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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.

National Nurses United, the nation's largest union and professional association of registered nurses said today that the national election delivered an unmistakable message Tuesday:

"From the Presidential race to Senate races to local ballot measures, American voters Tuesday delivered a strong message to Wall Street, billionaires and secretive corporate funded political committees – America is not for sale," said NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.

Nov 09

The End of Prohibition

By Charmie Gholson, The Compassion Chronicles | Op-Ed

We are on the brink of momentous change. We are seeing the end of prohibition.

Yesterday, the states of Colorado and Washington fully legalized marijuana, Massachusetts said "Yes" to a state wide medical marijuana act, California repealed the country's toughest Three Strikes law, and all fiveMichigan cities easily passed their marijuana initiatives. In Ypsilanti, when asked if police should just leave folks with up to an ounce of marijuana alone, 80% of the voters agreed.

Nov 08

What Liberals Expect From Obama

By Anis Shivani, SpeakOut | Open-Letter

Dear President Obama,

You would have lost the election but for your liberal base. For the second time in a row, we saved you. You gained traction in the long campaign only when you changed your tone to appeal to progressives.  

The first time you secured a large electoral victory, you wasted it by turning against your own base, acting as if you’d never need us again. We came to your help a second time because we realized the much greater threat from Mitt Romney who would have set the clock back more than would have been tolerable.

We at Black Agenda Report have been pointing out a long time now that what used to be black and Latino civil rights and civic advocacy organizations have turned a corner and become mouthpieces for their corporate funders.

We called out the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation in 2006, and the National Conference of Black State Legislators in 2007, along with Bobby Rush and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus for siding with AT&T, Verizon and their telecom industry benefactors over their communities who need cheap and ubiquitous broadband. By 2008 we added the Urban League and NAACP to the list, along with Al Sharpton and his National Action Network for joining the corporate crusade to first cripple, then privatize public education. In 2009 and 2010 we've pointed to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's receipt of millions in donations funneled through execs at Georgia Power as its reason for not opposing the placement of leaky nuclear reactors in poor, mostly black Georgia town where most families already have a case or two of cancer.

Nov 08

The Second Term: Now What?

By Wilmer J Leon III, SpeakOut | News Analysis

The results are in. They will not be official until the Electors convene on December 17th and prepare their Certificates of Votes, but for all intents and purposes President Barack Obama has won his second term by defeating Mitt Romney 303 electoral votes to 206 and the popular vote 50% to 48%.

Now what? When you look at the electoral map, red states / blue states it becomes fairly obvious the country has politically re-segregated itself with a solid Republican South (except Virginia and Florida) and this re-segregation falls along racial lines. Many White voters are voting their sentiments instead of their interests. As Tim Wise writes in Between Barack and a Hard Place, Obama's success is meaningful but "'the larger systemic and institutional realities of life in America suggest the ongoing salience of a deep-seated cultural malady – racism - which has been neither eradicated nor even substantially diminished by Obama's victory."'

Election 2012 results from Lee Camp.

In 2010/2011, workers at St. Charles Hospital in Bend, Oregon came together to join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 49 to improve their conditions and strengthen their voice. It was the largest union organizing victory in Oregon for 30 years. This victory held great promise for not only St. Charles's service workers, but all workers in Central Oregon and health care employees statewide.
 
On November 1st of this year, workers voted to decertify SEIU Local 49 in a vote of 334 to 212. Why this bitter reversal in less than two years?
 
To start to answer this question it is necessary to understand how the laws in this nation favor employers at the expense of workers' unity.

Boston, November 7, 2012 - By a three to one margin, Massachusetts voters yesterday sent a clear message to both Democrats and Republicans in Washington about the federal budget crisis and the impending "fiscal cliff". The Budget for All ballot question passed by 661,033 to 222,514 votes. It calls for no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or other vital programs; investment in useful jobs; an end to corporate tax loopholes and to the Bush cuts on taxes on high incomes; withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan now; and redirection of military spending to domestic needs and job creation. The question passed by a wide margin in every district and all 91 Massachusetts cities and towns where it appeared on the ballot, ranging from most of Greater Boston to Holyoke to Norwood, Lawrence and Fall River.

Yesterday, ten days after the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, became the first head of state ever to visit Gaza, two-year-old filly Flotilla, owned by another member of the Qatari ruling family, Sheikh Mohammed al-Thani, thrilled racegoers who are supporters of the Gaza flotilla movement, by winning the prestigious Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf race by a length and a quarter.

Wearing a big white shadow roll under her eyes, Flotilla was easy to spot as she wove her way through the field of horses from the back of the pack. She then displayed an impressive closing kick to run down her opponents under the skillful handling of French jockey Christophe Lemaire.

About 100 activists, concerned citizens and beekeepers, including Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and CCD Posterboy David Hackenberg huddled outside of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters on an overcast but mild mid-morning to protest systemic pesticides that continue to slowly kill honeybees and humans. Many protesters, including a few dogs, were adorned in black and yellow while others held signs that read "Save Our Hives."

On the street, a few yards away, Hackenberg had parked his 40 ft. flatbed truck full of empty hives. At about noon, we hooked up a microphone and a small hive of us took turns protesting our love of bees and the need to ban systemic pesticides.