The Ginsburg Debate
By Rory Butler
Everything you need to know about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her legacy, death and the controversy surrounding her replacement."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933 – 2020) was an American lawyer, legal expert, writer, Supreme Court Justice and national icon. She was born on March 15th 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. She enrolled in Harvard Law School and graduated top of her class in 1959. However, she found it difficult to find employment due to her gender and her Jewish faith. Over many years, Ginsburg became known for taking a number of federal cases against the U.S. government for discrimination against women, many of which she won, making her a key figure in women’s rights during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1993, Bill Clinton appointed Ginsburg as Supreme Court Justice, where she continued fighting for civil, especially women’s, rights, earning her the nickname “The Notorious RBG”. She continued to uphold the constitution and fight for the rights of marginalized groups in America until she died this September after a long battle with cancer. She is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was famously a liberal and a Democrat. At the time of her death, the Supreme Court (Nine Justices) was split between five liberals (Left Wing) and four conservatives (Right Wing). The liberal majority in the Supreme Court has been a huge advantage to the Democratic Party over the decades, with the five liberals voting, among other things, to strengthen homosexual and transsexual rights, strike down anti – abortion bills, and advocate for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. Now that Ginsburg is dead, the Supreme Court is evenly split between four liberal's and four conservatives. As Supreme Court Justices serve for life, the nomination of a conservative to the Supreme Court would lead to a conservative majority, swinging the American justice system to the right for many years if not decades.
Almost immediately after Ginsburg's death, the Republican run Senate began the process of appointing a conservative right-wing judge to replace her. This not only goes against Ginsburg’s alleged dying wish that her position should not be replaced until the presidential election has gone ahead in November, it also goes against the Republican’s own philosophy that a Supreme Court Justice should not be replaced by a sitting president in an election year. In 2016, when President Obama attempted to nominate a new Judge to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell blocked him, saying that the new President should be the one to choose who should fill the vacant seat.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Despite Democrats urging Republican Senators to follow their own philosophy and wait until after the November elections to fill Ginsburg’s vacant seat, the Republican controlled Senate has gone ahead with nominating Conservative judge Amy Comey Barret as the newest member of the Supreme Court, and are rushing through the usually long and arduous process of vetting to ensure that Barret will be appointed to the Senate before November third. Barret, a devout Catholic, will likely vote to expand gun rights, restrict reproductive and gay rights, and strike down bills for police reform. A Conservative majority on the Supreme Court could therefore essentially create a right-wing legal system in a predominantly left-wing country for decades to come.
After realizing that the Republicans would go ahead with nominating Barret to the Supreme Court, many Democrats have threatened that they will simply expand the size of the Supreme Court from nine justices to eleven the next time they control the Senate, and appoint two liberal judges to the bench to fill the vacancies. However, Republicans have hit back saying that, if Democrats do this, they will also expand the Supreme Court after they regain power to regain a conservative majority. If this occurs, it will lead to a system in America that whichever party controls the Senate will also control the Supreme Court. It is unclear whether this will actually happen, though, as Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden has refused to speak on the issue.
Now this is where the issue becomes problematic and quite concerning. When U.S President Donald Trump (Who is a Republican) was asked to justify Senate Republicans going against their philosophy to nominate a new justice, he responded by saying that nine Supreme Court Justices would be needed “In case there is a problem with the rigged election”. President Trump has been saying for a while now that the November Elections would be rigged due to an increase in voting by mail because of Covid restrictions, and has refused to commit to accepting the results and peacefully transferring power to his opponent Joe Biden if he loses. There are now concerns that Trump might declare the election to be unrepresentative of the American people and declare himself he winner no matter what the results actually are, effectively making himself a dictator, and the newly Conservative Supreme court will vote not to oppose him or even vote to support him. This very real possibility would be disastrous for the American people and for democracy as a whole, and some people even believe that it could lead to some form of second civil war in America with battles being fought between armed liberal and conservative militias in US cities.
We shall have to wait and see.
A look back on a modern classic
By David Roche
Inception is a movie directed by Christopher Nolan which was released in 2010 and this year marks its 10th anniversary. It stars Leonardo Di Caprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe and Michael Caine. The plot revolves around Cobb (Leonardo Di Caprio) is a highly skilled thief. He specialises in extraction (stealing information from people's subconscious while in a dream). He has become a fugitive and is separated from his family because of this. But he's offered a chance at redemption. He has to complete one last job, Inception.
