Every year, friend-of-the-site David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year is no exception. Poignant and delightfully acerbic when necessary, considering the troubling times. As with past years, he selected Peak Prosperity as the site where it is published in full. It is longer than our usual posts, but worth the time to read in full. While each part stands on its own, and doesn’t need to be read in order, to read Part 1 click here, to read Part 2, click here. This is Part 3.
David B. Collum
Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology – Cornell University
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Twitter: @DavidBCollum
Part 1 – Crisis of Authority and the Age of Narratives
- My Year
- Investing – Gold, Energy, and Materials
- Gold and Silver
- The Economy
- The Fed
- Broken Markets
Part 2 – The Rise of Centralized Healthcare
- Covid – The Disease and Its Source
- The Great Maskdebate 2.0
- Ivermectin and Frontline Treatments
- Vaccine – The Risks
- Vaccine – The Rollout
Part 3 – Rise of Global Authoritarianism
I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.
~ Carl Sagan, 1995, apparently having invented a time machine
So, here we are at the third and final part of the 2021 Year in Review and it’s no longer 2021. Sorry about that pfuck-up. Think of it as not in 2021 but from 2021. You may have noticed that the first 200 pages (parts 1 and 2) were laced with a recurring catchphrase, “WTF is happening?” It was a literary device for noting that the events ceased to make sense within a conventional worldview, suggesting it is time to torch the old model and start anew. Our response to a disease that was killing a very small slice of the population was to sequester and vaccinate the entire population with an experimental drug of real but unquantified fatality rate. The apparent scientific illiteracy was not some mass psychosis. Y’all just got suckered by America’s Most Trusted Psychopathic Mass Murderer assisted by an epic media blitz sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry that had a distinct authoritarian quality.
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
~ Albert Einstein
During the brief period after uploading part 2 while grinding on this last portion, the Supreme Court took on the vaccine mandate issue, ruling that the only people forfeiting control of their own healthcare are the healthcare workersref 2 The court also illustrated their profound ignorance of the pandemic and what they were even charged to assess—the Constitutionality of mandates, not the efficacy.ref 3 The CEO of a major insurer reported a 40% spike in fatalities within the 18–65 age bracket that was not from Covid.ref 4 He said 10% would be a 3-sigma, once-every-200-year event: 40% is unheard of. Although he refrained from identifying a cause—deaths of despair, neglected healthcare, or a toxic vaccine—he knows precisely what did them in. They have been studying this stuff for centuries. I suspect his real message was that the insurance industry is about to contribute to inflation with rising premiums.
Meanwhile, the pathological liars running the covid grift decided after two years the masks you’ve been wearing served no medical purpose said that the vaccines don’t work either. Wait: who said the masks and vaccines don’t work?
We have known for many months that COVID-19 is airborne and therefore, a simple cloth mask is not going to cut it…Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations.
~ Leana Wen, MD, CNN medical expert with no admitted ties to the CCPref 5
Two doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection, if any. Three doses with a booster offer reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths. Less protection against infection.
~ Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEOref 6
Here is my most heartfelt response to them:
You psychopathic lying sacks of shit. You had us wear rags across our faces and put rags across the kids’ faces when clinical studies that could be read by people with half your IQs showed they were worthless. Suicide rates and other deaths of despair soared while you petty tyrants played your little games and generated billions of dollars of profits while destroying the middle class. You have maimed or killed an unknown number of gullible victims with your lockdowns, vaccines, remdesivir, and oppression of Ivermectin. You jammed a vaccine that bypassed animal trials into the fetuses of pregnant women, assuring them it was safe. If we spoke up, we got muzzled. If we refused the vaccine, we got fired. You should all hang from your necks until dead. I will piss on your graves.
I feel better already. Very refreshing. Meanwhile, many of my friends and colleagues look at the same data and say, “Oh. I guess I better get the booster and a KN95 mask.” You have got to unfuck yourselves. You’ve been duped. It will get worse.
The tactics used to oppress us would have made Stalin smirk. Australia was a beta test for what is to come in the rest of the west if we don’t wake up soon. They are gonna keep coming for one simple reason: we accepted it. We got bent over and squealed like pigs.
What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been.
~ Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works
A person is considered ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ by the community simply because he accepts most of its social standards and behavioral patterns; which means, in fact, that he is susceptible to suggestion and has been persuaded to go with the majority on most ordinary or extraordinary occasions.
~ William Sargant, in Battle of the Mind
Meanwhile, the financial world became even more dominated by central bankers who haven’t the slightest understanding of free-market capitalism. These twits or criminals—maybe both—have blown the most colossal bubble in history if you account for both price and breadth across the spectrum of asset classes. For the layperson, that means they have set us up for a colossal failure. Go back and re-read Valuations if you cannot picture the epic financial carnage lying dead ahead. The gap between the Fed funds rate and headline inflation has never been this large. These pinheads believe that if the markets do not coincide with their world views, the markets must be wrong. I am not an economist, but it appears that none of them are either. The notion that a dozen nitwits should set the most important price of them all—the price of capital—rather than letting the markets set it through price discovery is financial authoritarianism or what some call State Capitalism. I am angry in case it doesn’t show. Meanwhile, in 2020–21 the Fed contributed to destroying upwards of a half-million mom ’n’ pop businesses—they gutted the middle class—while giving BlackRock credit at 0.15% interest rates to buy up all their houses. Here is my advice to those day trading criminals: look both ways as you enter crosswalks. What I believe the response of society to a severe downturn given the current political climate will be epic. Big downturns come after euphorias. We have never entered a downturn with society at large this grumpy. We are in the early stages of The Fourth Turning.ref 7
The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.
~ Charles-Louis De Secondat
When a State has mortgaged all of its future revenues the State, by necessity, lapses into tranquility, langor, and impotence.
~ David Hume, 1752
So, WTF is going on here? In this final part, I address geopolitics. It begins with a relatively benign analysis of Biden’s first year in office, culminating with what I think Afghanistan is really about. The second section addresses my view of what may prove to be the most important day in US History—January 6, 2021. Although it is my best shot—Dave’s Narrative—I will not attempt to nor will I inadvertently spread the love to both sides of the political spectrum. It is a right-wing view that most right-wing politicians and pundits are too cowardly to state in polite company. The final section addresses the Rise of Global Authoritarianism. For a topic covered by thousands of treatises to call my knowledge skeletal is a reach. I have merely created an intellectual foundation—a chalk outline—to ponder why authoritarianism is here and what could stop it. (Plot spoiler: I do not believe it can be stopped.)
They know where we are, they know our names, they know from our iPhones if we’re on our way to the grocery store or not. But they haven’t acted on that to put people in camps yet. They could do it. We could be East Germany in weeks, in a month. Huge concentration camps and so forth.
~ Daniel Ellsberg (@DanielEllsberg), author of The Pentagon Papers and Secrets
Before moving on, let me give a plug for a book.ref 8 I have not even finished it yet, but it will change your worldview. Look at those ratings! I can guarantee none of those readers enjoyed it. Kennedy will curdle your bone marrow describing 35 years of atrocities commited by America’s Most Trusted Madman. It is emblematic of a much larger problem.
Evil is powerless if good men are unafraid – Americans don’t realize what they have to lose.
~ Ronald Reagan
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
~ H. L. Mencken
Biden – Freshman Year Scorecard
Let’s go, Brandon!
~ Cheers across America
Most presidents begin their reign with a calling. Reagan raised our national self-esteem after a period of economic and political malaise. Bush Sr. took on the Gulf War, for better or worse. Clinton oversaw the economic boom and bank deregulation, again for better or worse. Bush Jr. was handed 9/11 and, in my opinion, boned it badly. Obama had to wrestle with the Great Financial Crisis. Trump was charged with disturbing the peace—drain the swamp if you will. Biden undeniably needed to begin healing the social discord that, regardless of its source, left the country wounded and divided. Maybe that was not Biden’s calling, but I wanted to see him become the president of all the people. This is not revisionist history of my failing memory:
Biden’s the last of the Old Guard, which is probably why he was slipped into the office by the DNC old guard. I am guessing there will be no Supreme Court stacking; that was just rhetoric (I hope). There will be wars just like every president (except Trump, who brought troops home.) Congress is more balanced again and, at the time of this writing, the Senate is still in Republican hands. Hopefully, the gridlock will usher in some garden-variety dysfunction. I have subtle concerns about a Harris presidency. Admittedly, my opinion is based on precious few facts, but Harris displays a concerning shallowness of character, a lack of a moral compass, and the potential to slide to the left of Bernie. (I sometimes reflect on what it must have been like raising the teenaged Kamala.) I am trying to reserve judgment because first impressions scavenged from the digital world are sketchy if not worthless.
~ 2020 Year in Review
By this description, Biden tanked his GPA. He ushered in a Crusade to erase the Trump era and its supporters. The weaponizing of social media and censorship against one’s opponents was probably unavoidable, but the downside will be revealed when the wind changes. Team Biden took banishing of political opponents on social media to new levels by, as noted by Jen Psaki, flagging “problematic posts” and the “spread of disinformation” for censorship. NY Times lapdog Kevin Roose called for a “reality Czar,” not noticing the Russian metaphor problem. The War on Domestic Terror may prove to be a turning point in American history, one that risks extinguishing the flame of the Great American Experiment. Significant erosions of Constitutionally granted civil liberties discussed throughout the rest of this document may not have been Biden’s fault, but they occurred on his watch. If you see an injustice and remain silent, you own it. I can’t remain silent.
Biden is the epitome of the empty, amoral creature produced by our system of legalized bribery. His long political career in Congress was defined by representing the interests of big business, especially the credit card companies based in Delaware. He was nicknamed Senator Credit Card. He has always glibly told the public what it wants to hear and then sold them out.
~ Chris Hedges, right-wing hatchet man
Team Biden. Books have been written about Trump’s fumbles in the first months (or four years) of his presidency. See Josh Rogin’s Chaos Under Heaven in Books or Michael Lewis’ less balanced The Fifth Risk reviewed in last year’s YIR. The Cracker Jack team assembled for Joe reveals a glob of feisty alt-left activists and omnipresent neocons. According to Rickards, two dozen players on Biden’s roster were recruited from the consulting firm WestExec Advisors (including Psaki and Blinken.)ref 1 That’s power and groupthink.
David Axelrod: You must ask yourself, ‘Why are we allowing him to roll around in the hallways doing impromptu interviews?’
Jen Psaki: That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions.’
Young black entrepreneurs are just as capable of succeeding given the chance as white entrepreneurs are, but they don’t have lawyers; they don’t have accountants.
~ Joe Biden
- Joe Biden, President – Joe is the Big Guy. In an odd sense, he is immunized from criticism because he is visibly losing his marbles. His cognitive decline is on full display; this 52 seconds of gibberish about inflation is emblematic.ref 2 He’s 80 years old, for Cripes sake. I read a book this year entitled, When the Air Hits Your Brain, which derives from a neurosurgical aphorism that finishes with “you ain’t never the same.” Wanna guess who had two brain aneurysms (one rupturing) years ago leading to a miraculous recovery?ref 3
You’re the most famous African-American baseball player.
~ Joe Biden to the Pope, context unknown (possibly even a deep fake)ref 4
I am neither reveling in Joe’s problems nor do I believe he is calling the shots. Claims that the puppet master is Harris are, no offense, on the low side of clueless. Obama seems like a better guess but Barrack was a front man too. Having an impaired leader of a superpower, however, is disquieting and potentially destabilizing, especially with Taiwan in play.
Biden’s energy policy that clamped down on fossil fuel production only to ask OPEC to open the spigots is one for the ages. The covid policies bridging both administrations were catastrophic, but throwing workers out of jobs into the teeth of unprecedented labor shortages makes zero sense. The nouveau inflation—Bidenflation—may stick to him like it stuck to Jimmy Carter, but that is unfair to both presidents. Look to the Fed in both cases for blame. Troubles at the southern border and the Afghanistan pullout are a couple of serious logs for a raging inferno that represents Biden’s first year in office. As discussed in a later section, demonizing “white supremacists”—not just political opponents but opponents labeled by their race—will not be viewed well by historians unless history is at a serious fork and Joe is ultimately portrayed as the founder of some new Fatherland.
- Kamala Harris, Vice President – Whenever situations heat up, Harris is off like a prom dress. During the crisis at the border that she was charged with overseeing, she took off to Europe, cackling about never even visiting the border. Kamala endorsed and claimed credit for the Kabul evacuation.ref 5,6 Realizing she had pulled yet another boner she pulled out before they renamed it Kamalabad. (Hey: At least I had the decency to pass on the Kamalatoe joke.) In a moment of surreal comedy, Harris hosted a public chat with Bill Clinton on “empowering women.”ref 7 She can even serve up semi-reasonable ideas with dollops of cringe. If the Democrats nominate her in 2024, may God have mercy on their souls—she is unelectable—or maybe on our souls—I could be wrong.
- Jen Psaki, Press Secretary – The role of any press secretary is to calm the press down with nuggets of insight—to feed the birds. When that fails, lie your ass off, all with a cold, calculating sociopathy. I would say she did the best job imaginable given the hand she was dealt. Disagree? I’ll just have to circle back with you on that.
- Ron Klain, Whitehouse Chief of Staff – This guy might be the rainmaker, but I haven’t quite figured him out. He has the durability of Andrei Gromyko, maintaining a central role through three democratic administrations. Keep an eye on him.
- Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury – We have yet to find out Yellen’s role because she has not been pressed into service by a crisis. To resolve the minor “meme stock” bruhaha, which did not call for a resolution, she needed an ethics waiver owing to the soft corruption of her bank-sponsored million-dollar speaking tour. My expectations of her are quite low, and I imagine she will meet them.
- Antony Blinken, Secretary of State – He has a good resume. Like Psaki, he is forced to play a weak hand. He lacks Psaki’s skills.
- Jennifer Mulhern Granholm, US Energy Secretary – In a press conference she was asked how many barrels of oil a day the US consumes and said, “I do not have those numbers in front of me.” ‘Nuff said. Get her out of there.
- Merrick Garland, Attorney General – The press will tear anybody a new one so snippets with bad optics are always dangerous. I would say, however, ordering the FBI to investigate parents who get irate at school boards—even those who seem rather threatening—is over the top. Leave that to the local and state police. His role in the January 6th event and push into domestic terrorism is potentially sinister and moves him onto my shitlist.
- Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency – This one blows my circuits. She is what in the vernacular is called “a commie” straight from Kazakhstan with a thesis on Marxism—a devout believer that the State should run the show. She also hails from Cornell Law School. (Yeah. I know. STFU.) Matthew Continetti of the National Review noted she is, “an activist intellectual who is—and I say this in the kindest way possible—a nut.”ref 8
There will be no more private bank deposit accounts and all of the deposit accounts will be held directly at the Fed.
~ Saule Omarova, Cornell Law Professor
We want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change.
~ Saule Omarova, on oil and gas companies
For those who have seen the horror movie The Ring, Cornell tried to exorcise the demon by sending “the VHS tape” to Washington, D.C., but it came back stamped “Return to Sender.” She withdrew. Hey Team Biden: you could want to snatch up MIT’s Venezuelan-derived president who is already on the board of the World Economic Forum and was instrumental in pushing Aaron Swartz to off himself.ref 9
- John Kerry, Climate Czar – Don’t we have enough Czars? John is charged with flying around the world in his private jet, setting the stage for a 30-year $150 trillion push to make many bank accounts much My disdain for the climate movement catches Kerry in the splash zone.
- Pete Buttagieg, Transportation Secretary – I must confess to liking Mayor Pete and would have been happier if he had gotten the crash course in the oval office rather than Joe. The one criticism I would make is that taking two months of paternity leave during the nation’s greatest transportation crisis seemed odd. I think when you are in such an important position you find a way. Get a nanny. Bring the twins to your office. Leave them with your spouse. For Pete’s sake (sorry), stay at your post. For the record, after my youngest son was born my wife had health problems. I used to bring him to work and lecture with him in a Snugly and changed a shitload of diapers. You could have done it too, Pete.
- Samantha Power, Head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – Sam is a garden-variety neocon, having served as ambassador to the UN and on the National Security Council, both under Obama. She was central to the planning behind destabilizing Libya,ref 10 which sure looks like a bad idea unless destabilizing the Middle East is our foreign policy. Please just don’t fuck up too much.
- Cass Sunstein, Homeland Security employee. This is not really an appointment, per se. Cass is the Harvard-employed husband of neocon Samantha Powers. In his 2008 book, Conspiracy Theories, Cass declared “the existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories” to be our greatest threat, outlining five possible solutions, and I quote, “(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might engage in counter-speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counter-speech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help.” Guys like Cass who come out of Harvard’s CIA training camps are menaces to society. Marvelous hire, Joe.
- Victoria Nuland, Undersecretary for Political Affairs – She is famous for her hot mic “Fuck the EU” comment and for engineering the coup in Ukraine—a Wonder Bread neocon.
- William J. Burns, Head of the CIA – I’ve got nothing on Bill, not even a fingerprint. It would be difficult for me to grade him poorly on a curve with the likes of John Brennan, William Casey, and Alan Dulles. (I once had dinner with a former CIA head John Deutch. What a dick.)
- Christopher Wray, Head of the FBI – As the FBI increasingly looks like the Praetorian Guard for the power elite (both in and out of public office), Wray has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors like J. Edgar Hoover and James Comie to be both top cop and dubious scoundrel. Wray’s fate might be dictated by the ongoing Durham investigation, but I have not seen any heads roll inside the Beltway since Watergate a half-century ago.
- Tony Fauci, Director of NIAID – That bipartisan, power-hungry authoritarian—The Most Trusted Madman in America—is a recurring theme. He doesn’t know any science. He is a political hack—a chameleon—who survived 35 years and multiple administrations by being able to slither out of anybody’s claws and regrow his tail.
- Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC – She got serious attention in part 2. I am horrified by her sociopathy. I think she is evil.
- Amy Gutmann, Ambassador to Germany – Guttman was given the job after giving the Big Guy more than $900,000 in speaking fees and an honorary degree from UPenn when she was the University’s president. I am sure every ambassador pays market rates for the job.
- Cathy Russell, Biden’s Director of Presidential Personnel–She is married to Tom Donlin, Chairman of the gargantuan multinational investment firm, BlackRock. Their daughter made it into the Whitehouse National Security Council. A talented family enjoying the political respect accorded to billionaires.
- Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Head of the Office of Science – Despite scientific chops as a climate-change-supporting agronomist, she has no administrative experience and is inexperienced in the scientific programs that she is overseeing. Of course, everything is now about the $150 trillion climate grift, so she’s our girl.
- Jared Bernstein, Whitehouse Economic Advisor – He is highly educated, with a bachelor’s degree in music, master’s degrees in social work and philosophy, and a Ph.D. in social welfare. His greatest strength may be his complete lack of training in economics.
- Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy – Is that a salaried position? ‘Nuff said.
