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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.

Dec 29

How Can We Win "America's Peace"?

By Robert Hinds, Speakout | Op-Ed

The United States is in a standoff with Russia over Ukraine. The "war on terror" has been ongoing for 14 years. US political pressure is being brought to bear on any kind of a negotiated agreement with Iran. US military involvement continues in Iraq and Afghanistan as tensions rise with other powers in the region. Yemen is dissolving into a state of civil war and Syria has become a crucible of international conflict, record refugee flight and armed rebellion.

Dec 29

Let Us Build Bridges

By Majd Isreb, Speakout | Op-Ed

At times of increased tension, both ISIL and racists in the west are taking a similar path to polarize the public. I'd propose an alternative approach to avoid a bleak future with limited civil liberties. Coming back from a medical mission that treated the unfortunate Syrian refugees in Jordan, I could imagine the customs and border protection officer denying my entrance to the country of my citizenship because I am a Muslim.

There's an alarming trend that few seem to have noticed: According to World Values Survey data, a growing number of Americans believe that having a democratic system is a bad idea. Using the annual average rate of growth from 1995-2011, I've estimated that over 60 million Americans - that's more than twice the size of Texas - are of this view today. 

Glenn Edward Greenwald is an American lawyer, journalist and author. In June 2013, Greenwald became widely known after The Guardian published the first of a series of reports detailing United States and British global surveillance programs, based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. The series on which Greenwald worked along with others won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. 

The Force Awakens is the most racially diverse and feminist of the franchise. Its leads are two men of color and a white woman. Some fans seethed at the new cast but they are the result of conflicting values within Star Wars. On one side, progressive politics; on the other, a racial and gender conservatism. The first film came out in 1977, it's only now, more than three decades later that this fictional world is catching up with the diversity of our real one.

Let's be clear. Most modern liberal democracies have not come close to reaching gender parity in politics. In 2015, the global participation rate of women in parliament hovers around 20 percent, according to UN women. In the United States, only 104 (76 Democrats and 28 Republican) members of Congress are women, making women 19.4 percent of the 535 members. 

Protests for the racial equity at Ithaca College date back to 1964, when students joined in the first March on Washington. Another upsurge in protests for racial equity occurred in 2001, when students and faculty refused to attend classes on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Today, demonstrations continue to demand racial equity.    

Most people who have explored options or purchased health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges learned quickly that premiums and deductibles are closely related - the lower the premiums, the higher the deductibles will be. This is the insurance industry's come-on way of attracting enrollees, which may work at first but not in the longer run. Here we examine what this inter-relationship means for many millions of Americans as premiums go up and coverage goes down.

In a creative protest in Nazareth in January 2015, activists from Dream Defenders and the Black Lives Matter movement conjoined their (post-)colonial anxiety transnationally with the geopolitical conditions experienced by Palestinians, reaffirming Black solidarity with Palestine, chanting "free Palestine" in Arabic and "Black lives matter" in English. The reciprocal African-American and Palestinian apprehension of the other's suffering is accentuated in the contemporary revival of a historically present bond.  

In all of the Republican presidential debates - including the one last Tuesday - candidates were quick to call for large increases in military spending. Indeed, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has repeatedly dubbed himself the "most militaristic" of his challengers.

But a massive defense buildup - like the one during the Reagan administration - is a dangerous proposal.

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Featured On Speakout

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.

Dec 29

How Can We Win "America's Peace"?

By Robert Hinds, Speakout | Op-Ed

The United States is in a standoff with Russia over Ukraine. The "war on terror" has been ongoing for 14 years. US political pressure is being brought to bear on any kind of a negotiated agreement with Iran. US military involvement continues in Iraq and Afghanistan as tensions rise with other powers in the region. Yemen is dissolving into a state of civil war and Syria has become a crucible of international conflict, record refugee flight and armed rebellion.

Dec 29

Let Us Build Bridges

By Majd Isreb, Speakout | Op-Ed

At times of increased tension, both ISIL and racists in the west are taking a similar path to polarize the public. I'd propose an alternative approach to avoid a bleak future with limited civil liberties. Coming back from a medical mission that treated the unfortunate Syrian refugees in Jordan, I could imagine the customs and border protection officer denying my entrance to the country of my citizenship because I am a Muslim.

There's an alarming trend that few seem to have noticed: According to World Values Survey data, a growing number of Americans believe that having a democratic system is a bad idea. Using the annual average rate of growth from 1995-2011, I've estimated that over 60 million Americans - that's more than twice the size of Texas - are of this view today. 

Glenn Edward Greenwald is an American lawyer, journalist and author. In June 2013, Greenwald became widely known after The Guardian published the first of a series of reports detailing United States and British global surveillance programs, based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. The series on which Greenwald worked along with others won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. 

The Force Awakens is the most racially diverse and feminist of the franchise. Its leads are two men of color and a white woman. Some fans seethed at the new cast but they are the result of conflicting values within Star Wars. On one side, progressive politics; on the other, a racial and gender conservatism. The first film came out in 1977, it's only now, more than three decades later that this fictional world is catching up with the diversity of our real one.

Let's be clear. Most modern liberal democracies have not come close to reaching gender parity in politics. In 2015, the global participation rate of women in parliament hovers around 20 percent, according to UN women. In the United States, only 104 (76 Democrats and 28 Republican) members of Congress are women, making women 19.4 percent of the 535 members. 

Protests for the racial equity at Ithaca College date back to 1964, when students joined in the first March on Washington. Another upsurge in protests for racial equity occurred in 2001, when students and faculty refused to attend classes on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Today, demonstrations continue to demand racial equity.    

Most people who have explored options or purchased health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges learned quickly that premiums and deductibles are closely related - the lower the premiums, the higher the deductibles will be. This is the insurance industry's come-on way of attracting enrollees, which may work at first but not in the longer run. Here we examine what this inter-relationship means for many millions of Americans as premiums go up and coverage goes down.

In a creative protest in Nazareth in January 2015, activists from Dream Defenders and the Black Lives Matter movement conjoined their (post-)colonial anxiety transnationally with the geopolitical conditions experienced by Palestinians, reaffirming Black solidarity with Palestine, chanting "free Palestine" in Arabic and "Black lives matter" in English. The reciprocal African-American and Palestinian apprehension of the other's suffering is accentuated in the contemporary revival of a historically present bond.  

In all of the Republican presidential debates - including the one last Tuesday - candidates were quick to call for large increases in military spending. Indeed, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has repeatedly dubbed himself the "most militaristic" of his challengers.

But a massive defense buildup - like the one during the Reagan administration - is a dangerous proposal.