Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Falsehood Rules | Kunstler

Who knew that reality could become such a squishy thing in the USA? But such are the agonies of a collapsing society that it becomes ever harder to know what’s real, especially with factions in power intent on gaslighting, manipulating, obfuscating, and coercing the raw material of public opinion, which is: what has actually happened in the past and what is happening now.

When I wrote The Long Emergency, I expected we would be living through a period of confusion and disorder, but I didn’t know what it would feel like to go through it: a nauseating existential disorientation, like being seasick on dry land… like living in a German expressionist horror movie of the 1920s (and we know what that led to)… like being held prisoner inside Franz Kafka’s castle: an immersion in totalizing falsehood.

The collapse of authority is especially striking and disturbing now because ground zero for it is the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the very place that is charged with determining what is true and what is false, what is real and what is unreal, and especially what is okay, and what is not okay.

The collapse of authority at DOJ got sickening traction after the election of 2016, when FBI Director James Comey and his underlings, along with many high officials at its parent agency, DOJ, undertook a campaign to disable and expel the winner of that election, starting before his inauguration. The Russia Collusion operation was the epitome of falsehood concocted in bad faith, and the actions taken in it were never adjudicated — though an ectoplasm named John Durham is floating somewhere out in the national ether, still delegated to make cases. Leaving all that hanging this long has been a grievous injury to the country’s identity as a place on this earth where fair play was supposed to be normal.

The Mueller Investigation was another insult to the public interest, devised to distract and cover up the all the previous seditious bad faith of Comey & Company, and the C-suite at DOJ — and, of course, the Special Counsel came up with absolutely nothing actionable, which was stunning considering the resources behind it, and the time spent. At a Senate hearing about it in 2018, Robert Mueller himself claimed to be unacquainted with key characters in his own investigation and key pieces of evidence. His performance was worse than not reassuring — he appeared to be lying or incompetent, or pretending to be incompetent, and since that moment he has gone-to-ground… untouchable.

Impeachment No. 1 was supposedly about a phone call that the President made to his counterpart in Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky, regarding suspicious activity of one Hunter Biden receiving large sums of money from a gas company there while his father was Vice-president. At the time, the FBI (and the DOJ) did not disclose their possession of a laptop computer owned by Hunter Biden containing hundreds of memoranda and emails detailing the Biden family’s lucrative business dealings in Ukraine and several other foreign countries, involving sums of money far greater than the Burisma Company of Ukraine was paying Joe Biden’s son, and how the income was split between the family members. In other words, evidence that then-Vice-president Joe Biden himself was on the take from foreign countries, including companies linked directly with the communist party of China. Not important, you think? Not germane to the impeachment?

Why was that information not turned over to the president’s lawyers during the initial hearings and then the impeachment trial itself? That has never been adequately addressed, not even a little, and largely because the mainstream media does not want to know, and didn’t ask, while the does not have access to ask the officials who might know — and Congress, under Mrs. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer certainly didn’t want to ask or know. Do you appreciate how damaging this act of institutional dishonesty was?

Then there was the election of 2020, held under the Covid-19 emergency, with new rules about mail-in voting that lent themselves to fraud — or so declared former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, who ran a commission on election reform in 2005 — and that appears to be exactly what happened. The specious and dishonest claim is made by the putative winners that the matter was completely settled in the courts post-election. That is simply not true. The actual evidence was not entertained, most particularly not by the Supreme Court, which declined on the basis of “standing,” a mere point of procedure.

Now there is one official forensic audit of the 2020 election underway in Maricopa County, Arizona, (the Phoenix metro area), ordered by the State Senate, and some conclusions from phase one, involving the paper ballots, are due to be released this week, with additional phases to come concerning the Dominion voting machines. Many other state legislatures sent delegations to Arizona to learn the ins-and-outs of conducting a forensic audit, and they are making noises about actually doing it.

So, in stepped Attorney General Merrick Garland. At the start of the Arizona audit, he sent a letter to the Arizona State Senate threatening to use the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ to halt the audit on the basis of depriving voters of their civil rights. Arizona responded by promising to jail any federal officials who laid their hands on any ballots. That was the end of that gambit for now — they may try it again in phase two.

In the meantime, a county judge in Georgia (one Brian Amero) has ruled that 147,000-odd ballots alleged to have chain-of-custody problems must be made available for inspection, and also that five members of the Fulton County (Atlanta Metro Area) Board of Elections are now individually parties to the lawsuit brought by nine Georgia voters, and may be subject to deposition (being questioned under oath). That is believed to be the beginning of an effort to conduct a full audit in Georgia.

So, again, in steps Attorney General Merrick Garland with his Civil Rights Division, led by political activist Kristen Clarke, bringing a lawsuit against the Georgia election reform act passed earlier this year — a shot over Georgia’s bow, shall we say. Ms. Clarke happens to be a colleague of Georgia activist Stacey Abrams, a former Democratic candidate for governor. Ms. Abrams is also a part-owner of a company, NOWAccount, that does payroll for a private company called Happy Faces, which furnished dozens of poll workers to tally the 2020 election in Georgia, as well as the 2021 US Senate runoff election that put two Democrats, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, in office.

Elections are supposed to be conducted by public officials, not by private entities. Supposedly, the Georgia election officials turned to Happy Faces because it was a way to avoid hiring workers for less than 30 hours-a-week, which would have otherwise required providing them with health care under ObamaCare, the ACA Act. Was that legal? It has not been adjudicated.

Nor has the much bigger scandal of a private Chicago-based non-profit called the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which received $350-million from Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to arrange grants targeted at swing districts in Democratic strongholds such as Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Atlanta, for the purpose of hiring ballot harvesters, among other activities. Mr. Zuckerberg met with Kristen Clarke, Stacey Abrams, Al Sharpton, and other Democratic activists at a dinner in 2019, at which he promised to help. Did his help cross any legal boundaries? It has not been investigated, nor has the use of the company he runs, Facebook, in its campaign to influence public opinion by blocking news and deleting accounts of non-Democrats exclusively.

Assistant AG Kristen Clarke’s DOJ lawsuit against Georgia’s election reform act alleges that it “imposes substantial fines on third-party organizations, churches, and advocacy groups that send follow up absentee ballot applications, and requires new and unnecessarily stringent identification requirements to obtain an absentee ballot.”  In other words, the Georgia law seeks to restrict the activities of private, non-official entities — such as the Center for Tech and Civic Life — sprinkling gargantuan sums of money over key election districts to influence the outcome. Or for companies such as Happy Faces to supply activists for counting votes. That is how disingenuous Merrick Garland’s DOJ is, now a strictly political operation.

We haven’t nearly seen the end to any of this, nor the reaction that it is liable to provoke among citizens who have had enough of being played by their own government. Think about all  that while you make plans to celebrate the Fourth of July, a holiday that commemorates an earlier time when the people of this land had enough of being played by their rulers.