Thursday, 25 May 2017 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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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.

Sep 05

Israel Says: Rachel Made Me Do It

By Lawrence Davidson, SpeakOut | News Analysis

On 16 March 2003, the last day of her life, 23 year old Rachel Corrie was in the Gaza town of Rafah standing in front of the Palestinian family home (not just a house) of Dr. Samir Nasrallah. Dr. Nasrallah was a local pharmacist and Ms Corrie had been staying with his family while serving as part of an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) cadre seeking to disrupt the Israeli army’s (IDF) on-going demolition of Palestinian homes. Between 2000 and 2004, the Israelis had destroyed enough homes in the Rafah area to leave some 1700 people homeless.

The Israeli army claimed they did this because these homes were used as “terrorist hiding places.” The result, they claimed, was frequent gunfire at Israeli settlements and soldiers. Yet for the time that Ms Corrie stayed with the Nasrallahs, everyone in the home had slept on the floor and away from the windows to avoid a constant barrage of gunfire from Israeli snipers.

Sep 05

Who Owns Detroit?

By Critical Moment, Critical Moment | News Analysis

We Detroiters are now entering a period of turmoil that is quite different in character from the devastation of the last 40 years. The crisis we find ourselves in is a bankruptcy that is both economic and political.

It is economic in the sense that the twin forces of industrial abandonment and depopulation that have been pulling Detroit down for so long have left the city with empty pockets and a ruined tax base. This situation has been made all the worse by the political games of the governor, right-wing think tanks and their pawns on both sides of the aisle in Lansing who are using the state's poorer urban centers as experimental laboratories to develop a new type of uniquely American austerity.

Sep 05

Undercover Agents Assault Journalists at Democratic Convention in Charlotte

By Steve Horn and Kevin Gosztola, SpeakOut | Press Release

Charlotte, NC — Two journalists covering the Democratic National Convention were confronted on Sunday by two undercover agents who assaulted one and threatened to punch the other in the mouth for photographing them.

The two journalists, Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Steve Horn, a Truthout contributor credentialed to cover the DNC for WORT-FM in Madison, Wisconsin, took notice of four burly middle-aged white males during a public march. The four were taking photos of the undocumented immigrant contingent in the march. They were carrying "No Papers, No Fear" blue flags and had put stickers from Code Pink on their person to make it seem like they were protesters in the demonstration. One man in an orange shirt had a black piece in one of his ears.

Sep 05

Why #OccupyIsaac Makes Sense

By Gary Roland, InterOccupy | News Analysis

If you haven't heard yet a historic coalition is being built in the City of New Orleans to help not only those displaced and left in need by Hurricane Isaac, but also the almost 10,000 people who have been left homeless since Katrina struck 7 years ago. The Occupy Movement is using the communications capabilities of InterOccupy and its national & international reach, to bring together the Common Ground Collective & Food Not Bombs, in a relief effort that will force our political system and the mainstream media into a conversation about the human impact of global warming.

Oakland - The Yes on Proposition 37 California Right to Know Campaign will air its first television ad today with a significant statewide television buy that directly challenges the credibility of the big corporations that are now working to deny Californians the right to know what’s in their food.

Proposition 37, which will be on the California ballot in November, would be the first law in the U.S. requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods.

"You see the Republican convention?"

"I can't look at that. I'd get so upset."

"It was worse than you think—like a Klan rally."

That little back and forth came courtesy of colleagues—-well, on one of my gigs; don't get me started on that story—-discussing the second or third evening of that raucous gathering in Florida. The woman calling the Republican convention a Klan rally I would not call a militant. Frankly, she's usually the least angry black person in the office. You know one of those black people who always think you're blaming white people—for everything? Trayvon Martin? Please, child. You got more blacks killing each other than whites. You know. That person.

Sep 04

The Motion of Heavenly Bodies

By Shahid Mahmood, SpeakOut | Opinion

Sir Isaac Newton said, "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people." There is no disputing physics -- it is a science that involves the analysis of matter and its motion through both space and time. Motion is a human propensity, embedded in our genetic code. Humans are always on the move – migrating and evolving, whether pushing the limits of physical prowess or rocketing a probe to Mars. The right to mobility is considered a basic human entitlement -- enshrined in the constitutions of many sovereign states. This right asserts that citizens have the liberty to travel, reside, and work in a place of their choosing.

