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.
TRIANGLE, VA. - The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a complaint against Cobalt Coal and two other entities, charging that the companies failed to bargain in good faith with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and illegally contracted out operation of its Westchester mine in McDowell Co., W. Va., after the union won an organizing drive at the mine.
The mine was featured in a reality television show on Spike TV in 2011, when it was cited multiple times by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miner's Health, Safety and Training for safety violations that were caught on tape and aired during the program's one-season run. In 2012, the miners voted to be represented by the UMWA.
"American Hustle," the hit comedy/caper film loosely based on ABSCAM, is currently showing in theaters nationwide. For those who haven't heard of the movie or who don't remember the late 1970's, ABSCAM was a sting operation organized by the FBI featuring operatives dressed up like Arab sheikhs. The FBI videotaped the fake "sheikhs" offering envelopes of cash to Senators and Congressmen seeking their assistance with a range of illegal activities. The Congressional culprits were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms for bribery and conspiracy.
Christmas came early this year for police unions and business interests when Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio announced that Bill Bratton would once again be the police commissioner of New York City on December 5th.
The appointment of Bratton may have not been surprising for those who had followed media reports the last few months that had De Blasio hinting at Bratton as his man. What was perhaps more surprising was the lack of a strong and unified response to the Bratton appointment from some of the more visible police reform groups and erstwhile progressives that had loudly and publicly denounced the Bloomberg administration and its police commissioner, Ray Kelly.
WASHINGTON - January 3 - In June 2013, the American public learned conclusively about the wholesale surveillance of virtually all Americans through secretive programs by the National Security Agency (NSA) that continue to be implemented today. These programs collect the phone records, email exchanges, and internet histories of people all over the world who would have no knowledge of this were it not for the disclosures of former federal contractor Edward Snowden.
As legal counsel to Snowden as well as the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) would like to make its position clear on the following...
Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism…. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges…. I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom…”
What could be worse than a nuclear war? A nuclear famine following a nuclear war. And where is the most likely nuclear war to break out? The India-Pakistan border. Both countries are nuclear armed, and although their arsenals are “small” compared to the U.S. and Russia, they are extremely deadly. Pakistan has about 100 nuclear weapons; India about 130. They have fought three wars since 1947 and are contending bitterly for control over the Kashmir and for influence in Afghanistan. While India has renounced first use, for whatever that is worth, Pakistan has not, declaring that in the event of an impending defeat by India’s overwhelming conventional forces it would strike first with nuclear weapons.
1. Any article listing the top 10 of anything will be widely read.
2. A poll of people in 65 countries, including the United States, finds that the United States is overwhelmingly considered the greatest threat to peace in the world. The consensus would have been even stronger had the United States itself not been polled, because the 5 percent of humanity living here is largely convinced that the other 95% of humanity — that group with experience being threatened or attacked by the United States — is wrong. After all, our government in the U.S. tells us it's in favor of peace. Even when it bombs cities, it does it for peace. It's hard for people under the bombs to see that. We in the U.S. have a better perspective.
"Humans live like lice in the folds of a garment...When fleas buzz in your ear, you do not hear them: how could God even hear men, let alone concede their wishes." -Wang Ch'ung, Taoist Philosopher
North Korea's Kim Jong Un is not the first ruler to purge political opponents. Neither will he be the last. On New Year's Day he explained why he had to rid North Korea of his uncle. Executions, he said, made the state's ruling party stronger, purging it of "factional filth." The quest for purity by eliminating opponents-people in an organization or state that are considered undesirable, even impure, imperfect, sinful, or polluted-has been a common thread throughout the fabric of time. It's not a New Year after all.