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Sunday, October 20, 2013

WHAT IS THE FIFTH ESTATE?

  • First Estate:  the clergy
  • Second Estate:  the nobility
  • Third Estate:  commoners
  • Fourth Estate:  the press
  • Fifth Estate:  those who go beyond traditional news
Much of this ranking goes back to France in the late 1500's when Michel de Montaigne (above) proposed that governments should hold in check a fourth estate of lawyers (yes, they are linked to this class).  However, Edmund Burke coined the term of the first three estates in 1787, while Thomas Carlyle (left) in the 1800's linked the Fourth Estate to the press.

Thirty eight years ago, the CBC of Canada first showed The Fifth Estate, a television newsmagazine, going beyond everyday news into original and investigative journalism.  TFE and The Twilight Zone are the only two television series to win an Academy Award.  Here is a typical expose on SUGAR.  It did catch my attention.  TFE on TV just began it's 39th year.


There is of course now another The Fifth Estate, the movie, about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.  Did Assange try to steal the manuscript for the film?  Rotten Tomatoes reviewers only gave it a 39% rating, while 46% of the audience liked it.  

TFE totally bombed at the box office, earning only $1.7 million this weekend.  WikiLeaks soundly criticized the effort, indicating that the script exaggerated the effect on informants, was fictional...and, ta da, WikiLeaks is still alive and well today.  I  guess the really low blow was by Filmdrunk, which indicated that another opening film, I'm in Love with A Churchgirl, was not advertised, but made a debut for a million this weekend.

What did I think?  I actually enjoyed the film.  You can read Assange's story.  While originally from Australia, as of this moment he lives at the London Ecuadorian Embassy on diplomatic asylum.  Note that American Edward Snowden, now in Moscow, also indicated he might go to Ecuador.  Why?  Apparently, this leftist (for social equality--as opposed to the right, or social inequality) South American country also does not appreciate the USA's influence in the region.

Coincidentally, Roy Amemiya of Olelo had an op ed article the next day on "America's heritage of free speech as relevant as it ever was."  Featured were:
  • Two cases before the Supreme Court:
    • Son of Citizens United relating to election contribution limits.
    • Massachusetts buffer zone to reduce abortion limitations.
  • Is Edward Snowden a hero or traitor?
  • The world of Malala Yousafzai.
  • The incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans in 1942.
The question that becomes obvious is:

     Under certain circumstances, could you do what Assange, Snowden and others in our history did?

I guess I could.

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Super Typhoon Francisco is now only a typhoon, weakening to 145 MPH:


Francisco is predicted to largely follow the path of Wipha of a little more than a week ago:


However, watch out for two more tropical depressions mostly east of Francisco, with #28 surely to become a powerful typhoon.

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