Those logical disconnects

I’m sorry blogging has been so light today, but it’s been a go-go-go kind of day that’s left little time for anything but, well, going.  I did have a thought today, which I’ll share with you.

Most lawyers I know have little that’s complimentary to say about the average trial court judge, a feeling that often extends to appellate courts (who are viewed as slightly brighter, although just as capable of intellectual dishonesty and bias).  Any conversation with lawyers eventually gets around to this or that judge and the terrible decisions emanating from that “honorable” member of the bar.

Given all that, I find it incredibly perplexing when lawyers announce to me that they have no problem with judicial activism.  Let’s just ignore entirely, for the moment, the anti-democratic nature of judicial activism — something the Founding Fathers devoutly hoped to avoid.  Even with that out of the way, I can’t grasp why someone who deals daily with the fact that judges are, on average, merely average, with a striking number (let’s say, about half) below average, would still want to place decisions of major national importance in the hands of these same judges.

This is the kind of cognitive dissonance that drove me away from the Left and into the Right.  There’s a lack of logic driving liberal thinking that I simply couldn’t handle any more.  My brain rebelled.  Considering that I spent more than a decade harping about bad judges, why would I increase their power?  I simply elevated learned real world over theory.

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Comments

  1. Mike Devx says

    Let me throw something out there to our liberal readers:
    What disconnects do you see us engaging in on the conservative side?

    (The liberal ones sure are easy to see; but then it’s always easier, looking from the outside in, to see.)

  2. Charles Martel says

    Mike:

    I’ll play the Helen here and point out just one:

    How can you fret so much over killing unborn children but abandon them to hunger, neglect and violence once they’ve been born?

  3. BrianE says

    BW, you’ve got it all wrong. Just ask Jonathan Haidt! It’s not that you can’t understand their logic, it’s that you’re afraid of change, inflexible and long for hierarchy.

    …the second rule of moral psychology is that morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way. When Republicans say that Democrats “just don’t get it,” this is the “it” to which they refer.

    What makes people vote Republican? Why in particular do working class and rural Americans usually vote for pro-business Republicans when their economic interests would seem better served by Democratic policies? We psychologists have been examining the origins of ideology ever since Hitler sent us Germany’s best psychologists, and we long ago reported that strict parenting and a variety of personal insecurities work together to turn people against liberalism, diversity, and progress. But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer “moral clarity”—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.

    http://edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html

  4. Danny Lemieux says

    Here’s another big perceived (by Liberal /Lefties) disconnect that we can relate to, MikeD: Conservatives say they want peace but they always support big military budgets and advocate attacking sovereign countries.

    Or another: Conservatives claim to believe in education but oppose increased funding for schools.

  5. David Foster says

    Well, the judge is a member of the same *class* that the lawyers are, inasmuch as he himself is a lawyer. Analogy: a hereditary aristocrat thinks that many other such are jerks, but he still favors measures to increase the power of the aristocracy versus the peasants, laborers, and merchants.

    In the present case, judicial activism (and the “progressive” policy set in general) tends to increase the power of the overall lawyer class.

    Much modern politics is about horizontal rather than vertical class struggle: ie, particular occupational groups attempting to increase their relative power and status at the expense of others.

  6. Danny Lemieux says

    Interesting take, David Foster. It could also explain why the “lawyer class” has been so active in destroying the “medical professional class”. Their honored perch seems less crowded that way.

    Similarly, after having hobnobbed around with some very rich people throughout my life and career, I have come to believe that many of these not-very-nice people such as Buffet, Kerry, Soros (although he’s a special case altogether…he may be the antichrist, after all), Gore, Kennedy, Pelosi et al are self-aggrandizing liberals with the full intention of smacking the rest of us riff-raff back into our place so that they can feel doubly special. Thus their support for higher taxes on the middle class…taxes which they themselves have no intention of paying, thanks to loopholes, overseas trust fund accounts etc.

    It’s not as much fun being rich if the average middle-class Joe and Jill Six-Pack can enjoy a lifestyle almost as rich and fulfilling as your own. The yaght just doesn’t seem so special anymore and the cost of hired help just keeps going up and up.

    Maybe it the time will come to time to take out the pitchforks and do some barn cleaning.

