Saturday, 28 March 2015 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Speakout

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.

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) filed a comment with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent federal agency, urging the CFPB to add language related to protecting the finances of released prisoners to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid debit cards. Sixty-eight criminal justice reform groups, civil rights organizations and public interest law clinics joined in the comment.

The comment requests that the CFPB exercise its authority under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) to add language to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid accounts under EFTA and the Truth in Lending Act.

Having assessed in the last three posts the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the last five years,  we have seen that the ACA will not bring universal access, contain health care costs for patients and tax payers, or improve the quality of care. 

These are some of the main lessons we have already learned from the ACA's initial five years.

Zahra Shahtahmasebi: Thank you to everyone tuning in to this important interview. Joining me this morning is a very special guest, Nicky Hager.  I'm sure he needs no introduction for those of you in New Zealand, but for those who don't know him, he is the author of six books including Secret Power and last year's page turner: Dirty Politics. His most recent work examines theSnowden files extensively, to analyze New Zealand's role in the Five Eyes Alliance.

Long Beach, California — Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run "aquifer exemption" workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California's underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

"Instead of this 'Toxic Dumping for Dummies' class, Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators should protect our water from oil waste," said Ash Lauth of Californians Against Fracking. "During this devastating drought, oilcompanies shouldn't be allowed to use our aquifers as trash dumps for fracking flowback and other dangerous fluids."

Join us for PEACE AND PLANET, a mobilization to build a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world!

April 24-26, New York City

Indigenous organizations and thousands of people from around the world have called on delegates attending a major conference on the illegal wildlife trade to recognize tribal peoples' right to hunt for their survival.

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples' rights, indigenous organizations from Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya and many other countries, and over 80 experts on hunter-gatherers, have urged delegates attending an intergovernmental conference in Kasane, Botswana, on March 25, to recognize that tribal people should not be treated as criminals when they hunt to feedtheir families.

Mar 25

There Is No Palestinian Problem...Yet

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

For all of the energy, emotion, for all of the massacres that have occurred over the past several decades in the Holy Land, for all of the advocacy of one-state or two-state solutions, there has never quite been an acknowledgement that there has yet really to be a problem.

Yes, you've heard me correctly.  What is the problem?

Mar 24

The Need for Wisdom

By Marcus Peter Ford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, is subtitled, "Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere." The University of Everywhere, however, could just as easily be called the University of Nowhere because it exists only on the internet.

Minerva University, named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom, is just this type of university. Minerva is the brain-child of multi-millionaire and former Snapfish president, Ben Nelson. As a freshman at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nelson concluded that there was a more rational way to structure higher education, one predicated on certain modes of analysis and skills. All students should be required to take the same courses their freshmen year - formal analysis (mathematics); empirical analysis (science); complex system (social sciences), and multimodal communication (writing, rhetoric, and public speaking). These four courses constitute to the basis of all subsequent study at Minerva.

Ten hours by bus coming from Mexico City, I finally arrived in the tiny remote municipality, surrounded by mountains and a dense fog, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The town boasts about 21,000 people, many of whom are self-sustained farmers.

Each year, over 120,000 people come from places such as this in Hidalgo to work under an H2-A VISA in agriculture and in other industries like landscaping, construction - and crab picking under an H2-B VISA.

Mar 24

Naked Bibi

By Dr James J Zogby, Arab American Institute | Op-Ed

In the lead up to Israel's March 17 election, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, fearful that he might lose his re-election bid, threw caution to the wind making blatant appeals to scare voters into returning him to office. He did so not caring who he alienated or what the consequences of his behavior might be. I have always argued that in the animal kingdom there is no creature more dangerous than a panicking politician and, in the last few days, Bibi was one such creature.   

The day before votes were cast, Netanyahu gave a series of interviews to friendly media outlets developing themes that preyed on Israeli fears: of Palestinians, of "foreign conspiracies," and of Israel's own Arab citizens. He charged, for example, that if his opponents won, they would submit to the pressures of the international community leading to the creation of "Hamastan B" in Jerusalem. In another interview he said, "...anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian State and evacuate territory, gives territory away to radical Islamists." And when asked if that meant he was backing away from his 2009 pledge to support a two-state solution, Netanyahu responded "Indeed."

