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The Lie of the Land

Island Life

I will admit it- I was trying to be clever with the title, switching lie for lay and thus making a phrase that is used to signify a perusal or survey of the condition or state of affairs of some situation, into the implied description of the latest verbal or written emissions from the current occupant of the oval office, and who we have previously identified solely as 45*. One can only hope that Hair Furor is drawing ever closer to truly earning his asterisk, but in the mean time, as one who grew up under the legends of Washington’s youthful chopping of the cherry tree and Honest Abe, the idea of anyone reveling in the role of prevaricator in chief while his toddler minders spin it and the media normalize or apologize for it- all of this serves to continuously engulf and devour my psyche in bafflement.

What continues to frustrate this humanoid is the nightly mandated residency in front of the glaring idiot box screen as breaking news banner after breaking news banner creeps across the pixeled expanse and a familiar parade of talking news heads  play to the growing urgency of each revelation, and the glimmer of an assurance that some sort of justice is afoot, only to awake the next morning to find the apparent sand castles they had been building the night before had once again become a nondescript part of the beach. In the meantime, just as the sun rises in the east, Hair Twitler has accosted the social media world with two fingered quotes ranging from “cherry trees, I wouldn’t know one if I saw one” to “which cherry tree are you talking about, because I think you should look at the peach trees Hillary wasted”.

Speaking of peaches, the grand and glorious and most expensive U. S. congressional race ever which was just run in the peach state is now being flaunted as yet another endorsement for 45*, although it is perhaps getting more cred along those lines than it deserves. The excuse the Democrats use for their less than winning showing is that it was, after all, a heavily Republican district, and Mr. Ossoff shouldn’t be blamed for fighting the good fight and still losing. While I’m sure he didn’t get one, this seems to be the grown up equivalent of being presented a participant trophy. It is a sad commentary on these times though when you have to also look beyond what is obvious and, more importantly, what is not reported and try to think in other terms.

Reporting that I found in the alternative news sources the Nation and Think Progress (as opposed to an alternative fact sources) stated that before she was candidate Handel, the Republican contender had been the Georgia Secretary of State from 2007-2010. During that time she had attempted to purge voter rolls of minorities, those likely to vote for Democrats, and had actively questioned residency requirements in order to keep Democratic candidates from even registering to enter a race, something she continued to do with Mr. Ossoff, although he seemed  to have a reasonable explanation for his situation. Also, in the run up to this most recent election, Georgia courts had upheld an extension of the voter registration period. While this change had been enacted to allow more people the time to be able to become eligible to vote, Ms. Handel stated that this ruling was “shaping election rules to achieve a partisan result.” It was also noted that up to 10,000 Korean-American voters had been left off the voter rolls prior to the multi-candidate primary held earlier this year. It is possible that if they had been included, John Ossoff would have won the primary outright and would have eliminated the need for this second election. Further along in the reporting it is stated that a similar purge of 40,000 African-American voters took place prior to this latest special election, and had these voters been allowed to vote as they should have we most likely would have seen a drastically different outcome this second time around as well.

There is also the question of the Russian hacking of last year’s presidential election. It seems from what I have heard and seen that there is no question that this breach occurred.

We also have been told that 39 states were affected by this cyber incursion. What I cannot seem to find anywhere though is which states were the ones that were affected. I have seen mention of Illinois as a major example, but we are talking about nearly four fifths of this country, which in the simplest terms is overwhelmingly disturbing at best. And beyond the number of possible intrusions that happened in 2016, I can find no assurance anywhere that this couldn’t, or hasn’t happened again, since I have also not heard of anyone actually doing anything about it. So how do we know that there were not other outside influences at play in Georgia this time as well?

I just don’t know anymore. During the 2016, the 45* repeatedly repeated toward the end that the election was rigged. It turned out it was, but nobody seems to be doing anything about it, except maybe the Supreme Court and the current case they are looking into regarding the Republican redrawing of the voting maps, where in 2016, in spite of their getting only 48.6% of the statewide vote they still won 60% of the state Assembly seats, which in some way kind of looks like an illustration of Ms. Handel’s complaint about “shaping election rules to achieve a partisan result.” While an end to partisan manipulation of voting districts would be a welcome change, it would only be a start to fixing a much greater problem. Perhaps there is a kernel of hope in all of this after all. There’d better be.