearly circling the DEW story without actually making direct references. She is not a good oral communicator. She sucks, actually. One interview said by detractors to destroy her and her credibility merely underscored her inability to communicate.105,106,107 I could have handled the interviewer after watching two of her presentations.

Judy doesn’t talk about DEWs, but she does point out oddities that include the complete pulverization of the towers to dust (“dustification”), a very odd claim of weather control that morning, distortion of the Earth’s magnetic field, the small pile of debris from 100 stories of towers that failed to reach the height of the top of the lobby, and unexplained burnt cars and their odd distribution. She has many examples, but at the 30-minute mark she shows a “dustification” that I have not been able to independently confirm or refute but is truly extraordinary if real.108 The freeze-frame is shown below:

The documentary Zeitgeist talks about 9/11 and how everything in the towers turned to dust.109 As noted by a first responder, “You don’t find a desk. You don’t find a chair. You don’t find a telephone. You don’t find a computer…The concrete was just pulverized.”

To pull this all together, Lahaina is a multi-layered onion in which chicanery has taken root. The DEWs may not be part of the story, but they are undeniably real and of great interest to the superpowers. Their capacity to inflict carnage on their target is unknowable to the common man and QAnons. I am secure that what we know about them is dwarfed by what is top secret. Reality could knock rudely and unexpectedly like it did on August 6, 1945.

DEWs provide unprecedented capabilities and produce a broad spectrum of hazards.110

~ Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force

The War in Ukraine–Epilogue

The Russians are dying. It’s the best money we’ve ever spent.1

~ Lindsay Graham to Zelensky

Lindsay is an unindicted criminal who is impossible to underestimate, but let’s move on. Last year I put my heart and soul into understanding the War in Ukraine as evidenced by the title, “All Roads Lead to Ukraine.”2 I found 40–50 serious thinkers who I felt were trying to get it right, a list that included Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, Aaron Mate, Chris Hedges, Ray McGovern, John Pilger, John Mearsheimer, Jeff Sachs, Colonel Douglas MacGregor, Scott Ritter, Colonel Richard Black, Tucker Carlson, Tulsi Gabbard, and Jeff Sachs. Notable newcomers to the anti-NATO team include David Sacks (Elon’s former partner),3 Cornel West,4 RFK, Jr,5 Simon Hunt,6 and Donald Trump.7

There are some who want to force Hungary into the war, and they are not picky about the means with which to achieve that goal. Ukraine is our neighbor where Hungarians live as well. They are being conscripted and are dying by the hundreds on the front… In the decisions adopted in Brussels, I recognize American interests more frequently than European ones…In a war that is taking place in Europe the Americans have the final word.7a

~ Viktor Orbán, Hungarian Prime Minister

If you think Russia’s military adventures in Ukraine were unprovoked and that this story is simply a fight for Ukraine’s democracy you have work to do: stop reading right now and read last year’s analysis.8 I collated the analyses of the serious pundits, scavenged the internet for data and anecdotes from the battlefield, and wove them into a narrative that is my best geopolitical analysis to date. Watch this speech by Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary, as many times as you must to grasp how little you understand the politics underlying the Ukraine War.9 Billions are being committed to get Orbán to get with the program and oppose Putin.10 Watch recent rants from Jeff Sachs11 or Colonel Jeff Maness.12

We demand an explanation on what basis China and Russia consider the whole world to be their region?

~ Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defense, lacking introspection

To those who say that assigning blame is simple—Putin attacked so he is necessarily evil—please answer the following questions: which country—Russia or the US—bombed more countries in the world and killed more people over the last 20 years? I don’t have the stats on Russia, but the US is estimated to have caused 4.5 million deaths during the War on Terror.13,14 Of those seven Muslim countries bombed by liberal democrat and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Barack Obama, how many attacked us? Let me help you out: it begins with a “z” and rhymes with “Nero.” I have 4.5 million whataboutisms resulting from our iatrogenic foreign policy to jam down your throat the minute you tell me Putin’s aggression is the whole story.

The US wrecked Afghanistan for 40 years—destroyed that country mercilessly cynically ignorantly brutally. And they’re gonna do the same with Ukraine unless the Ukrainians wake up and say, ‘God we’re being killed by this approach.’15

~ Jeffrey Sachs, economist, Columbia University

So how is the war going this year? An open letter written by 14 high-ranking ex-US military wonks in May calling for a swift diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine was published in the New York Times.16 The letter’s 14 signatories, after the requisite condemnation of Putin, called the war “an unmitigated disaster” and noted that “future devastation could be exponentially greater as nuclear powers creep ever closer toward open war.” They emphasized the “serial invasions of Russia by foreign adversaries” and underscored the need to “understand the war through Russia’s eyes” with “strategic empathy, seeking to understand one’s adversaries.” In their words, “This is not weakness: it is wisdom.” They also underscored the part that all the mindless Ukrainian flag wavers always seem to miss: “Since 2007, Russia has repeatedly warned that NATO’s armed forces on Russian borders were intolerable—just as Russian forces in Mexico or Canada would be intolerable to the U.S. now, or as Soviet missiles in Cuba were in 1962…Russia further singled out NATO expansion into Ukraine as especially provocative…NATO expansion, in sum, is a key feature of a militarized U.S. foreign policy characterized by unilateralism featuring regime change and preemptive wars.” Seems pretty clear, eh? To repeat, go back and compare this letter’s key points to my 2022 write-up.

NATO Document: NATO’s enlargement has been a historic success.

John Pilger: I read that in disbelief.17

Our dual goals are to degrade Russia’s military-industrial complex & reduce the revenue it can use.

~ Janet Yellen, former economist, said ahead of a meeting of G20 finance ministers & central bankers.

NATO made a few miscalculations. They thought they could choke off Russia by kicking them out of the Swift banking system and cutting off their energy sales, isolating them from the world.18 Neither action dented Putin’s plans. The rising price of oil cranked up Russia’s cash flow from the global oil market. The Rooskies also know how to endure discomfort.

Let’s imagine—obviously this situation which will never be realized—but nevertheless let’s imagine that it was realized: The current head of the nuclear state went to a territory, say Germany, and was arrested. What would that be? It would be a declaration of war on the Russian Federation. And in that case, all our assets—all our missiles et cetera—would fly to the Bundestag, to the Chancellor’s office.19

~ Dmitry Medvedev, responding to Germany’s threat to arrest Putin

That is not to say that Putin didn’t flub a few things, but it was nothing that duct tape and some WD40 couldn’t fix. Scooch around and let me commie-splain that to you. He moved into Ukraine with a very small force, all evidence pointing to an attempt to throw a fastball past NATO’s and Volodymyr Zelensky’s chins to force them to meet him at the negotiating table. There is no evidence he wanted to take over Ukraine nor destroy its infrastructure: he simply could not and would not cede control of Ukraine to NATO. It was an existential risk—a bright line—for Russia. Although Zelensky tried to get to the negotiating table in April 2022, he misjudged the determination of NATO to ensure that Zelensky would never ink a deal.20 The US (sorry: NATO) wanted, to steal a phrase from Assange, “an endless war, not a successful war” to eventually destroy Russia, impose regime change, possibly gain control of vast resources via a more US-compliant regime as America’s 51st state, and line a few pockets with war profits along the way.

You want World War III? Just tell the head of a nuclear power you are seeking regime change. While NATO flooded support into Ukraine, the Nordstream Pipeline and Kerch Bridge got bombed (more on that below). Realizing that negotiations were no longer an option, Putin quickly assembled a very large and highly weaponized army and took the war to the next level. In some twisted psychological defense against exhaustipation, this is where I lost interest. It was chess in 2022 with loads of propaganda rubbing Vaseline over the world’s lens. This year has turned Ukraine into a devastating meat grinder.

At the NATO Summit in Madrid [in June 2022]…it was clearly delineated that over the coming decade, the main threat to the alliance would be the Russian Federation. Today Ukraine is eliminating this threat. We are carrying out NATO’s mission today. They aren’t shedding their blood. We’re shedding ours. That’s why they’re required to supply us with weapons.21

~ Oleksii Reznikov, Ukrainian Defense Minister

Putin is clearly losing the war in Iraq.22

~ Joe Biden

The Ukrainian-to-Russian kill ratio was estimated by guys like Colonel MacGregor (no doubt from Pentagon sources) as well as by the Israelis (who have great intelligence) at 6–10:1.23 Retired Marine Corps Colonel Andrew Milburn, who was training the Ukrainians on site, said that the Ukrainians in the battle for Bakhmut were “taking extraordinarily high casualties. The numbers you are reading in the media of about 70 percent…are not exaggerated.”24 Upwards of 500,000 Ukrainians have been either killed or incapacitated, which is worse because their care puts a drag on their society. Recruits were being placed in full combat just 5 weeks of training,25 with life expectancies estimated at “4 hours” according to an ex-Marine on site.26 I wonder if the 400,000 families think this border war was worth it. By the end of 2023, the Ukrainian draft had been expanded to include both genders and ages 7–70.

I have reported a number of wars and have never known such blanket propaganda.

~ John Pilger on Ukraine

Nearly every war that had started in the past 50 years, has been a result of media lies.

~ Julian Assange

I can hear y’all saying, “Wait a darn minute there, Dave. Those are not the numbers I’ve been hearing on CNN/NBC/NPR/NYT…” Let me help you out here again. Our intelligence owns all of those media outlets. The US propaganda machine is the size of Russia’s GDP. They lie like teenagers while blocking the counter-narrative from leaking into the public consciousness. This should not shock you by now. As an aside, of the 8 million Ukrainians who fled the war and country, an estimated 2 million headed to Russia.27

NATO needs to be disbanded and we can get some peace on the continent of Europe because you are about to trigger World War III….We need to get our butts out of there.28

~ Colonel Rob Maness

I’m sure if President Trump were president today, there’d be no war inflicting Europe and Ukraine.29

~ Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s Prime Minister in support of Trump, 2024

Some notable events at ground level are worthy of the few bullets I have left:

  • A bunker 400 ft below ground with hundreds of Zelensky’s top leadership and dozens of NATO officials was rumored to have been taken out by a Russian supersonic missile in response to Ukrainian incursions into Mother Russia.30 I guess you might call it a bunker buster, but I might be mixing technologies. This story is suspect just like everything else.31 The hypersonic weapons, however, are serious.

  • What appeared to be a Patriot missile facility fired off dozens in short order, only to be taken out by what is said to be their target—a hypersonic Russian missile.32 The Whitehouse would not confirm or deny the reports.33

 I can see Ukraine from my dacha.

~ Vladamir Putin (in Sarah Palin’s voice)

  • The Ukrainians professed to have some victorious moments, but they were short-lived. A much-ballyhooed offensive—who uses the word ballyhooed?—that would finally put the Rooskies in their place fell flat almost immediately.

  • Leaked Ukrainian documents suggest the overall picture of Ukrainian combat power is atrocious owing to “systemic shell shortages”, very few tanks, 30,000 troops, and inadequate support from NATO (although still far too much in my opinion).

  • Ukraine supposedly had some victorious moments. A direct attack on the Kremlin seemed like a pyrrhic victory given that it had the kick of a bottle rocket and didn’t seem to phase two guys climbing a ladder toward the point of impact.34,35 Maybe the Meme Team gets the credit.

Seymour Hersh generated headlines by reporting that the US blew up the Nordstream pipeline with orders straight from Biden.36 Of course, we all knew this, but Hersh’s connections bring it as close to official as if Karin Jean-Pierre announced it. (Moreso given how much shit she makes up.) The Germans blamed it on the Ukrainians using a yacht (face in palm),37 prompting Hersh to ask rhetorically, “They can’t be that stupid! Are they that stupid?”38 Former Polish defense minister Sikorski, having thanked the Americans for blowing it up in a tweet the day it happened, then blamed it on the KGB mastermind (code named: “The Professor”) working under the guise of the cruise ship, “The Minnow”, captained by “Gilligan.” Hersh called the Ukrainian role “a total fabrication by American intelligence that was passed along to the Germans.”39 Why not just fess up? Simple. It was an act of war under international law. The charade must go on no matter how obvious the lie.