- General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Mark transitioned from the Trump administration. It caused a stir when he went more “woke” than Chelsea Manning. We will no longer defeat our enemy but assign them pronouns and include them. This was followed by a scandal outlined in Bob Woodward’s book in which he instructed military leaders in a secret meeting to bypass Trump on important military decisions.ref 11 He then unilaterally told his peer in the Chinese military that he would drop a dime if there was an impending military conflict. He tried to hang it on the Secretary of Defense, but the Secretary spit the bit fast.ref 12 My theory is that the sudden wokeness was to commandeer allies on the far left knowing that scandal was coming. It worked. He looks like he is right out of Dr. Strangelove without the lip gloss and eye shadow.
- Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services. He refuses to acknowledge the merits of natural Covid-19 immunity. That puts him near the top of my shitlist. Becerra has no medical or scientific training. He’s a lawyer, but at least he is from an underrepresented group.
- Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services – I know little about her. She might be the most qualified candidate, certainly more so than her boss Becerra. Call me skeptical of a purely merit-based appointment.
Hunter Biden. I was going to place Hunter in the bullets and call him Head of the DEA and National Association of the Arts, but I had reservations. There are sad, heartwarming, and troubling roles played by Hunter Biden. His addiction is a highly personal problem that is difficult for the first family to deal with, especially given other tragedies in their lives. Joe Rogan succinctly explained Hunter’s remarkably odd behavior: “he is a crackhead.” They are part and parcel of being dopesick. Leaked emails from the laptop show Dad to be a compassionate and loving father struggling to save his son. Ironically, old footage surfaced of Joe ranting about how we have to deal with crackheads severely no matter whom they know.ref 13 It did not age well.
It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious. If these emails are false, this is a major story. If they are true, this is a major scandal.
~ Jonathan Turley
Before you start blubbering, however, recall that Hunter’s laptop revealed that he was playing critical roles in Russian and Chinese dealings for the Biden family. The Kleenex gets tossed and the gloves now come off. Hunter’s business partner stepped forward admitting nefarious deals were made with Joe involved. Joe denied knowing the clown, but a then photo of the two surfaced.ref 14
This year Hunter also began selling his artwork for up to $500,000 a pop behind a “Chinese Wall”—a veil that ensures we cannot find out who bought the art.ref 15,16,17 The money might literally be from behind a Chinese wall. That buys a lot of crack even after the Big Guy’s 10% cut. Figure 1 shows two paintings, one by a Hunter and the other by two elephants. (No joke, elephants have been painting brilliant pictures free-trunk for decades.)
Figure 1. Biden art (left) brought $500,000. The elephant painting (shown being painted) brought $39,000.
We are a democracy…there are things you can’t do by executive order unless you are a dictator.
~ Joe Biden, several years ago
Executive Orders. Before the first week of his presidency was over, Biden had signed 37 of those beauties. Some, such as the order extending rent moratoria, were overtly unconstitutional. Some merely unwound Trump’s orders that had unwound Obama’s orders. This is dodge ball. While Yale was battling a civil rights case for discriminatory admissions practices, the Biden DOJ dismissed it without comment.ref 18 Yale is said to have promptly destroyed the evidence, which shows they have good lawyers. Transgender athletes were reinstated in women’s sports, ensuring that longstanding records will be shattered.ref 19 It got surreal when UPenn’s transgender swimmer was beaten by Yale’s transgender swimmer.ref 19a An executive order giving the IRS direct access to our bank accounts seems both sinister and inevitable…death and taxes as they say.ref 20
There are a lot of Republicans out there giving speeches about how outraged they are about the situation at the border. Not many who are putting forward solutions.
~ Jen Psaki, forgetting about the wall idea
Crisis at the Border. The mainstream press covered this one exhaustively. There are parallels here with the North Africans crossing into Europe several years back. It looks intentional, but why? Don’t tell me about building a democratic base. That is too far in the future and too simplistic. It is far easier to control the elections at the server level. Baffling details include the administration’s suggestion that border agents should be empowered to authorize the immigration of “climate migrants.”ref 21 That could boost a few agents’ salaries. Rumors of US military planes transporting illegals into the US suggests somebody could punk the elite: load up a boat and drop a couple hundred on Martha’s Vineyard. On further thought, rather than offering Vineyardians more gardeners, drop off some Afghans.ref 22 Whoever is calling the shots, this is neither about civil rights nor climate change.
Attorney General Merrick Garland clarified the immigration challenge:
Today marks a step forward in our effort to make the asylum process fairer and more expeditious. This rule will both reduce the caseload in our immigration courts and protect the rights of those fleeing persecution and violence. If you do that, that will set off a mass migration that’s like nothing that we have ever seen in this country because the entire world will then come on through to get their asylum, essentially legalizing illegal immigration, in a very clever way.
~ Attorney General Merrick Garland
WTF did Garland just say? Both his meaning and intent are unclear. The immigrants, of course, were all unvaccinated, which would have been OK by me had the administration not gone Third Reich to vaccinate US citizens. The administration also wanted to offer $450,000 to every immigrant family separated from their loved ones: why?ref 23 They seemed to walk that third-trimester idea back and then walked it forward again. A half-billion-dollar, no-bid contract to manage the immigrants went to friends of the administration.ref 24 Your tax dollars at work. At least we are back to business as usual. By the way, where is Border Czar Kamala Harris while all this is going on? Making creepy videos.ref 25,26
People who like quotes love meaningless generalizations.
~ Graham Greene
Miscellaneous issues surfaced that either went away or are still festering quietly.
- On the positive side, stacking the Supreme Court—increasing the number of justices to get a left-leaning majority—seems to have been only a political football.
- Granting Washington DC statehood, while to a plebe like me doesn’t seem nuts, has the trappings of a massive powershift to the left in national elections.
- Joe invaded the legal process by declaring Chauvin guilty and Kyle Rittenhouse a white supremacist. Would Obama have done this? I don’t think so. Rittenhouse may get his “10% for the Young Guy” in defamation suits against Joe and every media outlet on the planet.
- Joe checking his watch five times at the funeral of dead marines didn’t play well,ref 27 but if you put a camera on me I wouldn’t make it to lunchtime without serving up Jim Acosta fresh meat.
The main drama of Biden’s first year, however, played out in a distant land.
Afghanistan—where empires go to die.
~ Mike Malloy
Afghanistan. I’ve been groping for nomenclature — Afghazi, Afghazistan, Benghanistan, Benghazistan, Saigonistan, Clusterfuckistan, and Bidenistan—to describe this odd moment in history. That 20-year skirmish cost an estimated $2.3 trillion.ref 28 The idea that it was only a few thousand troops with no fatalities in the last year or two makes me question my wisdom, but I can’t start revising history. Whether for right or wrong, I was glad we were getting out. The ensuing Crisis in Kabul looked like the graveyard of a presidency—a combination of the Bay of Pigs and the Iran Hostage Crisis that would dog us for years.
They are chanting “Death to America”, but they seemed friendly at the same time.
~ CNN reporter wearing a burka looking for a husband
Even before the evacuation started we were hearing about huge caches of weapons that would be abandoned.ref 29 In an eat-and-dash that would make an IHOP waiter wince, we bugged out at 2:00 AM without telling anybody.ref 30Jalalabad Joe had assured us repeatedly the 300,000-strong Afghan army would hang tough. They were defeated in time to chow down on some goat stew for dinner. Images of desperate Afghan’s clinging to transport planes brought up images of the Saigon Embassy rooftop. We left service dogs in cages.ref 31 Marines would never do that. Stranded Americans and Afghan collaborators were begging for help to get to the airport and even to get into the airport.ref 32 The administration used a drone to strike on some kids and their dads loading water into a truck to change the news cycle briefly.ref 33 The Afghan who is credited with saving Joe Biden and John Kerry in a disastrous excursion to Afghanistan years earlier got left behind pleading for help:ref 34
Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family. Don’t forget me here.
Mercenaries like Blackwater’s Erik Prince tried to prevent Americans from taking The Final Exit,ref 35 only to get stonewalled by the Whitehouse. Meanwhile, the top commander and four-star Wokie, Mark Milley, was too mired in scandal.ref 36 Retired generals were calling for the active-duty generals to resign.ref 37 The withdrawal could not be botched worse if you tried. The populace are now facing a winter of profound famine.ref 38
Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain.
~ CBS News, sticking it like a Russian gymnast
This vexing story was from the Theater of the Absurd. Starting with the caches of military equipment left behind, I have two simple solutions that a group of teenagers could have concocted:
- Announce Blow Shit Up Friday (BSUF). Provide the military personnel with some grenade launchers and a few kegs of beer, grill up some goat burgers, and start blowing shit up. That would be a blast.
- If that is too unprofessional, you gather all armaments and anything else of value into an open space. Once the wheels go up on the last troop transport, drop a MOAB—Mother of All Bombs.ref 39 Tough luck for those who were trying to hotwire the stuff when the MOAB arrives.
It will take a year to get them out…If you use those billions of dollars of weapons behind I promise they’ll be using them against your grandchildren and mine someday.
~ Joe Biden, Presidential Candidate, 2007ref 40
The collapse of the Afghan Army also couldn’t have come as a surprise. The military and CIA certainly knew that those troops wouldn’t withstand a West Side Story-level brawl.ref 41 The soldiers were paid by the US for their service COD, and there was no C left. Shockingly, most of the payroll booty had long-since been snarfed up by the politicians and top military brass from the only swamp in Afghanistan.ref 42 Whocouldanode?
Taliban can murder as many people as they want. But if they keep trolling Biden like this they’re gonna get kicked off of social media.
~ Jesse Kelley, noting the Taliban has an active Twitter feed
Here is a script playing out in my noggin. The Crisis in Kabul was an arms deal—Fast and Furious 2.0. One of our top diplomats called the Taliban and said, “We are pulling out in a month. We’ll leave the keys in the ignition and pallets of $100 billsref 43 to help pay for upkeep. If you guys let us sneak out unmolested, you can party like it’s 999—an authentic Taliban-themed fraternity party. We will leave you guns, money, nice facilities, and even a few wives. If you fuck this up, however, we will be right back here.” The Whitehouse also lent a legitimizing tone to the regime when speaking about “working with the Taliban” as part of the deal. In return, the State Department called on the Taliban to form an “inclusive and representative government,”ref 44 so there’s that bit of risible nonsense. Neville Chamberlain couldn’t have done any better.
The bottom line: 90% of Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan were able to leave Afghanistan.
~ Jalalabad Joe Biden
That might be a great poll number or inflated final exam grade at a college Joe erroneously claimed to attend, but I am not sure “90%” is impressive in this context. The actual evacuation was ineptly executed from the get-go. Mr. Rogers, with the help of his viewing audience of toddlers, could have Kabuled together a better plan based on the simple precept, “pull out the civilians then the military.” Baffling claims the Whitehouse was obstructing evacuations of charter flights containing Americans was not right-wing propaganda:
Where are they going to land? A number of these planes have a handful of Americans, but they may have several hundred individuals who do not have proper documentation of identity….we don’t have manifests for them, we don’t know what the security protocols are for them, we don’t know what their documentation is…hard choices you face in government.
~ Jen Psaki, press conference
WTF actually happened? When nothing makes sense your model is wrong. Glenn Greenwald got the scent that withdrawal was intentionally mishandled, suggesting this is “fully within the character of the deep-state operatives.”ref 45 We also forgot to destroy our sophisticated FBI-derived software and a complete database containing the biometrics of Friends of the USA,ref 46,47,48 enabling the Taliban to find potential detractors for an attitude correction. Think of it as Afghanistan’s high-tech War on Domestic Terror. The stonewalling of help from other countries also makes no sense using a conventional model.ref 49
Biden’s CIA Director met with Taliban leadership covertly—so covertly we all knew about it—to concoct a “deal”, but what kind of deal?ref 50 During the evacuation, we gave the Taliban names of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies supposedly to let them pass through the militant-controlled perimeter of the city’s airport.ref 51 They would never abuse this list, right? A large number of Afghan refugees—possibly as many as 100,000 according to Tucker Carlson—entering the US are consistent with our open border policy along the Mexican border, but what is that all about? Afghans, by the way, are reputed to be always recalcitrant to assimilate in Europe just in case you’re thinking of renting out your basement as an Airbnb.ref 52
What happened in Afghanistan is not incompetence. We are not that incompetent.
~ General George Flynn
The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war.
~ Julian Assange, 2011ref 52a
I have no doubt that blood was shed after we left. More than a few US sympathizers surely lost their heads. As to the stranded Americans, why were they still there? China had evacuated their citizens months earlier.ref 53 (Hmmm…Chinese citizens were there?) Two dozen students from the Cajon Valley Union School District and 16 parents there for an enriching summer trip were stranded.ref 54 How did they get visas? That field trip will generate a few college essays that will beat any written about dead grandparents, although Kabul State College may be their only option.
This is now on-track, Peter, to be the largest airlift in U.S. history. I would not say that is anything but a success.
~ Jen Psaki to Peter Doucy
The media can create, steer, or smother narratives at will. I have a question:
Where are all the dead Americans—thousands of them—said to be left behind?
Horror stories should be surfacing daily, but they’re not. We shit a mudbrick when One Dead Kashoggi (ODK) got fed to the camels in Saudi Arabia. Three thousand fatalities on 9/11 got us into Afghanistan in the first place. We supposedly left behind “thousands of Americans” but without generating a single headline? So much for that Bay of Pigs–Iran Hostage Crisis analogy. So here are my next questions and I am deadly serious: Did we get duped? Was the whole thing more sham than farce?
There is no such thing as a true account of anything.
~ Gore Vidal
Here is Dave’s Narrative. We installed the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan as the best of many bad options. The winners are the Taliban and China. The two are inking deals for mineral rights as I type. The chaos was intentional. But why accept such a profound humiliation and dashed hopes of future alliances in global hotspots?
I think that the Taliban winning the war in Afghanistan, and then the way our exit happened, has absolutely inspired jihadists all over the world. The Taliban is saying, we just didn’t defeat the United States, we defeated NATO. We defeated the world’s greatest military power, ever. I think, not only will the jihadists be inspired, but a lot of them are going to come to Afghanistan to be part of the celebration, to be part of jihadist central. We are more at risk, without a doubt.
~ Michael Morell, former CIA Director under Obama
Maybe China has way more than just Hunter’s laptop to blackmail us and is about to take possession of Taiwan soon. While we await the next Kyle Rittenhouse trial to preoccupy ourselves, take a peek at this video. Skip over the election stuff since we all have rock-hard opinions on that and go to minute 55:30. Xi Jinping’s right-hand man, Di Dongsheng, publicly explained the extent Beijing controls US politics:ref 55
There is nothing in the world that money can’t fix, right? If one wad of cash can’t handle it, then I’ll have two wads. (laughter) Of course this is how I do things. In fact, to be a bit blunt, in the past 30 years or past 40 years, we manipulated the core power circle in the United States, right? I mentioned earlier that Wall Street started to have a very strong influence on U.S. domestic and foreign affairs in the 1970s. So we figured out our path and those we could be dependent on. But the problem is that Wall Street’s status has declined after 2008. More importantly, starting in 2016 Wall Street has no influence on Trump. Why? It is awkward. Trump had a soft breach of contract on Wall Street once, so the two sides had conflicts. They tried to help during the Sino-US trade war. As far as I know, friends from the U.S. told me that they tried to help, but they were too weak. But now we see that Biden has come to power. (crowd laughs) The traditional elites, political elites, and the establishment have a very close relationship with Wall Street. You all see it: Trump talked about Biden’s son, “You have investment funds around the world.” Who helped him build the funds? You understand? There are transactions involved. (laughter) So at this point in time, we use an appropriate way to express a certain kind of goodwill. (applause)
~Di Dongsheng, Vice Director and Secretary of the Center for Foreign Strategic Studies of Chinaref 55
January 6th Capitol Insurrection
Alec Baldwin killed more people in 2021 than did the January 6th insurrectionists.
Anybody reading this far knows that the January 6th riots stemmed from the right-wing voters who doubted the veracity of the 2020 election. Twitter polls show that view is not as partisan or as rare as the media would lead you to believe. I happen to doubt U.S. election integrity but have for quite a few election cycles.ref 1 Hacked Stratfor emails show the democrats rigged the vote in ’08ref 2 and Republicans rigged it in ’04.ref 3 It is bipartisan Capture the Flag with red and blue pinnies.ref 4 In any event, Trump’s Green Goblin strategy was to beckon the MAGA faithful to the Capitol to protest the Electoral College signing off on the results. It was not so different than the mobs outside the courthouses trying to subvert the Rittenhouse and Chauvin trials, but the scale of January 6th was much larger and the optics were Biblical. It got out of hand and, at times, even a little Helter Skelter. Mob psychology elicits dramatic changes in brain chemistry and has been the topic of many laboratory studies.”ref 5 Temporary insanity is not a crazy defense.
My Tweet got some hysterically hateful responses from the Right who missed the sarcasm and the Left who did not. I think I squandered more of my valuable time left on this planet burrowing through the January 6th story than on the Covid-Vaccine combo platter. I should preface this section by noting that I was praised by a thoughtful long-time reader for being “balanced and measured and carefully worded, even on edgy topics.” I may be on the cusp of disappointing him. It’s impossible to peer at the The Great Insurrection through a non-partisan lens. Both sides may find common ground in the belief that January 6th is a profound fork in the road of the American Experiment. The sock-starching Left will celebrate it as a national holiday every year while the bed-wetting Right will try to ignore it. Both are wrong. Look at that photo and pause to ponder its implications. Put a funny caption to it.
Let’s hear from some Republicans first:
We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack.
~ Liz Cheney
I think Lizard nailed it. We’re on the same page. Let’s keep going…
January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been. I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War.
~ Michael Dowd, former Bush strategist
I would like to see January 6th burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system.
~ George Will, syndicated columnist
Mike and George are as unhinged as I am but on different hinges. I think they are delusional and offensive. Edging forward…
The 1/6 attack for the future of the country was a profoundly more dangerous event than the 9/11 attacks. And in the end, the 1/6 attacks are likely to kill a lot more Americans than were killed in the 9/11 attacks, which will include the casualties of the wars that lasted 20 years following.
~ Steve Smith, Lincoln Project co-founder
Now I’m getting the heebie-jeebies if for no other reason than the Lincoln Project is filled with Democratic operatives (or at least neocons) pretending to be Republicans—as authentic as the Indians at the Boston Tea Party or stepmoms on PornHub.
We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within…There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home… But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit.
~ George W. Bush, a thinly veiled allusion to January 6
George got some serious guff from more than a few of the 80 million Fox-watching extremists including the Grand Wizard:
So interesting to watch former President Bush, who is responsible for getting us into the quicksand of the Middle East (and then not winning!), as he lectures us that terrorists on the ‘right’ are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America.
~ Donald Trump
He nailed it. I have stated previously that Bush committed war crimes. Of course, the National Security Machine chimed in…
The No. 1 national security threat I’ve ever seen in my life to this country’s democracy is the party that I’m in — the Republican Party. It is the No. 1 national security threat to the United States of America.
~ Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official
Dude! You just tarred about 80 million asses with that brushstroke. Let’s move further left to find some middle ground:
They swooned for him on 9/11 because he gave them what they most crave: the view that Al Qaeda is comparable to those who protested at the Capitol on 1/6.
