Thursday, December 4, 2014

Judge Alex Ferrer - Beats Any Macy's Sale

Readers of my blogs, Twitter and Facebook pages will be under no illusions regarding my enthusiasm for Judge Alex Ferrer. 

I became a fan of his TV show when I moved to the US and have subsequently admired and (let’s not deny it) adored him in ways I have expressed more explicitly (as, indeed, have many other women; I’m not alone).
But now I’m going to be serious. When Judge Alex was (absurdly) dropped from our TV schedules, the best we could hope for was his turning up as a legal commentator on various networks, which he does with considerable regularity. He is, without doubt, the best. He brings, to every discussion, not hysteria or emotion, but the facts and how they relate to the law: this is the information and, based on this information, this is how it relates to the law. You may not like the law, you may not like the result, but this is how it is. FACT.
This is why I believe that the podcast Judge Alex has just launched (and there are so many more benefits) is something to which every person, woman, man or child, should subscribe (and no, I am not being paid to promote it. FACT). 

In New York this week, I have seen disruption on the streets following the decision not to indict Darren Wilson, following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Next came the decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo following the death of Eric Garner. 

In no way do I wish to underestimate the tragic loss of human life, but on the streets of New York last night, people inadvertently caught up in different protests arrived in my local bar saying: “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be saying – ‘Don’t shoot’ or ‘I can’t breathe’.” I stress again: I, nor anybody else, was making light of these men’s deaths, but the disturbances have highlighted aspects of the law and the judicial system, not to mention fundamentals in our society that, I believe, the cool head of Judge Alex addresses in his podcasts.
I am not an American citizen, but I have lived here for some time, and, I believe, the same problems exist in both our countries, the US and the UK (I cannot speak for others), when we are reliant upon the media for our information. Despite our knowing that the media – and, in particular, social media – is a totally unreliable source when it comes to facts, by nature we accept it because that is how we have been conditioned. It’s the “No smoke without fire” mentality. 

It’s the reason why I would make a dreadful juror. I’m not proud of this. But I really would. It is my mindset that if you are in court in the first place, you must have done something wrong. I would make a great – and I mean really, really great - prosecuting lawyer; but juror, no.
That’s why I believe Judge Alex’s podcasts to be important. They address the facts as they relate to the law, and I have already learned more in his first four than I suspect most people learn in law school in years (in fact, I already feel confident enough to try my first case. And, since you ask: No, I don’t think they’re all guilty now. It’s way, way, more complicated than that). The Ferguson podcasts are particularly interesting and take the sting out of the current incendiary situation by addressing the questions relating to the powers of a District Attorney and a Grand Jury.
I was incredibly upset to see the abuse – and, in my opinion, veiled threats – heaped upon Judge Alex following his appearance on Fox TV, where he did nothing other than do what he does brilliantly: state the facts AS THEY RELATE TO THE LAW (and I really cannot keep stressing this enough). I won’t repeat the abuse, although I suspect it upset me a great deal more than it did him, and I am sure he has had to deal with a lot worse.
But do we not owe it to ourselves, and our education system, to teach young people rational thought and the fundamentals of ethics? When we are growing up, we are told what is right from wrong from our so-called superiors, but that can be very subjective. Although I no longer would call myself a Christian, as a philosophy I think it’s still a pretty good one: BE NICE TO PEOPLE!
There are, however, many preponderances built into people’s individual philosophies, and that is why I believe that educating people to think should be a priority in education.
I say “to think”, because to say “educate them according to the law” throws up all sorts of problems – I would not, for example, advocate educating anyone, particularly women, in relation to Sharia law (which I will not even begin to address here).
Judge Alex Ferrer knows his law inside out, backwards, sideways – he really has a phenomenal legal brain. But what these podcasts do is encourage people to exercise rational thought: to think before you speak; think before you act; think before you judge. 

They should be a compulsory element of every school syllabus and, at $4.99 a month, you will learn more than you will from the hysteria of the media. 

And, I repeat: I really AM NOT being paid for this!

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