Wednesday, 29 June 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.

Adam Smith is often claimed by conservative Republicans that reflexively support business interests with top-level Democrats not far behind. Advocacy organizations and right-wing think tanks that often promote the name of Smith strive to advance policies that contradict the sentiment found in his writings.

I'm tied up with many other things, but since folks asked, I will give a quick comment/explanation of the Vox analysis of Bernie Sanders' tax plans. For those who haven't seen it, Vox put together a calculator that allows people to plug in their income and then see how their tax bill would change under the tax plans proposed by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. For the first two, most people get tax cuts. There is little change with Clinton, but big tax increases with Sanders.

The Wolferts sisters, Danielle and Sydney (ages 15 and 16), ran away during visitation with their mother on July 17, 2014, after reporting abuse by their father and then remained in hiding until found with their mother on January 3, 2016. They have been held without charges in a Utah juvenile detention center, known as Slate Canyon, for more than three months, during which Child Protective Services substantiated their allegations of father Brian Wolferts' emotional abuse, but failed to substantiate allegations of physical abuse due to insufficient evidence.

Where would we be without plausible deniability? A gift from the Reagan presidency that keeps on giving, that phrase lowered the bar for truthfulness and accountability. The concept gained currency after Ronald Reagan used it to absolve himself of involvement for the Iran-Contra scandal. The verbal arsonist Donald Trump has done away with the plausible part, and even the deniability part as well, reserving the act of denial only when he has been accused of inciting riots.

His critics have called him anything from a performance artist, an executioner to America's insult comic-in-chief. Designed to derail his presidential campaign, comments such as these have only emboldened Donald Trump's increasingly certain bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The truth is that Trump is a performance artist. He is an executioner. And for the most part, he does treat the campaign trail as a stage for his foul-mouthed comedic routine. 

Mar 29

On Regrettable and False Accusations of "Censorship"

By Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, Alana Price and Robert Naiman, Speakout | Op-Ed

Truthout does not endorse political candidates in any race. We see it as our job to hold the feet of elected officials to the fire, especially when they run for re-election or a new office. In election season, we see it as our role to continue publishing reporting that is grounded in facts about candidates' policy stances and record, and commentary and analysis that is informative even while opinionated.

As President Barack Obama makes history as the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since 1928, we find ourselves reflecting upon our historic relationship with Latin America. We were all taught in school that the United States is a "great" and "kind" nation that promotes "freedom" and "democracy" around the world. And many still drink the Kool-Aid of how the US can do no wrong. History, however, paints a rather different picture.

Family members of Berta Cáceres, General Coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and the leadership of the organization, accompanied by national and international human rights defenders, held a press conference Wednesday, March 9 in Tegucigalpa expressing their growing concerns over the Honduran government-led investigation of Cáceres' assassination.

I watch as the Republicans battle to destroy Planned Parenthood, as state legislatures pass law after law blocking safe abortions, and I am outraged; I am aggrieved. But I did not viscerally comprehend the cruel effects of these political actions, the lived reality women must go through, until, as is too often the case, I witnessed it personally. Recently, a close friend of mine had an abortion.

Mar 28

Building New "Nonviolent Cities"

By John Dear, Speakout | Op-Ed

Last year, I was invited to give a talk on peace in Carbondale, Illinois. I was surprised to discover that in recent years, activists from across Carbondale had come together with a broad vision of what their community could one day become -- a nonviolent city. They wanted a new holistic approach to their work, with a positive vision for the future, so that over time their community would be transformed into a culture of nonviolence.

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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.

Adam Smith is often claimed by conservative Republicans that reflexively support business interests with top-level Democrats not far behind. Advocacy organizations and right-wing think tanks that often promote the name of Smith strive to advance policies that contradict the sentiment found in his writings.

I'm tied up with many other things, but since folks asked, I will give a quick comment/explanation of the Vox analysis of Bernie Sanders' tax plans. For those who haven't seen it, Vox put together a calculator that allows people to plug in their income and then see how their tax bill would change under the tax plans proposed by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. For the first two, most people get tax cuts. There is little change with Clinton, but big tax increases with Sanders.

The Wolferts sisters, Danielle and Sydney (ages 15 and 16), ran away during visitation with their mother on July 17, 2014, after reporting abuse by their father and then remained in hiding until found with their mother on January 3, 2016. They have been held without charges in a Utah juvenile detention center, known as Slate Canyon, for more than three months, during which Child Protective Services substantiated their allegations of father Brian Wolferts' emotional abuse, but failed to substantiate allegations of physical abuse due to insufficient evidence.

Where would we be without plausible deniability? A gift from the Reagan presidency that keeps on giving, that phrase lowered the bar for truthfulness and accountability. The concept gained currency after Ronald Reagan used it to absolve himself of involvement for the Iran-Contra scandal. The verbal arsonist Donald Trump has done away with the plausible part, and even the deniability part as well, reserving the act of denial only when he has been accused of inciting riots.

His critics have called him anything from a performance artist, an executioner to America's insult comic-in-chief. Designed to derail his presidential campaign, comments such as these have only emboldened Donald Trump's increasingly certain bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The truth is that Trump is a performance artist. He is an executioner. And for the most part, he does treat the campaign trail as a stage for his foul-mouthed comedic routine. 

Mar 29

On Regrettable and False Accusations of "Censorship"

By Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, Alana Price and Robert Naiman, Speakout | Op-Ed

Truthout does not endorse political candidates in any race. We see it as our job to hold the feet of elected officials to the fire, especially when they run for re-election or a new office. In election season, we see it as our role to continue publishing reporting that is grounded in facts about candidates' policy stances and record, and commentary and analysis that is informative even while opinionated.

As President Barack Obama makes history as the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since 1928, we find ourselves reflecting upon our historic relationship with Latin America. We were all taught in school that the United States is a "great" and "kind" nation that promotes "freedom" and "democracy" around the world. And many still drink the Kool-Aid of how the US can do no wrong. History, however, paints a rather different picture.

Family members of Berta Cáceres, General Coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and the leadership of the organization, accompanied by national and international human rights defenders, held a press conference Wednesday, March 9 in Tegucigalpa expressing their growing concerns over the Honduran government-led investigation of Cáceres' assassination.

I watch as the Republicans battle to destroy Planned Parenthood, as state legislatures pass law after law blocking safe abortions, and I am outraged; I am aggrieved. But I did not viscerally comprehend the cruel effects of these political actions, the lived reality women must go through, until, as is too often the case, I witnessed it personally. Recently, a close friend of mine had an abortion.

Mar 28

Building New "Nonviolent Cities"

By John Dear, Speakout | Op-Ed

Last year, I was invited to give a talk on peace in Carbondale, Illinois. I was surprised to discover that in recent years, activists from across Carbondale had come together with a broad vision of what their community could one day become -- a nonviolent city. They wanted a new holistic approach to their work, with a positive vision for the future, so that over time their community would be transformed into a culture of nonviolence.