"Ten With A Two" (opens in separate window)

after the death of privacy

friday, june 16th, 2023

In practically every country, the allowable limit for cash withdrawals and transactions continues to be lowered.

Further, rampant currency debasement is lowering the real value of these ridiculous limits.

[FULL TITLE: "Doug Casey on the Death of Privacy -- and What Comes Next."]

Why are governments so intent on phasing out cash? What is really behind this coordinated effort?

Doug Casey: Let me draw your attention to three truths that my friend Nick Giambruno has pointed out about money in bank accounts.

#1. The money isn’t really yours. You’re just another unsecured creditor if the bank goes bust.

#2. The money isn’t actually there. It’s been lent out to borrowers who are illiquid or insolvent.

#3. The money isn’t really money. It’s credit created out of thin air.

The point is that cash is freedom. And when the State limits the utility of cash—physical dollars that don’t leave an electronic trail—they are limiting your personal freedom to act and compromising your privacy. Governments are naturally opposed to personal freedom and personal privacy because those things limit their control, and governments are all about control.

Freedom is for the brave. The cowardly aren’t worthy of being free.

Governments will probably mandate Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) as the “solution” when the next real or contrived crisis hits—which is likely not far off.

What’s your take? What are the implications for financial privacy?

Doug Casey: CBDCs are proposed as a solution, but in fact, they’re a gigantic problem.

Government is not your friend, and CBDCs are not a solution.

If they successfully implement CBDCs, it would mean that anything you buy or sell, and any income you earn, will go through CBDCs. You will have zero effective privacy. The Authorities will automatically know what you own, and they’ll be in a position to control your assets. Instantly.

They’ll be able to add CBDCs to the accounts of favored people and subtract from or block access to the accounts of those who aren’t. Digital dollars will be easy to implement since everybody already has a government ID and a Social Security account. Everybody has a smartphone. Soon everybody will have a CBDC account as well. If you lack any of these things, it will certainly ding your oncoming Social Credit Score.

I’ll go so far as to say that Central Bank Digital Currencies and digital “health passports” may be the most dangerous threats to the freedom and independence of the average human being in modern history. They will allow the State to easily control where you can go, what you can do, and what you can own. They’re both very big deals, and they’ll be daily facts of life.

In today’s world, it’s increasingly dangerous to say things that run counter to what’s considered politically correct. If you can’t say something, it’s much harder to do something. And indoctrination through education and the media are making it hard to even think. We will soon be living in a society where you can neither think, say, nor do anything that isn’t PC. Again, the problem is promoted as a solution.

It’s much like what happened during the great COVID hysteria, which was a relatively minor problem from a medical point of view. The State solution was mass lockdowns and mass vaccination. The solutions were much worse than the problem.

In any event, free speech is dying with cancel culture, trigger warnings, safe spaces, and penalties for so-called hate speech. Free speech should be an absolute—including so-called hate speech.

I’d like to reemphasize that although “hate speech” is typically impolite, unpleasant, and acrimonious, it is, perhaps paradoxically, a good thing. Why? Because it allows you to identify what’s going on in the mind of the person who utters it. And I would much rather know what somebody’s thinking and what somebody’s likely to do than have a tight lid put on so-called hate speech. I prefer knowing who I’m dealing with and what they think and feel.

It’s not just financial privacy but privacy across the board that is being buried.

Cellphones, so-called “smart” appliances, electric vehicles, social media, and other electronic devices create an all-encompassing surveillance system that most people voluntarily opt into.

What is really going on here?

Doug Casey: It’s been said that while art imitates life, life also imitates art. Especially when we look at George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984. In the book, Big Brother had ubiquitous video screens monitoring what the plebs did. We now have hundreds of millions of cameras all around the world—not counting billions more in smartphones. Universal surveillance is making for very grim times.

Recently, Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum said that everything will be “transparent”—a euphemism for darker things. But don’t worry: you have nothing to fear, he said, if you do nothing wrong. That’s ridiculous. It’s exactly what the Stasi, the KGB, and the Gestapo said.

I wonder if Schwab would be willing to have a camera observe him in his bathroom and bedroom, when he visits his safe deposit box and has a private conversation with friends—or fellow conspirators? Of course not. Transparency is only for the potentially dangerous plebs, who may not share the views of their betters.

One of the differences between a civilized society and a primitive, barbaric society, is privacy. In primitive societies, privacy doesn’t exist. You have paper-thin walls in your hut. Everybody sees everything you do and everybody you talk to.

One of the nice things about civilization is that you can get away from other people and keep them from observing you. Privacy is one of the central elements of civilization itself.

