Tuesday, 30 September 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.

Oct 18

Blinded by the Systematic Power

By Gabriela Garcia, SpeakOut | News Analysis

African Americans and Latin Americans have been oppressed for centuries, and yet still has there not been any change. Many people of the United States blame the individual for being oppressed, jailed, or murdered. These ethnicities and races are still oppressed by the system. Not in a matter of slavery or segregation, but in the matter of poverty, discrimination and classism. I agree that wars and revolutions have made change over the past years, but not enough change that we are able to stand by the 14th amendment that guarantees civil rights for all Americans.

Poverty has been a huge effect around the world, but specifically in the city of San Francisco. According to a US Economic Inequality article, statistics show that the 1% of rich Americans are getting richer and the poor are even more poor.

Oct 18

Still Staying Sober – An Analysis

By Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analysis | News Analysis

On 22 May 2013 I wrote an analysis titled “Staying Sober.” It recounted two news stories that drew many hopeful comments from progressives. One was about the New York-based federal judge who placed an injunction on the U.S. government’s practice of indefinite detention. The other was the momentary success of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons at attaining some relief from their intolerable conditions. They too were protesting, among other things, that country’s version of indefinite detention. 

I noted that these were battles won and precedents to take heart from. They showed what was possible through determined opposition against unjust state practices. However, winning battles is not equivalent to winning wars, so it would be wise to celebrate soberly, knowing the struggles were not over.

The announcement that the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was to be awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) took many by surprise. The consensus choice seemed to be the young female education activist, Malala Yousafzai. The selection of OPCW, however, fits the Norwegian Nobel Committee's history of awarding the Prize to global institutions that pursue the broad goal of the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction.

The complexities and contradictions of global politics can often lead to cynicism. No one can be trusted, violence is endemic, and international organizations are too incompetent to do anything about it. Just a month ago the United States was on the brink of war, once again using the threat of its military might to try to force its desired outcome.

Oct 15

Dr. King's “Dream” Denied

By Asha Sanford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

According to Bill O'Reilly, a syndicated columnist and also the host of the political commentary program The O'Reilly Factor, the reason Trayvon Martin died is because he dressed a certain way. And that way is how "gangstas" look, so therefore he got attention and for that reason he lost his life. As he states on his show, "It would be nice if they did extend the story into the why of it rather than the what of it. The cause and effect needs to be addressed. If you want to stop these things then you have to solve the problem, which is not white people hunting down blacks." If the idea of racism was analyzed more in depth I think a lot of people's views would be different. The fact that Trayvon was a child was forgotten and the system once again refused justice to another African American young man.

Oct 15

Unjust Deaths

By Leslie Jarquin, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Many African American young adults have found no reason to stay in school and get an education while they keep hearing in the news about the "stand your ground" excuse used by white officers who have killed young African American teens in our society.

Adam Hudson states: "1 black man is killed in the US every 28 hours by police or vigilantes: America is perpetually at war with its own people. From the war on drugs to the war on terror, law enforcement's battle against minorities serves as pacification."

Scouring media outlets nationwide, it is evident that Operation Streamline – which was shut down by human rights activists on Oct 11 in Tucson – remains “America’s dirty little secret.”
 
One of the media outlets reporting on this unprecedented action – which included blocking the entrance to the federal courthouse’s parking lot – plus the disabling of two immigration buses – elicted this response from readers:
 
“They should be shot on site.”
 
“Just run them over.”

Although most  polls indicate that Americans are putting the blame on Republicans for the government shutdown in terms of actual politics, the Republicans are winning. The debt ceiling is a quintessential example of the failure of leftism under both the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Obama has lost Waxman-Markey (climate change), Manchin-Toomey (gun control and the Gang of Eight (Immigration). Dodd-Frank (finance reform) has been dismantled and hasn't even begun to correct the damage wrecked by Gramm-Leach-Bliley (which repealed Glass-Steagall) and the Commodities Modernization Act (deregulating derivatives).

Oct 14

Bullying and the Power of Pity

By Max Eternity, The Eternity Group | Opinion

Pity is a powerful tool. And President Obama wields it with might—saying recently that the Republicans are just trying to mess with me”—in his ongoing I’m-the-good-guy posturing with a Republican party that seems very happy to oblige the boogeyman bully role.

It’s a cruel joke played by both parties, and the lot of us—the 99%, as it were—are the butt of it.

Reckless governance with no impunity is on the menu today, and the current government [show off?] shutdown is symptomatic of that.

Read the headlines. It’s all there.

Oct 14

Ali: "You Must Listen to Me"

By Paul Thomas, The Becoming Radical | Opinion

From March 1967 to October 1970, Muhammad Ali lived in America the Beautiful, not as a free man, but as the embodiment of Baldwin’s declaration in 1972. Ali as African American and Black Muslim was trapped between the rule of law and his own code of ethics—which he explained as alternatives:

I have two alternatives: either go to jail or go to the army. But I would like to say that there is another alternative: and that alternative is justice.

This Ali in a suit and tie behind a microphone, glancing down to read from his prepared statement, stood in stark contrast to the Ali draped in a towel and swarmed in the boxing ring where he declared, “I shook up the world!”

plu-toc-ra-cy

  1. Government by the wealthy.
  2. A country or society governed in this way.

The big pigs and bigger pigs jostled each other at the trough Tuesday October 8 as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in what has become its annual dismantling of campaign finance law.  There is not much such law left to dismantle, so this contest concerns very few people: those who want to more effectively buy public policy for profit by spending on federal elections every two years more than double the U.S. median income.

