"Compared To What" (opens in separate window)

2024 — the year of our reckoning

friday, january 5th, 2024

We should remember the now modern proverb of Nixon-era economic advisor Herb Stein to the effect that what cannot go on (without destroying the nation), simply will not go on.

Yes, I do remember "NORMAL".

In some sense, the country for recent years has been cruising on the fumes from prior and likely better wiser generations and institutions. In 2024, the tab for our current apathy, toxic politics, and incompetence will come due.

So next year we will likely see the climax to a number of current dangerous ideas, events, and forces, which finally will either overwhelm us or be addressed and remedied. We live in a Neronian age but can recover if we first understand how we got here and the nature of the suicide we are committing.

An honest politician is one who stays bought.

In 2023, it became clear, to even the most loyal supporters of the Biden administration, that the U.S. has simply lost or indeed forfeited American deterrence abroad. Our enemies do not fear us; our friends do not trust us; and neutrals do not care either way.

After the 2021 Kabul debacle, the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the 2023 brazen Chinese spy balloon’s uncontested trajectory over the United States, the recent Hamas invasion of Israel, the serial Iranian-fueled terrorist attacks on U.S. installations in the Middle East, and the terrorist Houthis’ veritable absorption of the Red Sea, many of America’s opportunistic enemies drew conclusions and adopted strategies that would have been previously unthinkable.

If you don't read the news, you're un-informed. If you do read the news, you're mis-informed.

Either adversaries will be so emboldened to start regional wars -- an impotent Iran now brags it will block the entire Mediterranean -- or a United States will be shocked into action and have to deter Iran, the Houthis, and Islamic terrorism, while dealing with an opportunistic China eager to annex Taiwan, and Russia determined to finish-off Ukraine.

Those challenges will force the military to staunch its recruitment hemorrhaging, rectify low morale, and rearm. Such rebooting in turn will require discarding the woke agenda, stopping the DEI proselytizing and virtue signaling, and returning to a meritocracy focused on military preparedness and battlefield efficacy.

Since January 2021, the Biden administration has flagrantly and unapologetically dismantled federal immigration law. It destroyed the border as we once knew it. It has already greenlighted more than 8 million illegal entrants—with another quarter-million entering each month.

No one in government has offered any projected costs to states and federal agencies of offering health, food, housing, legal, and education subsidies to millions -- who broke the law by entering the U.S. and continue to violate it while residing unlawfully here. Is that the sign of a promising American citizen -- that the first thing he does upon entering America is to break his host’s law?

Incredibly, no one has even explained to Americans why millions of illegal aliens are exempt from the vaccine mandates, background checks, and adherence to the law that is demanded of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. We will soon demand “real” IDs of American citizen airline travelers, while we fly illegal aliens all over the states without any identification?

In fact, those who blew up the border can’t honestly even explain to the American people why they did so. Was it to ensure future (or even present) political constituents? Cheap labor? To ensure higher taxes to pay for more government services and to “spread the wealth?” Obeyance to the diversity/equity/inclusion lobbies? To make up for fleeing blue-state population?

The United States has now exceeded, both in real numbers and in percentages, all past numbers of non-native born American residents -- at a time when civic education, the idea of the melting pot, and adherence to assimilation have never been more under assault.

In 2024, either the border will close, or the United States will suffer radical political realignments, sheer chaos in our major cities, protests from Americans furious over the complete flaunting of federal law by their own elected officials, and a likely impeachment of Joe Biden for deliberately forsaking his oath to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States.”

The October 7 Hamas invasion of Israel and premodern massacring of nearly 1,200 Jews -- and the virulent anti-Semitism that swept our elite campuses and big cities even before the October 27 Israeli Defense Forces’ retaliatory invasion of Gaza—was a wakeup call about the racialized hatred and anti-Semitism now endemic on the Left.

Campus protestors dropped the prior protestations that they were not anti-Semitic in their hatred of Israel. Instead, they now call out Jews by name. They disrupt their homes and businesses, regardless of their views on Zionism. Pro-Hamas protestors feel free to harass Jews, and with impunity and arrogance chant genocidal chants promising the destruction of Israel and its Jewish population.

The main campus culprits for these sudden unabashed hatreds are tripartite. First, wealthy, mostly white leftist students -- increasingly as ignorant of history as they are arrogant in their zealotry -- feel it pays psychological and careerist dividends on campus to mouth orthodoxies of hating Israel and de facto siding with the Hamas killers.

Most have no idea of the Hamas charter, where flows the Jordan River, or what the British Mandate for Palestine or the Balfour Declaration were. Few of the loudest could never even find Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza on a map. No matter: being heard and seen on campus hating Israel is considered a necessary fad like 1970s bellbottoms or pet rocks.

Second, huge numbers of full-tuition-paying Middle Eastern visiting students and green-card holders, along with Gulf-fueled and endowed faculty, assume that they are exempt from any legal consequences. So they often deface the federal monuments of their hosts, shut down traffic, swarm Jews on campus and in the street, break the law, and battle with police -- with absolute impunity.

Third, just as startling are the undisguised hatreds emanating from radical diversity/equity/inclusion students and faculty. As the declared oppressed, they too feel exempt from any charge that they are mouthing racist and anti-Semitic venom, as they conflate Israel with the now maligned stereotyped “white” people.

