Friday, 29 April 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • A Two-Pronged Assault on Women

    We heard a lot about the "war on women" during the 2012 election cycle. While the phrase has faded this election year, the war on women has not. Now we're fighting on two fronts -- reproductive rights and economic survival.

  • The Pragmatic Impacts of Bernie Sanders' Big Dreams

    Even with Tuesday's campaign setbacks, Bernie Sanders' pledge to make the country more equitable and sustainable is more realistic than some people are letting on.

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.

Polls conducted through various countries suggest the majority of the public (albeit a slim majority) would support military action against the group commonly referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is not surprising, given the ruthless, frightening and relentless terror that they have been spreading across an entire region. Mass executions, slavery, suicide bombers and the torture and execution of journalists will raise no doubt in people's mind that ISIS is a group of people who need to be stopped for the protection and safety of the region and potentially the entire world.

During the 2008 US presidential campaign, the media scrutiny over Hillary Clinton tended to focus as much on Clinton's political discourse as much as it honed in on her wardrobe. Alas, the 21st century was in full swing, yet there was little evidence of any sort of social consciousness regarding women's rights, much less an advancement regarding female politician's autonomy of body and mind. The year 2008 served as a template for what not to do regarding media coverage of these politicians.

During the last week of October I walked on a peace march organized by the Nipponzan Myohoji order of Buddhist monks. This march is similar in some ways to another: the Okinawa "Beggars' March" of 1955-1956. At that time, farmers who had been forcefully removed from their fields by US soldiers in the years following World War II acted peacefully to demand the return of their land, which was the source of their entire livelihood.

Nov 03

A Tale of Two Retirements

By Sarah Anderson and Scott Klinger, Institute for Policy Studies | Report

One hundred CEOs have as much in retirement assets as 41 percent of US families.

This report, co-published by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government, is the first to provide detailed statistics on the staggering gap between the retirement assets of Fortune 500 CEOs and the rest of the United States.

Nov 03

Police Brutality: Can It Really Be Fixed?

By Malik Shabazz, Speakout | Op-Ed

Having my mom give me a lecture before I left for a party seemed like a waste of time. But deep down, I knew what she was saying was the truth. I was walking on Mission Street, listening to music on my headphones and the cops stopped me. They thought since I was an African American and because I had a Rockstar energy drink in my hands, I was drinking. I was frisked and questioned without reason. This was a form of police brutality because I am an innocent person who was harassed by the the cops. Police brutality is a problem that needs to be stopped because it is destroying homes and lives.

In our country, the average annual income for the top 1% is $27,342,212. The bottom 90 percent, meanwhile, make an average of $31,244. There is a division in quality of life for these two groups. These numbers mean the difference between owning cars and having to take public transportation; between being able to afford private tutors and having to work jobs while in high school; and, ultimately, between whether or not you have access to opportunity. The socioeconomic class you are in significantly and directly impacts what opportunities you have access to in educational, occupational and familial roles.

Nov 02

Women in Combat? Let's Reframe the Debate

By Jerry Lembcke, Speakout | News Analysis

Public opinion of the policy has changed in recent years in response to women's rights advocates contending that exclusion is a form of sex discrimination. Additionally, military readiness of late has been diminished by falling recruitment and retention rates, a problem that women in the ranks helps solve. Available data, moreover, says women can meet the standards for combat preparedness.

Oct 30

Living Under the Metal Osprey

By Buddy Bell, Speakout | Op-Ed

Okinawa - In late October 2015, I was with three Okinawa peace activists and a British solidarity activist on a tour of local resistance to US military bases. After an hour of driving north from the city of Nago, crossing deep ravines and shimmering blue bays, we approached a dense forest, where the US military's only jungle warfare training center is situated, way up in the northernmost section of the island of Okinawa.

Fruitvale BART Station is where I begin and end my day. The infamous platform in Oakland, California, where BART police murdered Oscar Grant, a fully restrained, unarmed African American who was celebrating New Year's Day with his friends and girlfriend. Johannes Mehserle, the police officer involved in the shooting, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to the minimum two years in prison, but being that he had "time served," he would only spend seven months in jail with possible bail. For murder.

