Site icon Common Sense and Ramblings In America

How We Sold Our Soul–Biden Wins in 2020

The Articles in the Category cover a vast range of history not only in our country but in the world as well. The category is entitled “How We Sold Our Soul”. In many cases our history has hinged on compromises being made by the powers at be. They say hind-sight is 20/20, which is why I am discussing these land mark decisions in this manner. The people that made these decisions in many cases thought they were doing the right thing. However in some instances they were made for expediency and little thought was given to the moral ramifications and the fallout that would result from them. I hope you enjoy these articles. The initial plan is to discuss 10 compromises, but as time progresses I am sure that number will increase.

Biden and Trump Say They’re Fighting for America’s ‘Soul.’ What Does That Mean?

The election has become a referendum on the soul of the nation.

It is a phrase that has been constantly invoked by Democratic and Republican leaders. It has become the clearest symbol of the mood of the country, and what people feel is at stake in November. Everyone, it seems, is fighting for it.

“This campaign isn’t just about winning votes. It’s about winning the heart and, yes, the soul of America,” Joseph R. Biden Jr. said in August at the Democratic National Convention, not long after the phrase “battle for the soul of America” appeared at the top of his campaign website, right next to his name.

Picking up on this, a recent Trump campaign ad spliced videos of Democrats invoking “the soul” of America, followed by images of clashes between protesters and the police and the words “Save America’s Soul,” with a request to text “SOUL” to make a campaign contribution.

That the election has become a referendum on the soul of the nation, suggests that in an increasingly secular country, voting has become a reflection of one’s individual morality — and that the outcome hinges in part on spiritual and philosophical questions that transcend politics: What, exactly, is the soul of the nation? What is the state of it? And what would it mean to save it?

The answers go beyond a campaign slogan, beyond politics and November, to the identity and future of the American experiment itself, especially now, with a pandemic that has wearied the country’s spirit.

“When I think of soul of the nation,” Joy Harjo, the United States poet laureate and a Muscogee (Creek) Nation member, said, “I think of the process of becoming, and what it is we want to become. That is where it gets tricky, and that is where I think we have reached a stalemate right now. What do people want to become?”

Ms. Harjo said the country’s soul was “at a crucial point.”

“It is like everything is broken at once,” she said. “We are at a point of great wounding, where everyone is standing and looking within themselves and each other.”

In Carlsbad, Calif., Marlo Tucker, the state director for Concerned Women for America, has been meeting regularly to pray with a group of a dozen or so women about the future of the country. The group has been working with other conservative Christian women to register voters.

“It really comes down to what do you stand for, and what do you not stand for,” she said.

“I know this is a Christian nation, the founding fathers were influenced by the biblical values,” she said. “People are confused, they are influenced by this sensationalism, they are angry, they are frustrated. They are searching for hope again in government, they are searching for leaders who actually care for their problems.”

Framing an entire campaign explicitly around a moral imperative — with language so rooted in Christianity — has been a standard part of the Republican playbook for decades. But it is a more unusual move for Democrats, who typically attract a more religious diverse coalition.

The soul, and the soul of the body politic, is an ancient philosophical and theological concept, one of the deepest ways humans have understood their individual identity, and their life together.

In biblical Hebrew the words translated as soul, nefesh and neshama, come from a root meaning “to breathe.” The Genesis story describes God breathing into the nostrils of man, making him human.

The meaning echoes through today, in a pandemic that attacks the respiratory system and police violence against Black people crying out, “I can’t breathe.”

Homeric poets saw the soul as the thing humans risk in battle, or the thing that distinguishes life from death. Plato wrote of Socrates exploring the connection between the soul and the republic in creating the virtue of justice. For St. Augustine, who wrote “The City of God,” the city could be judged by what it loves.

The soul of the nation is “a very ancient trope that is revived when all sorts of cultural ideas are in flux,” Eric Gregory, professor of religion at Princeton University, said. “It reveals something about the current political conversation, in times of crisis and change, a corruption of sickness.”

Often we stress systems and institutions, he said, but in the Trump era there has been a return to ancient concepts about the welfare of the city, where politics is about right relationships. “In ancient politics the health of society had a lot to do with the virtue of the ruler,” he said.

In the United States, the question of who could define the soul of the nation was fraught from the start, from the forced displacement of native people to the enslavement of Africans.

