"The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald" (opens in separate window)

the beginning of cbdc?

friday, may 19th, 2023

There has been extensive discussion in the past couple of years within alternative media circles about the dangers of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs); a currency framework very similar to blockchain-based products like Bitcoin but directly controlled by central bankers.

[FULL TITLE: "The Beginning of a One World Digital Currency System?"]

It’s a threat that some analysts including myself have been writing about for more than a decade, so it’s good to finally see the issue being addressed more in the mainstream.

The Orwellian nature of CBDCs cannot be overstated. In a cashless society most people would be dependent on digital products for exchanging goods and labor, and this would of course mean the end of all privacy in trade. Everything you buy or sell or work for in your life would be recorded, and this lack of anonymity could be used to stifle your freedoms in the future.

For example, say you like to eat steak regularly, but the increasingly authoritarian government decides to list red meat as a health risk and a “climate change risk” due to carbon emissions from cows. They determine by your purchase history (which they have full access to) that you have contributed more carbon pollution than most people by eating red meat often. The democrat party, isn't.

They declare that you must pay a retroactive carbon tax on your past purchases of red meat. Not only that, but your insurance company sends you a letter indicating that you are a medical risk and they cut off your health coverage.

Products you consume and services you use can be tracked to create a psychological profile on you, which could then become a factor in determining your social-credit score, just as CCP authorities do in China today. Maybe you refuse to purchase an annual mRNA booster shot, and the tracking algorithm makes a note of this. Now you are under suspicion for being “anti-vax” and your social-credit score plummets, cutting you off from various public venues. Maybe you are even fired from your job.

In the worst-case scenario, though, economic access is the greatest oppressive tool. With CBDCs in place and no physical cash in existence, your savings will never be truly yours and you’ll never be able to hold your purchasing power in your hands. The means of exchange would be bottlenecked by the banks, and governments would have the option to freeze your ability to transact. Friendly fire, isn't.

If one day you get angry about a particular government policy and openly call the system corrupt on social media, they can simply shut off your option to transfer your digital money to others until you submit, or die.

CBDCs give establishment officials the leverage to starve their political opponents with algorithmic precision. It would be a new world of technocratic oppression.

It’s important to understand that central bankers are moving at breakneck speed to develop and introduce digital currencies. It’s not a matter of experimentation, they already have these systems ready to implement. The Federal Reserve’s instant transfer program “FedNow” is set to debut this July, which is not a CBDC but it is an intermediary step towards instituting CBDCs in the near term.

In my investigations of various CBDC programs and how quickly they are progressing I came across an interesting program called “Project Icebreaker” being run by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). For those not aware, the BIS is a globalist institution with a clandestine past known as the “central bank of central banks.” It is the policy-making hub for most of the central banks in the world.

If you ever wondered how it was possible for so many national central banks to operate in tandem with each other instead of acting in the interests of the countries they reside in, the BIS is the answer. In other words, organizations like the Federal Reserve are not necessarily loyal to Americans or to American officials, they are loyal to the dictates of the BIS. Common courtesy, isn't.

The BIS is at the forefront of the movement towards the adoption of CBDCs. They have been funding a vast array of projects to test and refine CBDC technology and as of this year they estimate that at least 81 central banks around the world are in the midst of introducing digital-currency systems.

Project Icebreaker in particular grabbed my attention for a number of reasons. The BIS describes the project as a foreign exchange clearing house for Retail CBDCs (retail CBDCs are digital currencies used by the regular public and businesses), enabling the currencies to be traded from country to country quickly and efficiently. This is accomplished using the “Icebreaker Hub”, a BIS-controlled mechanism which facilitates data transfers for an array of transactions while connecting banks to other banks.

Investigating further I realized that the Icebreaker Hub in theory functions almost exactly like the SWIFT payment system used currently by governments and international banks. More than 10,000 financial institutions in 212 different countries use the SWIFT network to transfer funds overseas for their clients; it is an incredible centralization bottleneck that gives its shareholders considerable power.

As a point of reference, after the start of the war between Ukraine and Russia, the expulsion of Russia from the SWIFT network was used as a weapon in an attempt to crash the Russian economy. Russia has found ways around using SWIFT because of their trade relationships with major economies like China and India, but some damage has still been done to their financial structure. Common sense, isn't.

Now imagine that you operate a business that relies on overseas transactions; say you need to pay manufacturers in Vietnam or Taiwan to produce your products. With CBDCs in place you will most likely be completely dependent on a system similar to the Icebreaker Hub to move than digital money to Vietnamese banks and into the accounts of your manufacturers. Say officials at the BIS, for whatever reason, decide they don’t like you and they initiate Russian-style sanctions denying your access to the hub. Your business is now dead.

What if you had to meet certain standards in order to be allowed use of the hub, and the BIS dictates the standards? What if the BIS decides that your company needs to meet woke ESG related categories before you can get permission for Icebreaker transactions? Now the BIS has the ability to manipulate social and cultural trends using your business and millions of other businesses as forced messengers.

For the average consumer who does most of their transactions within their home country this might not sound like a big deal. But, for the business world, a SWIFT-like hub for retail CBDCs could be used to dominate all international trade. Running any kind of larger organization or company would mean bowing to the whims of the BIS.

It gets worse, though…

Part of the process of the “spoke and wheel” exchange method used by the Icebreaker Hub includes the exploitation of a “bridge currency” to fill gaps in exchange rates and liquidity. On the surface this seems like a clever way to speed up transactions by avoiding cross-currency shortages at banks. That said, I want readers to think about the long-term path that this kind of “bridging” sets in motion in the realm of CBDCs.

