Wednesday, August 20, 2014

et ceteras

Did you ever find it strange...
...that the Left goes into hysterics about the Koch brothers spending their own money on political causes they hold dear, but has no problem whatsoever with George Soros doing the same?

Did you ever find it strange that the Left never has a problem with Soros "inserting money into politics," even when his money goes to efforts whose aim is not to win people over by making a persuasive case, but to demonize opponents so that no one will listen to what they have to say?

Yeah, neither did I.


About that thought...
I have often wanted to type something about the Soros double standard, but what finally prompted me to put fingers to keyboard is the group that precipitated the bogus indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. That organization goes by the name Texans for Public Justice, which sounds lofty yet also vague.

The name is purely strategic, for it offers no explanation of what the group means by "public justice," and thus it allows everyone to make assumptions about the group based on his or her own philosophical prejudices assumptions. Plus, who would criticize an organization whose name says it stands "for public justice"? The human impulse to not go against feel-good verbiage makes it easy for Texans for Public Justice to do almost anything it wants.

But back to my main point: Much of the organization's funding comes from Soros, who is a known and sworn enemy of conservatives; and the indictment it genertaed against Perry is so groundless, so purely political, and so obviously purely political that even quite a few Democrats are troubled by it. However, no one in the heavily leftist "mainstream media" has been troubled enough to criticize either the indictment or the Hungarian native whose fingerprints are all over it.

For a good analysis of the indictment, check out this piece by former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, and/or this one by retired attorney Mark Pulliam.


Speaking of Perry
Although the United States has been in an economic slump for most of the past decade, the state of Texas has been experiencing a boom and Perry has been its governor the entire time. I recently heard a statement on the radio (whose accuracy I have not confirmed) that if you were to take Texas out of the equation, all of America's net job gains over the past few years would disappear and the country would have experienced a net loss of jobs.

Assuming that statement is accurate, could it be the reason Perry was indicted? Does the Left not want to have to explain how an unabashedly conservative governor has been at the helm of a state that has experienced grand times while most of America is stuck in the economic doldrums? Do you think the Left would rather refer to Perry as "indicted" than refer to him as "the man whose agenda of deregulation, tort reform, and spending discipline has brought sustained good times to America's second largest state"?

I'm just asking. (No, I take that back. I admit that I'm suggesting.)


Paradoxes
I find it sadly amusing that liberal musicians and artists who claim to believe in freedom of expression almost always idolize tyrants who are against freedom of expression. Many of those tyrants are also murderers.

Witness the Che Guevara love, which has not gotten stale among leftist hippie types even though more than 40 years have passed since it began.

Che sought to ban rock music from Cuba, yet Carlos Santana wore a Che T-shirt to the Oscars. Che had homosexuals and "effeminate men" rounded up, imprisoned, and tortured -- yet liberals, who often rhapsodize about their devotion to gay rights, continue to swoon over Che's 1960 photograph without bothering to criticize his diabolical brand of homophobia.

It is a wicked paradox in the liberal soul, but there is also a wicked paradox in the conservative soul, and it reveals itself whenever the topic of law enforcement comes up.

As conservatives, we instinctively distrust government; are aware that power corrupts; and shudder at the thought of the state having the power to abuse its citizens.

We deplore the thought of the state exploiting the matador's cape called "law" to distract some citizens from noticing that it is causing unjust harm to other citizens who have done no wrong. We deplore the idea of a government capriciously wielding its power and resources agaimst individuals who lack the resources and connections to defend themselves.

That sums up our core belief, and because of that belief we should never stray from our commitment to the principle of "innocent until proven guilty." That means we should tend to cast a skeptical eye at whatever the state says, and we must hold it to its burden of proof. Without ambiguity, we should always demand that the state prove the accused is guilty -- actually prove it, not create the impression of proving it -- before we decree the accused guilty and ship him off to prison where his years will rot away and his future job prospects will evaporate like raindrops in the Sahara.

Ironically, however, most of us have a tendency to automatically believe the cops and automatically assume that prosecutors are acting in the public interest.

We forget that cops are fallible. We forget that no matter how honorable most police officers are, all of them are government enforcers armed with guns and empowered to constrain us against our will and put us in jail without our consent.

We fail to entertain the logical idea that prosecutors might allow their personal assumptions to discount certain evidence. We fail to entertain the idea that they might do that while falsely elevating the significance of other evidence.

And most disturbing of all, we forget these two things: Prosecutors work for the same employer as the judges, and most judges are former prosecutors.

The danger of this conservative paradox is obvious and every bit as serious as the liberal one.


Ferguson
The current upheaval over Michael Brown's shooting in Ferguson, MO provides an example of the paradoxes in action.

I should acknowledge that based on what I have read, I believe the available evidence is more supportive of Officer Wilson's account than it is of his critics. But putting my opinion aside, the way the past week has unfolded speaks volumes.

When news of the shooting broke, the line of demarcation materialized immediately. Before any facts were known, liberals reflexively sympathized with the idea that Brown was an innocent kid murdered by bigoted cops. Before any facts were known, conservatives reflexively believed that Brown was the aggressor and Wilson acted in self-defense.

As facts have begun to come into focus, most liberals have been quick to discount any that draw their original belief into question, while some conservatives (mostly among those who speak for a living rather than write for a living) have quickly adopted a "told you so" attitude about those facts.

In other words, all the way up to this very moment, large numbers of people from both sides of the political divide are continuing to place their original beliefs front and center instead of soberly addressing the facts themselves. That can't be good, can it?