February 22, 2016

Antonin Scalia Could Have Been Assassinated

With all due respect to RedState author and blogger, Moe Lane, I disagree with the incompetence he assigns members of the Obama administration (and maybe by extension their sympathizers and cohorts) to dismiss the possibility of them executing a plot to murder Antonin Scalia.

Since the only inspiration I find to use this blog anymore is in the afterglow of a Twitter exchange with someone who has considerably more political and cultural influence than I have and whose acknowledgement of my offerings to the ether features aspects I can then ridicule in the hopes of provoking further interaction across media platforms, I would like to offer a critique of the tendency to flatly dismiss the most nefarious explanations as akin to flatly guzzling them.

The Drudge Report's headline last week reported in red that Scalia was found dead with a pillow over his head. That the scant information available has the pristine, cryptic quality of also wrapping him in tinfoil is difficult for me to ignore. To grant this detail mundanity in an innocent or natural theory of events is to suggest that A) Scalia's eyes were covered out of respect by the first person who discovered him and that reports he was discovered with a pillow over his face are technically true of subsequent viewers and that this technicality, known (somehow) with certainty by those glossing over the pillow, was exploited in order to bait those without this super secret inside knowledge into suspecting foul play (and therefore into looking like conspiracy nuts) or that B) Scalia, as he lay dying, placed the pillow over his own face as part of either an obscure ritual or an attempt to smother himself in conspiracy.

The manner of death of a person in such a pivotal position is as scandalous as need be relative to the vogue of one's particular depravity so you can't believe everything you read. 24-hour rule. Remember, this is an election year and there is a lot at stake. Keep your eye on the ball. That's just what they'd want you to think. Let's not be hasty. So I can understand Moe cautioning his followers and readers from adopting the most sensational of possible circumstances surrounding Scalia's death, but he does so not based on evidence to the contrary or because unethical or illegal behavior would be uncharacteristic, but, in part, because a previous scandal, Fast And Furious, was exposed by virtue of an incompetence he implies would be symptomatic of all other conceivable attempts (or at least this attempt) at competence. He does not dismiss an elaborate murder plot for being an unlikely or unsupported possibility, but as something that certainly did not happen. With all things being equal, a claim as unsubstantiated as a murder plot.

Instead of crucifying Moe for thinking he can just tweet without scientific rigor whenever he pleases, I want to consider why he might have chosen the option he did. Why natural causes when murder is just as valid with the same information? Why natural heart attack instead of poison heart attack instead of no heart attack at all but that's what we're supposed to think?

In Human Action, Ludwig Von Mises describes all human action as purposeful and aimed at removing or alleviating unease for a more satisfactory state of affairs. So I wonder if the unease soothed by actively dismissing a murder plot springs from an unease to validate a motive or state-of-mind that is inconsistent with or inconceivable to the dismisser. Where a murderer's relative deviation (or perceived or necessary deviation) from one's own sense of propriety is rejected more satisfactorily as the unease of accepting the deviant as a fellow member of one's species or culture intensifies. Where flatly dismissing a murder plot absolves everyone of suspicion and liberates future pursuits from the complication or distraction of any unease not dispelled when the slightest consideration of a murder plot, in the absence of a perpetrator, implicates everyone. Where rejecting the most conspiratorial or intricate explanations might have the dual benefit of initially seeming sober and optimistic while also being the easiest to forgive in the event that the 'unthinkable' proves to be true.


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