Saturday, 18 November 2017 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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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.

The National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) recent name change to UnidosUS is bizarre and incomprehensible and its rationale that their name was "getting in the way of their mission" strains credulity, especially because it was also purportedly trying to be more relevant to the young. This action, coming from the nation's largest Latino civil rights coalition, simply reeks of outright capitulation -- this at a time when the communities that it seeks to represent are under the most relentless attacks in modern history, compliments of the current White House occupant and his allies.

The democracy movement DIEM25 (Democracy In Europe Movement) is far from a pure protest movement. DIEM25 asserts that the refusal to accept proposals from the EU must be supplemented with counter-proposals. Since it began in 2016, alliances with progressive movements and politicians around Europe have been created and there has been a continuing dialogue with its members. Questions have been put to others, as well as to their own members regarding how the EU and Europe can be democratized.

This past June, a critical law passed in Nevada, thanks to persistent people with spirit that never gives up. The law, which is a hybrid of two proposed bills, SB265 and SB539, will hold companies accountable for the outrageous pricing of insulin by requiring a report if they raise prices by a certain amount. Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) will no longer be able to cover rebates that ultimately burden patients, and pharmaceutical sales reps and pharma-funded nonprofits will have to be transparent as well. 

Aug 24

Have Nations Ever Gone to War Over a Joke?

By Maggie Hennefeld, Truthout | Op-Ed

In 2016, a Scottish gold miner, Michael McFeat, nearly caused a war between the UK and Central Asia by inadvertently comparing Kyrgyzstan's national dish to a horse penis. McFeat claimed that he simply mistook chuchuk sausage in good faith for the nethers of an equine. He was subsequently smuggled out of the country, narrowly evading an angry lynch mob, and warned by police at Manas Airport in Bishkek, who arrested him under race hatred laws, that his "act could send Kyrgyzstan to war with the UK."

Renewable energy companies in the US have employed more than 800,000 people -- a number that is increasing every day. New renewable energy technologies accompanied with high-skilled workforce will help to reduce our carbon footprint and enable us to transition towards a renewable energy future. In order to keep up with the dynamic changes and growing expectations of the renewable energy industry, the industry itself must present tremendous opportunities for the new incoming workforce, while continuing to educate and provide additional training to the industry's current workforce.

Aug 17

Reflecting on 70 Years Since Decolonization in India and Pakistan

By Anmol Ghavri, Speakout | News Analysis

August 14 and 15 marked the 70-year anniversary of independence from colonial rule for Pakistan and India, respectively. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the former crown jewel in the British Empire was partitioned hastily into the two countries of India and Pakistan, which were given rein over their own governments.

What about freedom for others, non-Americans, do they deserve it? A silly question on the face of it. One reeking of American exceptionalism, if not xenophobia. Surely, most Americans would answer in the affirmative, yet their meaning of freedom may not be immediately apparent. Their support of worldwide "freedom" usually does not connote the ability to decide what kind of political system or regime type people live under, but rather presumes that some sort of Western-style (non-Scandinavian) democracy is the inevitable outgrowth of freedom.

On April 27, 2017, a hapless cow wandered off-course during a seasonal cattle drive in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and ended up over the campfire of some Indigenous hunters. The traditional lands of these groups (Batwa and related groups) are routinely trampled by cattle, cut for old-growth timber, or grabbed for mineral resources including diamonds and coltan -- generally illegally. As their wild game diminishes from these impacts, the Batwa have come to view cattle as fair game.

Aug 02

A Budget for the 99 Percent

By Paul Shannon, Speakout | Op-Ed

The Republican budget submitted in the House a few weeks back would make fundamental changes for the worst to the lives of all of us if it ever passes. But opposing such a draconian budget is not enough to move us in better directions. As Naomi Klein says, "No is not enough." But there is a viable alternative budget out there released by the largest caucus in Congress. It embodies the budget priorities of most of us -- and it deserves our support this summer.

The US has refused to realize the 1954 mandate of Brown v. Board to address deep-seated education inequity. Today, more than 60 years later, schools are profoundly separate and unequal based on race and class. State-sanctioned sabotage of human potential runs rampant across the United States and can be measured by curriculum, access to programs and technology, how school discipline is administered and funding. It is amplified by the school privatization movement.

