GBA: Your News, From Baltimore to Thailand
The Good: We’ll go ahead and start with the good news. Here are this week’s highlights:
Nigerian Rescue: Almost exactly one year after over 200 girls were taken from a school in Chibok, the Nigerian military claims to have rescued 93 women and 200 girls from a camp lead by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. The camps were “discovered near or on the way to Sambisa,” one source tells Reuters. Some of the girls were injured and some of the militants involved were killed. Those rescued will be undergoing a screening to see exactly who they are, where they came from, if they have children, and if they are Boko Haram wives. It is unlikely that those rescued are the girls abducted last year, but its a small win for almost 300 women who could benefit from a better situation. Upon hearing about these women and girls, it makes one think about how fortunate we are. We are able to read and write the news from around the world, we have the freedom to be the people we want to be. SR wishes the best outcome for those rescued.
North Coast Music Festival: The lineup for North Coast Music Festival dropped yesterday and some old favorites are coming back with a vengeance. Although one last name is yet to be added to the headliners, we’re excited to see The Chemical Brothers return to the North Coast stage after opening the festival 6 years ago. Huge names like Booka Shade, Atmosphere, D’Angelo & The Vanguard, Steve Aoki, The Roots and Tycho will also be gracing the stage. A unique festival, North Coast jam packs a ton of music into one city park in Chicago. With their two main stages right next to each other, they alternate sets to make non-stop rocking possible. Tickets are on sale now, so scoop em up before that last headliners gets released and it sells out!
Camp Bisco: Camp Bisco has been a favorite of Sensible Reason for many years. So, it was devastating to hear that The Man was trying to bring the festival down. Schenectady County officials denied the festival to be held due to drug use and traffic concerns in case of an emergency. Now, there seems to be a glimmer of hope for those who have attended the festival for years. The Camp Bisco website posted a word search containing some Disco Biscuit lyrics and a hint that the festival might be held in Scranton, Pennsylvania this year. Just today, they officially announced that this year’s fest will be July 16-18th at Montage Mountain water park, home of the Peach Music Festival. We’re excited to see that organizers are continuing to push to make this festival happen. See you there!
The Bad: Sometimes we forget how fragile our everyday lives can be. Here is the not-so-good news.
Violence in Baltimore: Another week, another police killing, another string of riots and mindless violence. Baltimore is in shambles after peaceful protests escalated into violent protests which turned into a string of looting and rioting. Social media has been blowing up with eyewitness videos of mostly young men breaking windows, smashing cars, and looting local businesses. Those involved in peaceful protests around the city want no involvement in the riots and most have been identified by the public as kids taking advantage of a bad situation. The family of Freddie Gray, the man who died in police custody, is “appalled” by the rioting and violence. The mayor of Baltimore called in the National Guard, declared a state of emergency, and instated a curfew on the city. Efforts to calm the rioters combined with an increase in those against the violence seems to be working. While no one will probably be at the baseball game today, at least those attending won’t have to fear for their lives and belongings, if they haven’t already been damaged in the scuffle.
Earthquake in Nepal: As most of you have heard by now, a massive earthquake hit the Himalayan country of Nepal late last week. The earthquake had a 7.9 magnitude and has taken upwards of 5,000 victims and counting as the relief efforts finally reach the epicenter of the quake. Scientists had been anticipating a disaster since Nepal falls on a fault line, and researchers had just arrived in the country to prepare when the earthquake hit. Aftershocks have pushed people to set up camps and temporary residencies in open areas, streets, and parks where buildings and debris is less likely to cause harm. Neighboring countries have also been effected. Earthquakes are type of natural disaster that makes us humans seem so small and powerless to mother nature’s wrath. Ancient temples and shrines have been reduced to rubble, and those still searching for their loved ones are beginning to lose hope.
Repeated Drunken Driver: Blaine Boudreaux, 34, got behind the wheel of his Dodge Ram pickup truck early in the afternoon on Sunday. He was then involved in an accident that sent two people to the hospital, one of them being a toddler. Bourdeaux was taken into custody, cited and then released that day following the incident. But, clearly Bourdeaux wasn’t finished with his joyride, he ended up hitting and killing a 61-year-old homeless man later that day. His bumper and license plate were found at the scene when the man’s body was found in a ditch at 3PM the next day. Bourdeaux’s rampage concluded around 6PM on Sunday when he ran a red light and collided with a Honda Civic, killing a 6-year-old boy and seriously injuring his mother. This tragedy could have been prevented in a couple different ways. First and foremost, he should not have been drinking and driving. Second, his simple citation and release for the first incident was too small of a slap on the wrist, allowing this reckless driver to kill two people.
And The Awkward: Take it as good news, take it as bad news, but uh… here ya go.
Body Cameras & YouTube: Due to the recent increase in police brutality reports, many have been pushing for police officers to get body cameras. This way, officers can be held accountable if anything were to go awry during a routine stop. While this does create an illusion of safety for those who may me more susceptible to police violence, these cameras also eliminate any privacy that may be involved in someone acting a fool in front of a cop. Apparently there are now a few embarrassing YouTube videos out there showing not brutality but stupidity. We need not forget that someone is always watching, so keep yourself in check if you’re about to get arrested.
Bruce Jenner: The LGBT community and their allies have been raving about Bruce Jenner since last week’s national TV interview with Diane Sawyer. The interview shows a very feminine looking Jenner with long hair and fair skin stating “I’m a woman.” While the interview was huge for the transgender community…why do we still call her Bruce? Many people in the media are also still referring to Jenner as a ‘he’ as well. Could it be that the world just isn’t ready for this transition, or is Bruce not yet ready? We’re thinking that at least a name change is in order. On another note, Jenner’s ex Kris has stayed relatively silent about the whole ordeal. She called Bruce a “hero” on her Twitter page, but hasn’t really said much beyond that. In response to her silence, she simply stated, “no one asked me to comment.” Is Bruce Jenner the transgender hero everyone has been waiting for? Probably not.
Thai Monks Under Fire: When the West thinks about monks, we picture peaceful men in simple clothing meditating and giving out endless streams of worldly advice, right? Well, the monks in Thailand are apparently a little different. Activist monk Phra Buddha Issara is currently receiving bomb threats and needs body guards as he attempts to blow the lid off of the corruption, embezzlement, drug use, and overall misbehavior of many practicing monks in Thailand. With almost 300,000 monks in the county, Issara’s campaign is calling for more transparency in their financial dealings and activities. Some monks in the country are seen posting selfies on social media with designer handbags, accused of pocketing overflow cash, and playing the stock market. Sounds more like U.S. politics than Buddhism. Good Luck fighting the good night, Phra Buddha Issara.