Eliminating privacy, whether it be personal or financial, is not only an aggression against individuals but destructive of civilization itself. Schwab’s “transparency” is a regression towards barbarism.

International Man: It seems privacy is dead for most people.

If that is the case, what comes next? Where is this trend headed?

Doug Casey: The first time that it became apparent to me on a personal level was at a police station in D.C., where I was paying a fine for some traffic violation. I got to chatting with the cop in back of the computer screen. This was a long time ago, in the late 70’s.

And as we talked, he said, in a friendly way, “Look, you don’t have any idea how much information we have on you—but it’s a lot.”

He wasn’t trying to intimidate me; he was just observing a fact. And that was a long time ago.

About 25 years ago, Larry Ellison, the head of Oracle Corporation, came out and made a shocking statement to the effect of “Privacy doesn’t exist, forget about it.” At the time, I thought it sounded like Ellison approved of it, but now I don’t think that was the case. He was just pointing out a reality.

Most recently, Arnold Schwarzenegger made an ad during the COVID hysteria. He said, “To hell with your freedom,” encouraging people to stop protesting about getting their shots.

Children no longer say, “Hey, it’s a free country,” when one says or does something that another doesn’t like.

People have been programmed not to take privacy seriously. Worse, they’re now suspicious of it and passively accept the fact that it doesn’t exist.

With China’s Social Credit System, everything you do, everywhere you go, and even everything you say is recorded and reported. We’re going to get our own version. You’ll be rewarded or punished according to what the ruling elite think is good or bad.

So the question is: when, if ever, will this trend turn around? Well, I’m not sure it’s any longer a question of “when.” It’s more a question of “if”—at least within a reasonable time frame. The trend is not only still in motion but accelerating. A lack of privacy means a lack of freedom. And a lack of freedom is what characterizes a serf—although in today’s world, you’re a serf with a high standard of living.

How can the average person protect their privacy and limit their exposure to State and corporate surveillance?

Doug Casey: Limit airing your personal thoughts and actions on Facebook, LinkedIn, and similar types of social media. It’s all accessible to anybody and makes it much easier for the State to control you.

In my case, I’ve made part of my living by doing the opposite of what you should do. I understand it’s a contradiction. It’s the path that I’ve chosen. But from a personal freedom point of view, it’s not a wise path. I’m reluctant to say so, but I’d advise others not to choose it. It amounts to painting a target on your back.

At this point, if you want to maximize your personal freedom, you ought to consider living in a country where you’re not a citizen. That’s because governments consider citizens to be their subjects, their assets, their property. However, when you’re a foreign citizen living in a foreign country, the local government tends to consider you a non-threat, almost a non-person. Sad to say, in today’s world, from a personal freedom point of view, you’re better off not living in your own country. That certainly includes the US and Canada.

From a financial point of view, it’s very important that you own and hold physical gold and silver, physically in your own possession, as opposed to electronically. Paper or electronic accounts are fine for speculating. But you want to have a considerable cache of the physical metals for safety. Plus, at some point, they will revert to day-to-day money.

Lastly, put a layer of protection between you and the bad guys. Don’t be afraid to use corporations and trusts in the right jurisdictions. Create barriers to make it harder for the bad guys to find out who owns something and where that person really is.

© 5.27.2023 by Doug Casey, "International Man".

A Day In The Life.

Up at 7a 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 a 50mg Tramadol for some bad pain in my hips (from the 10mg statin?), had a couple smokes in the semi-cool garage and checked the day's errands list. It was a cool 56°, overcast with milky white haze again, and forecast to hit 73°, with increasing 60%+ humidity. All PURPLE and RED AIR QUALITY ALERTS had been lifted overnight. But Air Quality Alert Warning were still in-place.

I tuned into the Chris Plante Show LIVE, from 9-12, and decided not to go to the Market this morning, due to pain; maybe next Friday. Some showers moved thru the area; I think I counted 37 raindrops. It was nice to stay home -- except for an errand to the nearby Rite Aid -- to get a couple waiting Rxs.

What the hell is an "influencer"? I keep hearing that term on some Talk Shows, as if everyone knows what it's all about. Google defines it, thusly: "An influencer is someone in your niche or industry with sway over your target audience. Influencers have specialized knowledge, authority or insight into a specific subject." BFD. Everyone is an "influencer", in some way or another, in their own area of expertise. IMO. Do they make money from it? Who cares.

I left at 10:45a to get 3 errands done, and then headed back home, despite a seemingly clearing sky, and the Canadian Wildfires' smoke being blown east and out-to-sea. Hopefully, the air quality will improve, but for now, I'm still; affected by it.

The problem is: It's now OUR guns; it's YOUR sons.

