Saturday, 23 July 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • Pokémon Go for Radicals

    Pokémon Go one-ups social media's ability to draw people out, given that it actually gets bodies moving and to a particular location. It's no replacement for well-timed mobilization, but it could offer much needed tools.

  • Trump's New Super PAC Attack Dog

    A pro-Donald Trump super PAC called Rebuilding America Now has positioned itself as an attack dog, unafraid to take shots at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a time when her campaign is dominating airwaves.

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.

Jan 14

Surveillance and Surveys in Kabul

By Kathy Kelly, Speakout | Op-Ed

In Kabul, where the Afghan Peace Volunteers have hosted me in their community, the US military maintains a huge blimp equipped with cameras and computers to supply 24-hour surveillance of the city. All of this surveillance purportedly helps establish "patterns of life" and bring security to people living here. But this sort of "intelligence" discloses very little about experiences of poverty, chaos, hunger, child labor, homelessness and unemployment which afflict families across Afghanistan. 

Syriza's rise to power was accompanied by popular hopes for reform on all fronts: economic, environmental, political and cultural. Alas, none of the hopes became reality. In fact, instead of spurring positive social change, the governing Syriza party has followed closely in the footsteps of its predecessors.

When microbiologist Bruce Hemming was hired two years ago to test breast milk samples for residues of the key ingredient in the popular weed-killer Roundup, Hemming at first scoffed at the possibility. Hemming, the founder of St. Louis-based Microbe Inotech Laboratories, knew that the herbicidal ingredient called glyphosate was not supposed to accumulate in the human body.

Since 1992, when she was first elected to public office, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had a remarkable political career. It was therefore hardly a surprise that during the primaries for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton named Schultz as her nationalcampaign co-chair. When running that campaign, Schultz became a close ally of Clinton, a relationship that has endured to this day. Schultz herself has smugly proclaimed that she and Clinton enjoy "a special relationship." 

In wonderfully poetic prose, The Pedagogy of Insurrection helps readers better understand the overall project of critical pedagogy and its willingness to problematize the common understandings of oppressed peoples to facilitate their liberation from restrictive the thought patterns typically holding them in thrall. However, McLaren's book broadens that project to appreciatively include the realm of religion and theology by introducing readers to the emancipatory quality of liberation theology.

They have descended from homes built on the mountainside. Women sit together in the cemetery not to mourn but to wait for the duvet distribution to begin. When I approach them, each woman extends a hand in greeting. Some have the needed small stamped pieces of paper to receive two duvets but most don't. One of the women tells me about the pain in her chest, her legs. She talks about the war. I listen to all the manifestations of her suffering.

Jan 08

Nuclear Redux in North Korea

By Suzy Kim, Speakout | Op-Ed

North Korea announced the successful testing of a hydrogen bomb earlier this week, ringing in the New Year with an ominous blast. The conciliatory New Year's Address delivered by North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, which included no references to the nation's nuclear ambitions, was greeted in South Korea with hope for better relations in 2016, but such optimism was quickly dashed by detection of seismic activity in North Korea near previous nuclear test sites.

I have been thinking over the last month about what might be worth saying at this time when our work to stop drone killing and surveillance has been met with the announcement that the United States government intends to expand its drone program. And almost certainly the level of drone killing - assassination - is soaring as drones are integrated into an air war strategy that appears to be limitless in its intensity.

When Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan cited "Hitler's" Germany as a prime example to dramatically increase his executive branch powers, it seems that Godwin's Law just won't go away. Indeed, even Republican presidential contender Ben Carson and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just to name two more influential political leaders, appeared to also be channeling Godwin's Law.

Jan 07

Casualties of the US Nuclear Weapons Program

By Lawrence S. Wittner, Speakout | News Analysis

When Americans think about nuclear weapons, they comfort themselves with the thought that these weapons' vast destruction of human life has not taken place since 1945 - at least not yet. But, in reality, it has taken place, with shocking levels of US casualties. This point is borne out by a recently-published study by a team of investigative journalists at McClatchy News.

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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.

Jan 14

Surveillance and Surveys in Kabul

By Kathy Kelly, Speakout | Op-Ed

In Kabul, where the Afghan Peace Volunteers have hosted me in their community, the US military maintains a huge blimp equipped with cameras and computers to supply 24-hour surveillance of the city. All of this surveillance purportedly helps establish "patterns of life" and bring security to people living here. But this sort of "intelligence" discloses very little about experiences of poverty, chaos, hunger, child labor, homelessness and unemployment which afflict families across Afghanistan. 

Syriza's rise to power was accompanied by popular hopes for reform on all fronts: economic, environmental, political and cultural. Alas, none of the hopes became reality. In fact, instead of spurring positive social change, the governing Syriza party has followed closely in the footsteps of its predecessors.

When microbiologist Bruce Hemming was hired two years ago to test breast milk samples for residues of the key ingredient in the popular weed-killer Roundup, Hemming at first scoffed at the possibility. Hemming, the founder of St. Louis-based Microbe Inotech Laboratories, knew that the herbicidal ingredient called glyphosate was not supposed to accumulate in the human body.

Since 1992, when she was first elected to public office, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had a remarkable political career. It was therefore hardly a surprise that during the primaries for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton named Schultz as her nationalcampaign co-chair. When running that campaign, Schultz became a close ally of Clinton, a relationship that has endured to this day. Schultz herself has smugly proclaimed that she and Clinton enjoy "a special relationship." 

In wonderfully poetic prose, The Pedagogy of Insurrection helps readers better understand the overall project of critical pedagogy and its willingness to problematize the common understandings of oppressed peoples to facilitate their liberation from restrictive the thought patterns typically holding them in thrall. However, McLaren's book broadens that project to appreciatively include the realm of religion and theology by introducing readers to the emancipatory quality of liberation theology.

They have descended from homes built on the mountainside. Women sit together in the cemetery not to mourn but to wait for the duvet distribution to begin. When I approach them, each woman extends a hand in greeting. Some have the needed small stamped pieces of paper to receive two duvets but most don't. One of the women tells me about the pain in her chest, her legs. She talks about the war. I listen to all the manifestations of her suffering.

Jan 08

Nuclear Redux in North Korea

By Suzy Kim, Speakout | Op-Ed

North Korea announced the successful testing of a hydrogen bomb earlier this week, ringing in the New Year with an ominous blast. The conciliatory New Year's Address delivered by North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, which included no references to the nation's nuclear ambitions, was greeted in South Korea with hope for better relations in 2016, but such optimism was quickly dashed by detection of seismic activity in North Korea near previous nuclear test sites.

I have been thinking over the last month about what might be worth saying at this time when our work to stop drone killing and surveillance has been met with the announcement that the United States government intends to expand its drone program. And almost certainly the level of drone killing - assassination - is soaring as drones are integrated into an air war strategy that appears to be limitless in its intensity.

When Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan cited "Hitler's" Germany as a prime example to dramatically increase his executive branch powers, it seems that Godwin's Law just won't go away. Indeed, even Republican presidential contender Ben Carson and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just to name two more influential political leaders, appeared to also be channeling Godwin's Law.

Jan 07

Casualties of the US Nuclear Weapons Program

By Lawrence S. Wittner, Speakout | News Analysis

When Americans think about nuclear weapons, they comfort themselves with the thought that these weapons' vast destruction of human life has not taken place since 1945 - at least not yet. But, in reality, it has taken place, with shocking levels of US casualties. This point is borne out by a recently-published study by a team of investigative journalists at McClatchy News.