The apogee of such extremism was evident in the congressional testimony of three ethically challenged Ivy-League presidents. They reminded the nation that no campus president would unequivocally condemn, much less punish, any anti-Semites on a campus, who openly called for the destruction of Israel and its Jewish population. And they lied about “free speech” constraints on their punishment of mainstreaming anti-Semitic and genocidal threats -- given they routinely expel, censure, and variously punish all sorts of “hate speech,” but only if it is directed against their own DEI constituencies.

All this is not tenable.

Our top universities are facing a perfect storm. Declining pools of students, crushing student loan debt, spiraling tuition and room and board costs, administrative bloat, defecting donors, and the public’s distrust of such people being entrusted with their children’s higher education, will all soon lead to a general reexamination of the very need of these universities in the first place, at least as they are presently constituted.

Their racialist admissions, hiring, retention, and promotion protocols are destroying meritocracy. Their mediocre curricula, grade inflation, and campus polarization have convinced the public that they are no longer deserving of the many taxpayer indulgences that shield campuses from market realities -- such as massive federal research grants and subsidies, tax-free billions of dollars in private donations, tax-free endowment income in the tens of billions of dollars, and taxpayer-subsidized $2 trillion in student loans.

So insulated are these atolls of privilege that they cannot recognize growing public anger over the damage they are doing to the country. Iconic Harvard University cannot even fire its DEI president Claudine Gay, despite serial instances in her own past of plagiarism (which prompted Harvard’s sycophantic board to defend her by embracing a new euphemism -- “duplicative language” as if to signify the tiny clerical lapse of stealing the ideas and prose of others).

In 2024, radical changes in university administration and values will begin to be made, or higher education will face a reckoning from the public and a newly elected government.

Currently, Colorado has tentatively removed Donald Trump from its 2024 ballot on the specious grounds that he is an “insurrectionist.” Thus, the state insists that he is subject to the 14th Amendment, Section 3 clause of 1868, that calls for the disbarment from future government employment or service those former federal officials and employees who had joined the Confederacy.

Aside from the misapplication of the spirit and letter of that post-Civil War legislation, those responsible for erasing Trump know that he has never been charged with, much less convicted of “insurrection.” And he never will be.

They understand that half the country knows the January 6 “riot” was the work of unarmed, overzealous, and buffoonish protestors, who broke the law by entering the Capitol, but otherwise had no master insurrectionary plan. And the majority surrounding the Capitol did in fact obey the president’s call to protest “peacefully” and “patriotically.”

The left privately understands that their latest weaponization of government follows their “Russian collusion hoax,” their “laptop disinformation” farce, their two politicized impeachments, their performance-art Mar-a-Lago documents raid, and thus are all part of a systematic degradation of our campaigns, elections, and political customs, tradition, and discourse.

A jaded public knows too well that such punitive measures never applied to the 2016 Hillary Clinton crimes of destroying subpoenaed emails and devices, or the FBI’s illegal alteration of FISA documents or its contracting out social media to suppress news stories, or its hiring of a foreign national Christopher Steele, who compiled a fake “dossier” to destroy the candidacy of Donald Trump.

A majority of Americans further know that had Donald Trump not chosen to run for office in 2024, state and federal prosecutors such as the publicity-seeking and partisan Alvin Bragg, Letitia James, Jack Smith, and Fani Willis would never have indicted him.

All privately know that the entire Biden family, including the President, could just as easily be indicted on state and local felonies, but the Biden consortium finds itself exempt both for its leftist ideology and its current control of the Department of Justice.

What then do the campaign and election of 2024 foreordain?

We will be in entirely new and completely dangerous territory. The likely Republican nominee who currently leads incumbent president Joe Biden will be for most of 2024 the constant target of a coordinated state and local Soviet-like effort to destroy his candidacy before the voters can even vote for or against him in the November election.

The United States 2023 annual budget deficit is about $1.7 trillion; the nation is burdened by a $34 trillion national debt -- even though the federal government since 2021 has raised all sorts of new income and excise taxes.

The era of printing money, zero interest rates, “modern monetary theory,” and spending wildly is drawing to a close. The mounting interest on the national debt is now crowding out optional but soon essential annual federal spending. At some point soon, one generation of Americans is going to have to exercise spending restraint or accept a continuing decline in its living standards.

In sum, in 2024, we will either see the destruction of presidential electoral politics as we have known them or a complete repudiation of lawfare. The current new normal that the party in power indicts the leading candidate of the opposition is not sustainable or compatible with the idea of America.

Either the military will have to deter dramatically our growing number of opportunistic enemies, or it will descend into something like the French army between the world wars—plagued by ideology, ossified brass, corruption, mediocrity, misplaced investments, and bankrupt strategies.

If there are not radical changes in higher education, our Ivy League and self-identified elite campuses will go the way of Bud-Light, Disney, and Target -- once premier brands reduced to red ink and laughing-stock caricatures.

The United States is cracking under 8 million illegal entries; it cannot sustain another year and 2 million more illegal entrants -- or a total of 55-60 million foreign-born residents, with no idea of how many are U.S. citizens, illegal aliens, or green card holders -- or how many are employable, or free of criminal records or in need of massive federal and state subsidies.

In 2024, the U.S. will begin to see that to meet its spiraling debt, it will either keep inflating its currency, or slash spending, or raise even further taxes to the degree that even the lower middle class will have to pay 50 percent of their income in state and federal taxes, or renounce its debt, and thus go full-Third World.

