For reasons shortly to be explained, this will be the last Sendero. The site will stay up for another month, in case there are some old postings you’d want to copy.
With that blunt start, I would like to thank you all for sticking with me all these years, and quickly add it will be a great pleasure to continue corresponding with you personally, as I already do with so many. You can reach me at my email, email@example.com.
As I begin this final Sendero, I’m listening to Carry On by Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, a song which has always had deep personal significance, associated as it is in my mind with the painful break-up with my first love.
It seems appropriate to the end of an era.
On the Brink of a New Epoch
The US presidential election is over, decided in an election fraught with irregularities which were ignored, or dismissed out of hand, by the mainstream media; the various three letter agencies supposed to be providing oversight; and ultimately by the judiciary.
Because the evidence was never allowed to be fully presented in the proper setting, we are left to draw our own conclusions. While I am no expert on voting machines, and there seems to be no end to the nonsense tossed around – for example about Vatican controlled satellites - I do accept as credible the many distinguished data analysts and statisticians who, using hard numbers, concluded that something was seriously amiss.
On a more intuitive level, how is that the sock-puppet Biden whom almost no one was excited about, pulled in the most votes for a candidate ever? And did so in some states which, until 2020, had been solidly Republican?
Then there was the fact that the five states in contention, and which ultimately decided the election, almost simultaneously stopped counting ballots on election night. Of course, when the counting resumed, lo and behold ol’Joe had closed wide gaps and moved ahead.
But the election, unlike the consequences, is now in the past. And, as we all know in this short-attention-span world, almost no one pays attention to what happened yesterday.
And so, in this final edition of Sendero, after some reflections on how we reached this dark place, I want to try to imagine what the future might hold.
Of course, everything which follows is simply my opinion. Take or leave it, it’s a free world. Or, at least it used to be… yesterday.
New Masters of the Known Universe
In my opinion, we have just witnessed an incredibly bold move by powerful actors working in concert to uproot Trump’s populist movement, with the probable stealing of the election just the opening act.
If I am right then the 2020 election ushers in a new and frightening epoch whereby these same actors will utilize the latest in technology, coupled with time-tested propaganda techniques, to further the subjugation of the American people.
The proper definition of subjugation is...
“The action of bringing someone or something under domination or control”.
How’s that quarantine going?
Felling good about the government shutting down your business?
Enjoying life with a face diaper?
Sadly, this show is just beginning.
While some may think I sound like a conspiracy theorist, which I am not, I believe we’re seeing the new reality of America and, by extension, the world.
In many ways Trump was unhelpful in the coup, always offering the biggest possible target by unnecessarily insulting and offending potential allies in his fight to overturn the status quo.
It is not that the interest groups he targeted were not deserving of scorn, but one must pick one’s battles and one should always try to avoid fighting a two-front war.
One would have a hard time counting the number of fronts and adversaries involved in Trumps war.
Yet the man gets full credit for trying to uproot the deep state’s long tentacles into the body politic.. Unfortunately, he made the rookie mistake of assuming the people entrusted with the nation’s power could be trusted to serve the needs of the citizenry.
And so from day one he had all of the three letter agencies against him, along with the usual suspects: the MSM, the military-industrial complex, the educational system, the social media giants and, of course, the entrenched bureaucracies consisting of literally hundreds of thousands of parasitic people sucking off the state from within the comfort of their cubicles.
That the new masters of the known universe were so brazen in upending the election sucks the air out of the room and democracy itself.
Despite literally hundreds of credible affidavits and witness statements pointing to voting irregularities, not a single federal government oversight body, not even the so-called republican leaning Supreme Court, would agree to hear the evidence in a timely fashion. Meanwhile the FBI, one of those three-letter agencies that Trump regularly ridiculed, sat on its collective hands.
Therefore, as the date of the electoral college ratification approached, everyone who was in a position to investigate and adjudicate on the evidence simply flapped their arms in the air while opining, “Hey, there’s no time! The election is over.”
Is it any wonder then that the President, and his many, many followers, felt they had no other outlet for their frustration than to gather in front of Congress on January 6 to be sure their voices were heard?
In hindsight, and for many of us, foresight, there was no positive outcome to be had from the January 6 rally. Quite the opposite, as it laid an abundance of kindling the coupsters could only have dreamed of, setting a trap for Trump which he promptly fell into with his usual fiery rhetoric.
Unsurprisingly, hell broke out, as Trump’s supporters stormed the halls of Congress. Perhaps, one might imagine, helped along by agent provocateurs shouting “Let’s burn the motherf*cker down!”.