~ Glenn Greenwald, on George Bush’s comments
Glenn is part of a growing cadre of liberals including Matt Taibbi, Tim Pool, Bill Maher, The Weinstein Brothers, and Joe Rogan who are unafraid to extend olive branches across The Great Partisan Divide at risk of being labled white supremacists and Nazis, but they are hardly emblematic of the Left. From the elite Left…
I think we also had very real security concerns. We still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress.
AOC’s comment prompted one pundit to tell her to “get a therapist”, which seems correct given her moment of maximum drama was when a security guard was screaming outside her door, “Are you OK, Ma’am?” #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett began trending on social media when it was disclosed that she was not even in the building when Ragnar and his buddies showed up.ref 6
They will have to decide if Donald J. Trump incited the erection…the insurrection.
~ Chuck Schumerref 7
What ya thinking about Chuckie?
We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole. Since the Civil War. The Confederates back then never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on Jan. 6.
~ Joe Biden
Joe may be on the A-Team, but he hasn’t found his way out of the locker room. The blue-check-marked liberals did not mince words…
The 9/11 terrorists and Osama bin Laden never threatened the heart of the American experiment. The 1/6 terrorists and Donald Trump absolutely did exactly that. Trump continues that effort today.
~ S.V. Dáte, Huffington Post’s senior White House correspondent
The only effective way for the government to respond to an act of war by domestic terrorists is to be prepared to meet them with machine guns and flamethrowers and mow them down. Not one of those terrorists who broke through police lines should have escaped alive.
~ a Washington Post commenter
Moving as far left as you can by tuning into the most cunning commie who can outfox any Western leader…
Do you know that 450 individuals were arrested after entering the Congress? They came there with political demands.
~ Vladimir Putin
The Cast of this Drama. This Kafkaesque narrative will be scrutinized by historians and democratic operatives for years to come. The Left will cast this event as a truly unique moment in US history, but it was precedented.
I see parallels with the 1920’s Bonus Army in which World War I veterans were pissed off about unpaid post-war benefits.ref 8 In the saddest of ironies, many were killed by Army regulars. Some authorities, including a young Dwight Eisenhower, thought it was a benign protest while others thought it was an assault on America.
Grumpy crowds appear at the Capitol only on days of the week that end in “y.” Recently, for example, unruly insurrectionists forcibly entered the Capitol to disrupt the Kavanagh hearings. But that was deemed OK because they were from the Left, and Kavanaugh is a dick.
Strong evidence, including Chansley’s [The Shaman’s] own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government.
~ Federal Prosecutors
Some reporters won’t go back into the building. Several have sought therapy to deal with trauma. Many still aren’t sleeping well.
~ Vice News
The first quote is unsupported by even a shred of data. As to the second, do the reporters look traumatized? It looks like yet another scripted media event to me.
As insurrections go, this was not a bold effort: not a single firearm was recovered. A well-publicized story of a pipe bomb remains shrouded in mystery, suggesting maybe it was a psyop.ref 9 The perpetrators donning “Mustache Rides” T-shirts went off to Dennys and retired to their motels and RVs. Crisis averted.
January 6th, was however, achieved one of the greatest political reversals in US history. The day began with revved-up Right-wingers questioning the election’s integrity and looking for justice. By day’s end, the electoral crisis was solved, the mere mention of rigged elections was toxic, Right-wingers from the flyover states were demonized, and Republican politicians were scrambling for cover. Within hours Twitter had purged 70,000 accounts including those of the most prominent pundit, Rush Limbaugh, and the sitting President of the United States. That was a show of force that would make any authoritarian envious. Most consequentially, the backlash launched The War on Domestic Terrorism. Let’s pull this momentous day apart by looking at the participants in some detail.
Why We Published Hundreds of Videos Taken by Parler Users Inside the Capitol Riot: What the Parler Videos Reveal
~ ProPublica Headlineref 10
Parler. Events at the Capitol were captured by a myriad of cell phones and covered breathlessly by the mainstream media. We’ve all seen a lot of footage and photos. Propublica went to Parlor—the free speech chat board and Right-wing echo chamber—and archived all the footage from the Capitol on January 6th.ref 11 I watched all of it. Unfortunately, I can’t link to the separate clips, so you are on your own. But don’t dismiss me summarily out of hate; go watch the archive. Most clips were pedestrian or already in the public eye, but the compilation provides a sense of the size and temperament of the crowds and a few nuggets not easily found elsewhere. My descriptions below take on an air of somebody who was there—I swear I was not! These observations are augmented with chards of info picked up in the usual fashion. I have some reason to believe that I may be underestimating the chaos from a contemporaneous analysis.ref 12
QAnon Tanks Storm the Capitol
~ Fake Headline
An interesting subplot is that Parler offered the FBI clips over 50 times. They still managed to get accused of facilitating the event and were cut off from financial payments systems by powerful forces to ensure free speech does not get out of control.ref 13a,b Meanwhile, according to Glen Greenwald, none of those arrested had ties to Parler.ref 14 While the authoritarians were at it, they went for Gab’s throat as well because it “continues to serve as a forum where white supremacists and extremists gather to plan and organize hateful acts.”ref 15 Sherryl Sandberg denied that Facebook was used;ref 16 I am sure she is lying, but we can say with confidence that Facebook does not lean Right. Where did these highly organized bad-ass domestic terrorists do their planning? As finally admitted by the authorities, there really was very little planning.
When Twitter targets conservatives – including President Trump – Big Tech shills tell us to ‘build our own Twitter.’ So Parler did. Then trillion-dollar monopolists Google and Apple – running their duopoly/cartel – kicked Parler out of the app stores. Then trillion-dollar monopolist Amazon kicked Parler off the internet. Now we know the truth, which is Big Tech used Parler as a scapegoat to destroy a startup company that was a viable threat to their social media dominance.
~ Mike Davis, President of the Internet Accountability Project (IAP)
An article in Time Magazine described how the media was in constant contact with Antifa during the 2020 riots.ref 17 The Time editors seemed to think that was a good thing. In the January 6th aftermath, they pounded the Insurrection Narrative non-stop.
Donald Trump. Although the Left, among whom I include Liz Cheney, blames everything on Trump, I don’t find his role in the whole affair particularly interesting. An incisive analysis of Trump’s screwups came from the elite pollster, Frank Luntz.ref 18 I would call him a Right-wing hack, but he is probably a lizard-for-hire. Luntz makes a brilliant point: Trump should have realized that thousands of amped supporters could morph into an angry mob. In his defense, Trump’s diehard supporters were at his lecture while a second group was breaching the Capitol, but Luntz’s point is still valid.
A second point Luntz forgot to mention (deliberately, perhaps) was that Trump should have realized he was walking into a political trap, a trap that would lay the groundwork for a second impeachment trial. Am I sure it was pre-planned? A resolution by Congresswoman Cori Bush to deal with Chaos at the Capitol was dated 4:06 PM on January 6th and the draft dated January 5th.ref 19 Yes, indeed, it was a trap, and Trump fell for it. That such a document exists denigrating perpetrators by race—white nationalists—is tasteless, racist, and maybe un-Constitutional.
To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway.
~ Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser), January 5th, 2021
The Capitol Police. Trump saw the need for reinforcements and requested 10,000–15,000 National Guard troops on January 5th. Although some point to Pelosi, Mayor Bowser appears to be the one who refused to provide reinforcements. It is not as if this was some black-swan event. That was a big hint that the trap was being set. The Capitol police started the day understaffed with repurposed bicycle racks for crowd control.ref 20 Although the mainstream press focused on the most violent moments—the media is rumored to seek clickbait—most of the aggressive interactions with the police looked more like scrums. The preponderance of interactions seemed civil and even cordial. Here’s a scrum: are they supposed to be pulling or pushing? Seems to be some confusion on that subtlety.
If you wanna see real violence, check out the spring 2020 riots (below).ref 21 So, you think I am a racist for invoking those sacred moments? Nah. You are for saying that, and you can eat my shorts.
Clips of the Insurrection show cops cherry-picking the worst instigators and getting no guff from the rest. This is a standard trick used often during the George Floyd riots.ref 22 Many exchanges show Trump supporters urging protection of the police, which you would expect from a group of flag wavers who generally support law and order. In one clip, you can see the crowd clearing a path for the cops to exit the Capitol Building. As to why the cops were exiting the building is an altogether different story. Protesters both outside and inside the Capitol are shown discussing with the police etiquette for their field trip.
We had offered the Capitol Police and Mayor Bowser of Washington D.C. thousands of National Guardsmen and women two days before Jan. 6, and they turned us down. So it could have been prevented…an entire side of the Capitol…that’s where the crowd first came in through…Where was the fence?…You have to ask yourself, what happened on Jan. 6?
~Kash Patel, former chief of staff to the Secretary of Defense
You have to be willfully oblivious to have missed clips showing cops—in several cases guys who appear to be mimicking cops—waving the crowds past the gates and through the doors into the Capitol.ref 23,24 This was not the Alamo. Why not encourage an orderly entry if they are coming anyway? Some might say the cops were Trump-supporting implants, which might also be true, but I find that argument weak. The Parler video archive showed little evidence that the cops even sensed they were at risk except during tense moments when tempers flare and shit happens. Subsequent testimony to Congress by two highly decorated police sounded like a couple of pussies describing knee abrasions in the most dire terms.ref 25 That calls for an air jerk-eyeball roll. It was all for show.
I was at the Jan 6th riots too…one thing really I was blown away by at the ‘riot’ was the number of minorities in the crowd.
~ email to me
The Crowd. Although chaotic is how you would describe the action on the Capitol steps, overall the crowd was less densely packed than you might expect, especially in the outer rings. The estimates were 10,000–30,000 people total. The Parler clips make it look like Woodstock 2.0 for the boomers, some sitting in lawn chairs with coolers. Many are singing patriotic songs or just chatting—summer of love shit. The crowd was also more racially mixed than expected for a white supremacist insurrection. Some marveled at how tame it was compared to what they expected. These folks had no idea they were participating in what would be called the worst assault on American democracy since 9/11, Pearl Harbor, or the Chicago Blacksocks scandal. I do not let this peaceful crowd—the tourists, not the terrorists—off the hook completely, however. In last year’s analysis of the George Floyd Riots, I argued that cellphone-wielding rubber-neckers inadvertently provided cover to the rioting miscreants. The same logic applies here. The intensity rose in the afternoon, maybe because the boomers headed off for their naps leaving a younger, more ornery group. The tear gas came out in the late afternoon to wrap it up before dark. It was wound down in time for dinner.
Antifa. Notably absent (or at least underrepresented) were members of Antifa who are normally drawn to Trump rallies. Antifa watcher Andy Ngo said they were not present, although Andy posted that claim from Europe. The Director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, concurred. One guy claims there were 226 antifa there, which is awfully precise and a little dubious since it was the brother of John Sullivan (see below).ref 26 We know there was at least one there (vide infra). Rumors of unmarked vehicles bringing Antifa are difficult to confirm,ref 27 but they did not do their usual Antifa thing. In several instances, instigators were being outed as “Antifa” by the crowd. Maybe the Antifas knew they were outnumbered or were told to stay home. (During the riots of 2020 CNN and Democratic leaders were able to turn off the violence like a spigot within 24 hours.)ref 28
We…about to burn this shit down. We gotta … rip Trump right out of that office right there. We ain’t about … waiting until the next election. It’s time for revolution.
~ John Sullivan, August 2020 pointing to the White House
John Sullivan. Self-anointed Antifa leader, John Sullivan, could not have played a more central role. During the Capitol riot, after rallying the frontline troops, he entered the building with CNN reporter Jade Sacker. Sullivan captured footage of their euphoria inside the Capitol while promising Jade that he would delete that part. He, of course, did not delete it.ref 29 Thanks a bunch, John. Sullivan also filmed Ashli Babbitt’s shooting at point-blank range and made $75,000 from CNN for the footage. How fortuitous.
Sullivan is enigmatic.ref 30 He was an overt Antifa activist with whom Antifa wanted no association, declaring on social media networks he was not to be trusted and telling each other to shut him down.ref 31 (The twitter threads are gone now.) Indictments for entering the building are vague. He got filmed assuring somebody on his cell phone that he would not be indictedref 32 and then hanging out with the cops.ref 33 Although he was proved wrong about not getting indicted, he is currently out on personal recognizance with his case stuck in limbo.ref 34
We gotta get this [expletive] burned…it’s our house [expletive]…we are getting this [expletive].
~ John Sullivan, on the January 6th front lines
John does not fit the Antifa hooligan profile of a tattooed meth addict who has gone tribal because society passed him by. His brother leads Civilized Awakening, part of the far-right patriot movement.ref 35 His father was a lieutenant colonel. John is ex-Navy and was a nationally ranked speed skater who participated in the Olympic Trials.ref 35a,b Does that sound like an Antifa foot soldier or an FBI affiliate?
The FBI arrested exactly zero of the mob who attacked my wife and me. Meanwhile every day the FBI arrests anybody and everybody who came to DC on January 6th. Double standard? You bet!
Conspiracy theories about the Capitol riot are still popping up on social media. Social networks are still struggling to slow the spread of online lies.
~ C/Net Headline, Jan 9th
Unindicted Co-conspirators or FBI Implants? The role of the FBI at the Capitol Insurrection will probably never be fully revealed, but the plot keeps thickening as I am wrapping. At some level, it is the FBI’s job to be lurking around trouble spots, relying heavily on embedded and potentially expendable informants who are at risk of being written out of the script without warning. The New York Times noted that “federal law enforcement had a far greater visibility into the assault on the Capitol, even as it was taking place, than was previously known.”ref 37 It is clear that the FBI has taken implanting sources to disturbing levels. Years ago it surfaced that the vast majority of thwarted Arab terrorist attacks had FBI plants creating the trouble in what was clearly “entrapment.”ref 38 The FBI has a history of an illegal Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO)ref 39,40 in which their implants are not just passive observers.ref 41,42,43 The plot to kidnap Michigan Senator Gretchen Whitmer in which 12 of the 20 conspirators worked for the FBI is the most recent and egregious example.ref 44,45,46,47,48 There were so many FBI guys they were probably stinging each other. Wikipedia refers to COINTELPRO in the past tense.ref 49 OK, then: tell us what year they stopped.
The idea that the most provocative of instigators at the Insurrection were implants got some serious legs. There were an estimated 20 or more FBI implantsref 50 active on January 6th that remain designated as “unindicted co-conspirators.”ref 51 Do the guys shown below satirized by The Babylon Bee have the paunches, tattoos, or personalized hairstyles of the MAGA boys?
After the insurrection the FBI turned to social media to identify some of the players, and social media delivered.ref 52 Several top-ranking Proud Boys and Oath Keepers somehow managed to evade indictment, prompting many to speculate they are implants. Of course, the fact checkers said there was no evidence the FBI played a role.ref 53 Again, you are bereft of intellect if you take what the fact checkers say at face value.
Guys would walk by, and we’d look at each other and be like, ‘Two more right there. Here comes another. There’s another one.’ They were everywhere.ref 54
~ John Guandolo, former FBI agent and counter-terrorism expert, on 1/6 FBI implants
There are disparate observations that may make sense in the context below. In the Parler archive, you can see guys looking unusually shifty and decidedly uninterested in being identified, which is tough in the digital age. It is also uncharacteristic of the MAGA crowd. There are shots of pepper-spraying that had no effect whatsoever: it was obviously fake. Somebody filmed three guys changing their clothes. They looked stunned and the cameraman says, “Caught ‘em” while somebody else says “Delete that. Delete that.” One woman says, “the infiltrators are the ones storming the Capitol.” The crowds could see the troublemakers and didn’t like it.
Tomorrow—I don’t even like to say it because I’ll be arrested…I’ll say it. We need to go into the Capitol!
~ Ray Epps
Ray Epps. This story is getting legs as I am trying to wrap up this writeup while the fact-checkers are working overtime to smother it.ref 55 Epps is an elderly and especially militant instigator who is demographically wrong: revolutionaries tend to be young and reckless. He and his unnamed assistant—one of several “unindicted coconspirators” working with Epps—methodically and belligerently worked the crowd, communicating with each other in decidedly military-like exchanges with Epps as the commander. The crowd knew something and started chanting, “Fed. Fed. Fed.” Epps led the “breach team” that first entered the Capitol building. The authorities never arrested Epps nor did they identify his second in command despite having frontal photos.ref 56,57 Revolver News showed Epps on the FBI’s list of people of interest and then noted he got removed quietly. Revolver News also managed to identify Epps’s accomplice.ref 58,59 Epps (red cap) and Antifa activist John Sullivan also were filmed working together (see below).ref 60 A recent puff piece showed Epps on his farm milking the bulls, choking the chickens, and silencing the lambs.ref 61
Then it got real. Attorney General Merrick Garland got grilled by Representative Thomas Massie on Epps’s role:
I was hoping today to give you an opportunity to put to rest the concerns that people have that there were federal agents or assets of the federal government present on January 5 and January 6. Can you tell us, without talking about particular incidents or particular videos, how many agents or assets of the federal government were present on January 6, whether they agitated to go into the Capitol, and if any of them did?
~ Representative Thomas Massie to Attorney General Merrick Garland
Merrick’s answer was, in the vernacular: “No. GTFO.” In a small-world coincidence, Merrick Garland played a central role in the Oklahoma City bombing,ref 62 one of many events in history that the Dark Web claims Federal implants were involved. Although I was paying no explicit attention at the time, I remember the discussion of McVey having helpers. An FBI subordinate grilled under oath in the Congress about FBI implants and Ray Epps in particular relentlessly refused to answer the questions.ref 63
Stewart Rhodes. The head of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, is a name to watch. He has a history, which includes showing up at the Bundy Ranch fiasco in 2014ref 64 and waved off by the Bundy family for being a Fed implant.ref 65 He was suspected of playing the same role in white nationalist events preceding the January 6th insurrection involving Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and even Alex Jones.ref 66 Rhodes’ right-hand man, Thomas Caldwell, is also a Fed with top-secret security clearance since 1979.ref 67a,b I don’t think it would be crazy to conclude that the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, both said to be headed up by FBI implants, are FBI creations.ref 68 Tucker Carlson chased the unindicted co-conspirator story as far as he could.ref 69,70,71
The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result…Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters.
Here’s an odd one. The head of the Proud Boys has been rumored also to be an FBI informant. He somehow got arrested on January 5th, preventing him from going to the Insurrection.ref 72
It is known that Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has served as an FBI informant in the past, and the disrupted 2020 plot by Three Percenters members to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) was shaped and driven by what The Wall Street Journal reported were the FBI’s “undercover agents and confidential informants.
~ Glenn Greenwald
The beleaguered FBI is in a rough patch. Masterminding the FBI-rich Whitmer kidnapping plot was embarrassing.ref 73 They also lost key subpoenaed evidence in the Elizabeth Holmes-Theranos case because they didn’t notice for months that it was encrypted.ref 74 Meanwhile, Theranos destroyed the evidence and the encryption key. Could this astounding incompetence by the FBI have anything to do with Theranos having the most Deep-State-connected corporate board this side of Ratheon?ref 75 Holmes was convicted of four counts of investor and wire fraud but no counts of fraud against the victims of the flawed tests.ref 76 Nobody gives a shit about the former, and the lost data ensured the failure of the latter. The FBI also got hammered for covering up the Larry Nassar gymnast molestation scandal. I am not sure what motivated the coverup, except it resurface in time for the Olympics.ref 77,78 Maybe the Durham probe into the FBI-concocted Steele dossier will finally uncover the miscreants who run this Praetorian Guard. Maybe not.