  7. BrianE says

    Does this qualify as cognitive dissonance?

    MSNBC video of Governor Palin pardoning the obligatory Thanksgiving turkey, which is followed by a local interview while in the background turkeys are meeting their fate. They actually block out some of the video as to not offend the sensibilities of what– vegetarians? It’s not like they’re showing the birds getting whacked with an axe.
    Do these people think they’re buying turkeys who’ve died of old age? So it’s too much to show people how the food they are enjoying gets to be the food they enjoy, but have no problem with sucking the brains out of fetuses or showing American soldiers being blown up by roadside bombs.
    I don’t think it gets any more disconnected than that.

    http://www.floppingaces.net/2008/11/21/sarah-palins-turkey-pardon-massacre/

  8. suek says

    >>How can you fret so much over killing unborn children but abandon them to hunger, neglect and violence once they’ve been born?>>

    Who knows the future? Obama should have been aborted by most standards applied today. Would Helen think that was a good idea?

    Who knows what great person might result from any one of those unborn children, were they not to be aborted!

  9. Mike Devx says

    Once again my fellow conservatives have stepped up to the plate, and nary a liberal voice to be heard (yet).

    Charles (#3)
    >> How can you fret so much over killing unborn children but abandon them to hunger, neglect and violence once they’ve been born? >>

    We believe in charity, not government.

    Danny Lemeiux (#5)
    >> Conservatives say they want peace but they always support big military budgets and advocate attacking sovereign countries. >>

    Well, you can’t count Bush among conservatives. Aside from him, the attackers are mostly Democrats, aren’t they? Conservatives believe a strong military deters war.

    >> Conservatives claim to believe in education but oppose increased funding for schools. >>

    Increased funding for government schools, you bet we oppose it. Because government schools are a failing money pit. We don’t believe in throwing good money after bad.

    The problem with education being the great engine of “equal opportunity” is that for conservatives, education tends to be a local issue. We don’t much care what’s going on over there in Paducah. We tend to take care of our own communities, and leave you to take care of yours.

  10. Charles Martel says

    Mike:

    After the Massachusetts Supreme Court created the “right” for homosexuals to marry one another in 2005, I had an interesting discussion with my best leftist friend about judicial usurpation and the source of rights.

    He’s an atheist, which means that rights for him ultimately issue from the barrel of a gun. Whoever holds the power — in this case, owns the supreme court — gets to create rights at will.

    He said that the rights enumerated by the Founders were “negative” ones, old-fashioned and too limited for modern people. He said the new rights that activists like the Massachusetts judges hoped to provide the rest of us included:

    —The right to education

    —The right to housing

    —The right to healthcare

    He couldn’t understand when I told him that that list scared me. I explained that the “negative” rights named in the Bill of Rights simply reiterate what we all know are the ones that belong to us as human beings and that they put the government on notice to not even think about going there.

    In other words, they describe a state in which people can live most of their lives life free of government.

    “Positive” rights on the other hand require massive government intervention because the government is the only institution that can bring them about:

    —The right to education means the government decides what children learn. Since when are bureaucrats educated in any classical sense? How would they know what to prescribe to teach?

    —The right to housing means the government decides what is “proper” and “decent” for people to live in, and eventually where they must live.

    —The right to healthcare eventually means rationing and a decline in standards since bureaucracies always gravitate to the lowest and slowest level of service.

    Most of all, I told him, these “rights” necessitated theft on the government’s part since it is incapable of producing wealth on its own. If the goverment imposes these rights, it must pay for them. And the only way a government can do that is to point a gun at producers and say, “Fork it over.”

    My friend, a socialist to the core, could not understand what I was saying.

    Now, multiply him by 63 million.

  11. Mike Devx says

    Charles (#13)
    So, your friend is an atheist and a socialist.
    Sometime, tell us something good about him!

    (I know, I know, since I am agnostic because I lost my faith – though it still makes sense to me that there is a Creator God, I simply do not have the faith – I shouldn’t slam atheists…)

  12. Mike Devx says

    I just gotta post this. An article is out on Confederate Yankee saying that the run on guns is being slowed only due to supply. Here’s an excerpt. And then, I loved every single word of the entire first comment, so I’m posting all of it here. Apologies for the length, but I LOVE it. My desire to own my own AR-15, I now understand, isn’t because I want an assault rifle … it’s because I want my own personal Check And Balance. Exactly right!
    —–
    The link:
    http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/278466.php
    —–
    Excerpt from the article:
    —–
    “I could sell a hundred ARs an hour, if I had them.”

