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 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).
When it comes to income inequality, the 2012 Presidential Election was not a choice in any real sense. Voters had the option between President Obama, who presided over the most unequal recovery in history, and Mitt Romney, who promised to accelerate inequality still further.
One of most comforting takeaways from the Presidential race is Wall Street, Big Oil, and King Coal bet big on Mitt Romney—and lost. Wall Street benefited most from President Obama's lopsided response to the economic crisis, but they still preferred Mitt Romney. The stock market reacted to the election with the biggest point decline of the year.
By the middle of the 19th century the multi-ethnic empire was on its way out as the dominant political paradigm in Europe. Replacing it was the nation-state, a political form which allowed the concentration of ethnic groups within their own political borders. This in turn formed cultural and "racial" incubators for us (superior) vs. them (inferior) nationalism that would underpin most of the West's future wars. Many of these nation states were also imperial powers expanding across the globe and, of course, their state-based chauvinistic outlook went with them.
Zionism was born in this milieu of nationalism and imperialism, both of which left an indelible mark on the character and ambitions of the Israeli state. The conviction of Theodor Herzl, modern Zionism's founding father, was that the centuries of anti-Semitism were proof positive that Europe's Jews could not be assimilated into mainstream Western society.
As a general rule, it'd be better if media accounts of war did not stress thesurgical precision of the weapons being used. It's a fixture of U.S. reporting on U.S. wars, but the same rhetoric is used when U.S. allies are dropping bombs.
Last Week, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), CODEPINK, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation delivered to the U.S. Department of State more than 17,000 signatures and an open letter signed by over 50 U.S. organizations asking the State Department to investigate the death of Rachel Corrie and each case involving the death or serious injury of an American citizen by the Israeli military since 2001. The groups also met with State Department officials to discuss the need for accountability in the deaths of human rights defenders like Corrie, a need made more urgent by this week's deadly attacks by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.
There are so-called "radicals" on all sides of the ideological Merry-Go-Round. When we think of these boundary breakers, we conjure images of black hoodies concealing wire cutters and alcohol soaked bottle-rags; armed with paint cans ready to splatter messages of twisted corporate hate-speak. Some might call this the "radical left." Others wear ties snaked around meticulously starched necklines with plastic smiles and a Bible in hand . . . eyes popping out as they sermonize the fire-wielding importance of moral sanctity and unregulated free markets. This would be the "radical right." But there is a different radical quickly moving into town.
Yesterday at Bradley Manning's Article 13 hearing, professional military psychiatrist Captain Kevin Moore testified that Bradley Manning's pretrial confinement conditions at Quantico military brig were worse than that of any other long-term pretrial prisoner he'd observed. He added that Bradley's restrictive conditions, including being held in a 6x8 foot cell, having access to only 20 minutes of sunshine and exercise per day, and being deprived of basic items such as clothing and toilet paper for periods of time, were most comparable to yet still more severe than conditions of prisoners he'd observed on death row.
Bradley Manning's case garnered considerable media buzz early in 2010 when it came to light that the UN and Amnesty International had initiated investigations into possibly illegal conditions of pretrial confinement at Quantico. Wednesday in court, two high-ranking military psychiatrists, Captain William Hoctor and Captain Moore, testified that the extent to which their recommendations were ignored by the Quantico Marine staff was unlike anything they had experienced elsewhere over a combined 30+ years of experience at various bases.