We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at @FBI…did what was necessary to protect us. We have been failed, and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable.
~ Simone Biles
I don’t have a good explanation for you.
~ Christopher Wray, FBI Director, to Simone Biles
The Insurrectionists. I restrict that moniker for those who crossed the threshold of the Capitol. On the outside there were, of course, window smashers and rabble-rousers that probably were not affiliated with the FBI who should be dealt with, but there were also many trying to stop them. Most Insurrectionists walked through opened doors, and the bulk of them just seemed to be sight-seeing. Inside the Capitol it looked more like an oversubscribed open house. There was almost no violence inside the building. Many seemed awestruck by the moment. One amusing clip shows protesters heading into a hallway, met by a female cop saying, “You can’t come in here.” The insurrectionists turned and left. Another shows protestors at the bottom of the stairs waiting for a single cop to wave them to come up, which they obliged. He feigns defending the access.ref 79 Admittedly there was at least one instance that resembled a Tokyo subway at rush hour or Walmart on Black Friday where people (including a cop) were getting squished. That may have been one of the pussies testifying. Some marveled at how tame it was, with one noting that “CNN would tell a very different story.” Indeed, they would.
Inside the Capitol cops were calmly instructing the crowd about the importance of being civil. One is struck by moments in which instigators were challenged by the crowd to behave better. We’ve all seen the Shaman sitting at the main desk, the patriotic little old lady, and the guy carrying the podium. None of this is from the Antifa playbook.
A highly visible character who appears to be a neolithic Druid policeman is a registered Democrat and the son of a Democratic New York State Supreme Court Justice—an odd resume for a white supremacist.ref 80
The QAnon Shaman. The four goofiest characters straight from the Village People or a Comicon convention captivated the media. The standout, of course, was the ex-military horned character named Jacob Anthony Chansley a.k.a. Jake Angeli. I am not sure why he has an alias. This ex-military guy is lovingly known worldwide as “The QAnon Shaman” and is said to be mentally unstable.ref 81 What would ever make anyone think that? He was filmed entering the building by a door that had been opened from the insideref 82 and took his position in Mike Pence’s chair. It reminded me of SDS activist David Shapiro sitting at the desk of Columbia University’s president in 1968. Other scenes show him chatting with cops.ref 83
I can’t find any evidence that The Shaman did anything more criminal than you would see at Mardigras—nothing violent or destructive. Perhaps you could smack him with trespassing or criminal attire. As he wandered into the Senate Wing he greeted two other insurrectionists who were camped out doing nothing (one recovering from a plastic bullet to the face.) The cop tells all three, “OK. I just want to let you guys know that this is like the sacredest place.”ref 84 In one scene, The Shaman is discussing terms with the police and announcing to the crowd,“This has to be peaceful. We have the right to peacefully assemble.”ref 85 Maybe so, but he got a 41-month jail sentence.ref 86
Brian Sicknick and Other Dead Guys. Officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher. It was a brutal and senseless death and a great narrative for the mainstream media. The problem is, that it’s a fabricated story. Sicknick’s Mom said Brian called and assured her he was fine; she insists he died of a stroke.ref 87 There was a feeble attempt to blame his death on bear spray from two insurrectionists, but that case fell apart too.ref 88 An autopsy showed no blunt-force trauma, and a rapidly cremated corpse assured nothing else would surface. I pondered a vaccine-induced stroke, but the dates are wrong.ref 89
The problem with this story is that it is false in all respects.
~ Glen Greenwald on the Sicknick slaying
It took a long time for the original story to die because it was central to The Narrative. The story was used to indict two insurrectionists in March. (I return to the arrests below.) The brutal-slaying story was kept aloft like a beachball at a rock concert long enough to use it in the Trump impeachment hearings, citing a long-since refuted New York Times article.ref 90 I am so shocked.
Sicknick’s death was the only example the media had of the pro-Trump mob deliberately killing anyone.
~ Glen Greenwald
Here is what is very odd. There were a lot of dead guys on or soon after January 6th. Aside from the shooting of Ashli Babbitt (see below), three insurrectionists died from various natural and moderately self-inflicted causes.ref 91 (One was said to have been trampled while wearing a T-shirt saying, “Don’t Tread on Me.”ref 92) There were also four—count ‘em four—Capitol Police who committed suicide within days of the event.ref 93 WTF is that all about? For an event that is decidedly smaller and about as exciting as a Superbowl, nine deaths seems like a lot to me. To explain those numbers you need a deep rabbit hole. I will offer one up at the end.
QAnon Supporters Think Capitol Shooting Victim Ashli Babbitt is Still Alive
~ Newsweek Headline, January 8, 2020
The Death of Ashli Babbitt. A military veteran and owner of a pool supply company, Ashli Babbitt, was shot in the Capitol Building as she pushed her way through a window that had been smashed in by others. The game is now tied: Alec Baldwin 1 – Capitol Police 1. Ashli was all-MAGA. The Right scrambled to declare it a merciless killing and the Left a senseless death caused by The Insurrection. Conspiracy theories and push-back by fact-checkers emerged almost immediately.ref 94,95,96 That Trump’s attorney, Lin Wood, jumped in ensured the pushback would be strong.ref 97 The shooting of an unarmed woman even during The Insurrection seemed odd given that the cops had resisted such atrocities not only throughout the day but throughout the entire 2020 riot season, which I suggested in the 2020 YIR to be miraculous restraint.ref 98 With clips of the shooting from a half-dozen angles, the footage that was aired to the World was that shot by enigmatic John Sullivan purchased by CNN and MSNBC.ref 99,100,101 The mysterious Hitchcock-like scene with an arm sticking out was a nice touch. Whatever.
We got eulogies about her wonderful liferef 102 and tasteless denunciations about how she deserved it. There were interviews of the family and lawsuits filed.ref 103,104,105 It got a little odd, however, when the authorities declared it a clean kill with no formal investigation and refused to release the shooter’s name or even take away his gun.ref 106,107 Months later social media initially identified the wrong guy,ref 108 but then quickly zeroed in on Lieutenant Michael Byrd.ref 109 There were claims he was incompetent, but then why was he there?ref 110,111,112 Jonathan Turley suggested that the lack of prosecution of Byrd does not appear justified. Turley and that the Babbitt shooting “leaves more questions than answers for the public and police alike.”ref 113,114 Indeed, it does. To put the debate to rest, Byrd did an interview in which he came off as mild-manneredref 115 in a Rodney King “Can’t we just all get along?” sort of way. Fortunately, Babbitt was white and Byrd was black. If that racial distribution had been flipped the Left would have been in a serious quandary. Crisis averted.
As noted by Turley, there are unanswered questions. A FOIA request by Judicial Watch revealed an urgency to cremate the body and digitally lock down the files.ref 116 In the context of an event that seemed staged at many levels, I pondered oddities that made it look like a particularly bad Nicholas Cage movie. I showed the case to a few friends and got a common response (paraphrased), “I think it is weird, but I am not sure what it means.” I spent enormous time not only watching analyses of the shooting but reading all of the comments.
An analysis from the darkest corners of the internet throws spaghetti at the wall to undermine the official Narrative. I provide multiple links to this analysis because of its penchant for disappearing.ref 117,118,119,120 Several other analyses are particularly good at slow-motion.ref 121,122 A third, and in some sense the quirkiest, was by a Japanese woman interviewed by the Epoch Times that leaves me wondering what her angle is.ref 123 The hundreds of comments below the clips included a number of healthcare professionals and combat veterans. I read them all. After trying to draft a detailed analysis I have decided that I am just going to leave you with the links and let you decide whether to go there.
OK. Just a teaser. After discussions of a neck vs shoulder shot the DOJ resolved the issue:
As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out. An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor.
~ U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbiaref 124
This is critical because, unlike a neck shot where a severed spine stops the heart, a fatal shoulder requires the victim spill up to a half-gallon of blood en route to the hereafter.ref 125 Here is the crime scene. Does that look like two quarts?
Did you assassinate that woman at the Capitol shot by a policeman?
~ Vladmir Putin
Political Prisoners. According to The Narrative January 6 was the biggest assault on American Democracy by treasonous white supremacists. I saw crimes committed—windows being smashed and cops getting a little roughed up—but the violence paled in comparison with the 2020 brawls. The DOJ finally concluded there was no central organization. There was no organized insurrection. There were no weapons or insurrection charges. It was just a very large, angry crowd behaving badly and creating atrocious optics—nothing that gets the perp sent to Guantanamo.
By identifying and tracking key players throughout the day, we found that most — even some at the forefront of the action — were ardent, but disorganized Trump supporters swept up in the moment and acting individually.
~ New York Times
Well, that story was getting awkward in the context of the Pearl Harbor–Domestic Terrorism Narrative so in mid January 2022, 11 insurrection charges were delivered.ref 126 This abrupt change was suspicious to me and the lawyers:
Faced with criticism from leading Democrats for not supporting their leftist narrative, the prosecutors have just slapped a new label on the false allegations already made. But I see no facts that would support the new charges.”…Furthermore, the U.S. Attorney and his prosecutors know that they are lying. They have known since March to May 2021 that every allegation they are making is a lie.
~ Attorney of Stewart Rhodes
Jonathan Turley, after denouncing the miscreants’ behavior, chimed in noting that the law stating, “If two or more persons…conspire to oppose by force…to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States…” is simply too broad.ref 127 That is fresh off the griddle. Let’s look retrospectively at what transpired after January 6th.
Attorney Joseph McBride appeared last year on CNN in an infamous interview where he alleged that his client and others were being brutally tortured “five miles from the White House.”ref 126 Let’s consider the evidence—various chimp-and-frog moments—suggesting incarceration was as shameful as the mob’s behavior.
- More than 80 Capitol rioters were still in prison and denied access to their lawyers as of late August.ref 128 Here is a summary as of 1/6/21, but I can’t get a good update on those still in jail awaiting trial a year later.ref 129
- The U.S. Marshals Service dropped into the prison for a chat with 300 detainees and concluded that the conditions “do not meet the minimum standards of confinement.” This may be an indictment of the prison system as a whole rather than selective abuse of the detained Insurrectionists.ref 130
- More than 14,000 hours of video from the Capitol cameras were withheld from defense attorneys, possibly to preserve Biden’s “domestic terrorism” plotline. At one point, defense attorneys could not meet with clients in person without triggering protracted (weaponized) quarantines.ref 131
- Of the more than 725 arrests resulting from The Insurrection more than 600 were variants of unlawfully entering Federal property.ref 132a,b
I wanted to ensure, and our office wanted to ensure, that there was shock and awe. That we could charge as many people as possible before [January] 20th. And it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C., because they were like, ‘If we go there, we’re going to get charged.
~ Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia
- The FBI arrested the man who was said to have carried zip-ties into the Capitol only later to be shown that the ties were already there.ref 133 What began as a heinous act to detain and presumably torture Congressional leaders turned into bullshit-pot-pie.
- The DOJ built a conspiracy case against the Oath Keepers, only to later declare that there was no evidence of conspiracy.ref 134,135 Gotta wonder if maybe the FBI’s role in the event got a little too hot.
- Bank of America gave all customer debit and credit card records to the FBI so they could to capture Insurrectionists,ref 136 which led to some serious false accusations.
Nearly 60 percent of the people facing charges related to the Capitol riot showed signs of prior money troubles, including bankruptcies, notices of eviction or foreclosure, bad debts, or unpaid taxes over the past two decades. The group’s bankruptcy rate — 18 percent — was nearly twice as high as that of the American public.
~ Chris Hedges, part of a detailed analysis of the sorrowful state of the protestersref 137
- The two guys arrested for spraying officer Sicknick with bear spray despite the lack of evidenceref 138 have been unable to post the $15 million bail. This seems high given the complete lack of evidence and the judge acknowledging their “excellent backgrounds.” Neither entered the Capitol Building.
- A woman pled to a misdemeanor “demonstrating inside the Capitol” for entering through an open door and spending ten minutes inside peacefully.ref 139 Her public defender decided her client was a racist, including in her court statement that “people of all color should feel as safe as I do walking down the street.” Seems like somebody should be disbarred.
Why Are So Many Marines Neo-Nazis?
~ Vice Headline
One day and one bombing in Kabul later…
This story was published before the horrific bombing in Kabul that killed 13 US service members—including 11 Marines—and dozens of Afghan civilians. We regret the timing and offer condolences to the victims and their families.
~ Vice Editor’s Note following the Nazi headline
- Lawyers were said to be avoiding the cases out of fear.ref 140
- The founder of Cowboys for Trump never entered the Capitol: “I spent the next nine days in that cell in total solitary confinement. No shower, no phone, no attorney.”ref 141
- There were no weapons charges,ref 142 and nobody was arrested on the scene.ref 143
- A former Army Ranger has been in prison awaiting trial.ref 144 He risked his life for what again?
It’s clear to me the civil rights of the defendant were violated by the D.C. Department of Corrections. I don’t know if it’s because he’s a January 6 defendant or not. He’s needed an operation. He hasn’t gotten it.
~ U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, holding jail officials in contempt over mistreatment
- FOIA requests for details of the Capitol Insurrection have been denied to protect the privacy of the officers. Really?ref 145
- One insurrectionist’s face looked “like a tomato that was stomped on” after the correctional officers were done correcting him and leaving him “blind in one eye, [with] a skull fracture and detached retina.”ref 146
- One commando raid-like operation in Alaska hit the wrong couple—a case of mistaken identity.ref 147 After the agent showed the wife her alleged picture, the woman sarcastically said the sweater on the woman in the picture was “hideous” and that they couldn’t “pay me to wear that.” Afterward, she noted, “I better go online and protect myself before they call me in and make me this person.” That chick was spunky.
Classic DOJ. Destroy any defendant, physically and fiscally, who has the temerity to challenge us. Lie to the judge and defense lawyers because we’re never held accountable. Torture defendants into guilty pleas. Been going on for the past 25 years all over the country.
~ email from a Lawyer/friend
- Members of Congress, Gaetz and Greene, were denied access to the prison to check out the allegations.ref 148 That was a publicity stunt by a couple of notoriously dim bulbs.
- The first conviction got a guy eight months in prison for contributing to “the collective threat to democracy…obstructing an official proceeding…ransacking of the People’s House.” He broke nothing. He stole nothing. His defense attorney declared, “It was a protest that became a riot, period, full stop.”ref 149 The judge said the defendant made it “harder for all of us to tell our children and grandchildren that democracy stands as the immutable foundation of our nation.” Somebody in that courtroom did just that, Your Honor.
- One old-timer taking care of his 94-year-old mother is, by any metric, a pillar of his community.ref 150 He never entered the Capitol, staying in his hotel room all day. Nevertheless, his apartment was raided by the FBI anti-terrorism task force. He sat handcuffed while they ransacked his apartment. Sounds like the Capitol Insurrection. He never got his confiscated electronics back.
- Pelosi got her laptop stolen. I’ll wager that they won’t catch the culprit because that smacks of an inside job (or a crock of shit).
- One guy died in custody.ref 150a
- Reports of abuse in Federal custody inspired a dozen lawmakers to threaten action against the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to either “use your authority to investigate this abuse or we will use our authority to investigate your failure.”ref 151
- The Shaman got a 41-month prison term for the crime of being The QAnon Shaman.ref 152
~ The Shaman being ironic
With the rule of law looking more like a guideline, prosecutors began backing away from prosecutions. There is evidence they never actually intended to win most of these cases, only to make political yardage.ref 153 Destroyed lives were just collateral damage. Their targets are now jobless, broke, and broken. Some are still in jail without bail and without a trial a year later. This is how authoritarianism begins.
Pulling Together Some Loose Ends. As stated at the outset, January 6th was an amazing political reversal that put checkmated The Donald, the entire Republican establishment, and all MAGA voters. It was the Democrats’ dream that will play out for years. That it was a trap, not just a chance event, is evidenced by the pulled support for the Capitol police, unfathomable lack of preparedness, and the Congressional resolution condemning the insurrection written before the putative insurrection. Evidence that implanted FBI-tied provocateurs—Ray Epps, John Sullivan, and a large number of “unindicted co-conspirators”—is consistent with longstanding agency tactics. The superficially baffling part is that some participants appear to be both provocateurs and targets of the DOJ roundup of the evildoers. One could imagine, however, that implants—bit players who have been commandeered to cooperate with the FBI for any of a multitude of reasons—might not realize they are about to be written out of the script. How about the 9 dead guys? I gotta call it as I see it: this extraordinarily non-statistical deathtoll suggests there were loose ends that needed to be cleaned up the hard way.
The Deep State will be exploiting a war against fictional evildoers who are not just militant nationalists, but “white supremacists.” The racial connotation could not possibly be more garish and divisive. The openly declared War on Domestic Terror has implications that are sinister. Before we go there, however, I have a final issue related to the participants to wrap up.
The Tweetstorm of Darryl Cooper.ref 154 By Twitter standards, Darryl Cooper (@MartyrMade) started one day a voiceless member of America’s Right—a nobody on Twitter. (I am told in real life the guy has chops.) With obviously great thought, he posted a Tweet storm that captured the angst of the Trump-supporting right. I was left awed. Apparently, others were moved as well, getting shoutouts from Zerohedge, Greenwald, Carlson, and The Donald.ref155,156,157,158 You won’t see this on CNN or MSNBC. You do not have to agree with all or even any of Darryl’s assertions. Call them preposterous if you wish. What you should recognize, however, is that Daryll captured the mindset of many at the the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 and the angst of a non-trivial slice of America.
