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.
Unmanned killer robot planes have convinced certain people that there is a better way of waging war.
But these drones have now made the United States as unpopular in places like Pakistan and Yemen as any nation has ever been in another. Making our nation hated does not make us safer. It endangers us.
These drone wars are not a reduction in war-making but an expansion. They're underway in nations the United States was not previously at war with. They're beginning to result in the addition of ground troops, the opposite result of the image we have in our heads of drones taking the place of ground troops.
Two "tipping points" related to climate change occurred in 2012. The earth's temperature increased more than the critical 2o Celsius, and climate change science deniers became a discredited minority of fossil fuel advocates. The eventual threat to life on earth by climate change is recognized, but the path to the end and the time involved is still at issue. The magnitude and projected consequences of climate change allow it to maintain possession of center stage, but there are other deadly players lurking in the wings that also threaten the life forms on the planet. There is every chance one may become the shortest path.
Here is my argument for the shortest path to the destruction of life.
On Saturday, December 15, the United Workers and the Maryland chapters of Physicians for a National Health Program and Healthcare-Now are launching the statewide campaign "Healthcare Is a Human Right Maryland." Local chapters have already been formed in Baltimore City and Ann Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery counties. At the launch, members from across the state will share testimonies about the importance of fighting for universal health care and basic human rights. Leaders from Vermont's successful universal healthcare campaign will also be attendance. Over the last few months, local chapter members have organized healthcare teach-ins, hosted movie screenings, and surveyed hundreds of Marylanders about their personal struggles with the current healthcare system. A substantial majority of those surveyed believe healthcare is a human right and support the creation of a universal healthcare system.
Jeh Charles Johnson, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, on Friday admitted that murder by drone is not a form of law enforcement:
"Some legal scholars and commentators in our country brand the detention by the military of members of al Qaeda as 'indefinite detention without charges.' Some refer to targeted lethal force against known, identified individual members of al Qaeda as 'extrajudicial killing.'
ABC World News has done two pretty tough reports from Brian Ross on the horrible fire at the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh that killed 114 workers.
On November 25, Ross talked about the
shameful record, as previously reported by ABC News, of more than 600 garment factory fire deaths in Bangladesh over the last five years, a place of the cheapest labor in the world and some of the most deplorable conditions.
I will say it again: Arizona continues to be a distraction, though it is undeniable that it is indeed the epicenter of ignorance, a laboratory for hate legislation and a mecca for the private prison industry. Yet, as a distraction, it continues to permit people to ignore their own backyards.
Most people associate Arizona with Jan Brewer and Sheriff Arpaio... and their bigoted views, but they are not alone, though whatever it is they are selling has an expiration date that is now long past due.
In October 2012, British Columbia teen Amanda Todd ended her life after suffering intolerable bullying triggered by a sexual predator who found and blackmailed her through Facebook. Millions were outraged. We were too. We are social media enthusiasts who care deeply about protecting vulnerable young users in the cyber woods from the predators out to get them.
The benefits of social media in connecting users worldwide are well known, and we ourselves have cheered the democratization of knowledge and information sharing. However, the proliferations of SM access to an increasingly younger demographic is most worrisome.
History is filled with examples of brave individuals who have broken the law to serve the greater good of humanity. In other words, whistleblowers expose crimes, even if they break a law in the process, and like a jaywalker who crosses street to stop a murder- they should be given medal for their heroism and pardoned the jaywalking ticket. Bradley Manning, who is alleged to have shared information with WikiLeaks that exposed spying, corruption, war crimes, among other tools of repression used by the global elite – is a shining example of one such individual who deserves to a ticker tape parade befitting a hero, not the over 900 odd days of imprisonment and torture that have lead up to his current hearing at Fort Meade.
On November 29th, 2012, activists, journalists and attorneys gathered for a press conference outside of New York's Federal Courthouse in support of jailed activist Jeremy Hammond. In a November 20th, 2012 hearing U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to the 27-year-old Chicago activist accused of hacking into the private intelligence firm Stratfor and releasing information to Wikileaks, and notified him that, if convicted, he could face 37 years-to-life in prison.
A November 22nd, 2012 communique from hackers revealed that Judge Preska, herself, had connections to a law firm the government considers "victims" in the Hammond case. The independently verified communique revealed that Preska's husband, Thomas J Kaveler is an employee of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a current Stratfor client and associate, and moreover was himself a victim of the alleged hack (Kaveler's Stratfor issued user ID is 234103).