Sunday, 21 December 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • Ferguson Reverberates Around the World

    The Ferguson protests seized the attention of people all over the world and gave them a sense of the unvarnished truth of Black American life.

  • Hollywood, the Police and the Poor

    The film "Nightcrawler" is garnering rave reviews and is indeed beautifully photographed, well made and entertaining - but the reviews, like the movie itself, erase entire chunks of our society and its reality.

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.

You are in a unique position of leadership to influence today's youth to achieve a better tomorrow for America and the world. I am writing to enlist your help in educating young people to understand the survival challenges that face humanity in the 21st century.

Education is driven by values. Young people must learn to live with reverence for life, as did Albert Schweitzer, and to support equitable and nonviolent solutions to social problems, as did Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Young people must be imbued with compassion, commitment and courage. They must learn to use their imaginations to find creative and cooperative solutions to the great issues of our time. And they must find joy in the process and take time to celebrate the miracle of living on the only planet we know of in the universe that supports life.

Jan 08

Ways & Means to Americans: Get Lost

By Gerald E. Scorse, Daily Kos | Op-Ed

When the Republicans took control of the House, they also took control of all the House committees and the websites for those committees. At the Ways and Means website, one of the first things the GOP did was to cut off email contact between ordinary Americans and possibly the most powerful tax-writing committee in the Congress.

Back when the Democrats and chairman Sander Levin ran Ways and Means, the "Contact" dropdown included email contact to the committee. Once Dave Camp and the Republicans took over, they elected to go back to the 20th century: if you want to get in touch with Ways and Means nowadays, you'll just have to use the telephone or snail mail. (Or you could pay to send a fax, as I did today and several times before.)

Jan 08

Mine Featured in "Coal" Reality TV Show Cited for Labor Law Violations

By Staff, United Mine Workers of America | Press Release

TRIANGLE, VA. - The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a complaint against Cobalt Coal and two other entities, charging that the companies failed to bargain in good faith with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and illegally contracted out operation of its Westchester mine in McDowell Co., W. Va., after the union won an organizing drive at the mine.

The mine was featured in a reality television show on Spike TV in 2011, when it was cited multiple times by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miner's Health, Safety and Training for safety violations that were caught on tape and aired during the program's one-season run. In 2012, the miners voted to be represented by the UMWA. 

We have less than two weeks to submit public comments opposing Governor Jerry Brown's dangerous fracking regulations that pose a serious risk to human health, fish, wildlife, rivers and the ocean by encouraging a massive expansion of this toxic, environmentally destructive practice in California. It is essential that you submit a public comment now telling Governor Brown to ban fracking. 
 
The regulations result from the Governor's signing of Senator Fran Pavley's "green light to fracking" bill, Senate Bill 4, onSeptember 20. The already weak legislation was eviscerated with amendments introduced by the Western States Petroleum Association and other oil industry lobbyists just before the bill passed through the Legislature. 

"American Hustle," the hit comedy/caper film loosely based on ABSCAM, is currently showing in theaters nationwide. For those who haven't heard of the movie or who don't remember the late 1970's, ABSCAM was a sting operation organized by the FBI featuring operatives dressed up like Arab sheikhs. The FBI videotaped the fake "sheikhs" offering envelopes of cash to Senators and Congressmen seeking their assistance with a range of illegal activities. The Congressional culprits were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms for bribery and conspiracy.

Christmas came early this year for police unions and business interests when Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio announced that Bill Bratton would once again be the police commissioner of New York City on December 5th

The appointment of Bratton may have not been surprising for those who had followed media reports the last few months that had De Blasio hinting at Bratton as his man. What was perhaps more surprising was the lack of a strong and unified response to the Bratton appointment from some of the more visible police reform groups and erstwhile progressives that had loudly and publicly denounced the Bloomberg administration and its police commissioner, Ray Kelly.

While it is not confirmed that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un executed his uncle by feeding him to a pack of hungry dogs, what is confirmed is how European explorers and conquerors did the same to indigenous populations in the New World. In fact, and worse than “execution by hungry dogs,” is how they marketed and sold butchered native Americans as dog food. And with modern “pet technologies,” little has changed.

WASHINGTON - January 3 - In June 2013, the American public learned conclusively about the wholesale surveillance of virtually all Americans through secretive programs by the National Security Agency (NSA) that continue to be implemented today. These programs collect the phone records, email exchanges, and internet histories of people all over the world who would have no knowledge of this were it not for the disclosures of former federal contractor Edward Snowden.

As legal counsel to Snowden as well as the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) would like to make its position clear on the following...

Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism…. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges…. I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom…”

Jan 06

What's Worse Than a Nuclear War?

By Kent Shifferd, PeaceVoice | Op-Ed

What could be worse than a nuclear war? A nuclear famine following a nuclear war. And where is the most likely nuclear war to break out? The India-Pakistan border. Both countries are nuclear armed, and although their arsenals are “small” compared to the U.S. and Russia, they are extremely deadly. Pakistan has about 100 nuclear weapons; India about 130. They have fought three wars since 1947 and are contending bitterly for control over the Kashmir and for influence in Afghanistan. While India has renounced first use, for whatever that is worth, Pakistan has not, declaring that in the event of an impending defeat by India’s overwhelming conventional forces it would strike first with nuclear weapons.