Will we meet these challenges or ensure the ongoing decline?

If what we saw after October 7, or the wild and out-of-control reign of weaponized local and state prosecutors, or what we watch nightly on television at the border, or the paralyses we witness abroad of our military, or the breezy way in which our officials promise groups here and abroad billions of dollars in easy money, continues into 2024, then the country as we knew it, will become unrecognizable.

© 12.25.2023 by Victor Davis Hanson, "American Greatness".

A Day In The Life.

Up at 8a on Friday, I went thru my finger stick to check my BSL (Blood Sugar Level) and recorded it on my Diabetes 2 chart, made coffee and breakfast, took two 50mg Tramadol and a 300mg Gabapentin for various pains, fired-up the trusty, old Win-7 Pentium HP desktop to let 32 million lines of code load, had a couple smokes in the semi-cool garage and checked the leftover errands list.

EVs haven't got one damned thing to do with “saving the planet".

It was a damp, cool, but very mild 41° and my rain gauge said we'd gotten another 2¾" over the past 2 days. No showers or t-storms were forecast for today; we've had enough rain over the past several days. At least it wasn't snow. I fired-up the furnace to take the slight chill off, and scanned the news and weather sites. The 100%-Origin Bean, Hawaiian Kona Coffee in Turkish Grind, was just outstanding with some Marlboro®s, and I was tuned into my daily Talk Radio fix: "Chris Stigall Show LIVE" from 6-9a, and then the "Chris Plante Show LIVE" 9-12noon, and Rob Carson Show LIVE 12-3p. "Poor" Air Quality rating today, as the last 7-8 days have either been "Unhealthy" or "Poor". Last Friday of 2023, it is.

I lounged around most of the morning, listening to Talk Radio, got ready for the day and left at 11 to get some small, niggling errands done. I skipped the usual Friday New Eastern Farmers' Market, and got back thru very heavy traffic, deciding to stay inside for the weekend, away from traffic and drunks. After lunch, I tuned into some recent "CS Show Podcasts" and "Rob Carson Show Podcasts", caught a 2hr snooze on the LR couch w/ the heating pad, the evening news and Discovery's "Gold Rush" until midnight. Lights out.

Up at 7a on Saturday, a cloudy 37° start to the day. I scanned the various sites' news headlines and weather maps, and noticed how many Top 10 Somethings Year End Lists were on-deck. Everyone else's compiling a list of something or another. Not me. Heh; pretty much SOP for year-end times.

My R/S lower back/hip/buttock/leg pain got worse last night and is with me this morning, despite the 2 50mg Tramadol and 500mg Bayer Aspirin. I'm not going to OSS for any epidural shots, or for any treatment, just now. I had this Sciatic Nerve back pain back in 2010, and went thru 3 Epidural (steroid) Shots directly into my lower spine, TONS of 30mg Oxycodone pills, got addicted to it and alcohol, and managed to get myself sober/straight and cleaned-up in January 2011. Not doing that again; I'll tough it out, with some minor painkiller help. No more Oxy & booze.

After some "CS Show" Podcasts, I left at noon to get some Rxs picked-up at the nearby Rite Aid, and got home before the heavy traffic started up. TV was another "NBC Day" (Nothing But Crap), but History had a show on, called "UnXplained Mysteries" with 'Ol Billy Bob' Shatner, which I watched for a while. Some neighbors stopped by and, due to back pain, I had to decline a New Year's party invitation. Motor Trend's "Fantom Works" and "UnXplained Mysteries" were good enough to get me thru the evening, and unplugged by 12:30a.

I slept-in until 8a on Sunday -- the "penultimate" day before New Year's Day, or New Year's Eve Day as it's also called. Cloudy, 38°, I fired-up the furnace, garage heater and made coffee and breakfast. While it was brewing, I changed the basement furnace's Filtrete® filter, and scanned the computer's news and weather sites. I had more pain in the usual R/S back/hip/leg places, and new pain in the left foot. Sucks getting old. After getting ready for the day, I had several condo chores to do, got some lunch, and spent some time on the computer catching-up with news and weather.

After a load of laundry, I did a quick errand run, and got off the road, as holiday traffic was building, and people were returning from Christmas vacation. I always stay-off the roads after 3p, on New Year's Eve Day, and Eve specially; too much carnage out there. An "Iron Resurrection" Marathon (Motor Trend) was on, as was a "Homestead Rescue" Marathon (Discovery), so at least there was something to watch later. I haven't decided whether I'm staying-up to watch the NYC New Year's Eve Ball drop in Times Square. $5 says the anarchist Antifa-Palestinian lowlife scumbags or terrorists will "interrupt" it all. I did stay-up, and it all went well, as far as I could see. Lights out at 12:30a.

Up at 7a on Monday -- New Year's Day -- another 35°, overcast morning, after a night of light rain, I fired-up the heat in both the condo and garage, made some new Hawaiian Kona Coffee, scanned the news and weather sites. I lost my bet to myself: the subhuman anarchist Antifa-Palestinian lowlife scumbag filth tried to disrupt NYC's New Year's Eve Ball drop in Times Square, but I didn't see it on any live broadcast I watched for the 10-15mins I watched the late news. I called-in an Rx for Tramadol, to Rite Aid and got an email that my insurance information was out-of-date, and I'd need to get a BIN# updated. After calling Geisinger® Insurance Company's 800# and talking to a rep, she took it from there, called the Rite Aid pharmacist, and updated the necessary newly-changed information.