While we can’t know if there was more to the story than was reported, we can contemplate such things, because the anchor of anything resembling trust in the media or the powers-that-are has been eviscerated by this election.
Regardless, deeds were done, people died, and even many of Trump’s staunchest Congressional supporters – assaulted on all sides by the media – raced to throw in the towel.
And that, dear readers, sealed the deal.
Where does that leave the US, as a supposedly semi-harmonic nation of individuals striving for better lives in the land of the free?
“F*ck Salad,” as my dear friend George has been known to say.
While crude, the phrase sums the situation up pretty well.
Not because Biden, then Harris, will be the worse president(s) ever, but because the hidden hands of the real power have been revealed, and the wielders of that power are only just getting started.
In my opinion, the US is now entering a perfect storm, some would call it a Fourth Turning, whereby the wizards of big data and social media, working hand in glove with the corporate media and government actors, have taken control.
Even the Chinese government, whose social credit system is nothing to sniff at, must find itself impressed at just how effective a control system has been implemented in the United States, and doubly so that it was done with the active assistance of the citizenry themselves.
On that last point, not only are most Americans now eager to comply with every new dictate “for the public good”, they willingly provide a stream of personal data which can then be weaponized to massage, or coerce, their thinking to the ‘correct’ perspective.
Along with the ridiculing or outright banning of opposing views in the media and on the social media platforms, accompanied by false narratives splashed daily across the headlines, about half of the population has been effectively brainwashed.
To the point that much of the country has been led to believe that anyone who dares question the honesty of the election is acting in a hateful, provocative, and maybe even criminal manner.
In part because most won’t bother viewing videos such as this of Congressman Jim Jordan calling out the Democrat leadership for it’s duplicitous double-standard.
You may recall this article from a past Sendero where I share an interaction with an acquaintance who expressed a willingness to do bodily harm to Trump, but when pressed for his reasons, came up blank.
Brain scrubbing par excellence.
So, how do we as thinking individuals manage going forward?
I’ll have thoughts on that question momentarily, but first some brief thoughts on how we got to this dangerous place.
How We Got Here
It’s always interesting to imagine if, 20 or 30 years ago, some prescient being described the extent of today’s governmental and technological intrusions in our lives. Most would view such a future skeptically, and unrealistically dystopian.
Yet virtually everyone in America now implicitly agrees to share with the government and the big data agencies every move they make, every day.
They willingly allow their political affiliations and favorite media sources to be logged. They share everything there is to share about their medical situation, their extended network of friends, and their preferences in everything from food, to cars, to sex, to vacation spots.
With the widespread adoption of smart phones, and now smart speakers, they even accept having private companies listening into their conversations.
And then permit them to use all this information to build a completely accurate profile of who they are, physically and philosophically, turning a blind eye to the selling of that data to anyone willing to pay for it.
About a month ago I was talking with some friends about music, and Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin came up. A few minutes later I activated my phone’s home screen to check emails or whatever and found that the Spotify app was open, and ready to play just that song.
While the vast majority of the data gathering is harmless, and in the case of teeing up a favorite song, even useful, this is very much a case of pestilence being let out of the box. Because that same data, and that same deep, deep level of personal identification can, with the tap of a few buttons, be weaponized against each and every one of us.
Have you been a vocal Trump supporter? Take it as a certainty you are on Santa’s naughty list… and who knows how many more?
As you may have read, a number of people who merely turned up for the Stop the Steal rally on January 6, and weren’t even aware the doors of the Capitol building had been breached, have been put on the government’s No Fly list.
How did this all come to be? The blame rests on human nature. I say that with some authority, having spent a large chunk of my professional career in marketing.
Here’s what I know about the subject.
1) We humans always want things faster, cheaper, easier. Those of you old enough will remember rotary dial telephones. I literally still have the occasional nightmare about my finger slipping on the last digit and having to start over again. Clickety-click, clickettttyy-clickkk, clickety-click…
Is it any wonder we rushed to adopt the new technologies offering push buttons, then touch screens, then tiny phones which fit in our pockets and allow us to use voice commands to call anyone on our contact list in an instant?
Of course, the latter requires providing the supplier of the technology with access to your contacts… providing the data gatherers with an incredible cache of information with which to work their magic.
Now reproduce that entirely natural evolution across virtually every corner of our lives, with increasingly powerful computers making everything faster, easier, cheaper -- offering trade-offs so compelling that in the blink of an eye we reached the point where no one even bothers scanning the intentionally long and obtuse user agreements for the software we download.
Those agreements provide the beast it’s life blood. And yet people are surprised the beast has now begun to exercise its unprecedented power politically?
