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Kennedy’s Speech Crusade, The Financial Panopticon
News Digest for the week of 7/19-7/25
This week’s digest covers RFK’s congressional testimony about censorship and the banking system’s rollout of FedNow.
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Kennedy’s Free Speech Crusade
Last Thursday, RFK Jr appeared before a congressional committee tasked with investigating the weaponization of federal government and censorship.
Kennedy was asked to testify because of his experience being censored. During the pandemic, he was part of the so-called “disinformation dozen” removed from social media at the behest of the White House.
He opened his testimony with a powerful statement about the first amendment: “respectful debate is the fertilizer, is the water, is the sunlight for our democracy. We need to be talking to each other […] We have to stop trying to destroy each other.”
Very quickly, the hearing grew politicized.
Democratic Congresswoman and former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz moved to block RFK from testifying, accusing him of racism and anti-Semitism.
In a subsequent vote, Democrats unanimously sided with Schultz, but were outvoted by Republicans who wanted to hear Kennedy speak.
The moment was peak political irony: over the past few years, no one has been censored as aggressively as RFK, yet in a congressional hearing about censorship, while talking about censorship, he was nearly censored again.
Later, Wasserman Schultz called for Kennedy’s testimony to be stricken from the record and demanded Kennedy apologize for supposedly racist comments.
Kennedy responded by saying Schultz was misrepresenting him for political purposes. Later, he released a video refuting the accusations.
After the hearing, Kennedy appeared on The Hill to advance his message: “we somehow need to start talking to each other again in a way that's gentle, that's kind, that's dignified, respectful, and understanding,"
On Saturday, he punched back at the Democratic establishment for its hypocrisy. In a Twitter thread, he presented evidence from WikiLeaks showing the DNC under Wasserman Schultz conspiring to sink Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign and ensure Hillary Clinton won the nomination.
The WikiLeaks emails ultimately led to a lawsuit in which Sanders supporters accused the DNC of running a fraudulent primary, arguing that they gave money to Bernie’s campaign under the assumption that they were participating in a fair election.
The DNC responded with the argument that it has the right to pick its preferred candidate because it is a private organization.
In the thread, Kennedy also pointed out DNC staffers referring to Hispanic voters as “Taco Bowls” and abiding the overtly anti-Semitic rhetoric of some Democratic congresswomen.
Attacks against Kennedy have steadily escalated as his popularity has grown, but they don’t appear to be working.
Sunday morning, he posed data from a new Harvard Harris poll showing that, among all political figures, he rated both highest for favorability and lowest for unfavorability.
Kennedy’s popularity means the the Democratic Party can no longer ignore him, and the emergence of free-speech Twitter makes it impossible to silence him as during Covid.
Now, the battle appears to be shifting to a new phase in which the political establishment is openly attempting to destroy Kennedy.
For his part, RFK shows no sign of backing down. Keep an eye on this story—it’s just heating up!
FedNow and the Financial Panopticon
Last week, the US monetary system officially got an upgrade.
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve rolled out its FedNow system, which allows 24/7 instant payments between banks.
So far, 35 banks are participating in FedNow, including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
The US Treasury is also using the service. Eventually, all banks and large financial institutions are expected to take part.
On the surface, FedNow looks like a positive development because it modernizes banking infrastructure badly in need of an upgrade.
The current system was designed before the Internet became widespread. It is slow and cumbersome: interbank transfers can take days.
However, there is a possibility that the emergence of FedNow marks an ominous turn for the financial system.
On Twitter, several voices argued that FedNow should be understood as the first step toward government’s own version of cryptocurrency, also known as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Dissidents have been warning for years that government would eventually attempt to eliminate cash altogether and replace it with a digital dollar.
Whatever the inconveniences of cash, it does allow people to transact anonymously and without permission from a third party.
By contrast, a digital dollar/FedCoin could allow banks and governments to have complete control over your money. This could look like a lot of things:
funds could have an expiration date programmed into them
all purchases could be tracked in a government database
funds could be frozen at any time
availability of money could be tied to a social credit score or carbon-use score
use of money could be limited geographically i.e. within a certain radius of your home
In the end, a CBDC could transform money into something like a government-issued coupon.
This sounds fine as long as your beliefs align with those of the current political regime.
As soon as they don’t, however, Big Brother would wield the power to effectively shut off your participation in public life with the stroke of a key.
Fortunately, there already exist alternative forms of money that aren’t characterized by top-down control: Bitcoin and Dogecoin.
With Doge, there’s no set of master controls that lets anyone decide what you can or can’t do with your cash.
