First, I tend to agree with the conclusion that there is significant election fraud in the U.S.
I have mentioned on Facebook that Diebold Systems’ voting machines have in the past been eminently subject to tampering, and it’s so easily done that even a [xchildx] stupid politician can do it.
I think voting by mail opens up opportunities for fraud, as well as the appearance of such opportunities, which undermines the all-important confidence in the results of elections.
Voting by mail is designed to facilitate participation by elderly and disabled people. I wish politicians had enough intelligence to understand that more and more old and disabled people tend to have computers and smartphones, and, most importantly, that you can have accountable anonymity that gives much more assurance that the registrant – and the voter – is who they say they are. And yes, you can have accountable anonymity. No tracking of how you as an individual voted, while at the same time providing an assurance that your vote was recorded properly.
Yeah, you can have paper. Digitally signed paper.
Now about the film...
It opens with Joe Biden saying, on a flickering, grainy, black and white video clip, “We’ve put together what I consider the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.” Like, this is supposed to give the impression that somehow the clip was surreptitiously obtained, that he was addressing his secret cabal that is setting out to commit election fraud. Somehow in the process the color was dropped and the flickering introduced because, y’know, when you smuggle a video under your trenchcoat these things happen...
As USA Today put it, “Since the beginning of his campaign, Biden’s foot has been no stranger to his mouth.” I really don’t know how this bozo got elected. Oh wait, yes I do. It was about the other choices. And about the fact that schools no longer teach kids to think.
If you want to see the video (clear, no jitter, in color) you can find it on YouTube and a few dozen other places.
Here’s the quote in context: “Republicans are doing everything they can to make it harder for people to vote. Particularly people of color to vote. So go to iwillvote.com. Secondly, we’re in a situation where we have put together, and you guys did it for President Obama’s administration before this, we have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics. What the president is trying to do is discourage people from voting by implying that their vote won’t be counted. It can’t be counted. We’re going to challenge it and all these things.”
In other words, in his own inimitable style, he was announcing a voter fraud prevention initiative to sound as though it’s promoting voter fraud.
D’Souza has his video obfuscation machine put the clip through their suspiciousness machine to grab the attention of seven year olds right at the start.
Why the black & white; why the flickering? Answer: to give those with limited perception abilities the impression that the video clips were capture from some secret underground channel.
Later we have scenes of ballot box stuffing by hooded dude – are they purported to be candid (real) or theatrical? Why the gloves? Are the drop box handles going to be dusted for prints? And is there a reason why their prints should not be on the handle? Again, theatrics.
Heather Mullins interview of “a whistleblower” hired by the national republican senatorial committee – why is he unnamed and given the pixellated “mysterious interviewee” treatment? “Would be willing to testify” – well why is he obscured (back to camera and pixillated)?
1:02:21 “Candid” scene of D’Souza receiving a call from Catherine Haynes, audio is shared in video, “Greg just interviews an informant in Arizona who is now cooperating with authorities…” “oh wow, OK, I’ll do it” and then wife appears from around the corner and he’s all set with something and says “Hey honey, look at this. The whole thing is done by a skillful videographer. Watch the camera angle change just as D’Souza picks up the phone. Was there a second camera or is this a second take? It’s one or the other.
“Oh wow” implies that Catherine Haynes is delivering news, and yet without any breaks in the scene, the video is right there on D’Souza’s screen as though that’s what he’s been watching all along.
He didn’t say to Catherine, “yeah, I know, I’m watching it right now.” Instead, he said “Oh wow.”
Yo, directors, do you really think I’m that stupid?
It would be one thing if they introduced the video with words like “This is a reenactment of the discovery of an interview with a whistleblower…” but instead it’s presented as a candid scene in the D’Souza household, including its full time crew of videographers.
“Concealing the identity…”
D’Souza and wife watching the video of the blacked-out whistleblower on their laptop screen. Who is skillfully filming that? Why? Do they have videographers hanging around their house, cameras filming all the time just in case a Catherine Haynes calls with news about a whistleblower? And then the video of the whistleblower just happens to be queued up, already on his screen.
I really hate it when media people assume I’m too stupid to see that a purported candid is fake. Especially when they do such a bad job of scripting it, not bothering to make it real.
So they interview the whistleblower, asking “what was your job, what did you do?” without asking the name of the organization that the whistleblower worked for. Like, if you want me to believe that a candid interview is real, show me the datapoints that will let a fact checker check the facts. Who, where, when, etc.
“You would pay them all on a Friday, is that how it worked?” “Yes.” And she also dropped them in dropboxes directly. So she is participating in the fraud. Later, she described an incident where someone she had known for many years since she was a child came to her door and asked for her ballot. She said no “because I said there was no way I was giving them my ballot.” So, here she is highly principled about voter fraud even when it involves just one ballot, but on another occasion she’s part of the fraud machine.
I would believe that an innocent person might get caught up in a fraudulent system, but the people who run such things do a good job of vetting the participants before they recruit them. How was this purportedly principled person brought into that web? Was the old friend who now doesn’t speak to her because of those principles part of that web? Was the old friend not consulted about the choice of “the receptionist” to be part of the gang?
Interviewer: “Seems like we need to do a better job of educating people”
Whistleblower” “I offered. A long time ago.”
So she had been out there offering to be part of the effort to bring integrity and public education to elections, and yet she was recruited to be part of the election fraud gang?
