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The Process is the Punishment

The Process is the Punishment


Many folks forwarded me James Howard Kunstler’s recent piece entitled “Whatever it Takes Won’t be Enough” that got picked up by ZH and in which certain notorious internet felines got a shout-out. I found it provocative and insightful, so I’d like to see if I can add to/extend some of his ideas somewhat.

I think James is very much onto something with this “lawfare” idea of weaponizing courts and judicial process against we the people. This practice seems to have been a Soros centerpiece for some time in his push to dominate DA races and judgeships as a cheap way to have big effects, grant license to the favored, and criminalize dissent.

In a legalistic technocracy such as ours, the power to determine what is and is not investigated and what is and is not charged is the true prerogative of princes. 

It determines who may act abhorrently and who must be always looking over their shoulder for fear of a tap from leviathan.

One can see firsthand the effects it has on cities and people. I watched it gut San Francisco, a city I had truly loved living in in the 90s and turn it into a decriminalized crime zone where auto break-ins and later outright daylight robbery of stores became as common as pigeons and parking tickets.

James makes a laundry list of court cases and actions used against various political opponents. Feel as one may about Donnie T, but there has never in US history been anything like the endless and repeated assault on him over trumped up (sorry) nonsense. Never in the time of our once proud republic (increasingly sliding toward banana status) has anything even remotely like this been inflicted upon a President, sitting or otherwise. And believe you me, it’s not because Trump is somehow more corrupt than others. By Biden or Clinton standards, the man is a Boy Scout. 

One cannot help but be struck by the absurdity of the cases brought and their perennial paucity of evidence bordering upon and often crossing boldly over into outright fabrication and inversion. Truly, the doctrine of “Always accuse the other side of that which you are guilty” remains alive and well.

Many seem to claim victories when such subterfuge and skullduggery is revealed, but I fear there is a deeper game which has nothing to do with winning in court or upon the merits of facts. 

The real plan is to make the process the punishment. 

And this plan is working like the well-oiled (and endlessly oily) machine that it is.

Let’s take an example raised by Kunstler in his piece, that of Brandon Straka (bold mine).

Those of you with a deep interest in blob lawfare treachery may also be interested in the courtroom win, this week, by Brandon Straka, who launched the 2018 “Walk Away” movement to persuade gays to leave the Democratic Party. He was present on the US Capitol grounds the day of the Jan 6/21 riot, and was later sued by eight “black and brown” Capitol Police officers, with the help of a Soros-funded nonprofit law firm, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 

Straka was accused of causing the officers’ injuries (pepper spray and “exhaustion”) and of conspiring to deprive them of their civil rights (under the KKK Act of 1871). It came out in the course of testimony that seven of the officers were on the other side of the enormous Capitol building from Mr. Straka’s position the entire time alleged, and that one of the officers was not even present at the Capitol or even in the District of Columbia at the time. Such are the sordid dreams of lawfare warriors and their useful idiots. . . .

At first blush, sure, this is a win. The over-aggressive prosecutors making outlandish claims were shown to be trafficking in fiction and invoking all manner of truly ridiculous pretexts to place peaceful people in peril of losing their freedom.

But what if it was not a win?  What if it was, in fact, a plan working just as intended because the case (like so many like it) was always absurd. It was never for winning.  It’s to make your life a living hell, drain your resources, and cow anyone else considering similar activism into frightened silence by the simple expedient of making it clear as summer sunshine that you do not need to do anything wrong to be summarily grabbed and tossed into the masticating machinery of the state where even if you prevail, you’ll have spent two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting this fallacious fusillade of accusation leveled against you.

I may let you go, but not until I bat you around…

Who cares if you ultimately get away? 

You’ve been pounded to bits anyway and you’ve been taken out of play all the while. Those in court fighting for their freedom are generally well-advised to cease protest and activism while proceedings are ongoing. This is an entirely rigged and one-sided game and the very fact that you yourself do not get to decide whether you want to play or not is what makes it all the scarier.

Mere proximity leaves you liable. 

Simply landing on an enemies list makes you a target. 

You do not need to do anything apart from upset powerful people to land in this torture track. 

The case of Courts of America vs Anyone Who Made Our Political Paymasters Mad brought to you by “Activism, Inc” and funded by “Murky PAC and Bond Villain Alinskyite Horrors LLC” can pounce upon you and even if you manage to prevail, so what? We still got to beat the living hell out of you, exhaust you, take your treasure, drag your reputation through manufactured mud that washes off no more easily for having been made up, AND we get to put the frighteners upon any who might be inclined to emulate you. And meanwhile, we and ours may do exactly those things of which we have accused you with perfect impunity and even accolade as we wrap ourselves in the mantle of power and profess it to be justice. 

Could one imagine a more potent path to demoralizing a populace? The very capriciousness and hypocrisy of it is not a bug – it’s a feature. This is how aristocracies have entrenched themselves since time immemorial.

Straka was fortunate enough to be able to defend himself. But how many could not? How many January 6th protesters, when faced with this massive full-court press and the vertiginously high stakes of the game were intimidated (or even forced) into taking deals by their terror of the risks and their inability to retain the sort of expensive legal representation required to survive a gauntlet such as this? 

If you were facing 20, 30, or 50 years in federal prison or fines that would leave you destitute and then some if you lost, would you take a bad deal for small punishment despite having done nothing wrong, or would you roll the dice of your life on a public defender and go against the full disingenuous wrath of the federal prosecutorial machinery and the expensive lawyers bought by the likes of Soros and his phalanx of non-profit partisans? Because those people do not play nice.

They do not play nice because they want you to be afraid. and they want you to be afraid because fearful people dare not speak against what is being done to them.

And if you think this is just the criminal system playing this game, perhaps take a step back and look around. Selective enforcement and process as punishment has become the modus operandi for most of the Federal machinery. The hypocrisy is not a mistake, it’s a bludgeon. The awfulness and intractability and the expense of the process is not a flaw in the design – it’s the point of the design.

The IRS plays this game and is gearing up to play it harder. The FDA permits a favored few to cut corners while pile-driving the rest. The EPA, the SEC, even the FBI now play this game. To even be accused is to lose. Just having them come and “ask some questions” can cost hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars. This is how “rule by regulator” works. 

  • Nice factory you got there. Be a shame if your political views made it such that someone came along and demanded an environmental impact assessment.
  • Nice protest sign. You trying to incite some kind of insurrection? Is that hate speech? No? Well, all the same, I think you better come with us. The courts can sort this out in a year or two…

We are increasingly asked to live beneath an ever-searching, ever-ostentatious Eye of Mordor and if it lands on you, your life gets upended and so we must all cower behind rocks and hope to escape its baleful notice.

Whether or not you did anything is of little moment.

To simply draw attention and be fed into the maw of the machine is enough.

That, my friends, is what process as punishment does. It’s no different in essence to having secret police who can take and detain you at will and drag you to some dark room for the rough stuff of interrogation and re-education. No totalitarian regime can cow all the people all the time. Such dominion is not individual. It must be wholesale and so they must make egregious and excessive examples to deter dissent, intimidate their opposition, and preference their partisans.

Espouse the line and get the carrot, speak otherwise and get the stick. Your guilt or innocence is an irrelevance. It’s whether we want you or not that matters. That is the sign of true degeneration from republic to despotism.

Be very careful with ideas like “Well, they did not come for me.”

Eventually, they come for everyone.

Republished from the author’s Substack

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • el gato malo

    el gato malo is a pseudonym for an account that has been posting on pandemic policies from the outset. AKA a notorious internet feline with strong views on data and liberty.

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