- I think I’ve had discussions w/enough Boomer-tier Trump supporters who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent to extract a general theory about their perspective. It is also the perspective of most of the people at the Capitol on 1/6, and probably even Trump himself. 1/x
- Most believe some or all of the theories involving midnight ballots, voting machines, etc, but what you find when you talk to them is that, while they’ll defend those positions w/info they got from Hannity or Breitbart or whatever, they’re not particularly attached to them. 2/x
- Here are the facts – actual, confirmed facts – that shape their perspective: 1) The FBI/etc spied on the 2016 Trump campaign using evidence manufactured by the Clinton campaign. We now know that all involved knew it was fake from Day 1 (see: Brennan’s July 2016 memo, etc). 3/x
- These are Tea Party people. The types who give their kids a pocket Constitution for their birthday and have Founding Fathers memes in their bios. The intel community spying on a presidential campaign using fake evidence (incl forged documents) is a big deal to them. 4/x
- Everyone involved lied about their involvement as long as they could. We only learned the DNC paid for the manufactured evidence because of a court order. Comey denied on TV knowing the DNC paid for it, when we have emails from a year earlier proving that he knew. 5/x
- This was true with everyone, from CIA Dir Brennan & Adam Schiff – who were on TV saying they’d seen clear evidence of collusion w/Russia, while admitting under oath behind closed doors that they hadn’t – all the way down the line. In the end we learned that it was ALL fake. 6/x
- At first, many Trump ppl were worried there must be some collusion, because every media & intel agency wouldn’t make it up out of nothing. When it was clear that they had made it up, people expected a reckoning, and shed many illusions about their gov’t when it didn’t happen. 7/x
- We know as fact: a) The Steele dossier was the sole evidence used to justify spying on the Trump campaign, b) The FBI knew the Steele dossier was a DNC op, c) Steele’s source told the FBI the info was unserious, d) they did not inform the court of any of this and kept spying. 8/x
- Trump supporters know the collusion case front and back. They went from worrying the collusion must be real, to suspecting it might be fake, to realizing it was a scam, then watched as every institution – agencies, the press, Congress, academia – gaslit them for another year. 9/x
- Worse, collusion was used to scare people away from working in the administration. They knew their entire lives would be investigated. Many quit because they were being bankrupted by legal fees. The DoJ, press, & gov’t destroyed lives and actively subverted an elected admin. 10/x
- This is where people whose political identity was largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in Civics class began to see the outline of a Regime that crossed all institutional boundaries. Because it had stepped out of the shadows to unite against an interloper. 11/x
- GOP propaganda still has many of them thinking in terms of partisan binaries, but A LOT of Trump supporters see that the Regime is not partisan. They all know that the same institutions would have taken opposite sides if it was a Tulsi Gabbard vs Jeb Bush election. 12/x
- It’s hard to describe to people on the left (who are used to thinking of gov’t as a conspiracy… Watergate, COINTELPRO, WMD, etc) how shocking & disillusioning this was for people who encourage their sons to enlist in the Army, and hate ppl who don’t stand for the Anthem. 13/x
- They could have managed the shock if it only involved the government. But the behavior of the corporate press is really what radicalized them. They hate journalists more than they hate any politician or gov’t official, because they feel most betrayed by them. 14/x
- The idea that the press is driven by ratings/sensationalism became untenable. If that were true, they’d be all over the Epstein story. The corporate press is the propaganda arm of the Regime they now see in outline. Nothing anyone says will ever make them unsee that, period. 15/x
- This is profoundly disorienting. Many of them don’t know for certain whether ballots were faked in November 2020, but they know for absolute certain that the press, the FBI, etc would lie to them if there was. They have every reason to believe that, and it’s probably true. 16/x
- They watched the press behave like animals for four years. Tens of millions of people will always see Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, based on nothing, because of CNN. And CNN seems proud of that. They led a lynch mob against a high school kid. They cheered on a summer of riots. 17/x
- They always claimed the media had liberal bias, fine, whatever. They still thought the press would admit truth if they were cornered. Now they don’t. It’s a different thing to watch them invent stories whole cloth in order to destroy regular lives and spark mass violence. 18/x
- Time Mag told us that during the 2020 riots, there were weekly conference calls involving, among others, leaders of the protests, the local officials who refused to stop them, and media people who framed them for political effect. In Ukraine, we call that a color revolution. 19/x
- Throughout the summer, Democrat governors took advantage of COVID to change voting procedures. It wasn’t just the mail-ins (they lowered signature matching standards, etc). After the collusion scam, the fake impeachment, Trump ppl expected shenanigans by now. 20/x
- Re: “fake impeachment”, we now know that Trump’s request for Ukraine to cooperate w/the DOJ regarding Biden’s $ activities in Ukraine was in support of an active investigation being pursued by the FBI and Ukraine AG at the time, and so a completely legitimate request. 21/x
- Then you get the Hunter laptop scandal. Big Tech ran a full-on censorship campaign against a major newspaper to protect a political candidate. Period. Everyone knows it, all of the Tech companies now admit it was a “mistake” – but, ya know, the election’s over, so who cares? 22/x
- Goes w/o saying, but: If the NY Times had Don Jr’s laptop, full of pics of him smoking crack and engaging in group sex, lots of lurid family drama, emails describing direct corruption and backed up by the CEO of the company they were using, the NYT wouldn’t have been banned. 23/x
- Think back: Stories about Trump being pissed on by Russian prostitutes and blackmailed by Putin were promoted as fact, and the only evidence was a document paid for by his opposition and disavowed by its source. The NY Post was banned for reporting on true information. 24/x
- The reaction of Trump ppl to all this was not, “no fair!” That’s how they felt about Romney’s “binders of women” in 2012. This is different. Now they see, correctly, that every institution is captured by ppl who will use any means to exclude them from the political process. 25/x
- And yet they showed up in record numbers to vote. He got 13m more votes than in 2016, 10m more than Clinton got! As election night dragged on, they allowed themselves some hope. But when the four critical swing states (and only those states) went dark at midnight, they knew. 26/x
- Over the ensuing weeks, they got shuffled around by grifters and media scam artists selling them conspiracy theories. They latched onto one, then another increasingly absurd theory as they tried to put a concrete name on something very real. 27/x
- Media & Tech did everything to make things worse. Everything about the election was strange – the changes to procedure, unprecedented mail-in voting, the delays, etc – but rather than admit that and make everything transparent, they banned discussion of it (even in DMs!). 28/x
- Everyone knows that, just as Don Jr’s laptop would’ve been the story of the century, if everything about the election dispute was the same, except the parties were reversed, suspicions about the outcome would’ve been Taken Very Seriously. See 2016 for proof. 29/x
- Even the courts’ refusal of the case gets nowhere w/them, because of how the opposition embraced mass political violence. They’ll say, w/good reason: What judge will stick his neck out for Trump knowing he’ll be destroyed in the media as a violent mob burns down his house? 30/x
- It’s a fact, according to Time Magazine, that mass riots were planned in cities across the country if Trump won. Sure, they were “protests”, but they were planned by the same people as during the summer, and everyone knows what it would have meant. Judges have families, too. 31/x
- Forget the ballot conspiracies. It’s a fact that governors used COVID to unconstitutionally alter election procedures (the Constitution states that only legislatures can do so) to help Biden to make up for a massive enthusiasm gap by gaming the mail-in ballot system. 32/x
- They knew it was unconstitutional, it’s right there in plain English. But they knew the cases wouldn’t see court until after the election. And what judge will toss millions of ballots because a governor broke the rules? The threat of mass riots wasn’t implied, it was direct. 33/x
- The entrenched bureaucracy & security state subverted Trump from Day 1, b) The press is part of the operation, c) Election rules were changed, d) Big Tech censors opposition, e) Political violence is legitimized & encouraged, f) Trump is banned from social media. 34/x
- They were led down some rabbit holes, but they are absolutely right that their gov’t is monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to keep them getting it. Trump fans should be happy he lost; it might’ve kept him alive. /end
The Capitol Insurrection set the stage for the next scene in this drama—the War on Domestic Terrorism and the Rise of Global Authoritarianism.
Rise of Global Authoritarianism
The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
~ H. L. Mencken
The average person’s response to pressing concerns of the day is more philosophical than political. The Left’s and Right’s apparent disparate views on lockdown, masking, and vaccination may arise from what statisticians call a “lurking variable”—an unnoticed variable that independently controls two phenomena causing a correlation that is easily confused with causality. In this case, the lurking variable involves their philosophies. The Right generally prefers hands-off policies whereas the Left tends toward centralized approaches to problem solving. The Left embraces identity politics—homogeneity of thought to preserve the group identity—whereas the Right resists conformity (or at least professes to do so.) The mobs that formed to protest George Floyd’s killing and the January 6th protest were temperamentally quite different.ref 1
Science is dying; superstition disguised as morality is returning. And we’ll all soon become poorer, angrier, and more divided.
~ Victor Davis Hanson, historian, Stanford’s Hoover Institute
Authoritarian regimes can come from the Left or Right. I am witnessing one deriving from the Left, but they all end up looking the same in the end. Historian Victor Davis Hanson from Stanford suggests we have witnessed profound changes within the last six months.ref 2 The upheavals “will either cease or they will destroy the nation.” He sees the rule of law as largely a “meaningless construct” and that “political agendas justify any means necessary to achieve them” and our public universities are suffering from a “McCarthyite culture on campus,” noting that “America went not so much hard-Left as stark-raving mad.” He also underscores the historical record showing how currency debasement has destroyed empires since antiquity, which we are certainly doing as I type.
I think the endgame is fascism, maybe communism…a global government…This covid could be used to do so many things they couldn’t do otherwise…you can’t have democracy and rule globally. It has to be a dictatorship…This new type of communism seems to be well received by the multibillionaires. If this carries on any longer there will not be any smaller businesses…The middle class will completely disappear…It has been in the planning for years.
~Bill Vander Zalm, former Premier of British Columbiaref 3
Covid played a central role in our pivot toward totalitarianism. The toughest part of the 14-day curve flattening and masking up was the first 12 months. I covered this in part 2 and will not repeat it except to say that I have nothing but disdain for the petty tyrants and their garish displays of power. That includes Tony Fauci down to members of small-town school boards.ref 4
Scientists in the UK have begun to evolve consciences about their role in creating Covid-19 hysteria.ref 5 One notes, “There were discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear. The way we have used fear is dystopian.” Another said, “We have to be very careful about the authoritarianism that is creeping in. People use the pandemic to grab power and drive through things that wouldn’t happen otherwise.” They express dismay over the “weaponisation of behavioural psychology” over the past year and “they have too much power and it intoxicates them.” Conservative Steve Baker, a member of a group of anti-lockdown MPs said, “If it is true that the state took the decision to terrify the public to get compliance with rules, that raises extremely serious questions about the type of society we want to become.”
Even under the best forms of Government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
~ Thomas Jefferson
Random Examples of Authoritarian Creep. Where do I start on such a big topic? Part 2 offered up profound evidence of authoritarian policies enacted under the cover of the covid pandemic. Before pondering proximate causes and theories as to why authoritarianism is on the rise, let’s bullet our way through an assortment of observations. They don’t make the case for an unstoppable authoritarian movement by any means but should make you wonder WTF is happening.
Make sure you get your whole head in front of the shotgun.
~ Dennis Leary
- Hungary was told to repeal a ban on teaching LGBTQ or else leave the EU. Dutch PM Rutte said, “My goal is to bring Hungary to its knees on this issue.”ref 6 Protect your Hungarian Princes from the Serbs like peace depends on it. They have also begun requiring selfies from taxpayers wishing to file their returns online—what comes next, fingerprints and a DNA sample?ref 8a
- Robocops are on their way.ref 7 If they are anything like the social media algos, they are gonna be shooting people by mistake or with marginal cause.
- The IRS has proposed to monitor bank account flows of the wealthy, which is defined as anybody with a bank balance of more than $600.ref 8
- Singapore deploys robots to detect “undesirable behavior,” including the congregation of groups.ref 9 Amazon uses this same technique in their processing facilities on the notion that aggregating workers are more likely to unionize.ref 10
- I drove a golf cart that shut down when I attempted to go into forbidden territory—my shots were spraying. Now imagine the same software in your car.ref 11
- Chase Bank canceled General Michael Flynn’s credit card owing to “reputational risk.”ref 12a,b They apologized under pressure. Michael was former US National Security Advisor, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and politically affiliated with the wrong people.
The drift into authoritarianism doesn’t always set off alarm bells. Citizens are often slow to realize that their democracy is being dismantled even as it happens before their eyes.
~ Steven Levitsky, Harvard University, an expert on authoritarianism
- The Pentagon and presumably many others are developing microchips that detect Covid-19.ref 13 They’d never abuse that technology, would they?
- Watch Mark Dice solicit signatures from passersby to have The Unvaccinated.ref 14
- A heavily-armed SWAT team took down a Canadian Christian pastor for “inciting” people to go to church.ref 15
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.
~ Aldous Huxley
- Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, was locked out of his Twitter account for criticizing the Biden administration’s policies along the US-Mexicanref 16 Where is the Supreme Court? The legendary @RudyHavenstein also got booted from Twitter until the opposition trended and forced Twitter to reverse course within 12 hours.
- Massachusetts Android phone users have accused Google of installing a Covid-19 tracking app without consent.ref 17 This battle was lost years ago.
- Drones were used in Italy to detect people with fevers on a beach. Medical swat teams were then dispatched.ref 18 The authorities did not comment about facial recognition software except to note that they would “respect privacy.”
All of the Communist Parties, upon attaining power, have become completely merciless. But at the stage before they achieve power, it is necessary to use disguises.
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defended coercive vaccine programs, claiming that “vaccine mandates actually further civil liberties.”ref 19 The ACLU is now pretty much worthless. Greenwald does a nice exposé on coercive measures relating to health in the past.ref 20
- French authorities have told Airbnb property owners to report customers to the police who they believe have violated lockdown rules.ref 21
- Canadians will be punished for online or in-person “hate speech” with a fine of up to $16,000 (USD) if it targets a specific person.ref 22 The law states that “hate speech means the content of a communication that expresses detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.” The law also allows legal action if a person fears they will be the target of hate speech.
A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.
~ Daniel Kahneman, psychologist, Nobel Prize winner in economics, and coauthor of Thinking Fast and Slow
- In 2018, insurer John Hancock said it was moving toward “interactive policies” that involve individuals having their health monitored by commercial health wearables.ref 23 It will not be optional soon.
- Senator Warren asserted that Amazon was complicit in spreading “Covid-19 misinformation” because it allows people to buy books authored by people like Dr. Joseph Mercola, who has been a purveyor of “dangerous” fake news about Covid and the vaccines.ref 24 I used to swap emails with Elizabeth late at night, and she struck me as a decent person. Absolute power corrupts absolutely I guess.
- Bans on the prosecution of shoplifters in California erode the liberties of the shop owners as well as the fabric of society. The lawlessness has infected cities where law and order were not explicitly undermined: crime is rising steeply because a bad idea has taken root.
- YouTube Deleted fifteen videos from Brazilian President’s Channel For Covid-19 misinformation.ref 25 YouTube is no longer about “You.”
- Senator Rand Paul claims that “YouTube will be banning all my speech, including speech that is given on the Senate floor, deemed by the wizards at YouTube.”ref 26 Rand goes on to clarify that, “Leftwing cretins at YouTube banned me for 7 days for a video that quotes 2 peer-reviewed articles saying cloth masks don’t work.” Now the CDC says masks don’t work.ref 27
- The second-highest-ranking official in the Norfolk Police Department was fired for making an anonymous donation to the defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse.ref 28 A reporter in Utah went to the home of a paramedic to confront him on why he made a $10 donation to Rittenhouse.ref 29 The owner should have met him at the door with an AR-15 slung over his shoulder as a garish display of disdain.
Censorship, wokeness, political correctness—it all points in one direction: authoritarianism, cloaked as moral righteousness.
~ Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State
Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.
~ George Carlin, Mike Pompeo’s speechwriter
- Twelve National Guardsmen were relieved of duty from Biden’s inauguration because of pro-Trump social media comments.ref 30 The assumption is that they might open fire on Democrats?
- Conservative commentator and former baseball star, Curt Schilling, says that AIG canceled his insurance policy over his social media profile.ref 31 “The agent told us it was a decision made by and with their PR department in conjunction with management.”
- Simon and Schuster canceled their contract to publish Senator Josh Hawley’s book on Big Tech censorship.ref 32 Seems ironic.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
- A poll from the Pew Research Center suggests that half of the US populace supports the government barring “misinformation.”ref 33 The supporters are almost all Democrats. I’m losing my patience with you pinheads.
- Faculty and editors are now actively supporting modern versions of book-burnings with blacklists and bans for those with opposing political views.ref 34 Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll has denounced the “weaponization” of free speech.ref 35 You know what Steve’s biggest problem is? His journalism school is rated as one of the poorest investments in the academic world because journalism no longer pays the bills and the dean is an idiot.ref 36
- Facebook blocked Ron Paul from using his own fan page for unspecified violations of “community standards.”ref 37 Ron’s last posting was linked to an article on the increase of censorship on social media. Facebook then blocked him again under the same undefined “community standards” policy. You never “meta” bigger douchebag than Zuckerberg.
29% of Democrats want kids taken away from parents who are unjabbed.
~ Recent Rasmussen Pollref 38
93% of Republicans think that 29% of Democrats are psychotic loons with a death wish.
~ Poll results I just made up
- The Babylon Bee is being attacked by faux fact-checkers—they’re all fake—for headlines that would fool only morons.ref 39 Facebook hammered The Bee for “coordinating harm and promoting crime” after they published a satirical “Guide To Being Prepared For Rioting.” The New York Times called The Bee a “far-right misinformation site” that “sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire” because they “capitalize on confusion” and have a “habit of skirting the line between misinformation and satire.” You would feed Marin County for a year with that word salad.
- The Scottish government wants to make their Covid emergency powers permanent.ref 40
- The Urban Dictionary, which is virtually filter-free, removed its “Blue Anon” entry because it mocked the Left for their belief in right-wing conspiracy theories, “such as the Russia Hoax, Jussie Smollett hoax, Ukraine hoax, Covington Kids hoax, and Brett Kavanaugh hoax.”ref 41 Their content seems reasonable to me:ref 42
- According to liberal author Naomi Wolf, hundreds of publishing professionals signed a letter urging no book deals for former Trump administration employees.ref 43 You would think that the Left might like to read a few of those. “We are turning into a version of totalitarian states before everyone’s eyes,” noted Naomi right before getting booted off Twitter.
- At the behest of the U.S. government, Facebook deleted the accounts of the Chechen Republic’s tyrant for “putting gluten in their muffins.”ref 44 I made that last part up, but he was the leader of a sovereign state. Our tyrants get to keep their accounts.
- The FBI targets parents who threaten or intimidate school board members.ref 45 Seems like a job for the local police unless, of course, those parents are of the wrong political persuasion or oppose State-sanctioned ideas.
I make a special appeal to social media companies and media outlets: please deal with misinformation and disinformation that’s on your shows.
~ Joe Biden, the de facto head of Stalinists for Safe Spaces
If you don’t find it deeply disturbing that the White House is “flagging” internet content that they deem “problematic” to their Facebook allies for removal, then you are definitionally an authoritarian. No other information is needed about you to know that.
~ Glen Greenwald
- Mastercard has set up a carbon-credit-based card that tracks the carbon footprint of your purchases.ref 46 It will cut off further purchases once you hit your carbon limit. This is a leap toward the Chinese-style social credit scoring, which will become ruthless in a cashless society run by authoritarians.
- There is a discussion of a climate “lockdown.”ref 47 I’m sorry, but ideas like this are not coming from the Right.
- Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to Project Veritas, citing repeat violations of Twitter’s policies against publishing private information. Veritas entices stupid insiders in after-hours bars to spill their guts to hot chicks with hidden cameras. Here are your tax dollars at work…
We go for all the Republican voters, and Homeland Security will take their children away. And we’ll put them (Trump supporters’ children) in re-education camps.
~ Attorney for PBS caught by Project Veritasref 48
- Facebook deleted four years of posts from Former UK ambassador Craig Murray.ref 49
- Amazon, Google, and Apple removed Parler from the internet, exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country.ref 50 Parler was also booted from online payment processors Stripe, Twilio, and American Express.ref 51 “You don’t like our platform? Make your own you Libertarian fuckwits…and then we’ll destroy it.”
