Monday, 24 November 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • The Craving for Democracy

    Craving real democracy, many people are unwilling to participate in an electoral game that does not provide any form of genuine popular control over decisions that affect people's well-being and freedom.

  • Tough Lessons for Rahm

    The number of black educators in Chicago's public schools dropped precipitously. With actions that disproportionately affected black teachers, that pattern continued under Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Jan 16

Yes, Indeed, San Francisco Is Made of Gold

By Andrew Lam, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Recently I said goodbye to a friend who left San Francisco for greener pasture. We have been friends for many years and it was sad to see her go.

But like many artist friends of mine who loved the city, the bay, its beautiful hills and blue sky, she felt it had somehow betrayed her. Once home for bohemians and artists and poets, San Francisco has increasingly become a city for the rich and high-tech workers.

The tension between the haves and have-nots in fact is rising fast where the high-tech workers buy up real estate in droves and leave those in the middle class floundering.

Army efforts to disrupt, neutralize peaceful protests are compared to the COINTELPRO-era tactics of the FBI

Tacoma, WA -- Former Army intelligence officer, Church Committee investigator, and professor of constitutional law Christopher Pyle has provided an expert witness report in a widely-watched federal lawsuit brought by antiwar activists who were infiltrated and spied on by the military.

WASHINGTON, DC - The Supreme Court will review a lower court's order for banks to give information onArgentine assets, including those assets held outside of US jurisdiction, to a group of hedge funds seeking to collect from Argentina's 2001 default. Additionally, the High Court will review if it is legal for these predatory hedge funds to target assets for collection outside of a US jurisdiction.

While we were lucky—the lobby of the hotel collapsed by not our room—many thousands of Haitians perished from the natural disaster, which was compounded by the U.S. and U.N.’s neglectful and exploitative response to the quake. On this fourth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, I am thankful to be alive, thankful to have awonderful family, and thankful for the never-ending resistance of the Haitian people.   In the aftermath of the earthquake we did everything we could to help in the medical care and relief effort, while the U.S. and U.N. acted as if Haiti was a war zone and the people needed to be contained and controlled.

Jan 15

Groups Protest 12th Anniversary of Guantánamo

By Staff, Center for Constitutional Rights | Press Release

January 11, 2014, Washington, D.C. – Today marks the 12th anniversary of the arrival of the first men to be detained without charge at Guantánamo.  Human rights and civil liberties groups gathered opposite the White House at noon to demand President Obama honor his many promises to close the prison. They then proceeded to the National Museum of American History to indicate that Guantánamohas become a part of the American landscape, but must become relegated to the American past.

Jan 15

The Abuse of Laughter

By Ben Barker, DGR News Service | Op-Ed

People laugh at anything and everything these days, and they expect you to laugh along. In this age of utter cynicism, little is sacred, little is off-limits from humor, little is safe from the cultural tide of callous abuse. What’s worse: you laugh along. You may not want to, but you do.

Laughter is a beautiful thing—until it meets abuse. Like a spoonful of sugar with a stab in the back, it attempts to cover for abuse. Or like pouring salt in the wound, it can be the abuse itself. “Come on, it’s just a joke,” say abusers, as they mock you to the core, as they target any trace of sensitivity—read: humanity—for utter ridicule.

When it comes to war, the American public is remarkably fickle.

The responses of Americans to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars provide telling examples.  In 2003, according to opinion polls, 72 percent of Americans thought going to war in Iraq was the right decision.  By early 2013, support for that decision had declined to 41 percent.  Similarly, in October 2001, when U.S. military action began in Afghanistan, it was backed by 90 percent of the American public.  By December 2013, public approval of the Afghanistan war had dropped to only 17 percent.

For the general public in Oklahoma, daily earthquakes are beginning to be old news. Another earthquake? So what, we have a thousand a year now. The only people who refuse to acknowledge even the existence of earthquakes are those in our state government who should be researching it.

Despite repeated denials from the natural gas industry and government officials, all studies and evidence to date points to fracking as the cause of our earthquake boom.

Jan 14

Is President Obama Too Democratic? Gates and Others Think So

By Dallas Darling, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

"We must not only end war but the mindset of war." — President Barack Obama, 2008

Instead of revealing President Barack Obama as a weak and inadequate Commander-in-Chief, it appears that former Secretary of War Robert Gates' new book, "Memoirs of a Secretary of War," indicts an elite warrior culture that despises democracy. Revealing a disgust for President Obama and his administration, for wanting to bring an end to the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring U.S. troops home, Gates also showed a disgust for Congressional hearings and oversight committees, committees consisting of freely elected citizens who questioned the Pentagon's real war strategies and purposes.

Jan 14

Delta Fish Survey Reveals an Ecosystem In Collapse

By Dan Bacher, SpeakOut | Report

A Delta fish survey released by the California Department of Wildlife this month confirms the continuing collapse of the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.