Donald Trump was hit with a sweeping 37-count indictment from the special counsel's office Thursday, alleging that he willfully retained documents containing the nation's most sensitive secrets, including nuclear programs, after he left office, showed some of them on at least two occasions and then tried to obstruct the investigation into their whereabouts. Federal prosecutors unsealed the indictment Friday against the former president and his aide Walt Nauta in connection with his handling of government documents. Trump's charges include conspiracy to obstruct justice and scheme to conceal. Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are charged with NO counts for doing the same thing, only much, much worse and on a much grander scale. We are officially a Turd-World, Banana Republic shithole. Nice going, US Government!

Sherry stopped by to visit after she got-off work at Hollie's shop, in nearby Hallam, and we had a nice time for 2hrs. The skies were getting dark and threatening rain -- DO IT! -- but we got all of 129 drops, as Sherry left at 6:30. Nothing appreciable. I had dinner, watched the news and some TV, until 11p. Lights out.

I slept-in until 9a on Saturday, an overcast, 68° morning, forecast to hit 84° later. Groggy, with hip, lower back and now, right elbow pain, I took 2 Tramadol 50mg and one 300mg Gabapentin, all of which'll probably do little for the pain. After making coffee, I sat in the open garage, to get some fresh air, with a couple of smokes. After feeding the squirrels with boiled peanuts, I moved to the back patio with coffee and smokes, right outside my office-sunroom's door. I lounged around all morning, and did a few condo chores, made-up a food shopping list for next week, and checked TV Racer for races this weekend. No F-1 or IndyCar races until next weekend; just TRASHCAR racing crap. A "racing drought" is upon me, for now.

Just in case you missed it, here is the video, "What Is A Woman" (1:34), that's caused an uproar on Twitter, across the Nation. Well worth a watch, since it's got the gender-bender cabal all PO'd. Hey, moron idiot "transgender folks" -- "If you've got a dick, you ain't a chick", from the video. I like that guy's attitude. So-called "trans people" and their "supporters", are deviants, liars, perverts, scumbags, degenerates, lowlifes, mentally-ill and can't find "The Truth" and "Reality". Any questions, leftists?

The falcon cannot hear the falconer; things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

I just don't recognize my country, or this world, anymore.

I had dinner, watched the news, and some TV until 1:30a (I got my "2nd wind" around 11p). No races worth a crap on tomorrow, but there's plenty of niggling condo chores and gardening to do. Time for some sleep.

I got up around 8:30a on Sunday, 70°, with more overcast, milky while-slightly bluish skies, bright sun breaking thru occasionally, and no wind. Still have *** RED FLAG AIR QUALITY ALERTS *** in-place, according to the 3 weather sites I use. I made coffee, had a light breakfast, and scanned the weather and news sites. By 10:30, temps had risen to 81°, with 38% humidity, but forecast to get up to 88°. I opened the garage for some fresh air and got a wall of warm air. I miss the cool-to-cold fresh air of Winter/Early Spring, coming into the garage, in the morning. Our usual hot & humid Summer will be here, soon enough.

The Democrats don’t like either Trump or Desantis. The rest of the rest are either pantywaists or aren't going anywhere. But they've already thrown 87 kitchen sinks and then some at Trump and he's still standing. No doubt they have plenty on Desantis as well, but they haven't thrown anything at him yet so his strength is an unknown factor. They’re not terrified of him. He just makes an easy fundraising tool for them to use.

Have you seen the video, "Plandemic 3: The Great Awakening" (1:45:04)? It's a must watch, for any afternoon or evening.

I had laundry to do, minor chores to do, and all too soon, it was 87° and humid outside, but I won't smoke inside, so I did some hand-watering in the dry gardens. There were no F-1, IMSA or IndyCar Races on TV, so I tried to watch the TRASHCAR Race, but only caught a few minutes of it. Boring crap. I had dinner, watched the news and some TV until 12:30a. Just a few errands in the morning; nothing pressing all week long.

Up at 8:15a on Monday, due to noisy garbage trucks coming thru the complex, it was heavily-clouded, very humid and t-storms were forecast; I just hope we get some rain. The bulk of the stormfront is east of York, moving northeast and will just pass to our west. 81° and stifling humidity already, I made coffee, tuned into the "CP Show", stayed-in the AC, and scanned the news and weather sites. I have 3 errands to do right after CP is off, at 12p: bank, cleaners in East York and cleaners down south in Dallastown. A rain cell moved thru and dumped 107 drops; I counted them. Barely wet the gardens' mulch. I left at 12:15p, and ran the errands.

