Saturday, 06 February 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • Feeding the Military-Industrial Complex

    The US's military procurement machine may be the single most successful system of wealth transfer ever devised. But as a provider of working equipment to defend the country against realistic threats, it is becoming more and more dysfunctional.

  • A New Era of Global Protest Begins

    In line with the steady rise in social unrest over the past decade, it's likely that we will witness an unprecedented escalation in large-scale citizen protests across the globe in 2016 and beyond.

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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.

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.

Nov 03

Police Brutality: Can It Really Be Fixed?

By Malik Shabazz, Speakout | Op-Ed

Having my mom give me a lecture before I left for a party seemed like a waste of time. But deep down, I knew what she was saying was the truth. I was walking on Mission Street, listening to music on my headphones and the cops stopped me. They thought since I was an African American and because I had a Rockstar energy drink in my hands, I was drinking. I was frisked and questioned without reason. This was a form of police brutality because I am an innocent person who was harassed by the the cops. Police brutality is a problem that needs to be stopped because it is destroying homes and lives.

In our country, the average annual income for the top 1% is $27,342,212. The bottom 90 percent, meanwhile, make an average of $31,244. There is a division in quality of life for these two groups. These numbers mean the difference between owning cars and having to take public transportation; between being able to afford private tutors and having to work jobs while in high school; and, ultimately, between whether or not you have access to opportunity. The socioeconomic class you are in significantly and directly impacts what opportunities you have access to in educational, occupational and familial roles.

Nov 02

Women in Combat? Let's Reframe the Debate

By Jerry Lembcke, Speakout | News Analysis

Public opinion of the policy has changed in recent years in response to women's rights advocates contending that exclusion is a form of sex discrimination. Additionally, military readiness of late has been diminished by falling recruitment and retention rates, a problem that women in the ranks helps solve. Available data, moreover, says women can meet the standards for combat preparedness.

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Popular On Speakout

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.

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.

Nov 03

Police Brutality: Can It Really Be Fixed?

By Malik Shabazz, Speakout | Op-Ed

Having my mom give me a lecture before I left for a party seemed like a waste of time. But deep down, I knew what she was saying was the truth. I was walking on Mission Street, listening to music on my headphones and the cops stopped me. They thought since I was an African American and because I had a Rockstar energy drink in my hands, I was drinking. I was frisked and questioned without reason. This was a form of police brutality because I am an innocent person who was harassed by the the cops. Police brutality is a problem that needs to be stopped because it is destroying homes and lives.

In our country, the average annual income for the top 1% is $27,342,212. The bottom 90 percent, meanwhile, make an average of $31,244. There is a division in quality of life for these two groups. These numbers mean the difference between owning cars and having to take public transportation; between being able to afford private tutors and having to work jobs while in high school; and, ultimately, between whether or not you have access to opportunity. The socioeconomic class you are in significantly and directly impacts what opportunities you have access to in educational, occupational and familial roles.

Nov 02

Women in Combat? Let's Reframe the Debate

By Jerry Lembcke, Speakout | News Analysis

Public opinion of the policy has changed in recent years in response to women's rights advocates contending that exclusion is a form of sex discrimination. Additionally, military readiness of late has been diminished by falling recruitment and retention rates, a problem that women in the ranks helps solve. Available data, moreover, says women can meet the standards for combat preparedness.