Let’s say there is a global-scale economic crisis event which causes many currencies to fluctuate wildly. Lets say, for example, that the US dollar loses its world-reserve status and petro status and this sends FX (foreign exchange) markets into a panic. Price inflation becomes rampant and banking institutions falter under liquidity pressures.

Let’s say that central bankers introduce CBDCs as a solution to the problem, and the BIS Icebreaker Hub as the intermediary for international trade. The populace is so frightened by the economic crash that they then embrace the digital framework. Now let’s say that the BIS claims they still can’t find a currency they consider stable enough to act as a means to bridge most global transactions. What happens then?

Well, “luckily” for all of us the BIS and IMF have been working on their own GLOBAL CBDC. In the case of the IMF, this one-world currency would be based around the Special Drawing Rights basket system they have been using for decades to broker currency transfers between national governments. The BIS then uses this one-world currency product as the bridge for Icebreaker going forward.

Eventually the BIS, IMF and various central banks will ask the public the inevitable question: “Why are we bothering with these national currency exchanges when we have a perfectly good bridge currency in the form of this one-world CBDC? Why don’t we just get rid of all these superfluous national CBDCs and have one currency for everyone?”

Thus, total global financial centralization would be achieved. And once you have a one-world currency, a completely centralized and micro-managed global economy and the most vital trade systems in the world controlled by a tiny handful of faceless unelected bureaucracies, why then have nations at all? Global government would be the next and final step.

I can see the nightmare play out when I look at projects like Icebreaker. They are seemingly innocuous, but they act as the DNA by which economic tyranny is given birth.

© 4.28.2023 by Brandon Smith, "Prophecy News Watch".

[JS -- There are also HUGE downsides to CBDCs, including increased surveillance, loss of anonymity, restrictions on savings and spending, negative interest rates, automatic tax collection, disintermediation of commercial banks, and the eventual elimination of physical cash. Biden's EO 14067 was signed into law, last year, so it will happen all too soon enough. More here. You and I will be powerless to keep it from happening, unless America finally wakes up, Civil War II happens and this fascist-leftist-communist-Marxist-nazi demonKKKrat gov't is overthrown.]

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, took pain meds and hold-off on breakfast, had a couple smokes in the semi-cool garage and checked the leftover errands list. It was already 62°, and forecast to hit a very warm 87°, with increasing humidity. Hey, it's Summer!

I scanned the news and weather on the office-sunroom's desktop, tuned into the Chris Plante Show LIVE, had breakfast, and checked my "to-do list". I had to drive back to the Jeep dealership, down south, to get something "fixed" that a tech screwed-up, stop at the Rite Aid and Royal Farms gas station to get Ethanol Free 90oct Premium, on the way home.

Common sense, isn't.

All that done, I was back home by 12noon, it was already 82° and getting warmer. I did some clean-up under the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee HEMI V8's hood, relaxed with another carafe of Kona Coffee, had a banana and listened to "Bonehead Bongino" on WMAL FM-DC. Yeah, a boring day, but I like it, compared to yesterday.

Well, despite what the lying sack-of-shit Bidet and Mayorkas say, we're "officially invaded" after Title 42 expired at midnight, last night. Actually, we've been being invaded since the mid-60s, when shit-for-brains Teddy Kennedy let 3.5 million illegals in, with no vetting. I'd bet $100 that there are 7-=80 million criminal, illegal, alien invaders here now, and if they all had the same uniform on, we'd look like a nation under military occupation. Got that? They're NOT migrants; they're criminal, illegal alien invaders. Make sure to brush-up on your Spanish, and also have your kids and grandkids take Spanish in school. WE'RE BEING INVADED!

Wowzer! Gov Ron DeSantis of FL, just signed legislation to ban a federally adopted central bank digital currency (CBDC), which worries the crap out of me, and it's coming faster than I ever imagined. He's my new hero of the day. I may have to move back down to FL, to take advantage of it. This leftist-run PA shithole will likely go along with adoption of CBDC, and screw its Citizens.

I called Sherry mid-afternoon, while doing some minor condo chores -- I miss her on weekends -- and we set-up next week's schedule around her week, as I have a rare, open week. Doesn't suck to be me, for a change. Heh. By 3p, it was up to a mild 86°, and moderately humid. No biggie.

Around 5:30, I was out in the garage, getting ready to put the Jeep in the garage, when Jayme, his girlfriend Katie and Carl invited me over to Carl's unit to drink and party. Carl's girlfriend, 'Becca, joined us around 9p, and we had Yuengling Beers (I had only 3) until 11:15p, when I walked across the street, to me condo. I had to get the night's missed pill regimen done, and lay-out the 19 pills for the morning, and get to sleep.

The problem is not OUR guns; it's YOUR sons.

Awake to the rain at 7:30a on Saturday, I went back to sleep until 9, and realized that I had a serious hangover, from just 3 beers. I think I'll pass on any more alcohol, for a long while. Not good. 63° but a nice day forecast for tomorrow. I made coffee, left the AC set at 73°, and scanned the news. After some breakfast, I felt a little better. Rite emailed and called that another Rx was ready, so I drove over to get it. No other errands to do, so I came home in the rain and garaged the Jeep.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) -- dumbass scumbag who said Guam will tip over if too many US Marines are stationed on one side of it -- hammered GOP opposition to the flood of immigrants flowing across our southern border, calling it "more White oppression of the black man. Just when we are on the brink of getting reparations for the slavery and discrimination inflicted on us by "White Supremacists", Republicans want to cut off our access to the cheap labor we will need to support our raised standard of living." Echoing remarks previously uttered by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Johnson said "I want to ask my colleagues across the aisle who will clean our mansions, cook our meals, wash our laundry, tend our yards, and chauffeur us around when we are rich? Who will pick our crops, construct our buildings, clean our offices, and pick up our trash after blacks are freed from these labors?" Any volunteers to help out? Personally, I'm an "American Nationalist". Mark that down.

