Who Will Judge The Judges?

Who Will Judge The Judges?

WHO WILL JUDGE THE JUDGES?

By  D.S. Mitchell

Turtles All The Way Down

According to absurdist and other folks more clever than I, there is no inherent meaning to anything. Not that there’s no meaning, that would be nihilism, just that all things are arbitrary at their core. As famed genius Bertrand Russell put it, while addressing the issue of infinite regress, it is ‘turtles all the way down.’ An odd phrase based on the metaphor of the world sitting on the back of elephants, which in turn stood on the back of a turtle. Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels will likely recognize the concept.

The Price of Tea In China?

What does this have to do with the Supreme Court? Trust me, I’m getting there. The idea of ‘turtles all the way down’ also applies to society and the application of authority there in. Leaders, officers, and elites are not born. At least, supposedly, not anymore. Every position of power is designated by the people who constitute society. In a very real way the exercise of authority is ‘people all the way down.’ Humans chosen by other humans to hold power over them. In the context of a participatory democracy those humans are the elected officials.

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“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

“FOX NEWS” and Shameless Bias

“You see, the truth is Murdoch has become a cancer – an arrogant cancer – on our democracy,” K. Rudd,  former Australian PM

OPINION:

“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

D. S. Mitchell

“An Arrogant Cancer”

A democracy is dependent of diverse, reliable, independent, and accurate information. Kevin Rudd a former Australian prime minister has described Rupert Murdoch’s monopoly of Australia’s media as a “cancer on democracy,” that effectively serves “to chill free speech and undermine debate.” Mr. Rudd continued, “Murdoch has become a cancer – an arrogant cancer – on our democracy,” adding that over the past decade Murdoch has “viciously” campaigned against democracy in support of right wing, white  nationalism.

Politically Polarized and Manipulated News

The effect of Murdoch’s philosophy and his powerful media presence is not only effecting Australia, the UK but also the good ol USA, where media ownership has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few. The end result has been that Murdoch has deliberately encouraged politically polarized rhetoric and manipulated news for his own agenda.

Enemies In the Crosshairs
Rupert Murdoch through his company News Corp uses its power as a media Goliath to routinely attack his enemies whether it be in business or politics.  Murdoch uses his billions in wealth and power derived from that wealth as a media cudgel to “attack opponents in business and politics by blending editorial opinion with news reporting,” alleging that, as a result, those “who hold contrary views have felt intimidated into silence.”
Typical Strategy
This is very similar to what we see in the United States with Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and the Tuck.  According to Rudd, Murdoch with the strength of his cable viewing audience seeks “to maximize his political power in. . . defense of his ideological interests; one being climate change denial.”

James Murdoch, one of the 90 year old mogul’s sons  revealed recently he had quit his position on the board of New Corp because of “disagreements over certain editorial content … and certain other strategic decisions.”  Most particularly he pointed to the company’s coverage of Donald Trump’s presidency. He continued, “I reached the conclusion that you can venerate a contest of ideas, if you will, and we all do, and that’s important. But it shouldn’t be in a way that hides agendas,” James Murdoch said in a New York Times interview. It should be noted that James and his wife give millions to liberal causes and democratic candidates in direct opposition to his father’s espoused philosophy.

James Murdoch Should Know

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The Old Testament Is Not A Christian Book

The Old Testament Is Not Christian Book

We must be careful when accepting the dogma of a group that seems to have a confused understanding of the message of Jesus.

OPINION:

The Old Testament Is Not A Christian Book

By I.B. Freely

God Hates You

There seems to be a particular reputation which Christians have gotten over the last few decades. One that has lead several disaffected youth to “go atheist.” Nothing wrong with being atheist if that is what you want, but going against “The Rules” because they are there is just another kind of conformity. Particularly considering that anyone who would claim to be Christian and then judge, let alone hate, anyone for “religious reasons” are doing it wrong.

Thou Shalt Not

Christian Conservatives can quote the Old Testament chapter and verse all they like, a bit ironic considering their general attitude to our Jewish friends, but it won’t make a lot of difference. Not least because, stay with me here, THE OLD TESTAMENT IS NOT A CHRISTIAN BOOK! Forgive me the shouting but few things bend my wand like so-called “Christians” who don’t seem to realize that the Old Testament (otherwise known as the Torah), was mostly the Bible as background for Jesus. It is part of the Christian story but not the main plot. Including that bit in Exodus, 22:18 to be exact, about not suffering a witch to live.

Cool Guy Christ

Jesus was nothing but clear on his opinion when it came to accepting others. Unafraid to sit with outsiders he made friends and disciples of the dregs of society at the time. Lepers, both social and literal, accepted by him. Jesus making friends and even disciples  of prostitutes and tax collectors. He is mostly known for driving money changers from the temple but that was a special case.

Choice Quotes

Some of J-man’s most famous and memorable quotes are on this theme.  “Judge not lest ye be judged” could not be any clearer.  The “treat thy neighbor as they self” also seems pretty cut and dry.  Apparently the judgmental and pious among us are just as open to the same sort of treatment. Otherwise they would be massive hypocrites.  The clearest indication of what Jesus really meant, particularly for those who take the bit about being made in God’s image to mean they are literally God, is the bit about stones.

