Monday, 27 February 2017 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • Bill Gates Is Clueless on the Economy

    Dean Baker for Truthout: Last week Bill Gates called for taxing robots. It's nice to see the world's richest person proposing a measure aimed at redistributing money. Unfortunately, his idea makes no sense. We must stop assuming that productivity growth is the enemy of workers.

  • CPAC Dispatch: How Donald Trump Killed Movement Conservatism

    Now that the "alt-right," personified by Stephen Bannon, is in the White House, conservative leaders are trying to assess the correct place for it within the greater 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.

In a 1921 article in Good Housekeeping by then Vice President-elect Calvin Coolidge, he described the "only acceptable immigrant" as "one who can justify our faith in man by a constant revelation of the divine purpose of the Creator." Those who were racially "divergent" who "do not mix or blend," the "idle," "the shiftless" and "the good-for-nothing" are not welcome. He asserted that "the retroactive immigrant is a danger," and that "he needs to be deported." This was at a time when new Americans were associated with extremist ideology and terrorism.

Feb 09

Are We as Innocent as We Think?

By Dana E. Abizaid, Speakout | Op-Ed

Much is being made of Donald Trump's recent statement that he respects Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an interview with Bill O'Reilly aired before the Super Bowl, Trump stated in response to O'Reilly's quip that Putin was a killer: "There are lots of killers. We've got a lot of killers. What, do you think your country's so innocent?" Besides the sin of equating US violence with another country's and, consequently, violating the unwritten law of "American exceptionalism," Trump seems merely to be guilty of telling the truth on this issue.

While the sanctuary campus movement gathers momentum, leadership at two Pennsylvania higher education institutions -- Bucknell University and Pennsylvania State University -- have chosen to hedge their bets by playing both sides of the issue. On the one hand, their presidents petitioned the incoming Trump administration to maintain the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in order to appease student activists, progressive faculty and undocumented immigrants.

The Army Corps of Engineers is now saying they will ignore the requirement for the Environmental Impact Statement and give permission for DAPL to drill. The Indigenous Coalition of Standing Rock is calling on us to rally the world today in an international day of emergency actions to "disrupt business as usual and unleash a global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism." Immediately call your local legislator. Leave a million messages. Call the number for Army Corps of Engineers. Donate to the legal defense of Water Protectors.

Feb 07

The Media's Other Crisis in a Trump Age

By Tal Abbady, Speakout | News Analysis

It's heartening that liberal publications around the country are now an emboldened vanguard against Donald Trump's racism and misogyny. But the inequalities that allow hateful attitudes to thrive run deep in these same news outlets -- embedded in the lack of byline parity in the country's most prestigious newspapers, magazines and websites. It's also been a curious thing, since the election, to hear top-gun editors offer mea culpas about the fact that they'd ignored the concerns of the disenfranchised, white male voters who helped get Trump elected.

Feb 07

From "Animal Farm" to "America Farm"

By Mary Baker, Speakout | Op-Ed

America Farm had Old Majors who dreamed of a land where the "animals" were free and equal. These Old Majors drove out their oppressive farmer, created a democracy and wrote "commandments," including that all animals are created equal. America Farm wasn't perfect, by any means, but it improved with time, and soon became the most prosperous and highly educated farm. The dream, however, had always teetered on an uneasy balance. 

 

In an effort to decrease the number of homeless families in San Francisco, city officials have proposed to increase the criteria for entry into homeless family shelters. Instead of speeding up the current seven-month wait and thereby moving more families into long-term shelters, officials are preparing to slow everything down, a backward attempt to lower the homeless count by leaving some families ineligible for shelter entry, while forcing others to move away, no longer able to keep up with this increase in bureaucratic insanity.

I shuddered, horrified to the depths of my soul when Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway presented the Trump administration's false claims as "alternative facts" in a January 22, interview on NBC's "Meet The Press." She was defending the lies told by Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, about Trump's inauguration. For instance, Spicer stated that Trump drew "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration," despite the clear evidence of aerial photos showing that Barack Obama's inauguration drew significantly bigger crowds.

Feb 03

We Must Resist Trump's Energy Plan

By Vaios Triantafyllou, Speakout | Op-Ed

Donald Trump's presidency signifies very clearly for the first time an identification of fascist rhetoric with the interests of the American ruling class, also known as the 1%, in the face of the country's executive power. This problem, however, has not been solely caused by the totalitarian billionaire president of the United States, but expands to his choice of cabinet members, all of whom will most likely be approved by the Senate. Among others, Trump picked Rex Tillerson, outgoing president of ExxonMobil, for secretary of state; Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, for head of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, for secretary of the treasury.

