February 11, 2013

Klavan on Dorner, the Left, and the Press

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t see Andrew Klavan’s column at PJ Media (“The Truth About Dorner: Leftism Is Violence”; HT Instapundit) when I was writing up my own columnon Christopher Dorner, the hero/sympathy treatment he is receiving from leftists, and the cover-up of the full nature of his manifesto’s contents being conducted by the nation’s establishment press. I probably would have decided that nothing more needed to be said.

Here are his key paragraphs (bolds are mine):

The media has been dishonest in trying to cover up Dorner’s left-wing views. They’ve been beyond hypocritical in drawing no link between Dorner’s acts and his politics — after they have repeatedly tried to link acts of violence to conservatism even when, as usual, there was no link to be made. Worst of all, as Big Government has shown, they are beginning to try to justify the slaughter.

… Haven’t you noticed this? The American left is always waxing hysterical about right-wing violence and the true violence always comes from the American left. The American news media cry out in horror at peaceful Tea Party demonstrations and look the other way when Occupy Wall Streeters commit vandalism, rape, and even murder. The media try to pin any political assassination attempt on conservatives; yet almost all American political assassinations are committed by the left.

… Leftism requires this illegitimate use of force — this use of violence — because free individuals simply will not do what leftists, in their wisdom, have decided is right and good.

The left has never bought into the central revelation of the Enlightenment: things are made to work perfectly fine without much control from above. This Enlightenment insight was inspired by the earlier work of Isaac Newton who discovered that God didn’t have to move the stars around in the sky or cause the apple to fall to earth. The Big Dude had cleverly put machinery in place that worked pretty much on its own. The economist Adam Smith translated this insight into economics when he pointed out that individuals working in their own interest frequently promote the interest of everyone as if by an invisible hand. The founders translated the idea into politics by creating a system in which individuals could act without too much government interference. These geniuses didn’t trust in individual goodness, not at all. They trusted in the handiwork of the Creator — that is, they trusted the overall human system was built to work without kings and aristocrats — or a democratic mob — forcing people to do what they wanted.

Jean Jacques Rousseau, the founding saint of modern leftism, rejected that Enlightenment wisdom. He hated the modern world and thought humanity had been better off in a state of noble savagery. In that state, Rousseau believed, men were truly free because their laws naturally followed the general will. If people in the corrupt modern age violated the general will, they had to be “forced to be free.”

The logic of Rousseau led to the guillotine. You can’t say: “Well, it’s no fair blaming the pundit Rousseau for the violence of the madman Robespierre.” The guillotine was inherent in Rousseau’s thought. And it’s Rousseau’s thought — his idea that individuals should be forced to follow the “general will” — that informs all leftist thinking — including, by the way, Obama’s second inaugural address.

Related: “HuffPo Users Overwhelmingly Support Spree Killer”

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3 Comments

  1. In that vein, liberalism is dictatorship wrote petty. I was contemplating the whole fuss concerning the use of drones domestically and came to the conclusion that their use would come to oppress the citizenry and not as it is publicly billed as helping law enforcement track down criminals.

    My reasoning is thus: Throughout the history of the US, legislators, town councils and governors have passed laws to meet the public perception that they are doing something for the common good. Many of these laws were useless and unenforceable. After 200+ years of passing laws, the effect has been to make criminals of us all. There is no person in the US that hasn’t broken some law, no matter how arcane or innocuous. The reason why all of us haven’t been charged with a criminal offense or locked up is that law enforcement does not exist in sufficient numbers to play “deputy dog” to our every infraction. As long as this state of ineffectiveness existed, the citizenry were free to live their lives unfettered and untouched by the tyranny of the letter of the law. Law enforcement had to prioritize their activities to the most important issues and not the inane ones.

    However, that paradigm is changing with the advent of computers, software and now drones. The Barney Fife’s of the government are coming into the means to enforce EVERY law, no matter how trivial or anal. This is where “discretion” by prosecutors and law enforcement becomes essential and also problematic. In the old days, many of those who handled the law did so with common sense recognizing there were always mitigating circumstances and lack of intent to harm as the reason to ignore a technical violation of the law. In those days, law enforcement didn’t view the average person as a potential criminal not yet caught.

    As an example of the analness of enforcing the law to the point of abuse are red light cameras. While billed as a safety measure to penalize bad drivers who cause accidents by not following the rules of the road, they instead have become a means of revenue generation that ignores the myriad of decisions that may allow a person to proceed through a red light such as a funeral procession, turning right on red or a malfunctioning signal stuck on red, etc. Each of these tickets issued under the technicality requires a court appearance to explain and then hope that a traffic court judge will have the common sense or not have woken up on the wrong side of the bed that day to knock down that ticket. The onus of proving innocence is upon the accused in total opposition to innocent until proven guilty. In essence, a ticket issued by these obsessive compulsive machines makes you guilty of an infraction since you are presumed guilty by the court because of the perception of perfection by a machine. Now we must explain ourselves and every action we take due to perception of a picture. A picture may be evidence, but perception is not truth and does not rationalize a presumption of guilt.

