Sunday, 30 August 2015 / 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.

Long Beach, California — Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run "aquifer exemption" workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California's underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

"Instead of this 'Toxic Dumping for Dummies' class, Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators should protect our water from oil waste," said Ash Lauth of Californians Against Fracking. "During this devastating drought, oilcompanies shouldn't be allowed to use our aquifers as trash dumps for fracking flowback and other dangerous fluids."

Join us for PEACE AND PLANET, a mobilization to build a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world!

April 24-26, New York City

Indigenous organizations and thousands of people from around the world have called on delegates attending a major conference on the illegal wildlife trade to recognize tribal peoples' right to hunt for their survival.

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples' rights, indigenous organizations from Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya and many other countries, and over 80 experts on hunter-gatherers, have urged delegates attending an intergovernmental conference in Kasane, Botswana, on March 25, to recognize that tribal people should not be treated as criminals when they hunt to feedtheir families.

Mar 25

There Is No Palestinian Problem...Yet

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

For all of the energy, emotion, for all of the massacres that have occurred over the past several decades in the Holy Land, for all of the advocacy of one-state or two-state solutions, there has never quite been an acknowledgement that there has yet really to be a problem.

Yes, you've heard me correctly.  What is the problem?

Mar 24

The Need for Wisdom

By Marcus Peter Ford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, is subtitled, "Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere." The University of Everywhere, however, could just as easily be called the University of Nowhere because it exists only on the internet.

Minerva University, named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom, is just this type of university. Minerva is the brain-child of multi-millionaire and former Snapfish president, Ben Nelson. As a freshman at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nelson concluded that there was a more rational way to structure higher education, one predicated on certain modes of analysis and skills. All students should be required to take the same courses their freshmen year - formal analysis (mathematics); empirical analysis (science); complex system (social sciences), and multimodal communication (writing, rhetoric, and public speaking). These four courses constitute to the basis of all subsequent study at Minerva.

Ten hours by bus coming from Mexico City, I finally arrived in the tiny remote municipality, surrounded by mountains and a dense fog, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The town boasts about 21,000 people, many of whom are self-sustained farmers.

Each year, over 120,000 people come from places such as this in Hidalgo to work under an H2-A VISA in agriculture and in other industries like landscaping, construction - and crab picking under an H2-B VISA.

Mar 24

Naked Bibi

By Dr. James J. Zogby, Arab American Institute | Op-Ed

In the lead up to Israel's March 17 election, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, fearful that he might lose his re-election bid, threw caution to the wind making blatant appeals to scare voters into returning him to office. He did so not caring who he alienated or what the consequences of his behavior might be. I have always argued that in the animal kingdom there is no creature more dangerous than a panicking politician and, in the last few days, Bibi was one such creature.   

The day before votes were cast, Netanyahu gave a series of interviews to friendly media outlets developing themes that preyed on Israeli fears: of Palestinians, of "foreign conspiracies," and of Israel's own Arab citizens. He charged, for example, that if his opponents won, they would submit to the pressures of the international community leading to the creation of "Hamastan B" in Jerusalem. In another interview he said, "...anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian State and evacuate territory, gives territory away to radical Islamists." And when asked if that meant he was backing away from his 2009 pledge to support a two-state solution, Netanyahu responded "Indeed."

On Friday, March 20th, I spoke at the University of the District of Columbia Law School in Washington, D.C., as part of a series of teach-ins about peace organized by SpringRising.org. While there, a young man in a suit with a Russianaccent approached me. He gave me his card, which says at the top "Embassy of the Russian Federation." It identifies him as a Major and as The Air Attaché Assistant. His name: Alexsei G. Padalko. The card includes the address of theRussian Embassy in Washington, two phone numbers, a fax number, and a gmail email address. His name appears on lists of diplomats on the websites of the Russian Embassy and the U.S. State Department.

Alexsei bought one of my books, which I signed, but he said he had another he hadn't brought with him and wanted signed, and he wanted to discuss working together for peace. I said I'd meet him the next day at a coffee shop. When we met, he began talking about having information about Ukraine. He wanted to slip me articles already written and payme to publish them under my name. He claimed a personal interest in peace and a desire to keep this secret from his employers.

Thanks to "Waiting for Fahd: One Family's Hope for Life beyond Guantánamo," you know something about CCR client Fahd Ghazy, detained at Guantánamo since he was 17, never charged, twice cleared for release, waiting to be reunited with his teenage daughter whom he last saw as a baby. But today we want to tell you about some of the other men held illegally and unjustly in Guantánamo. Omar Farah and Aliya Hussain spent last week at the detention facility and, in addition to Fahd, met with our clients Tariq Ba OdahMohammed Al Hamiri and Ghaleb Al Bihani. Like Fahd, they are all from Yemen, all cleared for release – and yet still not free. Aliya and Omar gave a live report back on their visits from Guantánamo on Thursday.

As I write this, Pacific Islanders in Vanuatu are left picking up the pieces after the worst natural disaster in recent memory ripped through the region. Vanuatu's president referred to Cyclone Pam as a "monster," a storm that singlehandedly leveled the capital city leaving at least sixteen confirmed dead and countless others displaced.

Closer to home, Boston is still digging out from its snowiest winter on record. Meanwhile, drought continues to plague California, and a NASA scientist recently warned the state has just one year of water supply left in its reservoirs.