I checked the AccuWeather.com's weather maps, which showed a mixed snow/rain system to our west, moving southeast but with rain only in our area. The Talk Radio shows had only "Best Of..." stuff on, from who knows when. TV was "NBC", again. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Hmmmm, looks like a possible Winter Storm is brewing for the coming weekend; I just noticed the evolving weather pattern on the AccuWeather maps. I had some paperwork to finish-up, grab a snooze on the LR couch, and all too soon, it was dark. After dinner, I watched History's "Ancient Aliens" and Discovery's "Bitchin' Rides" until midnight, and unplugged.

Up at 7a on Tuesday, it was a cold 33°, overcast and dreary morning. After bumping-up the heat, firing-up the garage heater, I made coffee and tuned into the "CS Show" until 12 noon. I brought in my recycle bin, and my neighbor's trash bin (which I share), and left at 12noon, for 3 errands, at 12:30p. Because of the two weekly holidays, my usual Monday trip south to DeVono's Cleaners, and stops at Rite Aid, Burger King and a nearby convenience store for a couple cartons of Marlboro®s. I decided not to stop for fuel, although it's down from $4.79/gal to $4.09/gal for Ethanol Free 90 Octane Premium, and will get some later in the week before the weekend. Traffic was very heavy, and I finally got home around 2p. After unloading, I had lunch and was asleep on the LR couch by 3:15p.

Back up around dark, at 5:15p, I closed the condo down as the temps dropped into the low 30s, and checked the news on TV. Snow coming Saturday; about time. We haven't had a storm since 2022, or earlier. I'm all set, as usual. I watched History's "The Curse of Oak Island" until midnight, and bagged it for the night.

Awake at 6a on Wednesday, I went back to sleep until 7. It was a cloudy, cold 29°, so I fired-up the condo and garage heat, made coffee and scanned the weather and news on the desktop. The sun finally appeared mid-morning, and was welcomed. Heh. We had a heavy frost overnight, and since IT'S WINTER, that's no surprise, but some in the CHCA Complex are still trying to over-Winter their annuals from last year. Idiots. I tuned into the "CS Show" from 6-9, and the "CP Show" from 9-12. Sherry's coming by at 1p, and we'll probably go over to the humongous, mostly-empty York Galleria, and do some distance walking for a while, this afternoon. I'll get some light food shopping done tomorrow, instead of rushing around today.

Here are the first 37 (of many to come) court documents detailing pedophile Epstein's "clients", and it's a lot of stuff to skim thru. The face-page of each court doc names the pervert, so only if you want grisly testimony details, do you need to read the whole court document.

Sherry arrived at 1, we walked at the Galleria for a while, drove over to Flinchbaugh's Orchard & Farm Market, which was closed for 4-5 days for inventory, came back to my house, and sher had to leabe, as it was getting late. I had a late lunch/early dinner, watched History's "American Pickers" and Discovery's season finale of "Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch" -- worst season-ending show I've ever seen. Lights out at 12:30a.

Up at 7a on Thursday, to an overcast 33° start to the day. I did the usual routines, savored the first mug of Kona Coffee and the first Marlboro of the day. I tuned into the "CS Show", scanned trhe news and weather sites, to keep track of the coming weekend "snow storm". More likely rain and slush, and 3-6" isn't happening eitehr. After my usual 2 morning radio shows, and paperwork, I left at 12:30p for Weis market, did the food shopping and was back home by 1:15, unloaded, had some lunch, fed the squirrels and grabbed a 2hr snooze. By 4:30, it was getting dusk, temps were dropping and I closed the place down. After dinner, TV turned into dogshit and became another "NBC Night". I watched some "American Pickers" reruns, and bagged it at 11p.

Tomorrow starts a new week, here in the "Journal", and it's another clear (of Dr's sppts) week for me. I have several not-yet-finished projects I started around here, weeks ago, which got put on hold, and I'll get to finishing-up some of them. Or maybe not.

A Reckoning Approaches.

How to sum up 2023? Pondering the year gone by, I’m aware of having frequently experienced a sense that America, and to some extent the world, was approaching a day of reckoning -- a sense that events on a wide variety of fronts were advancing toward a decisive climax of a yet indeterminate nature. Another way to put this is to say that it was the year in which the enemies of freedom began to practice their perfidy with unprecedented aggressiveness and to purvey their preposterous narrative with a new degree of reckless abandon -- even as that perfidy became more transparent to the average American citizen and the narrative seemed to take significant steps toward collapsing.

In 2023, millions of Americans finally recognized that Donald Trump hadn’t been lying or exaggerating about the dangers at the southern border, and that only a bigot could believe in the wisdom of a border wall. The Biden Administration’s frequent claims to the contrary, the southern border is wide open and the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies are helping armies of illegal aliens to enter the U.S. unvetted and, without asking for proof of identity or putting them through ordinarily security procedures, are flying them to cities around the country to be resettled. Many of these illegals are minors, which means that their federal facilitators are, in effect, child traffickers; others are members of Latin American drug cartels who are responsible for America’s fentanyl crisis – another horror that the Biden administration, far from addressing responsibly, seems incomprehensibly eager to exacerbate. Still other illegals are members of criminal and terrorist organizations who have found their way to the southern border from all over the Eastern Hemisphere.

