Scot Faulkner was the National Director of Personnel for the Reagan-Bush presidential Campaign of 1980. He went on to serve the Reagan Administration in executive positions at the Federal Aviation Administration, the General Services Administration, and the Peace Corps. He serves on the boards of numerous corporations and foundations and he’s the author of a bestselling book called Naked Emperors: The Failure of the Republican Revolution, published in 2007.
I was talking last week about how the libel laws in England prevent journalists from working, and keep stories about the rich and powerful under wraps. That doesn’t happen much in the US.
As I mentioned last week, the US follows a 1964 precedent called New York Times v O’Sullivan, from a libel case taken by Montgomery police commissioner LB Sullivan who said that some inaccuracies in a piece about the policing of civil rights demonstrations in Alabama libeled him.
Challenging Opinions brings you a special showcase edition of the Getting Off podcast, presented by Jessa and Nick. It’s dark-humored criminal defense attorneys discussing famous crimes, trials, and all things criminal justice.
Go to GettingOffPod.com to subscribe, or search Getting Off Podcast in wherever you get your podcasts.
We’ve been hearing a lot about Ukraine in the past week, and
I can promise you’ll be hearing a lot more about it the coming weeks and
months, and maybe even years. I’m not going to try to keep you up to date with
what’s going on in the White House, that’s not really the job of a podcast, certainly
not this podcast.
Our brains don’t really work so well with
very small or very large numbers. If I ask you to imagine the distance from
earth to the sun, from earth to the nearest star, or earth to the nearest
galaxy, it’s tempting to just think very, very far in all three cases, even
though each one is millions of times more than the previous one.
I’m sure some smartass out there will be
thinking that the most dangerous animal is man, but I’m thinking of other
animals that kill humans.
And by a mile, the
winner is the mosquito. To put it in context, sharks typically kill five or
six humans per year, worldwide. Depending on your sources, mosquitoes kill somewhere
between 700,000 and 2.7m
people per year. Get that, mosquitoes kill at the very least 100,000 times
more people than sharks. They are estimated to be responsible for about 17 per
cent of all the disease on the planet. I can’t wait for Mosquito Week on the Discovery Channel.
Black people make up 27 percent of the population, but represent 71 percent of drivers pulled over by police officers. Last year, the town issued 29,072 traffic citations, according to statistics from the Missouri attorney general’s office.
I say a couple of weeks back, but the
detection made last month was actually of something that happened 900 million
years ago, long before the dinosaurs walked the earth. It was detected last month
because that’s how long it took the gravitational waves to arrive at earth from
where this event happened, 900 million light years away.
Reese Erlich has won numerous journalism awards including a Peabody award. He’s also a freelance journalist who writes for CBS Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corp., NPR and VICE News, and his Foreign Correspondent column distributed nationally in the US.
I mentioned the pro-democracy protests in
Hong Kong a few weeks back, particularly the fact that a huge proportion of the
city’s population was taking part in them. Since I talked about them, the
protests have been covered widely in the western media, and they haven’t
dissipated, they are continuing every weekend.
During our discussion, I metioned the Dickey Amendment, which forbids the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from advocating or promoting gun control, but has widely been interpreted as preventing the CDC from studying the health effects of gun ownership.
Maybe, like me, you have had various social
media invaded by people making all sorts of complaints about something called
5G. That’s the newest mobile data standard. Unless you are really special, that
doesn’t work on your phone yet, but the networks are being installed, and newer
handsets using them will be available soon, probably starting at the top end of
the price range.
Greg Shupak has a PhD in Literary Studies and teaches Media Studies at the University of Guelph in Toronto. He regularly writes analysis of politics and media for outlets including Electronic Intifada, In These Times, Jacobin, and the website Fairness and accuracy in reporting.
Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and writer, with a degree in physics, before two degrees in theology, and a PhD in philosophy. He’s written books covering subjects from friendship and belief, to wellbeing and love.
Grayson Quay is a freelance writer. His work has been published in The Washington Times, Reason.com, National Interest, Townhall and others. He is also MA candidate at Georgetown University Master’s Degree candidate.
Aaron Naparstek is a cohost of the War on Cars podcast, and also the founder of Streetsblog.org.
There have been a couple of stories about
facial recognition. This audio is from a BBC
report where the police set up a van with cameras filming passersby and
searching for records on them based on facial recognition. One man decided that
he didn’t like that, and pulled his sweater up over his mouth and nose to
frustrate the camera system; the police stopped him, forced him to be
photographed, and fined him £90, about $115 for what they called disorderly