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.

Oct 07


By Gabriel Prado, Truthout | Essay

The upper class rich white folks think poverty comes from people being “too lazy.” In all reality, African Americans and Latinos do not get the chances they deserve. Just because of their skin tone they cannot get a fair chance. Nowadays your skin color decides if you get a job. How does that make sense? Do not get me wrong; there are successful colored people, but they probably had to struggle more to get to where they are. Poverty and racial inequality starts with the government and the system.

They've done it. A mere thirty Republican Tea Party extremists have managed to shut down the U.S. government, potentially tanking a national economy that's already on life support. Ironically enough, the flawed logic behind their congressional temper tantrum, to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (coined Obamacare) by taking the country hostage, was a complete and utter failure. Obamacare remains unscathed by the shut down and full online enrollment in the program starts today, October 1, 2013.

The larger picture of the U.S. government's slowdown (incorrectly labeled "shutdown") is a struggle over a centralized and incoherent bureaucracy that continues to seize trillions of dollars more than what it spends. This reckless taxation and spending has created an other-governance dependency for some, while others still believe in self-governance.
But perhaps the government slowdown will again cause Americans to think and reflect about the state of their current civic engagement and future political processes. Yet it is another warning sign that something is wrong. Whereas good governance socially benefits people, corrupt and depraved government berates them.

Oct 05

Individualism is for the Rich

By Ajenai Hampton, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Many people in America believe that people's success in life is based on the individual, and that if you do not have any success in life, there is no one to blame but yourself. These people are called Individualists, and are usually very financially successful themselves. Individualists do not believe in helpful government assistances such as welfare and they do not think that the government should be involved in an individual's success, financially or otherwise. Individualists also believe that if you are unsuccessful, it is your fault for not working hard enough.

Miraculous news this morning! Judge Jackson has overturned Herman's conviction, granting him full habeas relief based on the systematic exclusion of women from the jury in violation of the 14th Amendment. 

Even more astonishingly, the Judge clearly orders that "the State immediately release Mr. Wallace from custody."  No application for bail is required, and the State is given 30 days to notify Herman if they plan to re-indict him.

Oct 04

Torture Opponents Say Ban Dick Cheney from Canada or Prosecute Him

By War Criminals Watch, WCW | Press Release

Torture suspect and former U.S. Vice President Richard (Dick) Cheney is scheduled to speak at the Toronto Global Forum, October 31, 2013, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The event is hosted by the International Economic Forum of the Americas.

Lawyers and others are urging Canada to either bar Dick Cheney from Canada as a person credibly accused of torture – or to arrest and prosecute him on arrival, as required by the Convention against Torture. That Dick Cheney authorized, directed and failed to prevent the widespread use of torture by US officials on non-Americans detained in off-shore prisons is no longer open to question. The United Nations Committee Against Torture has determined that torture suspects temporarily in Canada must be dealt with in accordance with the Convention.

Oct 04

Living a Death

By Zulfiqar Shah, Truthout | Op-Ed

I am in Delhi undergoing medical treatment, including detoxification and treatment for other damage caused by heavy metal poisoning applied in Kathmandu, Nepal on December 18, 2012. Although I repeatedly forget things due to my associated memory loss, I keep on writing to make myself feel my own existence still counts since I am no longer an activist on the ground in Sindh, Pakistan. In fact, I believe I was given heavy metal poisoning by the Pakistani intelligence agencies Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) with local facilitation in Nepal.

NEW YORK, NY - Today, Free & Equal – the unprecedented UN public information campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality – released a compelling three-minute video of the first-ever ministerial meeting on LGBT rights at the United Nations held on 26 September, 2013. The video captures strong statements by several attendees, who included the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the U.S. Secretary of State, the Argentine, Brazilian, Croatian, Dutch and Norwegian foreign ministers, the French Minister of Development Cooperation, senior officials from the European Union, Japan and New Zealand, and the directors of Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Two young women were shot in the back in Cato Crest on Monday. They were both shot in the back while running away from the police. Nqobile Nzuza was shot in her back and in the back of her head and died on the scene. Luleka Makhwenkwana was shot in her arm, also from the back, and was taken to hospital but has now been discharged. Police spokespeople Jay Naicker and Solomon Makgale have been telling the media all kinds of lies about these shootings.

We wish to make it clear that the police are lying just as they lied after the massacre on the mountain in Marikana last year.

The United States has the largest economic system in the world: one that was created long ago by the early Americans through the acquisition of land that did not belong to them and the multiple mass genocides of Native American and African people. Though we tend not to speak about those horrific periods in our history, it is within those times that America built this strong economic system the United States stands on. And although our wealth is constructed solely of colored people’s sweat and blood, it is the white supremacist government that still holds the power of the economic system and the majority of the wealth in the United States of America.