The authorities at the Department of Homeland Security – whose very name can now be seen as nothing other than a sick joke – have tried to carry out all this human smuggling in secret, but in 2023 the facts began to be reported a good deal more widely than before. Americans who have been subjected for over two decades to absurd procedures at airports, being forced to discard toothpaste and fingernail clippers before getting on a place, now know that the same people who ordered them to be put through these paces in the name of national security are violating national security every day in a way that you’d think had been devised by America’s most dedicated enemies. As a result, Americans are only beginning to recognize that they’ve been played for dupes, that their trust in their leaders has been outrageously exploited, and that in the years to come they and their posterity will be paying an unimaginable price for those leaders’ traitorous duplicity.

It’s now almost two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, an event that almost certainly wouldn’t have taken place if Trump had still been president. America and its allies have poured billions of dollars into Zelensky’s pockets and have taken in tremendous numbers of Ukrainian refugees, leaving hardly a corner of the Western world where those refugees haven’t strained public services such as housing, schools, and health care. As 2023 wore on, it became increasingly clear to many Americans that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was not one of pure evil versus pure good. It emerged that opportunities for a brokered peace had been squandered for reasons that remained unclear but smelled nefarious. Increasingly, informed observers acknowledged that aid to Ukraine couldn’t continue indefinitely. And it became more and more obvious that, far from humbling Putin, the West’s continuing support for Ukraine seemed only to have intensified his saber-rattling and made NATO seem less formidable than in years.

Which brings us to China, whose leaders -- taking in our manifest military decline under Biden (as illustrated by the Afghanistan debacle and the flagrant wokeness of our recent armed-forces PR) and mindful as they are of their own substantial financial investment in our beloved head of state -- may well decide that our entanglement in Ukraine provides the perfect opportunity for an invasion of Taiwan. On both the Russian and Chinese fronts, indeed, there’s a growing awareness among Americans that the world would be a considerably safer and stabler place, and America a stronger actor, with Biden out and Trump back in.

Then there’s the Middle East. During his term, Trump brought an unprecedented degree of peace to the region with the Abraham Accords, which were built on the insight that a Palestinian settlement was not necessarily a precondition for an accord between Israel and its Muslim neighbors. On October 7, 2023 -- with the White House again under the control of feckless people who hate Israel, sentimentalize the Palestinians, and feel obliged to send “humanitarian aid” to a terrorist government that redirects that money to nefarious ends -- Hamas invaded Israel with a brutality that shocked civilized people around the world. Millions of leftists, including leftist Jews, who previously had championed a two-state solution, had expressed belief in the existence and pervasiveness of a cruel and unfounded form of bigotry known as “Islamophobia,” and had even viewed terrorist groups like Hamas with a degree of sympathy, quickly snapped out of their delusions and recognized the existential danger posed to Western civilization by populations raised on barbaric, seventh-century notions of violent Islamic conquest.

This awakening represents a sea change of historic dimensions -- and with potential consequences that at the present moment can only be guessed at. Over the last half century, the steady growth of Islam in Western Europe, and to a lesser extent in North America, has been an increasingly contentious issue. Consistently, leftist elites have defended the Islamization of the West as a virtuous humanitarian project and a source of cultural enrichment; when skeptics have dared to point out the disastrous current consequences and long-term existential menace of mass Islamic immigration, the left has routinely smeared them as hysterical, know-nothing racists. The exact degree to which Western attitudes toward Islam have changed as a result of October 7 has yet to be clearly determined, but the Dutch electorate’s shock and horror over that even seems to have been very largely responsible for the surprisingly impressive victory of Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party in the Dutch elections of November 22.

The Hamas invasion of Israel has had another major consequence. When, in the wake of the invasion, Israel acted to defend itself in the only way that made sense -- that is, by crushing Gaza and eliminating Hamas and its war apparatus -- Muslims and privileged young left-wingers around the Western world protested en masse. The scale of the anti-Semitism revealed by these demonstrations stunned many observers, as did the depth of ignorance about the Middle East on the part of so many supposedly well-educated Western youth. For the first time, many Western liberals who’d dismissed complaints about far-left ideological brainwashing in schools and colleges as hyperbolic recognized that millions of young people have been convinced by mischievous so-called educators that all whites (including Jews) are oppressors, and hence always in the wrong, whereas all “people of color” (including Arab Muslims) are victims of oppression, and hence always in the right.

The breathtaking comments made by the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania at that historic House committee hearing on December 5 underscored the magnitude of the current crisis in higher education, and the response to their self-damning testimony by many rich donors suggests that in 2024 major action will be taken to begin to rid our institutions of higher education of the reality-defying ideas about race that, going by the name Critical Race Theory, dominate the humanities and social-sciences faculties. Also on the chopping block should be the hiring policies that are rooted in these ideas about race, and that made it possible for an utter mediocrity like Claudia Gay – who on her merits and accomplishments alone would have been lucky to secure an adjunct teaching job at a bottom-rung community college -- to be named president of America’s oldest and most respected university. It should be added, of course, that young Americans don’t need to wait until they get to college to be exposed to appalling views on race: millions of young minds in primary and secondary schools, for example, are being shaped by the manifold mendacities of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s 1619 Project (first introduced in the New York Times in 2019) and are being told that, if they’re white, they’ve been white supremacists from birth, or, if they’re black, that they’re lifelong victims of white racism.

