The Road To Justice

I was doing my “usual” channel hopping news absorb cycle and, well, CNN had Wolf Blized come on, so I needed a different “left angle” channel in the jump loop. Every so often I’ve sampled a bit of MSNBC but they are a bit “much” to stomach most of the time. It’s often just a long litany of throwing rocks at the Republicans and not much else.

This time wasn’t much different.

I don’t know what the show was, or who the guy was (looked sort of Hispanic / Middle Eastern but could have just as easily been southern Italian) at any rate, he was large, with good looks, and presented well, so I hung out for a while to see what he was on about (having never seen him before, and him clearly being an Anchor, it was ‘new’ so interesting).

I learned a couple of things. Not at all what he wanted me to experience, but so it goes.

First off, there was a lot of talk about the value of what we were doing in Libya. All, basically, of the form “We are saving lives so it is good.” At one point he said that now we are at last “On the road to Justice”.

So here we have one of the more “looney left” of places on the planet, who have historically called themselves “anti-war” and he is finding justice and glory in the bombing, death, and destruction of people. I guess because it was “the right people”…

But what struck me most was the “smirk”. We’ll come back to that later… it was clear, though, that every time he mentioned, or a ‘guest’ mentioned, something they held as a positive value they got a bit of ‘happy juice’ from the thought… I’d sort of noticed it before, the glee at irrational emotional response on MSNBC reporters, and also a very dour demeanor when they would be on the “wrong” side of events, usually resulting in an emotional tirade (thus the p in pMSNBC some times). Lately, since Obama has taken over, they have had more ’emotional highs’ and the dour moments have been much fewer.

Oddly, the question of “talking to congress” came up. It was basically dismissed with a “meeting next week” and no discussion of the fact that the constitution kind of says “congress declares war before you do it”… Then The Big Smirk and “But Kadaffi was going to attack those people in Benghazi so we had to save them now.” You could almost see the “pants tent” forming as the shot of ‘happy juice’ to the brain worked its way down… I could feel him feeling “I’m saving lives, I’m good, the Others are evil”… with that slightly vacant look to the eyes as the happy button gets pushed… release those endorphins…

Then they moved on to discussion of Republicans and had great joy in showing old film of Col. North saying to congress that he had lied to them. That military intervention was being done without congressional approval. Did they note that this was held to be a criminal act? Nope. They equated gun running to the Contra to using our full military might to crush Kadaffi directly. And the “rightness” of the acts was not relevant, only that “republicans did it” so they can’t possibly have a moral grounds for complaint now. They were just reveling in the schadenfreude, nothing more. Smirks verging on grins all around…

Then on to slandering various Republican candidate prospects for president. Any inspection of positions? Views? What they might mean to the country if elected? Comparative strengths against various Democratic candidates?


Just one after another tossing insults, doing name calling, playing the “Gotcha! Game” writ large. Finding clips of candidates saying one thing in one context, another at a different time, then doing A/B for the “Aren’t they just Stupid! Gotcha!!” juice. More smirky grins and pants tents… you could just feel the emotional climax building.

I changed the channel…

See, this is the problem of a too strong “empathy”. Their “slovenly emotional undisciplined” slides into my Tidy Mind and is very uncomfortable. I find my self thinking things like “Can you really be that idiotic?” “I feel your joy, but from emotional torture of another? That’s evil.” “Is there no reason in your skull?” “Do others not see you for the fool you are?” “Have you never heard of ‘logical consistency’?” and so much more… The juxtaposed “feel the emotive happy juice by proxy” with “they have an empty brain” realization is just a very uncomfortable mix. I’m simultaneously feeling empathy for the person they are skewering (“feeling their pain”) and feeling the presenters joy at causing that pain. Seeing the world through the eyes and emotions of these “psychological idiot-bullies”, and it hurts.

Hearing the lie of “The Road To Justice”; and seeing that it’s paved with bombs, death, and dying, with ridicule of the checks and balances that are supposed to assure that there is, in fact, a just cause for killing and not just a pants tent moment for an emotionally undisciplined idiot-leader or “the Mob” of Democracy.

At any rate, for better or worse, with or without the Rule Of Law, with or without Congressional approval, we are now, per the Looney Side of Left, on “The Road To Justice”… Please, dear God, don’t let them help me, or anyone else, anymore… If they keep helping the world like this, we’ll all end up dead or damaged.