If we proceed from the proven complicity of Western countries in blowing up the Nord Streams, then we have no constraints—even moral—left to prevent us from destroying the ocean floor cable communications of our enemies.40

~ Dmitry Medvedev, former Prime Minister of Russia

Zelensky on the Edge. While Zelensky appeared to be starring in episodes of Dancing with the Stars to raise money and support, the pressure was having its effect. Journalist Paul Ronzheimer suggested, “Zelensky seems to me either completely exhausted, then again active, even cheerful … He answered some questions angrily, others emotionally.” Some suspect drugs or maybe it’s Zelensky’s body doubles.41,42 When Biden showed up in Kiev to pretend to care, with air raid sirens blaring they took no chances of a catastrophic incident by warning Putin not to bomb Kiev that day.43

The Ukrainian government is one of the worst in the world—corrupt, controlled by a few rich people I mean really unfortunate for the people of Ukraine.44

~ Bill Gates

Hersh suggests the Ukrainians have been using foreign aid on luxury cars and ostentatious lifestyles. This is my shocked face: :45 In a surreal assertion, Hersh says Zelensky bought diesel from the Rooskies.46 If you are just going to blow up their diesel reserves anyway, you might as well sell it to them first. For Zelensky, it beats the Pentagon’s $400 per gallon price tag.47 The price does not matter because, technically speaking, he was spending US taxpayers’ money anyway. Ukrainians also allow Russian gas through the pipeline to Moldova to service Russian troops. This is a strange war.

If China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war.48

~ Volodymyr Zelensky

Xi Jinping: Change is coming that hasn’t happened in 100 years, and we are driving this change together.

Vladimir Putin: I agree.

Zelensky and the Ukrainian people won the 2023 Charlemagne Prize for “work done in the service of European unification.”49 He is, however, what you would expect for a leader in that region of the world. Amnesty International castigated him for using children and other civilians as human shields.49 Ukrainians are arresting the Orthodox Priests.50 A slug of his administration resigned owing to a corruption scandal.51 It was not very democratic when he canceled the elections.52,53 We got all bent out of shape when Putin snarfed up a US journalist, but when Zelensky grabbed journalist Gonzalo Lira,54,55 the State Department was silent.56,57 Gonzalo became the front-runner for the 2023 Darwin Award when he live-tweeted his escape…and then got grabbed up.58

Unbelievable, but it is a fact: we are once again being threatened with German tanks—Leopards—that have crosses [painted] on their sides…Those who expect to win on the battlefield apparently do not understand that a modern war with Russia will be utterly different for them. We are not the ones sending our tanks to their borders.59

~ Vladimir Putin

Military Support

Much to the West’s surprise, the War in Ukraine turned into a rather traditional artillery war from the onset, which lopsidedly favored the Rooskies. Russia has more tanks than all of Europe. The US has promised him 50-year-old Abrams tanks—we ain’t sendin’ the good stuff—but we make only 40 tanks per year at current production levels.60 Germany has stated plans to start production of tanks inside Ukraine and, unsurprisingly, Medvedev has promised to blow the shit out of the facilities with “salvos of Kalibr (cruise missiles) and other Russian pyrotechnic devices.”61 I am reminded of the Field of Dreams: “Build it and they will come.”

Ukraine needs fresh young Americans to help fight on the ground war. The US will have to send their Son’s and Daughter’s… to war…and they will be dying.62

~ Volodymyr Zelensky, in his dreams

The Bidens coerced me to pay $10 million in bribes. I’ve got 17 recordings of the Bidens as insurance.63

~ Mykola Zlochevsky, owner of Burisma

Of course, this is a US-Russia war with the Ukrainians as pawns. The Russians have accused the US of planning a malaria-infested mosquito drop, but who knows.64 A huge hit on a Western munitions depot with depleted uranium munitions caused surging radiation levels.65 Again, the truth may be lost in the fog of war. The West offered F-16s66 and got a response from the Kremlin noting that F-16s can carry nuclear weapons to Moscow. Lavrov said they will not wait around to ascertain if these jets pose non-nuclear or nuclear threats.67 It doesn’t take a military genius to recognize that F16s will not be maintained or flown by Ukrainian pilots. The evidence of US casualties is mounting.68,69

If that were true, it would potentially be a war crime.70

~ Jen Psaki, 2022, on rumors of Russia using cluster munitions

We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy, and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here.71

~ Oleksii Reznikov, Ukrainian Defense Minister

The idea that providing Ukraine with a weapon in order for them to be able to defend their homeland, protect their civilians is somehow a challenge to our moral authority, I find questionable.72

~ Jake Sullivan defending cluster bombs sent to Ukraine

The Ukrainians are running out of ammunition.

~ Joe Biden, on why they are sending cluster bombs

President Biden approved sending cluster munitions to Ukraine even though 120 countries have banned them as inhumane and indiscriminate.73,74 They are as verboten as nerve gas. According to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Colin Kahl, “They will not use the rounds in civilian populated urban environments.”75 They also promised to keep track of them so that they don’t end up on the black market.76 I sure hope they didn’t cross their fingers. And on that note, Javelin missiles sent to Ukraine are showing up in Mexico.77 The Whitehouse confirmed that U.S.-supplied cluster munitions are now being deployed against Russia: ”We have gotten some initial feedback from the Ukrainians, and they’re using them quite effectively.”78 On cue, Putin says that they have a “sufficient stockpile” of the cluster bombs to use if necessary.79 Peachy.

Russia is sliding into what can only be described as a civil war.80

~ Anne Applebaum, Putin detractor and wife of Radek Sikorski, former foreign minister of Poland

Prigozhin

One of the more interesting stories is the dynamics between Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the private military Wagner Group inflicting the most damage on Ukraine. On the surface, it appeared as though Prigozhin—a beast and psychopath by Western metrics—was turning against Putin. The Intercept noted that “Prigozhin is a pathological liar, a professional disinformation artist” but then gullibly went on to praise “brief and surprising bout of honesty when Prigozhin launched into an online tirade against what he said were the lies used by Moscow.”81 The Western neocons led by Coup Master Victoria Nuland aka Victoria the Hutt “exploded with seemingly libidinal excitement” at the prospects of a civil war, ignoring that bit about pathological lying and disinformation.82 I doubted this narrative from the get-go as did Colonel MacGregor. I reached out to a veteran intelligence expert, Lee Slusher,83 who also doubted the story and noted that other trappings of a coup were missing. War is about deception—Maskirovska84—and this looked straightforward. As Prigozhin ostensibly moved toward Moscow to the applause of the Western propaganda machine (media), few noticed that the path moved his troops rather close to Kiev.85

Then, without warning, the coup was called off and Prigozhin seemed to patch the rift between these two BFFs. Prigozhin claimed he was pissed off about blunders by incompetent officers in the general army. As Prigozhin and Putin negotiated a new path forward,86 a body language expert says that both Putin and Prigozhin were not showing “tells” of tension.87 All was well until Prighosin took a trip to North Africa. Alas, his plane was shot down, killing all on board. Presuming he died, which I think must be true given months have passed, it would be rash to assume that you know who brought him down. The West blamed Putin for causing discord in the ranks. Putin was reported to be scrambling in haste back to Moscow,88 telling me that he did not know it was coming. The situation was chaotic given Putin’s core support was hardcore nationalists who loved Prigozhin.

Even Americans who have no particular interest in freedom and independence in democracies worldwide, should be satisfied that we’re getting our money’s worth on our Ukraine investment.

~ Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Fading Support

The support for the war seems to be fading if my Twitter feed is any indicator. Week after week we heard Whitehouse pronouncements of support for Ukraine and little to nothing about the Lahaina Fires, the East Palestine chemical spill, massive inflation, and crushing debt.

  • An “accounting error” revealed another $6.2 billion for Ukraine, which sounds like somebody drew the “Chance” card: “Advance to Ukraine. If you pass go collect $200 billion.” Now they are fighting about the Debt Ceiling.

  • The US has been paying 2,500 euros to young adults in the Balkans on a US base in Poland. 60 Minutes discussed the vast support of Ukrainian domestic programs,89 which contrasts with events on the homefront.

  • Hersh ratted out the CIA for knowing about widespread corruption in Ukraine and the embezzlement of US aid.90 Knowing? How about fostering?

  • The Hungarian Foreign Minister claims that the other Eurowankers are expecting to commit to €5 billion per year. I am not sure how this squares with Orbán’s anti-war stance.91

  • In the fall, Team Biden put together a package of aid starting at $100 billion—about $500 per taxpayer (suckers)—but climbing from there.92 The logic of such a massive commitment is to avoid having to do another before the 2024 election. The deal was laced with some support from Israel to purchase a few Republicans, but I suspect the Israelis now have other plans for their munitions.

Joe Biden has been slow in providing military resources to Ukraine.

~ Mike Pence, former Vice President and now former presidential candidate

The Chinese expressed optimism the war was nearly over,93 and I shared that view, but I have no clue now. I suspect Putin will go for the gold and take nothing less than everything he wants.94 We may get the endless war that the neocons want, although the Palestine-Israel crisis may satisfy that desire. I stand firm that this war could have been avoided with no shots fired if the US had simply backed away from its push to militarize and annex Ukraine into NATO. Matt Orfelea (@Orf) makes great short videos: this one is sarcastically titled, “It’s not about NATO.”95 For those who think this isn’t all about NATO enlargement, maybe you ought to listen to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg admit Putin went to war to prevent NATO from absorbing Ukraine.96

The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That was what he sent us. And was a pre-condition for not invade Ukraine. Of course we didn’t sign that.98

~ Jens Stoltenberg, New Nato Chief

Allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member of our alliance.99

~ Jens Stoltenberg, New Nato Chief

NATO enlargement and U.S. missile defense deployments in Europe play to the classic Russian fear of encirclement.97

~ William Burns, CIA Director, 2007

We should not be wasting US tax money and taking on more military obligations expanding NATO. The alliance is a relic of the Cold War, a hold-over from another time, an anachronism. It should be disbanded, the sooner the better…The expansion of NATO to these seven countries, we have heard, will open them up to the further expansion of US military bases, right up to the border of the former Soviet Union. Does no one worry that this continued provocation of Russia might have negative effects in the future? Is it necessary?100

~ Ron Paul, Congressman from Texas, 19 years ago

I suspect that the Israel-Palestine crisis means we will hear almost nothing about Ukraine now, much to the relief of mass murderers Jake Sullivan, Victoria Nuland, and Lindsay Graham who would have some ‘splainin’ to do if the press was inclined to call for it. Bottom line: 500,000 dead Ukrainians and the total destruction of Ukraine was for what goal? Well, they are getting digital IDs,101 although dental records are probably more practical.

If you say he’s a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped…I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people.102

~ Trump, excerebrating Kaitlan Collins on a CNN Town Hall

War does not determine who is right—only who is left.

~ Bertrand Russell

Conclusion

Well, that was painful to write. I try to pick contentious topics that are ignored by others or unconventional angles on standard topics. I got a little kinky on a brief Obama writeup. I smuggled some bizarre ideas in the section on the scandalous Lahaina Fires that led me to directed-energy weapons. I was told that section has a strong Alex Jones flare to it. I’ll nervously accept that as a compliment.

I hope I have one last section in me. This is the section warranting the title alluding to “rabbit holes.” I’ve sorted the notes and graphics and made progress on the key sections. With luck, it will examine the World of Woke and the Gender Wars, hoping to write my way to wisdom while focusing on the defense of vulnerable children and women’s sports. The soul-crushing adventure unlike any I have experienced was the dozens of hours spent digging into the global pedophile network and its implicit role in geopolitics. It inescapably leads to Satanic cults. Sounds like fiction, eh? Here is the one inescapable fact: over a million kids disappear every year. These numbers are only estimates but are not contested. We hear about the horror of it and are provided glimpses of the traffickers and archetypes of the perverts. However, there are awkward questions that are totally swept under the rug. Where do these children go? Who are the end consumers of a million missing children? The potential answers and their experiences are the stuff of nightmares.

Pedophilia is the induction glue of the Deep State.