So, let's start off with the positives. The original soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer is superb. It can help elevate the feelings of tension, excitement and shock that I felt while watching the movie. The triumphant horns, the rapid drums and calm piano really helps bring out all different sorts of emotions while watching this film. The acting from all the cast is on point from Leonardo Di Caprio expertly depicts a man trying his hardest to get back to his family to Ellen Page trying to understand what secrets Cobb has buried deep in his subconscious. The practical and digital effects are done really well. The dream sequences when characters are floating and rooms are rotating are done practically and really well and are done believably. When Paris is folded in half and dream worlds are being constructed it is done digitally and believably. The action is choregraphed very nicely which helps the movie move along at a fast pace. The different set-piece action scenes combined with the acting and original soundtrack makes for a very memorable experience. The storyline is a bit confusing though but if you pay attention it all makes sense.
I would highly recommend this movie but if you find it hard to follow confusing stories you probably won’t like Inception as it will leave you scratching your head as to what is going on in the movie. In my opinion though I would give Inception a solid 9/10.
Freddie Mercury Profile
A few words on a rock legend
By Robert Costello
He was a singer/song writer. He was the main singer in one of the biggest bands of all time Queen. He was born in Stone town, Tanzania on the 5th of September 1946. He was born as Farrokh Bulsara but later become known as Freddie Mercury as that was his stage name. He went to an English style boarding school at the age of 8. In 1964 his family fled to England over the Zanzibar Revolution. He made queen in 1970 because he had an interest and studied music for a few years. In Queen there was the lead singer Freddie, the drummer Roger Taylor, guitarist Brian May and later John Deacon joined. They made many popular songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, Somebody to Love and We are the champions. He was known for how energetic he was on stage and how much passion he had for music. This led to Queen being invited to live aid in 1985 where they put on an incredible show. Before live aid, Queen separated for a while due to a dispute they had. Freddie became a solo artist and dropped a few songs such as Time, Love kills, In my defense and many more. During this time, he went to a doctor and they figured out he has AIDS. He realized that he wouldn’t have long left so he decided to get Queen back together. Freddie Mercury later passed away on November 24th in 1991. He had a great career and would be knows as a legend for the rest of time along with the rest of Queen.
I love the fact that i can make people happy, in any form. Even if it's just an hour of their lives, if i can make them feel lucky or make them feel good, or bring a smile to a sour face, that to me is worthwhile.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Review
by Mark Mc Grath
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game that came out in October 2018, in this review I will take a look back at the game and list some of the things I liked about the game and some of the things I didn’t like. I will cover a broad range of topics such as the gameplay, story, graphics etc.
Red Dead Redemption 2’s story is very good, the writing is incredible and the character’s feel like real people with their own flaws and all. You follow the main protagonist, infamous outlaw Arthur Morgan, right hand to the even more infamous outlaw Dutch Van Der Linde and the 3rd in command of his gang of outlaws. Everything is going smoothly until a bank heist goes horribly wrong in the town of Blackwater, the gang is forced to retreat into the snowy mountains to escape the aftermath. From there you follow the story from Arthur’s perspective as he embarks on a journey of self-reflection, questioning his past actions and if they were really worth it. Meanwhile outside of Arthur’s world, Dutch is slowly descending into insanity and the gang begins to fall apart at the seams.
Red Dead Redemption 2’s gameplay is simply phenomenal. Everything you do feels extremely smooth, from riding a horse, firing a gun or even simply walking around a town admiring the sights. It feels extremely smooth and responsive, you simply press a button and the game responds with the action you are attempting to carry out. While this may seem like a trivial detail to most, responsive controls are arguably one of the most important parts to any game considering they’re required to play the game in the first place. Rdr2 is also jam packed with dozens of side activities, random encounters, collectables and much more to keep you from becoming bored. These minor activities make the world feel much more alive, I mean sure maybe the ability to watch a magic show in a game about cowboys shooting things is a little unneeded but hey, it makes the world feel less empty.
I don’t even know what to say here that hasn’t already been said but I’ll try. Red Dead Redemption 2 has arguably some of the best graphics in any video game. They look simply incredible and sometimes even more realistic than real life. Take a look at some images of the gameplay and you’ll surely understand what I’m talking about.
Overall, I’d consider Red Dead Redemption 2 to be one of the best game created in recent memory, possibly in video game history. It shall surely be remembered for years to come as one of the all-time classic video games. It just has so much to offer, I cannot stress enough how much you need to play this absolute gem of a game.
Created with an image by Susan Yin - "untitled image"