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.
The yoga class was near maximum capacity. There was a spot up front but it usually belonged to D, a teacher who practices yoga with us plebes when not teaching.
So I moved to the crowded second row. My new neighbor, however, was clearly annoyed at having to rearrange her mat. "You're a paying customer," she said. "D's late. He should move, not you."
"He's a teacher," I offered meekly as she scowled and turned away.
Neoliberal policies promoting charter schools have not created healthy competition promoting improved educational outcomes benefiting all students. The market-based approach to education has actually accomplished the opposite, precipitating segregation, unequal class structure and the disenfranchisement of certain ethnic groups and children from families earning low incomes. As funding is being pumped into charter schools, public schools are receiving reduced funding - negatively impacting the educational experiences of some Latino and African-American students precipitating class hegemony gearing these students for working class jobs, rather than professional positions. (Saltman, The Politics of Education, 2013, P. 19)
The recent article in the New York Times, "Racial Isolation in Public Schools", discusses the lack of resources and funding in public schools negatively impacting minority children, especially children in Buffalo. The so-called, "criteria schools" are known to be schools offering better education for students. However, increasing the cap limits into these schools will not benefit the population as a whole. Rather than funneling funding into alternative educational institutions, funding should be allocated toward public schooling. Privatization has not demonstrated improved outcomes beneficial for all students, especially minority students.
It is still not about Islam, even if the media and militants attacking western targets say so. Actually, it never was. But it was important for many to conflate politics with religion; partly because it is convenient and self-validating.
First, let’s be clear on some points. Islam has set in motion a system to abolish slavery over 1,200 years before the slave trade reached its peak in the western world.
Sacramento— California oil regulators today released a draft environmental review of fracking that fails to adequately analyze many major risks from fracking, including air and water pollution and risks to public health. Th review by California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources was released even though state scientists are still six months away from completing their analysis of the risks and harms of the controversial form of oil and gas extraction.
The California Council on Science and Technology today released the first volume of a state-commissioned, three-part fracking study. The other two volumes aren’t out until July, and the first volume addresses only the extent of fracking in California and does not assess risks.
Please accept this New Year's Greeting, along with my sincerest condolences for your suffering since those deplorable terrorist atrocities last week. Everyone here in The Homeland understands what it means to be scarred by synchronized attacks in your largest city and government seat. Even though you didn't have to deal with anthrax, and even though there was no evidence that your own government tweaked the attacks, we Americans will cast no blame if you devote the coming decades to spasms of hypocrisy and self-destruction.
Yoav Hattab, 21, student and tireless worker in social movements, was one of the victims of the attack on a kosher market in Paris on 9 January 2015. I knew of him through our mutual involvement in the 2013 World Social Forum in Tunisia, the country in which he was born. Two years before that, he was a member of the Tunisian Human Rights Committee that went to the European Commission in Brussels. Yoav was in Paris to study marketing and was finishing up his shopping before Shabbat. He tried to use a cast-off weapon to subdue the heavily-armed gunman that Friday and save the lives of the other hostages, only to find the weapon jammed and to be killed in turn.
Reverend Dr. Allan Boesak, a South African civil rights leader who worked with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela to end apartheid and promote reconciliation in South Africa, calls the Israeli treatment of Palestinians “much more violent than the South African government treatment of blacks.”
In a discussion at the Harris Methodist Church on January 11, 2015 with social justice leaders in the Honolulu, Hawaii community, Dr. Boesak said that black South Africans faced violence from the apartheid white government and that he went to funerals each week of those killed in the struggle, but never on the scale that the Palestinians face from the Israeli government. The South African government killing of blacks was small compared to numbers of Palestinians the Israeli government has killed.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced last weekend that he would be ending his popular Fox News talk show to feel out a possible presidential run. Huckabee ran in the Republican primaries in 2008, and it's common knowledge among most political observers that he still has an eye for the White House. The news, then, wasn't really all that shocking. Although he won't make a definitive decision until later in the spring, Huckabee mentioned on his program that the "continued chatter" over his future political ambitions "has put Fox News into a position that just isn't fair to them." He continued, "Nor is it possible for me to openly determine political and financial support to justify a race. The honorable thing to do at this point is to end my tenure here at Fox."
A bipartisan effort to enforce Wisconsin's longstanding laws governing coordination between campaigns and independent groups has been mislabeled a "partisan witch hunt" by a well-funded legal and media campaign, with the ultimate goal of undermining what remains of limits on big money in politics, according to a new report from the Center for Media and Democracy.
"Anti-coordination laws have become more vital than ever before in the post-Citizens United world, where 'independent' political organizations are raising and spending unlimited funds for elections but keeping their donors a secret," said Brendan Fischer, CMD General Counsel and the author of the report. "If a candidate can coordinate with these secretly-funded groups and establish shadow campaign committees, then the candidate contribution limits and disclosure requirements are rendered meaningless."
People who hear that it is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month are likely to be overwhelmed by the thought of human trafficking and wonder what one person can possibly do to help. It is true that trafficking—the act of compelling someone to work against their will—is a complex issue with many root causes, including poverty, barriers to economic opportunity, and marginalization of certain groups. Unfortunately, as journalist Melissa Gira Grant documents, well-intentioned but misguided efforts to combat the problem often focus on the sex trade instead of first understanding the full breadth of human trafficking. The good news is many people are already contributing to the fight against human trafficking by addressing its root causes through work, volunteerism, and daily actions that are not exclusively focused on trafficking—for example, by improving education or advocating for workers’ rights.
The complexity of trafficking is precisely what makes these different approaches necessary, and shows that we can all be part of bringing an end to human trafficking. These six key areas have a significant impact on trafficking and can use your support.