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.
This morning we lost without a doubt the biggest, bravest, and brashest personality in the political prisoner world. It is with great sadness that we write with the news of Herman Wallace's passing.
Herman never did anything half way. He embraced his many quests and adventures in life with a tenacious gusto and fearless determination that will absolutely never be rivaled. He was exceptionally loyal and loving to those he considered friends, and always went out of his way to stand up for those causes and individuals in need of a strong voice or fierce advocate, no matter the consequences.
The Mediterranean is nearly a locked sea between the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia. The fourteen kilometers-Strait of Gibraltar, the Greeks’ Pillars of Hercules, connects the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. The Greeks considered the Pillars to be the western end of the known world.
The Mediterranean is more than a sea. Pregrad Matvejevic, a Central European writer from the Pannonian plains of Croatia, insists that the Mediterranean is also more than geography, history, and national cultures. The Mediterranean, he says, is fathomless.
Iran’s new and more moderate President Hassan Rouhani came to the United Nations at the end of September. Amidst numerous interviews and diplomatic discussions, his message was clear: no, Iran will not give up its legal right to enrich uranium and no, Iran will not develop nuclear weapons. According to Rouhani, Iran is willing to prove this second point by “ensuring full transparency [of its nuclear program] under international law.” In exchange for doing so, Iran will demand “a total lifting” of international sanctions. In truth, this has been the position of the Iranian government for years. As far back as 2005 Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei declared that nuclear weapons violated Islamic law and Iran would not construct them. It primarily has been due to pressure from the Israelis and their Zionist lobby in Washington that U.S. politicians have refused to believe these Iranian assertions.
The Supreme Court has now agreed to hear a case involving whether persons convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors should be prohibited from possessing guns. The case involves James Castleman, who in 2001 pleaded guilty under Tennessee law to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence against the mother of his child. In 2009, Castleman was found in possession of several guns, which was prohibited by a 1996 law that made it illegal for those who have misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence involving physical force or a deadly weapon to possess guns. Allegedly, Castleman was purchasing weapons and selling them illegally. An appeals court in Cincinnati, Ohio ruled that the federal law does not apply in Castleman’s case because his domestic violence conviction did not involve physical force. As a long-time domestic violence advocate and scholar who has written extensively about the subject, I am deeply concerned about the implications should the Court overturn the federal legislation.
For the purpose of urging Patriots in other towns “to state the Rights of the Colonists of this Province,” Samuel Adams persuaded a Boston town meeting to establish a Committee of Correspondence. The year was 1772 and the Gaspee, a British Royal customs vessel in Rhode Island, had just been burned. Consequently, the British government broadened its powers, particularly in sending colonists to Britain to be tried for high treason. Within days, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson agreed that a revolutionary network of writing committees should be established to link the colonies. By mid-1773, almost every colonial assembly had Committees of Correspondence, expressing the various ideals of freedoms and liberties, even independence. A growing political awareness took shape too as other perceived injustices were communicated, and as local forums discussed and debated the principles of equality and rights.
The AIDS epidemic in Africa is one of the most callous examples of how the concept of profit before people has risen to Genocidal proportions. Pamela Brown’s first segment for the Resistance Report, examines this intersection of Race, Capitalism and medicine drawing on the documentary Fire In the Blood.
The upper class rich white folks think poverty comes from people being “too lazy.” In all reality, African Americans and Latinos do not get the chances they deserve. Just because of their skin tone they cannot get a fair chance. Nowadays your skin color decides if you get a job. How does that make sense? Do not get me wrong; there are successful colored people, but they probably had to struggle more to get to where they are. Poverty and racial inequality starts with the government and the system.
They've done it. A mere thirty Republican Tea Party extremists have managed to shut down the U.S. government, potentially tanking a national economy that's already on life support. Ironically enough, the flawed logic behind their congressional temper tantrum, to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (coined Obamacare) by taking the country hostage, was a complete and utter failure. Obamacare remains unscathed by the shut down and full online enrollment in the program starts today, October 1, 2013.
The larger picture of the U.S. government's slowdown (incorrectly labeled "shutdown") is a struggle over a centralized and incoherent bureaucracy that continues to seize trillions of dollars more than what it spends. This reckless taxation and spending has created an other-governance dependency for some, while others still believe in self-governance.
But perhaps the government slowdown will again cause Americans to think and reflect about the state of their current civic engagement and future political processes. Yet it is another warning sign that something is wrong. Whereas good governance socially benefits people, corrupt and depraved government berates them.
Many people in America believe that people's success in life is based on the individual, and that if you do not have any success in life, there is no one to blame but yourself. These people are called Individualists, and are usually very financially successful themselves. Individualists do not believe in helpful government assistances such as welfare and they do not think that the government should be involved in an individual's success, financially or otherwise. Individualists also believe that if you are unsuccessful, it is your fault for not working hard enough.