And the state of the soul of the nation has often been tied to the country’s oppression of Black people. Abolitionists like Frederick Douglass fought for an “invincible abhorrence of the whole system of slaveholding” to be “fixed in the soul of the nation.” Lyndon B. Johnson said the country found its “soul of honor” on the fields of Gettysburg. When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders formed what is now the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, they made their founding motto “to save the soul of America.”

This year President Trump has positioned himself as the defender of a threatened Christian America under siege. “In America, we don’t turn to government to restore our souls, we put our faith in Almighty God,” he said at the Republican National Convention. Franklin Graham, one of his evangelical supporters, wrote last year that this age is “a battle for the soul of the nation,” as the original “moral and spiritual framework, which has held our nation together for 243 years, is now unraveling.”

For Mr. Biden, the soul of the nation came into focus after the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., three years ago. “We have to show the world America is still a beacon of light,” he wrote at the time.

From the start, his campaign message has been one of broader morality, versus specific policy or ideology. When Mr. Biden says this is a battle for the soul of the nation, he is not using it religiously but as a synonym for character, said the presidential historian Jon Meacham, who has spoken often with Mr. Biden about the soul.

“People hear it as light versus dark, service versus selfishness, Trump versus the rest of the world,” he said.

“My sense is, it is much less about an Elizabeth Warren 10-point plan, or a Bernie Sanders revolution than it is a restoration of a politics that is more familiar and not so agitating,” he said. Voters “just want somebody to run the damn thing with a modicum of efficiency and sanity.”

But even amid the lofty questions of the soul, voters have problems they want solved, and systems they want changed.

North of Boston, Andrew DeFranza, executive director of Harborlight Community Partners, an organization that develops affordable housing, reflected on the disastrous impact of the coronavirus pandemic for many people, from essential workers to people with disabilities. The country’s soul is disoriented, adversarial and tired, he said.

“I don’t think Group A is going to beat Group B and everything is going to be fine,” he said of the election. “We are eager to see political leaders at every level regardless of party demonstrate concrete, actionable plans to address these issues of inequity around health and race, and to do so in a way that is concrete and has outcomes to which they can be accountable.”

In East Harlem, Dorlimar Lebrón Malavé leads First Spanish United Methodist Church, a congregation that serves many immigrants and Puerto Rican families.

“Does this country even have a soul?” she asked. “For me, I think the soul of this country has been lost for a long time.”

Though the current moment seems so dystopian, she said, it felt like a new spirit was emerging. She remembered the creation story in Genesis.

“From a religious standpoint, God created out of chaos. There wasn’t something that was existing before and was reformed,” she said. “When people talk about reforming police, there is no reforming police, there is an opportunity to abolish it and to create something new, from scratch.”

Ms. Lebrón Malavé sighed when she thought of Mr. Biden’s emphasis on restoring the soul with little concrete discussion of policies.

“People want to hear that there is something left to fight for because it is so hard for us to imagine what it would have to be like to dismantle the whole thing,” she said. “He is appealing to a particular mind-set of people who were not taught to fathom a possibility of a new world outside of what we already know.”

For others, the soul is where it all begins.

In Kenosha, Wis., not long after a police officer shot a Black man, Jacob Blake, leaving him paralyzed, a group of interfaith clergy held a prayer service in a parking lot, under a clear blue sky.

“The soul of Kenosha is at stake,” Patrick Roberts of First Baptist Church said to the gathering.

He shared his rare experience of being a Black pastor of a majority-white congregation. Sunday morning remains one of the most segregated hours in the country, he said, and healing the soul of the community would require more than simply a social program or a jobs program for the unemployed.

You would know the soul was healed, he said, when a person of any race could walk anywhere in Kenosha and feel safe.

Later, in an interview, he reflected on Mr. Biden’s campaign promise.

“We don’t know the policies he will come up with,” he said. “I think he is just talking on basic terms, getting back to terms of human decency, interaction that is respectable, regardless of your income, your ideology, your color.”

“For me,” he said, “that is good enough.”

Biden Sells the Soul of the Presidency

A vote for him was really a vote for his radical donors.

There has never been a president of the United States who spoke of the soul as much as Joseph R. Biden. In dozens of campaign speeches, including his Gettysburg speech, when Biden spoke of being engaged in a “battle for the soul of the nation,” the idea of “battling for the soul” has been a preeminent theme. Likewise, in one of her first tweets after being named Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris tweeted out the phrase. Although the hyperbolic phrase of “battling for the soul” is a common one for a number of politicians on both sides of the aisle, Biden not only uses the phrase more than any of his predecessors — inserting the “battle for the soul of the nation” into everything from campaign speeches to the campaign website — but he has extended the idea of the battle to refer to the battle he is waging within his own soul.