If the East Coast were to get a much-needed enema, they'd put the hose in Baltimore. If you ask someone which U.S. city has taken the biggest beating from Marxist ideologies, they'll likely say Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland (yawwwn), Austin, Memphis, Los Angeles, New York City (I can do this all day), Washington D.C. … You get the point. But little attention is paid to Baltimore, which one website placed as the 10th most liberal city in America. FACT-O-RAMA! A former Baltimore mayor once gave her street thugs “space to destroy” the city after career criminal Freddie Gray died in police custody. The feds declined to prosecute the six officers who came into contact with Gray after his arrest. Baltimore —- like almost every Democrat-run outhouse city — is reeling from the massive crime wave kicked off by the fine folks of BLM and their sister team, Antifa, in the wake of the departure of Saintly George Floyd. The crime in Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood —- a formerly safe locale full of bars, shops, and restaurants —- got so bad in 2021 that local businesses threatened to stop paying taxes if something wasn't done to stop the carnage. Like most crimes in Baltimore, car thefts are surging — they’re up 95% from last year —- and the city's socio-wizards know why. No, silly, it’s not the criminals enabled by the leaders of Baltimore to blame; it’s the cars’ fault, you bigot. Pulled from the “I shit you not” file, Baltimore is suing two car makers —- Kia and Hyundai —- for making cars that are too easy for their lovable thugs to steal. Sure makes sense to me. Heh.

Living in Biden Country! Where big American cities are becoming like Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago. And the sad headline of the day (other than pure chaos on the Mexican border) is that NO RENT IS BEING PAID ON 20% OF ALL US OFFICE SPACE! And small banks hold 70% of commercial real estate loans! As The Fed momentarily pauses rate hikes, office vacancy rate just hit an all-time high. Another Biden first!! And the NCREIF office property index falling as The Fed tightens. Natch.

Temps only made it to 66° for the rainy Saturday, I had some chores to do, and scanned the latest news and weather on both the office-sunroom computer and LR 82" Samsung QLED-4 HD TV.

In an April 10th document published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called IMF Approach to Central Bank Digital Currency Capacity Development, the masters reveal their plans to subjugate humanity further. In this document, there is a section included about the development of a living CBDC Handbook for monetary authorities to follow. CBDCs are going to be the strongest invisible chains humans will willingly tie around their own necks. The slave system we live under now, will be nothing like the slave system with a CBDC in charge. The Federal Reserve already has a stranglehold on the economy, however, cash makes it possible to do a transaction that the ruling class is unaware of. That level of privacy won’t exist with CBDCs, especially considering their goal is to make sure people are compliant slaves with no escape.

I had a light dinner, set the condo temp to 73° for the night, drafted a new and revised landscaping and paver walk proposal for Mt Rose Cemetery/ Dignity Memorial USA, Inc, watched some TV. Sis would be here at 11a, and we'd go over to Mt Rose to place a Mother's Day Card I made, for Mom. With the recycle bin out and garbage bag in my neighbor's trash bin, I called it a day at 10:30p.

Up at 6a to the alarm on Sunday, a cool, clear sky, 'excellent' air quality and a 51° start. I made Kona Coffee, opened the garage door and enjoyed the fresh air with my coffee and Marlboro®s. I tuned into one of CP's last week's Podcasts, and did my 19-pills and other routines. After a light breakfast, and no lunch, I had a bunch or errands of to do; visit Mom & Dad at Mt Rose Cemetery, stop at MISSION BBQ for Moist Brisket and Broiled Salmon Take-Out, and visit the nearby SKH Garden Center. Back home by 4p, my BSL (Blood Sugar Level) was dropping quickly, so I had to eat fast. I did, felt better, relaxed and watched some TV until 11p. Lights out.

Shit-for-brains pResident Joey Bidet, ginned-up racial tensions at the graduation ceremony for Howard University on Saturday, claiming that America’s greatest threat comes in the form of “white supremacy”. Bidet gave the commencement address for the historically black college and university (HBCU) at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. In the speech, the president took a pessimistic view of America’s fight against racism, claiming that it is “a battle that’s never really over.” Then, Bidet told graduates to be on guard for what he views as the greatest threat to our nation. “The most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy,” Bidet told the crowd who responded with applause. “And I’m not saying this because I’m at a Black HBCU. I say it wherever I go.” FJB. I'm a "American Nationalist" and proud of it, Bidet.

I slept-in until almost 9a on Monday, a brisk 57°, and very cool in the condo with the AC still on, so I fired-up the heat. After a smoke in the semi-cold garage, I had some Kona Coffee, a croissant for breakfast, did the other routines and tuned into the "CP Show", for the morning. Both the garbage and recycling trucks came thru, and I moved my neighbor's trash bin and my recycle bin -- which we share -- up to his garage and mine inside the garage. I got ready for the day, and only had to go south to the cleaners to p/u and drop-off a small load of starched/pressed shirts and Lee® Jeans. Soon, temps were up to 76° and a nice week of upper-60s and lower-70s, was forecast.

I left for the cleaners in Red Lion, at 12:15p. Traffic was light, and I had the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee HEMI V8 in "Full Sport Mode", so it was real loud and stayed in the lower 4 of 8 speeds, down and back. I worked on the revised Landscape (LSCP) Sketch & Estimate, for Mt Rose Cemetery Mausoleum, paid an invoice from River Rock Landscape LLC, for my condo work a few weeks ago, and had BBQ'd Salmon for a mid-afternoon lunch. I tried to get a short nap around 4p, but the sun was so bright coming thru the skylights and office-sunroom's huge windows, I gave up.