~ Robert D. Steele, CIA Whistleblower

Before you leave, you might check out the books I’ve read over the last two years with brief critiques (book reports). And, with that, I will show myself to the door.

Books

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

~ Henry David Thoreau

I have too many blogs and articles to read to find time to read books, forcing me to go essentially 100 percent audio. Not so many years ago I had Amazon send me a link to all non-fiction audiobooks and then went through all 2,300 looking for interesting titles. There must be millions now. Although many think audiobooks are for long trips, the optimal time for me is about an hour. The long trips require I take a ritalin and then rotate through several audiobooks, trying not to get a speeding ticket. My 12-minute commute means that I can get through about a dozen books per year. When my wife asks me to run an errand, she is really asking me to read for a few minutes. And, unlike podcasts, they are one-decision listens. My wife gives me guff saying I am not reading: “You use your eyes, I use my ears, and Helen Keller used her fingers: what’s your point?”

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.

~ Abraham Lincoln

I particularly enjoy books that I call “sticky”—books that stick with you long after you’ve finished. As I age, this gets more elusive. I have books that I know I have read but only because a compile the list at the end of each year. Seems discouraging that I cannot remember reading them. I post the Emerson quote below every year to remind the reader that sticky is a nuanced concept. By habit, when I write my synopses, I read Amazon evaluations that oppose my own views—usually the weak ones since I pick my books carefully—to see what I missed and possibly address the criticisms.

I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

War is a Racket by Smedley Butler

Smedley was a very famous and tough-minded World War I soldier who wrote the pocket guide to the sinister traits of the industrial-military complex long before Eisenhower’s famous speech. War has always been about bankers and arms dealers making profits. It is a very short, engaging read.1

The Marxification of Education: Paulo Freire’s Critical Marxism and the Theft of Education by James Lindsay.2

I am only half done, but this is an in-depth look at the rise of Marxism in the US. It is not for the faint of heart. I postponed it to read Chris Rufo’s book (below), which is a more neophyte-friendly analysis of the problems that have been marinating within our academic system for a half century.

America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything by Christopher F. Rufo.

This is a fabulous read that traces the origins of modern-day neo-Marxism from early philosophers (prominently, Herbert Marcuse and his wife), through the turbulent 60s with militants like the Weather Underground, Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, and Huey Newton, to the present. The evolution of this school of thought was never broken, only quiet as they changed strategies from blowing up the American system to rotting it from within by grabbing control of academia. The revolution continued ever so quietly, but it evolved in baby steps to the very odd form of Marxism dominating many discussions on college campuses. The foundations of modern day “wokism” and its purpose of upending the status quo was in plain sight, but they were built incrementally and now have a vice grip on college campuses.All of this is not-so-unlike the appearance of Sharia Law inside Saudi Arabia.3

The Canceling of the American Mind by Rikki Schlott and Greg Lukianoff.

Many of you will recall the brilliant treatise by Haidt and Lukianoff, The Coddling of the American Mind. One can view this as a sequel; it is largely the brainchild of Rikki Schlott, a rapidly rising twenty-something star fighting the culture wars. It is a brilliant analysis of cancel culture, giving me pangs of PTSD throughtout the journey. The nuanced analysis of the implications is great. The authors hold a mirror up to me by pointing out places where the political right participates in cancel culture despite its reputation as being driven by the activist-left. (I still think it largely is.) My blood was curdling as she described, for example, how it has snuck into the psychiatric world where therapists are taking in the most vulnerable patients and then blaming them for their “white privilege” and other bizarro evils of being a non-minority.4 This is top-shelf reading material.

These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs—and Wrecks—America by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner.

These two accomplished authors describe in lurid detail how the monstrous private equity firms such as Carlyle, KKR, and especially Leon Black’s Apollo rape and pillage companies. They buy them, start stripping assets and firing employees, take on huge debts to pay themselves huge compensation packages, and then eventually take the worthless shell of a company back into the open market. If monetary policy was tighter, there would not be enough dumb money to buy up these Potemkin companies, but there is so much stupid money, these guys can profit multiples of their investment. They destroy pensions, cause massive job losses, swallow up insurance policies, and mortally wound viable companies. If the world were just, these private equity guys would be taken behind the Eccles Building and dealt with. I am unclear why vigilante justice has not taken root (yet).5

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail by Ray Dalio.

Like Druckenmiller, I have never been a Ray Dalio acolyte, but this book surprised me. In a nutshell it is a variant of Strauss and Howe’s The Fourth Turning but with slightly different timescales (100- rather than 80-year cycles), and a much stronger emphasis on military and economic forces. I highly recommend it.6

Behold a Pale Horse by Milton William Cooper.

This is about the New World Order and all sorts of Deep State secrets, which I am inclined to take very seriously. Unfortunately, it could quit halfway through, even though it is short.7 The 4.5 star rating with 235 entries suggests that maybe another crack at it would pay off.

One Nation Under Blackmail, Vol. 1 and 2: The Sordid Union Between Intelligence and Crime that Gave Rise to Jeffrey Epstein by Whitney Webb.

This is a monumental effort to document massive white-collar crime over the last century. Volume 1 is pre-Epstein; volume 2 is the Epstein era, but not as much Epstein as you would expect. You could easily jump to volume 2, and it is better because you will know more of the players. I would rename it Encyclopedia of Crime, Corruption, and Grift. As my friend Rudy Havenstein said, it is not a book to be read left to right but rather used as a reference. I did the audio, but somebody sent me the hard copies, which gives me both. The more you know about the relationship of organized crime, intelligence agencies, banks, and other corporations the more you will get from the book. Guys like Roy Cohn—the badass of sexual blackmail and political kingmaking—gets a lot of coverage as do the Clintons. Trump gets winged a little but not as much as Trump haters would like. The Jewish mafia gets hit very hard, although I cannot detect antisemitism. You can’t help but conclude that above some quantity of wealth and power, the CIA and big-money power brokers have control. Whitney would have made more money if she had dumbed it down to a narrative, but she wanted to throughly document the corruption. In a podcast she noted that the first volume was important to slowly open the Overton Windows of the readers before hitting the modern era where dismissal of the story as fiction would be tempting. The Amazon critics totally missed her intention: they wanted an easy read.7,8

Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia by Paul L. Williams.

This was a natural follow-up to Whitney Webb’s encyclopedic analysis of the Deep State. Operation Gladio was set up as a for-profit drug trade to funnel profits into the hands of the three players. I knew the CIA and Mafia dabbled in the drug trade at serious levels. Williams makes a compelling case that these three groups were and likely still are the entire drug trade. The Vatican is the banker, the CIA clears serious geopolitical hurdles, and the Mafia gets the drugs to the street. You would be hard pressed to convince me that any other group would dare try to take over this market from these serious players. I find myself asking a simple question: does the CIA work for the US or is it just a US-domiciled international crime syndicate?9

Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another by Matt Taibbi

This 2019 condemnation of the media could have had a dated feel because a lot has gone south in the media since then—Covid, Ukraine debacle, Twitter files, his personal Congressional testimony on censorship—but it held up brilliantly. I thought it was a masterful autopsy on a media that is now largely dead on arrival now. Those who didn’t like it (low Amazon scores) were mostly thin-skinned Trumper supporters who were incapable of tolerating Matt from picking on “their guy.” They were. Matt has leaned hard left his whole life, but crosses political lines seamlessly. I loved the book.10

Invaded: The Intentional Destruction of the American Immigration System by J. J. Carroll.

As a 25-year veteran of patrolling the US-Mexican border, Carroll brings interesting views of what is actually happening down there and how the floodgates that the Biden Administration opened mutated a manageable problem into a potential catastrophe. It was helpful to me, but I would say it was light on the child trafficking, which is why I read the book. If there is a weakness, it is its exceedingly strong pro-Trump slant. I believe he is sincere, but that alone will prevent many doubters from becoming believers.11

The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing by Dr. Joost A.M. Meerloo and Chris Matthews.

This is a 2021 reprint of the 1961 edition. It has a strong emphasis on brain washing in military contexts in which they analyze the near impossibility of captives successfully resisting being broken by their captors. The detailed protocols are painful to ponder. It migrates into a general discussion of propaganda. Some of the psychoanalytic ideas have given way to more modern analysis. I read it to understand the role of brain washing in sex trafficking. The conclusion is that a child under the control of determined adults has no prayer. They are converted into emotional slaves, requiring no physical incarceration.12

Cave of Bones by John Hawks.

This is a very short, riveting story of a cave discovered in South Africa in 2013 in which intrepid anthropologists crawled through an extraordinarily tight passage to find 1000’s of bones that included 25 complete hominid skeletons pulled out to date. It is a monumentally important discovery of bones of a small species of hominid that evolved in parallel with homo erectus. What is extraordinary is that they have found compelling evidence of culture (cave etchings) and ritual burials, phenomena believed to have appeared only as recently as 70,000 years ago by fully evolved homo sapiens. Many questions remain because it is a recent discovery. A curious theme that I have detected in previous books on anthropology emerged yet again: it is a community that is based on careful analyses of limited fragments leading to bold extrapolations that the field then embraces too strongly.13 When dogma is challenged, the old guard shits their pants, and they have done it in this case too.

The Enemy Within by David Horowitz

This political rant was too lopsided. I am no fan of books that force a false equivalence of both sides of a story even when one side is moronic, but this book had no nuance. It is pure right-wing from start to finish. (reminding me of one of Kim Strassel’s books.) The right might enjoy it and use it to strengthen their talking points, but it will just make them more rigidly angry. The left will make it 10 percent through and then quit. Nobody will be converted. This is very unlike Taibbi’s book for the open minded reader. The 1,100 favorable reviews were quite likely 100% right of center.15

Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice by Vivek Rmaswamy

This book was clearly one of those books you write to launch your campaign. It was fine but you could also just watch a couple of podcasts and get the same messages. Ramaswamy is a fascinating addition to the public stage, stating almost everything traditional conservatives and right-leaning libertarians will like. The problem I have is that he seems too polished—produced like a boy-band.16

The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal by Nick Bryant

This book was hugely influential in my pursuit of the role of pedophile networks on geopolitics. There are documentaries out there, but they are so low budget that I do not recommend even watching them. This treatise was thorough and convincing. The central bad guy was a highly connected political operative named Larry King (no relation to the famous one) who worked at the orphanage named Boys Town made famous by several movies. Larry had political reach up to the Whitehouse. The witnesses in the scandal are all broken with multiple personalities, broken lives, and drug addictions, but Bryant brilliantly chases leads and cross references testimony. Although many of the horrors of sex trafficking children are clear, the breadth of the network, which reached cities around the country, was not really the core story. When the network began unraveling the gloves came off. The chief of police was worthless—he was one of the local pervs—while the attorney general of Nebraska shut everything down. A citizen group hired a former state cop to investigate, and his very dogged pursuit of the truth landed him and his son in a corn field from an unexplained plane crash. The FBI destroyed witnesses—horrifically, eventually flipping some to turn on the others and testify they were liars. Threats of perjury to the witnesses were stifling. A grand finale was when one persistent witness ended up in the Nebraska Supreme Court facing a judge assigned to the case who had no legal standing to handle the case but very quickly displayed his role in subverting justice. Throughout the story the local Omaha Newspaper attacked the accusers and the group of concerned citizens. Curiously, Bryant falls short of naming the famous purchasers of the kids, but Whitney Webb picks up that trail in Volume 2 of her book. Of course, Wikipedia calls it a hoax but, as told to me by the cofounder of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, the FBI and CIA have total control over Wikipedia. The biggest challenge in reading about organized pedophilia networks is that they are so far outside your world view—way outside most people’s Overton Window—that it is difficult to grasp.17

Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression by Christopher Knowlton

This is the most recent book on the legendary 1920s Florida real estate bubble. It is especially useful to those interested in market structures to remind themselves there is “nothing new under the sun.” (Sorry.) It was a classic boom-euphoria-total bust story. It was an entertaining historical treatise on the origins of famous cities in Florida as they started life as basically swamps. The Florida today owes its origin story to this mania. The banks started failing in 1925 and everybody shook it off as those nuts in Florida. Then banks throughout the south began failing and the same rationalization was used. By the mid 30s, 12,000 banks had failed nationally. Florida real estate is given credit for being more than just a trigger but rather major proximate cause of the Great Depression. By the end, the four biggest players ended up destitute. In a modern era, they would be saved by your money.18