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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.

Oct 18

Blinded by the Systematic Power

By Gabriela Garcia, SpeakOut | News Analysis

African Americans and Latin Americans have been oppressed for centuries, and yet still has there not been any change. Many people of the United States blame the individual for being oppressed, jailed, or murdered. These ethnicities and races are still oppressed by the system. Not in a matter of slavery or segregation, but in the matter of poverty, discrimination and classism. I agree that wars and revolutions have made change over the past years, but not enough change that we are able to stand by the 14th amendment that guarantees civil rights for all Americans.

Poverty has been a huge effect around the world, but specifically in the city of San Francisco. According to a US Economic Inequality article, statistics show that the 1% of rich Americans are getting richer and the poor are even more poor.

Oct 18

Still Staying Sober – An Analysis

By Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analysis | News Analysis

On 22 May 2013 I wrote an analysis titled “Staying Sober.” It recounted two news stories that drew many hopeful comments from progressives. One was about the New York-based federal judge who placed an injunction on the U.S. government’s practice of indefinite detention. The other was the momentary success of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons at attaining some relief from their intolerable conditions. They too were protesting, among other things, that country’s version of indefinite detention. 

I noted that these were battles won and precedents to take heart from. They showed what was possible through determined opposition against unjust state practices. However, winning battles is not equivalent to winning wars, so it would be wise to celebrate soberly, knowing the struggles were not over.

The announcement that the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was to be awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) took many by surprise. The consensus choice seemed to be the young female education activist, Malala Yousafzai. The selection of OPCW, however, fits the Norwegian Nobel Committee's history of awarding the Prize to global institutions that pursue the broad goal of the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction.

The complexities and contradictions of global politics can often lead to cynicism. No one can be trusted, violence is endemic, and international organizations are too incompetent to do anything about it. Just a month ago the United States was on the brink of war, once again using the threat of its military might to try to force its desired outcome.

Oct 15

Dr. King's “Dream” Denied

By Asha Sanford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

According to Bill O'Reilly, a syndicated columnist and also the host of the political commentary program The O'Reilly Factor, the reason Trayvon Martin died is because he dressed a certain way. And that way is how "gangstas" look, so therefore he got attention and for that reason he lost his life. As he states on his show, "It would be nice if they did extend the story into the why of it rather than the what of it. The cause and effect needs to be addressed. If you want to stop these things then you have to solve the problem, which is not white people hunting down blacks." If the idea of racism was analyzed more in depth I think a lot of people's views would be different. The fact that Trayvon was a child was forgotten and the system once again refused justice to another African American young man.

Oct 15

Unjust Deaths

By Leslie Jarquin, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Many African American young adults have found no reason to stay in school and get an education while they keep hearing in the news about the "stand your ground" excuse used by white officers who have killed young African American teens in our society.

Adam Hudson states: "1 black man is killed in the US every 28 hours by police or vigilantes: America is perpetually at war with its own people. From the war on drugs to the war on terror, law enforcement's battle against minorities serves as pacification."

Scouring media outlets nationwide, it is evident that Operation Streamline – which was shut down by human rights activists on Oct 11 in Tucson – remains “America’s dirty little secret.”
 
One of the media outlets reporting on this unprecedented action – which included blocking the entrance to the federal courthouse’s parking lot – plus the disabling of two immigration buses – elicted this response from readers:
 
“They should be shot on site.”
 
“Just run them over.”

Although most  polls indicate that Americans are putting the blame on Republicans for the government shutdown in terms of actual politics, the Republicans are winning. The debt ceiling is a quintessential example of the failure of leftism under both the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Obama has lost Waxman-Markey (climate change), Manchin-Toomey (gun control and the Gang of Eight (Immigration). Dodd-Frank (finance reform) has been dismantled and hasn't even begun to correct the damage wrecked by Gramm-Leach-Bliley (which repealed Glass-Steagall) and the Commodities Modernization Act (deregulating derivatives).

Oct 14

Bullying and the Power of Pity

By Max Eternity, The Eternity Group | Opinion

Pity is a powerful tool. And President Obama wields it with might—saying recently that the Republicans are just trying to mess with me”—in his ongoing I’m-the-good-guy posturing with a Republican party that seems very happy to oblige the boogeyman bully role.

It’s a cruel joke played by both parties, and the lot of us—the 99%, as it were—are the butt of it.

Reckless governance with no impunity is on the menu today, and the current government [show off?] shutdown is symptomatic of that.

Read the headlines. It’s all there.

Oct 14

Ali: "You Must Listen to Me"

By Paul Thomas, The Becoming Radical | Opinion

From March 1967 to October 1970, Muhammad Ali lived in America the Beautiful, not as a free man, but as the embodiment of Baldwin’s declaration in 1972. Ali as African American and Black Muslim was trapped between the rule of law and his own code of ethics—which he explained as alternatives:

I have two alternatives: either go to jail or go to the army. But I would like to say that there is another alternative: and that alternative is justice.

This Ali in a suit and tie behind a microphone, glancing down to read from his prepared statement, stood in stark contrast to the Ali draped in a towel and swarmed in the boxing ring where he declared, “I shook up the world!”

plu-toc-ra-cy

  1. Government by the wealthy.
  2. A country or society governed in this way.

The big pigs and bigger pigs jostled each other at the trough Tuesday October 8 as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in what has become its annual dismantling of campaign finance law.  There is not much such law left to dismantle, so this contest concerns very few people: those who want to more effectively buy public policy for profit by spending on federal elections every two years more than double the U.S. median income.