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.

Jul 31

I'm Going to Chevron Saturday

By Rebecca Solnit, SpeakOut | Op-Ed
I’m going to Chevron Saturday. There’s only one of me, this is only one piece of the work of trying to limit carbon emissions and thereby climate change, but I’ll be joined by hundreds, maybe thousands of others, and this is the work we are here to do, all of us, you too, because it’s your cause and your job. If you care about anything at all—your own future past next week or next year, the price of food, the poor almost everywhere, peace on earth, the people who live in fragile places from Bolivia to Ethiopia to to Alaska to Louisiana, the kids who will be living on earth in fifty years, the fish in the sea and the complex web of living things on earth, the forests of the west, the democratic process—you care about climate change. It is the overarching issue that affects all others, from the food we eat and the financial systems of the world to the nonhuman life on earth on which our lives depend. It’s everything. It’s the size of everything else: it’s the entire living surface of our earth, from the depths of
the oceans to the birds in the sky; it’s the atmosphere that shapes our weather and our fate.

On July 13, 2013, jurors in the Zimmerman trial found him "not guilty."

Since then, CNN's interviews with Juror B37 and prosecution star witness Rachel Jeantel, plus ABC's interview with juror B29, have provided additional perspective, illuminating how race, credibility, communication and misperceived "evidence" perhaps influenced the verdict.

Juror B37 said in her Anderson Cooper interview that she and other jurors didn't believe race played a role in the trial.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos disagreed, insisting, "Race had EVERYTHING to do with the trial! When they picked the jury, the case was over! Race is still the biggest issue in the criminal justice system."

Jul 30

Monsanto Soybeans May Sprout From Human Ears

By Jennifer Hollie Bowles, SpeakOut | News Analysis

While there's no imminent or specific threat of soybeans sprouting from our ears due to Monsanto chemicals and its genetic modification of food, the real risks are far worse.
The disturbing misanthropic history of Monsanto includes polyurethanes, aspartame, herbicide glysophates, and Agent Orange production, which makes the thought of their involvement with food immediately questionable at best. Many scientists, politicians, citizens, and even most of Europe agree that Monsanto should be stopped.

Jul 30

Creating the New World

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers , Popular Resistance | News Analysis

A simplified explanation of the strategy to transform our society from a greedy plutocracy to a cooperative democracy, from our destructive path to a sustainable future, is that there are two simultaneous tracks – protest what we do not like and build what we want. We call this "Stop the Machine-Create a New World." This weekly report usually focuses on the protest part of the resistance movement, but this week we will focus more on the people who are working to create the world we want to see.

It is not that there are no protest actions to report on. There continues to be a lot going on.

Like many mass shooters in the US, Pedro Vargas, the alleged Florida gunman who killed six before being killed himself, had no criminal history. That means he is the quintessential law abiding citizen whose "rights" the NRA protects by defeating background checks, bans on high capacity magazines, retention of records by dealers beyond 24 hours and most importantly a firearms registry.

With no registry, even if records showed that Vargas had mental health issues--like recent mass shooters who threatened to kill--and even if states fowarded those records, who would know he had lethal weapons? Especially if they were acquired before he melted down? No wonder, the gun lobby supports mental health reporting--it's a joke.

Jul 30

Barack Obama is NOT Trayvon Martin

By Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV | Video Report

Joel Northam, reporting for Acronym TV, states: "President Obama could have been Trayvon Martin 35 years ago, yet fortunately he was privileged enough to receive an elite education whilst being groomed by established power to become the Drone Bombing, Bank Bailing, Whistleblower Torturing, Immigrant Deporting, Civil Liberty shredding, corporate puppet that he is today. Although the Trayvon Martin tragedy still burns deep within our hearts, it is a blessing that he doesn't have to see politicians use his death to cater to the emotions of the angry masses while they continue their business as usual of worldwide plunder of resources and exploitation of the global working class"

Jul 30

Three Things about the TPP you need to Know and Share

By Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV | Video Report

When the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections commission that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government, many of us who care about the principles of Democracy (first and foremost among them that the people rule) felt as if we had been punched in the gut by Andre the Giant, kicked in the privates by the steel toe of a Gene Simmons boot, and Mike Tyson was making a meal out of our ear.

It is hard to imagine feeling worse than that, but President Obama is working to see that you do.

Diana Zuniga is statewide coordinator for CURB, Californians United for a Responsible Budget: She discusses the hunger strike in California prisons and the ongoing struggle to resist further expansion of mass incarceration, and to move our society in a healthier direction.

Jul 30

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

By Colleen Teubner, Other Words | Op-Ed

After graduating from high school, I had two choices: I could earn a college degree while shouldering debt, or struggle in a highly competitive job market without one. I chose the former. And I'm not the only one.
My generation is setting records in higher education. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center analysis, one in three of the country's 25-to-29-year-olds has a bachelor's degree — making that credential twice as common in the age group as it was in 1971.

We're also setting records in underemployment. Nearly half of the recent college grads who have found work are in jobs that don't require a four-year college degree.

The latest rumors out of Washington have Lawrence Summers in the lead to be President Obama's choice as the successor to Ben Bernancke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Next to appointments to the Supreme Court, arguably the most significant appointment power of the Presidency is the selection of the Fed Chairman.

Through its control of the nation's money supply and interest rates, the Fed controls the nation's monetary policy, which, because the dollar is the reserve currency for most other countries, also has an enormous impact on the global economy. And even though the President appoints the Fed Chairman and the Senate has to confirm the appointment, the Fed Chairman operates autonomously. There is no Presidential or Congressional review of the decisions of the Fed. The Chairman of the Fed may have the greatest power over the nation's economy of any single public official, including the President.