Indeed, in his inaugural speech on January 20, Biden spoke directly of his soul: “On this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together.” Claiming that in order to “restore the soul and to secure the future of America,” we need unity, Biden’s lofty language on Inauguration Day would truly have been inspiring if only it were true. But, within hours of his call for unity, President Biden issued a series of executive orders designed to divide women against men, poor against rich, Blacks against Whites, people of faith against those with none, and the transgender community against the rest of us — all the while sacrificing the conscience rights of people of faith and the right to life for unborn children.

For President Biden, the battle for the soul of America has never been about uniting our nation. Rather, President Biden’s battle has been to claim the soul of America for those he sold it to. Like Theophilus the Penitent, a parish priest in Sicily in the sixth century who is said to have sold his soul to Satan in order to gain a higher position in the Church, President Biden appears to have made a pact with those who helped him get elected.

The debt has now come due. The executive orders — demonstrating exactly to whom Biden is now beholden — are just the start. Still, it is helpful to look closely at exactly who is holding President Biden hostage.

Planned Parenthood, of course, was a big player in this election. Buying Biden’s allegiance — and presumably his soul — the Planned Parenthood Action Fund tripled election spending in 2020 pumping more than $45 million to help Biden defeat President Donald Trump. This was three times what Planned Parenthood spent in the 2016 presidential election and eight times what it spent in the 2018 congressional races. President Biden has already promised to overturn all of the pro-life policies of the Trump administration and marked the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling establishing the right to an abortion in Roe v. Wade by promising to enshrine abortion rights into federal law.

Beyond abortion, transgender activists were also big partners in the Biden deal, and the debt is already being repaid. LGBTQ activist and philanthropist Jon Stryker — the billionaire heir to his family’s multi-billion-dollar medical corporation — made a “six-figure” personal campaign contribution to the Biden campaign. But that is nothing compared to the millions Stryker has pumped into the current campaign for transgender rights through his LGBTQ NGO, the Arcus Foundation. According to investigative journalist Jennifer Bilek, “Arcus deploys millions of philanthropic dollars each year to filter gender identity and transgender ideology into American law through their training of leaders in political activism, political leadership, transgender law, religious liberty, education, and civil rights.” Arcus funds organizations including the Victory Fund, the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, the Council for Global Equality, the Transgender Law Center, the Trans Justice Funding Project, and the OutRight Action International as well as Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, Amnesty International, and GLSEN — all of whom helped to elect President Biden and are now looking to be repaid in expanding rights for the transgender community.

Researchers are already promising that there can be a future where women are not needed for reproduction. The transgender movement — through President Biden — is paving the way for that future.

It is no surprise that one of President Biden’s first executive orders was to effectively rebrand the fetish of transsexualism by attempting to normalize it. But, in order to do that, President Biden has had to sell out his female supporters by sacrificing female biology and in some ways denying women’s very existence. Last year, three female high school track and field competitors in Connecticut filed a federal Title IX Discrimination Complaint seeking to block biological male athletes from participating in girls’ sports. The complaint maintains that allowing biological male athletes to compete against girls violates Title IX. A judge has agreed with the female athletes, but Biden’s executive order threatens to reverse that and destroy the hard-won gains women have made through Title IX — effectively destroying women’s sports.

Most feminists understand what is happening here, but those who have spoken out have been villainized and called “TERFs” — an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminists — a slur used to demonize those who disagree with the gender identity industry. President Biden may not realize that he has sold his soul to profiteers in the abortion and the gender identity industries with an eye to the elimination of the need for biological women. Researchers are already promising that there can be a future where women are not needed for reproduction. The transgender movement — through President Biden — is paving the way for that future. Promising a spectrum of sexual identity in which sex is not needed for procreation, the industry promises a time when women will become obsolete — and that is exactly what the transgender activists are hoping for — a non-binary world in which gender is on a spectrum and in which we have been completely dissociated from our bodies.

It is likely that President Biden does not even realize the peril he has put the country in with his divisive and dangerous executive orders. He may not even realize that he has sold his soul to those with evil intentions — those willing to sacrifice unborn children for financial gain and willing to sacrifice women’s well-being for a promised transgender/trans-human utopia.

It is not too late to reverse some of this, but most do not even realize what is happening. In time, the sixth century Theophilus realized the costs he had incurred by making a pact with the devil. For 40 days he renewed his supplications and begged for forgiveness. Whether President Biden will ever realize the deadly deal he has made remains to be seen.

