Monday the 20th of July. News that concerns citizens and analysis for boysenberry jam fans.

This is a new idea that we are trying out.  We will try to put out a post every Monday evening with highlights from the past weeks news, with our thoughts on some of those news items.  So here is the very first one!

1. Sanders and O’Mally disrupted by Black Lives Matters protesters.

First off this past week at an event called Netroots Nation Convention, Senator Bernie Sanders and Martian O’Mally, the Mayor of Baltimore, both of whom are running for president, were disrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters.  Here are several articles:

The disruption of the event started when O’Mally used the phrases “All Lives Matters” and even “White Lives Matter.”  Protesters started to shout him down.  He tried for a bit to maintain control but failed.  Sanders came out and tried to give his speech but could not.  He also was shut down.

The real importance of this is two-fold.  First Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter.  The idea here is that to say black lives matter is not to say, of course (but it seems that it needs to be pointed out), that no other lives matter.  And, more importantly, to say that all lives matter is to obscure the oppression that blacks live under daily in this country.  Of course all lives matter, but that is not the point, because in this case all lives are not suffering under intense levels of oppression and repression.

Also, this distinction between these two terms is also between a more radical position and a liberal position.  This is why, in the wake of this event, leftists are splitting over the issue.  On one side you have traditional leftist or maybe left-democrats, who still believe strongly in the political process or electorial politics.  On the other side you have people who don’t believe anymore or who have strong doubts.  This can also be seen as a distinction between people who fall back on the lessor-of-two-evils argument, and thus cannot understand why other leftist would attack someone like Sanders.  Then there are people who feel that there must be a better why than to just settle for the lesser-of-two-evils.

This leads us to the second issue.  That of the political process itself.  This is a bigger issue that we hope to talk about in a future post.  But the basic idea is that there can be no hope in the electoral process.  Whether it is Bernie Sanders or anybody else.  A very good example of this is the case of Greece right now with the Syrisa party and their very quick betrayal of the people.  There is also the argument that even if someone representative of us was elected they would still have to deal with the rest of the government.

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star

But don’t talk about revolution
That’s going a little bit too far
So love me, love me
Love me, I’m a liberal

Phil Ochs – Love Me, I’m A Liberal Lyrics
2.  Greece and Neoliberalism.
There has been a lot going on in Greece for a while now.  We could do several posts about it.  However, just recently the current government, the Syriza party (who only barely had to form a coalition), who is a very left-wing party by all accounts, issued a referendum on the EU’s bailout to Greece.  The referendum to the people of Greece was asking if they wanted the government to accept or reject more bailouts and thus more austerity.  The majority voted no.  Within days the government accepted more austerity.  This was so crazy that it even split the Syriza party itself.  But long story short you have the “left” Syriza party doing the same thing that the past government was doing.  Just another example of why electoral politics don’t work.  At least not for working class people.
3.  Killings in Tennessee.
In Chattanooga Tenn a man opened fired and killed 4 people.  Here is excerpt from CNN:
Witnesses saw Abdulazeez spray a hail of bullets at the glass doors of a military recruiting center in a strip mall. Then the gunman, who according to a law enforcement official was driving in a rented silver Ford Mustang convertible, moved on to his next target more than seven miles away: a Naval reserve center. There, he rammed into a gate at some point during his shooting rampage and was eventually killed by police, a U.S. official said.
Immediately the label of terrorism was applied, and it is not hard to see that this is only because of the color of the suspect’s skin and supposed religion.  I would like to point out that he attacked military targets and under a somewhat more typical definition of terrorism the target should be regular people in a crowded area like a cafe or mall.  Thus in order to create fear or terror in the people.
If you look up news of this right now you will find many articles on whether or not the suspect was depressed and what his mental state was.  As we stated in an a previous post, the government fears political acts in general, no matter what side that are on.
4. Newly-Appointed Commission to Review Parole in Virginia
“On Monday of next week, a recently appointed commission will meet to review Virginia’s policies on parole. Twenty years have passed since parole was abolished under Governor George Allen in 1995. Offenders have since been required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences, keeping inmates in custody for longer. Close to $1 billion is spent every year on Virginia’s corrections systems and Governor Terry McAuliffe’s commission has been charged with determining if taxpayer dollars are being put to the best use. Pastor Alvin Edwards at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church in Charlottesville will serve on the 27-member commission. He said he hopes he and other members can look at the data collected over the past 20 years objectively and provide a solid recommendation to the governor. ‘If we can look at other strategies, best practices, we need to examine the cost of parole as well as to see what we need to do differently because what worked back then may not be working now,’ said Edwards. A draft report is due to McAuliffe by November 2, closely followed by a final report by December 4.”

Well this wraps up our first ever news that concerns citizens and analysis for boysenberry jam fans.  Stay tuned for more!


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