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.
About 100 activists, concerned citizens and beekeepers, including Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and CCD Posterboy David Hackenberg huddled outside of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters on an overcast but mild mid-morning to protest systemic pesticides that continue to slowly kill honeybees and humans. Many protesters, including a few dogs, were adorned in black and yellow while others held signs that read "Save Our Hives."
On the street, a few yards away, Hackenberg had parked his 40 ft. flatbed truck full of empty hives. At about noon, we hooked up a microphone and a small hive of us took turns protesting our love of bees and the need to ban systemic pesticides.
Often times, indeed, when we mention the word Vietnam in the United States, we don't mean Vietnam as a country. Vietnam is unfortunately not like Thailand or Malaysia or Singapore to America's collective imagination. Its relationship to us is special: It is a vault filled with tragic metaphors for every pundit to use.
After the Vietnam War, Americans were caught in the past, haunted by unanswerable questions, confronted with an unhappy ending. So much so that my uncle who fought in the Vietnam War as a pilot for the South Vietnamese army, once observed that, "When Americans talk about Vietnam they really are talking about America."
I vote, but I never endorse. Seems a bit presumptuous for people in media to go around making endorsements. Ideally, media should inform, and the readers should decide.
As such, I feel compelled to put my $.02 regarding the importance of these elections. I have friends that believe that voting is either a waste of time, or an endorsement of the politically corrupt system we live in. Despite this, they're probably going to vote for Ralph Nader again.
Zack Kaldveer, Assistant Media Director with the YES on Prop 37 Campaign, suggests 4 questions voters should ask themselves before voting on Proposition 37. For more info, please visit California Right to Know.
This weekend, activist list-serves and web-sites were crackling with furious debate over whether or not progressives should be voting for President Obama this time around or helping to build a third party organization. For those in the latter camp, the list of the President's failures (and not just failures, but dreadful acts of commission) rendered support for him a perfidious moral choice. That indictment extended as well to the Congressional Democrats, who had a majority in 2009 and blew the chance to make constructive changes.
The take-away from the past four years, it was argued, is that the two mainstream parties are so completely dominated by corporate America that they are incapable of acting in the public interest. This perception is not simply confined to the third-party advocates. I suspect there are few readers on this web-site, who have not been stunned at times, and disappointed at how the 2008 mandate for "change" has been squandered.
One candidate's father was not born in America
He came here and got on welfare even scarier
His religion is different not Christian like the tradition
Plus he went to Harvard for law and business now listen
This might shock you so I'm gonna say it calmly
That candidates name is Mitt Romney
When should a sitting president be re-elected? Gone is the audacity of hope. A sitting president must live up to the monotony of administration. Candidates can ask to be evaluated based on their words, and candidate Obama offered us great words in 2008. For a sitting president, however, words aren't enough. For a sitting president, re-election should be based on performance in office.
The performance of the president isn't the same thing as the success of the country or its citizens. It is plain wrong to ask "are you better off than you were four years ago?" and expect the president to deliver. Presidents are not omnipotent. They do not control the world economy, foreign countries, or the planet Earth.
In the last debate, Romney claimed that energy production on federal lands had declined 14 percent this year. He failed to mention that the decline was due to the reevaluation which occurred after the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf in 2010. Overall fossil fuel extraction has been increasing on public lands during the Obama administration, which issued 400 new leases for oil and gas exploration even after the rules were tightened in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.
But most of the rise in fuel production comes from a boom in fracking in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere in the U.S. Environmentalists have called for disclosure of the chemical composition of fracking fluids used on public lands. And they want to see more stringent regulation of potential groundwater pollution and leakage of methane, a greenhouse gas, during the drilling process. The Obama administration, however, has shown little appetite for regulating this lucrative new industry.
Canvassing, and going door-to-door talking with people about President Barack Obama in the liberal college town of Gainesville, Florida this fall has brought me face-to-face with a reality that I generally don’t have to face as a university professor. In some of the wealthier areas of the city, people slammed doors in my face, yelled at me, and told me to get the hell out of their neighborhoods. Some cursed vehemently, like the spandex-clad bicyclist who emerged from his 3000+ square foot house to tell me: “I will never vote for that fucking asshole.” One young man glared at me and said: “I support Israel, therefore I cannot vote for that man.” (Funny, I didn’t realize that Israel was even on the ballot!).
Prop 32 is arguably the most deceptive initiative in the hundred-year history of ballot propositions in California. Indeed, if California had a Truth-In-Politics Act, some of its sponsors may well be facing lengthy spells in San Quentin.
The so-called "stop special interest money now" initiative is a cynical attempt to mislead voters by claiming it would reduce the influence of big money in Sacramento. It wouldn't. On the contrary, it would make the corruption of our elections by big money much worse.