How we sold our souls – and more – to the internet giants

From TVs that listen in on us to a doll that records your child’s questions, data collection has become both dangerously intrusive and highly profitable. Is it time for governments to act to curb online surveillance?

Last year, when my refrigerator broke, the repair man replaced the computer that controls it. I realised that I had been thinking about the refrigerator backwards: it’s not a refrigerator with a computer, it’s a computer that keeps food cold. Just like that, everything is turning into a computer. Your phone is a computer that makes calls. Your car is a computer with wheels and an engine. Your oven is a computer that cooks lasagne. Your camera is a computer that takes pictures. Even our pets and livestock are now regularly chipped; my cat could be considered a computer that sleeps in the sun all day.

Computers are being embedded into all sort of products that connect to the internet. Nest, which Google purchased last year for more than $3bn, makes an internet-enabled thermostat. You can buy a smart air conditioner that learns your preferences and maximizes energy efficiency. Fitness tracking devices, such as Fitbit or Jawbone, collect information about your movements, awake and asleep, and use that to analyze both your exercise and sleep habits. Many medical devices are starting to be internet-enabled, collecting and reporting a variety of biometric data. There are – or will be soon – devices that continually measure our vital signs, moods and brain activity.

This year, we have had two surprising stories of technology monitoring our activity: Samsung televisions that listen to conversations in the room and send them elsewhere for transcription – just in case someone is telling the TV to change the channel – and a Barbie that records your child’s questions and sells them to third parties.

All these computers produce data about what they’re doing and a lot of it is surveillance data. It’s the location of your phone, who you’re talking to and what you’re saying, what you’re searching and writing. It’s your heart rate. Corporations gather, store and analyse this data, often without our knowledge, and typically without our consent. Based on this data, they draw conclusions about us that we might disagree with or object to and that can affect our lives in profound ways. We may not like to admit it, but we are under mass surveillance.

Internet surveillance has evolved into a shockingly extensive, robust and profitable surveillance architecture. You are being tracked pretty much everywhere you go, by many companies and data brokers: 10 different companies on one website, a dozen on another. Facebook tracks you on every site with a Facebook Like button (whether you’re logged in to Facebook or not), while Google tracks you on every site that has a Google Plus g+ button or that uses Google Analytics to monitor its own web traffic.

Illustration by Tomi Umi

Most of the companies tracking you have names you’ve never heard of: Rubicon Project, AdSonar, Quantcast, Undertone, Traffic Marketplace. If you want to see who’s tracking you, install one of the browser plug-ins that let you monitor cookies. I guarantee you will be startled. One reporter discovered that 105 different companies tracked his internet use during one 36-hour period. In 2010, the seemingly innocuous site installed more than 200 tracking cookies on your browser when you visited.

It’s no different on your smartphone. The apps there track you as well. They track your location and sometimes download your address book, calendar, bookmarks and search history. In 2013, the rapper Jay Z and Samsung teamed up to offer people who downloaded an app the ability to hear the new Jay Z album before release. The app required that users give Samsung consent to view all accounts on the phone, track its location and who the user was talking to. The Angry Birds game even collects location data when you’re not playing. It’s less Big Brother and more hundreds of tittletattle little brothers.

Most internet surveillance data is inherently anonymous, but companies are increasingly able to correlate the information gathered with other information that positively identifies us. You identify yourself willingly to lots of internet services. Often you do this with only a username, but increasingly usernames can be tied to your real name. Google tried to enforce this with its “real name policy”, which required users register for Google Plus with their legal names, until it rescinded that policy in 2014. Facebook pretty much demands real names. Whenever you use your credit card number to buy something, your real identity is tied to any cookies set by companies involved in that transaction. And any browsing you do on your smartphone is tied to you as the phone’s owner, although the website might not know it.

Surveillance is the business model of the internet for two primary reasons: people like free and people like convenient. The truth is, though, that people aren’t given much of a choice. It’s either surveillance or nothing and the surveillance is conveniently invisible so you don’t have to think about it. And it’s all possible because laws have failed to keep up with changes in business practices.

In general, privacy is something people tend to undervalue until they don’t have it anymore. Arguments such as “I have nothing to hide” are common, but aren’t really true. People living under constant surveillance quickly realise that privacy isn’t about having something to hide. It’s about individuality and personal autonomy. It’s about being able to decide who to reveal yourself to and under what terms. It’s about being free to be an individual and not having to constantly justify yourself to some overseer.

