James Kunstler: Forecast 2020

In this somewhat lengthy article, author James Howard Kunstler makes some predictions for 2020 — political, economic and other. Kunstler’s main works have been on peak-oil and what that means to society and also urban and suburban development issues. It may or may not be of relevance, but Kunstler is a Democrat, though he has been described as “an angry, disaffected one.” That is mentioned here only because some read his acidic commentary on the impeachment charade and think that he is conservative, Republican, or pro-Trump — of which he is none.

…These diseases of mind and culture are synergized by an aroused political ethos that says the ends justify the means, so that bad faith and knowing dishonesty become the main tools of political endeavor. Hence, a venerable institution such as The New York Times can turn from its mission of strictly pursuing news and be enlisted as the public relations service for rogue government agencies seeking to overthrow a president under false pretenses. The overall effect is of a march into a new totalitarianism, garnished with epic mendacity and malevolence. Since when in the USA was it okay for political “radicals” to team up with government surveillance jocks to persecute their political enemies?

This naturally leads to the question: what drove the American thinking class insane? I maintain that it comes from the massive anxiety generated by the long emergency we’ve entered — the free-floating fear that we’ve run out the clock on our current way of life, that the systems we depend on for our high standard of living have entered the failure zone; specifically, the fears over our energy supply, dwindling natural resources, broken resource supply lines, runaway debt, population overshoot, the collapsing middle-class, the closing of horizons and prospects for young people, the stolen autonomy of people crushed by out-of-scale organizations (government, WalMart, ConAgra), the corrosion of relations between men and women (and of family life especially), the frequent mass murders in schools, churches, and public places, the destruction of ecosystems and species, the uncertainty about climate change, and the pervasive, entropic ugliness of the suburban human habitat that drives so much social dysfunction. You get it? There’s a lot to worry about, much of it quite existential. The more strenuously we fail to confront and engage with these problems, the crazier we get…

There’s an excellent chance that the Democratic Party will be in such disarray by summertime, that it may break apart into a radical-Wokester faction and a rump “moderate” faction. That would make the election somewhat like the 1860 contest on the eve of the first Civil War. The current crop of leading candidates — Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg — all look to me like horses that ain’t gonna finish. Michael Bloomberg could end up leader of the rump moderates, propelled by his inexhaustible bank account, but I doubt his appeal to the racial minorities and the new millennial voters Democrats depend on. I’m not sure he’s left with much else.

I’m convinced that Joe Biden is in still in the contest solely to avoid investigation. He’s already obviously not wholly sound of mind, and he’s not even in the White House yet…

the attempts at impeachment have a peevish Lilliputian flavor. Keeping it up —bringing a threatened second or third bill of impeachment with extra charges — will only reinforce Mr. Trump’s anti-fragility. Second to the economic issues is the question whether the firm of Barr & Durham will manage to pin some criminal responsibility on the people who undertook the RussiaGate coup against Mr. Trump — a ghastly mis-use of government power now celebrated by Democrats, who, you might recall, used to be against police states. A series of perp walks by the likes of Brennan, Comey, Clapper, and others could finally burst the bubble of credulity that the Mueller face-plant and the damning Horowitz report failed to achieve among the True Believers of Rachel Maddow…

Forward Observer: Election Legitimacy

The following comes from Sam Culper, principal intelligence analyst at Forward Observer, about the failure of governments and fears over perceived illegitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

I’ve been watching the Netflix series “Narcos” and have just about wrapped up Season 3. Narcos is a show about Pablo Escobar and the Colombian cartels in the cocaine trade of the 1990s.

Sure, there’s some security tradecraft and intelligence collection in the show, which in my opinion makes it worth the watch, but I found something more interesting:

Cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar didn’t just run a cartel. He ran the entire city of Medellin and the province of Antioquia. He was untouchable. As one of the richest men in the world, he was more powerful than the Colombian president. But it wasn’t just his wealth that gave him power — it was his army of gunmen willing to die to carry out his orders and the overwhelming popular support he enjoyed in his home city.

In the show (and in real life), after a years long battle with the DEA and Colombian National Police, Escobar’s cartel is destroyed and he’s ultimately killed.

After Escobar’s death in the show, I thought, “Well, I guess that’s the end of the series.”

BUT…

The smaller cartels were battling for supremacy to fill in the power vacuum left by Escobar’s death. A clear victor emerges.

There’s an interesting dynamic here because it’s not just the competing cartels fighting for power. The Colombian National Police and their counter-narcotics units complete this circular firing squad where everyone is fighting against each other for power.

I look at this as an analogy of what happens when government loses legitimacy. We see it happen all over the world: the people lose faith in their public institutions — due to decades of corruption and ineptitude — and that’s one way you get failed states. That’s how you get competitors duking it out to fill a power vacuum.

Over the weekend, I perused the shelves of Barnes and Noble’s Current Affairs section, which was rife with anti-Trump books and warnings of the country’s impending fall into fascism. There were books on racism, sexism, religious bigotry (e.g., Christian), and every other flavor of imaginable intersectionality and victimhood. There were books about political resistance and civil disobedience, and books by conservative and progressive authors who lay all blame for every wrong in the world at the feet of their political opponents.