FINALLY, US Rep Andy Ogles (R-TN) has introduced Articles of Impeachment against Biden & Harris, but alas, it'll go nowhere. There are few Republicans and no demonKKKrats with guts, in that shithole Chamber of Congress. They're all neutered.

Well, if we got 1/8" of moisture for the day, and all those massive storms which blew thru the area, I'd be surprised. A big disappointment, so I'll keep using the drip irrigation system, and hand-water, when needed. After lunch, I grabbed a couple hours snooze on the LR couch, had dinner and watched the news, and some TV until 11. My cleaning lady, JoAnne, is in at 8:30a tomorrow, so I am getting-up at 6, as usual, for that 8:30, every other Tuesday when she's here. Lights out.

Our Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th, tomorrow. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

Up at 6a on Tuesday, a cool 54°, sunny, slightly overcast with high clouds, but much LESS humid. Nice. Ahhhhh, my website was hacked this morning, by a DOS Attack (Denial Of Service), bombarded by tens-of-thousands of bogus emails, for about 3-4 hours. My personal email was down, too. It was inaccessible during the attack. My special ISP (Internet Service Provider) finally got it resolved via customized filters, since it was affecting their major server, too. Swell. I'd like to track down the hacker(s), and "terminate them with extreme prejudice".

I called Gohn & Stambaugh Co HVAC for a tune-up service on my 2-Ton Amana AC unit, and they had me on their "list", until a tech was coming thru the area. They called at 1:15p to let me know he'd be at my place around 2p, on the way back from another job. Great. Turns out that I needed a little more than a simple "tune-up". He spent 2hrs replacing a capacitor, and cleaning out the 2-Ton AC unit. I couldn't believe how much white pine needles, grass clippings, leaves, dirt and debris came out of that large machine, blocking the intake aid vents on all sides. $325 and well worth it, as the AC now functions like it did when I had it installed in 2010.

I had a light dinner, watched the news, and tuned into the ongoing series, "The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch" -- a series of "high strangeness" -- on History, plus the weekly new episode, and a spin-off show based on it, called "Beyond Skinwalker Ranch". Meh. I called it a day at 11:30p.

Up at 8:15a on Wednesday, it was overcast, 61° and R-A-I-N-I-N-G! Glorious rain! I made coffee, had a few smokes in the garage, with cool, fresh air pouring-in as soon as I opened the garage door. I had the Weis Market food shopping list ready-to-go, tuned into the "Chris Plante Show" until 12:15p, and left for that errand. I scanned the news websites -- I have 7 which I go to on a daily basis -- and also checked the 10-day forecast.

If you think we have a “Free Press”, look who owns the Press. The same people who own our politicians. Blackrock, WEF, China, satanic orgs everywhere. The "free press" in its original form was the honest broadcasting of the news by paper, radio, or TV. We now have the internet. So, the real issue comes down to this: "If we don't have "freedom of speech," we don't have a "democracy". Actually, we're a Constitutional Republic, as "democracy" is mob rule. We've long since lost out Constitutional Republic, to the democracy hellhole. By that reasoning, we still have a "democracy", albeit a fragile one. That said, there are other ways to kill a "democracy". One is a collapse of the institutions that the "democracy" depends on, like the DOJ, the FBI, and the military (which has gone Woke). It’s a good thing we live in a REPRESENTATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC!

The rain abated around 11, and I checked my back patio's rain gauge; looks like ~¼", or so. Probably enough to wet the mulch, and maybe a little soil. Better than nothing. More t-storms are forecast in the coming days, but we all know how "that" goes. Damn, it's still dry here. The news is crap, again, as are the Talk Radio ads on WMAL. Good thing I have a "Mute" button on my Logitech MK710 Keyboard Combo.

I left at 12:15p for Weis Market, and maybe another stop. T-storm cells blew thru and gave us some more, limited rain. Back by 1:30, I unloaded 5 bags of $95 worth of stuff, and had a light lunch.

Yes, I saw the whole pathetic saga of Trump's indictment and court appearance,and aftermath in that Cuban restaurant. It was awful to see that two-tiered system of INjustice. Meanwhile, Hitlery Rotten Klintoon, a long-time criminal and murderer, just skates free. Go here to hear the Biden bribery tapes; stunning and criminal. We're living in an "oligarchy" -- rule by corrupt big tech and other corporations, corrupt law enforcement and corrupt government -- and our precious, fragile Constitutional Republic is now officially gone. For now, until we get a Real American back into office, and hope that the criminal Deep State and DC Swamp, doesn't assassinate him, or her. Remember JFK?

