Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday News in early April 2015

First, I send condolences and prayers to the family of Walter Scott. The cop is a murderer. There is absolutely no justification for the actions of the officer at all. The Brother was shot in his back multiple times. Anyone who tries to justify what the cop did is 100 percent sick. The family of Brother Walter Scott deserves justice. Walter Scott was an unarmed man and a thug cop killed him. The officer lied about what he did and this problem is systematic. It’s an epidemic. Cops killing unarmed, non-threatening people occur nationwide and worldwide. In America, we have more of it than any other industrialized nation on Earth. Only the lowest of the low would try to frame a dead man. These white murderers are totally demonic and they know the truth. They realize the historical contributions of black people and the beauty of blackness. They just commit evil regardless and these white racists could care less about empathy, compassion, and human dignity. The blue wall of silence must be extinguished. Many people have talked about community policing, body cameras, etc. We also need the deification of cops to end. Certainly, enough is enough.

Kansas Republicans who support this reactionary legislation (of restricting how much money TANF recipients can spend) are despicable. They won’t target Wall Street, who have record bailouts, huge subsidies, and other benefits that the poor don’t have. The poor regularly have been scapegoated for the crisis of capitalism and for societal problems in America. With the large amount of people on TANF, this policy will not decrease poverty. Decreasing poverty would include actions like increasing the minimum wage, organizing job creation programs, the strengthening of the social safety net, and treating the poor as human beings not as commodities. This bill has draconian restrictions and that bill is overtly fascist. Many GOP members are fascists and this is not hyperbole. This is reality. A bill that restricts on how the poor issues payments on horse races, cruise ships, etc. has nothing to do with promoting "responsibility." It is about restricting the human rights of the poor. These evil proposals are nefarious. If many of these extremists had their way, they would try to get rid of all of TANF, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. The bill is blatantly extremist and it will punish the poor not empower the poor. The wealthy of the 1% regularly steals and exploits the wealth of the poor and the middle class as means for the wealthy to fulfill their own luxuries constantly. Also, most of the poor works and do have their own money. The Republicans, who agree with that bill, need to be voted out outright. This is why I will never be a Republican at all. Helping the poor is a prerequisite in building up society. The Missouri Republicans who support this bill are totally lost and evil. They know what they are doing. They are actively trying to harm the lives of the poor in disgraceful, fascistic type of ways. Not to mention that seafood can be healthy for people. These Republicans have no shame and they are the types who lecture people on moral values, but this legislation lacks morality, compassion, and honor. We are in solidarity with the poor not GOP extremists.

This outcome was tragic, but not surprising. It is obvious that the pro-one percent, neoliberal extremist Rahm Emanuel won reelection as mayor (with minor support because voter turnout has been very low). That is the shame. The Democrats have been pacified not only by neoliberal propaganda, but by cowardice. Rahm has caused dozens of schools to close and he has aided overtly the interests of big corporations and the rest of the oligarchy in Chicago. That is a fact. Emanuel has been a supporter of the Clinton administration and he's an ally of the Obama administration. Emanuel has overseen stop and frisk and other anti-civil liberty policies in Chicago. Rahm has cut services in Chicago while he has aided wealthy investors who desire more privatization and gentrification (at the expense of the lives of the people). The political neoliberal establishment (including the black bourgeoisie crowd) has supported the anti-liberty Rahm Emanuel. The Democrat Rahm Emanuel proves that many Democrats (not just many Republicans) can be reactionaries. The big banks, Bobby Rush, President Barack Obama, and other corporate privatizers endorsed Rahm Emanuel. Rahm has stonewalled the investigations on police torture and atrocities, he deliberately shortened red light camera intervals (to raise revenues for his allies), and he has closed plus privatized more than 50 public schools. The closed schools are found almost exclusively in Black and Brown neighborhoods. Rahm Emanuel has been responsible for privatization, gentrification, austerity, etc. in the city of Chicago. The political elites (which fund Rahm) want this outcome. They want the same continuation of the oppression of black people, the working poor, and other people in the city. We don’t need the system of high stakes testing. We need real solutions. Wealthy investors and corporations have received tax cuts while the pensions of teachers including public employees have been cut.

