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.
Schools are in the news. Teachers in Detroit recently organized a "sickout" to protest conditions in their schools. Among a number of issues in the district, The New York Times reported that many of the schools in the district have "… crumbling plaster, water damage and leaks, roaches, rats, and mold …" What happens to a child who attends aschool building in poor condition? What happens when a child attends a school that has dirty toilets, offensive odors, broken furniture or unattractive hallways, views of parking lots or vacant lots? Maybe the child's attendance is affected because the child is sick more often.
This article examines Donald Trump’s foreign policy agenda as revealed in a New York Times interview and a major foreign policy address Trump gave at the invitation of the Center for the National Interest. On March 25, 2016, David Sanger and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times interviewed the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, about his views on US foreign policy. The lengthy interview provided the first detailed insights into what the United States' role in the world would be if Trump were elected president.
We can thank Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign for putting single-payer national health insurance on the front burner of today's national political discussion. This is long overdue and especially timely as the two parties debate alternatives for future US health care. It appears that political feasibility for NHI may finally be approaching a time of acceptance, if our democracy can prevail over oligarchy and plutocracy. The 20,000 physician-strong Physicians for a National Health Program has released today a Physicians' Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform, updated from its 2003 proposal, with an accompanying editorial.
About the death of renowned anti-war activist, poet and writer Father Dan Berrigan at the age of 94, the Rev. John Dear wrote, in part, that Dan: "inspired religious opposition to the Vietnam war and later the US nuclear weapons industry." But the phrase "religious opposition" minimizes the depth and breadth of the inspiration that Dan Berrigan gave to antiwar activism all over the world. Dan's razor-sharp wit and devastating clear-headed prose inspired nonreligious and religious activists alike.
What if we defined ourselves -- to the movement, the public, and the courts -- not as law-breakers but as law-enforcers trying to halt governments and corporations from committing the greatest crime in human history? Fundamental principles embodied in the laws and constitutions of countries around the world provide strong bases for such a claim. Basic human and constitutional rights include the unalienable rights to life and liberty. Under the "public trust doctrine," governments must manage the vital natural resources on which human well-being depends for the benefit of all present and future generations.
If there was ever a time when we could accept unchallenged the idea that "domestically produced natural gas can play an important role in the transition to a clean energy economy", that time is long gone. Reason basedon increasingly dire scientific models would indicate that -- for the sake of a habitable planet -- the transition away from fossil fuels cannot incorporate expanding markets for fossil fuels. Yet this absurd logic is precisely what the fracking industry and its proponents hope will be accepted without a critical thought.
I arrived inErbil five days ago. Since then, meetings, family visits, efforts to relearn the exchange rate and opportunities to become familiar with new surroundings have peaceably filled my time. I'm also beginning to understand the current reality faced by millions of new arrivals to Erbil who fled their homes, seeking refuge. The first time I stepped out of the apartment building where I am staying with an Iraqi friend, I was approached by children, women and youth begging for money.
Egyptian security forces are carrying out widespread raids and repression in response to growing social and political discontent, which led to the first widespread stirrings of popular protest since the military regime led by Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi came to power nearly two years ago. As educators and members of the academic community in the United States, we feel a particular responsibility to speak out against a regime that has targeted academics and students, in addition to many others, with the financial support and political cover of our own government.
By international standards, the number of Americans who trouble themselves to vote is low, far trailing nations as diverse as Sweden (whose 85.8 percent participation in their most recent election was the highest by a populace from whom voting is not required), South Korea and New Zealand. If voter turnout for the 2016 presidential election stays consistent with a trend dating to 1972, nearly half the nation's eligible voters will sit the election out.
"Alternative farming" may not be a phrase that everyone recognizes, but thanks to solar-powered hydroponic grow systems, it might be the future of agriculture. These earth-friendly, space-conscious innovations make it possible to grow fresh, nutrient-rich food just about anywhere -- from a barge floating off the coast of our biggest cities, to a window in a tiny, urban apartment and even all the way on Mars.