The survey's release takes place at a crucial time for the survival of salmon, steelhead, Delta smelt and other fish populations in California and the West. 2013 was the driest year on record in California and no relief from the drought is in sight.

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Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Jan 16

Yes, Indeed, San Francisco Is Made of Gold

By Andrew Lam, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Recently I said goodbye to a friend who left San Francisco for greener pasture. We have been friends for many years and it was sad to see her go.

But like many artist friends of mine who loved the city, the bay, its beautiful hills and blue sky, she felt it had somehow betrayed her. Once home for bohemians and artists and poets, San Francisco has increasingly become a city for the rich and high-tech workers.

The tension between the haves and have-nots in fact is rising fast where the high-tech workers buy up real estate in droves and leave those in the middle class floundering.

Army efforts to disrupt, neutralize peaceful protests are compared to the COINTELPRO-era tactics of the FBI

Tacoma, WA -- Former Army intelligence officer, Church Committee investigator, and professor of constitutional law Christopher Pyle has provided an expert witness report in a widely-watched federal lawsuit brought by antiwar activists who were infiltrated and spied on by the military.

WASHINGTON, DC - The Supreme Court will review a lower court's order for banks to give information onArgentine assets, including those assets held outside of US jurisdiction, to a group of hedge funds seeking to collect from Argentina's 2001 default. Additionally, the High Court will review if it is legal for these predatory hedge funds to target assets for collection outside of a US jurisdiction.

While we were lucky—the lobby of the hotel collapsed by not our room—many thousands of Haitians perished from the natural disaster, which was compounded by the U.S. and U.N.’s neglectful and exploitative response to the quake. On this fourth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, I am thankful to be alive, thankful to have awonderful family, and thankful for the never-ending resistance of the Haitian people.   In the aftermath of the earthquake we did everything we could to help in the medical care and relief effort, while the U.S. and U.N. acted as if Haiti was a war zone and the people needed to be contained and controlled.

Jan 15

Groups Protest 12th Anniversary of Guantánamo

By Staff, Center for Constitutional Rights | Press Release

January 11, 2014, Washington, D.C. – Today marks the 12th anniversary of the arrival of the first men to be detained without charge at Guantánamo.  Human rights and civil liberties groups gathered opposite the White House at noon to demand President Obama honor his many promises to close the prison. They then proceeded to the National Museum of American History to indicate that Guantánamohas become a part of the American landscape, but must become relegated to the American past.

Jan 15

The Abuse of Laughter

By Ben Barker, DGR News Service | Op-Ed

People laugh at anything and everything these days, and they expect you to laugh along. In this age of utter cynicism, little is sacred, little is off-limits from humor, little is safe from the cultural tide of callous abuse. What’s worse: you laugh along. You may not want to, but you do.

Laughter is a beautiful thing—until it meets abuse. Like a spoonful of sugar with a stab in the back, it attempts to cover for abuse. Or like pouring salt in the wound, it can be the abuse itself. “Come on, it’s just a joke,” say abusers, as they mock you to the core, as they target any trace of sensitivity—read: humanity—for utter ridicule.

When it comes to war, the American public is remarkably fickle.

The responses of Americans to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars provide telling examples.  In 2003, according to opinion polls, 72 percent of Americans thought going to war in Iraq was the right decision.  By early 2013, support for that decision had declined to 41 percent.  Similarly, in October 2001, when U.S. military action began in Afghanistan, it was backed by 90 percent of the American public.  By December 2013, public approval of the Afghanistan war had dropped to only 17 percent.

For the general public in Oklahoma, daily earthquakes are beginning to be old news. Another earthquake? So what, we have a thousand a year now. The only people who refuse to acknowledge even the existence of earthquakes are those in our state government who should be researching it.

Despite repeated denials from the natural gas industry and government officials, all studies and evidence to date points to fracking as the cause of our earthquake boom.

Jan 14

Is President Obama Too Democratic? Gates and Others Think So

By Dallas Darling, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

"We must not only end war but the mindset of war." — President Barack Obama, 2008

Instead of revealing President Barack Obama as a weak and inadequate Commander-in-Chief, it appears that former Secretary of War Robert Gates' new book, "Memoirs of a Secretary of War," indicts an elite warrior culture that despises democracy. Revealing a disgust for President Obama and his administration, for wanting to bring an end to the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring U.S. troops home, Gates also showed a disgust for Congressional hearings and oversight committees, committees consisting of freely elected citizens who questioned the Pentagon's real war strategies and purposes.

Jan 14

Delta Fish Survey Reveals an Ecosystem In Collapse

By Dan Bacher, SpeakOut | Report

A Delta fish survey released by the California Department of Wildlife this month confirms the continuing collapse of the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.

The survey's release takes place at a crucial time for the survival of salmon, steelhead, Delta smelt and other fish populations in California and the West. 2013 was the driest year on record in California and no relief from the drought is in sight.