The Psychology of Totalitarianism by Mattias Desmet

I was reluctant to read this because I thought it would be another Covid book, which I was trying to put behind me. I was pleasantly surprised that it was much more general and an excellent treatise explaining how bad ideologies take hold within the populace. The message is that it is not just evil guys at the top taking control of the gullible masses but the ideology gaining control of everybody. The malaise in societies—isolation, lack of goals, frustration—tees up the call for change and leads to somebody promising a solution. (It sure feels like that is happening.) It is a warning not to trust credentialed experts. He leans heavily on the scholarly writings of Hannah Arendt without falling into a trap of taking it so deep that the average reader can’t grasp the message—a Gladwellian reductionist approach.19

The New Abnormal: The Rise of the Biomedical Security State by Aaron Kheriaty

I was drawn to Covid by Kheriaty’s massive overview of the Covid epidemic and our deeply flawed response like a moth to a flame. Aaron started as the head of the University of California—Irvine’s Director of Medical Ethics Program at the medical school, where he was commandeered to run the University’s vaccination program and eventually morphed into a militant doubter. To my shock, he went down every dark rabbit hole, joining the ranks of the Covid-vaccine battlers whose world view has become profoundly dark. I enjoyed the overview of a topic I had been pounding on for two years. I asked Aaron if he was predisposed to go down rabbit holes or if the flawed Covid narrative came out of left field. He basically said he knew there were issues in the world, but that the whole story hit him like a truck. If somehow you still think the covid story presented to the populace was legitimate then you ought to read this book and get a CT scan.20

The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman

It is ironic that by the time I wrote this review, I could not remember anything that was in the book. I used Amazon reviews to remind remind me what I had read: “Oh yeah. Now I remember.” Well, that didn’t even happen. I bet I liked it—the 5,000+ reviews did—and the topics look great, but I really don’t recall reading it. Every book I’ve read on the brain and neuropsychology and neuralplasticity are blurring together I guess. Maybe the Amazon reviewers wrote reviews before they had forgotten what they had read it.21

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control by Stephen Kinzer

Stephen is a prolific investigator on all things Deep State. I had already read Overthrow (it was great) and The Brothers, the story of Allen and John Foster Dulles (good). Don’t read this book to feel good about the world. This is a horror story about the role of Sidney Gottlieb (no relation to Scott that I could find) who ran the CIA’s most demented mind-control programs, including the infamous MKUltra. I must confess that I was not aware of how much above-the-fold the MKUltra program had become in the early 70s. These guys were totally twisted bastards. While the Department of Defense grabbed German rocket scientists (logically) the CIA grabbed all the doctors (possibly including Mengele, although that is not completely clear.) They put them on payroll and had them continue their studies of human torture at Fort Detrick. They eventually morphed their efforts into brainwashing using psychedelics (LSD et al.) The goal was to create foot soldiers of the type protrayed in the Bourne Identity. When outed, they claimed it didn’t work and terminated the program. There is no evidence that either is true. Having read volumes on the CIA, I am convinced that they have their paws on absolutely everything with no adult supervision. It is such a sleeper cell-based model that I am in no way convinced that the head of the CIA has a clue what is going on in his organization.22

The Illuminati by Jim Marrs.

I was hoping to get my arms around the elusive Illuminati, the small group of global players who some people believe still rules the world. Almost 700 reviewers like it with a 4.5 star rating, but 10% into the book they were talking about aliens from distant planets, and that was enough for me.23

The Coming Collapse of China by Gordon G. Chang.

I had high hopes but wasn’t getting shit out of it. There was too much Chinese history that removed all sense of stickiness. I quit. I read a half-dozen books on the Middle East years ago and got nothing from them either. I did not have an intellectual framework to hang the information from. Too many foreign names, places, and concepts.24

2022 Books

Because I ran out of gas, my 2022 bibliography never got published. I try to choose my reading materials carefully enough that they do not go out of date.

The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin by Stephen Lee Myers.

While trying to sort out complex stories, I avoid reading books. I want to assemble a narrative rather than reiterate somebody else’s. Of course, even the pieces have embedded narratives and may be laced with propaganda. It is my compromise. However, I broke my no-book rule this time by reading The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin25 recommended by America’s favorite Roosky, Lex Fridman. I must admit it seemed remarkably balanced and unbiased until the moment Putin was elected President. From that page on, Myers had nothing favorable to say—not one positive word. It was as though a new author took control, some aggressive editing was inserted, or the Zebra changed the color of his stripes at that moment. I should add that, while conceding he is a sociopath by Western standards, my opinion of Putin as a world leader is many standard deviations to the favorable side of the norm in the West. We in the US of A elect idiots.26

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel.

This was a great discussion of how people stumble into trouble handling money and investing. It has a little touch of Millionaire Next Door and is at about that level of intensity. The number of new insights was not high, but I like how Morgan formulates the ideas. It would be an excellent book for a young adult. I will warn you: at the end of the book he goes on to tell you to buy a 60:40 portfolio, which shocked reviewers looking for a magic formula.27

The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest by Edward Chancellor.

Ed is one of the legends in the history of markets. I thought this was going to be another one of those books that offers marginal new insights but articulates the principles with a flare, but I was pleasantly surprised the underlying details were more than I expected. The book hammers home the point that cheap money as exemplified by artificially low interest has, without fail, ended in tragedy. Authentically low rates—rates set by price discovery rather than autocratic central bankers—are emblematic of a sluggish economy. He also notes that every time rates drop to 2%, a crisis is not far behind. Assuming he was referring to nominal rates, we are royally hosed. If he was alluding to real rates, a new metaphor will be needed. The case is well made that, no matter what, intervention in price discovery within the credit markets is problematic and should be minimal. There is nobody alive today who remembers such a market, so that is a problem.28

The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

I had started this book and progressed enough in my 2021 Year in Review to give it a ringing endorsement. Having finished it, I would say the >24,000 rave reviews on Amazon are not wrong. This book will warp your mind and force you into one of two diametrically opposed conclusions: either Anthony Fauci is a mass murder and has been so for decades—I am not being metaphorical here—or Robert Kennedy should be sued into bankruptcy. Kennedy names names, quotes experts, and references it all. His army of fact checkers and lawyers were charged with keeping him out of bankruptcy court. I have yet to read a single credible push back against the book, suggesting Kennedy will retain his inherited wealth. It is overwhelming tales of rigged clinical trials using such notable subjects as inner city foster kids (14,000 of them). If Kennedy is correct, Fauci and many others should be frog-marched to Nuremburg, tried, and, if convicted, hung from their necks until dead.29

Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It by John Abramson.

So let us assume some of you don’t trust Kennedy because he does have a sketchy reputation no doubt created by big-cap pharma. Harvard Medical School’s John Abramson wandered into the world of big-cap pharma corruption when he determined that Merck’s Vioxx was killing tens of thousands of consumers, leading to the most expensive recall in history. This is a tell-all about the seedy world of clinical trials and drug marketing. Case studies examine the corruption that has taken hold within the world of clinical studies, which includes pharma, fly-by-night clinical trial companies, the FDA, and academic institutions helping commit fraud. I now have a new policy: never take a drug that doesn’t cure a specific medical condition. Y’all can take those drugs to change some blood level of some biochemical marker, but I will not. It better cure an infection, significantly reduce pain, or clean up a rash. Claims by others that 75% of all drugs currently prescribed do nothing are credible. Heads up: Abramson was writing his book in 2022, so comments about the efficacy of the vaccine were probably filler and founded on little evaluation of the data. As an aside, more than 70 percent of mainstream media’s ad revenues come from pharma. The ads are not to sell you or your doctor drugs with unpronounceable names that let you wander through life with a smile on your face. It is to capture the media with addictive revenues.30

The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization by Peter Zeihan.

Peter is a career demographer with early training at Stratfor, the private intelligence group that got wrapped up after a cyber attack got ahold of 2 million potentially touchy emails. He suffers from being a neocon and from unbelievably high confidence in predictions of future global events that probably require more circumspection. With that said, his data is probably excellent and predictions are provocative. By example, while everybody thinks China is going to dominate the World, he predicts the complete collapse of the Han dynasty in 10–15 years. He systematically looks at shrinking populations and their role in deglobalization, which will not be fun. An important take-home message for me was that the US’s projection of power around the globe since WWII—a non-Monroe-Doctrine approach to geopolitics—was the most critical ingredient that allowed unfettered global trade. No other military can project their power globally to keep the sea lanes open. The deglobalization that he predicts (with great confidence) as inevitable and imminent, will be highly inflationary, which I think makes total sense. Americans should take heart: Peter makes a good case that the coming decades will suck for us too but not as bad as for everybody else.31

The War on the West by Douglas Murray.

Doug is one of the social justice warriors fighting against the other social justice warriors who are indoctrinating the globe with neo-Marxist ideas. He is a fluid writer. If you are moderate or right of center, you will be highly entertained (and a bit discouraged) by his analysis of the state of the world. If you are a neo-Marxist, he will either piss you off royally or carry out a world-class intervention on your world view.32

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer.

This analysis of mass movements written in 1953 retains extraordinarily relevance to the present. Hoffer talks about how mass movements start, who the players are, where the movements get their oxygen from, and why they sometimes succeed or fail. The recurring theme is that ideas first proferred by intellectuals—the “talkers”—articulate foundational principles. This could be Satoshi to the Hodlers, Mercuse to the woke crowd, or the scientists to Climate Cult. The highly visible and often stunning fanatics are unflatteringly characterized as having little to show for their lives in the present, rendering them happy to support change for the unknown future because it must be better. They are looking for meaning in the group that their personal lives lack and distance themselves from blame for their wretched existance. Often the movement involves self-sacrifice, whether it is ancient clerics forfeiting all Earthly belongings and pleasures or modern-day climate activists who claiming they will give up modern conveniences for the lofty goal of saving Mother Earth. Hoffer’s book has the potential of changing your world view.33

War Without Rules: China’s Playbook for Global Domination Audible by General Robert Spalding.

This book complements Pillsbury’s book (below) in that it analyzes and interprets a recently translated and relatively little-known book on Chinese military strategy entitled, “Unrestricted Warfare” written by two Chinese colonels in 1999. Robert attempts to understand the mind of the Chinese military leaders and their deep-seated philosophy that anything and everything can be weaponized, which contrasts with the West’s view that warfare is largely kinetic (blow shit up.) It was not sticky—China is a seriously foreign world to me—but should be read for those trying to understand China. May God have mercy on your souls.34

Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win by Peter Schweizer.

Peter has documented the vast corruption of those inside the beltway and how they pilfer huge sums of money by selling us down the river. He is probably best known for Clinton Cash and Secret EmpiresRed-Handed thoroughly documents the corruption of US politicians by China. Alas, it reads a bit like an Excel spreadsheet with column 1 being the names of all elected officials and political operatives and column 2 being their vig. The sheer magnitude of the grift is nauseating. I am in contact with Peter and expressed my condolences for his depressing life prowling the Swamp.35

The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower by Michael Pillsbury.

Michael is an ex-CIA agent—if there is such a thing as an ex-CIA agent—who was the man in China. Of course, this narrative was vetted so caveat emptor. With that said, he describes Mao’s hundred-year plan to re-enter the world of global politics and become the dominant power within 100 years. You will not find such long-range thinking in the West although some people are old enough to have done so. In the event, Pillsbury claims to have completely misjudged China’s approach for the first 25 years of his career. He emphasizes their penchant for patience and deception. Everybody does this in warfare, but the Chinese have brought it to a Sun-Tzu-like art-of-war level. They avoid at all costs taking on a strong opponent directly. And, you may have noticed, China does not have a history of offensive warfare. They defend themselves.36

Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America by Charles Murray

I am a Charles Murray fan. (Incoming!) I loved Coming Apart. This short treatise on the invasion by neo-Marxists was enjoyable. I recommend you read Doug Murray’s book (no relation) instead.37

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Noam Chomsky

Noam was being Noam. He is a detail guy, sometimes at the expense of the reader. This 1980’s vintage treatise focuses on the bullshit we were fed as the US overthrew various banana republics. Alas, it was scholarly but dry. I would recommend Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer. It is an easy read, describing our aversion to democracies around the world. (We tolerate some, but prefer to work with cigar-toting dictators.) Noam had a huge influence on Taibbi’s thinking. I know Noam is a commie and went totally off the rails on Covid, but he is still a genius worthy of your attention.38

Propaganda by Edward Bernays.