My husband, Kevin, was an almost Trump voter. We live in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white rural area and part of the "Rust Belt" that's gotten so much attention from Donald Trump and the media in the past year. Kevin suffers from epilepsy, mental health issues and arthritis. He has been fighting to get Supplemental Security Income for over 10 years now and has continuously been denied benefits. Kevin can't work a 40-hour week because of medical restrictions which include no kneeling, pushing, pulling, lifting, walking up or down stairs, and no standing for more than 30 minutes at a time.

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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.

In a 1921 article in Good Housekeeping by then Vice President-elect Calvin Coolidge, he described the "only acceptable immigrant" as "one who can justify our faith in man by a constant revelation of the divine purpose of the Creator." Those who were racially "divergent" who "do not mix or blend," the "idle," "the shiftless" and "the good-for-nothing" are not welcome. He asserted that "the retroactive immigrant is a danger," and that "he needs to be deported." This was at a time when new Americans were associated with extremist ideology and terrorism.

Feb 09

Are We as Innocent as We Think?

By Dana E. Abizaid, Speakout | Op-Ed

Much is being made of Donald Trump's recent statement that he respects Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an interview with Bill O'Reilly aired before the Super Bowl, Trump stated in response to O'Reilly's quip that Putin was a killer: "There are lots of killers. We've got a lot of killers. What, do you think your country's so innocent?" Besides the sin of equating US violence with another country's and, consequently, violating the unwritten law of "American exceptionalism," Trump seems merely to be guilty of telling the truth on this issue.

While the sanctuary campus movement gathers momentum, leadership at two Pennsylvania higher education institutions -- Bucknell University and Pennsylvania State University -- have chosen to hedge their bets by playing both sides of the issue. On the one hand, their presidents petitioned the incoming Trump administration to maintain the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in order to appease student activists, progressive faculty and undocumented immigrants.

The Army Corps of Engineers is now saying they will ignore the requirement for the Environmental Impact Statement and give permission for DAPL to drill. The Indigenous Coalition of Standing Rock is calling on us to rally the world today in an international day of emergency actions to "disrupt business as usual and unleash a global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism." Immediately call your local legislator. Leave a million messages. Call the number for Army Corps of Engineers. Donate to the legal defense of Water Protectors.

Feb 07

The Media's Other Crisis in a Trump Age

By Tal Abbady, Speakout | News Analysis

It's heartening that liberal publications around the country are now an emboldened vanguard against Donald Trump's racism and misogyny. But the inequalities that allow hateful attitudes to thrive run deep in these same news outlets -- embedded in the lack of byline parity in the country's most prestigious newspapers, magazines and websites. It's also been a curious thing, since the election, to hear top-gun editors offer mea culpas about the fact that they'd ignored the concerns of the disenfranchised, white male voters who helped get Trump elected.

Feb 07

From "Animal Farm" to "America Farm"

By Mary Baker, Speakout | Op-Ed

America Farm had Old Majors who dreamed of a land where the "animals" were free and equal. These Old Majors drove out their oppressive farmer, created a democracy and wrote "commandments," including that all animals are created equal. America Farm wasn't perfect, by any means, but it improved with time, and soon became the most prosperous and highly educated farm. The dream, however, had always teetered on an uneasy balance. 

 

In an effort to decrease the number of homeless families in San Francisco, city officials have proposed to increase the criteria for entry into homeless family shelters. Instead of speeding up the current seven-month wait and thereby moving more families into long-term shelters, officials are preparing to slow everything down, a backward attempt to lower the homeless count by leaving some families ineligible for shelter entry, while forcing others to move away, no longer able to keep up with this increase in bureaucratic insanity.

I shuddered, horrified to the depths of my soul when Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway presented the Trump administration's false claims as "alternative facts" in a January 22, interview on NBC's "Meet The Press." She was defending the lies told by Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, about Trump's inauguration. For instance, Spicer stated that Trump drew "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration," despite the clear evidence of aerial photos showing that Barack Obama's inauguration drew significantly bigger crowds.

Feb 03

We Must Resist Trump's Energy Plan

By Vaios Triantafyllou, Speakout | Op-Ed

Donald Trump's presidency signifies very clearly for the first time an identification of fascist rhetoric with the interests of the American ruling class, also known as the 1%, in the face of the country's executive power. This problem, however, has not been solely caused by the totalitarian billionaire president of the United States, but expands to his choice of cabinet members, all of whom will most likely be approved by the Senate. Among others, Trump picked Rex Tillerson, outgoing president of ExxonMobil, for secretary of state; Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, for head of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, for secretary of the treasury.

My husband, Kevin, was an almost Trump voter. We live in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white rural area and part of the "Rust Belt" that's gotten so much attention from Donald Trump and the media in the past year. Kevin suffers from epilepsy, mental health issues and arthritis. He has been fighting to get Supplemental Security Income for over 10 years now and has continuously been denied benefits. Kevin can't work a 40-hour week because of medical restrictions which include no kneeling, pushing, pulling, lifting, walking up or down stairs, and no standing for more than 30 minutes at a time.