Rumination No. 2

(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 Hon. Juez Kavanaugh

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.

Rumination No. 1

Actually, we’re okay with mediocrity, trickle down and less than perfect, and we’ve never met a billionaire who paid no taxes or stole anything. We think corporate medical providers, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies are the bane of society, along with most of the politicians in Congress, and global money cabals we don’t even know about. Thing is, we don’t see a path to a world free of these cancers that doesn’t pass through a rough period of anarchy. Some might argue that what we have is preferable to that. And the sheer weight of momentum may preclude any course adjustment sufficient to result in meaningful change. Still, we may be able to improve some aspects of existence, if we can get the numbers to do it. There’s the rub. Too many people ultimately rely on the military-industrial-financial complex, Big-Med, Big-Pharma and Big-Insur for their paychecks. It defies human nature to sacrifice a vested interest, however small or, even, demeaning. So it goes (to quote one of our favorite authors).