Death of a Journalist

We'll never know if the Feds are whacking people in their way.

Yahoo News reports:

Michael Hastings, the award-winning journalist whose explosive 2010 Rolling Stone profile of U.S. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal ("The Runaway General") led to McChrystal's resignation, died Tuesday in an early morning car accident in Los Angeles, the magazine said. He was 33.

This might not seem startling - after all, journalists have to die sometime just like the rest of us.  But hardly did the news of Hastings' fiery demise hit the net when rumors began:

I’ve seen dozens of cars hit walls and stuff at high speeds and the number of them that I have observed to eject their powertrains and immediately catch massive fire is, um, ah, zero. Modern cars are very good at not catching fire in accidents. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is an evolutionary design from a company known for sweating the safety details over and above the Euro NCAP requirements, should be leading the pack in the not-catching-on-fire category. Nor is the C-Class known for sudden veering out of control into trees and whatnot.

Let us state upfront for the record, that we do not believe that Mr. Hastings was "hit" by the Military-Industrial Complex, either as revenge for taking down Gen. McChrystal or in fear of what he might reveal in his current investigative effort which the world will never see.  More probably, he was under the extensive influence of mind-altering substances and, like not enough of mind-altered lefties, earned himself a Darwin Award.

But we do not know for sure, and we never will.  The last article Mr. Hastings published before his death, "Why Democrats Love to Spy On Americans," was not the sort of thing the Obama administration wants to hear from its usual sycophants in the media.  The Left is suddenly, at long last, discovering that Big Government might just be a threat to them, and they're every bit as discomfited as we are.

When You Realize You're Over The Edge

You see, there is a fundamental difference between the Left and the Right that underscores virtually all the major conflicts and problems in America today - and, really, in the world.

Liberals believe that government is inherently a force for good.  To them, it's self-evident truth that enlightened bureaucrats who share their leftist values will enforce them on recalcitrant proles in a way that will inevitably lead to good results for everybody.  They truly believe that placing more power and money in the hands of government will make things better despite all evidence to the contrary.  Mr. Obama goes further: he thinks that taking power and money from the hands of wealthy individuals and businesses that actually earned it is, in itself, a worthy objective for the sake of "fairness" even if government tax revenue goes down.

Conservatives believe much the opposite.  As the Father of our Country put it, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."  Like fire, government has its uses and we wouldn't want to be entirely without it.  At all times, though, it must be treated with the gravest of caution, and given more power only with the utmost of hesitation.

This is because history proves that government will take every opportunity to take control over all aspects of our lives, without restraint of morals, law, or common sense.  Because government is force, by the time the people realize what's happened to them it's often too late to do anything peaceful about it.  Our founders believed that it is essential that private individuals keep as much of their own wealth and liberty as possible, and that these rights must be defended by the strongest possible protections both Constitutional, political, and cultural.

Conservatives tend to be suspicious of government even when it's doing things that are right and proper.  Alas, this disagreement over the fundamental rightness of government has caused leftists to view many staunch Americans as conspiracy-theorist nutcases.

Conspiracies Coming Home To Roost

The startling thing about 2013 is how many conspiracy theorists turned out to be right.  For years, we've heard unshaven cash-only businessmen complaining that the IRS audited them because they vote Republican, and we've heard far-right churches holler that the government is out to get them.  Now we find that the IRS was in fact stonewalling and auditing people and organizations purely because of their political beliefs just as the conspiracy theorists complained!

Similarly, we've chuckled at movies where an all-powerful government agency can see and hear everything everyone says and does, and where corrupt bureaucrats use that awesome power to blackmail and frame people to further their own nefarious ends.  We now have proof that, at the very least, the first half is a hair's-breadth from being true, and there's at least some reason to suspect the blackmail half as well.

It's as if Dennis Kucinich and Shirley MacLaine called a press conference, and in front of the assembled representatives of the world media broadcasting live, announced, "We have been visited by extraterrestrial beings - and I'd like to introduce you to Ambassador ZZxxyxck from Planet W.  Here he is!"

It seens that for a long time now, America has been like Wile E. Coyote.  We walked off the edge of a cliff some ways back, but since we haven't looked down, we didn't know it was there, the occasional bearded loon ranting and madly pointing down notwithstanding.

The media leftists are now looking down, and are astounded to discover there's a vast chasm beneath them.  You mean the Democrat administration of Barack Obama was tapping phone lines and computers of journalists?  But... but... they're the good guys!

The simple fact is: no, they are not.  They are human beings just like everyone else.  Absolute power corrupts them absolutely just as surely as it did Richard Nixon, and for that matter Hitler.  The only way to ensure that they can't abuse absolute power is by not giving it to them in the first place - in other words, by being and voting conservative, and by firmly enforcing the strictures of the Constitution upon all our leaders regardless of their political party.

Cognitive Dissonance

All this evidence that government employees are greedy, selfish, fallible, power-hungry humans is an outlandishly bitter pill for leftists to swallow, and we can expect large numbers of leftist sorts to choke on it.  We see this when journalists defend the right of the government to tap everyone and anyone; after all, it's for "our own safety."

Let's be clear:  "It's for our safety" is a call for a police state, especially when there are so many other ways to protect us.  We'd surely all be safer from burglary and even murder if the police could just barge into anyone's home at any time looking for evidence.  From the point of view of official crime statistics, Nazi Germany was a very safe place.  You could leave your doors unlocked without fear of a masked marauder.

That was only because the marauders wore not masks but uniforms and jackboots, and came armed with the full power of the state.  The millions murdered in concentration camps never showed up in the crime statistics, but they were just as dead as if they'd been killed by the private sector.

And so is Mr. Hastings.  Was he the victim of an unfortunate accident or of his own bad decisions?  Was he another score for a secret assassination squad?  We'll never know and neither will anyone else.  What's important is for all of journalism, both left and right, to fully realize and understand this horrifying truth - it could happen to you!

Then, maybe they'll start doing some actual, honest to gosh, speak-truth-to-power investigative journalism into government evil and corruption like Mr. Hastings attempted.  Unless they're afraid they'll end up as he did...

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

Great article!! Mr. Hastings's death probably won't bring Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews to take their blinders off, but I'll bet, at least in private, that many of the journalists who played to the Democrats, and pray to the Golfer, are having second thoughts.
With all of the 'truth' laws, do we need a 'truth from government(s) law, do you think?
Peace, Robert Walker

June 25, 2013 10:54 AM
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