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.
"Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope." -Zechariah 9:12
"But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved."
The NAACP Forward Together Moral Movement is a state-based, deeply moral and constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, fusion movement.
A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that most households now have less wealth now than they did in 1989. The report, “The Wealth of Households: An Analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finance,” presents data on household wealth by age cohort based on the results of the most recent Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF). The analysis shows little or no gains for the majority of Americans over the last 25 years, even in the years since the end of the recession. This is true of and particularly concerning for near retirees.
“This is especially bad for those nearing retirement,” said Dean Baker, a co-director of CEPR and an author of the paper. “Households in this age cohort will not have a chance to benefit from any strengthening of the economy and will only have the wealth they have accumulated to date to depend on in their retirement.”
LA, SF, NYC, Houston, Sacramento - 99Rise Citizen activists from across the country ended their water-only fast yesterday after weeks of deprivation in a bid to elevate the issue of money-in-politics corruption during this year’s midterm election. Those fasting had urged voters to exclusively support candidates who support pro-democracy reforms that would overturn the Supreme Court’s recent Citizen United and McCutcheon decisions through a constitutional amendment and federal legislation.
“It’s a bittersweet moment for me.” said 99Rise co-founder Kai Newkirk who broke his 18-day fast last night. “Our fast has come to an end, but it comes in the wake of a devastating election, stolen from the American people by corporations and billionaires who bankrolled these campaigns to the tune of 4 billion dollars. That's an auction, not a democratic election.”
Environmental and human rights activists are increasingly demanding that companies be responsible actors in a myriad of ways, from eradicating conflict minerals in their supply chains, to paying workers a fair wage, to using less toxic materials in apparel or other products. Activist campaigns have become much more sophisticated over the past few decades as well; instead of campaigns solely based on environmental and human rights impacts, activists are now targeting companies for how they wield their influence, and for their public stance on issues. In essence, a company's impact on society – or even a company's impact on culture – is increasingly transparent and is therefore more likely to be questioned.
A quick Google search for "how do companies affect culture" yields results on how to influence corporate culture, how a company's corporate culture can influence its profitability, you name it. What's not as readily examined is how a company –through its products, ethics and business choices as a brand – affects our wider cultural values, norms and ethics. What are the imprints made by the very companies whose products populate our daily lives, with which we have a personal relationship – your favorite ice cream, shoes, or shampoo – and how do those imprints dictate our culture? Can you imagine a world unchanged by Coca-Cola, Apple or Twitter?
Citizenfour is about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's actions as well as the collective work of reporters, and whistleblowers Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Jeremy Scahill and William Binney.
Laura Poitras produced My Country, My Country in 2006. In that film she explained life for Iraqis under American occupation. In 2010, she produced The Oath, which covered two Yemenis' relation to Gitmo and the War on Terror. Poitras also produced The Program, which discusses the domestic surveillance enterprise in Bluffdale, Utah. As a result of this body of work, Poitras undergoes monitoring by the United States Government, and is harassed routinely by border patrol agents.
Elizabeth Warren, with her crusade to reform finance, is the darling of many, and there is a movement for her to run for President. But she's another imperialist hawk in the tradition of Bush II, Obama, and Hillary Clinton. Consider the foreign policy statement in her 2012 campaign for Senate:
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for 'Smart Power' - the use of defense, diplomacy, development, and other tools to advance US interests in the world. As a Senator, I will pursue a foreign policy that is smart, tough, and pragmatic." Her Hillary is a super-hawk, deeply committed to fear- and war-waging, and a war criminal.
TV ad spending in state Supreme Court elections by outside groups, political parties, and candidates has surged to more than $13.8 million since January, surpassing the $12.2 million spent on TV advertising in the 2010 midterm elections, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake of estimates provided by Kantar Media/CMAG.
The 2014 judicial elections delivered a new round of special interest money, attack ads, and partisan politics into America’s courtrooms, shattering several state records and increasing political pressure on state justices. For the first time, a powerful national political group, the Republican State Leadership Committee, systematically invested in Supreme Court and lower court contests across the country — an effort that was unsuccessful in almost all its targeted states, including North Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, and Montana.
DPA: Election Solidifies Drug Policy Reform as Mainstream Political Issue, Boosts Efforts to Legalize Marijuana in California and Elsewhere in 2016
Voters across the country have accelerated the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war, with marijuana legalization measures passing in Oregon and Washington, D.C., while groundbreaking criminal justice reforms passed in California and New Jersey.