Did you see POTUS-45 Trump on CNN, last week, with that "nasty" moderator? Here's a commercial-free copy to watch, on the website, called Rumble.

Durham finally released his 300-page report, finally, and it directly indicted Hitlery Klintoon and the FBI inventing "Crossfire Hurricane", going after Trump and trying to rig the 2020 General Election (GE). Not a shred of evidence. Meanwhile, the corrupt IRS has disbanded all investigation into crackhead Hunter Biden's financial crimes. And 5 witnesses against Bidet have come forward. This shit never ends with prosecution of those responsible.

My cleaning lady, JoAnne is in at 8:30a tomorrow, so I'm getting up at 6a. I watched some Newsnax TV news, switched over to Discovery+'s "Gold Rush" for some more old episodes, until 10, and called it a night.

Up at 5a, instead of 6 on Tuesday, I couldn't get back to sleep, so what the hell; I'm up. I made Kona Coffee, scanned the weather and news on my office-sunroom computer, as it got light around 5:25a. 51° and chilly. I checked my "to-do list", and besides meeting Sherry at 1p, I'd originally planned to vote in local primary elections, but being so tired and with leg pain, decided that I wouldn't. I tuned into the "CP Show" from 9-12 and by 10a, it was a warm and humid 68° with very high cloud cover, yet sunny. A nice day ahead, despite the pains. JoAnne finished cleaning and left around 11a, and I settled back in, with a last mug of coffee, to finish listening to the "CP Show". I left at 12:30p, for the nearby USPS and Springettsbury Twp Park, to drop-off some snail-mail bill payments, and walk with Sherry.

We had a good 1½hrs walk, despite my lower leg pain, went back to my place afterward to get some hugs and kisses and talk. Her son, Corey, who has a specialized car shop in the Emigsville area, came to pick her up, to drive to Manheim, near Lancaster, to get his new car. Very, very tired, I laid down on the LR couch at 5p, and slept 3½hrs, until 8:30, just as it was getting dark. Up quickly, I closed the condo, got something to eat, and tuned into the new episode of "The Secret of SkinWalker Ranch", until 11, and bagged it at 11:30p.

Up at 8a to another bright, sunny 56° Wednesday morning, very cool, windy, crisp and low humidity. I made coffee, and had it with several smokes in the open garage, just breathing-in the fresh air. Nice. I scanned the news and weather websites, and checked my list for today. Food shopping at Weis Market -- only a few things, since I'm going to the New Eastern Farmers' Market on Friday, to see some old vendor friends, and get their superb offerings. All in moderation, of course. My BSL was a little low this morning, at 78, when it should have been around 100, but after breakfast, I felt OK. I listened to the "CP Show" until 12noon, and left for Weis Market.

They never learn, do they?. The West Hollywood City Council voted 3-2 to cut four police officer positions last year in favor of more unarmed security ambassadors, while shit-for-brains demonKKKrat Minnesota senators, are holding firm despite only a one-vote majority, successfully passed sweeping gun control legislation in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis and criminals. Idiots and assholes, all.

Back by 1p, after a couple other stops, I unloaded, put stuff away, had some lunch and did paperwork until 2:30, and tried to take a nap. Too much sun from the skylights and huge windows. I had some dinner, watched the news, and went back to old episodes of "Gold Rush" until 11p. Nothing tomorrow; Sherry and I rescheduled our 1p walk, as she's got things going on at home. Lights out.

Nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to do it with.

Up at 8:30a on Thursday, a colder 47° version of yesterday, and the day before. I upped the condo's heat, made coffee, fired-up Mr Computer to get the weather and news, and tuned into the "CP Show". I had no errands for the day, but decided to make Cappellini (Angel Hair Pasta), Meatballs and use a Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sauce, by Prego®. I got all the food and cooking materials together at 11a, but decided to wait until after lunch, since I'm still waking-up, drinking coffee and trying to get organized. Heh. I had it all cooked and assembled in 15 mins, and it was delicious! I 1-gal container goes to my Sister; I keep the other one.

Goodbye NYC, and good riddance!

'Where the hell is the f***ing footage?': J6 prisoner scorches McCarthy. Demands House speaker release Capitol surveillance videos.

No border.

No honest elections.

No honest courts.

Criminals are not punished.

Decent citizens are punished.

It’s not a government. It’s a criminal enterprise.

It's Fascism -- the alliance of Big Gov't and Big Corporate/ Big Tech.

America, as we knew and loved it, is almost gone.

Leftists/ socialists/ communists/ fascists/ Marxists/ Anarchists/ BLMers are running and ruining, the whole country.

Back from my Sister's, after dropping-off the large container of pasta, I had another errand, a load of laundry and re-listen to some morning podcasts of other Talk Radio hosts I try to listen to. All I hear on those shows is making light of "pro-noun" crap, homo crap, trans crap, etc, but I can't even stand those sick topics. This is what the demonKKKrat party, and its perverted, demented, sick, deviant offspring, are doing to America. I laid down on the LR couch for an hour of so, to escape it all for a while. After garaging the Jeep at 6:30p, I had dinner, watched the news and noticed that temps had dropped 15-17°, and would be down to the upper-30s/ lower-40s, as we had last night.

I was tired -- carbs -- from eating a lot of the Angel Hair Pasta dish that I'd made for myself, and decided upon an early night, after some more old episodes of "Gold Rush". I called it a night and a week at 10:30p.

Tomorrow starts a new week here in the "Journal", and other than getting labs/blood work done for some upcoming Drs' app'ts, it's a clear week. I'll find something top do.

Corruption Of President Biden --- And Of The Justice Department, And Of The Media.