Continuing with my propaganda theme and its relationship to rising authoritarianism, I went straight to the 1926 seminal treatise on the field. Ed figured out how to sell pianos to the wealthy, cigarettes to women, and refrigerators to eskimos. He describes how the entire populace is immersed in propaganda and how it works. I cannot say it was my favorite book but a must read for those professing to care about enroaching authoritarianism. (If you can’t see it, I cannot help you.) The funny part was that he kept saying politicians hadn’t yet figured out how to exploit the tools. Well, Eddie: they certainly corrected that little gap in their knowledge. I have since discovered that the spooks exploited Ed and his ideas too.39

The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt.

My authoritarian theme dragged me to the pinnacle of the field. Hannah is a legend. Unfortunately, her writing is brutal. I chatted with a friend who spent two years in an attic hiding from the Nazis who is a genius (Nobel Prize and all). He said she was difficult to read. It is a must for some but tough on me.40

The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down by Colin Woodard.

Arrrgh. This was a fun read about the pirates who set up shop in the Caribbean with a strong emphasis on their empire’s home base at Nassau. The 17th century pirates are not well documented. Their booty—Spanish gold—raises a question: if you steal gold and you are stuck in the Caribbean, what do you do with it? As the piracy market evolved, the quality of the booty decreased. Grabbing linen and barrels of some marginally edible crap is less exciting and profitable than bullion from galleons. As the story goes, life on a pirate ship was considerably more enjoyable than on a sovereign naval ship. The book dovetails well with Eric Jay Dolan’s Leviathan that describes the growth of the whaling industry and how it founded the New England industrial juggernaut.41

What Darwin Didn’t Know: The Modern Science of Evolution by Scott Solomon.

As a genetics major I had a particular affinity for evolutionary theory. This trimester-length course from the Great Courses Series (see Amazon) was really enjoyable. After wandering through the historical backdrop of evolutionary theory, it brings the listener up to speed on what has changed and the revolutionary new advances in the field. I suspect it is friendly to the non-scientist, but I could be wrong.42

Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections by Mollie Hemingway.

I decided to take a retrospective look into the 2020 election after my pulse had dropped a few notches. Mollie presents a one-sided view of the tricks of electioneering. You have three choices: (a) assume what she says is bullshit, (b) assume both sides do it, and there are just as many bad stories about the right she skipped over, or (c) reconcile why the Democrats are just so much more devious than republicans. I followed the story closely and found it credible and comfortably within the guard rails. The Republicans appear to be outplayed, even though I am confident they do nefarious things to corrupt elections (like place polling stations in horrible places). I am confident that the 2020 election had no guard rails because too many people on both sides of the aisle convinced themselves that Trump was the second coming of Hitler. I also distinguished “corrupted” where profound biases leaned heavily to achieve an outcome from “rigged” where the actual voting process was broken profoundly. Hemmingway’s narrative provides a convincing tale of corruption. Some of the stories are horrifying while all of the stories, when put together in one narrative, are nauseating. The case that it was rigged is speculative: the opportunity to rig it was there, but is the evidence that it was rigged undeniable? No. I fall back on the belief, however, that if it could be rigged, they rigged it. Every other imaginable attempt to pull Trump out of power was used. I doubt they would overlook any possibility. As an audiobook, it was fine. I am not sure I would want to take valuable reading time to rehash this sordid chapter of history.43

Tyler Durden Sun, 12/24/2023 - 16:40
Published:12/24/2023 4:03:59 PM
[Uncategorized] Report: Obama ‘Lobbied’ for Harvard President Gay After Her Horrible Appearance at Antisemitism Hearing

Top person of Harvard's governing board is Penny Pritzker, former Obama commerce secretary.

The post Report: Obama ‘Lobbied’ for Harvard President Gay After Her Horrible Appearance at Antisemitism Hearing first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:12/23/2023 11:29:13 AM
[World] Joe Biden reveals who convinced him to join Obama's ticket: 'I don't wanna be vice president' President Joe Biden said in a recent interview that he was hesitant to join former President Barack Obama’s Democratic ticket in 2008, revealing his mother pushed him to serve. Published:12/21/2023 8:53:40 AM
[Markets] Final Q3 GDP, Personal Consumption Revised Sharply Lower As Core PCE Slumped To 2.0% Final Q3 GDP, Personal Consumption Revised Sharply Lower As Core PCE Slumped To 2.0%

Normally the market could care less about data that is at least 3 months old, like for example today's 3rd estimate of Q3 GDP for the quarter ended Sept 30 or, well, three months ago, but on days like today when algos are desperate for bad news to validate the Fed's dovish pivot and extend on premarket gains, it appears that everyone ignored the very strong initial claims print which came in near record lows...

... and instead focused exclusively on both the GDP number, which at 4.9% (or 4.86% to be precise) was revised sharply lower from the 5.2% reported in the 2nd estimate (and below the 5.2% estimate), as well as the Core PCE Print which at 2.0% was a big drop from the 2.3% previously (and expected) and right in line with the Fed's inflation target.

According to the BEA, "the increase in the third quarter primarily reflected increases in consumer spending and inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased."

The update from the “second” estimate reflected downward revisions to consumer spending, inventory investment, and exports that were partly offset by upward revisions to state and local government, business investment, housing investment, and federal government spending. Here are some more details:

  • Personal consumption was revised down to 2.11% of the bottom line GDP print, from 2.44% in the second estimate and 2.69% in the first. So par for the course for the Obama 3.0 Biden admin.
  • Fixed Investment was 0.46% of GDP, up from 0.42%
  • Change to Private Inventories added 1.27%, down from 1.40% previously
  • Net exports were a tiny contribution of 0.03% (0.59% exports vs -0.56% imports), a flip from the modest drag of -0.04% in the second estimate
  • Government consumption added 0.99%, up from 0.94% in the second estimate

Visually, the data looked like this:

In Q3, the value added of private goods-producing industries increased 10.2 percent, private services-producing industries increased 4.1 percent, and government increased 2.0 percent. Overall, 14 of 22 industry groups contributed to the third-quarter increase in real GDP.

  • Within private goods-producing industries, the increase was led by nondurable goods manufacturing and construction.
  • Within private services-producing industries, the increase was led by retail trade, information, and finance and insurance. Partly offsetting these increases was a decrease in utilities.
  • The increase in government reflected an increase in state and local government that was partly offset by a decrease in federal government.

But even more important than the (meaningless) GDP components was the price data, which came far weaker than expected and was a notable drop from the previous estimate, to wit:

  • GDP Price Deflator 3.3%, Exp. 3.6%, Last 3.6%
  • PCE Prices 2.6%, Last 2.8%
  • Core PCE Price Deflator 2.0%, Exp. 2.3%, Last 2.3%

Translation: three months ago, when the Fed was still pointing to more rate hikes in 2023, core PCE had already fallen to the Fed's target and only the lack of "accurate" data is what apparently prevented the Fed from turning more dovish. Of course, the same lagged effect of accurate data is why the Fed's rate cuts will be coming just as inflation is once again starting to run away to the upside, guaranteeing a catastrophic repeat of the 1970s Arthur Burns Fed.

Tyler Durden Thu, 12/21/2023 - 09:11
Published:12/21/2023 8:26:13 AM
[Markets] What Donald Trump's Ukraine Strategy Could Look Like What Donald Trump's Ukraine Strategy Could Look Like

Authored by Lt. General (ret.) Keith Kellogg and Dan Negrea via The National Interest,

Far from abandoning Ukraine, a second Trump administration would lift restrictions on Ukrainian military aid in order to force a peace settlement...

Donald Trump has vowed that in a second presidential term, he would end the war in Ukraine “in twenty-four hours.” Mainstream analysts have dismissed the president’s statements as hyperbole, but there is a strong possibility that Trump will be back in the Oval Office in just over a year’s time. Foreign policy experts, therefore, should take the former President’s statements seriously and assess how a Trump administration might deal with the largest conflict in Europe since World War II.

Let us start by recognizing that Biden’s Ukraine strategy leaves much room for improvement. His weaknesses encouraged Putin to launch the invasion in the first place. Biden’s own Supreme Allied Commander in Europe assessed that Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan led to Putin’s decision to re-attack Ukraine. Biden’s feeble attempts at “integrated deterrence,” threatening sanctions and aid to Ukraine, failed in their intended purpose of deterring Putin’s aggression. 

Putin invaded Ukraine under both Obama and Biden, but he did not attack while Trump was president. Trump has stated that the Russia-Ukraine war would “never have happened” under his watch.

Following Putin’s invasion, Biden pursued an overly cautious wartime strategy. Instead of clearly defining a goal of victory, Biden vowed to help Ukraine “as long as it takes.” But this only raises the question: as long as it takes to do what? Biden should have provided Ukraine with the weapons it needed to win quickly, but instead, he was afraid of potential Russian “escalation” and provided a cautious IV-drip of arms. Biden opposed providing many major weapons systems, like tanks, aircraft, and long-range artillery before changing his mind. The result is that Ukraine has had enough weapons to fight but not enough to win.

Biden’s revealed wartime strategy was to spend billions of dollars only to produce a bloody and inconclusive stalemate.

In contrast, based exclusively on his public statements, one can divine a very different Trump doctrine for Ukraine. He has argued that he would use his personal relationship with Zelenskyy and Putin to negotiate a settlement to the conflict “in one day.” The one-day timeframe may be overly ambitious as neither Putin nor Zelenskyy has expressed an interest in a negotiated settlement. Both sides appear to believe that they can still prevail on the battlefield.

But Trump’s proposed approach could change that calculation. Trump said, “I would tell Putin, if you don’t make a deal, we’re going to give him a lot. We’re going to give [Ukraine] more than they ever got if we have to.”

Trump’s past actions make that threat credible. While in office, Trump showed that he was willing to push boundaries, lifting Obama-era restrictions on the rules of engagement in the fight against ISIS and killing Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. If Putin refuses to negotiate, Trump might very well remove the Biden-eras constraints on arms transfers and give Ukraine the weapons it needs to win, including long-range weapons to strike within Crimea and Russia. If faced with the prospect of a costly military defeat, Putin may very well prefer negotiations. 

To bring Kyiv to the table, Trump said, “I would tell Zelenskyy, ‘no more.’ You got to make a deal.” Ukraine can only sustain the war effort due to large-scale Western support, and the prospect of losing aid would be a strong inducement to negotiation.

A ceasefire along the current lines and subsequent negotiations would preserve a sovereign, democratic Ukraine anchored in the West and capable of defending itself. Kyiv would maintain its internationally-recognized claims to sovereignty over all of Ukraine. A halt to hostilities would also facilitate the provision of reliable security guarantees, including possible NATO and EU membership, to deter Russia from resuming the conflict.?While less satisfying than (what increasingly appears to be an unachievable) total military victory, this outcome would represent a strategic defeat for Russia and a strengthening of American national security and the Western alliance.

Some Republicans argue that the Ukraine conflict is a European matter of no consequence to the United States. Strategically, as his public comments reinforce, Trump disagrees. He sees ending the war as a major foreign policy issue—one that he plans to accomplish on day one.

Tyler Durden Wed, 12/20/2023 - 23:40
Published:12/20/2023 11:38:07 PM
[Markets] Actually Axios, An Unproductive Congress Is A Good Thing  Actually Axios, An Unproductive Congress Is A Good Thing 

New data from analytics firm Quorum shows that the 118th Congress is on the verge of becoming the least productive in decades, possibly even in history. Interestingly, this is being viewed negatively by Axios journalists, who seemingly do not understand that internal conflicts within the House Republican majority have been a blessing in disguise that has only slowed down the federal government's ability to enact new legislation in a climate of overregulation weighing on economic productivity. 

