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.
Unless you are a Climate Change denier, you know we are crossing ecological thresholds quickly. Hurricane Sandy was a serious warning. A friend wrote to me that Hurricane Sandy took the elections off the media, but I'm inclined to think that Hurricane Sandy was a last minute wake-up call and is extremely relevant to Tuesday’s election.
Supposedly this election’s outcome is "razor-thin." That's a great way to make you feel obligated to vote for one of the Tweedles—either for dee or for dum. “Razor thin” is persuasive media gimmickry. There’s nothing razor thin about this election.
So what if global warming isn't directly responsible for "superstorm Sandy"? Let's not get hung up on that minor detail.
Because the planet has warmed--the average surface temperature of the Earth rose 1.08°F to 1.62°F (0.6 to 0.9 °C) between 1906 and 2006-- the cryosphere has melted, moving H2O from the ice caps to the oceans.
And seawater has literally expanded. As a result, sea level has risen—worldwide measurements of sea level show a rise of about 0.56 feet ((0.17 meters) during the twentieth century.
Since the US economy is the main issue on the minds of voters this election season, let's talk about Unmanned Arial Vehicles strikes - drones strikes - in economic terms.
The use of drones for strikes in places like Yemen and Pakistan seems, to many, a justifiable short term investment. It's less expensive in dollars than Special Forces operations or a full scale deployment and almost all of the human cost - on the US side - is removed. However, this is a very poor, shortsighted investment with huge longer term risk. The likely long term outcome will be great US losses, and, riskiest of all, moral bankruptcy.
If you ask Google "Has American Democracy been destroyed?" you get 56,800,000 answers. You don't need an exact count to see that the yeas have it. It is straightforward to list members of a set of sufficient, already existent conditions to kill our democracy. The list is not complete, but it is enough to decide whether the Democracy is still viable.
Classical government takeovers involve potential resistance from the existing government branches, the military, the free press and the people. The roles of future elections, education and the success or failure of the financial infrastructure are crucial.
Directed by Emmai Alaquiva, "Don't Forget About The Hood" illustrates how the issues of the poor and urban communities have been all but forgotten in this current election season, and wonders what happened to all of the energy and organizing that took place in the wake of the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin.
In my last analysis I noted that a Zionist organization run by the Islamophobe Pamela Geller is posting messages on buses and subways calling for support for Israel. The messages claim that Israel represents the "civilized man" in a struggle against Jihadist "savagery." I questioned Israel's qualifications for civilized status in the earlier piece, but am drawn back to the subject by the almost daily revelations of the Zionist state's questionable behavior. It is not that the Jihadist cannot be a savage at times, it is that the Israeli government seems quite incapable of being civilized. For instance:
– On 16 October 2012 the Israeli organization Zochrot talked to dozens of veterans of Israel's 1948 "War of Independence" for a look at what that struggle really entailed. The veterans testified to what can only be called a conscious effort at ethnic cleansing–the systematic destruction of entire Palestinian villages and numerous massacres.
New Report: 210,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests in Colorado in the Last 25 Years Blacks and Latinos Disproportionately Arrested, Colorado Voters to Decide on Making Marijuana Possession Legal With November VoteBy Tony Newman, Marijuana Arrest Research Project | Press Release
With just two weeks remaining before Colorado's voters decide whether to make marijuana possession legal in their state, a new report -- "210,000 Marijuana Arrests In Colorado, 1986-2010" -- reveals that more than 200,000 people have been arrested in Colorado since 1986. Police made more than half of those marijuana arrests in just the last 10 years.
The study, based on FBI-UCR crime data, reports that nearly everybody arrested was young. In the last ten years, 86% of the people arrested were 34 years or younger.
In the last decade, Colorado arrested Latinos for marijuana possession at 1.5 times the rate of whites, and arrested blacks at 3.1 times the rate of whites.
Senator Dick Durbin is a hard guy not to like. This August, I was able to meet with the Senator along with several other leaders with IIRON and other Illinois affiliates of National People's Action. Senator Durbin, though short in stature, quickly filled the space with affable banter and storytelling. Of course, we weren't there to schmooze. We had come to talk with the Senator about the threats that are facing our communities in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois.
To understand why we found ourselves in Senator Durbin's office that day, we need to go back to what happened in our national's capital during the summer of 2011. If you are like me, you spent some mornings that summer reading about the so-called "debt ceiling" negotiations – in which Congress debated whether to pick up the tab for checks they'd already written – and wondering if anyone in Washington still knew that the rest of the country existed.
The book 1984 introduced us to doublespeak and to severe punishment for independent thinking. We have a doublespeak democracy "of the people" controlled by the 1%. Our ability as ordinary citizens to participate in the decisions of "our" government are nil. Obama in the past year has threatened any activist, dissenter, or critical journalist with indefinite detention without trial. Obama himself hasbroadened the tools of surveillance on Americans, approving the use of drones in the USA. The Democratic party itself significantly weakened its position on civil liberties in its 2012 platform...Our need as human beings to participate fully in our own governance is no longer available in the USA.
Sometime in the 1990s I heard the Harvard professor of medicine, Eric Chivian, make a presentation on Capitol Hill about the anthropogenic origins of global warming. He is an academic who speaks to the world. He co-founded International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which, in 1985, won the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.