But these twisted teachings that center everything in life on racial identity aren’t the only problems afflicting America’s schools and universities. It was while their kids were attending school via Zoom during the COVID lockdown that many American parents first became aware of the takeover of countless schools by teachers and administrators who, in addition to serving up a host of racist and anti-American inanities, were routinely encouraging their young charges to reject their biological identities. In 2021, Rachel Levine, a self-declared trans woman and Navy admiral, no less, was sworn in as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health -- exposing all of America to the grotesque spectacle of an obviously disturbed individual being given responsibility for the country’s psychiatric well-being. And in June 2022, the media reported widely on the appointment of Sam Brinton, a bald young man who wears bright red lipstick and calls himself non-binary, to a high position in the Office of Nuclear Energy. (Later that year, Brinton was fired after being filmed at several airports stealing baggage containing high-end women’s apparel.)

Few ordinary Americans believe that a man can literally become a woman or vice-versa, but this ludicrous truth claim has become an orthodoxy throughout almost all of the establishment institutions in the English-speaking world. To challenge it can mean losing one’s home and livelihood -- and being treated as a moral outcast by local clergy, media, doctors, and politicians. A parent who tries to keep his minor child from being pushed by self-styled experts onto the transgender assembly line -- receiving first puberty blockers, then sex hormones, and finally surgery -- risks being denied his parental rights in a court of law. In 2023, this madness advanced in many jurisdictions, with several states declaring themselves “sanctuary states” for those wishing to mutilate minors, but the pushback against this madness also intensified, with several states banning “gender-affirming care” for children and more and more parents speaking up against transgender ideology (as well as against Critical Race Theory) at school- board meetings. Also in 2023, an increasing number of detransitioners -- people who were subjected to sex-change “treatments” in their youth only to realize later that they’d been talked into undergoing unnecessarily irreversible surgical voodoo -- began to speak up publicly and file lawsuits against their psychologists, endocrinologists, surgeons, and hospitals.

In 2023, more and more Americans came to realize just how much they’d been lied to by the Biden Administration and the mainstream media. An increasing number of voters recognized that Donald Trump had been right about a great many things and that their own highly negative views of him had been shaped not by facts but by leftist propaganda. During his presidency, Trump had faced a breathtakingly comprehensive coordinated effort to use a concocted (albeit ridiculous) tale of Russian collaboration to bring him down; this particular scheme failed, but Trump’s establishment enemies proceeded to impeach him, on the flimsiest of grounds, not once but twice, and then began battering him with lawsuits around the country with the goal of destroying his businesses and denying him another White House run.

It was in 2023 that the full dimensions of this illicit campaign became frighteningly clear: Lilliputians in the state and federal legislatures, in prosecutors’ offices and courthouses, in government and party bureaucracies, in intelligence services, and in the mainstream media had worked together feverishly – and were still working together feverishly -- to lash Donald Trump, like Gulliver, to the earth and thereby keep him from regaining the presidency. If it was an all-out effort that at times appeared to take on cartoonish dimensions and that, if properly prosecuted, would land a good many famous and powerful people behind bars, it was worth the risk to the participants because, if Trump were to return to office, they would end up behind bars, and their attempt to dismantle our constitutional liberties would go down in flames. In 2023, as the flagrant dishonesty and breathtaking scale of this campaign of destruction became increasingly clear to ordinary Americans, most of whom never imagined that the three-letter agencies for which they’d always rooted -- from the CIA to the FBI -- could be so thoroughly corrupted, many of those Americans found themselves prepared, for the first time, to hear out hypotheses about the JFK and RFK assassinations (among other historical events) that had previously been considered conspiracy theories.

What else? It was in 2023 that the “defund the police” movement fell apart, its sheer recklessness proven by skyrocketing crime in cities around the country. It was in 2023 that the “insurrection” lie took a major hit from reality. So did the climate-change hoax. So did the colossally ruinous George Floyd narrative. (As recently as last Wednesday, as if to signal at least the beginning of the end of the BLM delusion, the city of Seattle dismantled the Black Lives Matter garden that had been planted in the wake of Floyd’s death.) In 2023, many Americans learned far more than they had ever suspected about the nefarious designs of Bill Gates, George Soros, the World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab, and other would-be masters of the universe who seek to replace individual liberty with an updated version of feudalism. In 2023, TV and movie projects drenched in woke propaganda brought unprecedented financial losses to the entertainment industry, suggesting that in 2024 Hollywood and Netflix execs will have to break out of their ideological bubble if they want to stay in business.

It was in 2023 – just a week ago, in fact -- that the New York Times, which in 2020 had undergone extensive institutional convulsions over a relatively commonsensical op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton urging a military response to Antifa and BLM riots, ran an op-ed by the Hamas-appointed mayor of Gaza -- a perfect illustration of the fact that our corporate media’s determination to censor dissent from its doctrines is rivaled only, perhaps, by its eagerness to proffer propaganda by bloodthirsty, conscienceless enemies of freedom and decapitators of infants.

