OK, so we have the drought, wildfires, mudslides and the possibility, at any moment, of a devastating earthquake followed by a tsunami.
But that’s not all.
Just when you thought it was safe to go out (at least until the temperature rises and the Santa Anas blow in), killer pinecones are here.
In other words, to quote Chicken Little, the sky is falling.
These aren’t the kind of cutesy cones you collect to burn in your fireplace for their sweet pine aroma.
These babies are deadly.
And they’re not babies. They are monsters, the size of melons, weighing up to 20 pounds each.
Without warning, these “cones” drop straight down from very high up — 100 feet-plus — with enough force to decimate a human being if hit on the noggin, or a pet (large or small) if struck.
The tree that produces such deadly fruit is the Bunya Bunya, otherwise known — appropriately — as the “Widow Maker.”
Originally from Queensland, Australia, the Bunya Bunya or Bunya Pine has been around for 145 million years and, in the late 1800s, was liberally planted on estates and in public parks around Santa Barbara. (There are several in Lotusland in Montecito.) From below, this majestic tree looks like a full unlit firework.
But you don’t want to be below them during August and September because that’s when they drop their lethal bombs.
Be well advised, if you have Bunya Bunyas in your garden, contact one of several arborists in the area to have them pruned, lest you or someone else on your property gets coned. Otherwise, if you hear leaves rustling directly overhead … Never mind. It’s already too late.
WATCH SEN. SINEMA
Knowing that the globalist-minded power elite has determined that a conservative Democrat is needed to take on Republican contenders for the presidency in 2024 (presumably Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or maybe Donald Trump now that the Department of Justice has inadvertently elevated the latter’s status), our gut tells us that Kyrsten Sinema, the 46-year-old U.S. senator from Arizona, is the Dem to watch.
As we noted in this column two months ago after secretive Bilderberg convened its annual powwow in Washington, D.C., Sen. Sinema was the only elected political leader from the U.S. invited to hobnob with all the usual suspects (techie billionaires, Wall Street titans, bankers and those of lesser wealth entrusted with their globalist bidding). These folks (not Bilderberg as an entity but the globalist-minded persons who run it) have the wherewithal to fund a big-budget presidential campaign and ensure extensive no-cost positive media coverage — and since they’ve been doing this successfully in the United States and Western Europe for going on 70 years, they are well practiced at their craft.
We expect Kyrsten, with their patronage, to put President Joe Biden to bed, sweep Vice President Kamala Harris under a rug, then ace the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.
Yes, in the great tradition of former President Jimmy Carter, we forecast that Sen. Sinema will “arise from nowhere” to become a national figurehead and new darling of the Democratic Party, whose leaders will, with some difficulty, attempt to harness its wacky wokesters into uniting behind Sen. Kyrsten as the only way of circumventing a Republican onslaught, despite Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLADD (an LGBTQ advocacy group) saying earlier this year, “Sen. Sinema turned her back on LGBTQ voters and all marginalized people who helped put her in office, hoping she’d represent and protect their voices.”
But the deal will be sweetened to satiate the “progressive” element of the party by putting a progressive candidate on the ticket as Sen. Sinema’s running mate. Yup, the gnomes of Bilderberg have got that covered too: Stacey Abrams, a former state representative in Georgia, attended Bilderberg in 2019, which is what makes her cocky enough to run for governor (again) along with harboring presidential aspirations.
(Are you beginning to get the picture?)
Bilderberg, you see, is the new-fangled version of the early 20th-century smoke-filled back room where things like this get decided. Not in plenary session, mind you, but in corridor networking — in other words, behind the scenes of a behind-the-scenes gathering.
INTERMISSION: LOSER LIZ
These powerbrokers do NOT back Rep. Liz (“Abe Lincoln”) Cheney, who might as well have switched over to the Democratic Party. No, strike that. Liz is a carpetbagger, a creature of Washington, D.C., not rural Wyoming, and should have run as a congresswoman from Virginia’s 10th congressional district where she truly resides (in McLean, across the Potomac from D.C.) instead of pretending a presence and constituency in the Cowboy State, from which big daddy Dick hails.
Wyomingites told Liz what they think of that — and her — by not just voting her out of office after three terms but annihilating her by a majority, way more than two-to-one, in the Republican primary (66% for Harriet Hageman, 29% for Liz).
Talk about humiliation. And well deserved because this is a perfect example of what happens when you don’t represent (and think you know better than) your constituents.
As is usually the case with self-important politicians like Liz, having gotten trumped by Ms. Hageman, she now reportedly thinks of herself as a presidential candidate.
If so, she is best advised to run as an independent with no chance of winning but acting out, instead, as a spoiler against conservative Republicans, which, as the spoiled daughter of the least popular vice president in U.S. history, would most certainly, in our opinion, reflect her true nature.
