LIES, DAMNED LIES

LIES, DAMNED LIES

As some of you may recall, in a handful of pieces written at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we compared China’s COVID debacle to the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl disaster.  In one such piece, we put it this way:

Last week, in our flagship publication, “Politics, Et Cetera,” we compared Xi and coronavirus to Gorbachev and Chernobyl.  We were, perhaps, a little too subtle in making our point.  Chernobyl was the point at which Gorbachev realized that everyone was lying and always had been.  The Soviet Union was Gertrude Stein’s Oakland, there was no there there.  We believe the coronavirus “crisis” represents the same realization for Xi.  It is only dawning on him now that everyone is lying TO HIM and always has been.

In his 2018 book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, the Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari noted that this type of self-serving, self-preservational deception is not just an ineluctable characteristic of totalitarian systems in general, but of the People’s Republic of China in particular….

In her classic, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt argues that the ability to believe the lies – ALL the lies – and never to question their validity is precisely the quality that enables the totalitarian state.  “The outstanding negative quality of the totalitarian elite’” she writes, “is that it never stops to think about the world as it really is and never compares the lies with reality.”

The catch, of course, is that, at some point, the comparison becomes inescapable.  It is force-fed to the elite, who can no longer deny that which actually is and who must, therefore, confront a reality that shatters the very essence of the state.

A couple of weeks ago, we had an internal discussion about whether or not to revisit this idea.  Mark suggested that it might be worthwhile to examine the possibility that this is a big part of the motivation behind Xi’s much-ballyhooed crackdown on businesses and individuals and his attempt to revive the ideological component of Chinese Communism.

As is almost always the case when he suggests story ideas, Mark is almost certainly right.  It does appear that Xi has reacted to his Chernobyl in exactly the opposite way from which Gorbachev reacted to the original.  Gorbachev gave up the totalitarian fantasy, while Xi appears to be doubling down on it.

And while we will, quite likely, address this point in greater detail at some point in the near future, what interests us more right now is the undeniable FACT that this same proclivity for dishonesty is no longer relegated to the obviously totalitarian states and is, more and more, a characteristic of our own government and institutions as well.  They’re lying to us.  They’re ALL lying to us.  And they’re lying to us ALL the time.

Yesterday, for example, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen declared not only that the Biden administration intends to try to tax “unrealized” capital gains but also that this is “not a wealth tax.”  That’s absurd to the point of stupidity.  OF COURSE it’s a wealth tax.  It couldn’t possibly be anything but.

For months, the National Institutes of Health and its top coronavirus “expert” Dr. Anthony Fauci have insisted, time and again, that they were not involved in and did not fund any research that could be linked to the “gain-of-function” experiments that may well have produced the covid pandemic.  Why, the mere suggestion – often made by Senator Rand Paul (R, KY) – is patently offensive!

And then….

A top NIH official admitted in a Wednesday letter that U.S. taxpayers funded gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan and revealed that EcoHealth Alliance, the U.S. non-profit that funneled NIH money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was not transparent about the work it was doing.

In the letter to Representative James Comer (R., Ky.), Lawrence A. Tabak of the NIH cites a “limited experiment” that was conducted to test if “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.” The laboratory mice infected with the modified bat virus “became sicker” than those infected with the unmodified bat virus.

The revelation vindicates Republican senator Rand Paul, who got into heated exchanges with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director Anthony Fauci during his May and July testimonials before Congress over the gain-of-function question. At the second hearing, Paul accused Fauci of misleading Congress by denying that the U.S. had funded gain-of-function projects at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Gain-of-function research involves extracting viruses from animals and artificially engineering them in a laboratory to make them more transmissible or deadly to humans.

In keeping with Fauci’s refusal to use “gain-of-function,” Tabak avoids the term, though the work he described matches its commonplace definition precisely.


Over the weekend, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to a very poorly sourced and deceptive story in Rolling Stone about the January 6th protests/riot on Capitol Hill with the following tweet:

Any member of Congress who helped plot a terrorist attack on our nation’s capitol must be expelled.

This was a terror attack. 138 injured, almost 10 dead. Those responsible remain a danger to our democracy, our country, and human life in the vicinity of our Capitol and beyond.


As countless wags noted, the “almost 10 dead” part of that tweet is only the most egregious of the lies told therein.  As the journalist Glenn Greenwald put it:  “Four people died on 1/6: all Trump supporters.”  Oh.

For months, since the hasty and chaotic withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the Biden administration has insisted that maybe as many as 100 Americans were left behind in that godforsaken land.  But, of course…nope:

The US State Department informed congressional staffers it has been in contact with 368 Americans who remain in Afghanistan — 178 of whom want to leave.

The number is substantially higher than the Biden administration previously said were left behind in the country following the US’ chaotic exit in August….

The jump in numbers comes the same week the State Department’s acting inspector general Diana Shaw announced her office is looking into several aspects of the Afghanistan withdrawal fiasco, NBC News reported.

Shaw told the heads of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House and Senate intelligence committees that her office’s probe will focus on issues including the State Department’s Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, the processing and resettlement of Afghans in the US and the evacuation of the American Embassy in Kabul as the Taliban approached the Afghan capital in mid-August.

The Pentagon has also announced reviews of the chaotic withdrawal, particularly a botched Aug. 29 drone strike in Kabul, which killed 10 Afghan civilians including a US-linked aid worker and seven children. The strike was launched in retaliation to the ISIS-K attack. 

Last week, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that at least 129 US citizens and 115 green card holders had been flown out of Afghanistan since Aug. 31.


Inflation is transitory.  We have no record of a sexual assault taking place at any of our schools this year.  There are no problems reported with the vaccines.  Masks and social distancing are “following the science.” Etc., etc., as nauseam.

And note for the record that these are just the examples in various newsfeeds TODAY or which we could think of off-hand.  Tomorrow there will be more lies.  And more still the day after that.  And they will come from the federal government, from state governments, from local governments, from Democrats and Republicans, from journalists, from CEOs and mega-asset managers.  And the list goes on…and on…and on.  Essentially, the entire ruling class is lying to the rest of us ALL the time about EVERYTHING.  And they’re lying to one another as well.

The only question now is whether they all know they’re lying and being lied to or if they are proto-totalitarian elites who believe ALL the lies because it facilitates their interpretation of reality.

We have thoughts on the answer to this question, which we’ll discuss at some point soon.  But we’re pretty sure you’re not going like them.

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