The day's wind and clouds were moving at a very fast pace, as the final leg of the t-stormfront moved thru the York area, but no more rain. Temps began to drop, and quickly: down 21° in 1½ hours, so I buttoned-up the condo, turned-on the AC to remove the humidity, and worked on paperwork inside. I made CrockPot Beef Stew for dinner, watched the news and Discovery's "Expedition Unknown" for hours; some of the many episodes I'd missed over the past 2 years. Lights out at 12:30a.

Awake at 7:30a on Thursday, it was a sunny, blue sky, 59°, and cool morning. I fired-up the furnace to take the chill off the condo, made coffee and had a smoke in the garage. The birds outside were noisy, as usual. When I went back into the garage with coffee and another smoke, it was dead quiet outside. Weird. 30mins later, when I was out for another smoke, it was busy with birds chirping, once again. I tuned into the "CP Show" at 9, and he was on-the-mark, as usual. After a light breakfast, I got ready for the day, and prepped my Mt Rose Cemetery project proposal materials for a Friday morning meeting.

I had an errand over to the local convenience store, so I did that around 10:30, just because I'm meeting Sherry at 1:30p, to walk in the ginormous York Galleria Mall, for a couple of hours. I could see the sky turning milky-white again, due to the Canadian Wildfires' smoke coming our way, again. Hopefully, it won't be as bad as last week's orange air and haze, was.

I left at 1:30, Sherry and I walked for over an hour, and came back to my place to rest and talk. She left at 5, to get some errands done, and get home. I had dinner, watched the news and kept watching "Expedition Unknown" on Discovery+ until 11, and called it Yankee Doodle.

Tomorrow starts a new week here in the :Journal", and only one Dr's app't next week. Several interesting F-1, IMSA GT and IndyCar races on TV over the weekend, so I'll get some time to work on the cemetery proposal project's final draft, and get a meeting set-up with the corporate folks at Mt Rose and Dignity USA. And of course, get a day or two with Sherry.

Welcome to Your New Country.

The federal indictment of Donald Trump over secretarial matters is meretricious.

The news that former president Trump has been indicted on federal criminal charges related to his alleged mishandling of documents after leaving office marks a new milestone in America’s depressing descent to politics in the style of Peru or Turkey, where departed presidents and political opponents are put in prison as a matter of routine.

The regime appears to be so besotted with Trump-hate that it is desperate to fling charges and indictments at him, for virtually anything. Following two inane and failed impeachments—the first one of which was so obscure it is hard to find anyone who can even remember the charges, much less describe them lucidly; the second of which occurred after he left office and covered events he was not present at and which he discouraged—we have been treated to a “flood the zone” legal harassment campaign unrivaled in American history. Trump’s enemies—comprising more or less the entire federal government and its many penumbras; the media; academia; most of the corporate world; and a large portion of his own political party—have concocted a series of criminal and civil allegations so absurd that even the prosecutors bringing them have trouble containing their smirks.

Tish James, the feckless attorney general of New York, threw the weight of the most powerful state office in the country against Trump and his businesses, managing only to convict his accountant of having not reported some corporate perks as taxable income. This is normally a civil matter, and almost never prosecuted at the state level, but the executive in question was actually sent to jail.

New York State then passed a law giving adults who were sexually assaulted at any time in the past a one-year window to sue their assailants. This law was specifically targeted at Donald Trump, as its sponsors boasted. Roberta Kaplan, a powerful Democrat lawyer (who, incidentally, helped to defame Andrew Cuomo’s accusers) enlisted E. Jean Carroll, a former advice columnist, to swear that Trump had raped her in Bergdorf Goodman at some point in the nineties. When Trump denied having met Carroll, and derided her claims, she sued him for defamation, too. Manhattan juries found for her in both cases.

The district attorney of Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, has indicted Trump on criminal charges of falsifying corporate records for recording his payment of extortion money to a porn star as a legal expense, rather than as a campaign contribution, though indeed the payment was made through his lawyer. Because the corporate records in question were those of the privately held Trump Organization, this charge is tantamount to writing a check made out to CASH and filling in the “Memo” line incorrectly. Even the New York Times had trouble making it sound like the charges were worth making.

The Democrat DA of Fulton County is evidently trying to put together a RICO-conspiracy case against Trump for encouraging the secretary of state of Georgia to “find” more votes for him following the 2020 election. In the new electoral environment, where it often takes weeks for votes to be counted as tens of thousands of mail-in ballots trickle into the polling places, Trump’s request sounds prudent and reasonable. But we are now in a political climate where selective quotation, innuendo, and dark glances from CNN anchors mean more than actual circumstances.

