Saturday, 29 November 2014 / 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.

The budget deal at the end of 2013 reduced the bite sequestration will take out of the military budget.  But about $30 billion will still be coming out of Pentagon spending for 2014, and more the next year, as the nation begins its postwar military downsizing.

Communities across the country will be affected.  For the most part we don’t know which ones.  But economic development professionals agree on one thing: getting ahead of the curve is critical to a successful economic strategy. 

One of my aides sent me a clip of a recently aired Super Bowl advertisement. In it, Laurence Fishburne reprised his role as Morpheus, who, instead of the red and blue pills, this time offered blue and red keys for a couple to choose from the parking valet. The woman picked the red key and thus had a new experience that completely changed their perception of the luxury car.

The Farm Bill is the federal blueprint for the American food system. Due to pass into law as soon as this Friday, the bill does little to address poor nutrition, GMO and other unsustainable practices, and dangerous corporate control over the U.S. and global food supply.

The Green Shadow Cabinet have analysed the bill, and have reached the conclusion that it should be vetoed and replaced by new legislation with the wellbeing of farmers, consumers and the land -rather than corporate interests, at its heart.

Margaretta D'Arcy a 79 year old Irish peace activist on Wednesday 5th of February will have served three weeks of a three month sentence in Limerick Prison, Co Clare, Ireland, for protesting against the use of Shannon Airport by US troops who use it to fly to and from their perpetual wars. Margaretta is suffering from cancer, but the Irish Fine Gael / Labour Government shows no sign of issuing her a pardon. We need to rapidly expand our international solidarity campaign to help her.

So, we have eleven aircraft carrier groups. No other country in the world has more than one. Everyone who has looked at the issue has agreed that we could do with fewer than eleven while still achieving our national security goals: Bush/Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Obama Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and think tanks on the left and the right.

Feb 11

Black History Month

By Dr James J Zogby, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

This is Black History Month in the United States— a time to reflect on the contributions African Americans have made to our nation's history and to take note of the progress that has been made in advancing racial equality and the challenges that remain.

A special focus of this year's programs will mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 by then President Lyndon Johnson. That historic legislation marked a turning point in American life, ending racial discrimination in public accommodations. In this context, Black History Month provides an opportunity to reflect on a past we should never forget and the extent to which the legacy of racial inequality is still with us.

Feb 11

Hollande's Visit to the US: the Poodle and the Fox

By Pierre Guerlain, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

French president François Hollande's visit to the US is preceded by the publication of an op-ed in both the Washington Post and Le Monde written jointly by Obama and the French leader. François Heisbourg gets to publish his two cents in the New York Times and his title is an involuntary release of the proverbial cat out of the bag: "Hollande's Martial Prowess." What Heisbourg praises is precisely what should be criticized and the achievements the two presidents are proud of need to be questioned.

Feb 11

Nationwide Response Planned for McCutcheon Ruling

By Public Citizen, SpeakOut | Press Release

Hundreds of activists nationwide are planning rallies, protests and other events in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which could be decided as soon as the week of Feb. 24. More than 100 events are being organized in some of the largest cities around the country, to take place on the day of the ruling.

For the State Department to suggest that the Keystone XL pipeline will not have a negative impact on the environment is like Walter White telling Phillip Seymour Hoffman that heroin is as healthy as kale.

If one reads the Obama administration State Department’s Final Environmental Study on the KXL pipeline it is almost as if the State department subcontracted the study to a company with vast financial ties to the oil and gas industry.

Almost three weeks ago, all three of the major Sunday network news shows --- NBC's Meet the Press, CBS' Face the Nation and ABC's This Week --- allowed very powerful elected officials, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), to come on the air and claim, without evidence, that they'd seen "clues" suggesting former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden was, somehow, a Russian agent.

The officials were required to offer absolutely no evidence for their extraordinary claims on the three major broadcast networks. Snowden was subsequently forced to strongly rebut the scandalous charges, which are apparently straight out of the Nixon/Cold War era playbook.