This tendency to undervalue privacy is exacerbated by companies deliberately making sure that privacy is not salient to users. When you log on to Facebook, you don’t think about how much personal information you’re revealing to the company; you chat with your friends. When you wake up in the morning, you don’t think about how you’re going to allow a bunch of companies to track you throughout the day; you just put your cell phone in your pocket.

But by accepting surveillance-based business models, we hand over even more power to the powerful. Google controls two-thirds of the US search market. Almost three-quarters of all internet users have Facebook accounts. Amazon controls about 30% of the US book market, and 70% of the ebook market. Comcast owns about 25% of the US broadband market. These companies have enormous power and control over us simply because of their economic position.

Our relationship with many of the internet companies we rely on is not a traditional company-customer relationship. That’s primarily because we’re not customers – we’re products those companies sell to their real customers. The companies are analogous to feudal lords and we are their vassals, peasants and – on a bad day – serfs. We are tenant farmers for these companies, working on their land by producing data that they in turn sell for profit.

Yes, it’s a metaphor, but it often really feels like that. Some people have pledged allegiance to Google. They have Gmail accounts, use Google Calendar and Google Docs and have Android phones. Others have pledged similar allegiance to Apple. They have iMacs, iPhones and iPads and let iCloud automatically synchronise and back up everything. Still others let Microsoft do it all. Some of us have pretty much abandoned email altogether for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We might prefer one feudal lord to the others. We might distribute our allegiance among several of these companies or studiously avoid a particular one we don’t like. Regardless, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid pledging allegiance to at least one of them.

After all, customers get a lot of value out of having feudal lords. It’s simply easier and safer for someone else to hold our data and manage our devices. We like having someone else take care of our device configurations, software management, and data storage. We like it when we can access our email anywhere, from any computer, and we like it that Facebook just works, from any device, anywhere. We want our calendar entries to appear automatically on all our devices. Cloud storage sites do a better job of backing up our photos and files than we can manage by ourselves; Apple has done a great job of keeping malware out of its iPhone app store. We like automatic security updates and automatic backups; the companies do a better job of protecting our devices than we ever did. And we’re really happy when, after we lose a smartphone and buy a new one, all of our data reappears on it at the push of a button.

In this new world of computing, we’re no longer expected to manage our computing environment. We trust the feudal lords to treat us well and protect us from harm. It’s all a result of two technological trends.

The first is the rise of cloud computing. Basically, our data is no longer stored and processed on our computers. That all happens on servers owned by many different companies. The result is that we no longer control our data. These companies access our data—both content and metadata—for whatever profitable purpose they want. They have carefully crafted terms of service that dictate what sorts of data we can store on their systems, and can delete our entire accounts if they believe we violate them. And they turn our data over to law enforcement without our knowledge or consent. Potentially even worse, our data might be stored on computers in a country whose data protection laws are less than rigorous.

The second trend is the rise of user devices that are managed closely by their vendors: iPhones, iPads, Android phones, Kindles, ChromeBooks, and the like. The result is that we no longer control our computing environment. We have ceded control over what we can see, what we can do, and what we can use. Apple has rules about what software can be installed on iOS devices. You can load your own documents onto your Kindle, but Amazon is able to delete books it has already sold you. In 2009, Amazon automatically deleted some editions of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four from users’ Kindles because of a copyright issue. I know, you just couldn’t write this stuff any more ironically.

It’s not just hardware. It’s getting hard to just buy a piece of software and use it on your computer in any way you like. Increasingly, vendors are moving to a subscription model—Adobe did that with Creative Cloud in 2013—that gives the vendor much more control. Microsoft hasn’t yet given up on a purchase model, but is making its MS Office subscription very attractive. And Office 365’s option of storing your documents in the Microsoft cloud is hard to turn off. Companies are pushing us in this direction because it makes us more profitable as customers or users.

Given current laws, trust is our only option. There are no consistent or predictable rules. We have no control over the actions of these companies. I can’t negotiate the rules regarding when Yahoo will access my photos on Flickr. I can’t demand greater security for my presentations on Prezi or my task list on Trello. I don’t even know the cloud providers to whom those companies have outsourced their infrastructures. If any of those companies delete my data, I don’t have the right to demand it back. If any of those companies give the government access to my data, I have no recourse. And if I decide to abandon those services, chances are I can’t easily take my data with me.