It was in 2023 that the heroic Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and conversion of it into a free-speech platform helped expose the involvement of other Silicon Valley superstars in the establishment plans to undermine our constitutional republic. It was in 2023 that another hero, Tucker Carlson, left the mainstream media to start his own series on X (formerly Twitter), on which he, too, shed light on the blatant lies and wicked schemes by which our progressive betters have sought to steal our country from us. In a time when the legacy media have been almost entirely co-opted by the powers that be, other brave independent-media heroes, such as James O’Keefe, Andy Ngo, and Douglas Murray, have been crucially important truth-tellers. Also, you don’t have to want to see Vivek Ramaswamy, instead of Trump, succeed Biden as president to appreciate Ramaswamy’s Trump-like readiness to speak hard truths about our tyranny-minded elites -- and, in doing so, to take on not just the Democrats but also the swamp-dwelling Republicans.

In the past, many a New Year’s Day has seemed like just another opportunity to decouple for a few hours, party to excess, and toast the arrival of the midnight hour. This time around, those of us who are keeping at least remotely abreast of international developments are entering the New Year with an intense awareness that there will be a great many changes in the twelve months ahead. The only question is whether they will involve our further enslavement by our elitist masters or the beginning of our liberation from their globalist, totalitarian clutches.

© 1.01.2024 by Bruce Bawer, "FrontPage Magazine".

Biden's Plans To Steal The 2024 Election.

At first glance, it doesn’t make any sense. Joe Biden is polling miserably. While Wall St is doing well Mr. and Mrs. Main St are still suffering under the weight of Biden policies. It takes an extra $11,200 just to stay even with their standard of living back in January of 2021. Americans support the impeachment inquiry into the Biden mafia and believe Hunter is a corrupt crook. Biden only allows controlled scripted interviews, cannot maintain a discussion without cue cards, and is incapable of holding a real press conference. The US is mired in two conflicts. After refusing a settlement in 2022, Biden is now quietly looking for a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine. Biden refuses to confront China and Iran. He was going to allow China to spy on the US unfettered and keep it a secret from Americans. Iran is funding Houthi attacks on US bases and assets but all Biden does is fund Iran to the tune of $10 billion. All the US does is worry about a “proportionate” response- pinprick strikes instead of a serious counterstrike to make Iran think twice- as Trump did. The US is a without a Southern border. Terrorists are freely entering the country. The FBI cannot keep up with the demand for DNA testing. Illegals are now flooding over the border at a rate of 3.3 million per year. Biden plans to sue Texas in order to keep the border wide open. By all accounts Biden is a disaster and should be crushed in the 2024 election. Yet all Biden does is wear that vacant smirk as he bounces carefree from vacation to vacation. He will again campaign from his bunker.

What does he know that we don’t?

A couple of recent events are telling. We’ve gone from a partisan state Supreme Court taking Trump off the ballot in Colorado to a single hyper-partisan activist in Maine unilaterally removing Trump from the ballot there.

It’s a harbinger of things to come.

In what is clearly another farce, Biden sent the Bobbsey twins Antony Blinken and Alejandro Mayorkas to Mexico to begin implementing the Biden plan. It’s all a ruse.

The plan is in part to continue the invasion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were among the officials in the U.S. delegation to Mexico City and met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday. The meeting came amid a historic crisis at the border, with December on track to shatter records for migrant encounters.

In the joint statement, the countries affirmed their commitments to “orderly, humane and regular migration” and stressed their efforts to tackle “root causes” of migration, disrupt human smuggling and promote private investment while also investing in “ambitious development programs” in the region.

The NY Post called it the meeting a failure but did hit on the real nugget – amnesty– disguised as “regularizing”:

The statement also noted US and Mexico officials “discussed the benefit of regularizing the situation of long-term undocumented Hispanic migrants and DACA recipients, who are a vital part of the US economy and society” — suggesting the Biden administration might take another run at trying to legislate a pathway to citizenship for both adult illegal immigrants and those brought to the US as children.

Let’s clarify. This “regularizing” means blanket amnesty for all illegals. The Mexican coffee klatch was merely a show. Biden has little regard for the Constitution or the Supreme Court. Expect Biden to offer accelerated citizenship to all illegals in the country. Instead of the 81 magical miraculous votes Biden got in 2020 while not leaving his bunker he could amass 90 million votes the next time around. Artificially and unconstitutionally naturalized Americans would of course be very grateful to Biden and there would be no shortage of operatives willing to help guide them through the voting process where they can express their gratitude.

They may take the House and keep the Senate in this same magical way and then the rest falls into place. democrats expand the Supreme Court (think AOC type Justices), allow anyone to remove Republican candidates from ballots for any reason and voilà, a one state party fascist state forever.

© 12.29.2023 by DrJohn, "Flopping Aces".

2024: Do We Hit the Iceberg or Finally Change Course?

It is difficult for any American who loves this country to watch its political, economic, and military “leaders” destroy it.  Part of the political theater propping up the illusion of electoral choice in this Kabuki dance that the State-controlled press calls “democracy” is the lie that officeholders from different parties are at each other’s throats.  More Americans than ever finally see through this convenient fiction and understand that a single Uniparty acts as a guild of political thespians who are the face of a permanently entrenched national security Deep State that runs the show.  

Furthermore, more Americans than ever finally recognize that the United States is not a country that supports free markets but rather a central bank-directed financial cartel that regulates labor, commodities, and transactions so stringently that there is nothing outside of the government’s (or Wall Street’s) economic control.  Taxing Americans’ labor, forcing them to use an inflation-driven paper currency, and encumbering their ownership of real property are not policies for encouraging middle class prosperity; they are chains meant to create debt-anchored, government-dependent slaves.