There are clearly a lot of grievances in America (real, imagined, and contrived).

Pending any change to the ballots, roughly 50 percent of the country is going to be unhappy about the results of next year’s elections. Roughly 30% is going to be irate. A smaller percentage may be moved to violence.

The legitimacy of elections may even fall into question again.

Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of government legitimacy. Politicians can have all-time lows in approval ratings, we can impeach and remove our leaders, and elected officials can run the country into the ground — but as long as there are free and fair elections, change is always just a few years away. We at least have faith in the process, even if we don’t like the results.

But what happens when that “faith in the process” ends?

What happens if next year’s elections are disrupted?

What happens if there’s terrorism on the morning of Election Day that keeps millions of Americans from voting due to fear of being harmed?

What happens if a winner is declared, but there are valid claims of voter fraud that might overturn the results?

What is the “hanging chad” equivalent of the 2020 elections?

If there’s one thing that “keeps me up at night” — more than EMP, financial collapse, or any other catastrophic threat — it’s what’s going to happen with this election.

It’s a big, Big, BIG reason to think about the local effects of these potential events. We can’t focus solely on the primary event: what are the second- and third-order consequences? (Financial, economic, etc.)

I’m reminded of the power vacuum left by the death of Pablo Escobar. Even in that hectic period, his enemies didn’t miss a beat. Ours won’t either.

 

And here’s a reminder that Forward Observer will bring their Tactical Intelligence class to Tacoma, WA next June and Coeur d’Alene, ID in April.

We the Governed: In this City Council Race – Every Politician Is Breaking the Law

From Glen Morgan at We the Governed, In this city council race – every politician is breaking the law.

In the City of Port Angeles, the politicians expect the little people to follow the law, while they apparently don’t believe the laws apply to them.

 

Port Angeles, Washington State

In many cities and counties across Washington State, primary elections are in process as voters complete and mail in their ballots.  In the City of Port Angeles there are two contested primary races for city councilHowever, in one of the council races, every politician running for office is breaking Washington State’s fair campaign practices act (RCW 42.17A).  Some are not even trying to comply with the law.  When every politician breaks the law, how can a voter decide which one is best to represent them? 

Washington State’s all-mail in ballots were sent to every registered voter (in a jurisdiction with a contested race on the primary ballot) last week.  The ballots are already trickling back into the 39 different county auditor’s ballot boxes around the state with the first scheduled announcement of election results 8pm on election night, Tuesday, August 6, 2019.  Washington State law allows ballots which are postmarked before 6pm that day to count towards the final election results (as opposed to having the ballots in-hand by that date and time), so the final election results are not known in many close races often for several weeks as the later ballots trickle in from throughout the state, and sometimes local auditor offices (typically King County, but they are not alone) suddenly find “missing” ballots in car trunks and back rooms.

In the Northwest corner of Washington State, in Clallam County– the City of Port Angeles has two primary races for city council seats.  A total of four seats are up for election in 2019 (out of a council of seven including the mayor).  Of these, two races have more than two people who have filed to run, which is why Council position no.7 and position no. 5 are on the Primary election ballot.

These candidates need to file with their local county auditor in order to legally run for office, but they are also required by Washington State Law (RCW 42.17A) to register with the Public Disclosure Commission in order to ensure that their campaign contributions, expenditures, and other information about the candidates are open, transparent, and available to review for all voters, media, and interested citizens.  Unfortunately for the voters in the City of Port Angeles, most of the politicians are running “stealth” campaigns, ignoring the law, and generally blundering through the process under the belief there are no consequences for violating the law...

 

Click here to read the entire article at We the Governed

SHTFPlan: Google Election Meddling

Mac Slavo at SHTFPlan.com has an article up summarizing some of the recent news about Google and their attempts to “prevent Trump’s election from happening again – Google Election Meddling.

 

More news has surfaced of the lengths tech giant Google is going to in order to get the outcome they want in elections. A top Google executive, Jen Gennai, was caught discussing how the tech corporation might prevent an electoral outcome like 2016 from happening again.

According to a report by Breitbart, Project Veritas discovered the propaganda/censorship scheme. Of course, this is nothing new.  We all are aware that Google is censoring dissent and hiding content while pushing pro-authoritarian content to the top of searches.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise that more evidence of the tech giants totalitarian control is surfacing.

Research Shows Google’s Search Manipulations Tried To Rig Election For Hillary

Here’s what Gennai says in the undercover video:

We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again.

We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?

Gennai also declares her opposition to Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up Google. Why? Because, says Gennai, if Google is broken up it can’t prevent another “Trump situation.”…

Click here to read the entire article at SHTFPlan.

Regular Assembly of the Whole, Dec. 13th, 2018

The next General Assembly of the Whole will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13th, 2018 at Caffe Villa, beginning at 6:30 PM. We will be electing executive officers and holding our Christmas potluck dinner.

People with last names beginning with the letters A through M should bring main dishes.
Last names beginning with letters N through Z should be sides and/or desserts.

Everyone should bring their own beverages, plates, utensils, cups, etc. There will be tables and chairs on site.

Click here to download a printable PDF copy of the agenda.