The cumulative impact of police shootings is having an effect

With each new incident where the police have killed someone, the past events get shifted to the background and even forgotten by those of us who have no personal connection to the events or are not activists. On the program Here and Now host Jeremy Hobson went through a list of nine recent high profile episodes of police killings of black people and the aftermath, with no action being taken against the police in almost all of the cases. You can read the transcript but I strongly recommend clicking on the link and listening to it even though it takes longer because it is so very powerful. There is something about the unemotional reading up of one case after another, accompanied by audio of the events, that carries great weight and makes you realize how awful things have become.
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Idle question: Why do some talk show hosts still have microphones on their desks?

If you look at the clips of some talk show hosts such as Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Fallon, who all sit at desks and talk to their guests, you will notice a large microphone on the desk. As far as I am aware, all the hosts and guests nowadays have wireless microphones attached to their clothing somewhere so why is there a desk microphone? Nobody actually talks directly into it. Does it serve some purpose or is it just a nod to tradition?

Jeremy Corbyn survives party coup

Jeremy Corbyn became the leader of the British Labour Party largely because of the support of rank and file members. But in order to get on that ballot, he had to meet a threshold among the MPs in parliament and despite their lack of enthusiasm for a socialist, they deigned to include him among the candidates on the ballot as a sop to party left wingers that they were not being completely marginalized. The party establishment were blindsided by the degree of rank and file support for Corbyn that resulted in him becoming elected to the leadership.
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The quadrennial dilemma for progressives has once again arrived

We have now reached a stage in American politics that is sadly all too familiar. Both Republican and Democratic parties are on the verge of nominating candidates that many of us progressives have reactions to ranging from dislike and distrust (in the case of Hillary Clinton) to utterly revolting (Donald Trump). We are then faced with the dilemma of whether to vote for the lesser of the two evils or say to hell with both of them and either not vote or vote for someone else who is more closely attuned to our own agenda but will definitely not win. In the current race, the Green party’s Jill Stein fills that role.
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Distorting the meaning of the ‘black lives matter’ slogan

Seth Meyers looks at some of the reactions to the Dallas shootings. Note that the police in Dallas patrolling the demonstration prior to the shooting were not in riot gear but were dressed in shirt sleeves and even shorts, because that police department was one of the leaders in trying to foster better police-community relations.
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A hopeful sign for the future

While presidential elections tend to galvanize people and focus attention, I have come to believe that too much attention is placed on them at the expense of other important political activity. The best hope for progressive politics in the long term is to organize at the state and local levels, and elect progressive people to school boards and municipal and state governments where often the issues are far more concrete and immediate than at the national level. Those lower level elected officials form the backbone of the party structure.
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