The federal indictment over the allegedly purloined documents is the stupidest of all the investigations against Trump, and thus, in this Swiftian atmosphere, the most serious. Trump’s office was engaged in what appears to have been a normal and routine back-and-forth with the National Archives over the disposition of some of the papers he took with him upon leaving office. The FBI, apparently under the direction of Attorney General and denied Supreme Court appointee Merrick Garland, staged a raid on Trump’s residence, seizing the documents in question. The FBI leaked photos of empty folders marked CLASSIFIED and TOP SECRET. Television commentators expressed anxiety about whether the absence of documents from the folders indicated that Trump had already sold their contents to Russia.

Soon after, it emerged that President Biden had stored boxes of government-owned documents in his garage. The same special prosecutor investigating Trump promised to look into the question of Biden’s documents, too—though there was no raid on his house, and media reports indicate that there is no rush to resolve the case, certainly not before November, 2024, anyway. Some observers with especially long historical memories may recall that a former secretary of state who ran for president in 2016 had an issue with a private server in her house that maintained highly sensitive information, which was later determined to have been illegal, but not worthy of prosecution.

We are deep in Lavrentiy Beria land, now, the province of Stalin’s top cop, who supposedly remarked, “Show me the man and I will show you the crime.” America is no longer governed by even the pretense of the rule of law. The assault on Trump may be designed to neutralize him as an electoral force in 2024, or in some extraordinary way it may even be designed to solidify him as the besieged leader of a fractured Republican Party and elevate him as a martyr in the eyes of his deplorable legions. Either way, it is clear that American history has been split—between republic and tyranny—and we are somewhere in time near the cleft.

© June 09, 2023, 2023 by The Editors of The American Mind, "The American Mind".

American Banana Republic.

The indictment of Donald Trump is a tipping point for free government.

ews of the indictment against former President Donald Trump came yesterday afternoon like a shot heard ‘round the world—but this one heralds the triumph of tyranny rather than liberty. A grand jury empaneled by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has indicted Trump on charges that, while under seal, are likely related to payments Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen made to Stormy Daniels prior to Trump running for president.

The irony is not lost on us that Bragg’s entire modus operandi as DA is decidedly against enforcing the criminal law in New York City. He has actively shirked his responsibilities and failed to press charges regarding all manner of crime, from subway fare evasion to robbery to assault. Suddenly, what was an expired misdemeanor that Bragg’s predecessor—and even Bragg himself until recently—declined to prosecute has become a grave threat to “our democracy.” Nor have we forgotten the staying power of New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler’s famous dictum, popularized by Tom Wolfe, that “a grand jury would ‘indict a ham sandwich,’ if that’s what you wanted.”

But what is new, beyond the milestone of the first indictment of a former American president, is the motive and the means behind it. Yes, the partisan Left will finally live out its fantasy of a Blue Day of Vengeance: Trump fingerprinted, perp walked, perhaps even “frog marched,” as they love to say, in full view of the cameras and—thanks to the media they control—the world. Behind the spectacle, however, the machinery dismantling the vestiges of the Republic grinds on. While some focus on how the indictment will rally Republicans around Trump’s renomination, and others calculate fresh odds for Florida governor Ron DeSantis, the regime accelerates its acquisition and consolidation of unprecedented and un-American political, cultural, financial, and coercive power.

The latest episode of the Orange Man soap opera is of a piece, and a critical one at that, with the regime’s march toward mastery. Like it or not, Trump has willingly become a symbol and stand-in for the vast swath of American people the regime sees, and ever more nakedly treats, as an enemy to be persecuted, prosecuted, censored, surveilled, and demoralized across the full spectrum of public and private life: in short, to be stripped of its constitutionally guaranteed form of government, and forcibly onboarded into a new and alien system of complete and automated control.

For patriotic Americans everywhere, Trump’s pending surrender to the authorities portends an uncomfortable truth we must confront if we want to have any hope of reclaiming our long-held, hard-earned rights as a self-governing people. The prosecution of Trump is the tip of the spear in the regime’s effort to reground its sovereignty and authority in a new “rules-based” domestic order impenetrable to citizen politics, from the creation of Central Bank Digital Currencies and banning of cryptocurrencies to the official religious establishment of the “trans community” as “people who shape our nation’s soul” in the aftermath of its storming of multiple state capitals and the targeted terroristic slaughter of Christian schoolchildren by one of its members. For centuries, perhaps millennia, despotism was associated with stagnation and lethargy. Today’s tyrannical regime is characterized by the blinding speed with which it terraforms its people.

All this does not spring from Trump’s indictment, but, rather, the reverse. This latest attempt at an all-but-literal kill shot against the sitting president’s leading rival for the presidency reveals that the regime’s new mode is to use the law as a means to extralegal ends, rewarding its favorites and punishing its foes according to its grand post-constitutional design.

