Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Law is the Loser, Part 3: Short Early Notes on the Malheur Verdict

As my readers probably know by now, the prosecution of half of the various people who occupied the Malheur Wildlife Reservation failed. Apparently jurors believed the the theory that "They got together and robbed a bank, but they're really not a gang."
There's going to be a lot said and written on this in the future, so this has to be regarded as informed speculation.
It seems that one juror, juror 4 who remains anonymous, swung the decision, and even apparently got another juror, juror 11, Curt Nickens, removed from the jury for disagreeing with him. As I said, I regard the legal reasoning for the acquittal specious. I expect that more about the jury deliberations will come out, and perhaps we will know more in a year or so. But I am thinking that the legal reasoning here is similar to that of the Burger, Rehnquist, and Roberts Supreme Courts, when Scalia was sitting on the Court. There are all these fine arguments in favor of indefensible rulings. This has penetrated the public consciousness, to the point where many people regard law as a matter of abstract reasoning, unfair and disconnected from reality, and find it appropriate to render verdicts in a similar way.

Vote, You Suckers!

It is a curious fact that, even among the opponents of democracy, the vote is considered important. That is why there is so much effort to persuade people not to do it, to persuade people to vote for candidates who can't possibly win, to prop up splitter candidates, to make it difficult to get permission to vote, to revoke people's permission to vote, to lose people's permission to vote, to falsify the vote, to not count the vote, to claim the vote isn't valid. Your vote counts, and your political opponents know it. That's why they don't want you to do it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Third-Party Voters: There Is No-one To Receive Your Message

"The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless."—Alan Moore

This election has seen widespread support for third party candidates, ceding the choice of officials to other voters who vote for one of the major-party candidates or, worse, the side which has better party discipline. There is much talk of "sending a message." There is no-one to send a message to, only our peers. There is no-one to receive that message, no god, no king. If we do not set our hands to the tiller, the world goes adrift.

Vote, puny humans!