- Apple will scan every photo you upload to fight pedophilia.ref 52 Nobody believes the pedophilia part.
This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace … You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out.
~ Parler CEO
- Thomas Barrack, an affiliate of Donald Trump, was arrested “lying to a federal agent…a “process crime.”ref 53 That means the original accusations didn’t hold up to scrutiny so all they had were technicalities.
- A Florida man—sounds trite—was fined $30,000 for having tall grass in his yard while he was away handling his mother’s estate.ref 54 The city foreclosed on his home to collect the fines. A federal judge ruled that the $30,000 fines did not violate the Constitution’s protection against excessive punishment. Hey Your Holiness: What is the threshold for excessive punishment for excessive grass? Above $2,000 per inch? There must be more to this story.
- Patrick Wood (see Books) relates a story of a guy released in a city of millions in China and told to lose himself in the crowds.ref 55 The authorities were given some biometrics and told to find him. He was apprehended in 7 minutes. This is Will Smith in Enemy of the State coming to a theater near you.
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
~ Frédéric Bastiat, French economist
In the FBI’s view, the top domestic violent extremist threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race.
~ Attorney General Merrick Garland, racist
War on Domestic Terror. Anti-domestic extremism has been simmering on the back burner for years but was launched formally as a War as of January 6th. I oppose it at many levels. We don’t win wars against ideas. How are those wars on poverty and drugs coming along? More importantly, any war that specifically targets a slice of the domestic populace is repugnant and one designated by race is Constitutionally invalid. The authorities could have left the racial identity part out of the rhetoric to dodge the Constitutional awkwardness, but they did not. The Domestic Terrorist Act, a progenitor presented in March 2019, refers to “white supremacist” 19 times.ref 58 These are thinly veiled threats against the political Right and the Deplorables. You can deny this, but as a member of those groups, it sure feels like they are coming at me. Here is the FBI’s take that I find despicable:
The Republican party needs to be burned down … It’s just not a healthy political organization.
~ James Comey, former head of the FBI
I can check a lot of those boxes. I am not a “white supremacist” but I could become a “right supremacist” if cornered. There are two reasons why you shouldn’t push an old man around: (1) you do not know what kind of young man he was, and (2) life in prison is no longer a huge deterrent. The FBI and I are on opposing teams now; their War Against Domestic Terror is looking like Nazi Germany. Try these gems…
Biden intel community is moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about the pro-Trump insurgency that harbors religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.
~ @JohnBrennan, former head of the CIA
Libertarians? Really? And that authoritarians part is precious too you authoritarian punk-ass bitch. Did you readers know that Brennan was a former member of the communist party?ref 59 How did Brennan get the security clearance to run the CIA? Maybe it’s time to deal with a commie dog. Team Biden is partnering with private firms (red flag) to monitor extremist chatter online. Although the Department of Homeland Security is banned from using false identities—a constraint not imposed on the FBI—they can circumvent this using private messaging apps.ref 60
If you think the real power centers in the US are the Proud Boys, 4Chan & Boogaloos rather than the CIA, FBI, NSA, Wall Street and Silicon Valley, and spend most of your time battling the former while serving the latter as stenographers, your journalism is definitionally shit.
~ Glenn Greenwald
The Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act is in the pipeline.ref 61 WTF is that? It arises from claims that hate crimes are on the rise against Asian Americans because they look like the folks who invented the virus in Wuhan. I hasten to add that nobody could confuse an Asian American with Daszak, Barick, or Fauci, so it already makes no sense. I think we should rename it the Random Bill to Stir Up a Fictional Race War Act. I don’t buy it, and you shouldn’t either. After six Asian women working massage parlors in Atlanta were killed, the media ran with the Asian hate-crime narrative, ignoring the awkward detail that others had been killed too.ref 62 FBI statistics show that 62% of whites in the population committed 24% of crimes against Asians.ref 63 I suspect this is more of a story about crimes in low-income neighborhoods than about race.
In order to really tackle terrorism—in this time domestically—you’ve got to attack and dismantle the command and control element of a terrorist group. That may mean people sitting in Congress right now.
~ Former FBI assistant director, Frank Figliuzzi
Domestic extremists killed 17 people in the US in 2020, 45 in 2019, and 54 of 2018.ref 64 I don’t know if they were crimes of white supremacy or just by white supremacists. By the way, what is the definition of a white supremacist, and where do you find them? To put those stats into context, 800 people were murdered in the City of Chicago in 2021.ref 65 Liberal haven Portland, Oregon had 90 shooting fatalities in 2021.ref 66 Now tell me again: Are white supremacists really our biggest threat or are authoritarians-in-training ginning up justifications for domestic oppression? Are white supremacists synonymous with Trump voters and Libertarians? Is there some characteristic beyond the swastikas that prison gangs use to identify them? I am confident the US can handle those committing crimes as supremacists without some invasive war against its citizenry, but I am less confident that we can restrain the domestic Stasi.
We won’t ignore what our intelligence agencies have determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to our homeland today, White supremacy.
~ House hearing on Racially and Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremismref 67
From a 2011 article on domestic extremism written by the FBI, an agency that would never create a false narrative, we get this warning about harboring delusions:ref 68
Many militia extremists also wrongly believe that the federal government will relocate citizens to camps controlled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or force them to undergo vaccinations.
~ FBI, 2011
We haven’t followed Australia’s leadref 69,70 and created FEMA-style Covid camps yet, but the forced vaccinations are here. And, by the way, why does the FBI care that some whackjobs worry about oppressive government?
The following warning is on the Department of Health Services (DHS) website:ref 71
Through the remainder of 2021, racially- or ethnically-motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists will remain a national threat priority for the United States. These extremists may seek to exploit the emergence of COVID-19 variants by viewing the potential re-establishment of public health restrictions across the United States as a rationale to conduct attacks. Pandemic-related stressors have contributed to increased societal strains and tensions, driving several plots by domestic violent extremists, and they may contribute to more violence this year.
With no evidence of any attacks whatsoevers, officials fessed up to NBC News that:
Currently, DHS lacks specific or credible reporting indicating that violent extremists are planning to target specific events.ref 72
So, to paraphrase the DHS, “We are just making shit up.”
Biden has suggested in what is called his “Dollars for Collars” Program that the populace can do surveillance that would be illegal if done by federal agents. His plan is to focus on those who are “perpetuating the ‘narratives’ of concern.”ref 73,74 The plan notes, “Domestic violent extremists are really adaptive and innovative. We see them not only moving to encrypted platforms, but obviously couching their language so they don’t trigger any kind of red flag on any platforms.” In short, these Enemies of the State don’t say shit. The recruited informants are rewarded based on the value of the assets and the number of people prosecuted from the tips. Some worry that people will fabricate crimes on each other for the big bucks. Private informants who entrap others leave no trail. These expendable snitches, however, are at some risk: they may get written out of the plot the hard way.
Millions of Americans have awakened to a sobering reality: they live in a plutocracy, where they are disposable.
~ Bill Moyers
Recall the Democrats served up a Resolution on the January 6 “domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol” that was dated January 5th.ref 75 They have called for a commission to study the event. It is to be evenly balanced with five Democrats who hate Trump and five Republicans who also hate Trump.ref 76 The GOP leader’s name is “McCarthy.” The subpoena powers accorded the commission would be broadly based, giving them access to everybody including the intelligence community. I would love this if there was any chance that the commission would get some answers, but it’s a political witch hunt. Period/full stop. As Glenn Greenwald noted, “The more you can demonize your opponents as something monstrous, the more political power you can acquire,” but we all know this.
I respect the government only in the same sense that I respect any other dangerous predator who views me as food.
~ Will Spencer
The Secretary of Homeland Security has issued the following National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin regarding the current heightened threat environment across the US:
The Homeland continues to face a diverse and challenging threat environment leading up to and following the 20th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks as well religious holidays we assess could serve as a catalyst for acts of targeted violence. These threats include those posed by domestic terrorists, individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence, and those inspired or motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences. These actors are increasingly exploiting online forums to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and promote violent activity. Such threats are also exacerbated by impacts of the ongoing global pandemic, including grievances over public health safety measures and perceived government restrictions.
Besides misspelling “The Fatherland” wrong and the complete absence of domestic disturbances to justify this move, they nailed it. They can’t stop lying.
I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me.
Here’s an email just sent to every kid in America applying to college through the Common App website, the guys who allow white kids enormous advantages in applying to college we are told. It offers a breathtakingly distorted reality:ref 77
We witnessed a deeply disturbing attack on democracy on Wednesday, when violent white supremacist insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undo a fair and legal election. The stark differences between how peaceful Black and brown protesters have been treated for years relative to Wednesday’s coup again call attention to the open wound of systemic racism.
~ Common App, sent to every college applicant
And what kind of domestic war would it be without a CIA mouthpiece chiming in…
We may be witnessing the dawn of a sustained wave of violent insurgency within our own country, perpetrated by our own countrymen…who believe that the election was stolen [and] who don’t trust NPR or the New York Times….motivated by a range of issues, including anger over Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force.
~ Robert Grenier, CIA Counterintelligence Chiefref 78
The Annual Threat Assessment claims that white supremacy is now the threat.ref 79 It blames the pandemic and ensuing crises and people growing more desperate because of sustained economic downturns, job losses, and disrupted supply chains,
OK, Dave. What about all those school shootings? I would respond by asking for the evidence that commando raids by white supremacists or violent extremists are involved. The shooter is usually some demented, drug-addled young male who is borderline incoherent in court. A rare exception is the Las Vegas shootings in which boomer Steven Paddock shot over 500 people and killed over 50. Do you find it odd the authorities never mention that one? The largest domestic shooting since the Civil War has gone down the memory hole. I can’t adjudicate it here, but I did chase this rabbit down the hole in 2017 and believe it cannot be explained using conventional thinking.ref 80 Have fun with this, and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think. I’ll just leave this teaser from ABC News:
He [Paddock] is not the first mass shooter to destroy or hide digital clues. In 2007, [the] Virginia Tech shooter . . . took the step of removing the hard drive of his computer and disposing of his cell phone shortly before the massacre. . . . The 2008 Northern Illinois [University] shooter, Steven Kazmierczak, removed the SIM card from his phone and the hard drive from his laptop, and neither was recovered. . . . In 2012, Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza had removed the hard drive from his computer and smashed it with a hammer or screwdriver.
~ ABC News, on why Steve Paddock’s hard drive was missing
Did that make you feel better? Me neither. Where was Ray Epps at the time?
Let me cauterize this wound with the requisite ass-covering qualifier followed by a dire warning:
I don’t doubt there are bad people out there with racial motivations. But if this is just political posturing by the Left, you are playing a profoundly dangerous political game. You may not be able to unring that bell. And if it is more than just talking points for CNN, then you are fostering the rise of authoritarianism, and, by my definition, it is treasonous.
Historical Context. I ran across a cute story of a chap named Johann Weyer who, in 1563, suggested that the standard metric for identifying witches—their inability to cry at the story of the Crucifixion—was a lousy assay because some older women have trouble tearing up. The authorities banned his book. Ours would do that too.
We can learn a lot from our peers who emigrated from authoritarian regimes. I get a few emails expressing dismay at parallels they see with their past and our present. This one is from a US-based scientist:
People are afraid to speak honestly. It’s like back to the USSR, where you could only speak to the ones you trust…. the reaction is savage. And you better be tenured and you better have very thick skin….We’re afraid of what’s happening to other people happening to us… We are seeing people being fired. We are seeing people’s reputations being sullied. There are members of our group who say, ‘I will be asked to leave a board. I will endanger the work of the nonprofit that I lead if this comes out.’ People are at risk of being totally marginalized and having to leave their institutions.
~ email from a Russian Immigrant Scientist, 2021
I keep in touch with many US science faculty who were born in USSR, and even ones who are of leftist political persuasions are extremely uncomfortable with the current situation and with the uncertain future. These situations never end well, and collapse is swift, unexpected, and unpleasant, as in 1990–1991 USSR.
~ email from a chemist raised in the former Soviet Union, 2021
A North Korean woman who escaped to the West became a rather popular commodity on the interview circuit as she described similarities between the US and North Korea.ref 81 My spidey sense detects something is not right with her demeanor. I am not alone.ref 82 Gladwell (Books) might accuse me of failing to understand that she does not fit my perceived norm. He would also admit that many can be duped by lies. The psychologists who study propaganda tell us that young girls are the most persuasive messengers. The young girl who fabricated atrocities that helped justify the War in Iraqref 83 and Greta Thunberg telling us about the atrocities surrounding climate change come to mind.ref 84
Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.
~ Arnold J. Toynbee
A look at past collapsed empires can be instructive. Since Henri Pirenne’s collective works about antiquity or Edward Gibbon’s six-volume series, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, would test Evelyn Wood’s patience, I highly recommend Joseph Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societiesref 85 or even the more benign book by Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.ref 86 Too much still? Start with this blog by Jeff Thomas on how empires end.ref 87 One way or the other, we gotta start boning up on this shit.
In an age of accelerating overpopulation, of accelerating over-organization, and ever-more efficient means of mass communication, how can we preserve the integrity and reassert the value of the human individual?
~ Aldous Huxley, Enemies of Freedom
Robert Higgs of the Mises Institute wrote a thoughtful essay on the myths that are fed to the populace in times of crisis.ref 88 He goes into some detail, but the ideas include claims of lack of historical precedent, need for prompt action by an all-knowing government regardless of costs and consequences, and, if draconian measures fail, do more of the same.
In the Soviet Union [everybody] knew the system was failing, but no one could imagine an alternative to the status quo, and politicians and citizens alike were resigned to maintaining the pretense of a functioning society. Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the fakeness was accepted by everyone as real, an effect that Yurchak termed hypernormalization.
An ex-KGB agent—is there such a thing?—tells us that Marxist-Leninist dogma has already been jammed in the heads of three generations of American children and that the sought-after demoralization of the US populace is complete. We are now unable to separate fact from fiction.ref 89 No amount of data will sway public opinion until “the military boot crashes him, then he will understand, but not before that.”
Within the next generation, I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.
~ Aldous Huxley in a letter to George Orwell, 1949ref 89
Psychology of Authoritarianism. In a 1958 interview, Aldous Huxley said that dictatorships will be very different in that they will get the consent of the ruled—you will be happy.ref 90 He noted that psychoactive drugs will profoundly change our mental states allowing the State to avoid overt force. Political candidates will be coached to appear sincere, and kids will be targeted for propaganda campaigns. Does any of that sound familiar? In his most recent book, Talking to Strangers, Gladwell reminds us that our default setting is for cooperation and trust, otherwise social structures don’t work. The cost is that we are highly susceptible to psychological operations—psyops—by government miscreants. Others have noted that when fascism appears the victims suffer from profound confusion as their world changes abruptly.
It should be disturbing that Biden just put Harvard’s Cass Sunstein and his neocon wife, Samantha Powers, on the payroll. I have been bird-dogging these two douchebags for years. There are few for which I have greater disdain than I have for Cass. He denounces conspiracy theorists as childlike while applying his ample intellect to conspire to deceive us. As nicely laid out by Matthew Ehret,ref 91 a 2008 Sunstein and Vermeule article told us that distrusting citizens pose “real risks to the government’s antiterrorism policies, whatever the latter may be.” Their solution? “Cognitive infiltration of extremist groups” and fucking them up using five strategies which the social engineers managing the population could deploy to defuse this growing threat. They are, and I quote,…
(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counter speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counter speech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help.
~ Cass Sunstein, Harvard Universityref 92
Because of his modeling on how to influence human behavior, he was hired by the WHO as part of the Great Reset during the Covid-19 crisis to “use a range of tools to influence behavior.” His new boss noted, “That’s why behavioral science is so important.” You, Cass, are the enemy—the epitome of evil.
But why do some fall into the trap so easily and others resist? Live Not by Lies (see Books) describes obstinate Soviets struggling to preserve Christian ideas. The battle is lost when the ideas are not passed on to the next generation for fear that the kids will slip up and end up in a gulag. Brandon Smithref 93 concludes, “there is an inherent portion of any given society that secretly loves it [centralized control] and wants it to exist.” I discussed these ideas in the context of climate change where green militancy correlated inversely with green living.ref 94 Those who felt they lacked control were more likely to demand government intervention. These relatively “pitiful” individuals rely on the safety and security of the mob. Their unwillingness to ponder alternative models becomes cultish. We all have echo chambers, but the need to silence opposition creates intellectual rigidity that becomes permanent. “They are so certain of their preeminence and the safety of their self-imposed prisons that they will see failure as a phantom, a ghost that cannot touch them.”ref 93 It is an easy trap to fall into.
The more anxious people are, the more they crave authoritarian leaders.
~ John Cleese (@JohnCleese)
We also develop “learned helplessness” when we repeatedly face negative, unsolvable challenges and stop trying to improve our circumstances. We develop a maladaptive passivity to harm, avoid challenges, and erode our problem-solving skills. We just STFU and go along to get along. Modern cancel culture provides the participants a sense of meaning and control. It is a tool developed by “them” to suppress free speech. Taking a publicly contentious stance requires uncommon courage when the risk of cancellation is present.
The moral to be drawn from this dangerous nightmare situation is a simple one: Don’t let it happen. It depends on you.
~ George Orwell
Self-Assembling Oligarchies. We all allude to the infamous “they” for doing something sinister. I asked a retired National Security Analyst about the “they” underlying the Covid story. Who are these brokers of pain and suffering to the masses—Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, Christine LeGarde, George Soros, or Xi Jinping? He explicitly ducked the question, noting that to offer a name trivializes the problem to a bumper-sticker villain, which precludes the deep thought and hard work required to understand. That was some serious wisdom. He also warned not to bring science or any form of technical jargon to non-science issues because that excludes most of the population from the public discourse. That’s what America’s Most Pathological Liar does when he demands that we, “Follow the science.” Identifying a single villain leads to what I call the Wizard of Oz Fallacy: the focal point of the evil is the wicked witch. Douse her with water, declare victory, and start singing. Well, that was easy.
Time to get another hat.
My confidant suggested that I should think of “they” as a self-assembling oligarchy. The guys with wealth and power benefit from consolidating the wealth and power. The higher up the ladder the more you benefit. “They” might not even know each other. It is a distributed system—a blockchain—that relies on power and corruption as proof of work. But how is it organized? Well, answer me this: Which starling was charged with forming this murmuration?
War would leave America heavily indebted and with a permanently centralized, swollen, and increasingly authoritarian national government. Those who would have us go to war to save liberty might give a little thought to the preponderant chance that we would come out of war with personal liberty restricted for generations. We should have none of it…We cannot herd the world into the paths of righteousness with the dogs of war. We cannot become the world’s policeman unless we are prepared to sacrifice millions of American lives and probably someday see the world against us. In time, they would envisage us as the World’s greatest bully, not the World’s greatest idealist.
~ Herbert Hoover (before WWII possibly reflecting back on Wilson)
Those down the hierarchy routinely suck salty balls, but the oligarchs don’t care provided the plebes don’t find a way to flip over the game board. It is formulaic to keep the population in check. Everybody under a tyrannical regime knows the leadership is evil: so what? The knowledge is worthless if the response to it is contained.