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Speakout

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.

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) filed a comment with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent federal agency, urging the CFPB to add language related to protecting the finances of released prisoners to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid debit cards. Sixty-eight criminal justice reform groups, civil rights organizations and public interest law clinics joined in the comment.

The comment requests that the CFPB exercise its authority under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) to add language to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid accounts under EFTA and the Truth in Lending Act.

Having assessed in the last three posts the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the last five years,  we have seen that the ACA will not bring universal access, contain health care costs for patients and tax payers, or improve the quality of care. 

These are some of the main lessons we have already learned from the ACA's initial five years.

Zahra Shahtahmasebi: Thank you to everyone tuning in to this important interview. Joining me this morning is a very special guest, Nicky Hager.  I'm sure he needs no introduction for those of you in New Zealand, but for those who don't know him, he is the author of six books including Secret Power and last year's page turner: Dirty Politics. His most recent work examines theSnowden files extensively, to analyze New Zealand's role in the Five Eyes Alliance.

Long Beach, California — Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run "aquifer exemption" workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California's underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

"Instead of this 'Toxic Dumping for Dummies' class, Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators should protect our water from oil waste," said Ash Lauth of Californians Against Fracking. "During this devastating drought, oilcompanies shouldn't be allowed to use our aquifers as trash dumps for fracking flowback and other dangerous fluids."

Join us for PEACE AND PLANET, a mobilization to build a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world!

April 24-26, New York City

Indigenous organizations and thousands of people from around the world have called on delegates attending a major conference on the illegal wildlife trade to recognize tribal peoples' right to hunt for their survival.

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples' rights, indigenous organizations from Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya and many other countries, and over 80 experts on hunter-gatherers, have urged delegates attending an intergovernmental conference in Kasane, Botswana, on March 25, to recognize that tribal people should not be treated as criminals when they hunt to feedtheir families.

Mar 25

There Is No Palestinian Problem...Yet

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

For all of the energy, emotion, for all of the massacres that have occurred over the past several decades in the Holy Land, for all of the advocacy of one-state or two-state solutions, there has never quite been an acknowledgement that there has yet really to be a problem.

Yes, you've heard me correctly.  What is the problem?

Mar 24

The Need for Wisdom

By Marcus Peter Ford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, is subtitled, "Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere." The University of Everywhere, however, could just as easily be called the University of Nowhere because it exists only on the internet.

Minerva University, named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom, is just this type of university. Minerva is the brain-child of multi-millionaire and former Snapfish president, Ben Nelson. As a freshman at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nelson concluded that there was a more rational way to structure higher education, one predicated on certain modes of analysis and skills. All students should be required to take the same courses their freshmen year - formal analysis (mathematics); empirical analysis (science); complex system (social sciences), and multimodal communication (writing, rhetoric, and public speaking). These four courses constitute to the basis of all subsequent study at Minerva.

Ten hours by bus coming from Mexico City, I finally arrived in the tiny remote municipality, surrounded by mountains and a dense fog, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The town boasts about 21,000 people, many of whom are self-sustained farmers.

Each year, over 120,000 people come from places such as this in Hidalgo to work under an H2-A VISA in agriculture and in other industries like landscaping, construction - and crab picking under an H2-B VISA.

Mar 24

Naked Bibi

By Dr James J Zogby, Arab American Institute | Op-Ed

In the lead up to Israel's March 17 election, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, fearful that he might lose his re-election bid, threw caution to the wind making blatant appeals to scare voters into returning him to office. He did so not caring who he alienated or what the consequences of his behavior might be. I have always argued that in the animal kingdom there is no creature more dangerous than a panicking politician and, in the last few days, Bibi was one such creature.   

The day before votes were cast, Netanyahu gave a series of interviews to friendly media outlets developing themes that preyed on Israeli fears: of Palestinians, of "foreign conspiracies," and of Israel's own Arab citizens. He charged, for example, that if his opponents won, they would submit to the pressures of the international community leading to the creation of "Hamastan B" in Jerusalem. In another interview he said, "...anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian State and evacuate territory, gives territory away to radical Islamists." And when asked if that meant he was backing away from his 2009 pledge to support a two-state solution, Netanyahu responded "Indeed."