Many supporters of the ACA look to its record of reducing the numbers of uninsured over the last five years as solid evidence that it is working. Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate in economics, has been in that group foryears, recently touting the drop in uninsured numbers as sufficient evidence to declare the ACA a success. Much as I have admired his work in economics over many years, I remain surprised that he still gets it wrong on US health care.

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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.

Polls conducted through various countries suggest the majority of the public (albeit a slim majority) would support military action against the group commonly referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is not surprising, given the ruthless, frightening and relentless terror that they have been spreading across an entire region. Mass executions, slavery, suicide bombers and the torture and execution of journalists will raise no doubt in people's mind that ISIS is a group of people who need to be stopped for the protection and safety of the region and potentially the entire world.

During the 2008 US presidential campaign, the media scrutiny over Hillary Clinton tended to focus as much on Clinton's political discourse as much as it honed in on her wardrobe. Alas, the 21st century was in full swing, yet there was little evidence of any sort of social consciousness regarding women's rights, much less an advancement regarding female politician's autonomy of body and mind. The year 2008 served as a template for what not to do regarding media coverage of these politicians.

During the last week of October I walked on a peace march organized by the Nipponzan Myohoji order of Buddhist monks. This march is similar in some ways to another: the Okinawa "Beggars' March" of 1955-1956. At that time, farmers who had been forcefully removed from their fields by US soldiers in the years following World War II acted peacefully to demand the return of their land, which was the source of their entire livelihood.

Nov 03

A Tale of Two Retirements

By Sarah Anderson and Scott Klinger, Institute for Policy Studies | Report

One hundred CEOs have as much in retirement assets as 41 percent of US families.

This report, co-published by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government, is the first to provide detailed statistics on the staggering gap between the retirement assets of Fortune 500 CEOs and the rest of the United States.

Nov 03

Police Brutality: Can It Really Be Fixed?

By Malik Shabazz, Speakout | Op-Ed

Having my mom give me a lecture before I left for a party seemed like a waste of time. But deep down, I knew what she was saying was the truth. I was walking on Mission Street, listening to music on my headphones and the cops stopped me. They thought since I was an African American and because I had a Rockstar energy drink in my hands, I was drinking. I was frisked and questioned without reason. This was a form of police brutality because I am an innocent person who was harassed by the the cops. Police brutality is a problem that needs to be stopped because it is destroying homes and lives.

In our country, the average annual income for the top 1% is $27,342,212. The bottom 90 percent, meanwhile, make an average of $31,244. There is a division in quality of life for these two groups. These numbers mean the difference between owning cars and having to take public transportation; between being able to afford private tutors and having to work jobs while in high school; and, ultimately, between whether or not you have access to opportunity. The socioeconomic class you are in significantly and directly impacts what opportunities you have access to in educational, occupational and familial roles.

Nov 02

Women in Combat? Let's Reframe the Debate

By Jerry Lembcke, Speakout | News Analysis

Public opinion of the policy has changed in recent years in response to women's rights advocates contending that exclusion is a form of sex discrimination. Additionally, military readiness of late has been diminished by falling recruitment and retention rates, a problem that women in the ranks helps solve. Available data, moreover, says women can meet the standards for combat preparedness.

Oct 30

Living Under the Metal Osprey

By Buddy Bell, Speakout | Op-Ed

Okinawa - In late October 2015, I was with three Okinawa peace activists and a British solidarity activist on a tour of local resistance to US military bases. After an hour of driving north from the city of Nago, crossing deep ravines and shimmering blue bays, we approached a dense forest, where the US military's only jungle warfare training center is situated, way up in the northernmost section of the island of Okinawa.

Fruitvale BART Station is where I begin and end my day. The infamous platform in Oakland, California, where BART police murdered Oscar Grant, a fully restrained, unarmed African American who was celebrating New Year's Day with his friends and girlfriend. Johannes Mehserle, the police officer involved in the shooting, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to the minimum two years in prison, but being that he had "time served," he would only spend seven months in jail with possible bail. For murder.

Many supporters of the ACA look to its record of reducing the numbers of uninsured over the last five years as solid evidence that it is working. Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate in economics, has been in that group foryears, recently touting the drop in uninsured numbers as sufficient evidence to declare the ACA a success. Much as I have admired his work in economics over many years, I remain surprised that he still gets it wrong on US health care.