And since it is obvious to everyone that spoiling for a fight is her gambit, Liz is best ignored as she settles back into her real existence far from the state that kicked her butt.
In other words, note to Dick Cheney’s daughter: Please leave quietly and return to your swampy natural habitat.
(By the way, lest anyone think our vitriol toward Liz connects to Donald Trump and Ms. Cheney’s “Jan. 6” antics, it does not. We simply do not respect elected representatives who thumb their noses at folks who trusted them with their votes.)
NOW WE RETURN TO SINEMA
Well, well, well — it looks as if Wall Street is already on the job.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema intervened in the Inflation Reduction Act and insisted that, to secure her unpredictable vote, U.S. Senate Democrats had to strip a provision that would have closed a loophole benefitting super-rich Wall Street hedge fund managers and private equity investors, preserving, The Daily Beast reported, “a favorable tax structure for deep-pocketed special interests.”
Meaning (according to CNBC): “The tax break allows hedge fund managers and law firm partners to pay significantly less tax than ordinary workers.”
Somewhat bewildered by Kyrsten’s proactive stance on favoring fat cats, The New York Times reported, “Sinema has been silent on why she considers preserving the carried interest loophole so important.”
That is because, according to Intelligencer in New York Magazine, “Sinema had tried to keep her support for the notorious provision quiet.”
But wait, breaking news (as we wrote this)!
Under media scrutiny, Krysten finally broke her silence: “The tax provisions that were proposed by some of my colleagues in that bill would have negatively impacted small and mid-sized businesses in Arizona, and I was unwilling to accept tax hikes on small and mid-sized businesses.”
Which makes no sense at all because, as The Center for Media and Democracy pointed out, “Arizona isn’t home to many private equity firms, yet she has become the Senate’s leading defender of the industry.”
Which means, not unlike Liz Cheney, Sen. Sinema is NOT representing her constituents, but instead looking after special interests headquartered in big East Coast cities 2,500 miles away.
In its befuddlement, The New York Times continued to wonder about this. “There appears to be little public record of Sinema discussing why she supports special tax treatment for carried interest. According to a search of the Congressional Record, Sinema has apparently never uttered the phrase ‘carried interest’ in a public legislative session.”
So, we ask, who put the phrase “carried interest loophole” into Kyrsten’s head and pushed her to intervene? Who exactly highlighted for her the very small print in that very big bill and requested that she nix it?
We reached out to the senator’s press spokesperson, Hannah Hurley, with these very questions.
Ms. Hurley’s silence was deafening.
Hmm. The only real answer can be Sen. Kyrsten’s new power elite pals who, despite their billions, need every loophole they can crawl into for growing ever richer.
Thankfully, Arizona Public Radio scrutinized election records and pulled this rabbit out of a hat: “Sinema has received nearly $1 million in campaign contributions over the past year from private equity professionals, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists …”
“…whose interests,” adds an Associated Press newswire, “she has staunchly defended in Congress.”
You scratch our backs, Kyrsten, we’ll scratch yours.
One of Sen. Sinema’s donors — surprise, surprise — is billionaire Henry R. Kravis, a regular Bilderberg attendee whose wife, Marie-Josee Kravis, is co-chair of Bilderberg Meetings and president of American Friends of Bilderberg Inc. (a nonprofit whose donors include the Kravis Foundation, billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs).
Other contributors to Sen. Sinema’s campaign include some of the most senior executives of powerful Blackstone (the second largest private equity firm in the U.S.), The Carlyle Group (the sixth-largest private equity firm in the world) and Apollo Global Management ($512 billion in assets under their control).
Again, are you beginning to get the picture?
So make no mistake about it, Kyrsten Sinema is the new political puppet of the power elite.
It may be a stretch for the folks who run Bilderberg, and likely will not happen, but the only chance, in our opinion, that Dems have of holding onto the White House in 2024 is this scenario: Following the example Richard Nixon’s VP, Spiro Agnew, in 1973, Kamala resigns (as she should, anyway, for inarticulation and general incompetence), and Joe Biden chooses Kyrsten to be his VP. Then Joe resigns due to his cognitive issues (long overdue), and Kyrsten becomes prez so she can enjoy an incumbent’s advantage in addition to rolling in dough from power elite puppet masters who reside in a caliginous zone behind the curtain.
In any case, these folks think ahead. They are more likely laying the foundation for a 2028 campaign. It provides them time to raise Sen. Sinema’s profile with, say, a Time magazine cover story and a “60 Minutes” segment.
Needless to say, they are masters at this drill: Script a narrative and get the corporatized mainstream media to line up for their meds. And since most newspapers in the U.S. are now bundled into conglomerates owned by well-endowed hedge funds, well … game, set, match.
