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.
Last week Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen struck a terrible blow to freedom of the press when he decided to sponsor $75,000 worth of ads to support Rob Mckenna's Republican campaign for governor.
It must have been an embarrassment to the owners of the company when the first to speak out against the move were the newspaper's own staff! 100 reporters and Seattle Times staff signed a letter condemning the subsidy to McKenna's campaign.
Frank Blethen now seems like a throwback to the bad old days of William Randolph Hurst when newspaper publishers used the press to promote their own personal politics. Citizen Kane rises again...
Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly,
A few Sundays ago, on October 7, I was arrested, along with 24 others, mostly U.S. military veterans, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza. At the time of the arrests, we were peacefully and solemnly reading the names of those who had fallen in the Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars and laying white carnations in honor of all those killed in these wars. Prior to that, a number of speakers, including an Afghanistan war veteran, two Iraq war veterans and three Viet Nam combat veterans, expressed their sense of betrayal at being lied to and deceived by our government as those wars began and raged on.
Those of us who were there had a peaceful mission that night. We wanted to express our opposition to 11 years of war and waste in Afghanistan, to oppose all U.S. wars of aggression, to honor and remember the fallen and to stand for our right to do this and our First Amendment right of assembly.
|We, the People||Wealthy Few|
|One Person One Vote||One Dollar One Vote|
|Taxes on the Wealthy||Tax Cuts for the Wealthy|
|Jobs programs||Bank Bailouts|
|Express Lanes for 2 or More People||Express Lanes for 2 or More Dollars|
This video discusses the major investors are in a company that owns the Ohio voting machines. I do not say it's just Tagg Romney, as many people have been saying. There are now articles going around saying the Tagg Romney story is bullshit, which it may very well be. But as far as I've seen, no reliable source has debunked the main thrust of my video, nor the FreePress article where I got the info. That main thrust is that HIG Capital owns a controlling stake in Hart Intercivic, which makes the voting machines. HIG Capital is almost entirely ex-Bain Capital people along with the Romney family. And HIG Capital is the sixth largest donor to the Romney campaign. I have yet to see an article that says otherwise. Here's the Free Press article (reprinted in TruthOut) where I got most of my info.
Like many scientists, I am aghast at an Italian court's conviction of geoscientists on criminal charges for their judgements made about seismic risks prior to a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that descimated the L'Auqila, capital of the Abruzzo region, and killed more than 300 people in 2009.
Anyone who lives there knows that L'Aquila lies in a tremendously seismically active area of Italy. In fact, Italy is one of the most earthquake-prone regions of the world-- dozens of earthquakes occur every day there though many are low magnitude and not felt by human beings. But sizeable seismicity is recent history: a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Eboli, south of Naples, in 1980, killing more than 2,700 people and another major quake struck the Molise region in 2002, killing 28 people, including 27 children who died when a school collapsed.
The recent high profile capture of the Mexican drug kingpin Ivan Velazquez, also known as "El Taliban," garnered headlines around the world. He was a senior leader of the Zetas drug cartel with a 2.34 million bounty on his head. In a set piece press conference and photo opportunity that has become de rigueur in the war on drugs, Velazquez, clad in a bulletproof vest, was flanked by two soldiers wearing black ski masks. In front of the men was a table stacked high with guns, cash, and drugs.
The arrest of Velazquez won't end the gruesome violence of the Mexican drug war. If anything, it could set off a bloody, internecine struggle for power among other senior leaders of the Zetas.
What has the potential to end the war on drugs in Mexico is la Caravana por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad. The Caravan for Peace and Justice with Dignity that toured the United States this summer was an enormous step forward in challenging the core assumptions of the war on drugs in Mexico and the United States.
Romney doled out lavish executive bonuses as Bain was failing, then threatened the FDIC. This parody covers Rolling Stone's explosive disclosures (9/13/2012) with supporting FDIC documents. See www.campaignwatch.org for references and a link to FDIC documents. This parody is based upon the song "King of the Road," words and music by Roger Miller. The production is on-the-fly, but the story behind it is of major consequence for the upcoming US election and the nation's future.
They are back: blue mussels and menhaden have returned to Long Island Sound this year in huge numbers. On this 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, we can celebrate their homecoming as a sign of the progress
made reviving our Sound. More needs to be done, but this welcome news of cleaner waters opens the opportunity to begin farming the urban sea.
Aquaculture has rightly earned a reputation for growing low quality seafood at the expense of the environment, but a new form of ocean-friendly farming has emerged right here in Long Island Sound. These small-scale vertical farms — some of the first in the country — are designed to grow multiple species of seaweed and shellfish, have small footprints and provide an array of environmental benefits.
Here goes the GOP again. Richard Mourdock, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Indiana, said at a debate on October 22 that pregnancies resulting from rape are "something that God intended to happen" and a "gift from God."
As we all recall, in August Rep. Todd Akin, GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, made the infamous declaration that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Mourdock and Akin are not the only Republicans to have foot-in-mouth disease.
To a profound yet rarely acknowledged extent, our basic understanding of the world is shaped by the culture within which we find ourselves. We learn what thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and aspirations are appropriate from a kind of collective mindset, which operates like a constantly modulating swarm – the influence of a powerful individual or idea resonates within the cloud, altering its shape to dramatic or subtle effect, for better or for worse.
Here in the early 21st century, the notion that each of us is an isolated entity, ever at odds with one another and with the ecosystems of which we are a part, is a fundamental aspect our collective belief system. Until we evaluate the implications of this assumption and discover that there may be new, more multifaceted and constructive ways of thinking, our collective swarm – unaware that it is a swarm at all – is bound to drift ever deeper into perilous territory.