So let’s ponder a few examples from the past. I suspect that the majority of Americans don’t buy the official narrative of JFK’s assassination: so what? Does that broadly held view in any way undermine the status quo? The Lusitania was loaded with armaments to tempt the Germans to sink it. They took the bait, we entered WWI, and 117,000 young Americans were killed in a war that was not our fight. It’s worse than that: Wilson refused a surrender from the Austrians because the arms dealers were making too much money. OK, but so what? Many know the Israelis attacked the USS Liberty under mysterious circumstances: so what? The evidence that we intentionally let the Japanese fly into Pearl Harbor unopposed to lead us into World War II is pretty compelling if you take the time to look at it: so what? Truthers, of which I am one, view 9/11 as an explicit ploy to get our military into the Middle East: So what?ref 95 Many prominent scientists have called out the climate change narrative as a $150 trillion ruse: so what? The Pandora Papers revealed that there is over $11 trillion of oligarch money stuffed into offshore accounts: so what?ref 96 Prince Andrew, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, and up to 1,000 additional elite men had ties to Epstein and his intelligence-agency-sponsored honey trap and were probably banging young girls: so what?ref 97 A living former president is believed by many to be a rapist and tied to political assassinations: so what? We bombed Middle Eastern countries that never attacked us, incurring unimaginable death tolls and destruction on a completely fabricated WMD premise or for no obvious reason whatsoever: so what? Whether these claims are true or false, so what? Did this knowledge change anything?
I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, are designed to make us not like each other so they can keep their grasp of money and power.
~ Charles Barkley
Do you see the pattern yet? After two years of a pandemic, we are being told that the rags on our faces served no purpose and the jabs in our arms offered temporary protection if that. Follow the science has become a sick joke: have any heads rolled? I get outraged, while most people happily get more jabs and upgrade their masks. We are given The Narratives, and we live with them. When in history was this not the case?
Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts.
~ Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
Authoritarianism: A Few Ideas. To say “they” are trying to “control” us brings little or no wisdom. I need an explanation, not a meme. I am creeped out by the disruptive change in the air that tells me we are marching headlong into Global Authoritarianism. I offer a dozen ideas—musings—relating to authoritarianism. These ideas are merely an eclectic mix of motivations, mechanisms, and consequences that are neither mutually exclusive nor more than vague mental constructs relating to who, why, and how. I allude to “they” only as necessary. I am coloring outside the lines here and have very little real wisdom to offer. I only know that there are powerful and evil forces casting a pall over The Shire. Something is askew.
We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years…It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.
~ David Rockefeller, globalist
(1) Nothing New Under the Sun. The world has always been pretty screwed up and politics quite nasty. The US has never had a shortage of scoundrels commandeering the machinery of government to get their way. With the invention of C-Span and the 24-hour news cycle, however, we now have a birdseye view of the morons, crooks, and sociopaths we elected. It seems to have diverted their reelection strategies from commandeering bread and circuses for their constituents to simply babbling in front of microphones all day. We may have a better view or a highly distorted inferior view.
Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
~ David Rockefeller, Memoirs
Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery comes out of the most extreme form of liberty.
~ Socrates as relayed by Plato
(2) Regression to the Mean. In The Better Angels of Our Nature,ref 99 Stephen Pinker makes the case that we have become less violent over the centuries, so there is that. History is littered with brutal narratives, and there is no reason why the present should be any different. Maybe Western Civilization has gone through a quiet period, and we are about to return to normal. (But don’t tell Middle Easterners, Uighurs, or Serbs that the last few decades were benign.) A corollary of this theory is that the Great American Experiment raved about by 18th-century philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville has run its course, and the time for inferior ideas has returned. Jonah Goldberg’s Suicide of the West and Charles Murray’s particularly engaging Coming Apart express deep concern that we are losing the American Exceptionalism—a term ironically coined by Stalin.ref 100 Maybe American-style democracy was metastable—never meant to last—because it required too much conscious input to be sustained.
The crisis that besets our civilization is fundamentally psychological. Specifically, we are shot through with ingratitude for the miracle. Our schools and universities, to the extent that they teach the western tradition at all, do so from the perspective of resentful hostility towards our accomplishments.
~ Jonah Goldberg
America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these, America will collapse from within.
(3) The Great Reset. This is a very real but decidedly vague idea that is being pushed upon us by the Bond villain, Klaus Schwab, and a faction of nutjobs at the World Economic Forum (WEF).ref 101 I’ve struggled to understand what it means.ref 102 I tried to read Klaus’s treatises and found them insufferable garble. I was relieved to find that James Lindsay on a Rogan podcast concurred (#1767 on Spotify.) One can’t help but notice, however, that statements from the WEF are blunt and threatening, softened with preposterous claims of grandeur:ref 103
You will own nothing, and you will be happy. Whatever you want you’ll rent, and it will be delivered by drone. The US won’t be the World’s leading superpower. A handful of countries will dominate. You won’t die waiting for an organ donor. We won’t transplant organs; we’ll print new ones instead. You will eat much less meat—an occasional treat, not a staple for the good of our environment and our health. A billion people will be displaced by climate change. We’ll have to do a better job at welcoming and integrating refugees. Polluters will have to pay to emit carbon dioxide. There will be a global price on carbon. This will help to make fossil fuels history. You could be preparing to go to Mars. Scientists will have worked out how to keep you healthy in space. The start of a new journey to find alien life? Western values will have been tested to the breaking point. Checks and balances that underpin our democracies must not be forgotten.
~ WEF Predictions for 2030ref 104
Fact-checkers are propaganda arms of the State. If you take what they say at face value, you are a special kind of stupid. On a pure character count, I have take issue with 84% of that WEF statement.
I understand the desire by many for some serious realignments of geopolitical power. I cannot defend the dollar as the world’s reserve currency nor our mercantilist military exploits that have led to millions of deaths, knowing that they were to enrich the industrial-military complex. The Cold War was two superpowers in a stalemate. When the Soviet Union collapsed I joined all the boomers in saying “Wow!” Young punks can’t imagine how permanent the Soviet Union appeared. My second thought, however, was to wonder who would keep us in check with the Soviet Union gone. Ken Rogoff incorrectly promised the Russians that there would be a Marshall Plan 2.0 to help them rebuild. None emerged because there was no Soviet Union to demand it.
OK. Refocus, Dave. As an American I find those WEF pronouncements threatening. If I won’t own anything, who will own it? If we are not a dominant superpower, who will be? All those claims about climate change and skipping meat are globalist crap, the Climate Narrative is a $150 trillion ruse,ref 105 and the trip to Mars seeking alien life is incoherent blather that is anything but green and solves nothing. This new globalism is making inroads now as evidenced by the WEF’s catchphrase, “Build back better”, being adopted by western leaders including creepy Uncle Joe:ref 106
I can’t say with confidence that the ideas espoused by the WEF are necessarily in conflict with America’s interests. We certainly need global trade to minimize global conflict. I am squeamish, however, about an American president not just aligning our interest with the World’s but placing the globalist interests ahead of ours. Citizens of every sovereign state should be unsettled by that prospect because all nations have unique hopes, dreams, and needs that should not be subsumed or superseded by the Davos crowd. Oops. I just trivialized “them.”
Oops again. That was a Dr. Strangelove moment with a full Peter Sellers Nazi salute. I suspect some pushback invoked a Mulligan…
(4) Containment of China. Kissinger et al. brought China into the 20th century. I surmise they thought that addicting the Chinese to capitalism would cause them to be more like us, and we would benefit from new markets and cheap labor. Well, 50 years later the Chinese remain very different than us in some ways and very much like us in others.
The current 3-dimensional geopolitical chess match may be an attempt to keep this new superpower in check. That Xi Jinping was the leadoff speaker at the WEF conference last year with a full grovel by Schwab may or may not offer insight. Interestingly, 120 retired generals and admirals wrote an open letter to warn us about the rise of China and the incursion of Marxism domestically.ref 107 After 50 years, we are looking like China.
Generals I talk to say we are already at war with China; we just don’t know it.
~ an active military confidant
(5) Global Debt Problem. Some think you cannot have a global debt problem because for every debtor there is a creditor. This is akin to saying we don’t have a debt problem if we owe it to ourselves. Both are wrong. You don’t have a debt problem if you know how much you owe and how you are going to pay it back. Under normal circumstances, that would be something like a mortgage or college education. However, you get into trouble when you either lack a payment plan or don’t know what you owe. To illustrate, here is how you could amplify the global debt problem in an instant: Governments of the world declare everybody gets free healthcare and generous retirement benefits. The plan lacks even a smidgeon of new wealth creation to cover the tab—we have no idea how to fulfill this promise. You now have a bigger global debt problem. To the extent that citizens’ expectations in the US, China, India, and the rest of the world far exceed the capacity to satisfy them, we have a global debt problem.
The world has changed. The intellectual frameworks have evolved. We don’t need to worry about debt.
~ Paul Sheard, a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School
I’m gasping for air after that bit of wisdom from a Harvardian. Looking at the problem domestically, the US has nearly $30 trillion in debt that we are assured we will never have to pay off. But as that grows the interest payments chew deeper into our annual budget. One way or another it will be dealt with, whether by inflation (monetization), deflation (default), or a profoundly painful austerity to pay off the credit cards. (As noted in Part 1, I doubt the inflation variant even works in theory.)
And that $30 trillion is just the on-balance-sheet debt—the debt we know we owe. According to Larry Kotlikoff, a sovereign debt guru, the US has more than $200 trillion of unfunded liabilities. These are promises—social security, medicare, government health, retirement plans—that, after making reasonable revenue projections in perpetuity, you still have no mechanism to fund them. Those who say social security is going to run out of funds are wrong. There are no funds, no lockboxes, no revenue-producing securities. They are off-balance-sheet IOUs from the government to the government. The payments come out of our operating budget and accrued Federal debt. It’s a Ponzi scheme. We know what we are owed but not what we owe. The unfunded liabilities amount to about $2 million per taxpayer. Have you budgeted for your share? Most importantly, it will become politically destabilizing unless “they” figure out a solution.
So much material in this tale doesn’t add up that it looks like the results of a math test in a Baltimore middle school.
~ Jim Kunstler
(6) Faltering Capitalism. Fabio Vighi, a Marxist economist from Cardiff University, wrote a fascinating Grand Theory of Everything entitled, A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Systemic Collapse and Pandemic Simulation.ref 108 Fabio suggests the repo and leveraged loan market instabilities in late 2019 forced the central banks to gin up the pandemic plotline, which slowed down demand for credit and provided cover for $9 trillion injections into the banking system with no stock market collapse. (That last part was patently obvious to all.)
Vighi suggests the economy was intentionally put into an induced coma to collapse the buying pressure, giving the credit markets time to stabilize. Channeling Peter Schiff, Vighi notes the “fictitious capital” created during the bailouts would cause hyperinflation if not for the coma part. The consumers then helped put the finishing touches on the largest and most expansive asset bubbles in history. Vighi’s dark Marxist view—capitalism’s “moving contradiction”—is that capitalism needs to both exploit the workforce and then expel it when it is no longer needed. Technology is putting greater demand on the expel part for the “dystopian survival of capitalism.” Sounds very Marxist.
The ongoing extinction of all but the largest companies caused an accompanying rise in neo-feudalism. “The impoverished middle-classes are now a problem to be handled with the stick of lockdowns, curfews, mass vaccination, propaganda, and the militarisation of society.” He suggests lockdowns were never about therapeutic gain since capitalism has never shown such compassion. They’re about the military-industrial complex needing wars and the pharmaceutical-industrial complex needing disease. The response to the pandemic was always about the money.
The fear and submissive behavior caused a containably lethal virus to became a killer virus owing to our response. He finishes by noting, “Those sitting in the control room fail to realise the extent to which their dominance is uncertain.” It’s hard to argue with that.ref 109 I’ve gotta read more about Marxism. Those guys are completely bonkers, but they appear to be the only ones questioning our State Capitalism-based economic system controlled by the Deep Street.
Fascism is capitalism in decline.
~ Vladimir Lenin
(7) Slime-Mold Theory. Change may just happen without premeditation or purpose. The slime mold working its way up your shower curtain has no purpose as we would define it. Maybe we are witnessing the emergence of authoritarian ideas for no particular reason other than they germinated.
Well, that didn’t come to pass in 1984, but if we’re not careful, that could come to pass in 2024. If we don’t enact the laws that will protect the public in the future, we are going to find the technology racing ahead, and it’s going to be very difficult to catch up.
~ Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, on stopping AI
When speech got digitized, the town square got privatized and the First Amendment got euthanized. If you can’t speak online—or if your ability to speak online is controlled by a tiny handful of companies with no due process—how do you really have a free speech right in this country any more?…You shouldn’t have to build a new Internet to post a tweet.
~ David Sacks, a venture capitalist
CIA plans to spend billions on cloud computing with multiple tech giants
~ LA Times
(8) The Internet and Authoritarianism. The internet providers and social media are not just private enterprise; they are apparatuses of the State. I have often alluded to the internet as democracy’s greatest threat and its most profound hope. Years ago Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems was asked in a Congressional session about privacy, and he said, “You don’t have any. Get over it.” Last year I babbled about the risk of losing our privacy.ref 110 In a single year, these quaint concerns about privacy have metastasized into how “they” will weaponize this information and concerns that authoritarianism is already here. The censorship is profound, and the populace is clamoring for more. You should never ask the government to attack your political adversaries because someday the wind will change. You won’t hear Europeans who left the Eastern Bloc cheering about the contemporary political trends.
If your gov’t is cracking down on ‘far-Right domestic terrorists’, you’re living under a Left-wing regime. If your gov’t is cracking down on ‘far-Left domestic terrorists’, you’re living under a Right-wing regime.
~ Geoffrey Miller @primapoly), Professor of Psychology, University of New Mexico
So here is my theory: global authoritarianism was inevitable the day the internet went live. It offers power that is too great for sociopaths to keep their grubby paws off. If you give a monkey a stick he’ll use it to beat the crap out of other monkeys. If you give the tech companies control of the internet, they will beat the crap out of you. Your bank and credit card access can be terminated, your cars and appliances inactivated, and life-sustaining commodities like natural gas and water cut off. This can be done by an algorithm in some distant server farm simply because you did not behave, and what constitutes behaving will be a highly fluid construct. You will have no recourse, and you will not be happy.
Under a scientific dictatorship, education will really work with the result that most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. … There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown.
~ Aldous Huxley
(9) Technocracy. As I pondered the Grand Theory of Everything I ran across a concept called technocracy and chased it down by reading Patrick Wood’s 2018 book, Technocracy: The Hard Road to World Order (see Books.)ref 111 There is a Technocracy News and Trends site too.ref 112 The idea has its origins in the 1930s when the Great Depression provided fertile ground to debate how a highly industrialized society should be run. The capitalists, having just screwed the pooch by getting us into a big mess, were saying that free markets would get us out. The Bolsheviks (Trotskyites), by contrast, endorsed central planning and believed that technology served up by the capitalists would be key to Bolshevik central planning. The Soviet Union was in its infancy, so the debate had an air of legitimacy.
Before moving to the present, I have another pet theory that might not be original but certainly regerminated in my skull. Roosevelt, in contrast to the right-wing view, was not so much a super-lefty but rather an insider who recognized that the alt-Left of the era was about to win unless game-changing bread and circuses were provided. Roosevelt’s big compromises—unprecedented social safety nets—ended the debate and handed the controls back to the capitalists. Crisis averted.
In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.
Here we are in the modern era in which virulent progressive movements are coming from both the Left (Bernie Bros) and the Right (MAGAs). The Venn diagram of their ideas has considerable overlap: something sucks, and it needs to change. Occupy Wall Street was a beta test. The bailouts were a temporary salve, not a cure. Enter technocracy. With the emergence of social unrest and the new-fangled surveillance technologies, artificial intelligence, and the internet, the renaissance of the technocracy was inevitable.
The first technology revolution caused World War I. The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution.
~ Jack Ma, CEO and Founder of Alibaba
Patrick Wood’s pre-Covid book is provocative. He describes a push to a new world order in which sovereign states give way to a social order based on regions. Think of them as modern-era city-states; dystopians may see analogies to Hunger Games. Implicit in Wood’s technocratic model is both tearing down and building back (better). The rot in society and social disturbances that, at times, seem premeditated are the tearing down parts.
Because small businesses represent an uncontrollable bitcoin-like distributed economy, a push to large corporations and euthanizing small businesses in 2020 makes sense. Sovereign borders are faltering as North Africans migrate unopposed into Europe and Latin Americans cross the US-Mexican border. Maybe this is not about new voters or humanitarian causes but rather about eroding the idea of borders.
Technocracy allocates power locally. But this is not a Libertarian distributed power structure because the overseeing control—our overlords to use a pejorative—are being consolidated globally. I confess to having been dismissive of the demonization of George Soros because it was intellectually lazy: if you don’t understand it you dump it in the Soros Garbage Can of the Unexplainable. I always wondered, however, why George focused his vast resources on supporting candidates at local and regional levels rather than merely buying up senators and presidents. The city-state model explains this. Many of the petty tyrants who grabbed control during the lockdowns were Soros appointees. Watch what happens when Newt Gingrich tries to point this out on Fox News and gets body slammed.ref 114
George Soros is Donald Trump without humility.
Here is where Wood’s thesis gets really creepy: he warns that an emphasis on infrastructure will dominate the debates, which is the focus of the Big Bailouts Better. $150 trillion response to climate change is a profound case in point. Wood also warns of “public-private partnerships” and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) that are not government-based. They work like this: you set up lavishly bankrolled organizations (Federally funded or otherwise) charged with funding improvements. While the management might have representation from elected officials, the decisions are not made by them. You have thereby separated the voter-elected officials from the resources. Municipalities apply for the funds, but the funding decisions are made by unelected appointees. Elected officials grovel for resources from unelected officials.
So when you read a headline stating that Bill Gates “pledged to invest $1.5 billion in a series of “public-private partnerships,”ref 115 beware. He is purchasing control. When Pharma fees pay for half the operating budget of Fauci’s NIAID, beware. They have purchased the regulators. To the Bitcoin enthusiasts, beware: Wood thinks it’s a trap, and he traces the origins of Bitcin to an NSA white paper.ref 116
Debt is a promise of future funds to purchase goods and services, but it doesn’t make the resources required to create these goods and services materialize out of “thin air.”
~ Gail Tverberg, former actuary and current resource blogger at The Oil Drum
(10) Resource Depletion. I have a rather specific concern that people with a birdseye view of the World—let’s risk trivializing them by calling them the Davos-Jackson Hole crowd—can see that with the rise of China and India we no longer have the resources to satisfy global needs. I dug deep into the Peak Oil Theory more than a dozen years ago. Although we fracked the day of reckoning back a few years, any notion of infinite resources on a finite planet is preposterous. The potentially constricted supplies of commodities include oil, natural gas, lithium for batteries, phosphate for fertilizers, copper, silver for electronics, rare-Earth metals, and countless others. The WEF might be offering up a thinly veiled message: “We can’t provide it, and you won’t get it, but you better find a way to be happy.” This Christopher Green fella seems to agree.ref 117
That eugenics was part of the progressive agenda is one of the most heavily-airbrushed features of history.