Sticks & Stones

The clearest indication that the rules had changed between Testaments is “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  Stoning was a popular mode of punishment before the arrival of Christ, used for “infractions against the lord” from adultery to working on the Sabbath and mixing fabrics.  What Jesus was helpfully pointing out is none of us are perfect.  So if you are going to punish someone for their sins, you’d better make darn sure you don’t have any yourself. The general idea being that judgement properly lies with God.  As does vengeance as it turns out.  The full quote on which the phrase vengeance is based is “vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”  Judgement, punishment and vengeance are not for humans to take.  At least for those who call themselves Christians.

Wise Words

Someone who laid things out in a cogent, and funny, way was Frank Zappa. In reaction to the attempts by the Christian Republicans at the Parent’s Music Resource Center to label records they didn’t like, Zappa opted to apply his own warning sticker to his 1985 album Frank Zappa Meets the Mother of Prevention:

“WARNING GUARANTEE: This album contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress. In some socially retarded areas, religious fanatics and ultra-conservative political organizations violate your First Amendment Rights by attempting to censor rock & roll albums. We feel that this is Un-Constitutional and Un-American. As an alternative to these government-supported programs (designed to keep you docile and ignorant). Barking Pumpkin is pleased to provide stimulating digital audio entertainment for those of you who have outgrown the ordinary.

The language and concepts contained herein are GUARANTEED NOT TO CAUSE ETERNAL TORMENT IN THE PLACE WHERE THE GUY WITH THE HORNS AND POINTED STIK CONDUCTS HIS BUSINESS.

This guarantee is as real as the threat of the video fundamentalists who use attacks on rock music in their attempt to transform America into a nation of check-mailing nincompoops (in the name of Jesus Christ). If there is a hell, its fires wait for them, not us.”

The Loudest Voices

That’s it. Don’t let religious fundamentalists take away the right of free speech (guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) in the name of Jesus, when those folks keep proving they are taking their message from the wrong book.

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/category/more-topics/brexit/

 

Serial Killer Saudi Prince: The Death of Jamal Khashoggi

The Death of Jamal Khashoggi

By Michael Leonard Douglas & D.S. Mitchell

Who was He?

Probably one of the most talked about stories of 2018 was that of  Jamal Khashoggi. His story is one tragedy that no one saw coming. At the age of 59, Jamal Khashoggi was a well-known Washington Post journalist. His career spanned more than 35 years, back to the 1980’s.

Early Years

Jamal Khashoggi was born on 10/13/1958 in Medina, Saudi Arabia. He was born to a well-connected Saudi family. Jamal was the nephew of notorious Iran-Contra arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi who had an estimated wealth in 1984 of over $4B US. His first cousin, Dodi Fayed made headlines in 1997 when he was romantically linked to Princess Diana. Fayed and Diana were both killed in a car accident in Paris that same year. Jamal Khashoggi’s grandfather had been the personal physician to King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Education

Khashoggi attended elementary and high school in Saudi Arabia. He came to the United States for his college education and went to Indiana State University, graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He married his first wife while in college and they later would have four children. Two of the children are American citizens.

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OPINION: Protecting Freedom Of The Press

OPINION:

Protecting Freedom of the Press

“Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely”. Wikipedia

By D.S. Mitchell, Jones William & David Shadrick

Bill Of Rights

The “right of the public to know” is among the fundamental principles of the American ideology. Freedom of the press is that guarantee.  Citizens in colonial times were allowed to print or say anything they wanted without censorship. Sounds like freedom of the press. The government, however,  could then prosecute you for what you said using the Seditious Libel law as their basis. The British government appointed Colonial officials to govern the English colonies. Those “colonial officials” made it common practice to punish the press for what they found inflammatory or negative to the crown. As friction grew and colonists increased resistance to British rule more than 1200 cases were brought against colonists for speaking their mind publicly, or in the press. Freedom of the press did not exist.

Madison Steps Up

After winning the Revolutionary war, the framer’s of the proposed Constitution met to define what free speech and other basic freedoms would actually be under United States law.  James Madison was assigned the task. His ideals would form the first ten amendments of the Constitution. British restrictions and unfair laws were still fresh in Madison’s mind. He had a core principle belief in freedom of the press and access to information. A government that allowed for an unrestrained and healthy flow of information must be guaranteed.

The First Amendment

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That protection guaranteed by the First Amendment of the constitution meant that every American, poor or rich, regardless of religious or political belief could say or publish anything he or she wished without control by the federal government. Madison had protected free speech and freedom of the press.

Publish At Your Own Risk

In the early days, the media consisted of printing presses, pamphlets, newspapers and books. Today, it also includes magazines, radio, films, television, video and the internet. Therefore, the press means any news functioning in any media. Essentially, the free media is a watchdog to inquire and report on government misconduct. It also is a spirited marketplace of ideas, a channel for common citizens to express themselves and gain knowledge on a range of opinions and information. There is an undisputed right to put what sentiments that pleases an individual before the public. That is freedom of the press. If a person publishes  what is later deemed mischievous, illegal, improper, or “secret” he will be subjected to the consequences of his foolish audacity,  and a free speech defense is worthless.

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