On Wednesday Congressman James Comer and some colleagues held their long-promised press conference detailing new information about corruption of the President of the United States. I happened to be driving at the time (not common for Manhattanites like me) and so listened to a portion of the event. The oral presentation was expressed in general terms that mostly reiterated things that we already knew. Added to our previous knowledge was information from recently produced and analyzed bank records that enabled pinpointing exact dates, sources and amounts of various payments from foreign entities to intermediary shell corporations and thence on to various Bidens.

The press conference was the occasion for release of a Memorandum with the May 10 date titled “Comer Reveals New Evidence in Biden Family’s Influence Peddling Schemes,” referred to in the Oversight Committee’s press release as the “second bank records memorandum.” The Committee had previously on March 16 release another Memorandum titled “New Evidence Resulting from the Oversight Committee’s Investigation into the Biden Family’s Influence Peddling and Business Schemes,” which is referred to in the press release as the “first bank records memorandum.” The two memoranda provide details of payments totaling multiple millions of dollars from entities in China (first memorandum) and Romania (second memorandum) to various Biden-related entities.

And thus little by little we learn more details about our current President accepting large amounts of money from multiple foreign countries, one of which is our most significant geopolitical adversary. I don’t think I’m the only one whose jaw drops when I find out that our “leaders” at the very highest levels — in other words, the President — think that it’s perfectly OK to take millions from foreign governments that include global adversaries, hide it with intermediaries and shell companies, and refuse to answer questions of any kind. Wasn’t there a time when the United States was a place where this kind of thing just was not done? Well, I guess the Clintons ended that era (most significantly and brazenly with the Clinton Foundation, which raised hundreds of millions from foreign powers when everyone knew Hillary would shortly be running for President, but to be fair was out of office at the time). The most significant thing about the Clintons’ corruption was that despite its enormous crookedness, the press never stopped protecting and even promoting them, even to this day. Biden learned that lesson, and then took things to a whole new level, including that he and/or his family took millions even when he was in office as Vice President.

Some relevant details of the conduct.

As we learn more details of the conduct, many of those become relevant to understanding the gravity of the situation.

The first bank records memorandum traces a $3 million payment made on March 1, 2017 (approximately 40 days after Joe Biden left office as Vice President) by State Energy HK Limited (a Chinese state-controlled entity) to Robinson Walker LLC (an intermediary controlled by Biden crony Rob Walker), and subsequent distribution of more than $2 million out of the $3 million to various Biden family members and affiliates, between March and May 2017.

The second bank records memorandum focuses on more than a million dollars in payments from a Romanian businessman named Gabriel Popoviciu, and his company Bladon Enterprises, to various Biden-related entities, again via the Robinson Walker intermediary. All but one of the payments from Bladon to Robinson Walker took place prior to January 20, 2017, that is, while Joe Biden was Vice President.

The bank account titles of the Biden-related entities receiving payments from these two distributions include “Robert Biden” (Robert is Hunter’s first name), “Biden” (with no first name given), “Hallie Biden” (that’s Beau’s widow, with whom Hunter then had a relationship), and corporate entities including Owasco P.C. and EEIG. The memoranda assert that other Bidens, including the President’s brother James, had an interest in entities receiving some of the payments, as did close business associates such as James Gilliar and Rob Walker.

The memoranda also assert that much of the bank information has come as a result of subpoenas issued by the Committee. However, various sources, including the New York Post here, report that along the way banks filed some 150 so-called Suspicious Activity Reports with respect to these and other Biden transactions.

Indicia of corruption.

Nobody could possibly miss the fact that the Bidens are behaving here like people with something big to hide. At least when a country like Qatar contributed a million or two to the Clinton Foundation, they just sent in the money. Hey, this was a “charity” (even if Bill and Hillary skimmed 10% for “salaries” and personal expenses). Here it’s intermediaries and shell companies and, when given to individuals it’s given in increments of say $10,000 to $50,000. Nobody would bother with this if it was on the up and up.

And could it possibly be that the Bidens provided some sort of legitimate service for the money? No. If they did, they would immediately come forward and say what the service is. And even if you might believe that Hunter Biden provided some legitimate service (preposterous!), how about Jim Biden or Hallie Biden?

And the fact that the banks filed some 150 SARs is significant. I have suggested to several bank in-house regulatory lawyers (i.e., my former associates) that they should file many more SARs than they do, as a way of covering their asses in the event of predatory government enforcement actions. And they have patiently responded that filing SARs is a difficult and time-consuming process. The fact that 150 of them were filed on the Bidens is truly extraordinary. Clearly the banks were not fooled by the shell companies and dividing the payments into smaller amounts.

Is any of this a crime?

My answer is, probably, but that is not established by these memoranda.

The main issue is that the crime of federal bribery requires some kind of “quid pro quo” of an “official act” by an in-office government official in return for the corrupt payment. That principle was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of former Virgina governor Bob McDonnell in 2016. McDonnell had taken personal gifts totaling about $200,000 from a contributor, but all he had done in return was set up a few meetings. He was initially convicted, but the Supreme Court reversed, ruling that merely setting up meetings was insufficient to constitute the “official act.”

These memoranda do not go at all into what the quid pro quo official act might be. That does not mean that one, or many, do not exist. Has Joe Biden used his powers as President to benefit China in ways that he would not have done if he were not on their payroll? Just today, we have this from National Review via Reuters, headline “Biden Capitulates to China.”

According to a new report from Reuters, the State Department’s “China House” team was ordered to stand down on some long-planned measures targeting the Chinese Communist Party’s malfeasance.