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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.

Long Beach, California — Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run "aquifer exemption" workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California's underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

"Instead of this 'Toxic Dumping for Dummies' class, Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators should protect our water from oil waste," said Ash Lauth of Californians Against Fracking. "During this devastating drought, oilcompanies shouldn't be allowed to use our aquifers as trash dumps for fracking flowback and other dangerous fluids."

Join us for PEACE AND PLANET, a mobilization to build a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world!

April 24-26, New York City

Indigenous organizations and thousands of people from around the world have called on delegates attending a major conference on the illegal wildlife trade to recognize tribal peoples' right to hunt for their survival.

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples' rights, indigenous organizations from Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya and many other countries, and over 80 experts on hunter-gatherers, have urged delegates attending an intergovernmental conference in Kasane, Botswana, on March 25, to recognize that tribal people should not be treated as criminals when they hunt to feedtheir families.

Mar 25

There Is No Palestinian Problem...Yet

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

For all of the energy, emotion, for all of the massacres that have occurred over the past several decades in the Holy Land, for all of the advocacy of one-state or two-state solutions, there has never quite been an acknowledgement that there has yet really to be a problem.

Yes, you've heard me correctly.  What is the problem?

Mar 24

The Need for Wisdom

By Marcus Peter Ford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, is subtitled, "Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere." The University of Everywhere, however, could just as easily be called the University of Nowhere because it exists only on the internet.

Minerva University, named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom, is just this type of university. Minerva is the brain-child of multi-millionaire and former Snapfish president, Ben Nelson. As a freshman at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nelson concluded that there was a more rational way to structure higher education, one predicated on certain modes of analysis and skills. All students should be required to take the same courses their freshmen year - formal analysis (mathematics); empirical analysis (science); complex system (social sciences), and multimodal communication (writing, rhetoric, and public speaking). These four courses constitute to the basis of all subsequent study at Minerva.

Ten hours by bus coming from Mexico City, I finally arrived in the tiny remote municipality, surrounded by mountains and a dense fog, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The town boasts about 21,000 people, many of whom are self-sustained farmers.

Each year, over 120,000 people come from places such as this in Hidalgo to work under an H2-A VISA in agriculture and in other industries like landscaping, construction - and crab picking under an H2-B VISA.

Mar 24

Naked Bibi

By Dr. James J. Zogby, Arab American Institute | Op-Ed

In the lead up to Israel's March 17 election, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, fearful that he might lose his re-election bid, threw caution to the wind making blatant appeals to scare voters into returning him to office. He did so not caring who he alienated or what the consequences of his behavior might be. I have always argued that in the animal kingdom there is no creature more dangerous than a panicking politician and, in the last few days, Bibi was one such creature.   

The day before votes were cast, Netanyahu gave a series of interviews to friendly media outlets developing themes that preyed on Israeli fears: of Palestinians, of "foreign conspiracies," and of Israel's own Arab citizens. He charged, for example, that if his opponents won, they would submit to the pressures of the international community leading to the creation of "Hamastan B" in Jerusalem. In another interview he said, "...anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian State and evacuate territory, gives territory away to radical Islamists." And when asked if that meant he was backing away from his 2009 pledge to support a two-state solution, Netanyahu responded "Indeed."

On Friday, March 20th, I spoke at the University of the District of Columbia Law School in Washington, D.C., as part of a series of teach-ins about peace organized by SpringRising.org. While there, a young man in a suit with a Russianaccent approached me. He gave me his card, which says at the top "Embassy of the Russian Federation." It identifies him as a Major and as The Air Attaché Assistant. His name: Alexsei G. Padalko. The card includes the address of theRussian Embassy in Washington, two phone numbers, a fax number, and a gmail email address. His name appears on lists of diplomats on the websites of the Russian Embassy and the U.S. State Department.

Alexsei bought one of my books, which I signed, but he said he had another he hadn't brought with him and wanted signed, and he wanted to discuss working together for peace. I said I'd meet him the next day at a coffee shop. When we met, he began talking about having information about Ukraine. He wanted to slip me articles already written and payme to publish them under my name. He claimed a personal interest in peace and a desire to keep this secret from his employers.

Thanks to "Waiting for Fahd: One Family's Hope for Life beyond Guantánamo," you know something about CCR client Fahd Ghazy, detained at Guantánamo since he was 17, never charged, twice cleared for release, waiting to be reunited with his teenage daughter whom he last saw as a baby. But today we want to tell you about some of the other men held illegally and unjustly in Guantánamo. Omar Farah and Aliya Hussain spent last week at the detention facility and, in addition to Fahd, met with our clients Tariq Ba OdahMohammed Al Hamiri and Ghaleb Al Bihani. Like Fahd, they are all from Yemen, all cleared for release – and yet still not free. Aliya and Omar gave a live report back on their visits from Guantánamo on Thursday.

As I write this, Pacific Islanders in Vanuatu are left picking up the pieces after the worst natural disaster in recent memory ripped through the region. Vanuatu's president referred to Cyclone Pam as a "monster," a storm that singlehandedly leveled the capital city leaving at least sixteen confirmed dead and countless others displaced.

Closer to home, Boston is still digging out from its snowiest winter on record. Meanwhile, drought continues to plague California, and a NASA scientist recently warned the state has just one year of water supply left in its reservoirs.