2) Humans are a predator species. Given the opportunity to make money or gain status, we humans will swoop in like a herd of velociraptors.
While some have more energy than others, and might dream of becoming a tech-billionaire, most of us simply keep attuned for opportunities to provide a better life for our families.
Regardless of the level of our aspirations, disguised by the cloak of civility, people ultimately view each other as something akin to chattel, or maybe milk cows.
Of course, one can try to work their way up in the pecking order in a moral and ethical way, and most people do. But every population contains a subset of those who will do pretty much whatever it takes to get ahead, even if it leads to the ruination of others, or in the case of the 2020 elections, the destruction of democracy.
The bottom line is that the tech lords, politicians and faceless bureaucrats whom increasing control our lives and our actions are only people. It should come as no surprise they have personal agendas that involve making themselves and their peer group more money, or acquiring more power. And they now have incredibly powerful technological assets which allow them to achieve their ends… faster, easier, cheaper.
3) We are gullible. We humans are programmed to the level of DNA to seek out constructs which neatly organize the world in a way that makes sense to us. Those constructs don’t have to be accurate, or even based on any sort of tangible reality, yet people will still fully invest themselves in these constructs.
This gullibility is especially acute in adolescents seeking a working operational framework for a successful life. It’s a cliché that the young are invariably drawn to the flawed “one for all, and all for one” memes of socialism, but with careers and life experience, turn toward capitalism.
Being raised to believe in some great kahuna in the sky can exacerbate this natural tendency for gullibility, but everyone suffers from the condition regardless.
There are almost an endless number of studies on the subject, and the new masters of the universe are highly skilled at using this knowledge to persuade the bobble-heads that their view of things is the correct view.
The data-driven ability they possess today allows them to manipulate the gullible in ways never before imaginable.
As a result, despite all the evidence to the contrary, there are legions of people who believe the planet is entering a catastrophic cold age/warming age/whatever and that black lives matter more than all others, and that socialism is the only ‘fair’ way to structure an economy.
Etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum.
4) The White Coat Syndrome. We humans seek out people of authority and bestow an elevated level of trust upon them.
One of the funniest examples of this maxim in action was the long running ad on television for Vicks Vapor Rub featuring a popular soap opera actor who kicked things off by saying, “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV” and then goes on to make his pitch. His credibility score was off the charts.
Propagandists understand this all too well, and so invest heavily in influencing educators, another trusted group. Over the last half-century their work has paid off. Anyone with young children or young adults in their lives will attest to the active brainwashing children are now exposed to in their schools.
Of course, young parents engaged with their children’s education are also exposed to the bad ideas being taught, with many ultimately coming to share the same flawed views.
If I was king of the world, and could forcibly change anything about the current set up, it would be to limit school curriculums to the basics such as reading, writing, arithmetic, science and, for good measure, critical thinking.
If parents then wanted to form after-school clubs to teach things like Why Your White Privilege is Bad, or The World is Doomed from Global Warming/Cooling/Ozone Holes, or whatever, that’s their prerogative.
In my view, the intense fear-mongering in grade schools these days skates very close to the line of child abuse.
It way crosses over the line when you force kindergarteners to wear masks and spray them down with alcohol while ranting about the dread coronavirus, and then make them live in a hugless, isolated world… when they have virtually zero chance of being harmed by the virus. We can only imagine the consequences.
5) Some of us are meddlesome. I have oft referenced Thomas Sowell’s seminal work, A Conflict of Visions. In case you missed it, the basic thesis is that there are two general mindsets, and those mindsets are what consistently have people on opposing sides of the political spectrum, and most other societal issues.
One world view, most often attributed to the conservative/libertarian, is the acknowledgment we humans will never be perfect and therefore can be expected to act within a range of possibilities.
To create a working society, the community uses customs, rules and laws to define reasonable ranges, and as long as people act within those parameters all is good. The ten commandments are a pretty good example of society trying to set out some basic guidelines.
The other worldview, associated with the left also starts by accepting we humans are not perfect, but then deviates by believing humans can be made perfect through educational indoctrination and government coercion. This world view is at the heart of most of the nanny state nonsense.
In the context of this discussion, the perfect-worlders, largely a younger crowd with brains freshly ringing from their educational indoctrination, see the tools of big data as purpose-built for making us all perfect. The Chinese social credit system, which will eventually debut in the US, though probably with a different name, offers a textbook example of the perfect-world mentality in action.
The move to unbank Trump supporters is but one of many early signs of what's to come.
In San Francisco, Portland, Kenosha and NYC, the meddlers in government have already gone so far overboard in the direction of political correctness that the cities are crumbling under the sheer weight of the stupidity.
