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.
I just want to bring this to your attention. I've been making the point for a while that while power-holding Democrats are getting better on identity issues (issues around minority rights and related issues), they've been universally bad on economic issues. In fact, the whole bipartisan Beltway consensus is built around both parties making sure that billionaires never lose.
The centerpiece (and original sin in the modern era) for that movement is these NAFTA-style trade agreements, the ones that protect capital and profit — and nothing else in the world. Not environments; not labor; not the climate; not the sovereignty of national governments; not humans in any form but the baronial. Nothing else in the world.
Climate change is acting like an ever-tightening vise on our energy options. Each year that passes without dramatic decreases in our use of carbon-emitting fuels means the cuts we have to make simply get more drastic. By 2030, say experts, we must entirely replace coal with efficiency and renewable energy, or fry. Even the most intrepid environmentalists wonder if it can be done without huge price hikes and wholesale changes in how we live and use energy–changes that society may not accept.
They say that ignorance is bliss and never has that been truer than in the case of modern consumer products. It seems like the more we know about the things we buy, the more we want to punch ourselves right square in the jaw. Diamonds are an obvious example, especially their "blood" variety i.e. those gems which are mined in war zones and help finance ethnic genocide in Africa.
The (relatively) good news is that at least today we're more or less aware of that particular problem and can adjust our jewelry purchases accordingly. The bad news is that there are many more "blood" items out there which contribute to hundreds—maybe even thousands—of deaths each year and most of us are probably guilty of buying them, including...
"The tension between what he said at his confirmation hearing and what he is doing as a justice is a blow to Roberts's reputation for candor and a further debasement of the already debased currency of the testimony of nominees at judicial confirmation hearings." [Conservative icon Judge Richard A. Posner, "How Judges Think," Harvard University Press.]
The multitude of advocates for the Repeal Amendment of Citizens United are in fact,faced with a choice of two paths:
- relying on 2/3 of a corrupt Congress and ¾ of equally corrupt State legislatures to amend the Constitution – or
- waiting for a change in one of the most corrupt Supreme Courts in our history, and hoping that a new Court will hear a case that will induce it to overturn a decision that80% of Americans disagree with. Although both remedies seem immediately improbable, evidence indicates the latter is more likely to succeed in time.
If you walked by me on the street, if you noticed me at all, it would probably be due to how much I looked like your 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Jones, or your professor for English Comp I in community college. I don't think you'd see me and run to find the nearest police officer as you thought I might have a bomb in my purse. You would never categorize me as someone you might find listed in FBI surveillance documents collected on a "terrorist" group engaged in "criminal activity."
I'm an ordinary, middle class (or actually, probably lower-middle class, now), middle aged, married mother of two young children. I'm a small business owner active in my neighborhood and my community who organized an organic produce co-op several years ago that's still going strong and who bakes cookies for my neighbors and friends every year for the holidays. Last year, I was the social justice committee chair for the Unitarian Universalist society, where I attend service pretty much every Sunday. I've even spoken (haltingly) from the pulpit a few times on subjects ranging from climate change to economic inequality and corporate personhood.
In the consumer paradigm, one is induced to exist by Eric Hoffer's dictum: "You can never get enough of what you really don't need." Wherein: The individual exists in a state of perpetual adolescence, emotionally oscillating between life lived as a bliss ninny and evincing chronic dissatisfaction.
Ever shifting, inchoate compulsions and endless distractions define the days of the denizens of the consumer state. Text messages and tweets gibber like souls stranded in a limbo realm between the worlds of the living and the damned.
What Caused the 2008 Crash, and Why the Republican Explanation Is Not Only False but Dangerously FalseBy Eric Zuesse, SpeakOut | News Analysis
Basically, there are two explanations that are given for the 2008 crash: the Democratic one, which says that Wall Street was deregulated and ran wild with frauds that cheated both the people who signed to trick mortgages and the people who bought the fraudulent mortgage-backed securities; versus the Republican one, which says that there was too much regulation in order to get poor people to buy houses they couldn’t afford, and so Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ran wild with insuring or even buying mortgages to the poor, who basically ripped off the system and so caused the crash.
Samer Issawi has lived for 33 years, 1 month, and 27 days. I hope he lives another day.
He has been on a hunger strike now for six and a half months. Gandhis’ longest hunger strike was 21 days.
The IRA’s Bobby Sands and nine other Irish hunger strikers died in 1981after strikes lasting from 46 to 73 days.
Issawi’s internal organs are starting to shut down, he can no longer walk, he is reportedly suffering loss of vision and vomiting blood, it is difficult for him talk, and he is increasingly near death. He has lost over half his body weight.
Egypt is rapidly approaching its most acute political and economic crisis since the 2011 revolution that swept dictator Hosni Mubarak from power.
Poverty is at an all-time high of 25 percent, with youth unemployment at a record 40 percent. Foreign currency reserves are on a rapid decline. President Mohamed Morsi is losing the most important commodity he possesses—the people's confidence and trust. Conditions seem ripe for either a new uprising from below or a new military coup from above.
There are only a few days to go before the worldwide event One Billion Rising, a campaign launched by Eve Ensler, international gender activist and author of The Vagina Monologues. This event celebrates the 15th "V-Day" on the 14th of February 2013, a day when women around the world will be called upon to dance against gender-based violence.
As a young feminist, I am inspired by these transnational movements spread by the World Wide Web that have emerged to fight against gender based violence over the past few year,. Indeed, like many feminists embracing the social networking revolution, I have been carefully following these virtual and real campaigns that link individuals beyond nationality, ethnicity, class, gender, age and religion.
Across the globe, from North America to North Africa, women have been taking to the streets in ever more powerful protests.