The Oslo Accords is one of the most important parts of the Middle Eastern story. The Rabin government started to make talks with the PLO. The reason is that there was the fear of radical Islam and the stalemate in the Washington talks. So, Israel initiated secret negotiations directly with PLO representatives. Surprisingly, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin became more progressive in his policies. These talks were held in Oslo, Norway. Finally, the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles was signed in Washington on September 1993. The Declaration of Principles was based on the mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO. It wanted Israel to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and Jericho (along with further withdrawals from unspecified areas of the West Bank during a five year interim period). There were to be future final status talks. These final status talks will discuss about more difficult issues like: the territories ceded by Israel, the water rights, the resolution of the refugee crisis, the nature of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, etc. In 1994, the PLO formed a Palestinian Authority or the PA with “self-governing” or municipal powers in the areas from which Israel forces were redeployed. The PLO accepted this albeit flawed agreement with Israel. The agreement was fragile and it had little diplomatic support in the Arabic world. Rabin's widow Leah wrote in her memoir, Rabin: Our Life, His Legacy, that the inability to put down the rebellion without resorting to unacceptable tactics changed her husband. "The Intifada made it wholly clear to Yitzhak that Israel could not govern another people." By 1989, she continues, he "was gradually moving toward advocating Palestinian autonomy and self-determination." Many Islamist radicals, some local leaders in the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip challenged Arafat’s leadership and rejected the negotiations (because they believed that Oslo didn’t go far enough). Hamas introduced the act of suicide bombings during this period. Some were done in retaliation for Israeli attacks like the 1994 massacre by an American-born Israeli settler of 29 Palestinians who were praying at the Ibrahim mosque in Hebron. Others seemed motivated by a wish to derail the Oslo process. Regardless, there is no justification for suicide bombing at all period. The Oslo accords set up a negotiating process without specifying an outcome. Rabin’s administration grew more progressive and even handed with the Palestinians. The Palestinian National Authority via the Oslo Accords was given partial control over parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Prior to the signing of the accords, Rabin received a letter from PLO chairman Yasser Arafat renouncing violence and officially recognizing Israel, and on the same day, September 9, 1993, Rabin sent Arafat a letter officially recognizing the PLO. These were very historic times. Rabin was part of the Labour Party in Israel (this party has a coalition with the left wing Meretz party and the Mizrahi ultra-orthodox religious party called Shas). Many hardline, reactionary Israelis protested and opposed Oslo in viewing it as a sellout. Yitzhak Rabin courageously stood up for peace. Yitzhak Rabin even shook hands with Yassir Arafat in public. He said to him that: “… "We who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you today, in a loud and a clear voice, enough of blood and tears ... enough!” Rabin signed the Israel-Jordan peace treated in 1994. Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for their actions in the creation of the Oslo Accords. A tragic event came later. On the evening of November 4, 1995 (on the 12th of Heshvan on the Hebrew Calendar), Rabin was killed by the murderer Yigal Amir (with a semi-automatic pistol. Rabin was killed via 2 shots. A third shot lightly injured Yoram Rubin or Rabin’s bodyguard. Rabin died in Ichilov Hospital). Rabin bleed to death and he had a punctured lung. Amir was seized by Rabin’s bodyguard, jailed, found guilty, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Amir was part of a radical right wing Orthodox group who obviously opposed the Oslo Accords. Just before Rabin was killed, Rabin attended a peace rally at the Kings Israel Square in Tel Aviv. Rabin spoke that that he supported the Oslo Accords and that he wanted peace. Shimon Peres became the new Prime Minister of Israel.

It is so easy to express a knee jerk reaction to this story. Then, I did my research and found some interesting things. First, I don’t feel that the convicted teachers should be sentenced to 20 years in prison. That is too excessive, yet they should be held accountable for their actions. There is no excuse for using cheating, which harms the lives of students and disrupts the integrity of the educational institution. Now, this situation is not new. Many states across America have similar cheating scandals. One of the reasons why this scandal existed is because of the futile high stakes testing or the obsession with standardized testing. Many teachers oppose such testing, because it restricts teachers’ creativity and the teacher teaches to the test (instead of them establishing unique, exciting curriculum to be established for the students). The only way to radically improve our education is the back to basics approach. There must be the addressing of socioeconomic issues in poor communities. There must be a thriving to have smaller class sizes. There must be the institution of more creative lesson plans and for adequate funding sent to poor communities. Richer communities have schools with computers, swimming pools even, healthier food choices, massive mentorships, strong extracurricular activities, and the whole nine yards. This reality ought to be duplicated in poorer communities.
The Atlanta teachers who were involved in cheating aren’t the only ones who should be blamed. Also, the ones who orchestrated the whole high tasks testing regime should be blamed for many of the problems in our educational system too. It is hypocritical for Wall Street criminals including torturers to escape prison time (when the Wall Street criminals manipulated trillions of dollars of money & did other actions of financial fraud) while teachers from Atlanta could receive decades in prison. Yes, there must be fairness, yet we have a criminal injustice system (within the system of white supremacy). So, the Atlanta teachers should be punished but not for 20 years.

By Timothy

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