"Just 20 bills have been passed by both chambers and signed into law this year, with another four currently awaiting President Biden's signature," Axios journalist Andrew Solender wrote. 

Solender continued, "That's far below even historically unproductive first years: The 104th, 112th and 113th Congresses, in which Republicans controlled one or both chambers with Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in the White House, passed between 70 and 73 laws." 

Source: Axios

X users state an unproductive federal government is a blessing: 

According to a recent report by the center-right think tank American Action Forum, the Biden administration has increased the regulatory burden by $318 billion in total costs and more than 218 million hours of paperwork in the last two years (as of May of this year). 

AAF noted, "An increased regulatory burden erects barriers to entry that are negatively associated with firm births, firm deaths, and increased profits among incumbent firms – meaning regulations inhibit new market entrants while cementing the position of existing firms." 

Fewer regulations are a start; as one X user pointed out, "Now do the spending." 

Tyler Durden Tue, 12/19/2023 - 21:45
Published:12/19/2023 8:52:56 PM
[Markets] The Democratic 'Party Of Chaos' Has Two Reasons To Be Really Afraid... The Democratic 'Party Of Chaos' Has Two Reasons To Be Really Afraid...

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

In the Game of Strip Poker, Someone Ends Up Naked

“Time for Us to wake up. The choice could not be more clear. If you want a Fascist Dictatorship, choose Trump. If you want to preserve American Democracy, choose President Biden.”

- Hollywood pundit Rob Reiner on X

“Joe Biden,” is only the most obviously weak device in the feckless and misbegotten regime installed via the blob’s US color revolution of 2020. This sort of coup d’état, you understand, was well-rehearsed by our combined intel, 4-gen war, and propaganda units over prior decades in fractious foreign places like Kyrgyzstan (2005), Egypt (2011), and Ukraine (2014). So, it was only a matter of time before these geniuses turned their political black magic on the home front, against their own citizens. But wasn’t it ol’ Karl Marx himself who observed that tragic history repeats as farce?

Thus, the farcical pageant, in a land of fake everything, of America’s fake government attempting to rescue itself from the web of lies and subterfuge it so cleverly spun for itself to keep all its sundry rackets going. For instance: the preposterous idea that “Joe Biden” is running for reelection. Does anybody over age seven, even in Beverly Hills, believe this whopper? I doubt it.

But the absurd meme is repeated endlessly in the relic newspapers and floundering cable news channels, and for one reason: elite members in the party behind all this mischief - that is, the Democratic Party of Chaos - are desperate to avoid prosecution for things like seditious conspiracy to defraud the electorate, bribery, and treason.

They have two reasons to be really afraid.

  • One, of course, is Donald Trump, the once and increasingly probable future president,

  • and Bobby Kennedy, the outsider warrior personifying America’s erstwhile interest in the eternal verities.

Both of them promise to bring a heavy hand down on the coupsters, going back to the coup preliminaries in the Obama White House, and including the Clintons, more than one US attorney general and their adjutants, a groaning raft of former and current high officials in and around the blob’s vicious intel “community,” and the public health rogues who engineered the Covid-19 fraud and vaccine crime.

The blob’s weakness and idiocy are clearly on display in the four court cases against Mr. Trump, which look like a cartoon of thieves throwing stuff out of a hijacked furniture truck at the cars in pursuit behind them. There’s DA Alvin Bragg’s joke case in Manhattan around the dead-on-arrival Stormy Daniels business. End-of-story, as T0ny Soprano always liked to say. New York’s AG, Letitia James, vowed to get Mr. Trump on something, anything, while electioneering, and delivered a bullshit case to Judge Arthur Engoron that is sure to get tossed on appeal - and will eventually get both Ms. James and the Judge disbarred (and possibly prosecuted) for their trouble. There’s Fulton County (GA) DA Fani Willis’s laughable RICO rap against Trump, Guiliani, et al,. for complaining about the obviously janky ballot-counting activity there in 2020.

And then, there are US AG Merrick Garland’s two cases against the former president.

The DC case brought under Special Counsel Jack Smith, claiming that Mr. Trump somehow led an “insurrection” at the US Capitol on 1/6/21. This turkey was rehearsed in earlier House J-6 Committee hearings, so shabbily staged that Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) arranged to have all the evidence destroyed (including witness deposition transcripts) as soon as the hearings wrapped. Mr. Trump’s defense is probably immaterial in Judge Tanya Chutkan’s DC courtroom. But one of the case’s main predicates, the law against “obstructing official proceedings,” is about to be adjudicated in the US Supreme Court involving convicted J-6 defendants. If the court tosses it, Jack Smith’s case goes out the window too. If not, and Mr. Trump is successfully railroaded by Judge Chutkin, you can be sure the appeal will be expedited to SCOTUS and die there. If there even is a trial before the election of 2024. In any case, Mr. Trump will still be on the ballot next November.

The second Garland / Jack Smith case is the most interesting. That would be the Mar-a-Lago documents case. According to the reporter who styles himself as “Sundance” at The Last Refuge news site, the purpose of the August 2022 Mar-a-Lago raid was not to seek classified documents at issue in a dispute between the former president and the National Archives — as the public has been given to understand by the blob’s news media. The actual purpose was to find a 10-inch-thick dossier of documents collected over many months by Mr. Trump’s deputies to be used in future prosecutions of DOJ, FBI, and other officials and private persons (including Hillary Clinton, the DNC, the DNC’s law firm Perkins Coie,) who were implicated in the Russia collusion hoax, especially after the failure of Special Counsel John Durham to even depose many of these parties and persons.

There were apparently many copies made of Mr. Trump’s dossier, and distributed among anti-blobsters, but these were all heavily redacted - names were all blacked out. The binder at Mar-a-Lago was unredacted and this was what the FBI was after in the August 2022 raid. Is there any chance by now that the FBI hasn’t disposed of 10,000 emails and documents that were in its possession pertaining to the Russia hoax and other crimes? Do you suppose that the unredacted Trump dossier was the only copy? I wouldn’t.

So far, Mr. Trump and his lawyers have not mentioned this. Why wouldn’t they play this hand close to the chest?

Will it be consequential in the long and tortured course of things? What do you think?

*  *  *

Support his blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page or Substack

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/18/2023 - 16:20
Published:12/18/2023 3:30:28 PM
[Uncategorized] Biden’s Daughter Ashley Owes $5,000 in Income Taxes in Pennsylvania

"The period start date listed on the lien begins Jan. 1, 2015 – when Joe Biden was vice president in the Obama administration – and ends Jan. 1, 2021, days before he was sworn in as president."

The post Biden’s Daughter Ashley Owes $5,000 in Income Taxes in Pennsylvania first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:12/18/2023 10:53:16 AM
[Editorial Cartoons] The Naked Truth

by A.F. Branco at CDN -

A.F. Branco Cartoon Obama’s Comments lately have exposed negative feelings toward Israel and now explain some of his actions in the past as president. See more Branco toons HERE!

Click to read the rest HERE-> The Naked Truth first posted at Conservative Daily News

Published:12/18/2023 4:26:36 AM
[2024 Election] Report: Barack Obama Fears Joe Biden 'Could Lose the White House' Next Year U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (L) speaks as President Barack Obama (R) listens during a meeting to release the Cancer Moonshot Report in the Oval Office of the White House October 17, 2016 in Washington, DC. Vice President Biden released the report, which focused on speeding up the development of battling the deadly disease. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
President Joe Biden is seeing out the end of 2023 with multiple crises across a variety of fronts - political and personal - causing some at the very zenith of his own party to doubt his ability to hold the White House in 2024.
Published:12/17/2023 9:55:58 AM
[Markets] Congress Approves Bill (Aimed At Trump) To Prevent Any President From Exiting NATO Congress Approves Bill (Aimed At Trump) To Prevent Any President From Exiting NATO

Buried within the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was just passed in both the House and Senate is an amendment which aims to prevent any future president from withdrawing the United States from NATO.

One of the legislation's co-sponsors Tim Kaine (D-VA) described that it "reaffirms US support for this crucial alliance that is foundational for our national security. It also sends a strong message to authoritarians around the world that the free world remains united."

Of course, none of these Democrats and Congressional hawks are worried for a moment that President Biden would ever entertain the idea of leaving NATO, but this is certainly a scenario Republican presidential nominee frontrunner Donald Trump has floated at various times over the years. The bipartisan legislation was also led by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

Trump has in recent weeks said it's something he would consider if reelected to office. He's long called the Western military alliance which stood down the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War a "paper tiger" at this point.

Via Reuters

He spent his first term aggressively denouncing NATO members which had failed to meet the alliance's commitment to spending at least 2% of GDP on their defense budget.

As early as the year 2000, Trump has been on record as favoring the idea, for example writing in is book The America We Deserve that "pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually."

On the other side of this is Biden who has called the NATO pact "sacred". But Trump has long criticized the kind of Washington foreign military adventurism that being at the helm of the alliance invites. From endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to NATO spearheading regime change operations from Libya to Syria, Trump and his supporters have lambasted such quagmires. But in reality it's more often Washington that conducts military adventurism under the guise of 'international support' via NATO (for example, Obama's Libya intervention used NATO as a fig leaf).

In response, the Biden administration has played the 'Russiagate' card and smeared Trump with cozying up to Putin, including in a statement in October:

“Donald Trump's threats to weaken NATO and side with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin undermine America’s strength on the global stage and threaten our national security,” campaign spokesman Ammar Moussa said in a statement. “As president, Donald Trump spent four years cozying up to dictators and making our country less safe. The idea that he would abandon our allies if he doesn't get his way underscores what we already know to be true about Donald Trump: The only person he cares about is himself. And, it’s exactly why Donald Trump shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office.”

Yet the reality remains that NATO expanded into Montenegro and North Macedonia during the years of the Trump presidency - and Trump's vows to negotiate an end to the Russia-Ukraine war would likely be predicated on maintaining a powerful NATO to use as leverage.

Still, Trump's past rhetoric has clearly made Congressional leaders and deep state hawks very nervous. It seems they are also preparing for a potential Trump victory in 2024.

Tyler Durden Sun, 12/17/2023 - 07:35
Published:12/17/2023 6:52:51 AM
[World] Obama and Biden reunite for healthcare enrollment push — and take a subtle dig at Trump Barack Obama is back, at least for one day. Published:12/15/2023 10:36:27 AM
[Uncategorized] House Approves Impeachment Inquiry Into President Joe Biden

The House of Representatives voted along party lines to authorize the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, 221-212. The Oversight, Ways & Means, and Judiciary Committees claim Biden used “his office of vice president in the Obama administration to enrich his family through foreign businesses.”...

The post House Approves Impeachment Inquiry Into President Joe Biden first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:12/13/2023 5:54:22 PM
[Markets] Last Rights: The Death Of American Liberty Last Rights: The Death Of American Liberty

Authored by James Bovard,

This is the first chapter of James Bovard's new book: "Last Rights: The Deeath of American Liberty"

CHAPTER ONE: TYRANNY COMES TO MAIN STREET

Americans today have the “freedom” to be fleeced, groped, wiretapped, injected, censored, injected, ticketed, disarmed, beaten, vilified, detained, and maybe shot by government agents. Politicians are hell-bent on protecting citizens against everything except Uncle Sam. Is America becoming a Cage Keeper Democracy where voters merely ratify the latest demolition of their rights and liberties?

“We live in a world in which everything has been criminalized,” warned Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. There are now more than 5,200 separate federal criminal offenses, a 36% increase since the 1990s, along with tens of thousands of state and local crimes. More laws mean more violators who can be harshly punished on command, resulting in the arrests of more than 10 million Americans each year. Thanks to the Supreme Court, police can lock up anyone accused of “even a very minor criminal offense” such as an unbuckled seatbelt.

