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.
El Bandolero is alarmed by the surge of sentiment for democracy and majority rule, particularly since the 2016 election. Certain groups, liberals especially, are finding it easy to forget why the country was founded as a republic and why it was deemed necessary to supplement the Constitution with a Bill of Rights. Protection of the “little guy” and “minorities” was deemed essential. Majority rule can be the worst kind of tyranny, and is fertile ground for the worst kind of tyrants. Making matters worse, liberals and conservatives both persist under the thumb of the oligarchy, whose power doesn’t depend on the form of government. The oligarchs hold the strings that manipulate government either way.
Bandolero believes the best hope for humanity is rule by a benevolent dictator. This is always countered by the “absolute power corrupts absolutely” platitude. It ain’t necessarily so, but it’s an easy sell to the masses. The principal weakness of the benevolent dictator is his/her vulnerability to assassins sent by the oligarchy.
The problem with dismantling the oligarchy is how to do it while preserving the incentive to excel. Who wants to build a better mousetrap just for the pride and joy of accomplishment, without material reward and elevation of status? Of course, if human nature could be elevated to being satisfied with pride of accomplishment for its own sake, it wouldn’t need much in the way of governance in any form. In that case, we’d just need an efficient (and benevolent) bureaucracy to manage the infrastructure and provision for education and health care. The oligarchy’s tentacles would have to be cut out of that, too. But, to get from where we are to a benevolent dictatorship with an efficient bureaucracy probably will require the dictator who arises from anarchy. We’re beyond the days when a viable revolution could be prosecuted to a successful conclusion. The people who understand why it’s needed are now too old to mount and sustain such a struggle. The younger ones are too complacent in their “me” lifestyles and the opiate of technology. As long as they have broadband they are content enough. But, reducing the existing institutions to a state of anarchy may yet be possible. And El Bandolero stands vigilant and ready to lead the charge, if anybody cares.
There is, of course, much more to the challenges facing us (that is, those of us who perceive them for what they really are), but that will be discussed in future missives.
Bandolero is going to take an opportunity here to be more serious than usual. The insanity that had been tightening its grip on the pre-Harvey nation had become a source of burgeoning perplexity to El Bandolero, not to mention a source of rare confusion. Radicals on the left behaving like neo-nazi stormtroopers, radicals on the right behaving like neo-nazi stormtroopers, fascists and antifascists with no distinguishing features, monumental insanity, the silent majority holding its hands over its mouths in a hushed yet deafening “oh my! oh my!” And then Bandolero stumbled upon an article that took the whirlwind of bewilderment and incertitude from his mind and crafted a paen to reason and rationality. And here it is: A Nation Gone Daft, by Ronald E. Yates. You should read it. Twice. At least. If you can’t read, ask a family member, neighbor, friend, pastor or other spiritual advisor of your preference, or interpreter if you don’t know English, to read it to you, unless you’re deaf, in which case you’ll need to find somebody who can sign it to you in your language.