On that front, here’s a fun update on life in New York City as the perfect-worlders continue to turn really bad ideas into policy, or a lack thereof.
If there is any hope to be had in the face of such an onslaught, it is that the new masters of the universe, operating as they are in our accelerated world, will so quickly and so thoroughly damage the economy and civil society they'll trigger something akin to large scale uprising. A peaceful uprising, one would hope.
Trump’s presidency was a preview of what could be, and it almost had the critical mass to turn back the rising tide of socialist totalitarianism. Almost.
A Quick Aside
Recently I finished my novella, Surf Dude and the Islands of the Mind.
It’s a fast reading tale revolving around a group of plane crash survivors in a remote corner of the South Pacific as they struggle to organize themselves into a working society.
Having written several books, this is by far my favorite. And the reviews from the people who have read it so far has been uniformly positive.
If you’re interested in it, you can click on the link above, or find it in the Kindle store. It’s also available in paperback, if you want to give copies out to younger family members of friends who might benefit from the cautionary lessons it contains.
I hope you enjoy it, and would love to see your reviews.
As an FYI, my dear 96 year old mother did the painting for the cover, and my talented brother Rob did the layout.
And with that, we return to our discussion.
Why Are They Doing It?
With all the many stark examples of failed socialist experiments, why are the tech-lords and the Democrats pushing so hard to root out what might be considered the American values of hard work, free markets, and rugged individualism in favor of collectivism?
Why are we hearing so much about universal income these days?
While I have not spent a lot of time reading about the idea of the Great Reset, there is an excellent video everyone should watch that paints a more complete picture of the concept.
As an overview, an increasing number of influential people and bureaucrats believe we are transitioning into a Fourth Industrial Revolution, where AI and robots will replace most human workers, making them non-essential for pretty much anything.
When Joe Biden uses the slogan, “Build Back Better” he is overtly signaling he and his team are on board with this utopian view of the future.
The coronavirus offers the state, and the new masters of the universe, the opportunity to fast-forward the Great Reset.
Of course, AI and new technologies will displace millions of human workers. However, using that unavoidable reality to promote a clearly unworkable economic system is a massive overreach, a classic example of human folly.
It can’t end well.
Chris Rea’s song The Road to Hell seems appropriate at this moment.
What We Can Do?
Each us has different circumstances, different responsibilities, different abilities and different world views.
Therefore, in the face of the power grab on behalf of the new masters of the universe, each of us as individuals need to work out a course of action that best suits.
For the next few years one might want to consider...
Stop reading the news. Increasingly I am choosing to spend only a minute or two each day glancing at the headlines on news sites I trust. Reading article after article about the corruption and persecution of opposing views upsets me. And life is too damn short to start each day pissed off.
For the time being, stop being politically active. There may be a time when it makes sense to become active again, but that time is not now. Now is the time to keep your head below the trenches.
Enjoy your life, and enjoy the show. It won’t take very long before the many socialist/communist/fascist splinter groups with their fingers on the levers of power start to tear each other apart. Until the brainwashed masses wake up, which will begin to happen when the economy goes down the drain, don’t get overly worked up. Certainly don’t put yourself or your family at risk by getting overheated, at least not in public. And don’t forget, these days that extends to all online interactions.
Don’t panic. There’s a lot of ruin in a country, and even more in an empire. While the pressure to remake society to suit the delusionary utopian ideas of the Great Reset will intensify, the Democrat majority is thin, and there are multiple divisions within that minority. Thus, for the time being, we should not see any truly ground breaking legislation.
Sure, we’ll hear about universal income, reparations, aggressive gun control, and so forth, but the politicians are not yet at the point where they can afford to completely ignore the Republicans and the Trumpians, so things won’t get dire overnight.
That opinion would change if an unforeseeable event along the lines of 911 occurs that allows the news masters to take off the gloves.
Then wait. In time, either the foundational ideas of America will return to fashion – and it could be as soon as four years from now if Biden/Harris ends in complete disaster– or the country will descend into the sort of socialist hell most people of the world live in.
At which point you may wish to vote with your feet, as we have already done.
With the Presidency, both houses of Congress, and in truth, the Supreme Court, now in the hands of the Democrats, albeit weakly, they ‘own’ whatever comes next.
Which, in my opinion, is a going to be a complete crap show.
You really can’t change the way things are, so you might as well stock up on popcorn and settle down to enjoy the show.
And you won’t have to wait long, as we see how Biden deals with the big migrant caravan now headed toward the southern border. Can’t really turn it away, right? But if they let it in, the trickle will become a flood. Then what?