    That was the word from the man behind the counter at my local gun shop yesterday afternoon when I stopped in. As if to put an exclaimation point on his claim, two men added their names to an ever-growing waiting list to purchase AR-15 carbines within minutes of my entering the store.

    Two months ago, the first two racks of rifles to great you as you entered Fuquay Gun & Gold would be bristling with AR15 carbines, AK-pattern rifles, and a smattering of SKS carbines. Today, those same worn racks are almost bare except for misfits from the Island of Misfit Martial Toys
    —–
    And the entire first comment, which I think is awesome. (The author id is “Id”)
    —–
    I want one. I’m afraid of guns. They scare me. But some things are more dangerous than a gun in the hands of a free citizen of a democracy. Like a Marxist Socialist in the White House… because Marxists have killed 100,000,000 human beings and are the most murderous politicians in world history, I believe. But an armed citizenry is a protection against mass murder by Marxist Socialist politicians – the most genocidal politicians on the planet, perhaps.

    See, I used to call those guns “AR’s” for “Assault Rifle”. But that’s not really what they are. They’re “C&BS”. “Check & Balance Systems”.

    I think we need our Check & Balance Systems now more than ever here in the USA.

    All systems must operational and prepared for the exercise of our Constitutional Right.

    Now, if the Founding Fathers wanted us ARMED against a Government that could go genocidal on us, did they really believe we were supposed to honor politicians in order to honor God?? Do Christians really understand that we are to view Marxist Socialist politicians, for example, as evil?? And protect ourselves?? Because they might try to kill us?? That’s what the Founding Fathers were MOST concerned about… because they knew history… and they did not exalt politicians or believe that honoring politicians in office was necessary to be a good Christian. They thought being armed against the Government so officials wouldn’t get all power hungry and turn murderuos… and having no trust in the Government… was being Christian.

    :)

    I want a Check & Balance System because it’s one of the most effective deterrant against politicians acting like they’re God and deserve our worship and think they can take away our Constitution and our Rights… even to life.

    Politicians are dangerous people that are most prone become very evil and dangerous when the people don’t have those Check & Balance Systems against a Government gone Socialist, for example, which is a Government System responsible for 100,000,000 murders of citizens of it’s own countries.

    I pray my fellow citizens are armed to the hilt… and rise up to protect and defend the right to bear arms if this Government tries to take that right away. Because the next step by a Marxist would be genocide, imo, and Obama is a Marxist, imo, based on the facts.

    Grace.
    ———-

    Thank you, Id.

  13. Danny Lemieux says

    Charles, Rush Limbaugh once made the salient distinction between a “right” and an “entitlement”.

    A “right” makes no demand upon others. Thus, your right to speak freely or to own a firearm does not demand a sacrifice by others. Thus, contrary to Orwellian Liberal/Lefty-speak, it is a positive right.

    An “entitlement” (as to which you allude in post-#13) demands the forcible expropriation from the property of others in order to enforce that right. These are negative rights.

    “Free” healthcare means that someone must be forcibly relieved of their wealth in taxes and medical professionals must be forced to provide their services at below-market rates to comply (thereby encouraging the most qualified medical professionals to leave the profession, but I digress).

    The “Right to Housing” got us to where we are today. ’nuff said.

  14. Deana says

    Sorry – I am late to this discussion.

    My understanding of negative vs. positive rights is how Charles describes them in #13. I have not heard them described the way Danny describes them in #15.

    Are these concepts defined somewhere in the law?

    The reason I ask is that prior to the election, there was that audio tape of Obama being interviewed on a radio station several years ago. His complaint was that the Constitution was flawed and that one of its problems was that is only assured negative rights (the right to be free of government intervention/power) and not positive rights (what the government must do for you).

    I assume, given that Obama was this constitutional professor, that his distinction between negative vs. positive rights was accurate but who knows?

    Anyway, what he said really scared me. I mean, I’m no Constitutional historian but wasn’t the whole point of the Constitution to keep government at bay and humans free?

    Deana

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