Political scientist Henry Farrell observed: “Much of our life is conducted online, which is another way of saying that much of our life is conducted under rules set by large private businesses, which are subject neither to much regulation nor much real market competition.”

The common defence is something like “business is business”. No one is forced to join Facebook or use Google search or buy an iPhone. Potential customers are choosing to enter into these quasi-feudal user relationships because of the enormous value they receive from them. If they don’t like it, goes the argument, they shouldn’t do it.

This advice is not practical. It’s not reasonable to tell people that if they don’t like their data being collected, they shouldn’t email, shop online, use Facebook or have a mobile phone. I can’t imagine students getting through school anymore without an internet search or Wikipedia, much less finding a job afterwards. These are the tools of modern life. They’re necessary to a career and a social life. Opting out just isn’t a viable choice for most of us, most of the time; it violates what have become very real norms of contemporary life.

Right now, choosing among providers is not a choice between surveillance or no surveillance, but only a choice of which feudal lords get to spy on you. This won’t change until we have laws to protect both us and our data from these sorts of relationships. Data is power and those that have our data have power over us. It’s time for government to step in and balance things out.

The truth about the 2020 election is far more sinister than you think

The election in the United States was manipulated massively in order to favor Joe Biden. And not only that, the mainstream media’s narrative about the election is false but its power of influence is so immense, it’s creating dvision among the best defenders of the truth.

This past week has been unbelievable! We need to pray like never before. The truth has become obvious in some ways, yet the falsehoods are so effective that the vast majority of good people are being deceived. 

What is currently happening in the U.S. seems capable enough of destroying the conservative movement. It also has the potential to be used by the Left all over the world as a cudgel to make defenders of faith, life, and family out to be crazed violent enemies of the people. 

But anyone should be able to see, at the same time, the very tools used to steal the election of 2020, since they are now at play like never before. The mainstream media, and even more than that, the social media monopolies, have been the biggest manipulators of a fair election. They have lied outright and concealed the truth. They have censored even the President of the United States with impunity – and no one on either side even disputes this.  

Moreover, earlier this year I interviewed on this show Robert Epstein, an atheist Jewish Democrat who, despite his political leanings, was appalled at the election manipulation being undertaken by Google and the other Big Tech social media giants such as Twitter and FaceBook. He scientifically demonstrated the massive vote manipulation that was possible and showed that it was in effect.  

Beyond even this, we had the hearings into voter fraud which showed testimony of hundreds of sworn affidavits and the manipulations in courts which forbade the evidence from ever being presented. Furthermore, we had video of the fraud being carried out and a heroic sting operation which demonstrated the voter fraud live for all to see. Except hardly any did see it. Why? Because the mainstream media is under almost total control by the left. 

At LifeSite we’ve known this for 25 years. It was the reason why we began this media mission. Yet, despite our best efforts most of the good, God-fearing people cannot see what is happening.

So, let me try to show you some of that – just enough so you can at least know that you’ve missed something, something big you need to look into, something that may help you understand why Americans are concerned enough to finally raise their voices to protest the stealing of their democracy. 

People suggest constantly that there is no evidence of voter fraud. That argument hinges on the lower courts having rejected the attempts to demonstrate that. Well, there is testimony from a lawyer for the Trump team working in Nevada. He details all the ways his team verified the fraud, and then tells of how they were unable to use the evidence in court because their access to the information was delayed so long that the date set by the court to submit the evidence had passed.

And even beyond that, there is much evidence of the voter fraud and manipulation on video. We saw Republican poll watchers being denied access over and over again. And let me give a hat tip here to Project Veritas which conducted many sting operations demonstrating massive voter fraud in the act.

So, yes, America is being fraudulently handed over to the Global Reset crowd with Joe Biden being the lead puppet for the moment. And the biggest culprit is the mainstream media and the tech giants that have manipulated the election, controlled the flow of information, and used their near-total monopoly to bamboozle the public worldwide. They are pulling accounts on the political right and center.

This is a battle for truth. Not for Donald Trump. At LifeSite, we have openly criticized Trump for pushing the LGBT agenda and will always do that without apology. But blaming Trump for the current situation is ludicrous. The manipulation here is more plain and obvious than it has ever been before.   

And in all this I must say we feel totally helpless, like little mice before a goliath. But that is exactly where I’m happy to be. Small and outnumbered is the perfect time for Our Lord to act. In the end, He is victorious. In the end Christ wins.  

