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.
Pity is a powerful tool. And President Obama wields it with might—saying recently that the Republicans are just “trying to mess with me”—in his ongoing I’m-the-good-guy posturing with a Republican party that seems very happy to oblige the boogeyman bully role.
It’s a cruel joke played by both parties, and the lot of us—the 99%, as it were—are the butt of it.
Reckless governance with no impunity is on the menu today, and the current government [show off?] shutdown is symptomatic of that.
Read the headlines. It’s all there.
From March 1967 to October 1970, Muhammad Ali lived in America the Beautiful, not as a free man, but as the embodiment of Baldwin’s declaration in 1972. Ali as African American and Black Muslim was trapped between the rule of law and his own code of ethics—which he explained as alternatives:
I have two alternatives: either go to jail or go to the army. But I would like to say that there is another alternative: and that alternative is justice.
This Ali in a suit and tie behind a microphone, glancing down to read from his prepared statement, stood in stark contrast to the Ali draped in a towel and swarmed in the boxing ring where he declared, “I shook up the world!”
The big pigs and bigger pigs jostled each other at the trough Tuesday October 8 as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in what has become its annual dismantling of campaign finance law. There is not much such law left to dismantle, so this contest concerns very few people: those who want to more effectively buy public policy for profit by spending on federal elections every two years more than double the U.S. median income.
“I’m going to kill you.”
“I don’t like you and what you stand for.”
“But a lot of people think I’m OK, or at least they tolerate me.”
“They're crazy too. I’m going to shoot you. That will be the method.”
“But that’d be against the law.”
“OK, let’s negotiate.”
Are we suppressing ourselves or is the government the cause of our suppression? Statistics show that Black and Latinos make up 30% of the US population, but are 61% of the incarcerated population! The percentage practically doubles. This clearly shows that there is something peculiar going on. How is the percentage of colored people in jail larger than the actual percentage of colored people? I'm all for individual responsibility, but with the way our system is set up, how do they expect people to help themselves when they are doing everything they can to constrain the people? The system claims to help and protect society but in reality they are the main ones against them. The system is the enemy.
The Mediterranean is nearly a locked sea between the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia. The fourteen kilometers-Strait of Gibraltar, the Greeks' Pillars of Hercules, connects the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. The Greeks considered the Pillars to be the western end of the known world.
The Mediterranean is more than a sea. Pregrad Matvejevic, a Central European writer from the Pannonian plains of Croatia, insists that the Mediterranean is also more than geography, history, and national cultures.
This morning we lost without a doubt the biggest, bravest, and brashest personality in the political prisoner world. It is with great sadness that we write with the news of Herman Wallace's passing.
Herman never did anything half way. He embraced his many quests and adventures in life with a tenacious gusto and fearless determination that will absolutely never be rivaled. He was exceptionally loyal and loving to those he considered friends, and always went out of his way to stand up for those causes and individuals in need of a strong voice or fierce advocate, no matter the consequences.
The Mediterranean is nearly a locked sea between the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia. The fourteen kilometers-Strait of Gibraltar, the Greeks’ Pillars of Hercules, connects the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. The Greeks considered the Pillars to be the western end of the known world.
The Mediterranean is more than a sea. Pregrad Matvejevic, a Central European writer from the Pannonian plains of Croatia, insists that the Mediterranean is also more than geography, history, and national cultures. The Mediterranean, he says, is fathomless.
Iran’s new and more moderate President Hassan Rouhani came to the United Nations at the end of September. Amidst numerous interviews and diplomatic discussions, his message was clear: no, Iran will not give up its legal right to enrich uranium and no, Iran will not develop nuclear weapons. According to Rouhani, Iran is willing to prove this second point by “ensuring full transparency [of its nuclear program] under international law.” In exchange for doing so, Iran will demand “a total lifting” of international sanctions. In truth, this has been the position of the Iranian government for years. As far back as 2005 Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei declared that nuclear weapons violated Islamic law and Iran would not construct them. It primarily has been due to pressure from the Israelis and their Zionist lobby in Washington that U.S. politicians have refused to believe these Iranian assertions.
The Supreme Court has now agreed to hear a case involving whether persons convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors should be prohibited from possessing guns. The case involves James Castleman, who in 2001 pleaded guilty under Tennessee law to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence against the mother of his child. In 2009, Castleman was found in possession of several guns, which was prohibited by a 1996 law that made it illegal for those who have misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence involving physical force or a deadly weapon to possess guns. Allegedly, Castleman was purchasing weapons and selling them illegally. An appeals court in Cincinnati, Ohio ruled that the federal law does not apply in Castleman’s case because his domestic violence conviction did not involve physical force. As a long-time domestic violence advocate and scholar who has written extensively about the subject, I am deeply concerned about the implications should the Court overturn the federal legislation.