Trust In The Devil

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14 Responses

  1. Matt Raft says:

    Just when I think you've peaked, you amaze me yet again.

  2. nrasmuss13 says:

    Actually, I'm far more confounded that anyone with a straight face could equate the taking of money with the taking of life or liberty. I'm far more comfortable with the government taking my money than with the government taking anyone's life or liberty – and I have far less difficulty reconciling that position than I would ever have reconciling the notion that the government should take your life or liberty, but keep its filthy, corrupt hands out of my wallet.

    Nonetheless, a point fairly well made. (Also says boatloads about the mindless insanity that it is Texas/the Texas judiciary)..

  3. Bob says:

    It's called Libertarian, or anarchy to the ill-informed.

  4. anonymouse says:

    Sadly, that summary of the evidence reminds me that the resolution in Twelve Angry Men hinged on the SPOILER ALERT*, fact that the defendant's distinctive knife was not so unique after all. Even though it's fiction, I have to think that the expectation of "beyond a reasonable doubt" depicted in the movie is closer to the reality we'd prefer than the criteria used in this case.

    * not sure that anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet is ever going to, but hey.

  5. Richard Hershberger says:

    "(as is the belief of “liberals” that the government can’t be trusted to run the criminal justice or military spheres, but can be trusted to regulate every element of our economic lives)"

    Do "liberals" believe this? I have hung out with an awful lot of people who self-identify as "liberal", and while I don't self-identify this way, many people who self-identify as "conservative" have been eager to identify me as "liberal". Yet I don't know anyone who doesn't want the government running criminal justice or military matters. This isn't to say that there isn't criticism of the government's specific conduct in these spheres, but that is an entirely different discussion. The common liberal critique is of letting *corporations* run the show in these areas. Not that this is a peculiarly liberal critique, unless you want to classify Eisenhower and a lefty. Some have done this, but only at the risk of having people point at them and laugh.

  6. bw says:

    "when you stop talking about business — about money — and start talking about blowing shit up, putting people in jail, and executing them, the opposite seems to be true"

    There's really not any bright conservative/liberal line on this. Liberals have controlled Congress for 4 years and the White House for 2. They haven't so much as lifted a finger to slow/stop the wiretapping, torture, and general gestapo-like behavior of Homeland Security. How's that repeal of the Patriot Act coming?

    Both sides of the aisle tend to increase government's hold on our lives. One side gives lip service to the contrary, but in the end, anyone who truly believes in liberty isn't going to want to run for office in the first place, because the will to power is incompatible with a libertarian mindset. With precious few exceptions, everyone running for office has an innate desire to boss around large numbers of people, and once elected, tries to expand their ability to do so. Power doesn't corrupt, it merely attracts the latently corrupt.

  7. Al says:

    I would disagree with you, bw. Both liberals and conservatives (Republicans and Democrats or whatever label you'd like) tend to ignore the principals once they're in charge. We saw it with worries about civil liberties and before that fiscal conservatism. We'll see it again, I'm sure.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/143717/Republicans-Democrats-Shift-Whether-Gov-Threat.aspx

  8. Ezra says:

    Just to echo what Richard said (and I am a liberal) I think the military and justice are firmly in the Government's purview. I also think they need to be strongly regulated. A view I think is pretty consistent with what I believe needs to happen economically. Deregulation has been responsible for many of the woes we are currently suffering through, and yet the Right wants to further emasculate regulation (and the Dems only half heartedly push for regulation of most industries.)

  9. bw says:

    "I would disagree with you, bw. "

    That's great, Al, but if you meant to actually do so in your comment, then you need to read my comment more carefully, because you pretty much echoed what I said.

  10. The Californian says:

    bw, lack of a Democrat/Republican bright line does not equal lack of a conservative/liberal bright line. I doubt very many of the Democrats in Congress call themselves liberals.

  11. bw says:

    Their leadership certainly embrace the label, and they set control what makes it to the floor. The president also embraces it. Both sides of the left/right, dem/rep line seek the same thing – to increase their own power. The only difference is, one side is honest about it.

  12. MadRocketScientist says:

    Ezra – So you also believe that all government regulatory agencies should also be tightly regulated & controlled?

  13. TimG says:

    I am not by any means in touch with politics. What I do know leads me to believe that bw was correct in saying that "… everyone running for office has an innate desire to boss around large numbers of people, and once elected, tries to expand their ability to do so. Power doesn’t corrupt, it merely attracts the latently corrupt."

    Common sense would tell us that killing someone is a huge decision to make and that all available resources to make this decision should be exhausted before determining if someone should be killed or not. I am not saying that I am against the death penalty, quite the contrary, I am a supporter… when the person being executed has actually committed a crime worthy of death being the punishment. Being hasty is stupid, we must remember that the purpose of convicting someone of a crime is to bring them to justice. If we inadvertently commit a crime in the process then we have failed to provide justice. Simply don’t be hasty, and don’t attempt outsmart your common sense. Proof is essential, your common sense will show you how to find proof if you actually look for it and if it is actually there to find.

    Furthermore, The problem isn’t the death penalty as a whole, its bullshit lawyers and prosecutors with outside influences conflicting with their ability to make a morally correct decision. The same holds true with the "hand in my wallet" comment. Despite that its probably true that the majority of people that hold office don’t actually give a shit about the public or that they hold money and power in higher regard than they do integrity, honesty or nobility, it is also true that anyone who holds office in the government anywhere did something to earn that position, therefore, the people in government obviously know more about it than we do, otherwise we would be the ones in charge of government, not them. What we must do respect their expertise while obligating them to uphold a high level of moral rectitude.

    The alternative to “helping them help themselves” is to attempt to overthrow them. In order to do this we would have to find a way to inconspicuously control those who are in control, gain their trust, and destroy them from within, which will never happen because in order to be that conniving and manipulative we would have to become what we hate. Which would not only be hypocritical, but will never happen on a big enough scale to make a difference. So bitching about it is pointless. The real solution is to just uphold high moral standards. That’s really the best solution to everything.

  1. October 29, 2010

    [...] from POPEHAT. The key graf: Giving the government the power to do things we like tends to give the government the power to do things we don’t like. In a perfect world, conservatives would see that reposing uncritical trust in prosecutors and cops ultimately promotes the government’s power to regulate their businesses and their health care. Liberals would see that trusting regulators and bureaucrats increases the government’s power to jail citizens upon flimsy evidence. Maybe one day more people will meet in the middle and recognize that the appropriate stance of an informed citizen towards all elements of the government is vigilance, skepticism, and firm support of individual rights against the state. Perhaps more people will agree that the correct response to any government attempt to control the individual is to question: “What evidence do you have to support this? Is it really believable? Can it be trusted? Is it enough [...]