The network is designed run in grassroots fashion, with thousands of independently operated nodes all over the world coordinating to verify payments. Sovereign ownership of money is programmed into its code.
Because the system is owned by no one and operated by potentially everyone with an Internet connection, it is built to uphold your right to transact wherever, whenever, and however you want. With no single point of failure, Big Brother can’t simply shut it off if they disagree with your politics.
If the government rolls out a digital dollar, people will have a choice: either learn to use decentralized crypto or be stuck in the financial panopticon.
FedNow is here, and FedCoin may not be far behind. It’s hard to imagine a better argument for Dogecoin than that.
Dogey Treats: News Bites
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Congress is preparing impeachment for Joe Biden for accepting foreign bribes. Senator Chuck Grassley released the FBI form FD-1023 alleging Hunter Biden accepted a $5 million dollar bribe from Ukrainian energy company Burisma. According to leaked phone calls, Biden leveraged a $1B loan to Ukraine in order to remove Ukraine’s general prosecutor, who was investigating Burisma.
FBI congressional testimony revealed the agency confirmed the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop the same day Twitter and other social media companies censored it under the guise of being “Russian disinformation” in October 2020.
A bill to ban congressional stock trading was voted down in the Senate.
Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner had a meltdown when asked about the Clinton Body Count on the PBD Podcast. Dave Smith discussed the large number of suspicious deaths around the Clintons on the podcast later the same night.
During the congressional hearing on free speech, Democratic congresswoman Stacy Plaskett was called out for accepting money from Jeffrey Epstein.
Trump was asked by Newsmax if he would consider RFK Jr as a running mate. He responded, “No, but people have suggested it…there are a lot of people suggesting it…I’ve known him over the years. He’s a smart guy and well-intentioned.”
A fascinating graph shows how the cost of written content has plummeted because of ChatGPT after a century of stability.
Global Financial System
40 countries have expressed interest in joining the BRICS bloc.
Elon repelled under his famous tweet from 2021 meme stock movement “I am become meme, destroyer of shorts,” writing “And they keep coming back for more…”
Japan’s Prime Minister announced the country is creating an environment to promote cryptocurrency, saying, “It can transform the Internet.”
OpenAI’s Worldcoin launched on Monday. The project requires users to scan their Iris to open an account Jack Dorsey wrote, “at no time should a corporation or state own any part of the global financial system.”
Elon explained the transition from Twitter to X: “Twitter was acquired by X Corp both to ensure freedom of speech and as an accelerant for X, the everything app. This is not simply a company renaming itself, but doing the same thing. The Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth – like birds tweeting – but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video. In the months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world. The Twitter name does not make sense in that context, so we must bid adieu to the bird.” In another post, he wrote, “X will become the most valuable brand on Earth. [Mark] my words.”
X/Twitter said it would subpoena communications between Elizabeth Warren and both the FTC and SEC over her crusade against Elon.
An Ashley St. Clair video comparing discourse on Twitter and Tik Tok was seen ten million times.
Biographer Walter Isaacson said Elon expects X to be a trillion dollar company by becoming “a financial platform that helps anyone profit from creating content.”
X is adding adjacency controls for advertisers to allow them more control over what kind of content their ads appear next to. It is also rolling out new criteria for account monetization that will allow more people to participate in its ad revenue sharing program.
Stanford researchers found that Twitter clone Mastadon has a massive child abuse material problem Elon wrote, “We kicked them off this platform, so they went elsewhere.”
The tenth episode of Tucker Carlson’s show is called, “Stay in your lane: our drive through South Central LA with Ice Cube.”
Starlink went live in Malaysia, its 60th country.
Jamie Foxx addressed his medical scare in April in a video, saying, “I went to hell and back.”
LeBron James’s son Bronny was hospitalized with cardiac arrest, prompting speculation if the event was vaccine related. Elon wrote, “We cannot ascribe everything to the vaccine, but, by the same token, we cannot ascribe nothing. Myocarditis is a known side-effect. The only question is whether it is rare or common.”
A Pfizer factory in North Carolina was destroyed by a tornado.
Senator Rand Paul referred Anthony Fauci to the DOJ for prosecution for lying under oath to Congress. Paul’s Kentucky office was burned down the next day. In an interview, Paul said, “Follow the money trail, and you see millions of dollars exchanging hands in the first few months of 2020 to the people who came out and said nothing to see here couldn't have happened in the lab. There's probably never been a coverup in the history of politics that was so completely documented that they were lying to us. Every one of their private emails says oh my goodness, it looks like it might have come from the lab.”
Memes of the Week
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