Many more similar examples can be easily compiled. And then there is the whole subject of Hunter Biden’s service on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, for which he received about $3 million, most while Joe Biden was in office and in charge of U.S. policy toward Ukraine. That subject does not figure at all in these memoranda. Joe Biden was caught on tape bragging that he got the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma corruption fired by threatening to withhold U.S. foreign aid. I have previously written several posts about why this is a laydown bribery case.

Justice Department corruption.

The performance of the Justice Department and its affiliate the FBI becomes more and more despicable each day. Even as Comer, et al., were holding their long-scheduled press conference in Washington, the prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York chose the exact same moment to arrest and arraign freshman Congressman George Santos of Long Island. Santos is a bizarre creature, and I don’t intend to stand up for his conduct. But the charges against him appear really trivial compared to what Biden was up to. And Santos is a freshman member of Congress, while Biden is President of the United States. But the timing was clearly orchestrated to give the media the chance to focus coverage on Santos and bury the Biden story. How do you feel about your FBI running cover for the favored political party in that way?

And then there is the question of the 150 SARs. Clearly the government has long been onto the Bidens’ conduct, and done nothing about it. The SARs had to be pried out of them by FOIA requests and subpoenas. Without that, the Bidens would have gotten a complete pass, not only from prosecution, but also from the public ever knowing what was going on.

Media corruption.

And the New York Times played right along with the Justice/FBI game. In yesterday’s print edition, the lead front page headline, covering two of the six columns, was “Santos Is Indicted as Inquiry Claims 3 Finance Schemes” (different headline online). The accompanying story fills the whole two columns above the fold.

And the story about the Congressional inquiry into the Bidens? Nothing whatsoever about that on the front page. Is it anywhere here? Oh yes, here on page A18 there is a headline, “4-Month G.O.P Inquiry Finds No Evidence of Wrongdoing by President.” What? You literally can’t make this up. For those who think that the Times may be ready to give up on Biden and throw him under the bus, I don’t think they’re there yet. They are in full Praetorian Guard mode.

© 5.12.2023 by Francis Menton, "Manhattan Contrarian".

Trump Takes a Hammer to the Carefully Maintained Delusions Inside the Left-Wing Bubble.

Despite an audience that was friendly to the candidate, CNN’s recent town hall hosting Donald Trump was anything but an effort to inform independent and Republican voters about the candidate’s position on the substantial issues faced by struggling Americans. It was a hedonistic exercise to satiate its left-wing producers’ and viewers’ desire to emphasize all the criticisms that CNN talking heads have been levying against him since 2020.

CNN certainly didn’t expect that Trump would simply concede to all the nonsense that they’ve been unsuccessfully peddling to Americans these past few years. He wasn’t going to say that he’s really sorry for purposefully stoking an insurrection that was worse than 9/11, or that he’d suddenly come to realize that the 2020 election was all on the up and up, or that, despite the worst inflation in decades, a massive invasion of aliens illegally crossing our borders, and the planet being on the brink of World War III, his successor is actually doing a bang-up job in the White House.

The CNN brass got exactly what they expected, though, which was peak ratings. As a medium for information delivery, cable news is clearly dying. But for a brief moment, CNN got to feel like Fox News felt nightly in the Tucker Carlson hour of prime time. Over three million Americans tuned in to watch Trump do what Trump has always done, which is to defend himself against hostile corporate media. Most of them tuned in to be entertained, and they weren’t disappointed.

But there was a minority among the audience, including several talking heads with the network, that was furious that CNN even allowed the spectacle. How dare they host a town hall for the Republican presidential frontrunner, they fumed. After all, people might hear what he has to say!

They’re right to be worried about people hearing what Trump has to say. But not for the reasons that they once imagined.

They once imagined that they’re righteously defending the truth against a radical fringe minority. That fantasy has now tumbled like a house of cards.

A forlorn Anderson Cooper tells his audience that it was “indeed disturbing” that Trump was given a platform to “answer questions” only to proceed to tell “lie, after lie, after lie.” And it was “certainly disturbing to hear that audience, young and old, people who love their kids and go to church, laugh and applaud his lies.” He continues:

But here’s what I also get. The man you were so disturbed to hear from last night, that man is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president. And according to polling, no other Republican is even close. That man you were so upset to hear from last night, he may be president of the United States in less than two years. And that audience that upset you? That’s a sampling of about half the country. They are your family members, and your neighbors, and they are voting. And many said they’re voting for him. Just two months ago, Anderson Cooper’s show occupied the 8PM CNN timeslot in which the Trump town hall appeared. It garnered, on average in its first week, 584,000 viewers. It’s safe to say that he’s not speaking to “MAGA Republicans,” as Trump supporters are frequently called in an effort to make them seem like fringe radicals. No, he’s specifically speaking to his audience, which we can safely assume is the minority among the 3.1 million people who tuned in to watch that town hall. He and his viewers are members of a sect of left-wing elitists who are so ensconced in their gated communities and left-wing echo chambers that they believe that it could only be a fringe minority of Americans that refuse to understand that Biden rescued the economy from Trump’s disastrous policies, or that only racists and xenophobes could see any problem with the unprecedented invasion by foreign nationals occurring at our borders, or that the average American could have any questions about the legitimacy of the 2020 election. One can hardly blame Anderson Cooper for imagining that he represents some obviously righteous majority. He has lots of money and influence, and represents the status quo, after all. The unelected politburos of the American government, media, academia, and corporations are all of the left, and they are staunchly anti-Trump. They spend ample amounts of time, energy, and money telling Americans to see things their way, and have, as of late, spent even more energy seeking to silence anyone trying to tell Americans anything different. Anderson Cooper sadly informs his audience that it’s not actually a small minority of Americans that refuses to accept all the bad things CNN and Co. are saying about Trump, but “about half” of Americans are in that camp.

