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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.

After a breakdown in mediation between the State of Israel and the Palestinian villages of Massafer Yatta, Israeli authorities destroyed 24 homes in the South Hebron Hills. The homes lie within an area which Israel claims as Firing Zone 918, in which approximately 1000 Palestinian civilians live in eight villages.

Feb 16

Grandma Drone Resister's Letter From Jail

By Mary Anne Grady Flores, Speakout | Op-Ed

That evening some of the fifty-nine women in our Pod rushed up and knocked on my cell door. They reported the six o'clock news had shown twelve drone resisters handcuffed, sitting on a roadside curb, waiting to be taken into custody. I just started my six-month sentence on January 19, for photographing protestors of the drone warfare directed out of Hancock Air Base in nearby Syracuse, New York. These eight protestors, many of whom are Catholic Workers, were later acquitted. 

The "pharma-bro," Martin Shkreli, who founded the company that purchased the rights to the AIDS drug Daraprim and dramatically increased the price, has disgusted Americans with his arrogant and self-righteous behavior while showing no remorse or accountability for his actions. However, when looking at US foreign policy, it is easy to find similarities between the perception of his actions and attitudes and international views of the US as a whole.

The world has become increasingly urbanized due to the demands of capital. Capital has at once made place incredibly important for accumulation purposes, while at the same time, creating a perpetual sense of insecurity among inhabitants of cities. Due to this compression of time and space, cities around the world are left competing for capital, which has been termed the "race to the bottom."

On February 8, 2016, HBO produced and released a 90-minute documentary called Homegrown: The Counter Terror Dilemma. The film follows several families affected by the "war on terror" and includes interviews with CIA, FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents who question the role of the US government in the surveillance and incarceration of "potential terrorist threats." My family is one of the stories documented.

The imminent pilgrimage to Mexico between February 12 and 18 of Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope, will highlight some of the most painful dimensions of the country's deepening human rights crisis. Liberation theology is a global phenomenon with unique roots and expressions in Latin America, which are reflected in the pope's trajectory before being elected to the position in 2013, and in his overall leadership since then.

Jessica Reznicek, 34, an Iowa peace activist, was arraigned and charged with two felonies for breaking three windows with a sledgehammer at the Northrup Grumman facility outside the Omaha Nebraska Strategic Air Command at Offut Air Force base. After her court appearance, she was returned to the Sarpy County Jail, where she has remained on $100,000 bond since her action on December 27, 2015. Reznicek, who has no plans to post a cash bond, is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted on both counts. Her trial is set for May 24.

For Krauthammer, as for so many other conservative thinkers who have never really evolved away from 19th century capitalist economic theory, conservatism in power means the "reform" of big government, or as he still describes it, "the 20th century welfare state." Reform essentially means significant downsizing of government in the name of individual "freedom," primarily in the marketplace, and, of course, a corresponding cut in taxes for the business class.

On World Cancer Day, Zahara Heckscher, a 51-year old mother and author from Washington, DC, who has been in treatment for advanced breast cancer for seven years, and Hannah Lyon, a 29-year old from California who is in treatment for advanced cervical cancer, linked arms and refused to leave the lobby of the office building that houses PhRMA, the trade association that has pushed for extreme monopolies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while dozens of supporters chanted outside, until they were arrested.

Feb 10

Larry Yarbrough: A Case for Clemency

By Mark Faulk, Speakout | Op-Ed

In Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's 2015 inaugural address, she promised to pursue "smart on crime" solutions to over-incarceration, saying that nonviolent drug offenders "don't need to spend long stints at the state penitentiary," and that they "need to be returned to their communities as sober adults ready to support themselves and their families."

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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.

After a breakdown in mediation between the State of Israel and the Palestinian villages of Massafer Yatta, Israeli authorities destroyed 24 homes in the South Hebron Hills. The homes lie within an area which Israel claims as Firing Zone 918, in which approximately 1000 Palestinian civilians live in eight villages.

Feb 16

Grandma Drone Resister's Letter From Jail

By Mary Anne Grady Flores, Speakout | Op-Ed

That evening some of the fifty-nine women in our Pod rushed up and knocked on my cell door. They reported the six o'clock news had shown twelve drone resisters handcuffed, sitting on a roadside curb, waiting to be taken into custody. I just started my six-month sentence on January 19, for photographing protestors of the drone warfare directed out of Hancock Air Base in nearby Syracuse, New York. These eight protestors, many of whom are Catholic Workers, were later acquitted. 

The "pharma-bro," Martin Shkreli, who founded the company that purchased the rights to the AIDS drug Daraprim and dramatically increased the price, has disgusted Americans with his arrogant and self-righteous behavior while showing no remorse or accountability for his actions. However, when looking at US foreign policy, it is easy to find similarities between the perception of his actions and attitudes and international views of the US as a whole.

The world has become increasingly urbanized due to the demands of capital. Capital has at once made place incredibly important for accumulation purposes, while at the same time, creating a perpetual sense of insecurity among inhabitants of cities. Due to this compression of time and space, cities around the world are left competing for capital, which has been termed the "race to the bottom."

On February 8, 2016, HBO produced and released a 90-minute documentary called Homegrown: The Counter Terror Dilemma. The film follows several families affected by the "war on terror" and includes interviews with CIA, FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents who question the role of the US government in the surveillance and incarceration of "potential terrorist threats." My family is one of the stories documented.

The imminent pilgrimage to Mexico between February 12 and 18 of Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope, will highlight some of the most painful dimensions of the country's deepening human rights crisis. Liberation theology is a global phenomenon with unique roots and expressions in Latin America, which are reflected in the pope's trajectory before being elected to the position in 2013, and in his overall leadership since then.

Jessica Reznicek, 34, an Iowa peace activist, was arraigned and charged with two felonies for breaking three windows with a sledgehammer at the Northrup Grumman facility outside the Omaha Nebraska Strategic Air Command at Offut Air Force base. After her court appearance, she was returned to the Sarpy County Jail, where she has remained on $100,000 bond since her action on December 27, 2015. Reznicek, who has no plans to post a cash bond, is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted on both counts. Her trial is set for May 24.

For Krauthammer, as for so many other conservative thinkers who have never really evolved away from 19th century capitalist economic theory, conservatism in power means the "reform" of big government, or as he still describes it, "the 20th century welfare state." Reform essentially means significant downsizing of government in the name of individual "freedom," primarily in the marketplace, and, of course, a corresponding cut in taxes for the business class.

On World Cancer Day, Zahara Heckscher, a 51-year old mother and author from Washington, DC, who has been in treatment for advanced breast cancer for seven years, and Hannah Lyon, a 29-year old from California who is in treatment for advanced cervical cancer, linked arms and refused to leave the lobby of the office building that houses PhRMA, the trade association that has pushed for extreme monopolies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while dozens of supporters chanted outside, until they were arrested.

Feb 10

Larry Yarbrough: A Case for Clemency

By Mark Faulk, Speakout | Op-Ed

In Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's 2015 inaugural address, she promised to pursue "smart on crime" solutions to over-incarceration, saying that nonviolent drug offenders "don't need to spend long stints at the state penitentiary," and that they "need to be returned to their communities as sober adults ready to support themselves and their families."