Tuesday, 09 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.

As Americans click their way toward a third presidential election even more dynamic and interactive than our last two data-driven presidential elections, personalized social media and socially-embedded campaigns are changing our culture, social structures and political self-determination.

Nov 10

End the US-Israel Occupation

By L. Michael Hager, Speakout | Op-Ed

Israel is not alone in its military occupation of Palestine and blockade of the Gaza Strip. While the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confine and represses Palestinians on the ground, the US government provides both the military aid and the international political support that allows the illegal occupation to endure in the face of broad international opprobrium. The US has become complicit in the Israeli occupation.

Perhaps you've never heard of "The Resident," or the Russia Today network for that matter. The Resident is Lori Harfenist, a counter cultural news personality that delivers quick and insightful assertions during the late afternoon on the Russia Today (RT) network. Harfenists argues that "society pushes people to be mindless."

Nov 09

Arab Fall at the Berlin Wailing Wall

By Cirila Toplak, Speakout | Op-Ed

The mass pro-democratic movement referred to as the "Arab Spring" has become a nightmare for millions of citizens in the Middle East and North Africa and has once again destabilized a traditionally volatile region.

In the past, authoritarian regimes in this region upheld a certain stability and cohesion to have their illegitimacy sustained (like in Libya or Syria), while dictators relied on the support of the United States and other Western governments in unmasked economic exploitation and political oppression (like in Egypt or Tunisia).

Nov 09

Taking Down Trickle-Down

By Spencer Gowin, Speakout | Op-Ed

The United States is indisputably the strongest economy in the world. With the one of highest gross domestic product of any nation, the quality of life for each citizen should be astounding. Why is it then, that there are still people suffering from starvation, poverty and discrimination? The answer lies within the idea of "trickle-down economics," and the economic policies which have been created tostrengthen it in the United States.

On November 9, youth activists plan to organize a day of action for racial justice, immigrant justice, and climate justice called "Our Generation, Our Choice," which will include a gathering in Washington, DC to demand that our political leaders address these issues. The growing list of supporters includes organizations such as Million Hoodies, Working Families, 350.org, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Hip Hop Caucus. While this may seem like a hodgepodge of different social movements, they are, in fact, inextricably linked.

Polls conducted through various countries suggest the majority of the public (albeit a slim majority) would support military action against the group commonly referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is not surprising, given the ruthless, frightening and relentless terror that they have been spreading across an entire region. Mass executions, slavery, suicide bombers and the torture and execution of journalists will raise no doubt in people's mind that ISIS is a group of people who need to be stopped for the protection and safety of the region and potentially the entire world.

During the 2008 US presidential campaign, the media scrutiny over Hillary Clinton tended to focus as much on Clinton's political discourse as much as it honed in on her wardrobe. Alas, the 21st century was in full swing, yet there was little evidence of any sort of social consciousness regarding women's rights, much less an advancement regarding female politician's autonomy of body and mind. The year 2008 served as a template for what not to do regarding media coverage of these politicians.

During the last week of October I walked on a peace march organized by the Nipponzan Myohoji order of Buddhist monks. This march is similar in some ways to another: the Okinawa "Beggars' March" of 1955-1956. At that time, farmers who had been forcefully removed from their fields by US soldiers in the years following World War II acted peacefully to demand the return of their land, which was the source of their entire livelihood.

Nov 03

A Tale of Two Retirements

By Sarah Anderson and Scott Klinger, Institute for Policy Studies | Report

One hundred CEOs have as much in retirement assets as 41 percent of US families.

This report, co-published by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government, is the first to provide detailed statistics on the staggering gap between the retirement assets of Fortune 500 CEOs and the rest of the United States.

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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.

As Americans click their way toward a third presidential election even more dynamic and interactive than our last two data-driven presidential elections, personalized social media and socially-embedded campaigns are changing our culture, social structures and political self-determination.

Nov 10

End the US-Israel Occupation

By L. Michael Hager, Speakout | Op-Ed

Israel is not alone in its military occupation of Palestine and blockade of the Gaza Strip. While the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confine and represses Palestinians on the ground, the US government provides both the military aid and the international political support that allows the illegal occupation to endure in the face of broad international opprobrium. The US has become complicit in the Israeli occupation.

Perhaps you've never heard of "The Resident," or the Russia Today network for that matter. The Resident is Lori Harfenist, a counter cultural news personality that delivers quick and insightful assertions during the late afternoon on the Russia Today (RT) network. Harfenists argues that "society pushes people to be mindless."

Nov 09

Arab Fall at the Berlin Wailing Wall

By Cirila Toplak, Speakout | Op-Ed

The mass pro-democratic movement referred to as the "Arab Spring" has become a nightmare for millions of citizens in the Middle East and North Africa and has once again destabilized a traditionally volatile region.

In the past, authoritarian regimes in this region upheld a certain stability and cohesion to have their illegitimacy sustained (like in Libya or Syria), while dictators relied on the support of the United States and other Western governments in unmasked economic exploitation and political oppression (like in Egypt or Tunisia).

Nov 09

Taking Down Trickle-Down

By Spencer Gowin, Speakout | Op-Ed

The United States is indisputably the strongest economy in the world. With the one of highest gross domestic product of any nation, the quality of life for each citizen should be astounding. Why is it then, that there are still people suffering from starvation, poverty and discrimination? The answer lies within the idea of "trickle-down economics," and the economic policies which have been created tostrengthen it in the United States.

On November 9, youth activists plan to organize a day of action for racial justice, immigrant justice, and climate justice called "Our Generation, Our Choice," which will include a gathering in Washington, DC to demand that our political leaders address these issues. The growing list of supporters includes organizations such as Million Hoodies, Working Families, 350.org, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Hip Hop Caucus. While this may seem like a hodgepodge of different social movements, they are, in fact, inextricably linked.

Polls conducted through various countries suggest the majority of the public (albeit a slim majority) would support military action against the group commonly referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is not surprising, given the ruthless, frightening and relentless terror that they have been spreading across an entire region. Mass executions, slavery, suicide bombers and the torture and execution of journalists will raise no doubt in people's mind that ISIS is a group of people who need to be stopped for the protection and safety of the region and potentially the entire world.

During the 2008 US presidential campaign, the media scrutiny over Hillary Clinton tended to focus as much on Clinton's political discourse as much as it honed in on her wardrobe. Alas, the 21st century was in full swing, yet there was little evidence of any sort of social consciousness regarding women's rights, much less an advancement regarding female politician's autonomy of body and mind. The year 2008 served as a template for what not to do regarding media coverage of these politicians.

During the last week of October I walked on a peace march organized by the Nipponzan Myohoji order of Buddhist monks. This march is similar in some ways to another: the Okinawa "Beggars' March" of 1955-1956. At that time, farmers who had been forcefully removed from their fields by US soldiers in the years following World War II acted peacefully to demand the return of their land, which was the source of their entire livelihood.

Nov 03

A Tale of Two Retirements

By Sarah Anderson and Scott Klinger, Institute for Policy Studies | Report

One hundred CEOs have as much in retirement assets as 41 percent of US families.

This report, co-published by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government, is the first to provide detailed statistics on the staggering gap between the retirement assets of Fortune 500 CEOs and the rest of the United States.