Aug 30

Tito's Class-Conscious Classifieds

By Susie Day, Speakout | Satire

In a recent PBS interview with Bill Moyers, journalist Chris Hedges discussed protest for social change. "Revolt," he said, apropos of salvaging a collapsing world, "is all we have. It is our only hope."

I agree. So would my friend Tito Gerassi, who believed all his life in revolution. And, since rising unemployment is part of the collapse of our world, I think Tito would have enjoyed making occupying Wall Street, and other forms of social activism, into respectable occupations. Think of the job market potential...

The scariest part of being pregnant with my first kid has been the overwhelming fear that an impending maternal instinct will, upon the little creature's arrival, wipe out all traces of my former self and transform me into the kind of psycho-mom who not only rejoices at negating her own identity in the name of her child, but vaunts this state of sacrificial maternal nothingness as the epitome of female existential plenitude. 

Lucky for me, I've been able to grapple with this fear in tandem with the well-timed onslaught of books and articles about the so-called "Mommy Wars..." While some of these writings were thought-provoking and others nausea-making, it's been nice having the growth of my uterus paralleled by the crescendo of debate about what, exactly, motherhood is. Much of the recent U.S. media discussion about mommy-ing boils down to this question: how much sacrifice is natural to the maternal role and how much is socially imposed?

Aug 30

Learning to Hate Longhorn Football

By Robert Jensen, Truthout | Op-Ed

Today, I dislike almost everything about football - the senseless violence, the fans reveling in that violence, the pathological glorification of competition, the sexual objectification of female cheerleaders and dancers, the obscene amounts of money spent on the spectacle.

Yes, I know that for some young people football can be a great character-building and teamwork-enhancing experience. But weigh it all up, the positive and the destructive, and football is a loser...Like many faculty members, I don't hesitate to criticize the university's obsession with athletics or to ask students to reflect on what that obsession teaches us about the university's priorities and values. Such critique is easy when the head football coach's salary gets bumped to $5.2 million a year as the university struggles with budget cuts.

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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.

Sep 05

Israel Says: Rachel Made Me Do It

By Lawrence Davidson, SpeakOut | News Analysis

On 16 March 2003, the last day of her life, 23 year old Rachel Corrie was in the Gaza town of Rafah standing in front of the Palestinian family home (not just a house) of Dr. Samir Nasrallah. Dr. Nasrallah was a local pharmacist and Ms Corrie had been staying with his family while serving as part of an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) cadre seeking to disrupt the Israeli army’s (IDF) on-going demolition of Palestinian homes. Between 2000 and 2004, the Israelis had destroyed enough homes in the Rafah area to leave some 1700 people homeless.

The Israeli army claimed they did this because these homes were used as “terrorist hiding places.” The result, they claimed, was frequent gunfire at Israeli settlements and soldiers. Yet for the time that Ms Corrie stayed with the Nasrallahs, everyone in the home had slept on the floor and away from the windows to avoid a constant barrage of gunfire from Israeli snipers.

Sep 05

Who Owns Detroit?

By Critical Moment, Critical Moment | News Analysis

We Detroiters are now entering a period of turmoil that is quite different in character from the devastation of the last 40 years. The crisis we find ourselves in is a bankruptcy that is both economic and political.

It is economic in the sense that the twin forces of industrial abandonment and depopulation that have been pulling Detroit down for so long have left the city with empty pockets and a ruined tax base. This situation has been made all the worse by the political games of the governor, right-wing think tanks and their pawns on both sides of the aisle in Lansing who are using the state's poorer urban centers as experimental laboratories to develop a new type of uniquely American austerity.

Sep 05

Undercover Agents Assault Journalists at Democratic Convention in Charlotte

By Steve Horn and Kevin Gosztola, SpeakOut | Press Release

Charlotte, NC — Two journalists covering the Democratic National Convention were confronted on Sunday by two undercover agents who assaulted one and threatened to punch the other in the mouth for photographing them.

