Wednesday, 10 February 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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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.

Feb 01

Our Terrorisms

By Ed Kinane, Speakout | Op-Ed

Pundits and politicos incessantly invoke but seldom define "terrorism." Like the phony "war on drugs," the phony "war on terrorism" promotes economic interests and serves political agendas. Neither war reduces drug use or violence. Nor are they designed to. "Terrorism" - past and present - pervades the US psyche and economy. "Terrorism" - the fear thereof - blunts our minds and shrinks our hearts.

Jan 29

Fighting to Hold Monsanto Accountable

By Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Speakout | Op-Ed

We all know about Monsanto. The agribusiness giant is a huge international corporate entity that wields immense power and courts controversy wherever it operates. We know that Monsanto spends undisclosed millions each year to block elected local governments from introducing and implementing GMO-labeling laws. We know the way that Monsanto has continued to push the use of known carcinogens in increasing volumes on food crops around the world.

At the Democratic town hall on January 25, 2015, Hillary Clinton said: "You know, when I'm actually in office, they say really nice things about me, we have a whole list of the nice things they say.  What a good colleague I am.  How easy I am to find common ground with.  How willing I am to try to find common ground.  And then when I run, oh my goodness, it's just unbelievable… I'm going to be just giving them all bear hugs whether they like it or not."

The Transition Towns environmental movement (Transition) has been critiqued by the Simplicity Institute for being run and populated by middle-aged, middle- and upper-middle-class, highly educated, post-materialist progressive white people. Since its inception, Transition has sought and failed to find ways to attract and retain people of color. The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub observes that people of color will stand with white people in the protest and march-in-the street varieties ofenvironmental movements.

For a long time, as he campaigned for president, a wide spectrum of establishment media insisted that Bernie Sanders couldn't win. Now they're sounding the alarm that he might. And, just in case you haven't gotten the media message yet - Sanders is "angry," kind of like Donald Trump. Elite media often blur distinctions between right-wing populism and progressive populism - as though there's not all that much difference between them.

Jan 27

Iowa Will Be Important

By Dr. James J. Zogby, Speakout | Op-Ed

For both Democrats and Republicans, this year's presidential contest is another "Armageddon election," the outcome of which will decide critically important domestic and foreign policy concerns. Despite its significance, we are just days away from the "first in the nation" Iowa caucuses and the direction of this election is still very much "up in the air" and about as confusing as any in recent memory. Iowa, therefore, will be important.

In a landmark case last autumn in Pennsylvania, a US district court judge ruled that citizens are not obliged to unlock their mobile phones if this means engaging in self-incrimination. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bonan Huang and Nan Huang, former fraud analysts based in Virginia, made almost $3 million on a $147,300 investment from 2012 to 2015 by shorting stocks based on search queries of stock traded by Capital One's database of clients.

Here we go again. Hillary touting her long experience in government, claimed knowledge of health care, and ability to "get things done" as she affirms her support of the Affordable Care Act and distorts Bernie Sanders' single-payer plan for national health insurance, Medicare for all. Yes, health care reform is again center stage as a hot issue during this election season, with rhetoric, disinformation, and false allegations filling the national media - so much smoke and mirrors.

This past Tuesday, while preparing dinner, I listened once again to Sarah Palin's unmistakable voice reinvent the English language. So overwhelmed, I wept (and not because I was chopping Vidalias at the time). You see, I lived with Sarah Palin for two years. That's how long it took to research and write Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin (Howard Books, 2011), an insider's look into the rabbit-hole that is Sarah Palin's life (a process that included documenting over 50,000 emails between Mrs. Palin and confidant Frank Bailey).

Jan 22

How the Sanders Campaign Undermines Revolution

By Brian D. Williams, Speakout | Op-Ed

Given the number of deeply rooted policy problems facing the United States today - extreme inequality of wealth and political influence a fountainhead among them - it is perhaps not surprising that the idea of revolutionary change is becoming increasingly popular. Evidence of this is found, for instance, in the popular support for Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has boldly proclaimed his commitment to a political revolution.