~ Arnold Kling, adjunct scholar at The Cato Institute
Eugenics is…the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political, and social problems.
~ Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood
(11) Eugenics. People of wealth and power have long pondered the idea that “useless eaters” near the bottom of the socio-economic or genetic ladder are expendable and should be explicitly expended. It was a popular topic in the early 20th century. A recent video highlighting such ideas by Jonah Goldberg does not tar him as a eugenicist but shows that the idea is in his skull for some reason.ref 118 It should not be surprising, therefore, if overtly culling the herd is discussed by psychopaths at the top. A 2009 Wall Street Journal article seemed to take the bait:ref 119
Let’s pick a possible example. On first inspection, Bill Gates is an unlikely eugenicist because he seems to have dedicated his post-Microsoft years to saving lives. Although vaccines he has fostered have left the occasional swath of destruction,ref 120 that is a far cry from overt culling. (You will find only fact checks denouncing claims of vaccine fiascos if you use Google to check this. Billions of dollars buys a lot of crickets.) Bill may be like the engineer in the Bridge Over the River Kwai whose passion blinds him to the reality that his bridge must be destroyed. Importantly, Bill is a lousy liar, which stems from congenital awkwardness not lack of practice. His mannerisms tip his hand. In one Ted Talk, he promoted population reduction and vaccines in the same sentence:ref 121
If we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we can lower that [the world population] by 10 or 15%.
~ Bill Gates, TED Conference Feb 20, 2010ref 122
That seems to be two highly conflicted ideas unless, of course, his vaccine has a more sinister role. His enthusiasm for the arrival of pandemics is certainly creepy. Those who submit that Covid in conjunction with the vaccine is an intentional herd culling have gone down a very dark path. I am not in that camp (yet) but think you should not dismiss their concerns summarily.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
(12) Miscellaneous. I have no 12th concept, but I can’t stop at 11.
Don’t think it won’t happen just because it hasn’t happened yet.
~ Jackson Browne, singer and songwriter
Time for this turtle to come home.
~ Mr. Wizard
I hope I am wrong on these authoritarian fears expressed throughout this 2021 Year in Review but fear I am not. I would love to say the choice is ours, but if authoritarianism is an unstoppably bad idea whose time has come, then the choice is not ours, and you must prepare to optimize your outcome in a New World Order. I am still typing so total control does not exist yet. In this discussion, I have not touched on the role that the social movements are playing to move us toward totalitarianism because I left social movements alone this year. With that said, the single best treatment of that topic can be found in an interview of James Lindsay on the Joe Rogan podcast #1767. You’ll have to sign up for Spotify, which is free and worth it. (Appearing on a Joe Rogan podcast holds the top position on my bucket list. Any help would be appreciated.)
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
~ George Will
I’ve done my Bayesian statistical analysis weighing the financial, health, and moral consequences of getting the booster and am getting it on Friday January 24th under coersion. I find this a repugnant choice, but I want to keep my job. Statistically, I am confident that I will survive the week. Since this section has not been appended posthumously with an announcement of my demise, I must be alive, right? Or maybe that sentence is now deleted and replaced with an obituary. I get so confused. It reminds me of my epiphany that we will never learn to travel back in time. If we did, we would keep changing the future until we finally hit the scenario in which we did not invent time travel. I should not have done so much acid in middle school.
I’ve even accounted for the possibility that I will go to the light from the jab, covid, or leaving the toilet seat up. I gave my most trusted Twitter friend my password with my dying wish: keep Tweeting from Heaven. It would be cooler than the time I live-Tweeted my cystoscopy. If you have made it this far and the boost didn’t take me out, you have a standing offer to join me for burgers (or even veggie burgers) on my deck. All the cool kids have done it.
I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.
~ Surgeon Joseph Henry Green’s last word, checking his own pulse as he died
I have to recharge my batteries now, so I am outta here! This has been a draining experience, as you might have surmised. But before that, I am heading to purgatory…
The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to prevailing superstition or taboo.
~ H.L. Mencken
Let the lie come into the world; let it even triumph – but not through me.
~ Alexander Solzhenitsyn
I am deeply indebted to all the nutjobs and miscreants who make this annual tome a necessary part of my life, many of which are living out their lives in the shallow end of the gene pool. I also must thank friends and family who have put up with what, at times, is a growing intellectual and philosophical divide. And to those who have chosen not to do so, I certainly contributed to the divide. This document is getting increasingly difficult to prepare, exacting a mental and physical toll on me this year. (Maybe it was the Pfizer vaccine!) I swear I will drop the mic one day and walk off this stage in search of another. I am struggling to understand how I will repot myself for 2022, because, to put it bluntly, this Narrative ripped out a chunk of my soul. I also am teaching a brand-new course in the Fall, which can also rip out portions of one’s soul.
As a final note, I would like to thank my brother as a reader and sounding board for everything in this writeup and in life, my wife as my official copyeditor, psychotherapist, and loving partner, and a complete stranger who goes by the name Yasashii who did a bang-up job of putting some finishing touches on it. Yasashii removed a tasteless vegan joke, which tempts me to make a joke about tastelessness. Yasashii, however, is “a long-time vegan, anti-authoritarian, privacy advocate, digital nomad, and hodler who encourages people to visit Vegan.com, the @HRF and @ODELL Twitter feeds, and to read The Bullish Case for Bitcoin.” The pseudonym will allow him to “freely cross borders.” None of those who helped me are culpable for the content. That cross is mine alone to bear. I am boosting on January 24th against my will. If I should die, I have one request. All you will need is a rusty butterknife and a bus ticket to Bethesda, the home of NIAID. As Jeff Dahmer said to Lorena Bobbitt, “You gonna eat that?”
Most books are like impressionist paintings—you enjoy them and still walk away with only a vague awareness of the brush strokes. Studies at Stanford show that what makes a presentations memorable, ironically given the content of this tome, is the narrative. A coherent narrative makes the content “sticky.” Of course, fiction is all narrative, but I find myself wondering why I am consuming my time. Non-fiction books, by contrast, fill my skull with crap I would like to know, waiting for some unsuspecting victim (a podcast host) to trigger the release of a nugget. Precious few are so “sticky” that I can recall the details with any clarity six months later. (I once read a whole book by a nouveau memory expert whose title eludes me but the basic principle stuck.) Every year I offer up Emerson’s quote that gives me solace:
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
Before reviewing the books I completed, I will push Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s book, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health. I am not finished yet, but I believe the book will transform your worldview. You will understand how and why he has been vilified, a vilification that I did not question until recently.
Here are the books I actually finished or won’t finish…
A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life by Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein
Some may recall that this married couple got run out of Evergreen State College by social justice douchebags (SJDBs). Heather and Bret have crafted a stupendous discussion of human behavior and human biology that is like a hybrid of the wildly popular and, in my opinion, overrated Sapiens and Jonathan Haidt’s wildly popular and stupendous Coddling the American Mind. I think Hunter-Gatherer’s analysis of human behavior through the lenses of two evolutionary biologists is every bit as good Haidt’s book. I can enthusiastically recommend it for those who profess to understand biology, are attempting to understand biology and evolution, or even those who do not have a clue about biology. It is pedagogically brilliant with an excellent narrative. Its stickiness is yet to be determined, but the ideas are surely in my noggin somewhere.
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky
This book reminds me of Sapiens. I know I enjoyed it, but there was no stickiness. I cannot pull any notable anecdotes from the book without refreshing my thinking with the help of Amazon. What I do remember vividly is that it seemed too ambitious. It moved through too many topics, which would explain the lack of durable overarching messages. The discussian of the nature-nurture debate, however, totally revised my view of it by underscoring the complexity underlying what is by no means a binary issue.
Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity – and Why This Harms Everybody by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
Helen and James hit the international stage when, in collaboration with Peter Boghossian, they took on the “grievance studies” community. This is the pejorative term for the academic disciplines that thrive on griping about social injustices in what are often incoherent narratives. The threesome punked them by fabricating farcical academic papers merely to illustrate the absurdities within the disciplines. This treatise, however, is very different. James and Helen present a remarkably scholarly survey and critique of critical race theories (CRTs) that are impregnating all aspects of the civilized world. It is not sarcastic but sharply critical of the movement and proponents of CRT. I found it informative as hell, but the book is sophisticated to the point that it is not for the faint of heart. You really must wantinsight, not just an opinion piece.
This is a short book (4-hour audiobook) in which the Babylon Bee writers apply their blunt and sardonic wit to attack the extreme left of the politically correct. While cutting and painfully true, the book is too formulaic, becoming tiresome within about 30 minutes. A one-hour version would have been perfect. I made it about halfway.
Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William Broad
This 2001 treatise that I read 20 years ago describes our battle against germs created as bioweapons, which includes a detailed analysis of various vaccination programs. It is interesting and does not come off as out of date. The best part was the discussion of the successes and notable failures of vaccine development programs. The obvious message is that the “trust us; we know what we are doing model” is to be doubted. Some vaccines are great and some are complete disasters—a point every pinhead equating coercive Covid boosters to smallpox and polio vaccines needs to hear.
Having developed a distrust of all things government, I have gobbled down quite a few books about nefarious deep-state stuff. I had read the accomplished author Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers, the joint biography of Alan and Foster Dulles, which was informative but tame. By contrast, Talbot’s biography of Alan Dulles is deep, dark, sinister, scholarly, and convincing. By the end and quite possibly by necessity, the book morphed into a Kennedy assassination treatise. (Hey: If he killed JFK you gotta say so.) I worried I had been sucked down a dark rabbit hole too far. Then I caught a Glen Greenwald interview—a guy who knows this world—and he raved about it. Fuck.
This was a natural follow-up to my reading of Robert Gordon’s truly brilliant and world-view-changing The Rise and Fall of American Growth. Both assert that the economic growth of the industrial revolution of 1870-1940 tapered to a much slower pace from 1970 onward and has almost stalled. (Yeah. You tech guys just wet your pants, but building Tesla, Google, and Amazon are not the same as Ford Motor, US Steel, and Standard Oil.) Cowen’s is a short treatise, which some may like and others may find underdeveloped. I enjoyed it, but it read like Cliff Notes of Gordon’s book.
Jeff focuses on the role of credit in driving markets. It was enjoyable, arguing that we are heading for a dark future. It doesn’t have stickiness, but I did enjoy the journey and may be suffering from a blurring with other books that I have already read. (This is getting to be a problem as I get older and suffer from Biden-esque loss of cognition.) Jeff is a serious cryptophile, but the discussion of crypto as part of the solution was well proportioned.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab
This book seemed like an obvious read to anybody interested in rising authoritarianism and the impending, albeit profoundly vague and ominous, Great Reset. Klaus seems like the character in Dr. Strangelove who keeps blurting out Nazi salutes, but there is little doubt he is somehow trying to screw us royally. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the first in a propaganda series that was probably ghost-written by some Soros-funded authors. The book was boring and never finished it. I am not sure how to find which of his treatises describes his doomsday machine, but this one wasn’t it.
Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher
I am a pro-choice heathen with an appreciation for the organizational role Christianity played throughout the millennia. This book is not really about Christianity per se but rather the challenges presented to those trying to preserve an ideology in the authoritarian world of the Soviet Union. It is a pure five-star rating with >3,000 reviews on Amazon. I would say that is surprising, but it is indeed a disturbing tale of how authoritarian states slowly but surely grind the masses into submission. I see it happening here. The book tells you what it is like.
Battlefield America: The War on the American People by John W. Whitehead
This 2015 vintage book describes trends in America that to the untrained eye go unnoticed but have been gnawing at die-hard libertarians for many years. Many topics had been hit by previous books I’ve read such as the militarization of the police and civil asset forfeiture. I suspect it would be viewed as old news by those who have been paying attention and hyperbolic fiction to those inclined not to worry about such topics. There is a group in the middle, however, who have been primed by recent events to be rattled by the anecdotes. You can see some of my reservations in the low-star reviews on Amazon.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
Although some deride Gladwell as shallow, he is a great storyteller. He offers vignettes in which zeroth level thinking makes you conclude what the message was quite obvious. Then he peels back layers of the onion showing how hard it is to tease out the truth (whatever that is). Without fail, he leaves you saying, “I did not see that coming.” Our inherent tendency to believe what we are told is described as an evolutionarily adaptive trait that allows us to be social animals. However, the fibbers then dupe us. Even pros at the CIA get duped by their predilictions to trust. One of the most curious stories (of many) is the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia trial. Of course, he was guilty, right? There were so many eyewitnesses. Gladwell unravels the narrative and leaves you wondering. He stops short of screaming, “Bullshit!” A journalist named John Ziegler (who I chat with) has spent a decade showing the Sandusky trial was a complete farce. This is another example of Gladwell knowing how to tell stories well.
Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith
I have been working through American history through the lenses of presidential biographers. (I even did Chester Arthur a few years ago.) After having finished the Dulles biography (The Devil’s Chessboard) and noting that Ike kept showing up in vague ways having tolerated Dulles, it was time to read about Ike. Welp, the biographer barely touched Dulles (maybe for a reason), but it was a great (and sticky) story. Ike made many mistakes. (He and Patton as young military punks used to get shitfaced, lock and load, and go looking for trouble.) I was left with the conclusion he was a lousy battlefield commander, exceptional supreme commander, a strong president, and an honorable guy (despite getting some ass while in Europe). He did more for civil rights than he ever gets credit, had to wrestle the Red Scare crap, kept us from nuking more countries because he understood war, and, of course, warned us about the industrial-military complex. Curious anecdote: he ran for a second term because he felt Adlai Stevenson simply was not qualified to be president. In the Trump-Biden era, that is bipartisan quaint.
My tweet denouncing the “bear raid” on the middle class by corporate America imposed by the lockdowns got me communicating with Carol Roth, which prompted me to read her book. It is a good story. It will be a review for many who paid close attention to the economics of the lockdowns, but it was still an enjoyable read. For those who did not pay attention, it will clarify the nuances.
Technocracy: The Hard Road to World Order by Patrick Wood
This one got in my head and camped out. Technocracy is a concept hatched in the 1930s as the world struggled with the Great Depression. The idea is that a top-down management of the global economy can be achieved using technology. Many (possibly Klaus Schwab and his New World Order authoritarians) now think supercomputing, global connectivity, and AI technology can be exploited to organize society in a form of global communism. A central theme is that nation-states (sovereigns) should be replaced with regions (kind of a hive model). The model seems to pull together seemingly disparate narratives that currently are confounding (social credits, perforated borders, autocratic power plays during the lockdowns despite the book preceding the pandemic, and cashless society). It is a very dark but unifying plot that cannot be summarily dismissed.
The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism by Tucker Carlson
Yeah. I know. Some of you hate him. I did too until he got his own voice and started using it to express unpopular opinions to both sides of the aisle. It is simply a compendium of articles he wrote over a few decades that he feels withstood the test of time. They illustrate his snappy prose but with conclusions that will shock you (like deep respect for Al Sharpton). The “potato cannon” is a central prop.
When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery by Frank T Vertosick Jr. MD
Frank tells stories of the training and experiences of neurosurgeons. It is not deep but entertaining. The allusion to the “air hitting your brain” is not central to the book really, but it refers to the fact that you are never quite “right” or “never the same” after they open up your brain (exposing it to the air). Fun fact: Which US president had two serious neurosurgeries that led to miraculous recoveries but might have left him not quite “the same”? Good ol’ Joe Biden.
Following dozens of books on neuropsychology, sociopathy, and even how to spot liars, Campbell’s was natural for me. Of course, Trump was front and center as the most famous “grandiose narcissist.” I thought there were aspects of Trump that didn’t quite match the diagnosis, but I was wrong: he makes complete sense. The author says Trump does not, however, fit the clinical “narcissistic syndrome” nor is he worse than LBJ. Campbell talks about the pros and cons of narcissistic tendencies to promote achievement and screw up people around them. He distinguishes the “grandiose narcissist” (Trump) from the “undervalued narcissist” who feels that people would appreciate them if only they understood them. Although unstated, I suspect the undervalued narcissists are dangerous due to extreme events (shootings to get the fame). Campbell seemed to target readers who are confronting narcissists in their lives and looking for guidance. BTW and for the record, I scored very low on his narcissist test, but the boxes I could check seemed like 3-point baskets.
Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters by Steven E. Koonin
I wrote extensively on climate change in 2019 but was careful not to read books to avoid pre-digested narratives, forcing me to synthesize my own. Since then I have read several books. Koonin has unbelievably strong credentials as a Cal Tech physicist, provost, Obama Science Advisor, and chair of the committee assembled by the American Physical Society charged with digging into the climate change narrative. Both he and Freeman Dyson came out of that analysis deeply disturbed about the shoddy state of the science. Steve seems to pay homage to global warming, but I sense it is to avoid alienating readers. In short, as a world-class modeler of complex systems, Steve says the models used to project global warming are complete bullshit. (Many prominent scientists have also drawn this conclusion.) He is a denier by any reasonable metric, blaming the media for narratives that many scientists quietly (cowardly) do not endorse. Not surprisingly, this book, despite strong prose and science, got almost zero attention from the media because, well, the climate change story must proceed forward unimpeded by inconvenient truths. It’s a trillion-dollar-per-year industry that is promising to turn into a $5-trillion-dollar-per-year fiasco.
This is a spectacular narrative about the history of battles between the settlers relentlessly pushing westward and the Indians pushing back. It focuses on the Comanches. As a neophyte, I cannot say with confidence but it felt like it was a balanced treatise in describing the inevitable clash of cultures. As the story unfolds over the latter 2/3rds of the 19th century, the strategically unbeatable Comanche tribes womping the settlers slowly shifted into the final, heartwrenching death rattle of the once-dominant plains Indians. Those wedded to the notion that the Indians were always good and the white guys are always bad (or vice versa) may struggle, but I suspect not. I thought the balance was great. The book is marketed as a treatise about one Comanche warrior named Quanah Parker, the offspring of a captive and tribal chief, but it is much more than that. It is undoubtedly “sticky,” maybe not in detail but the impressions left by the breathtaking stories.
Whenever I dig into a topic in earnest (like climate change), I avoid reading books to avoid assimilating somebody else’s narrative. I listened to this audiobook on completion of rough drafts of the 2021 YIR because it came with rave reviews from a friend, and I thought it would be an excellent seam filler. Scott was Professor and Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center in California. The only weakness in his record for some is that he was inside the Trump administration for a few months. From his articles and podcasts, he nudged his way to the center of the sections on the covid epidemic. I must confess to having a couple of chapters left. Scott describes total pandemonium inside the Fauci propaganda machine. Fauci wouldn’t know a scientific paper if it bit him in the ass. At one point Fauci attempted to say, “encephalomyelitis” and butchered it so badly that he refused to try another stab at it. Atlas describes Deborah Birx as a completely mindless collector of data from the internet having no clue of its veracity or how to process it. My criticism of Atlas and why the book remains unfinished is that it is repetitive, and he constantly mentions events in which he kept his mouth shut. Team Trump was preoccupied with politics to deal with Fauci, but Atlas seems to respect The Donald’s capacity to comprehend the nuances of the pandemic.