The two journalists, Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com and Steve Horn, a Truthout contributor credentialed to cover the DNC for WORT-FM in Madison, Wisconsin, took notice of four burly middle-aged white males during a public march. The four were taking photos of the undocumented immigrant contingent in the march. They were carrying "No Papers, No Fear" blue flags and had put stickers from Code Pink on their person to make it seem like they were protesters in the demonstration. One man in an orange shirt had a black piece in one of his ears.

Sep 05

Why #OccupyIsaac Makes Sense

By Gary Roland, InterOccupy | News Analysis

If you haven't heard yet a historic coalition is being built in the City of New Orleans to help not only those displaced and left in need by Hurricane Isaac, but also the almost 10,000 people who have been left homeless since Katrina struck 7 years ago. The Occupy Movement is using the communications capabilities of InterOccupy and its national & international reach, to bring together the Common Ground Collective & Food Not Bombs, in a relief effort that will force our political system and the mainstream media into a conversation about the human impact of global warming.

Oakland - The Yes on Proposition 37 California Right to Know Campaign will air its first television ad today with a significant statewide television buy that directly challenges the credibility of the big corporations that are now working to deny Californians the right to know what’s in their food.

Proposition 37, which will be on the California ballot in November, would be the first law in the U.S. requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods.

"You see the Republican convention?"

"I can't look at that. I'd get so upset."

"It was worse than you think—like a Klan rally."

That little back and forth came courtesy of colleagues—-well, on one of my gigs; don't get me started on that story—-discussing the second or third evening of that raucous gathering in Florida. The woman calling the Republican convention a Klan rally I would not call a militant. Frankly, she's usually the least angry black person in the office. You know one of those black people who always think you're blaming white people—for everything? Trayvon Martin? Please, child. You got more blacks killing each other than whites. You know. That person.

Sep 04

The Motion of Heavenly Bodies

By Shahid Mahmood, SpeakOut | Opinion

Sir Isaac Newton said, "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people." There is no disputing physics -- it is a science that involves the analysis of matter and its motion through both space and time. Motion is a human propensity, embedded in our genetic code. Humans are always on the move – migrating and evolving, whether pushing the limits of physical prowess or rocketing a probe to Mars. The right to mobility is considered a basic human entitlement -- enshrined in the constitutions of many sovereign states. This right asserts that citizens have the liberty to travel, reside, and work in a place of their choosing.

Aug 30

Tito's Class-Conscious Classifieds

By Susie Day, Speakout | Satire

In a recent PBS interview with Bill Moyers, journalist Chris Hedges discussed protest for social change. "Revolt," he said, apropos of salvaging a collapsing world, "is all we have. It is our only hope."

I agree. So would my friend Tito Gerassi, who believed all his life in revolution. And, since rising unemployment is part of the collapse of our world, I think Tito would have enjoyed making occupying Wall Street, and other forms of social activism, into respectable occupations. Think of the job market potential...

The scariest part of being pregnant with my first kid has been the overwhelming fear that an impending maternal instinct will, upon the little creature's arrival, wipe out all traces of my former self and transform me into the kind of psycho-mom who not only rejoices at negating her own identity in the name of her child, but vaunts this state of sacrificial maternal nothingness as the epitome of female existential plenitude. 

Lucky for me, I've been able to grapple with this fear in tandem with the well-timed onslaught of books and articles about the so-called "Mommy Wars..." While some of these writings were thought-provoking and others nausea-making, it's been nice having the growth of my uterus paralleled by the crescendo of debate about what, exactly, motherhood is. Much of the recent U.S. media discussion about mommy-ing boils down to this question: how much sacrifice is natural to the maternal role and how much is socially imposed?

Aug 30

Learning to Hate Longhorn Football

By Robert Jensen, Truthout | Op-Ed

Today, I dislike almost everything about football - the senseless violence, the fans reveling in that violence, the pathological glorification of competition, the sexual objectification of female cheerleaders and dancers, the obscene amounts of money spent on the spectacle.

Yes, I know that for some young people football can be a great character-building and teamwork-enhancing experience. But weigh it all up, the positive and the destructive, and football is a loser...Like many faculty members, I don't hesitate to criticize the university's obsession with athletics or to ask students to reflect on what that obsession teaches us about the university's priorities and values. Such critique is easy when the head football coach's salary gets bumped to $5.2 million a year as the university struggles with budget cuts.