Wednesday, 29 June 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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.

On Thursday, September 3, 2015, South Carolina state prosecutors announced their plans to seek the death penalty for Dylann Storm Roof, who has been charged with nine counts of murder for his killing spree at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church early this summer. As Solicitor Scarlett Wilson put it, "This was the ultimate crime," and as such, "justice from our state calls for the ultimate punishment."

On August 29, over 20,000 people reportedly marched in Birmingham, Alabama, led by conservative pundit Glenn Beck as part of reactionary response to the Black Lives Matter movement. The march touted the slogan, "All Lives Matter."

Any illusion to embracing of diversity led by Glenn Beck should be called into question. He has built his career on making outrageous accusations and comparisons on his nationally syndicated radio show, his books and as a pundit on CNN and Fox News.

The ongoing debates within Europe about whether migrants, refugees or exiles should be welcomed or the morally dubious debates about how many are acceptable, bearable or sustainable have been widely reported in the media. To some extent there is a similar debate in the US about Syrian refugees.

Sep 17

Finding Sacagawea in El Salvador

By Anna Ochoa O’Leary, Speakout | Op-Ed

Sacagawea was a Native American (Shoshone) who in 1804 made history by guiding the Louis and Clark expedition that helped establish trade with the Native Americans in the West, and advanced America's transcontinental expansion to the Pacific.The coin was unpopular and it disappeared from circulation.

However, on a recent trip, I found where Sacagawea went. She is in El Salvador where she is ubiquitous in the daily and constant exchange between vendors and customers. 

It's no exaggeration to say that we live in a corporate state, where the country, the states and our local communities are indirectly governed by those who control wealthy corporations. But belief in the myth of an American Way of Life based on the authority of self-governing people and the consent of the governed has deep roots. What will it take to convince the skeptics that those roots have been torn up and that democracy is withering on the vine?

This summer I made several trips to Ferguson and Baltimore, not only as one in great solidarity with protesting efforts but as a researcher, too. My several trips to both locations have impacted me tremendously as a criminologist. Though I have had perfect training in critical theory and, not to mention, my biography, which informs me (as it does anyone else), I have been more enriched by stepping into the intersectional realities of others whom are like myself (in racial heritage, etc.), but who exist in different social categories and spaces.

By issuing its new memorandum the Justice Department is tacitly admitting that its experiment in refusing to prosecute thesenior bankers that led the fraud epidemics that caused our economic crisis failed. The result was the death of accountability, of justice, and of deterrence. The result was a wave of recidivism in which elite bankers continued to defraud the public after promising to cease their crimes. The new Justice Department policy, correctly, restores the Department's publicly stated policy in Spring 2009.

Private control over public goods (i.e., privatization) comes in many forms. Higher education is a classic example of a public good - it shouldbe available to as many people as possible. Yet, as Adam Davidson reveals in an article published last week in The New York Times Magazine, rising tuition, reduced public spending, and market logic are increasingly reshaping our higher education system.

Sep 14

Will Monsanto Launch another "Sneak Attack" in Congress?

By Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association | Op-Ed

So we were told recently by a Senate staffer, during one of the many meetings we've held with Senators to urge them to reject HR 1599, or what we refer to as the DARK - Deny Americans the Right to Know - Act.

Could that comment mean Monsanto is cooking up another "sneak attack," similar to the one it conducted in 2013, that led to passage of the Monsanto Protection Act?

With criminal legal system reform figuring prominently in the early stages of the 2016 presidential race, its national moment has undeniably arrived. And with it, our country's march - or rather grueling slog - toward a system of greater humanity is rightfully celebrated. After all, we stand at the brink of repairing an institution that violently mocks US rhetoric about justice and equality. Excitement naturally flows from the near reversal of a policy hellscape that's claimed the lives of so many.

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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.

On Thursday, September 3, 2015, South Carolina state prosecutors announced their plans to seek the death penalty for Dylann Storm Roof, who has been charged with nine counts of murder for his killing spree at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church early this summer. As Solicitor Scarlett Wilson put it, "This was the ultimate crime," and as such, "justice from our state calls for the ultimate punishment."

On August 29, over 20,000 people reportedly marched in Birmingham, Alabama, led by conservative pundit Glenn Beck as part of reactionary response to the Black Lives Matter movement. The march touted the slogan, "All Lives Matter."

Any illusion to embracing of diversity led by Glenn Beck should be called into question. He has built his career on making outrageous accusations and comparisons on his nationally syndicated radio show, his books and as a pundit on CNN and Fox News.

The ongoing debates within Europe about whether migrants, refugees or exiles should be welcomed or the morally dubious debates about how many are acceptable, bearable or sustainable have been widely reported in the media. To some extent there is a similar debate in the US about Syrian refugees.

Sep 17

Finding Sacagawea in El Salvador

By Anna Ochoa O’Leary, Speakout | Op-Ed

Sacagawea was a Native American (Shoshone) who in 1804 made history by guiding the Louis and Clark expedition that helped establish trade with the Native Americans in the West, and advanced America's transcontinental expansion to the Pacific.The coin was unpopular and it disappeared from circulation.

However, on a recent trip, I found where Sacagawea went. She is in El Salvador where she is ubiquitous in the daily and constant exchange between vendors and customers. 

It's no exaggeration to say that we live in a corporate state, where the country, the states and our local communities are indirectly governed by those who control wealthy corporations. But belief in the myth of an American Way of Life based on the authority of self-governing people and the consent of the governed has deep roots. What will it take to convince the skeptics that those roots have been torn up and that democracy is withering on the vine?

This summer I made several trips to Ferguson and Baltimore, not only as one in great solidarity with protesting efforts but as a researcher, too. My several trips to both locations have impacted me tremendously as a criminologist. Though I have had perfect training in critical theory and, not to mention, my biography, which informs me (as it does anyone else), I have been more enriched by stepping into the intersectional realities of others whom are like myself (in racial heritage, etc.), but who exist in different social categories and spaces.

By issuing its new memorandum the Justice Department is tacitly admitting that its experiment in refusing to prosecute thesenior bankers that led the fraud epidemics that caused our economic crisis failed. The result was the death of accountability, of justice, and of deterrence. The result was a wave of recidivism in which elite bankers continued to defraud the public after promising to cease their crimes. The new Justice Department policy, correctly, restores the Department's publicly stated policy in Spring 2009.

Private control over public goods (i.e., privatization) comes in many forms. Higher education is a classic example of a public good - it shouldbe available to as many people as possible. Yet, as Adam Davidson reveals in an article published last week in The New York Times Magazine, rising tuition, reduced public spending, and market logic are increasingly reshaping our higher education system.

Sep 14

Will Monsanto Launch another "Sneak Attack" in Congress?

By Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association | Op-Ed

So we were told recently by a Senate staffer, during one of the many meetings we've held with Senators to urge them to reject HR 1599, or what we refer to as the DARK - Deny Americans the Right to Know - Act.

Could that comment mean Monsanto is cooking up another "sneak attack," similar to the one it conducted in 2013, that led to passage of the Monsanto Protection Act?

With criminal legal system reform figuring prominently in the early stages of the 2016 presidential race, its national moment has undeniably arrived. And with it, our country's march - or rather grueling slog - toward a system of greater humanity is rightfully celebrated. After all, we stand at the brink of repairing an institution that violently mocks US rhetoric about justice and equality. Excitement naturally flows from the near reversal of a policy hellscape that's claimed the lives of so many.