I would say that well before his term is over, Biden will regret winning.
Welcome to 1984
I wrote most of this edition right on the heels of January 6, as I was winging my way back to Argentina from an unplanned trip to the US.
Since that time, evidence of the new world order has been piling up, with Trump and many of the louder voices on the more conservative side of the political debate now being shut off of all the important social media platforms. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook. Even the Google app store is in the game, refusing to allow people to download the Parler app.
Meanwhile, the Democrats and their masters in tech and media, are trying to make the moves necessary to ensure the hated Trump can never again seek political power. That shows just how afraid they are of the man, or more accurately, the ideas his presidency has brought to the fore.
It is akin to going to bed one night, and waking up the next day to a world controlled by alien invaders.
Except in this case, rather than using us humans as chattel or even nourishment, the aliens are determined to enforce compliance with their very specific interpretation of the perfect human.
To wit, if you do not buy into the Green movement, the BLM movement, the feminist movement, the LBQwhatever movement, the socialist movement, the soak the rich movement, the anti-police movement, etc., etc., then big data and the deep state will make sure you suffer the consequences.
Stick your head up far enough above the trenches and you may find yourself on a no-fly list, or be unable to open a bank account, or lose your job, or be doxed with your address published along with a list of your views – skewed to appear as anti-social as possible.
In this environment, where literally your every word and every move and every affiliation is being recorded and analyzed – and where the people in control of all that data are firmly set against most everything I believe to be true, continuing to provide them with ammunition is foolish.
There are few things in this world I treasure more than my freedom to move around. In a world where lists of enemies of the state will be compiled and counteractions taken, I would prefer to be as invisible as possible.
Living in the middle of absolutely nowhere Argentina improves my odds of maintaining a low profile, especially if I stop writing Sendero which, while I enjoy doing it, offers no real upside.
So, that’s reason number one for ending Sendero.
Another Quick Aside
On the topic of getting out of the US, a quick update on life here in La Estancia de Cafayate.
The natural blowback from the long shutdowns here in Argentina, and because things have opened up somewhat regionally, people are flocking here.
There are currently about twenty houses being built, with another twenty on the drawing board. In fact, I suspect there isn't another upscale lifestyle community in the country, and maybe not even in South America, where there is as much construction going on.
As a result, on weekends and holidays the place is positively swarming with people, so much so that we are having to expand the clubhouse to accommodate all the owners.
In addition to people wanting to get out of the cities, the cost of things here are also a big factor. You can currently build at around $50 a square foot. And a full tenderloin, which would set you back over $100 in the US, sells for about $8.00 here.
At the moment, unless you are a resident, it is hard to travel into Argentina, but when it opens up again, you might want to check it out.
The Second Reason
At the beginning of this rather long edition, I mentioned there were two reasons for ending Sendero.
The second set its roots last March, after a grueling two day cabalgata into the Andes. On returning from the ride I suddenly lost much of the hearing in my left ear, and began suffering a sharp pain on the left side of my neck.
While I consulted with two ENT doctors – a medical specialty I have lost a lot of respect for – nothing was resolved so this past November I had an MRI done down here (at a cost of about US$65, versus well over a $1,000 in the US).
Unfortunately, the MRI turned up a brain tumor, a meningioma, tucked up against my brain stem.
Fortunately, this type of tumor is typically benign (knock on wood), and grows either slowly or, in some cases, not at all.
I popped up to the US to consult with a top neurosurgeon who, given the delicate location of the tumor, advised me to wait three months then take another MRI in the hope it hasn’t grown. If there is no growth, ongoing monitoring would be called for. If there has been growth, I’m back to the north for the operation.
With that diagnosis, I hopped on a plane back to Cafayate and am now sitting on my patio writing you surrounded by the most beautiful vistas and the most perfect weather imaginable.
I played 18 holes of golf this morning, and, after lunch and a siesta, will take a long horse back ride.
Though I would prefer the tumor didn’t exists, I'm not overly worried about it. Having reached the fine age of 67 in great shape, and having lived an absolutely wonderful life, I can face the future without fear.
After all, no one gets out alive, and I have lived pretty much exactly the life I wanted to, with very few compromises.
But now my time becomes a bit more important to me, and as much as I enjoy writing Sendero at times it feels like a commitment. For the time being, I would prefer to not feel compelled to do anything.
If you’re ever in Cafayate, you know how to get in touch with me, or show up at our Bad Brothers Wine Experience just off the main plaza and the people there will point you in my direction.
So with my warm and sincere gratitude to all of you for bearing with me all these years, I will sign off this last time by wishing you nothing but happy trails.