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.
On November 19, people in the city of Albuquerque will vote on whether to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The very fact that a fundamental right of women – the right to abortion at whatever point in her pregnancy and for whatever reason she decides – can be put up for a vote is entirely illegitimate and reveals something profoundly wrong with the system that rules over us. It is yet another indication as to why the courts and the official political process in this country cannot be relied upon to protect the rights of women, or of any other oppressed group.
Family farm and consumer advocates have been working for weeks to ensure meaningful public comment on the FDA's proposed food safety rules. Now the government website that serves as a portal for the public's comments on food safety is offline, out-of-service, or even refusing to accept comments.
"This is potentially disenfranchising thousands of farmers and consumers, and is flat-out unacceptable," says Will Fantle, Codirector of the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. "We have been working for months, as have many other organizations across the country, to raise public awareness of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the proposed rules developed to implement it. With the public comment period set to close on November 15, we have received numerous reports from our members that they cannot send in timely comments because the portal for doing so, regulations.gov, is not working."
The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers is in one of the most important struggles to defend public education and have taken one of the boldest stances against standardized testing in the country. While the state mandates that students take the MCA standardized test, the SPFT—with the support of their many parent and community allies—know that it is a waste of time and resources and are attempting to bargain it out of their contract.
In response to an appeal filed today by former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, seeking to overturn his conviction before a military commission, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement. Khadr's appeal comes on the heels of an appeal filed this week by CCR client David Hicks, who, like Khadr, was convicted in the military commissions of a crime not recognized under international law: "material support for terrorism"
On Friday, November 8, Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the island of Samar, on the eastern central part of the archipelago, completely destroying many towns and villages on the sea shore. so far reports estimate over 1,200 deaths but that number is expected to rise. Many were evacuated to higher ground prior to Haiyan's arrival as meteorologists had been tracking it and put out warnings. The Philippines is along the Ring of Fire and is prone to earth quakes and typhoons. Many of the Philippines poorest live on the sea shore. I believe The Philippines,with a population of 98 million, consisting of 7,107 islands,of which only 2,000 are inhabited, should have a public works program to assist the newly homeless poor with housing and with aid organization and/or other funding rebuilding homes etcetera on higher ground poor to higher ground, particularly after this.
The slightest threat of its use will influence the behavior of others. If you had a .44 Magnum pointed at you, or even if you just glimpsed it sitting on your neighbor's kitchen table, your behavior would be influenced big time!
Contrary to what we have always been told by the bosses, their government and press, as well as by many liberal and conservative commentators, the American working class and their unions are not weak and irrelevant. In fact, they are powerful, as full of power as a 9.5 earthquake. That workers still believe this weakness fiction is the principle obstacle standing in the way of their liberation from poverty and repression.
For those of us who've worked with Dearborn Michigan's Arab American community during the past three decades, victories in this past week's municipal elections were more than just big news. They represent vindication and confirmation of our belief in the strength and vitality of the Arab American community. After this election, the president of Dearborn's City Council will be Arab American, Susan Dabaja, and, overall, four of the city's eleven member City Council are now of Arab descent.
When you are a student of history, you recognize the connection between the shooting of Renisha McBride and the shootings on E. 7 mile at the barbershop and everywhere else in the city. When you are a student of history, you recognize that the same system of oppression creates both the Theodore Paul Wafer and George Zimmerman's of the world who cower in fear of Black people and aim first before asking questions and that this same system of oppression also creates the massacre of Blacks by Blacks in the urban communities.
At the United Nations this month, Brazil, China, Venezuela and other nations denounced U.S. drone wars as illegal.
In the countries where the drones strike, popular and elite opinion condemns the entire program as criminal. This is the view of Pakistan's courts, Yemen's National Dialogue, Yemen's Human Rights Ministry and large numbers of well-known figures in Yemen. Popular movements in both Pakistan and Yemen continue to protest against the killing.
The Geneva-based human rights group Alkarama agrees: "Whether they hit civilians and/or alleged al-Qaeda combatants and associates, the U.S. targeted killings policy in Yemen constitutes a blatant violation of international human rights law."
In what will come as a surprise to almost no one, 2012 was another record year for the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Breaking records every year for the greenhouse gases that cause climate change make it less likely than we humans can slow or reverse the effects of human caused climate change and keep global warming within the 2 degree Celsius target, set at a Copenhagen summit in 2009. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, speaking at a press conference ahead of next weeks UN conference to work on emissions cuts said: "The increase in CO2 is mostly due to human activities. The actions we take now or don't take now will have consequences for a very, very long period. Even if we were able to stop today - we know it's not possible - the ocean would continue to warm and to expand and the sea level would continue to rise for hundreds of years."