Re educating people, “They” said “Don’t do it because you’re gonna end up in a trash can in pieces” A semi competent interviewer would drill down on that and try to get her to say more about “They”. But a dramatist would want to leave it vague and mysterious and threatening. This is scripted drama.
Sorry, everything about this screams “Fake.”
Toss in Mexicans and Mexican Mafia… perfect pain touch buttons for certain audiences...
Then we see a dark video of a mysterious person carrying a bag to a vehicle with the voiceover “We know that the mules got their stashes of ballots from these activist organizations…”
Um, who is taking that video
Then from a camera inside the vehicle we see the bag being tossed in.
So… second camera, second videographer?
Or second scene in the script?
Fade to inside the D’Souza household. Camera moves, to peek around the corner to see D’Souza reading a book.
Wow, I would be truly creeped out if my fulltime household videographer did stuff like that to me!
Then we see Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, with which I have had some experience, having built the original version of National Review Town Hall. So I’m biased about them, yeah.
Anyway, after von Spakovsky has been speaking it’s back to drama, more sketchy videos from multiple angles including from within the vehicle, of deliveries of bags of ballots. “Candid” shots of nefarious things going on, taken by the same set of videographers with the same techniques. Rapid cuts, masks, the whole bit. The Power Rangers is no more but their video crew has a replacement gig.
Gimme a break.
But at least von Spakovsky is credible. I find this part of the film worth watching, and I respect what he has to say. Although I would also like to hear this from someone affiliated with a more neutral organization. And a responsible reporting organization would not use tension-enhancing music to affect the mood of the viewer. I mean, c’mon. Does D'Souza really think we're that dumb?
Later we see people with actual faces being interviewed about their part in the frauds. It’s actually worthy of video journalism. Why not put these at the front of the video so that at least people like me might keep watching?
Years ago D’Souza came to our Friday morning Christian men’s group to talk about Barack Obama’s ties to a radical group in Kenya + Obama’s father’s history etc. One of the guys knew something about it, challenged one of D’Souza’s claims and D’Souza got surprisingly indignant. Like, who are you to question me?
That was around the time D’Souza was made president of King’s College and shortly after had to resign (see “Dinesh D'Souza Resigns As President Of King's College Amid Scandal” and “Dinesh D'Souza Denies Affair, Forced to Resign from Kings College.”)
My impression of D’Souza is that he’s very good at manipulating perceptions using facts plus embellishments to create a compelling story, and he likes to have total control of that story. I’m not surprised he’s making movies now.
D’Souza is one of those rare authors who actually sells lots of books on his own without a media partner dipping into his revenue. He also draws big audiences to websites whose business model is to sell high margin miracle cures for conditions that afflict the elderly, or other high margin stuff like prepper supplies. He is a one man money maker, and he controls his own channels. Unlike the politicians and others he talks about, I don’t think he’s controlled by some holder of some kompromat. He’s just a very astute and creative business person and he has the assets to prove it. My hat is off to him, at least as far as his business is concerned. His ethics are another matter.
So to sum up...
Here’s my take on voter fraud and prevention thereof:
- It’s real. As I have noted, I’m aware that Diebold, at least in the past, made its voting machines tamperable in such a blatant way that it’s difficult to conclude that it wasn’t intentional – ie a gift to incumbents who, after all, control voting machine requisitions and contracts;
- Never forget that Joe Kennedy bought Chicago for his son, through his buddy Sam Giancana.
- Hans von Spakovsky is credible, and his allegations about mules are credible. He says it’s bipartisan, which I believe, and also says it’s perpetrated more by Democrats than Republicans. Also credible, though perhaps colored by his political affiliations.
- Voting by mail is a mistake. Even if none of these allegations by von Spakovsky are true, just the appearance of the ability to commit fraud erodes confidence in the system. And confidence in the outcome of elections absolutely essential to the democratic process.
- It can be fixed. I once proudly presented my solution to Ron Rivest (the R in RSA), who kindly did not chuckle as he explained that you can’t let a voter verify that his/her vote was recorded correctly after the election. “Wait, what? Why?” I asked, whereupon he explained that that makes it easy to sell your vote and makes it easy to intimidate people to vote the way the intimidator wants them to. Doh.
- BUT Rivest has a real solution. His pretty much requires voting at a polling place, but I have a modification to his system to allow absolutely reliable online voting for those who prefer.
- BUT BUT democracy is a flawed system anyway, especially in the age of social media fueled echo chambers. Voters’ perceptions have always been way too easily manipulated, and now it’s out of control. Also, national leadership always knows that if their polls sag they can always fuel patriotic fervor by starting a war and their poll numbers will reliably go up.
- Optimocracy fixes democracy. Anyone can vote, but they must participate in the deliberations on a measure before they can vote on it. Meaning they have to be there as all sites present their views, and all the complex details of the issues involved in the measure. (Example of the principle: lazy thinkers tend not to show up for town meetings.)
Voting is governed by https://www.robertasrules.org/
And here’s my take on the film:
- The film is a turnoff for perceptive people who might otherwise be interested in considering the claims that people like Hans von Spakovsky are trying to make. It harms the cause of voter integrity. It gives the whole subject the look and feel of a conspiracy theory.
- But it do sell books and memberships and miracle cures!
- I believe its purpose is like that of the Left Behind series of books, which is (was) to sell lots of books and other materials, and to draw certain groups of people to websites that pitch high margin miracle cures and build lists of people who will keep buying that stuff. The film’s purpose is not to fix the election system but rather to make a quick buck.
- My Rotten Tomatoes score = zero.