THE PUTIN REPORT
Has Russia’s brutal dictator struck yet again?
A man committing a so-called suicide fell to his death from his swank Georgetown condo in Washington, D.C., early this month after having relentlessly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and his stalled war in Ukraine, which has now killed 65,000 Russian servicemen, lost $16.56 billion in 12,142 pieces of military hardware (including the $750 million Moskva warship) and has reportedly led to “despondency” in the Kremlin.
Dan Rapoport, a 52-year-old Latvian-born American businessman, supposedly pinned a suicide note to his dog, Boy, before setting the mixed-breed pup free in a D.C. park.
Mr. Rapoport’s wife Alyona, from Ukraine, disputes any notion of suicide.
Oddly, Mr. Rapoport’s former business partner (they owned a Moscow nightclub called Soho Rooms) also — several years ago — fell to his death.
Makes us think of former CIA spymaster Clair George, who once confided that the only surefire way to murder someone and get away with is to push that someone off (or out of) a high-rise building.
Outspoken Putin critic Bill Browder posted on Twitter that Mr. Rapoport was one of the first Moscow-based financiers he knew who publicly supported Alexei Navalny.
Mr. Navalny remains imprisoned in Russia as Mr. Putin’s No. 1 political prisoner.
Earlier this year, on April 19, Russian oligarch Sergey Protosenya, 55, supposedly “committed suicide” by hanging himself from a tree outside his villa on the Costa Brava in Spain after supposedly hacking his wife and 18-year-old daughter to death with a knife and ax. But, oddly, there were no bloodstains on him.
Mr. Protosenya had been deputy chairman of Novotek, a Russian natural gas firm.
Said his son Fodor, “He loved my mother and especially Maria, my sister. She was his princess. He could never do anything to harm them.”
One day earlier, in Moscow, a former Gazprombank official named Vladislav Avayev supposedly shot and killed his wife Yelena and 13-year-old daughter, Maria, before supposedly turning the weapon onto himself.
See the trend here? Take out the whole family — as a warning to others — and make it look as if your target did it. This is a GRU (Russian military intelligence) specialty.
Anders Aslund, the Swedish author of Russia’s Crony Capitalism, told the New York Post that these Kremlin killings are part of a “cleaning out going on,” based on a list of persons whom putrid Putin approved for liquidation.
“Putin finances a lot of his operations through Gazprom and Gazprombank,” said Mr. Aslund. “The executives who work there know all about this secret financing” and some were suspected of leaking Russian intelligence operations.
Other “suicides” include Gazprom executive Alexander Tyulyakov (hanged in his St. Petersburg home) and Leonid Shulman (Gazprom, slit wrists).
Not surprisingly, we received many emails in response to our column last week on 9/11, including a reader who lost his father in that tragedy. It is gratifying to learn that our readers are not sheeple.
Here is a smattering:
J.G. wrote: “I look forward to your column every week and, while I find them all interesting and shocking to some degree, this one especially is a doozie. It makes me wonder what else is under the tip of the iceberg.”
Our comment: Much else. If you read between the lines of our column and do some independent research, the truth is out there. And it is very dark.
G.F. wrote: “This may be your best ever. Like Icarus, I hope you don’t fly too close to the sun.”
Our comment: We did that in Monaco and got our wings burned. But we did not learn our lesson and probably never will.
F.M. wrote: “Extraordinarily well done. Precise research, thoughtfully and logically presented, and splendidly written. You should be a National Security & Global Affairs columnist for top pubs.”
Our comment: Thanks, happy where we are.
G.C.: “I do hope your readers let this soak in and realize the huge heap of lies they have been fed.”
G.V wrote: “You always hit the bullseye. I read it twice and enjoyed it more the second time.”
F.H. wrote: “You have artistically connected the dots.”
S.P. wrote: “It is rare to see investigative journalism these days.”
Our comment: That is because most of the newspapers in the U.S. have been gobbled up into corporate bundles owned by investment funds.
J.G. wrote: “I’m surprised why you have disqualified the idea of something like” (the Bush Administration and the House of Saud being complicit in making 9/11 happen). “9/11 was the perfect storm. The Saudis were doing what they were doing, and the U.S. was telling the different alphabet agencies to ‘back off’ the Saudis and the Bin Ladens. On top of that, Bush and Bandar had a conversation about the need for ‘decisive’ military action in Iraq months before 9/11.”
G.K. wrote: “Thank you for the excellent analysis of the whole 9/11 debacle. We perish in darkness, and you’re doing a great work of bringing light on the subject.”
Robert Eringer is a longtime Montecito author with vast experience in investigative journalism. He welcomes questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.