Where do we go from here?  The best course of action for freedom-loving pro-lifers, I believe, is simply this:  

  1. Pray for America and strive for sanctity in our daily lives.  
  2. Love your family, and love your neighbors.  
  3. Speak truth to power, no matter the cost, gathering inspiration from people like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Bishop Athanasius Schneider.   
  4. Prepare for darkness and more persecution knowing, however, that in the end Christ will be victorious 
  5. Continue to condemn senseless political violence (and acknowledge it is far from concentrated, normal, or prevalent on the American “right,” no matter what mainstream media tell us), voter fraud, and tyranny in  all of  its  many  forms.  

‘There’s an art to not alarming people’: the duo who pranked Trump, Cruz and the NRA

The Good Liars – AKA Jason Selvig and Davram Stiefler – have mined a rich seam by infiltrating rightwing events and satirizing them with a straight face


Wed 15 Jun 2022 02.00 EDT

They have told Donald Trump he’s boring, obtained Dr Ben Carson’s signature to authorize a weed prescription, and attempted an exorcism on Ted Cruz.

Jason Selvig and Davram Stiefler, AKA the Good Liars, have been working together since the era of Occupy Wall Street. Interviewing rightwing activists and slipping undercover into political rallies, their brand of satire exists somewhere between The Daily Show’s correspondent segments and the character-driven comedy of Sacha Baron Cohen.

At an event for Ted Cruz – a frequent target – Stiefler managed to get onstage next to the senator and ask the crowd: “What made everyone so weird and sad that they had to come out here?” During a moment of prayer with the then presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, Selvig asked God to “give the candidates the strength to know when to quit”. But you might know them best from a recent appearance at an NRA convention in Houston, days after the school shooting in Texas.

Addressing attendees as well as the NRA’s executive vice-president himself, Selvig made an impassioned speech, condemning “the leftwing media” for “saying Wayne LaPierre isn’t doing enough to stop these mass shootings”.

He reeled off a seemingly endless list of tragedies before reminding the crowd that “the NRA under Wayne LaPierre’s leadership has provided thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. And maybe these mass shootings would stop happening if we all thought a little bit more and we prayed a little bit more.”

Many in the audience appeared to miss the satire. But when a clip of the speech emerged online, the rest of the world certainly didn’t. As of Monday, the video had received nearly 10m views on Twitter alone.

It was hardly planned in advance. “We didn’t know that I was going to have that opportunity to be on a microphone with Wayne LaPierre until I walked into the room,” Selvig tells the Guardian. He spent the moments before his speech trying to craft remarks that “matched the tone” of the others there – apparently successfully, given the applause afterward.

Selvig and Stiefler – born in the 80s, though they found themselves temporarily unable to speak when asked their exact ages – met through friends on the comedy scene in New York City. They became friends playing basketball together before conducting their first joint project, during Occupy Wall Street. Selvig and Stiefler posed as bankers, telling the media they represented the “Occupy Occupy Wall Street” movement and were proud to be part of the 1%. Speaking to protesters while wearing “thrift store suits”, they would lament their plight: “‘We’re gonna have to stop doing so much cocaine if we can’t afford it any more because you guys are out here,’” Stiefler recalls saying. “Kind of, like, over-the-top stuff that ended up being taken seriously.”

They were surprised when actual bankers fell for the joke and joined them. “We sold merch, like to be funny – we thought we would sell zero of them. But we sold a bunch of, like, $300 cufflinks that said ‘1%’ on them, you know, playing this part,” Stiefler says. “We were trying to be found out and we couldn’t.” Finally, Rachel Maddow caught on.

“Ever since then, we’ve felt like there was comedy to be mined from real situations,” Stiefler says. “And it was almost like we back-doored our way into being kind of socially, politically aware, because if we’re gonna go to events, interact with real people, it’s much more satisfying if we’re able to stick it to the right people.”

That led to a new project a few years later: a film in which the pair, playing the roles of undecided and not-so-bright voters, pranked the 2016 presidential candidates. “That was kind of the beginning of the way we’re doing things now,” Stiefler says.

That film led to the Cruz exorcism attempt, as well as firing guns with Rick Santorum while in character as worshipful fans, calling him “Dad”, and a query to Marco Rubio about a girlfriend who had fallen for the candidate: “What can I do to win her back? You won her away from me.”

The amount of preparation that goes into each encounter varies widely. For the film, much of the planning was an effort to find “the funniest interaction that hopefully has some social commentary woven into it”, Selvig says, but also fit with the fictional character’s motivations.