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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.

You are in a unique position of leadership to influence today's youth to achieve a better tomorrow for America and the world. I am writing to enlist your help in educating young people to understand the survival challenges that face humanity in the 21st century.

Education is driven by values. Young people must learn to live with reverence for life, as did Albert Schweitzer, and to support equitable and nonviolent solutions to social problems, as did Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Young people must be imbued with compassion, commitment and courage. They must learn to use their imaginations to find creative and cooperative solutions to the great issues of our time. And they must find joy in the process and take time to celebrate the miracle of living on the only planet we know of in the universe that supports life.

Jan 08

Ways & Means to Americans: Get Lost

By Gerald E. Scorse, Daily Kos | Op-Ed

When the Republicans took control of the House, they also took control of all the House committees and the websites for those committees. At the Ways and Means website, one of the first things the GOP did was to cut off email contact between ordinary Americans and possibly the most powerful tax-writing committee in the Congress.

Back when the Democrats and chairman Sander Levin ran Ways and Means, the "Contact" dropdown included email contact to the committee. Once Dave Camp and the Republicans took over, they elected to go back to the 20th century: if you want to get in touch with Ways and Means nowadays, you'll just have to use the telephone or snail mail. (Or you could pay to send a fax, as I did today and several times before.)

Jan 08

Mine Featured in "Coal" Reality TV Show Cited for Labor Law Violations

By Staff, United Mine Workers of America | Press Release

TRIANGLE, VA. - The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a complaint against Cobalt Coal and two other entities, charging that the companies failed to bargain in good faith with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and illegally contracted out operation of its Westchester mine in McDowell Co., W. Va., after the union won an organizing drive at the mine.

The mine was featured in a reality television show on Spike TV in 2011, when it was cited multiple times by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miner's Health, Safety and Training for safety violations that were caught on tape and aired during the program's one-season run. In 2012, the miners voted to be represented by the UMWA. 

We have less than two weeks to submit public comments opposing Governor Jerry Brown's dangerous fracking regulations that pose a serious risk to human health, fish, wildlife, rivers and the ocean by encouraging a massive expansion of this toxic, environmentally destructive practice in California. It is essential that you submit a public comment now telling Governor Brown to ban fracking. 
 
The regulations result from the Governor's signing of Senator Fran Pavley's "green light to fracking" bill, Senate Bill 4, onSeptember 20. The already weak legislation was eviscerated with amendments introduced by the Western States Petroleum Association and other oil industry lobbyists just before the bill passed through the Legislature. 

"American Hustle," the hit comedy/caper film loosely based on ABSCAM, is currently showing in theaters nationwide. For those who haven't heard of the movie or who don't remember the late 1970's, ABSCAM was a sting operation organized by the FBI featuring operatives dressed up like Arab sheikhs. The FBI videotaped the fake "sheikhs" offering envelopes of cash to Senators and Congressmen seeking their assistance with a range of illegal activities. The Congressional culprits were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms for bribery and conspiracy.

Christmas came early this year for police unions and business interests when Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio announced that Bill Bratton would once again be the police commissioner of New York City on December 5th

The appointment of Bratton may have not been surprising for those who had followed media reports the last few months that had De Blasio hinting at Bratton as his man. What was perhaps more surprising was the lack of a strong and unified response to the Bratton appointment from some of the more visible police reform groups and erstwhile progressives that had loudly and publicly denounced the Bloomberg administration and its police commissioner, Ray Kelly.

While it is not confirmed that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un executed his uncle by feeding him to a pack of hungry dogs, what is confirmed is how European explorers and conquerors did the same to indigenous populations in the New World. In fact, and worse than “execution by hungry dogs,” is how they marketed and sold butchered native Americans as dog food. And with modern “pet technologies,” little has changed.

WASHINGTON - January 3 - In June 2013, the American public learned conclusively about the wholesale surveillance of virtually all Americans through secretive programs by the National Security Agency (NSA) that continue to be implemented today. These programs collect the phone records, email exchanges, and internet histories of people all over the world who would have no knowledge of this were it not for the disclosures of former federal contractor Edward Snowden.

As legal counsel to Snowden as well as the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) would like to make its position clear on the following...

Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism…. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges…. I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom…”

Jan 06

What's Worse Than a Nuclear War?

By Kent Shifferd, PeaceVoice | Op-Ed

What could be worse than a nuclear war? A nuclear famine following a nuclear war. And where is the most likely nuclear war to break out? The India-Pakistan border. Both countries are nuclear armed, and although their arsenals are “small” compared to the U.S. and Russia, they are extremely deadly. Pakistan has about 100 nuclear weapons; India about 130. They have fought three wars since 1947 and are contending bitterly for control over the Kashmir and for influence in Afghanistan. While India has renounced first use, for whatever that is worth, Pakistan has not, declaring that in the event of an impending defeat by India’s overwhelming conventional forces it would strike first with nuclear weapons.