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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.

The budget deal at the end of 2013 reduced the bite sequestration will take out of the military budget.  But about $30 billion will still be coming out of Pentagon spending for 2014, and more the next year, as the nation begins its postwar military downsizing.

Communities across the country will be affected.  For the most part we don’t know which ones.  But economic development professionals agree on one thing: getting ahead of the curve is critical to a successful economic strategy. 

One of my aides sent me a clip of a recently aired Super Bowl advertisement. In it, Laurence Fishburne reprised his role as Morpheus, who, instead of the red and blue pills, this time offered blue and red keys for a couple to choose from the parking valet. The woman picked the red key and thus had a new experience that completely changed their perception of the luxury car.

The Farm Bill is the federal blueprint for the American food system. Due to pass into law as soon as this Friday, the bill does little to address poor nutrition, GMO and other unsustainable practices, and dangerous corporate control over the U.S. and global food supply.

The Green Shadow Cabinet have analysed the bill, and have reached the conclusion that it should be vetoed and replaced by new legislation with the wellbeing of farmers, consumers and the land -rather than corporate interests, at its heart.

Margaretta D'Arcy a 79 year old Irish peace activist on Wednesday 5th of February will have served three weeks of a three month sentence in Limerick Prison, Co Clare, Ireland, for protesting against the use of Shannon Airport by US troops who use it to fly to and from their perpetual wars. Margaretta is suffering from cancer, but the Irish Fine Gael / Labour Government shows no sign of issuing her a pardon. We need to rapidly expand our international solidarity campaign to help her.

So, we have eleven aircraft carrier groups. No other country in the world has more than one. Everyone who has looked at the issue has agreed that we could do with fewer than eleven while still achieving our national security goals: Bush/Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Obama Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and think tanks on the left and the right.

Feb 11

Black History Month

By Dr James J Zogby, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

This is Black History Month in the United States— a time to reflect on the contributions African Americans have made to our nation's history and to take note of the progress that has been made in advancing racial equality and the challenges that remain.

A special focus of this year's programs will mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 by then President Lyndon Johnson. That historic legislation marked a turning point in American life, ending racial discrimination in public accommodations. In this context, Black History Month provides an opportunity to reflect on a past we should never forget and the extent to which the legacy of racial inequality is still with us.

Feb 11

Hollande's Visit to the US: the Poodle and the Fox

By Pierre Guerlain, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

French president François Hollande's visit to the US is preceded by the publication of an op-ed in both the Washington Post and Le Monde written jointly by Obama and the French leader. François Heisbourg gets to publish his two cents in the New York Times and his title is an involuntary release of the proverbial cat out of the bag: "Hollande's Martial Prowess." What Heisbourg praises is precisely what should be criticized and the achievements the two presidents are proud of need to be questioned.

Feb 11

Nationwide Response Planned for McCutcheon Ruling

By Public Citizen, SpeakOut | Press Release

Hundreds of activists nationwide are planning rallies, protests and other events in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which could be decided as soon as the week of Feb. 24. More than 100 events are being organized in some of the largest cities around the country, to take place on the day of the ruling.

For the State Department to suggest that the Keystone XL pipeline will not have a negative impact on the environment is like Walter White telling Phillip Seymour Hoffman that heroin is as healthy as kale.

If one reads the Obama administration State Department’s Final Environmental Study on the KXL pipeline it is almost as if the State department subcontracted the study to a company with vast financial ties to the oil and gas industry.

Almost three weeks ago, all three of the major Sunday network news shows --- NBC's Meet the Press, CBS' Face the Nation and ABC's This Week --- allowed very powerful elected officials, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), to come on the air and claim, without evidence, that they'd seen "clues" suggesting former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden was, somehow, a Russian agent.

The officials were required to offer absolutely no evidence for their extraordinary claims on the three major broadcast networks. Snowden was subsequently forced to strongly rebut the scandalous charges, which are apparently straight out of the Nixon/Cold War era playbook.