But plenty of improvisation is involved. Selvig describes the moment when they stood at the front of a Trump rally, in suits and bright red Maga hats, and began loudly complaining that he was boring – derailing the speech before Trump instructed security to get rid of them.

“We had kind of a plan going in for something to do,” Selvig says, but that changed when they arrived on the scene. “We didn’t realize that it was going to be so boring. He actually is very boring live, because he just repeats the same things you’ve heard over and over and over again.” It occurred to them that pointing that out would be “the most insulting thing” for Trump. “It would hurt his feelings the most. And that was important,” Selvig says.

Both men have backgrounds in improvisation, particularly Stiefler, who was on several teams as part of New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade. Selvig has a degree in drama from Syracuse University. But theatrical work can only take you so far when your scene partners are America’s political leaders.

“We’re not working necessarily with the people in the same way you do onstage at a UCB improv show. It’s just kind of a different beast,” Stiefler says.

“Ted Cruz is a horrible improv,” Selvig adds.

So what is it like performing with someone like that – how do Selvig and Stiefler maintain their remarkable composure?

It can be frightening, Stiefler says, particularly given all the concerns leading up to the key moment – getting through campaign security, occupying spaces where they aren’t supposed to be. “So yeah, our hearts are kind of beating and everything,” he says.

But “once you’ve started, it would be weirder to bail than it would be just to see it through. It would be stranger and more alarming to people, I think, if you give up halfway through,” he adds. “I’ve never found it hard to keep a straight face, because once you’re in, you’re in.”

That certainly applied to Selvig’s NRA speech, which went on for two minutes without interruption. “I didn’t really have time to worry about it, because by the time I’d gotten the creative down, I was in front of the microphone speaking,” Selvig says.

But there was a very different reason to be fearful: everyone in that room, as Stiefler puts it, was “decidedly armed”.

“There’s definitely an art to not alarming people too much and not seeming threatening in any way. But [Jason] being able to get on the microphone like that, I think it was such a just a perfect way of getting a chance to say what 60% of the country would love to say to Wayne LaPierre,” Stiefler says. The speech took place at an event where NRA members were voicing their opinions on his leadership, so LaPierre “really had to sit there. Listen to it. Take it all in.”

Last year, the two found themselves on the fringes of a particularly unsafe environment: they were near the Capitol on January 6, speaking to those in the area before the riot. “We were talking to people and it was like – it had a feeling like something bad was gonna happen,” Stiefler says. “And as bad as it was, I was kind of grateful that we were there to document some of it.” He recalled speaking to one man who gave a monologue about Trump’s greatness and how he would “die in his boots” for the country; others described “1776 2.0”.

“It just gives you a window into what’s going on, how convinced people are of this,” Stiefler says. “Being there that day is something I will never, never forget.”

They watched people break through a police line and saw people speaking in tongues. Their microphones made them a target and they were surrounded and threatened. “I didn’t sleep for a week afterwards,” Selvig says. “Cops were crying – military, these grown tough dudes are crying because they’d lost control and didn’t know if their friends were all being killed inside … nobody knew what was happening.”

At a time like this, can comedy cut through the madness? Stiefler and Selvig see reason for at least a little hope.

“We have fans that will reach out and say we have kept them caring at all about politics – they would have unplugged a long time ago if they didn’t have a way of interacting with it that wasn’t so depressing,” Stiefler says.

At Trump rallies, younger supporters of the ex-president will approach them and say how much they love the videos. “That’s got to be a good thing, if these people are decidedly not identifying with the really out-there stuff that we’re making fun of,” Stiefler adds.

“It’s not like we’re trying to make Democrats out of everybody. We just think these certain people, and these certain ideas, need to be called out.”

Resources, “Biden and Trump Say They’re Fighting for America’s ‘Soul.’ What Does That Mean? The election has become a referendum on the soul of the nation.” By Elizabeth Dias;, “Biden Sells the Soul of the Presidency: A vote for him was really a vote for his radical donors.” By Anne Hendershott;, “How we sold our souls – and more – to the internet giants: From TVs that listen in on us to a doll that records your child’s questions, data collection has become both dangerously intrusive and highly profitable. Is it time for governments to act to curb online surveillance?” By Bruce Schneier;, “The truth about the 2020 election is far more sinister than you think.” By John-Henry Westen;, “‘There’s an art to not alarming people’: the duo who pranked Trump, Cruz and the NRA.” By bMatthew Cantor;

How We Sold Our Soul Postings

Exit mobile version