All these video clips have a commercial at the start… I couldn’t find the most clear example from today, so these are a bit “tame” in comparison. This isn’t the clip I saw, but it’s similar. Watch for the slams / smirks (though the emotions are a bit lower in this clip, more like “guys having fun a bit”):

More Republican bashing with giggle and smirks here (builds toward the end):

Oddly, this coverage of the recent events in Jordan, Syria, and Yemen is an example of good news coverage from them (you have to scroll to the bottom and click the video link directly as the embed code they give does not work with wordpress…)

Ron Jordan, at least, knows how to tell the story of the news with both “The Facts” and “The Feeling” and without “The Spin”. Good for him.

So whatever “it” is, it’s mostly in their “opinion sections” (that, unfortunately, seems to be most of what they have…)

Also, FWIW, their present coverage is saying that what Obama is doing is inside the War Powers Act and that Obama is “following the letter of the law” and so has 60 days.

As I recall it, the War Powers Act was for cases where we had been attacked, not a 60 day carte blanche for nuking the word or “having a bit of fun with aircraft carriers” in the Middle East… Perhaps congress needs to “fix it”, if this is how it will be used.

A Modest Suggestion

If you can take it, pick a bit of time to watch just a bit of the MSNBC fare. I’m good for about 10 minutes of it, then need something more centrist like Al Jazeera or the BBC to clean it out of the brain… ;-)

In particular, watch for the emotional “hit points” where the smirk comes, the giddy glee at rock tossing, the Gotcha! Gimmick; and all the rest.

It seems to me that they are, most likely without realizing it, providing a textbook model for what makes The Looney Side of Left so looney. It is those emotional defects that let them feel such joy in the pain of others, that lets them dismiss important restraint on application of death dealing measures with “The Road To Justice” and the “ends justify the means” thinking. All the “good intentions” in the world don’t change where that road leads. Mid afternoon seems most full of this stuff, but I’ve seen it on some evening shows too. Just watch for the “Glory in the Schadenfreude” attitude.

Don’t know what this might mean about others. My Democrat friends typically don’t have it. (Well, one does, but only a little and he feels a bit embarrassed about it). Is it a pathology only of the ultra-left? Or more pervasive, even into the ‘middle of the bird’? Does it strengthen again when you get out to the other end at Libertarians? Does it have a peak at the Republican Extremist end? I’ve not seen nearly so much there… but I’ll be watching more for it now.

Also, for the inevitable attack: Yes, you can find some schadenfreude on the “right” as well. But not nearly so much (1/10 as much?) and they do feel guilty about it, or at least a bit introspective.

So for me, the “working hypothesis” is that “The Far Left” has an emotional control disorder. They are addicted to the emotional “high” of inflicting pain on others along with an unjustified sense of moral superiority (and more ‘joy juice’ from that self actualization as well…) They claim high empathy, but it is a very selective empathy, and always filtered through the Agenda.. if you are defined as “bad” then it’s ok to enjoy hurting you… We’ve seen where that path leads. That “Jewish Question” style of labeling… Just put “Republican” in as “The Republican Question” and you could easily see them happily loading the rail cars and locking the doors. And in Libya now it’s just “The Kadaffi Question”… and they know the answer lies on The Road To Justice… after all, their intentions are good…

Sidebar on “Me”: I don’t have a position on “good vs bad” in Libya. Saving life is usually ‘a good thing’, but I don’t really know who is on which side of what there. I do know that if we wanted to save lives, we would have done something when the revolution was outside the doors of Tripoli, not waited until they were almost slaughtered. And if it really is about Kadaffi being evil, we ought to have a team go kill “just him”, and leave the rest of the country alive and intact. Why kill 10,000 civilians (or let them be killed) while wringing hands over how bad Kadaffi is? Why talk of “arming the revolution” instead of “bombs landed on all Kadaffi’s tents last night and he’s not been heard from since”…

No, there is something more going on in this game. While I don’t know what all it is, I do know it has an odd aroma…

And I really don’t see why I ought to be paying for it, why I ought to be backing a “side” that I know nothing much about, nor why I ought to be happy with folks shredding the constitution and using US Military Forces inside a foreign land just because the Arab League and the UN wanted to do so… and then Obama will get back to congress with a “progress(ive) report” later…

Maybe it is just. Maybe it is a good idea. Or maybe it isn’t. But “learning by trial and error” was never my favorite way of answering questions.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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14 Responses to The Road To Justice

  1. I agree, “there is something more going on in this game. While I don’t know what all it is, I do know it has an odd aroma . . “

  2. P.G. Sharrow says:

    That stench is not new, just 3 times strong. Do not fear my friends. The end of an era has begun. Those that will be destroyed are made mad by that smell.