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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.

Feb 01

Our Terrorisms

By Ed Kinane, Speakout | Op-Ed

Pundits and politicos incessantly invoke but seldom define "terrorism." Like the phony "war on drugs," the phony "war on terrorism" promotes economic interests and serves political agendas. Neither war reduces drug use or violence. Nor are they designed to. "Terrorism" - past and present - pervades the US psyche and economy. "Terrorism" - the fear thereof - blunts our minds and shrinks our hearts.

Jan 29

Fighting to Hold Monsanto Accountable

By Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Speakout | Op-Ed

We all know about Monsanto. The agribusiness giant is a huge international corporate entity that wields immense power and courts controversy wherever it operates. We know that Monsanto spends undisclosed millions each year to block elected local governments from introducing and implementing GMO-labeling laws. We know the way that Monsanto has continued to push the use of known carcinogens in increasing volumes on food crops around the world.

At the Democratic town hall on January 25, 2015, Hillary Clinton said: "You know, when I'm actually in office, they say really nice things about me, we have a whole list of the nice things they say.  What a good colleague I am.  How easy I am to find common ground with.  How willing I am to try to find common ground.  And then when I run, oh my goodness, it's just unbelievable… I'm going to be just giving them all bear hugs whether they like it or not."

The Transition Towns environmental movement (Transition) has been critiqued by the Simplicity Institute for being run and populated by middle-aged, middle- and upper-middle-class, highly educated, post-materialist progressive white people. Since its inception, Transition has sought and failed to find ways to attract and retain people of color. The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub observes that people of color will stand with white people in the protest and march-in-the street varieties ofenvironmental movements.

For a long time, as he campaigned for president, a wide spectrum of establishment media insisted that Bernie Sanders couldn't win. Now they're sounding the alarm that he might. And, just in case you haven't gotten the media message yet - Sanders is "angry," kind of like Donald Trump. Elite media often blur distinctions between right-wing populism and progressive populism - as though there's not all that much difference between them.

Jan 27

Iowa Will Be Important

By Dr. James J. Zogby, Speakout | Op-Ed

For both Democrats and Republicans, this year's presidential contest is another "Armageddon election," the outcome of which will decide critically important domestic and foreign policy concerns. Despite its significance, we are just days away from the "first in the nation" Iowa caucuses and the direction of this election is still very much "up in the air" and about as confusing as any in recent memory. Iowa, therefore, will be important.

In a landmark case last autumn in Pennsylvania, a US district court judge ruled that citizens are not obliged to unlock their mobile phones if this means engaging in self-incrimination. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bonan Huang and Nan Huang, former fraud analysts based in Virginia, made almost $3 million on a $147,300 investment from 2012 to 2015 by shorting stocks based on search queries of stock traded by Capital One's database of clients.

Here we go again. Hillary touting her long experience in government, claimed knowledge of health care, and ability to "get things done" as she affirms her support of the Affordable Care Act and distorts Bernie Sanders' single-payer plan for national health insurance, Medicare for all. Yes, health care reform is again center stage as a hot issue during this election season, with rhetoric, disinformation, and false allegations filling the national media - so much smoke and mirrors.

This past Tuesday, while preparing dinner, I listened once again to Sarah Palin's unmistakable voice reinvent the English language. So overwhelmed, I wept (and not because I was chopping Vidalias at the time). You see, I lived with Sarah Palin for two years. That's how long it took to research and write Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin (Howard Books, 2011), an insider's look into the rabbit-hole that is Sarah Palin's life (a process that included documenting over 50,000 emails between Mrs. Palin and confidant Frank Bailey).

Jan 22

How the Sanders Campaign Undermines Revolution

By Brian D. Williams, Speakout | Op-Ed

Given the number of deeply rooted policy problems facing the United States today - extreme inequality of wealth and political influence a fountainhead among them - it is perhaps not surprising that the idea of revolutionary change is becoming increasingly popular. Evidence of this is found, for instance, in the popular support for Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has boldly proclaimed his commitment to a political revolution.