And if they’re sad to hear that, they really won’t like to hear the truth about how Americans feel about the narratives that CNN’s been peddling.

First of all, there’s the economy.

Energy is the lifeblood of any industrial power, and just two years into the Trump presidency, America was energy independent.

That might not mean much to a younger Americans, but it was once an impossible dream for America. We didn’t even speak of it, because it was too outlandish a goal. With the exception of Reagan, every president going back to Richard Nixon imposed an anti-oil stance.

Trump was a “radical departure from 50 years of received energy wisdom,” wrote Investor’s Business Daily in 2018. He told Americans that, for decades, the “myth of energy scarcity” was peddled.

What the country needs, he said, isn’t ‘alternative’ energy, or new austerity measures. It’s a government that ‘promotes energy development.’ Trump listed actions he was taking to lift federal impediments to energy production.

Lo and behold, Trump was right.

Within two years of his inauguration, Trump had done the unthinkable. We were energy independent, and the economy was booming.

As if it were a purposeful effort to be the exact inverse of that success, Biden’s first action was to kill the Keystone XL pipeline “while issuing a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters,” which are the source of roughly 25-percent of U.S. production.

Coupled with inflation, which was perhaps inevitable after COVID intervention but was certainly exacerbated by the out-of-control spending supported and signed by Biden, it wasn’t even two years after Biden’s inauguration that U.S. energy prices rose at a higher rate than they had in 41 years.

Most Americans care less about Trump’s mean comments than being able to afford the costs of daily life. Also in 2022, we saw that it wasn’t just half of Americans, but a full 70-percent of Americans that believed that our government should encourage increased energy production to reduce our dependence upon foreign countries.

What about illegal immigration? Any attempt to frame what is occurring at the southern border as an “invasion” would surely earn at least a few accusations of racism or xenophobia. Yet over half of Americans openly frame it as an “invasion.” 27-percent of Americans would not say one way or another in response to that loaded question, and only 19-percent would say that the we are absolutely not being invaded through our southern border.

Get that? Only one-in-five Americans is willing to openly attest that we are not being invaded by foreign nationals across our southern border.

As Trump-era Title 42 ends, unprecedented waves of foreign nationals stand ready to break our laws and enter this country. It is Biden’s decision to rescind Trump’s policies that is driving this outcome. And well more than half of Americans do not approve of it.

But it is left-wing commentary around the 2020 election that is most fascinating. Pundits like Anderson Cooper speak about it as if only kooks at the local Elks Lodge would be raving about a rigged election, but because Cooper and Co. live in a left-wing bubble, they don’t understand that skepticism around the election is far more pervasive than that.

First of all, you don’t have to believe that voting machines were hacked, or that millions of fraudulent ballots were collected and counted, to understand intuitively that the election was rigged. The very best explanation as to how that happened was delivered by a pro-Biden conspirator at TIME, Molly Ball, who speaks of how a “shadow campaign saved the 2020 election”:

The participants want the secret history of the of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a fever dream – a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.

I’m not sure that her confession was necessary, but the American people believe her. According to a poll observed in late 2020, 40% of Americans believe the election was “rigged or stolen.” Of note, only 36% disagree would say that it wasn’t “rigged or stolen.” The remainder said that they “neither agreed nor disagreed” or “didn’t know.”

That’s hardly a consensus against the “rigged election” theory. And when you look deeper, it gets more telling. Of that 36% who disagree that the election was “rigged or stolen,” one-in-three find it “understandable” that others would think it was.

What this means is that only one-in-four Americans agrees that the 2020 election was absolutely honest and fair. The remaining three-in-four Americans either believe it was “rigged or stolen,” or could understand how someone might think that it was, or they don’t know and/or simply refuse to answer the question.

For every one American who is as confident as Anderson Cooper that Joe Biden was constitutionally elected without any shenanigans at all, there are three other Americans who either disagree, or they aren’t so sure about that claim.

Cooper embodies the anger and sadness among progressives in learning that fact, having just recently discovered that as many as half of Americans somehow disagree with the standard CNN talking points that he espouses nightly.

Imagine their chagrin in discovering that they are now a smaller fringe minority than they once believed Trump supporters to be.

© 5.13.2023 by William Sullivan, "American Thinker".

The Left’s Core Strategy.

The Left’s Core Strategy #1: Lie forcefully knowing the media and the appropriate establishment will support you.

The Left’s Core Strategy #2: “Pick the target and polarize it" via Rules for Radicals.

The Left’s Core Strategy #3: Scream accusations of racism* (or racist* attacks) at anything you don't like or which slows your agenda. *Sexism, "homophobia", etc. are also opportunities.

The Left’s Core Strategy #4: Gaslight by declaring that good decisions will create a negative outcome or that destructive actions will produce a positive outcome.

The Left’s Core Strategy #5: Project your guilt onto others.

The Left’s Core Strategy #6: Attack opposition with shallow insults in an effort to negatively influence the public's view of their character. Think drive-by shooter.

The Left’s Core Strategy #7: When all else fails, censor speech and/or deploy violence.


US Government May Freeze American Bank Withdrawals As Currency Panic and Capital Flight Mounts: Macro Guru Hugh Hendry.

Hedge fund manager and macro economic expert Hugh Hendry just issued a major warning on the US banking system and the American economy as a whole.

In a new interview on Bloomberg Markets, Hendry says mass panic and capital flight away from the US banking sector is entirely justified.

Hendry says a further decline in the M2 money supply, which in part tracks money in liquid checking accounts, could convince the US government to step in and prevent citizens from taking their capital out of the banking system.

“Sometimes it’s kind of relevant to panic. I would recommend you panic… You’ve seen the biggest waterfall decline in M2 right now. M2 is deposits, not loans. That’s the deposits fleeing the system and going into money market funds.