Yesterday and today, it is Trump who is attacked “six ways from Sunday” by the coordinated borg that includes the alphabet soup of administrative agencies, its pliant members of Congress, its Big Tech franchises, its farrago of allied “non-governmental” organizations at home and abroad, and those corporate and individual interests who pour in funds and personnel. Today and tomorrow, it is you. We applaud Governor Ron DeSantis, who has properly identified Bragg’s gambit as “un-American” and made it clear that “Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.” We also need more from all patriotic public officials and private citizens.

Regardless of all subsidiary details about who supports which candidate and what scenarios might benefit which factions, at bottom is the inescapable reality that the crusade against Trump is a pitched battle in the war to overthrow, once and for all, the Republic. As Trump himself lucidly put it in 2019, while facing his first impeachment, “they’re not after me, they’re after you; I’m just in the way.” That’s true even if Trump is not your first choice for ‘24—even if you long to see him recede in the rear-view mirror safely over the horizon of public life. The regime may not ever let him return to power, but it will not allow him to live in peace, either. It seeks an unconditional victory through the unconditional humiliation of its enemies.

As the threat concerns the fate of the Republic, not just the Republican nominee, Americans must not only grasp the stakes but act with commensurate courage and speed. Even if officials in Washington find it within them to rebuff and rein in the regime, the decisive field is at the state level, where the people and their duly elected governors and representatives must set about securing citizens’ foundational rights and freedoms across business, commerce, education, finance, religion, family, and technology, in public and private life, online and off.

The “altars of freedom,” as Abraham Lincoln once called them in a letter to a Civil War widow, are being desecrated by design. Salvaging republican government as it was handed down to us from the American Founders might no longer be possible. But the only way to find out is to perform the sacred duty we owe ourselves and our posterity to try.

© 5.09.2023, 2023 by The Editors of The American Mind, "The American Mind".

Who Do the Dems Replace Biden With?

Since allegedly getting elected president, Joe Biden has gotten his ancient behind kicked by the Taliban, by Kevin McCarthy, and by a random USAF sandbag to name just a few of the groups, individuals, and inanimate objects that have bested the worst president since Jimmy Carter. This guy is not well. Some might call him senile. Some might call him dumb. Some might call him a corrupt pervert. And some might call that list a good start.

He mumbles that he’s running, but it is not assured that Biden will be on the ballot in November 2024. There is precedent for a sitting president not being present at the end of the race. LBJ was running, but he got humiliated in the primaries early 1968 and dropped out. Now, Let’s Go Brandon is no Lyndon Baines Johnson. The Delaware Dipwad has less dignity than the guy who made his aides talk to him while he was on the crapper. As long as Bididdler is staggering along being Weekend At Bernie’s’d by his wife the doctor, and a bunch of real doctors, he will be the Democrats’ nominee. There’s not going to be a coup. There’s not going to be a rebellion, even if the GOP manage to nominate someone who is not a mortal lock on defeat. There is no council of wise men that will convene, realize that this whole charade is ridiculous and that this guy belongs in a home, and anoint some less feckless candidate – partially because there’s no consensus on who the replacement might be and partially because a council of wise men assumes their gender and is sexist and wisdom would probably be labeled “white supremacy” by the nincompoops of pallor who form the core of the Democrat Party.

They will run Biden if they can. Sure, he’s a mental defective, but he’d fare no worse than Diane Feinstein or Ogre Fetterman in a round peg-square hole competition. The Democrats can live with an avatar-in-chief. And they will. The fact is that the Democrats will nominate Hunter’s Daddy in 2024 barring the machinations of fate. But fate may have other plans. He could break his hip. He could get sick. Let’s not be morbid, but when you’re with a guy his age you need to short his actuarial chances. The fact is that fate might take him out of the equation, and then what the hell do the Democrats do?

I hope they panic and tear themselves apart.

So, who rides in as their White Knight, understanding that the “white” and “knight” parts are both terrible for a number of reasons? The most fearsome candidate is Michelle Obama, but she pretty clearly has no interest in doing this job. Or any job. Neither does Bernie Sanders – the communist will not be adding the White House to his long list of mansions. Maybe they would defrost Hillary Clinton, but the fact that we rarely see her anymore tells us that she’s not doing so great either. Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit would be 77 in 2024, and remember how seven years ago she had to be scooped up and loaded into an SUV after falling over from the strain of standing upright for a minute? At least we’ve dodged that nagging, bitter bullet – unlike Vince Foster.

I kid, I kid. No really, I kid. I have a lot to live for.

