Posts Tagged ‘Conversation’

The Court of Just Opinion

Author: Fred Grenvile

It is a fact that the USSC* (not SCOTUS, I’m sick of the play on POTUS) is empowered to Interpret laws, common law and statutes in light of the US Constitution. (NOT the other way round btw. No power exists to interpret the constitution in light of law or case law.) But can we just dispense with the ludicrous perception that the findings of the court, or ANY court, are truth or justice? They are the opinions derived from interpreting the facts in light of personal bias and law. Truth is an objective reality like fact, and can only be approached not completely ascertained. People make mistakes and courts–juries, judges, and justices–are people. They are people with power and the bias of authority that makes them difficult or impossible to challenge. But challenged or not, they can be wrong.

We need these institutions. Without them we’d have the chaos of an unregulated democracy, because even an anarchy will resolve into absolute rule by the majority and suppression of the minority, indifference to the individual, and influence peddling by the privileged, beautiful, or charismatic. (If it sounds like I’m antidemocratic, you are spot on. The purpose of Good Government is to protect the minority against abuse by the majority and protect the individual from all collectives INCLUDING the minority.) But the point is, while these institutions serve our best interest, only an Idjit would mistake their findings for truth rather than expediency.

* This is just a one time usage. USSC is properly the United States Service Code which the body of statutes, broken into numerical sections called Titles, we commonly refer to as Federal Law.

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The biggest motivators in the new sport of shooting mass killings, is media attention. Not the fact the tragedies are covered but the salacious way in which the shooter is notorized and his psychology is made such an amateur study. The role of a free press is to inform objectively and allow a well educated public to apply critical reason, make informed opinions, and coerce their legislators and executives to comply with the majority opinion.
 
When the press turns these incidents into media events and attempts to sway public opinion, they are no longer free press but editorial. There is no effective difference between a headline news reader who takes a biased perspective (yellow journalist) and a shock jock like Hannidy or Limbaugh. Their speech is protected under the same Bill of Rights they are denigrating.
 
However, it is dishonest and potentially criminal to purport it to be objective news coverage. That is no different from the much touted “Russian Influence” in the American political process. I’m far more concerned about Canadian and Anglo influence. IT’s far easier for the English and Anglo Canadians to masquerade as American citizns and act to pervert the political process in the US. IF Russians helping Trump with dirt on Hillary is criminal, then Canadian PACs advertising in favor of gun-laws or Barack Obama or (yes) Hillary is just as criminal for precisely the same reasons.
 
Leftist nuts and dictators are the only groups historically to have blamed violence on the prevalence of weapons rather than the prevalence of bad actors. Leftists need a disarmed public so that their extremist politics can be enforced on an unwilling populace. Dictators of the feudal, monarchical, fascist, or plutocratic need a disarmed public in order to enforce unwelcome rule on the . . . Hey! That’s the same reason!
 
Go figure.

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The broader issue of the recent sexual abuse/harassment revelations is the depravity of the media based celebrity machine. Louie CK would never have been in a position to behave the way he did if not for the perceived authority attached to fame and media success. This is the biggest lie of the cult of celebrity. Entertainers, while a lot more fun than your average motorcycle mechanic or fast food delivery driver, are actually less important. This goes for the producers, editors, writers (Ugh! They got me, Joe) and technicians in movies and television as well. Actors like Spacey, producers like Weinstein, they are instrumental in providing a product you may like or pass on. But they aren’t important. Their failures, however criminal, don’t matter directly to you and yours, unless you are a victim or concerned with the very real problem of predatory sexuality. We all should be. And we all should do our part to change the social environment so that the victim is free and even comfortable telling.

The problem is the Baby Boomers have gotten increasingly paranoid and they’ve shared that paranoia with the Millennials. Every new violent crime, immediately brings out the [x] Broadcasting Company, or the [y] News Network to open the big top and pedantically call the play by play like some OCD sportscaster. “Okay, let’s go to Jimmy Joe who’s watching from the police barricade. Tell me Jimmy is the suspect wearing paisley with stripes? That looks like stripes. Did you know that Paisleys are made int the shape of the perimeter of the Himalayas?–”

This is followed by an endless cry for tighter laws governing every spoken word, meal item, clothing choice, etc. of the private citizen. Every move is strategically placed to further limit individuality, choice and privacy guaranteed by the US Constitution. From Louie CK to Civil Liberty? Really? Well, yeah. If louie had done the same thing in a protest against organized religion, guns, Donald Trump–staged on the White House lawn–the same people crying “foul unclean, go thee to perdition” would be celebrating his brave act of conscience in pursuit of PC values. The media would not be concerned with the collateral damage to young impressionable minds of children or young women. Why? Because as a celebrity, he would be perceived as having some authority on issues social and political.

This is the heart of it. If Weinstein were just an employer, a choice among many, women would have felt free to avoid his casting couch–and report to man for sexual harassment or rape. But as celebrities they had to protect public opinion about their private life. A Rumor of misconduct by those women, would have lead to an end of career. “A few phone calls,” and they’d “never work in Hollywood again.”

Why should an actors private sexuality, criminal misconduct, political opinions, religious affiliations, etc. matter one whit. They really aren’t stars. They are artists and craftspeople. They make a product you like buying. Nothing more. But nothing less. If a factory worker can’t get a job because he spent time in prison as a young adult, we say poor man. It becomes and Hallmark movie about human triumph, and we get Spacey to play the poor unfortunate. If a young girl struggling with too much celebrity and a total lack of privacy, shoplifts to self-medicate we crucify her and relegate her to years without work, until we forget and move on to the next victim.

The star system is nothing more than a particularly successful marketing scheme. It’s like fast food games and giveaway, BOGO, get your free gift with purchase, over a billion served. If it’s kept in propotion it serves its purpose. But when it creates a standard for vetting employees it is a problem. When that trend spreads and corporations begin vetting employees based on their social media, background checks, and an invasion of privacy worse than Big Brother, it is a threat to peace and security and needs to be put on hiatus.

When a young man has to wait 15 years to report a sexual assault by a drunken coworker, because he will be seen as a troublemaker and his career ended, due to his attackers Star status on broadway– When a writer finds it difficult to be published, not because of his skill with the elements of story and plot, but because he falls in the wrong canine classification– When a rising actress and comedienne can’t complain about a drunken lout masturbating in front of her because he thinks her discomfort is comedic–It’s not time for stars to fall, its time to take down the black velvet curtain.

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