Tag Archives: Justice

The Internet And The Death Of FUD

The Internet circa 2003
The Internet circa 2003

Latest in our series on the beneficent free market is this wee screed on the internet.

The internet is a good thing. A powerful thing, I think everybody can agree with that. But I would argue it is a good thing too.

I don’t gloss over the terrible things people can find on the internet, the addictions it foments and feeds, the filth it spreads or the lies and slander that so easily pass for worthwhile information on it’s myriad nooks and crannies.

As with anything truly powerful, those who use it best seem to be those who would misuse it and abuse other with it.

But for all the garbage you can so easily stumble upon, there is great good. The potential and realized good both far outweigh the potential and realized evil in the same way the slightest candle will chase and overpower the shadows of the darkest room.

The internet is good because the internet allows information.

This would seem like a tenuous argument at best, but let’s not leave the argument there.

The internet is good because the internet allows information of all types, from all sources, to all consumers.

As Lady Justice holds her scales blindly and impartially, the internet is oblivious to any contextualizing of either the informer or the informed. The information itself can be contextualized, and due to the sheer mass of information on the internet, any single bit can be matched with any other bits to provide context and deeper insight into any piece of information.

But the internet itself does not care. It’s greatest strength is also it’s greatest weakness. The internet does not care what or who or how or why or anything else regarding the information that is posted and shared and disseminated through it’s labyrinthine pipes.

Fear is always the result of misinformation or too little information. From the macro fears of life “does God care for my future?” to the micro fears, “spiders!!!!!”, information is the best and most effective form of fear slaying. Reading the bible (maybe even on the internet) we can read God’s promises regarding our lives, and then looking back through our own lives and seeing the providential Hand working through the good times and the bad, that fear can be slayed by information. Using other information we can determine whether or not a given spider is dangerous to humans.

Thus the greatest enemy of fear is information, real and true information.

Now the obvious argument is that lies and disinformation are so very common on the internet, often masquerading as truth very effectively.

However, the internet also addresses that issue by nature, once again, of it’s open information structure.

Prior to instant background checks and credit reports and the globalized economies, trust was a necessary part of a business relationship. Today we still have trust-based systems for those times when a resume just isn’t enough.

References, people who know something and are in positions of trust and recognition, are often called upon to verify the abilities and character of a person. When one is unsure of whether or not someone else can or should be trusted they confer with a third party who has legitimate reason to be trusted and thereby determine the trustworthiness of the person.

With the internet, in it’s connected and interconnected state, we can easily find legitimately trustworthy people and then infer, from those they trust, other trustworthy sources. It is all about the free exchange of ideas and information.

Further, the antagonism that naturally results in such a free-for-all atmosphere further bolsters legitimate reputations as negative information can only with the greatest of difficulty be quashed or controlled, and more often than not, will free itself regardless the efforts of those seeking to control it. Those legitimately trustworthy will weather and withstand the onslaught and thereby gain further credibility.

The internet is the death of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) in that it enabled anybody to speak the truth, share the truth, and find the truth,and be sure it is the truth easily, and with high levels of certainty. It is the greatest leveler of the masses.

The internet could not exist were it not for the freest society in the world pushing and encouraging and growing it beyond the wildest dreams of those researchers at DARPA so many years ago.

Hey, it even allows me, a 20-something nobody to publish my pointless and babbling rants in a public forum with equal opportunity for success as authors of the first degree and highest reputation.

My Thoughts On Michael Jackson

mjb4

It’s been all over the place and most everybody has the same thoughts: the world has lost wonderful talent as it has lost Michael Jackson.

Conservatives, Liberals, Christians, Heathens alike are, for the most part, mourning the loss of this skilled musician.

Mike Gallagher was the first I heard to ask the question: Why are we remembering only the talent and the skillful music made by this man?

Let me get the boiler plate out of the way: The death of anybody is sad. If a Christian dies, there is the grief of loss here on earth, but the balancing joy knowing they are truly home at last and that our grief ought to be for ourselves still toiling here away from our true home. When an unrepentant sinner dies, the grief is much worse. There is no welcome for this person. There is simply the immediate inability to deny God any longer as the force of His self and all His holy attributes is no longer held off by the rationalizing mind and the containing body.

There is no reasonable evidence Michael Jackson accepted the saving Grace of Jesus Christ prior to his death.

There is always hope: he may have, on his deathbed, cried out to an ever-waiting and ever-listening andever-ready Jesus. If this is the case, we’ll know when we get to heaven.

But for now, it is reasonable, from human judgement, to assume Michael Jackson died with the full guilt of his own sins resting weightily upon his own, weak, shoulders.

Sin is sin, and there is no variance to it’s result. The Hitler’s of this world will suffer the same intermnible punishment meted out by the same just God for the same rejection of the same Holiness as the girl and boy blown up because they were too close to the exploding suicide bomber on their way to market in Fallujah.

But human’s judge variance in sin, because we must rationalize our own faults as not being “that bad.” And because we must restrain and punish those whose actions convey and cause inordinate danger to those around them.