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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.

The National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) recent name change to UnidosUS is bizarre and incomprehensible and its rationale that their name was "getting in the way of their mission" strains credulity, especially because it was also purportedly trying to be more relevant to the young. This action, coming from the nation's largest Latino civil rights coalition, simply reeks of outright capitulation -- this at a time when the communities that it seeks to represent are under the most relentless attacks in modern history, compliments of the current White House occupant and his allies.

The democracy movement DIEM25 (Democracy In Europe Movement) is far from a pure protest movement. DIEM25 asserts that the refusal to accept proposals from the EU must be supplemented with counter-proposals. Since it began in 2016, alliances with progressive movements and politicians around Europe have been created and there has been a continuing dialogue with its members. Questions have been put to others, as well as to their own members regarding how the EU and Europe can be democratized.

This past June, a critical law passed in Nevada, thanks to persistent people with spirit that never gives up. The law, which is a hybrid of two proposed bills, SB265 and SB539, will hold companies accountable for the outrageous pricing of insulin by requiring a report if they raise prices by a certain amount. Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) will no longer be able to cover rebates that ultimately burden patients, and pharmaceutical sales reps and pharma-funded nonprofits will have to be transparent as well. 

Aug 24

Have Nations Ever Gone to War Over a Joke?

By Maggie Hennefeld, Truthout | Op-Ed

In 2016, a Scottish gold miner, Michael McFeat, nearly caused a war between the UK and Central Asia by inadvertently comparing Kyrgyzstan's national dish to a horse penis. McFeat claimed that he simply mistook chuchuk sausage in good faith for the nethers of an equine. He was subsequently smuggled out of the country, narrowly evading an angry lynch mob, and warned by police at Manas Airport in Bishkek, who arrested him under race hatred laws, that his "act could send Kyrgyzstan to war with the UK."

Renewable energy companies in the US have employed more than 800,000 people -- a number that is increasing every day. New renewable energy technologies accompanied with high-skilled workforce will help to reduce our carbon footprint and enable us to transition towards a renewable energy future. In order to keep up with the dynamic changes and growing expectations of the renewable energy industry, the industry itself must present tremendous opportunities for the new incoming workforce, while continuing to educate and provide additional training to the industry's current workforce.

Aug 17

Reflecting on 70 Years Since Decolonization in India and Pakistan

By Anmol Ghavri, Speakout | News Analysis

August 14 and 15 marked the 70-year anniversary of independence from colonial rule for Pakistan and India, respectively. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the former crown jewel in the British Empire was partitioned hastily into the two countries of India and Pakistan, which were given rein over their own governments.

What about freedom for others, non-Americans, do they deserve it? A silly question on the face of it. One reeking of American exceptionalism, if not xenophobia. Surely, most Americans would answer in the affirmative, yet their meaning of freedom may not be immediately apparent. Their support of worldwide "freedom" usually does not connote the ability to decide what kind of political system or regime type people live under, but rather presumes that some sort of Western-style (non-Scandinavian) democracy is the inevitable outgrowth of freedom.

On April 27, 2017, a hapless cow wandered off-course during a seasonal cattle drive in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and ended up over the campfire of some Indigenous hunters. The traditional lands of these groups (Batwa and related groups) are routinely trampled by cattle, cut for old-growth timber, or grabbed for mineral resources including diamonds and coltan -- generally illegally. As their wild game diminishes from these impacts, the Batwa have come to view cattle as fair game.

Aug 02

A Budget for the 99 Percent

By Paul Shannon, Speakout | Op-Ed

The Republican budget submitted in the House a few weeks back would make fundamental changes for the worst to the lives of all of us if it ever passes. But opposing such a draconian budget is not enough to move us in better directions. As Naomi Klein says, "No is not enough." But there is a viable alternative budget out there released by the largest caucus in Congress. It embodies the budget priorities of most of us -- and it deserves our support this summer.

The US has refused to realize the 1954 mandate of Brown v. Board to address deep-seated education inequity. Today, more than 60 years later, schools are profoundly separate and unequal based on race and class. State-sanctioned sabotage of human potential runs rampant across the United States and can be measured by curriculum, access to programs and technology, how school discipline is administered and funding. It is amplified by the school privatization movement.