    If any of you have worked bee hives, when the bees are happy the hive smells sweet and when they get mad the hive smells sour.

    2 more years and things will begin to get better. The good people will help one another and the others will be swept away. pg

  3. Another Ian says:

    O/T, but a bit of sweeping going on in the New South Wales, Australia stste election


  4. pascvaks says:

    Found the Mark Twain quote over at “Abnormal Interests” and it seemed to fit –
    “The low level which commercial morality has reached in America is deplorable. We have humble God fearing Christian men among us who will stoop to do things for a million dollars that they ought not to be willing to do for less than 2 millions.” (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902)

  5. H.R says:

    You can add “Justice” (as it is used nowadays) to your list of broken terms, E.M.

    It is now a code word for “equality of outcomes” used by those who are going to decide the outcomes or have already decided what the outcomes should be. It seems to be synonymous with “fairness” but life isn’t fair.

    Those that have peeked at a Bible once or twice might be familiar with this (From Mathew: Ch. 5).

    44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    I’ve not studied enough other religions to say, but I suppose other religious texts may have made a similar point.

    Life just “is.” Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Sometimes good people do bad things and somtimes bad people do good things.

    I just don’t recall me ever having been appointed to be “The One” to sort it all out. Well, unless I was voted by everyone on the planet to the position of Supreme Being while I was on vacation and missed it ;o)

  6. H.R says:


    Oooo… good one.

    I didn’t get to see that Twain quote until after I posted.

    (Above, I was a little peeved about how people hide behind the word “justice” when their actions have nothing to do with justice.)

  7. Gary says:

    After long observation I’ve concluded that there is a spectrum of political persuasions from left to right that correlates roughly with the relative proportions of emotion and reason that guides positions on issues. Simply, the left side is more emotion-based and the right more reason-based. By reason I mean grounded in the logic of premise and conclusion. By emotion I mean that what feels right. Reason, of course requires a belief in absolutes – unchanging values, foundational truths, etc. Emotion acknowledges only abstract personal opinion (“your truth may not be my truth”).

    So the emotional left is free to be fickle and unaware of its inconsistencies. The reasoning right is required to judge itself by unchanging standards. As an example, right-leaning politicians caught in scandal almost immediately resign; left-leaning ones are made committee chairmen and praised.

    Those who really seek justice would go mad with this situation if they did not realize there is a supreme Judge who said: Mene Mene Tekel Parsin.

  8. @P.G. Sharrow

    There is obviously a great unrest in the world. I do not understand it, but is is clearly present.

    For me personally, that unrest has steadily increased since the AGU meeting in Washington, DC in April of 1976, when the late Dr. Dwarka Das Sabu and I discovered that organized science was as dishonest in promoting misinformation about the birth of the solar system as organized religions were in promoting their own slanted views of God.

    My unease reached its current high level after e-mail messages revealed evidence of climatologists hiding and manipulating experimental data to promote government propaganda of AGW (anthropologic global warming).

    Propaganda that continues to be endorsed by the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society, the International Alliance of National Science Academies, government research agencies they control (NASA, NOAA, DOE, EPA, etc), the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, professional scientific organizations (AGU, IOP, APS, ACS), and the once respected scientific journals (Nature, Science, PNAS, etc) and influential public news outlets (BBC, PBS, etc).

    Yes, the “stench is not new.” Perhaps it is like that of a bee-hive when the bees are mad.

    Having faith in a power greater than that of the politicians and pseudo-scientists, I do not fear. But the old Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times,” likely describes our future.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  9. gnomish says:

    lol- how about shooting your TV ?

    would it be better to have none of it and thereby gain much time to tend one’s garden – or have the satirical pearls the irritation produces at the expense of half the world’s productivity?

  10. Ed Forbes says:

    The Prez does NOT have 60 days to conduct war without “..a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces…”

    Bush went to congress for a request to go to war with Iraq. Congress rubber stamped the request, but congress DID authorize it.

    Public Law 93-148, 87 Stat. 555, passed over President Nixon’s veto on November 7, 1973. The War Powers Resolution is sometimes referred to as the War Powers Act, its title in the version passed by the Senate. This Joint Resolution is codified in the United States Code (“USC”) in Title 50, Chapter 33, Sections 1541-48.

    TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 33 > § 1541
    Prev | Next
    § 1541. Purpose and policy

    (c) Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation
    The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
    (1) a declaration of war,
    (2) specific statutory authorization, or
    (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.—-000-.html

  11. boballab says:


    Here is a link to an Instavision interview with Dr. Jerry Pournelle that is far ranging:

    He touches on AGW, Fukushima, Disaster preparedness, his x-y axis on political philosophy, the internet and AI.

  12. Level_Head says:

    One odd wrinkle in the Libyan business that complicates the “justice” aspect is the nature of the soi disant rebels. I’ve heard attacks on Libya, and actions to help these rebels, justified in the phrase “remember Lockerbie” — but it appears that a frequently quoted “spokesman” for the rebel forces is possibly the man who ordered the Lockerbie bombing:

    Subsequently, I’ve seen his name scrubbed from articles, and a recent formulation looks like this for new ones:

    Libya News Update 2011 -The spokesman, Mohamed — who would not divulge his last name out of concern for his safety — said the destruction there is “unimaginable” and that Misrata was bombarded heavily over the past four days by forces loyal to Gadhafi.

    There is already much evidence of jihadists pushing for power in Libya, as they are across the Middle East. Helping them creates a peculiar form of justice, it seems to me.

    The other end of this is the WMD aspect. When we went into Iraq, Qaddafi immediately (within days) came to us and began negotiations to give up his WMDs. The deal was announced before the end of 2003, but we’d had inspectors in-county for months by that time. Now we’re taking him out, most of a decade later. Wasn’t that enough? It was enough for Saddam Hussein to simply stall, giving the left the ability to say “he eventually would have given up his programs” — Qaddafi already did.

    Certainly Hussein’s treatment of his own people rises far beyond anything done by Qaddafi.

    Both of these men are evil dictators. But the people celebrating attacks on Qaddafi defended and protected Hussein using logic that was bizarre then, and elevated to ludicrous hypocrisy now. And what about the substantial number of other evil dictators in the world — including those where we now have the might of the US military helping to put them in power?

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  13. gnomish says:

    is it ‘justice’ that’s being discussed – for not a single principle has yet been declared and the word is being used as a replacement for ‘irony’ in one case and ‘legality’ in another?

    though the term ‘justice’ has been usurped by every thug that ever got power over other people, it is not actually a legal construct, i think.

    first comes morality, then comes ethics; finally the monopoly of force that is any state assumes authority over enforcement of all ethics which are then converted into a fiat counterfeit called laws.

    whereas ethics is composed of principles (only 2, really, ownership and damage) and simple enough for any 3 yr old child of 2 to comprehend (‘mine’ is one of the first displays of recognition of one’s identity, in fact. ) a discussion of justice should touch on the principles, no?
    but when it’s taken as a given that, for example, that individuals own other individuals, there certainly is no justice to be found within that context – nothing but violations of rights – not ethics at all but the destruction thereof.

    it’s got to be challenging to have a discussion of a topic that is simply not present in the ingredients, eh?

  14. David says:

    It appears that NATO is engaged in a Lybian civil war, with perhaps not so “civil” rebels. The rebels are clearly not civilians, but an armed force. What kind of an armed force?

    The key players on the rebel council, at least those who we know about, all hail from the north-eastern Harabi confederation of tribes. The council has 31 members; the identities of several members has not been made public, ostensibly to protect their own safety. Jalil and Younis, two of the named members of the rebel council, come from the Haribi tribe, the dominant one in northeast Libya, and the one that overlaps with al Qaeda. Harabi tribe is a historically powerful umbrella tribe in eastern Libya that saw their influence wane under Col. Gadhafi. The Libyan leader confiscated swaths of tribal members’ land and redistributed it to weaker and more loyal tribes. According to this West Point study the North Eatern area of Libya is the residence or hometown of the highest concentration of foreign fighters who travel to Iraq to kill Americans, highly concentrated radical Islamist mosques and schools,precisely in those areas throughout Benghazi and Darnah which are today the epicenters of the revolt against Colonel Gaddafi which the US, Britain, France, and others are so eagerly supporting. It is becoming more apparent that we may be engaged in a civil war, supporting the very terrorist groups we are bombing in Afganistan.


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