Michael Jackson was a sinner.

There is little doubt he was a pedophile: His grown up sexual appetite coupled with his child-like and stunted emotional state and the stories of the several young boys with whom he slept and subsequently paid off leave little room for exhonoration.

As a society of justice we punish those who hurt and damage others by their actions. Those who prey sexually on the young damage those children’s ability to grow normally and lead productive lives, and so we punish them severely.

And when pedophiles die, we don’t celebrate them as an entire society.

I don’t advocate burning Michael Jackson’s music or videos. There is no purpose served by destroying it.

But his life isn’t worth celebrating. He made some ok music. He had some cool moves on the dance floor.

But he sexually assaulted young boys to satisfy himself as he was unable, in his stunted mind, to appreciate their future.

And so now, barring a hopeful miracle, he is facing God.

God isn’t playing reel-to-reel Thriller.

God is asking him for an account of his life.

It is with grief for the true loss of a life precious to the Lord God that I say, I fear it is going poorly for Michael Jackson.

Tiller Murder

Without equivocation I condemn the murder of Dr. Tiller.

Murder is murder, and one murder never justifies another.

We live in a land of law and justice. No man is above the law or a law to themselves, when such a personal law conflicts with the law of the land.

The only way a person can lose their life legitimately and legally at the hand of man is when that person has been found guilty of some crime worthy of the death penalty by the justice system of that land. In America this means being found guilty by a jury of their peers of certain specific crimes.

In the small way I am aware of Dr. Tiller, I find his career to be revolting and disgusting in the highest sense. I find it difficult to even consider the occupation with which he has spent his life: killing innocent, unborn children late in their term.

If he did not repent, prior to his death, of this heinous sin, God has perfect justice ready for him. But it is not mine to mete out to him.

I grieve for Dr. Tiller in that it is very likely did not accept the salvation of the Lord. Eternal punishment is a fearful thing that I cannot wish on any person, ever. It is not mine to wish.

As a Christian, I take both comfort and warning from God’s claim to perfect justice:  “‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay’ says the Lord.”

Comfort because I know God will do a much better job of justice than any human court ever could. He judges the innermost thoughts and wishes, the heart and the mind. Things a human judge could never see clearly to judge on.

And yet warning, because God reserving, without qualification, all vengeance to Himself leaves none for me. Not even the vengeance of thought or hope.

I should not feel giddy or happy that God may indeed be judging an evil man for his sin. Instead, there is anguish that Satan succeeded in destroying another life entrhalled in deception and pride. Another life is doomed forever to torment and there isn’t another chance to rescue this soul from the depredations of sin and score another victory against the prince of darkness and his failing, faltering, now conquered kingdom.

Dr. Tiller was a sinner, as am I.

And his murderer ought to be brought to justice, as should the murderer of any other sinner.

To the pro-life people: We are against death. It’s the morally superior position and all those who dispute this argue against sense and reason.

When pro-abortion people state that our general position for the death penalty makes our argument false, they only reveal the moral bankruptcy of their own feeble stand.

We are for the life of the innocent and the protection of that life through the rare but possible, lawfully imposed death of the guilty at the hands of the law and the government.

They are for the death of the innocent, damage and destruction of their mothers, freedom from responsibility of the fathers, and protection of those who would kill other innocents.

There really isn’t much comparison.

If we’re tempted to support, in any way, the murder of Dr. Tiller. No matter how we may despise the sin he dug himself so deeply into, we succumb to lawlessness and anarchy. Which leads, without exception, to the death of innocents.

He’s A Crook, She’s Not Right

Burris is a crook. Whodathunkit?

And a liar, of the worst kind. Pretentiously hiding behind his squeaky clean image and claiming he’d never talked to Blagojevich about favors that resulted in his appointment to the Senate. Santimoniously sermonizing ad nauseum about how he was about the people’s business and wouldn’t allow sordid speculation sway his resolve.

There’s no sordid speculation here and that sactimonious sermonizing can go right back down the vile gullet it emerged from to add it’s putrid mass to the seething stench that inhabits that man’s soul.

Just a question, an honest one here: knowing the FBI had recorded phone conversations and in all likelihood had him incriminating himself with incontravertible proof, how did Burris walk the halls of Congress with his debonaire smile? Was  his conscience eating him at all? Or is his corruption so complete that he’s quelled all better things within him?

Oh, and now he’s “torn” over helping Blagojevich.

This much is true: as a parent we want our child to feel bad about doing wrong, not about being caught.

Burris is feeling bad about being caught. His emotional development is very likely so incredibly stunted it would take a redemptive work in his life to make him feel grief over his actual wrong.

So throw the Senator out already.

Judge Sotomayor has lots of things going for her: Obama likes her, and… Obama thinks she’ll do a good job.

Why?

A significant number of her decisions have been reversed, and of those upheld, her arguments have been faulted by superior judges. This indicates a consistency only in fallacy and not in skilled jurisprudence.

Reading through a list of Sotomayor decisions, one finds very quickly she is anti-business, pro-union,  and pro-regulation.