The Founding Fathers saw property rights as “the guardian of every other right.” But today’s politicians never lack a pretext for plundering private citizens. Despite being charged with no crime, half a million Americans have been robbed by government agents on the nation’s sidewalks, highways, and airports in recent decades. Federal law enforcement agencies arbitrarily confiscate more property from Americans each year than all the burglars steal nationwide. The IRS pilfered more cash from private bank accounts because of alleged paperwork errors than the total looted by bank robbers nationwide. Federal bureaucrats blocked landowners from farming or building on a hundred million acres of their own property because of puddles, ditches, or other suspected wet spots.

Police have killed more than 25,000 citizens since the turn of the century, but the federal government does not even bother compiling a body count. SWAT teams use battering rams and flash-bang grenades to attack 50,000 homes a year, routinely terrorizing people suspected of dastardly crimes like spraying graffiti or running poker games. Cops in many cities have been caught planting guns on hapless targets, while corrupt police labs fabricated tens of thousands of bogus drug convictions. Police unions have more sway over government policy than anyone on the wrong end of a baton or Taser. Despite perpetual promises of reform, most police who brutalize private citizens still automatically receive legal immunity. Federal Judge Don Willett derided the “Constitution-free zone” courts created where “individuals whose constitutional rights are violated at the hands of federal officers are essentially remedy-less.”

Gun owners are America’s fastest-growing criminal class. One state after another is enacting “Show us the gun and we’ll find the crime” laws. Judges and politicians are justifying mass disarmament in the name of “freedom from fear” — as if no one will be safe until government controls every trigger. Federal agencies consider all 20+ million marijuana users who own firearms to be felons (unless their last name is Biden). Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden both retroactively outlawed widely-owned firearm accessories, creating new legions of potential jailbirds. At the same time many federal agencies are stockpiling automatic weapons, Biden calls for banning semiautomatic pistols and rifles owned by 50 million Americans.

Politicians and bureaucrats exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to forbid any activities they chose, from going to church to buying garden seeds. Governors in most states effectively banned hundreds of millions of citizens from leaving their homes. Shutting down entire states was the equivalent of sacrificing virgins to appease angry viral gods. In Los Angeles, citizens were prohibited from going outside for a walk or bike ride. Tens of thousands of small businesses were bankrupted by shutdown orders, while federal “relief” spurred a $600 billion worldwide fraud stampede. Most Americans suffered COVID infections despite government decrees that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito labeled “previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.” Government officials endlessly invoked “science and data” to sanctify their power. But many pandemic policies were simply Political Science 101, using deceit and demagoguery to domineer humanity.

Government decrees are blighting more lives than ever before. Vague laws convert bureaucrats into czars who dictate as they please. More than a thousand occupations have been closed to anyone who fails to kowtow to absurd state licensing requirements, from fortune tellers in Massachusetts to anyone rubbing feet in Arizona. Tens of thousands of drivers have been injured and hundreds killed thanks to red light traffic ticket cameras notorious for multiplying collisions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made it a federal crime to refuse to hire ex-convicts. The Americans with Disabilities Act has spurred half a million “discrimination” lawsuits, including by narcoleptics who fell asleep on the job and by a deaf guy outraged about missing captions on porn videos.

Schoolchildren are being sacrificed on an altar of social justice. From No Child Left Behind to Common Core, federal dictates have subverted academic standards and squandered billions of hours of kids’ lives. Teacher unions have worked to destroy local control of education, prevent teacher accountability, deny parents any voice in their children’s education, and pointlessly shut down schools during the pandemic. In lieu of literacy, government schools are redefining gender and indoctrinating kids with values that many parents detest. When mothers and fathers raised hell at school board meetings, the Biden administration and the FBI labeled them as terrorist suspects.

Politicians are increasingly dividing Americans into two classes — those who work for a living and those who vote for a living. Subsidy programs have multiplied even faster than congressional ethics scandals. Federal aid propelled college tuition increases that turned ex-students into a new debtor class endlessly clamoring for relief. Farm subsidies wreak chaos in markets while providing a gravy train for affluent landowners. Federal mortgage policies have been “wrecking ball benevolence,” whipsawing the housing market and spawning the 2007–08 collapse that reduced the net worth of black and Hispanic households by 50%. The number of handout recipients has more than doubled since 1983, and the feds are now feeding more than 100 million Americans. Government grants are eventually followed by government restrictions, and dependence often turns into submission. The ultimate victim of handouts could be democracy itself: politicians cannot undermine self-reliance without subverting self-government.

While politicians boast of bestowing freebies, taxes have become a financial Grim Reaper. The Internal Revenue Service is Washington’s ultimate sacred cow because it delivers trillions of dollars to allow politicians to work miracles (or at least get re-elected). Americans are forced to pay more in taxes than their total spending on food, clothing, and housing. Tax codes have become inscrutable at the same time the IRS pummels people with ten times more penalties than in earlier decades. The Biden administration is racing to hire 87,000 new IRS agents and employees to squeeze far more money out of both rich and poor taxpayers. Inflation has become the cruelest tax as the dollar’s purchasing power fell 17% since Biden took office, fleecing any citizen with a savings account.

The federal government is generating so many absurdities nowadays that even cynics cannot keep up. The Transportation Security Administration epitomizes Washington’s boneheaded command-and-control approach to modern perils. TSA’s Whole Body Scanners doused tens of millions of travelers with radiation while taking nude pictures of them. TSA’s groin-grabbing “enhanced pat-downs” spark thousands of sexual assault complaints from women every year. TSA terrorist profiles have warned of travelers who are either staring intently or avoiding eye contact, or who fidget, yawn, or sweat heavily; anyone who is whistling and/or staring at their feet; Boston blacks wearing backward baseball caps; and anyone who “expresses contempt” for TSA Security Theater antics.

Federal surveillance leaves no refuge for dissent. Government agencies are secretly accumulating mountains of data that could be used for “blackmail, stalking, harassment and public shaming” of American citizens, according to a 2023 federal report. The National Security Agency has stalked Americans via their cellphones, covertly installed spyware onto personal computers, and treated anyone “searching the Web for suspicious stuff” like a terrorist suspect. The Patriot Act spurred the illegal seizure of personal and financial information from tens of millions of Americans. Customs agents can seize and copy the cellphones, laptop drives, and private papers of any American crossing the U.S. border. The Drug Enforcement Administration is building a secret nationwide network of license plate scanners to track every driver. Federally funded “fusion centers” are stockpiling Suspicious Activity Reports on tourists who photograph landmarks, “people who avoid eye contact,” and anyone “reverent of individual liberty.” The FBI’s “terrorist warning signs” include hotel guests using “Do Not Disturb” signs and the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

At the same time spying on citizens skyrocketed, Washington dropped an Iron Curtain around itself. The government is committing more crimes than citizens will ever know. Whistleblowers and journalists are hounded as if exposing official lies is a heresy against democracy. Every year, the federal government slaps a “secret” label on trillions of pages of information — enough to fill 20 million filing cabinets. Any document which is classified is treated like a holy relic that cannot be exposed without damning the nation. Self-government has been defined down to paying, obeying, and wearing a federal blindfold. There are plenty of laws to protect government secrets but no law to protect democracy from federal secrecy.

The First Amendment is becoming a historic relic. Federal Judge Terry Doughty recently condemned the Biden administration for potentially “the most massive attack against free speech in United States history.” That verdict was ratified in September 2023 by a federal appeals court ruling slamming the White House and federal agencies for actions that resulted in “suppressing millions of protected free speech postings by American citizens.” Federal agencies pirouetted as a “Ministry of Truth,” according to the court rulings. Censorship converts citizens into captives. Federal censorship tainted the 2020 and 2022 elections, suppressing tens of millions of tweets, YouTube videos, and Facebook posts from conservatives and Republicans. White House officials even ordered Facebook to delete humorous memes, including a parody of a future television ad: “Did you or a loved one take the COVID vaccine? You may be entitled…”

Rather than the Rule of Law, we have a government of threats, intimidation, and browbeating. “Government of the people” defaulted into “government for the people,” which degenerated into perennially punishing people for their own good. Twenty-five years ago, Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned against permitting federal agencies “the extraordinary authority… to manufacture crimes.” Entrapment schemes proliferate as G-men fabricate crimes to justify budget increases. The FBI, pretending that rosary beads could be extremist symbols, is targeting traditional Catholics across the nation because of their conservative moral values. The FBI entitles its legions of confidential informants to commit more than 5,000 crimes a year, dragging many unlucky bystanders to their legal doom. The number of inmates in federal prison increased 500% since 1980, and America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Politicians are more anxious to control citizens than to protect them. More people are busted each year for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, while the futile War on Drugs causes more fatalities than ever before.

Every recent administration has expanded and exploited the dictatorial potential of the presidency. Former President Richard Nixon shocked Americans in 1977 when he asserted during a television interview: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” But Nixon’s slogan is the Oval Office maxim for the new millennium. Presidents now only need to find a single federal lawyer who says, “Yes, Master!” President George W. Bush’s lawyers secretly decided that neither federal law nor the Constitution could limit the power of the president, who could declare martial law or authorize torture at his whim. President Barack Obama claimed a prerogative to assassinate Americans he labeled terrorist suspects. President Donald Trump boasted of “an absolute right to do what I want to with the Justice Department.” In 2022, President Biden proclaimed that “liberty is under assault.” But he was referring solely to a few court rulings he disapproved, not to the federal supremacy he championed for almost 50 years in the Senate and the White House.

The authoritarian trendline in American political life is more important than the name or party of any officeholder. “One precedent in favor of power is stronger than a hundred against it,” as Thomas Jefferson warned during the American Revolution. Unfortunately, there are a hundred precedents in favor of government now for each precedent in favor of liberty. There is a “No harm, no foul” attitude towards violating the Constitution, and Washington almost always hides the harm. The sheer power of federal agencies such as the FBI is becoming one of the gravest perils to American democracy.

Elections are becoming demolition derbies that threaten to wreck the nation. Historian Henry Adams observed a century ago that politics “has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” Nowadays, politics seems hell-bent on multiplying hatred. Enraged activists are increasingly tarring all their opponents as traitors. Many of the protestors who spent years vehemently denouncing Trump were not opposed to dictators per se; they simply wanted different dictates. More than half of Americans expect a civil war “in the next few years,” according to a recent survey.

Americans are indoctrinated in public schools to presume that our national DNA guarantees that we will always be free. But few follies are more perilous than presuming that individual rights are safe in perpetuity. None of the arguments on why liberty is inevitable can explain why it is becoming an endangered species. Yet many people believe that liberty will inevitably triumph because of some “law of history” never enacted by God, a convocation of cardinals, or even the Arkansas state legislature. Presuming that freedom is our destiny lulls people against political predators.

Federal Judge Learned Hand warned in 1944: “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.” But Americans are more likely to encounter liberty in history books instead of their own lives. Many young people are unaware of bygone eras when Americans could travel without being groped, buy a beer or smoke a cigar without committing a federal offense, or protest without being quarantined in an Orwellian “free-speech zone.” Is the spirit of liberty dead? Almost a third of young American adults support installing mandatory government surveillance cameras in private homes to “reduce domestic violence, abuse, and other illegal activity.”

We have an Impunity Democracy in which government officials pay no price for their crimes. Americans today are more likely to believe in witches, ghosts, and astrology than to trust the federal government. Washington’s legitimacy is in tatters thanks to a long train of bipartisan perfidy. If government is lawless, elections merely designate the most dangerous criminals in the land.

At a time when foreign democracies are collapsing like dominos, can America avoid becoming the “elective despotism” the Founding Fathers dreaded? The first step to reviving liberty is to recognize how far politicians have stretched their power. But nothing can safeguard freedom except the bravery of citizens who refuse to be shackled.

Tyler Durden Tue, 12/12/2023 - 20:45
Published:12/12/2023 8:00:24 PM
[Markets] Not "Trump The Dictator" Again... Not "Trump The Dictator" Again...

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson,

It is “Trump Will Destroy Democracy” season again.

And predictably the Left has gone hysterical, after experiencing a trifecta of frightening 2024 news.

One, current polls in the primaries and in a general election for now show that Trump would win.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s popularity dives below 40 percent. His policies on the economy, abroad, at the border, concerning crime, and about energy poll even more feebly. Never has an American president utterly and deliberately destroyed immigration law for the sole purpose of inviting in millions of illegal aliens, to establish political constituencies supportive of agendas that otherwise have scant public support.