Who else might take Crusty’s place?

Well, in a grievous oversight, the Founders did not impose an IQ test for the office of vice-president, so if Joe pops smoke then Kacklin’ Kamala inherits the job. She would insist that it is her right to keep it and assume the 2024 nomination, but –- not to put too fine a point on it –- everyone hates her and thinks she’s a borderline clinical idiot plus a total embarrassment. And that’s just her staff.

Exactly who is going to get swooped up into the vortex of Kamalamania? Her weirdo husband? No one likes her. No one respects her. No one wants her. And again, that’s just her staff.

But we know that gross incompetence is no barrier to a successful Democrat candidacy, so she could still be in the running if she inspired fear in her competitors instead of loathing. They look at her and, instead of trembling at her wrath, they start thinking about how they would re-do the Oval Office. No one is afraid of her. She would have to go out and take the nomination, which means convincing the Democrat base to support her. She tried that once, before she ended up botching the vice-presidency –- you almost have to try to dumb enough to screw up a job that requires literally nothing but perfect attendance and not forgetting to breathe. The Democrat primary voters gave her about 1% of the vote –- she’s flirting with Asa Hutchinson territory. They were too kind.

No, her competitors will smell weakness and start circling her like wolves following the buffalo with a limp.

Some kind of already are. Gavin Newsom (D-Contingency) has been running a shadow campaign for a year now just in case Faily McFailure falls out. He’s going all around the country telling other governors how they should run their states, and they are taking his advice, in a way. They see what Gov. Hairstyle has done in the Golden State and do the opposite. Gavin is good-looking and dumb, so he’s got that Kennedy thing going (the actual Kennedy in the race is a non-player –- he’s too weird even for the Dems). Still, picking him sets up a race between himself and Trump –- call that a wash -– or DeSantis, a guy who is running a successful state. Gavin offers the country the chance to make all of America modern California, which is as appealing a prospect as taking a bite from some San Francisco hobo’s half-eaten hepatitis and crank burrito.

There is Pete Buttigieg, who is very impressive to Pete Buttigieg. His unspoken premise is that all the jobs he previously had and failed at – mayor, transportation secretary, Alfred E. Neuman doppelgänger – have prepared him to fail as president. That’s certainly correct, but it’s not a selling point. Moreover, he’s got this Teen Woke Scold vibe, and by 2024 the wokeness backlash might be in full effect. “Roads are racist” might once again be seen as being just as transcendently stupid a concept as it objectively is.

Who else? Well, there are some governors who might take a shot. Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania is popular and comes from a key battleground state. Him being the Democrat nominee might be awkward, considering that so many of his parties leading lights yearn for the annihilation of the world’s sole Jewish nation. He does have the advantage of having a reputation of not being a total incompetent, though PA is far from a finely-tuned machine. But he is still stuck with the albatross that is all the Democrat nonsense he has to genuflect to, stuff that normal Americans are increasingly rejecting. It's unclear whether he (or anyone) can pull of a Sista Soljah moment by speaking some Democrat pagan blasphemy like “Crime is bad” or “Maybe men dressed as women should not be twerking in front of kindergartners.”

That’s the challenge for the Dem “moderates.” There are no Dem moderates, not if they drink the commie Kool-Aid, and if you don’t take a big gulp the pinko caucus will destroy you. That’s why Governor Jarad Polis of Colorado is problematic. His selling point is also that he’s not quite as left as the rest of the Dems, but he’s still pretty left. His state reeks of dope and is full of bums. America is getting sick of nonsense, and the problem for any Democrat is that the Democrat Party platform is all nonsense. There’s now a new name for moderate Democrats –- squish Republicans. Every other Democrat is a damn commie.

That’s about the extent of the Democrat bench. The problem with keeping a gerontocracy in power for a couple decades past its sell-by date is that you don’t build a bench. They built a sick bed. A lot of potential candidates got tired of waiting for guys like Biden to take their final tumble and went off to mess up things in academia or the private sector. That’s why if something happens to Grandpa Badfinger, the Democrats will have to belly up to a smorgasbord of mediocrity and dig in.

© 6.08.2023, by Kurt Schlichter, "Townhall".

The Parrot.

A man buys a talking parrot, and later finds out that the parrot swears constantly. Nothing but filthy language, all the time.

The man tries everything to get the parrot to clean up his language. He tries to reason with the parrot. He tries to bribe the parrot. He threatens the parrot. Nothing works.

Finally the man loses control, and shoves the parrot into a freezer. A minute later the man opens the freezer door, and the parrot hops out.

“I promise to never use bad language again,” the shaken parrot says. “But I have one question. What did that chicken do?”

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