That could reach a crescendo where the Treasury and the Fed may have to come in and actually restrict your right as a US citizen to pull money out of the US banking sector.”

Hendry says capital flight from US banks is not solely about fears on whether the FDIC will insure deposits above $250,000, and a blanket guarantee on deposits would not solve the problem.

“There is capital flight, deposit flight from the banking sector seeking yield. I fear that, I don’t say this lightly, but in 1934 the Federal Reserve Act confiscated gold from US citizens.

We’re at the point where the Fed and Treasury officials I’m sure are having to consider a gate a lock on US bank deposits.”

When it comes to where Americans can place their capital amid the uncertainty, Hendry says his go-to is US Treasuries and potentially Bitcoin.

“It’s time to own the most reviled security in the universe, the ultra long Treasuries. I know you all think we’ve got an inflation problem. It was a supply shock, and a supply shock needs the manifestation of more and more bank printing of loans to propel it into the future. We’re getting the opposite. The ultra longs are trading two to three standard deviations below the ETF…

I’ve not got the bug, but Bitcoin is something I could conceive as an asset class that could trade three or four times higher in the next five years. There is no other asset class that I could make that determination.”

© 5.06.2023 by Daily Hodl Staff, "THE DAILY HODL".

The Unconstitutional Myth of DOJ Independence.

Even the Right adheres to the DOJ independence fallacy.

The idea that the attorney general and the Department of Justice are independent from the president is a modern misconception with no basis in the Constitution.

This is clear just from Article II of the Constitution, and it is even clearer in Federalist Paper 76, which discusses the appointment of officers in the executive branch.

If we are ever going to put the genie of the unconstitutional fourth branch of government back into its bottle, we have to bust this myth. The administrative state, especially after the astonishing revolution that the New Deal era accomplished, is now strangling our republic.

Let’s start with just a few examples of how prevalent the myth is: The Biden administration’s DOJ claims that it is independent on its own website. Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed when he took office to restore the department’s independence. In another example, former Trump administration U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman lamented that he should have been independent not just of the president, but also of his DOJ superior two tiers above him, Attorney General Bill Barr. Were Berman to get his way, DOJ would not just be independent, it would be a balkanized set of 93-plus individual DOJ potentates ruling the nation.

The Washington Post occasionally speaks of the DOJ as having a “measure of independence,” recognizing that, since the attorney general reports to the president, perfect independence is impossible.

Legal academics, political scientists, and leftist pressure groups are the worst. They constantly proclaim the DOJ’s independence as a dogmatic element of their faith in a technocratic government set loose from the people.

But no Cabinet officer was ever intended to be an independent satrap invested with a sphere of authority beyond the president’s control. The executive branch of government is a unitary whole and the Constitution vests the president with all executive power. Not part of it. And not all of it, except for an unmentioned donut hole that the Justice Department occupies. DOJ can be independent of the president no more than the Department of Health and Human Services or the State Department.

I have recently written a paper that rebuts a range of the arguments offered to support the myth of DOJ independence. The claims of the proponents of independence are weak, and I urge you to consult that paper for the details. But suffice it to say that the arguments rest on “norms” and extra-legal guidance documents rather than on the text of the Constitution.

The idea of DOJ independence ultimately traces back to Woodrow Wilson’s time as a political science professor, as well as to former Harvard Law School Dean and New Deal warrior James Landis. These men were no fans of the Constitution as written. Wilson managed to become president even though he wrote that the United States had spent too much time building a constitution and too little time building an administrative state. Landis urged government by experts — something William F. Buckley famously rejected a few decades later as inferior to being governed by a group of names chosen at random from any American city’s phonebook. And, of course, all Americans should be skeptical of the administrative state after what Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx put the country through in the name of protecting public health.

The misguided thinking of Wilson, Landis, and their modern acolytes like Rep. Jamie Raskin, who is now pushing Congress to declare a “National Day of Reason,” as well as the pitchmen on MSNBC, such as Ari Melber and Rachel Maddow, combined with a lack of education about the Framer’s Constitution, have all fed the mythos of DOJ as a freestanding monolith.

The center Right also adheres to some version of the DOJ independence fallacy. At a recent talk, in response to a question about DOJ independence, former Attorney General Barr said, “The attorney general is the figure who has the authority … the legal authority is vested in the attorney general and people in the department carried out on behalf of the attorney general.”

No, wrong. Article II of the Constitution vests the president with the Take Care Clause Power, not the attorney general.

And former George W. Bush administration official Jack Goldsmith, once head of DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy, flacks hard for DOJ independence as part of DOJ and FBI “cultural self-understandings,” even though he admits that this is “squishy and possibly even dangerous” because “it is not always easy to tell whether DOJ is acting on the basis of the rule of law or some self-serving bureaucratic imperative.”

Even President Donald Trump’s first White House counsel, Don McGahn, just one week after Trump’s inauguration, put in place a White House contacts memo unmistakably animated by the extraconstitutional idea of DOJ independence. In that way, even McGahn attempted to raise a host of process hurdles to the constitutional reality that the president should exercise direct supervision of his own Justice Department appointees. This is flatly inconsistent with the Constitution’s demand that the president (not an attorney general) “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Whether as a matter of high theory or as a matter of practical constitutional application, the U.S. Department of Justice is not independent. Were it to become an “independent agency,” as progressives and the radical Left argued for in the wake of Watergate, the Republic may become so severely damaged that it may not survive even a few presidential cycles past the point when DOJ was converted into such an entity.

It is vital for us to come together to restore the full, unadulterated Constitution. The attorney general is not a special Cabinet member who is “more equal” than his fellows.

© 5.12.2023 by Jeff Clark, "The American Spectator".

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