Two, unequivocal evidence is mounting that the Bidens are one of the most corrupt political families in American presidential history. Hunter, the Leona Helmsley of our times, is now indicted for massive tax evasion, despite his earlier, government-aided efforts of running out the statute of limitations on the full array of his crimes.

When asked about his grifting, Biden angrily denies the undeniable. He can only become animated these days, when asked to square his denials about knowing what Hunter was up to with a multitude of facts and data to the contrary. And so in exasperation he shouts, “Lies!,” “Lies!,” and “Lies!”

There is now conclusive proof that Biden himself lied repeatedly when he swore that he knew nothing about his wayward son Hunter’s grifting business. He used several aliases to communicate directly with his son’s grifting and quid pro quo partners.

Canceled checks show the president was paid substantial sums by family members after they received money from foreign governments—for nothing other than being related to the future president. The pay-offs were hidden by “loan repayment” lies; no one expects ever to find any such evidence that there were formal loan documents or agreements between Biden and his family.

Former Hunter Biden associates, explicit messaging on his laptop, IRS whistleblowers, and bank records all explain why an opulent Joe Biden enjoyed a lifestyle impossible on either a senator’s or Vice President’s salary. While Biden toured the country sermonizing that the rich must “pay their fair share,” it is increasingly likely that he had received huge amounts from foreign governments eager to purchase him as an influencer—and never paid taxes on such occult income.

Three, Joe Biden’s cognitive decline and feebleness have reached a point where he is one fall, one bad cold, or one long brain-freeze away from incapacity. He clearly is not running the country. How could he be, when he cannot finish a sentence without mangling the syntax, slurring the vocabulary, and confusing his listeners?

So Biden’s blank stares lengthen. His disorientation and uncertainty where to enter and exit occur hourly. And his bizarre, repulsive fixation with young girls, and his desire to call them out, hug them, breathe on their hair, or nuzzle their necks become all the more embarrassing. Had a U.S. senator engaged in such reprehensible behavior he would long ago have been censored.

Add all this news up that Biden is fading, Trump apparently is outpolling him, and suddenly the Left has rebooted the tired “Trump will destroy democracy” boilerplate.

Almost nightly now TV anchors warn of a dictatorship. Columnists predict the “end of democracy.” Essayists vie to see who can become the most absurd in predicting Trump’s planned takeover America.

There are several considerations, however, about these bankrupt and discredited Nostradamuses that the American people should note—aside from the fact the “democracy will die” mob is the same herd that assured us of Russian collusion, laptop disinformation, and the integrity of the Biden family.

First, ex-president Trump is now a known quantity.

A comparison of his four years with the first three years of Biden’s tenure is instructive.

Biden’s border is nonexistent–and by design.

Eight-million illegal aliens—unaudited, from all over the world, the vast majority without legality, diversity, English, or skill sets—have swarmed the country to the extent that even swamped leftwing blue-state governors and mayors are opposed to the Biden nihilism.

Biden stopped catch-and-release, and phony refugee statuses, and pressured Mexico to patrol their side of the border. He destroyed immigration law as we knew it.

Biden’s flight from Afghanistan was the greatest foreign policy humiliation in modern American history. It destroyed U.S. deterrence and greenlighted Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine, Hamas to craft an intricate plan of slaughtering Israeli civilians, Iran to arm to the teeth its terrorist surrogates, and China to send a spy balloon over the U.S. and serially to threaten Taiwan. The common denominator abroad was a correct appraisal that Biden’s controllers would talk tough, but always equivocate.

There was zero inflation before Biden; 30-year mortgages were less than 2 percent. Now prices for staples like gas, food, power, health care and housing have spiked well over 30 percent since Biden took office. Mortgages are hitting 7 percent and the housing market is comatose. Real wages have eroded.

It seems hard to accuse Trump of being a dangerous demagogue when his four years saw effective government action on the economy, foreign policy, energy, and crime.

Afterall, was the Trump Middle-East Policy (e.g., branding Houthis as terrorists, the Abraham Accords, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, a non-negotiable Israeli Golan Heights, cutting off aid to Hamas, junking the Iran deal, slapping sanctions on Iranian oil, eliminating Soleimani, etc.) or Biden’s antithesis (sending money to Hamas, lifting sanctions on Iran, begging to reenter the Iran Deal, freeing the Houthis from their terrorist classification, cutting back on oil production, maligning/then courting Saudi Arabia, distancing from Israel, etc.) the more beneficial to the U.S. and the Middle East at large?

Two, who exactly has weaponized the government in dictatorial fashion?

Who by fiat pandered illegally to cancel student loans before a midterm, or suddenly drained the strategic petroleum reserve to lower gas prices before an election?

What do former FBI directors, former “intelligence authorities.” and the former Directors of National Intelligence and the CIA all have in common? They lied, often under oath, and always in service of weaponizing the government for political agendas.

Who hired a foreign national Christopher Steele to concoct a silly file of lies to destroy a political rival? Why did the FBI sequester the Hunter laptop for a year? Who subcontracted out Twitter for $3 million to suppress information deemed harmful to the Biden campaign? Who squashed an IRS investigation of the Biden family?

It was not the would-be dictator Donald Trump who secretly routed money to the Wuhan virology lab, and who then manipulated government agencies to hide that fact—at the expense of the welfare of the American people.

Who called up a former CIA director to round up 51 intelligence retirees to lie to sabotage an election? Did not the current national security advisor Jake Sullivan try to concoct the Alfa Bank ping ruse to destroy the Trump campaign and administration?

When a former Pentagon lawyer and military officers called for a military coup to remove Trump, for which political agenda were they working?

Did Trump prompt the acting Attorney General and FBI Director to consider in secret wearing a wire to entrap and remove a president through the 25th Amendment?

What was “Anonymous” about—if not to destroy an administration from within through use of the deep state bureaucracy?

Who coordinated Pfizer executives to delay announcement of the vaccine rollout until after the election to ensure Trump’s Operation Warp speed received no prelection credit?

Liberal journalist Molly Ball, in her notorious Time essay, outlined what she called a “cabal” and “conspiracy” to destroy the 2020 Trump reelection campaign and indeed his presidency, through modulating Antifa/BLM protests, suppression of the news, and huge infusions of corporate money to augment or indeed absorb the work of the registrars in key states.

Who exactly cooked up the phony Letitia James suit? Or the Alvin Bragg joke of an indictment? Or the weaponized Fani Wallis vendetta? Or the partisan and asymmetrical hunt of Jack Smith? Who impeached a president twice and tried him as a private citizen, without a report of a special counsel? Who revived the ossified Logan Act to destroy General Michael Flynn?

And who is trying to strip Trump’s name off the 2024 ballot, convinced that such a Third-world dictatorial effort can alone stop dictatorship?

In contrast, the supposed “dictator” Trump appointed a special counsel, Comey pal and insider Robert Mueller, to run a witch hunt against him for 22 months.

He did not fire Anthony Fauci who worked to undermine Trump at every turn, and used government monies to fund gain-of-function, dangerous viral research in China, while spending most of the Trump administration covering that fact up, most often by serially lying.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley despised Donald Trump to such an extent that he called his Chinese communist counterpart to advise him that he, Milley himself, would not follow a Trump order, should he deem it too dangerous, without warning the Chinese in advance. Milley faced no repercussions.

Nor did Trump fire immediately Comey when many called on him to go, given Comey’s effort to use the FBI in the 2016 election to undermine the Trump campaign and sabotage a FISA court.

Why did retired generals and admirals with impunity violate Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice by smearing their Command-in-Chief as a liar, Mussolini, Hitler-like, and deserving of early removal?  Were any even reminded that they were in violation of statutes? Is it a dangerous thing for the U.S. military to attack their civilian overseers and in private to negotiate with the communist Chinese military?

Most of the Russian collusion hoax was discussed in the waning days of the Obama administration inside the Oval Office, as Obama greenlighted illegal CIA and FBI involvements.

Who cooked up the idea that Mark Zuckerberg could infuse $419 million to warp balloting in key swing states?

What did Lois Lerner do as an IRS adjudicator, as the 2012 Obama reelection loomed?

Trump may well have at times trolled the Left wildly, but the Left seriously sought to undermine the government, cancel existing laws, lie under oath, deceive a federal judge, and enlist the FBI and CIA to conspire to destroy a presidential campaign. All that seems a bit dictatorial.

Three, after nearly nine years of Trump demonization - celebrities vying publicly with each to dream up ways of killing Trump (incineration, decapitation, shooting, stabbing, dismemberment, explosives, etc), lawfare used to deny the American public the right to vote for or against Trump, a deranged media shouting pseudo-conspiracies of “collusion” and “disinformation” for years, and billionaires spending hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure Trump was never elected or reelected or even on the ballot - why have the American people still not bought into the “dictator” Trump meme?

Is because they have enough common sense to grasp that those who protest too much, do so for obvious reasons?

In sum, we have seen a 24/7 effort of leftwing presidents, deep-state bureaucrats, and the media to break the law and weaponize the government. The only rationale for such illegality has been the sick notion that the ends of destroying the supposed “dictator” Trump justified any dictatorial means necessary to achieve them.

So what else is behind the latest epidemic of DNC talking points that spin Trump as an existential threat to democracy?

The Left knows that in dictatorial fashion it has turned a federal republic into a government run wild, lawless, and in service to partisan agendas. It again talks of what Trump will supposedly do only because the Left surely would do exactly what it accuses Trump of planning to do if it were Trump.

In other words, the Left projects itself onto Trump, and understandably finds itself all too terrifying.

Tyler Durden Tue, 12/12/2023 - 16:20
Published:12/12/2023 3:35:25 PM
[Politics & Ideas] Biden Passes ‘the Kishkes Test’
A striking contrast with Barack Obama.
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Published:12/12/2023 1:32:23 PM
[Politics] Hunter Biden’s Receipt of Obama Officials’ Personal Cell Numbers Undercuts White House Impeachment Defense

Emails reviewed by the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project bring new scrutiny to President Joe Biden’s claims of complete separation between himself and his son’s business... Read More

The post Hunter Biden’s Receipt of Obama Officials’ Personal Cell Numbers Undercuts White House Impeachment Defense appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:12/11/2023 12:40:48 PM
[Politics] [VIDEO] – New Obama-produced Netflix film takes a shot at “white people” There’s a new Netflix film about an apocalyptic cyber attack called “Leave The World Behind” which was produced, in part, by Barack and Michelle Obama. According to End Wokeness on X, the . . . Published:12/11/2023 11:41:51 AM
[Science] Some prophets can be accidental without being false This age of social media is also the age of the insta-celebrity. It’s an age in which in-person human connections are diminished in favor of unfulfilling cyber-relations, an era in which loneliness grows while religious faith shrinks. It is an age in which someone almost nobody had heard of in 2004 could get elected president in 2008, as former President Barack Obama once accurately mused that he served as a “blank slate” upon which people of multiple views could project their wishes. Published:12/11/2023 9:50:07 AM
[Markets] If You Didn’t Like The First Term, Just Wait For The Second If You Didn’t Like The First Term, Just Wait For The Second

Authored by Ron Faucheux via RealClear Wire,

Second presidential terms are like half-chewed gum – the zest and flavor are gone. Hence the phrase “second-term curse.” We’ve had 17 presidents who were elected and reelected. History shows us that the second act usually falls short.

Why is this? For starters, popular mandates tend to dissipate over time, and public familiarity tends to curdle into boredom or contempt. Second terms often lack purpose and are tarnished by missteps, scandals, and hubris. Usually, the best presidential appointments are made in the first term.

If either Joe Biden or Donald Trump is nominated, no matter which one wins the general election, we’re in for a second term in January 2025. Sharply negative views have already accumulated around both men; neither would have the benefit of a truly fresh start.

While Trump’s second term would be nonconsecutive, the first since Grover Cleveland’s, it would still fit within the second-term paradigm, especially if he uses it to exact revenge on his enemies, as some pundits predict.

Either Biden or Trump would start a second term as a lame duck and may have to battle impeachment,