“How self-centered is man, and how darkly do his own petty interests overshadow the giant things of life. Thrones may totter and fail, monarchs pass to the limbo of memories, whilst we wrestle with an intractable collar-stud.” — Sax Rohmer, The Orchard of Tears
There’s a lot to think about in that quote from the famous author who warned of the Yellow Menace and created its most formidable general and the world’s most insidious pharmacist, the pinnacle of evil, Dr. Fu Manchu. For one thing, what’s a collar-stud? Is it the same thing as a collar stud? For another thing, would it be politically correct, or incorrect, to point out the sexist reference to “man” in the opening phrase? In doing so would we be accused of intimating that women are also self-centered? As we know from popular (or is the proper term “populist”?) teachings, it’s the male that is self-centered. Females are empathetic and polyglotenous. Yet, this observation fails to account for the LGBTQ (Lapdog Globalist Bilingual Testicular Quietude) community or Bandolero’s favorite lunch, the BLT, which is not to be confused with the infamous DC BeLTway.
For another thing, one would expect a throne to totter and fall, not totter and fail. It could fail and totter, in that order. Or it could totter and then fall. But to totter and then fail is incomprehensible, if not just plain non-prehensile.
Which leaves us with the quandary of whether to try to wrap our mind around the notion of wrestling with a collar-stud (which gives rise to the thoroughly incredulous image of a sumo wrestler trying to get a half-nelson on a button) or to grasp the concept of a memory limbo. A memory could be in limbo, we suppose, as could several memories, now that we think about it. But just what is a limbo of memories? Is the word being used along the same line as “pride” when one speaks of a pride of lions? Well, maybe.
Seems like a good time to order another beer. Is there anybody else in the world who recalls that the word “intimate” (rhymes with “mate”) is also a verb that means “suggest”? Or did we just dream that up out of limbo?
(The following is a guest post by an anonymous guest)
There are several times pretty much every day when I think there’s really not much to be said for the human race and that, in the grand scheme of the universe, or even just this planet, its disappearance would be no great loss, perhaps even a good thing. These thoughts usually occur while listening to talk radio, or while pausing a few seconds on some progam while channel surfing the TV, or after a day at the courthouse.
Where was I going with this? Actually, I had just been browsing this website: http://johnny.ihackstuff.com/ (which doesn’t seem to be there any more, sorry about that) and realized there are hundreds of thousands of people who are capable of wrecking websites and flooding the internet with spam, viruses and spyware, but only a tiny percentage who engage in such pursuits. This struck me as, perhaps, hope for the human race.
But it probably isn’t material evidence about the state of humanity. If you spend any time looking at sites like that one I mentioned about that isn’t there any more, plus security sites like Symantec, CERT, or McAfee, you can only conclude that on the internet you’re in the same position as a homeowner, traveller or citizen: you can do a few things to try to protect yourself from criminals and the government but, what it really comes down to is, safety only comes from being overlooked (or maybe anonymous).
Still, as a whole, maybe the great majority of the human race is worthy and honorable, though ripe for plucking by those who aren’t. On the other hand, watch about 60 seconds of Jerry Springer or any of those daytime TV court shows, and then ask yourself what you’d get rid of first if you were cleaning up the universe. Same question if you watch what real judges and juries are dealing with, and how they deal with it.
El Bandolero was nearly unable to constrain himself while watching el Circo Judicial del Senado de los Estados Unidos the other day. Instead of painting a sign and rushing to the capitol to protest, we have decided to author a rational analysis of the event. At the outset, one is faced with the question of the applicable standard of proof; whether it’s beyond a reasonable doubt, clear and convincing evidence, preponderance of the evidence, or something else that doesn’t have a legal definition (i.e. gut feeling). The next question is who has the burden of proof. Is the burden on the accuser to prove guilt? Or is the burden on the accused to prove innocence? Since it wasn’t a criminal proceeding, Constitutional presumption of innocence with the burden on the accuser to overcome it beyond a reasonable doubt wouldn’t necessarily apply. But, should we turn a blind eye to the principles underlying those precepts?
We could write a lengthy manuscript on the subject, but we’ll just skip ahead and say we concluded that the “preponderance of the evidence” standard should be applied, and found the evidence to rest in favor of the Judge. To reach a verdict in this case, it isn’t necessary to conclude with 100% certainty that “he’s lying” or “she’s lying”. In the absence of a video of an event, it’s rare to reach 100% objective certainty about whose version of an event is accurate. Note the the word “objective” in that sentence. “Objective” means not infused with bias, predisposition or agenda. When stripped of bias, predisposition and agenda, the preponderance of objective and reliable (e.g. credible) evidence left the scales tipped in favor of Judge Kavanaugh.
We should add that we felt a 35 year uncontroverted record of unblemished sterling conduct and reputation was entitled to some weight. Some would argue that no amount of good deeds can erase even one assault such as Ms. Ford described, nor erase lying about it if one knew he was guilty. But that argument has no application to the case unless one presupposes a “guilty verdict” notwithstanding the preponderance of the evidence.
Until objective and reliable evidence to the contrary is presented that tips the preponderance the other way, El Bandolero must support the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. It remains to be seen what the FBI does or doesn’t come up with in its supplemental investigation. This, however, presents a whole ‘nuther question about whether it’s possible to get objective reliable evidence from the FBI. The Senators repeatedly pointed out that the FBI does not draw conclusions, it only gathers the evidence and reports it. The first image this brought to El Bandolero’s mind was James Comey’s press conference where he announced the FBI’s conclusion that the evidence did not warrant charges against a certain high ranking official who knowingly used a private personal server to send emails containing confidential government information.