She believes business is out to hurt people.

She believes unions are completely good and no bad thing can come from them.

She believes generally that government knows best, especially when the right kind of people run government.

One thing conspicuously absent from her beliefs is a belief in the rule of law and the supremacy of law over all men equally.

It’s no unfair fear tactic to quote her (from the NY Times):

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life

Would a white male judge saying a version of that phrase last any longer than a water drop on a hot iron skillet? Of course not, and for good reason. There’s no place for preference or opinion in the law.

Justice is supposed to be blind.

Sotomayor, in her arrogance and conceit, proudly claims her judgement issued with her eyes of justice wide open and uncovered is best.

It may indeed her best judgement, but it’s not the judgement we require of those occupying the highest chairs of justice in our land.

Court Conformity: Proof In The Pudding

The proof is in the pudding, they say.

Timothy P. O’Neill claims the history and roots of the current members of the High Court are too similar, their backgrounds too homogeneous, to allow for true justice to be dispensed.

According to O’Neill, President Obama has an historic opportunity to correct the court. To broaden it’s foundation and strengthen it’s ability to work in this modern time with an open-minded understanding of our current situation.

Professor Lee Epstein of Northwestern has observed that “Diversity of inputs makes for stronger outputs.” Obama should cast the widest possible net to find a person who can bring a fresh set of experiences and perspectives to the work of the Supreme Court.

O’Neill claims as evidence of the problem the dearth of unanimous decisions in recent court history. And states as a possible cause the acrimonious attempted appointment of Bork and the travesty of political murder that borked Bork.

With the reticence of succeeding Presidents to propose any but established Federal judges to the high court, the court’s base has indeed narrowed, but is the non-unanimous nature of the court a bad thing?

I say not. And I say that a preconceived notion with an aim toward heterogeneity is not the solution to any problems the court now faces.

The purpose of the high court is to apply and interpret the law in difficult cases. It is not to have empathy or to make exceptions or to make law. Anything more or less than application and interpretation of the law is a failure and a grab for power not allocated to the judicial branch by the Constitution.

Reasonable people may disagree and the stress of disagreement slows down a mad human rush towards oblivion.

Such enforced conflict is not the best solution, but in our current era of stratified ideology, it’s pragmatic and effective.

The aim, in selecting judicial appointees, for any President, ought to be whether or not the person selected has an understanding and appreciation for the law. That is the only criteria which is reasonable.

Thomas Sowell counters with the basic argument of Constitutional rationality:

People who are speculating about whether the next nominee will be a woman, a Hispanic or whatever are missing the point.

That we are discussing the next Supreme Court justice in terms of group “representation” is a sign of how far we have already strayed from the purpose of law and the weighty responsibility of appointing someone to sit for life on the highest court in the land.

That Obama has made “empathy” with certain groups one of his criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee is a dangerous sign of how much further the Supreme Court may be pushed away from the rule of law and toward even more arbitrary judicial edicts to advance the agenda of the left and set it in legal concrete, immune from the democratic process.

It is always interesting to me that those who are so (mistakenly) tied up with the “Democracy” of America are so very un-Democratic about critical moral, cultural, and social issues. America is designed to be a Republic (if we can keep it) because of the innately sinful nature of man.

Those claiming the mantel of Democratic ideals are often the first to bypass them and the will of the people, or directly contravene it, by seeking attention and action from the legislative and judicial branches to impose their minority ideas upon the majority.

Fairness is too often very unfair for someone else, and the flip-side of tolerance is tyranny.

We are an equal society, say many. But Sowell cautions that this is often no more than smoke and mirrors:

We would have entered a strange new world where everybody is equal but some are more equal than others. The very idea of the rule of law would become meaningless when it is replaced by the empathies of judges.

Obama solves this contradiction, as he solves so many other problems, with rhetoric. If you believe in the rule of law, he will say the words “rule of law.” And if you are willing to buy it, he will keep on selling it.

We live in a society governed by the rule of law. Our society requires that it’s members be knowledgeable and intelligent and involved.

When we sacrifice knowledge and intelligence at the altar of equality we lose the ability to be involved.

As more and more power is usurped from it’s right and proper owners, we all lose.

Thomas Sowell ends his article with a somber warning we would all do well to heed:

The biggest danger in appointing the wrong people to the Supreme Court is not just in how they might vote on some particular issues — whether private property, abortion or whatever. The biggest danger is that they will undermine or destroy the very concept of the rule of law — what has been called “a government of laws and not of men.”

Under the American system of government, this cannot be done overnight or perhaps even during the terms in office of one president — but it can be done. And it can be done over time by the appointees of just one president, if he gets enough appointees.

Some people say that who Obama appoints to replace Souter doesn’t really matter, because Souter is a liberal who will probably be replaced by another liberal. But, if no one sounds the alarm now, we can end up with a series of appointees with “empathy” — which is to say, with justices who think their job is to “relieve the distress” of particular groups rather than to uphold the Constitution of the United States.