    Taken a little further, have you ever observed how police officers these days approach the public? Most times they have their hand resting on their holstered weapon and not as in the old days when officers would stand with their hands at their sides. Their unconscious display of body language belies the whole paradigm of guilty until proven innocent.

    With the advance of technology, drones now represent a existential threat to the freedom of all Americans. By giving law enforcement the ability to peer over our fences from above, we feel vulnerable to the prying eyes of Barney Fife who would bureaucratically charge us with some inane or long forgotten arcane law we may be violating. In fact, the advent of google earth has given “landscape nazis” the means to track the green cover over residential homes to see if they are violating their precious laws concerning replacing or cutting down of trees. In many States, while the property may belong to the homeowner, the tree itself on that property is regulated by the State. There are provisions in those laws that give exceptions to tree cutting when the tree is dying causing a threat to life and property (never you mind that the tree as property does not belong to the State.) But you know the landscape nazi sees no such exception and thus harasses the home owner with lawfare in their obsessive compulsiveness to advance their agenda.

    Which brings us to the issue of discretion, discretion becomes favoritism and preferential treatment in the hands of an amoral government officer with an agenda who believes they are the Law and are entitled to level the playing field of past perceived injustices. Normal people call this revenge, not justice or the common welfare. In the old days, the morality of a higher power (God) whose name was invoked upon every oath of office or testimony induced a level of respect and fear in those who invoked His Name as a restraint upon personal agendas contrary to the consent of the governed as everyone accepted that a final judgement day would be executed on those who abused their oath by God Himself. It was understood those who would take God’s name in vain, He Himself would destroy. Now a days, no such fear exists in the godless (freedom from religion) who now exercise authority with no ultimate restraint. This is where we now stand with Barack Obama, a liberal ideologue and his cadre of liberal appointees. Drones in the hands of these kind of rulers oppresses a people and does not bring security by efficiently hunting down criminals when all of us ARE THE CRIMINALS in their eyes especially so if you are wealthy or white or politically incorrect (tea party affiliated.)

    Dorner is a symptom of this amoral thinking defended by liberals. The proclamation of victimhood is used to nullify or even justify bad acts. Thus his politics and advocacy are more important than his actions having two wrongs make a right. This is especially corrosive to law enforcement when the Law was supposed to be about a person’s actions and not his politics. No one should feel safe with anything that leverages power in their hands.

    Comment by dscott — February 11, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

  2. Now imagine this technology in the hands of Obama’s Barney Fifes:

    ‘Google for spies’ draws ire from rights groups

    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/google-for-spies-draws-ire-from-rights-groups-20130211-2e75y.html#ixzz2KcJ6MsBS

    While properly used to track down a terrorist or foreign spy this application has troubling uses in the hands of political hacks wielding the power of government for their own political agenda. Imagine if you will, tweaking the program so that it predicts violent behavior out of a tea party member (ala Mann’s hockey stick) and then presenting that doctored outcome to the FBI or NSA as a justification for a FISA warrant then pulling every phrase out of context as to mean someone’s dissatisfaction with government actions is proof they intend to engage in rebellion.

    Are you ready to be charged with the FUTURE murder of … ? Or the current TV show, Person of Interest. Remember, the Law used to be about a person’s actions and now it is quickly becoming about one’s political thought. Being politically incorrect can be a crime, just disagree with gay marriage and you are labeled for hate speech, and hate speech is a crime in many states. While the NSA currently does have the ability (and does via its supercomputer) to review EVERY email, internet post and phone conversation via ALL US telecoms, it does not have the ability to connect the dots just flag certain words or phrases for closer inspection by a human. This very post will be reviewed by the NSA, whether it will be seen by a human is another matter.

    Congress needs to immediately pass a law to severely restrict the usage of such software to only violent enemies and foreign spies and specifically exclude State and Local Law Enforcement. IF this should ever come into the hands of Local Law Enforcement, everyone will be at greater risk from trumped up charges for political gain. Remember the Duke LaCrosse Boys? Here was a prosecutor (Nifong) who placed his political career and agenda ahead of justice and then perverted it. The jailing of the innocent was the price of his continuance in power, how much more so for all the others who wield power? The troubling response of the liberal faculty at Duke underlines the terrible danger there is in politically based charges and stereotype presumptions against defendants.

    Comment by dscott — February 11, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

  3. That’s also a reason for a mandatory sunset on most laws without proactive legislative renewal.

    Comment by Tom — February 12, 2013 @ 4:56 am

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