For many decades, it seemed as if a vanguard of American communists were pushing these destructive policies and operating as a kind of fifth column from within an otherwise pro-America governing class.  Whether that fifth column was always much larger than it appeared or whether it simply succeeded, through strategic patience, in conquering America’s political and economic institutions and converting them to its advantage, there is no question that America’s internal demolition is now an all-of-government operation.

You do not hand a private central bank the power to print dollar bills, unless you expect those dollars to become untethered from any gold standard.  You do not print and spend money without budgetary constraints, unless you never intend to pay down those debts.  You do not engage in such a monetary Ponzi scheme that artificially raises the prices of stocks and real properties while depreciating the common person’s meager savings, unless you plan on precipitating the mother of all economic crashes in the future.  You do not start seeding the idea of a new central bank digital currency, unless you intend to take advantage of that economic crash and transition the whole population onto a mandatory system of government welfare.  

When our political and economic leaders have complete control over what is in your digital wallet, they will have complete control over what you say, what you do, where you go, and what you own.  After having sabotaged our economic system for decades, they will nonetheless shamelessly blame its engineered collapse on the “systemic unfairness” of free market capitalism and insist that they are saving the world with a digital currency capable of promoting “sustainable equity.”  It will be nothing less than full-blown communism.

Certainly the military and wider national security apparatus have thrown their lots in with the communists.  When your nation is bankrupt, you do not cavalierly jump from one war to the next — especially when the strategic value of kinetic operations is questionable, the risk of escalation is high, and the only sure winners are defense companies with office supply budgets larger than the GDP of small countries and the transnational investment houses that make a fortune from organized slaughter.  If you are actually concerned with protecting national security, you do not aid and abet illegal immigration, transport tens of millions of unknown foreigners (each carrying unknown diseases and unknown motivations for their illegal intrusion) into unsuspecting small towns throughout the U.S., and then force those communities to feed and house the interlopers by dipping into their already-insolvent municipal budgets.  If you are actually interested in winning wars, you do not designate patriotic, flag-waving Americans as potential “domestic extremists,” while running commercials seeking to enlist psychologically unstable “they/thems” who are more interested in cutting off their own genitalia than putting the pointy end of a blade into an enemy combatant.  If you are actually committed to preserving the U.S. Constitution, you do not put the whole American population under warrantless surveillance and excuse that grotesque affront to the Bill of Rights as necessary for “national security.”  You do not conspire with social media companies, search engine monopolists, financial institutions, and Internet service providers (none dare call it fascism!) to censor Americans’ free speech, punish them for their unapproved thoughts, and intimidate them into silence.  You do not squash dissent and label political opponents, “terrorists.”  These are the actions of totalitarian police States — not the policies of any nation that could honestly claim to be “free.”

D.C.’s permanent ruling class and its Marxist globalist allies throughout the globe are dedicated to one goal: eliminating national cohesion and erecting an authoritarian and technocratic super-State in its place.

Not one institution exists to help ordinary Americans.  The Pentagon is “woke” and ineffective.  The FBI-Gestapo is singularly invested in preserving the Deep State’s power.  The Federal Reserve is using “green energy”-induced inflation to transfer as much wealth as possible from poor and middle class Americans to the uber-elite before intentionally crashing the global economy.  The Department of Homeland (in)Security is using our open and undefended borders to flood the country with foreign terrorists and soldiers.  Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, and the rest of the World Economic Forum’s faculty of “Dr. Evils” continue to promise more viral pandemics, Internet outages, and electric grid failures.  The criminal “justice” system excuses violent crime as necessary to fight “white supremacy” (for Democrats, two wrongs always make a right).  An entirely partisan Department of (in)Justice continues to punish J6 protesters for accurately identifying the 2020 election as tainted by mail-in-ballot fraud (lie, cheat, steal — the Uniparty way).  And with the whole world watching, the U.S. government seeks to lock up Donald Trump before he can return to the presidency. 

As we enter 2024, there is widespread public agreement about two things: (1) something big is about to happen, and (2) whatever that something is, it sure as hell won’t be pretty!  While it may get pretty ugly pretty fast, though, there is an upside to what’s coming: as a country, we can finally pull this disgusting Band-Aid off, face reality for what it is, and stop pretending.  However bad this year might prove to be, it might also be tremendously liberating.  

Why?  Because, one way or another, things will soon change.  For too long, those who “run” America have had two things in common: (1) a hatred for individual freedoms, and (2) an even deeper hatred for the one country on the planet explicitly founded on their protection.  As a national security surveillance State superseded the U.S. Constitution, leftists have controlled academia, journalism, the legal system, and entertainment.  They have shoved anyone with a working brain out the door while assuring themselves that they deserve their privileged social positions and unearned accolades.  They tell themselves that they are smart and enlightened, but anybody capable of self-examination knows this not to be true.  Leftists are not happy people.  They have not figured out any special meaning to life because, to them, life is meaningless.  In other words, for too many years, a collection of the most depressed, least curious, morally relativistic, and intellectually homogenous people on the planet have been given pampered positions in exchange for acting as nihilistic and narcotic-dependent sea vessel captains willing to steer America into an iceberg of decline and failure.  

As that iceberg approaches, Americans who have long objected to this national suicide may at last get their say.  People with little left to lose often rise, sometimes lead, but rarely obey.  Perhaps 2024 will be remembered as the year Americans finally changed course and saved themselves.

© 1.02.2024, by J.B. Shurk, "American Thinker".

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