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.
North Korea announced the successful testing of a hydrogen bomb earlier this week, ringing in the New Year with an ominous blast. The conciliatory New Year's Address delivered by North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, which included no references to the nation's nuclear ambitions, was greeted in South Korea with hope for better relations in 2016, but such optimism was quickly dashed by detection of seismic activity in North Korea near previous nuclear test sites.
I have been thinking over the last month about what might be worth saying at this time when our work to stop drone killing and surveillance has been met with the announcement that the United States government intends to expand its drone program. And almost certainly the level of drone killing - assassination - is soaring as drones are integrated into an air war strategy that appears to be limitless in its intensity.
When Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan cited "Hitler's" Germany as a prime example to dramatically increase his executive branch powers, it seems that Godwin's Law just won't go away. Indeed, even Republican presidential contender Ben Carson and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just to name two more influential political leaders, appeared to also be channeling Godwin's Law.
When Americans think about nuclear weapons, they comfort themselves with the thought that these weapons' vast destruction of human life has not taken place since 1945 - at least not yet. But, in reality, it has taken place, with shocking levels of US casualties. This point is borne out by a recently-published study by a team of investigative journalists at McClatchy News.
Before the Weiwei's dragon a hall's-worth of (brilliant) lego portraits, the "gallery" spaces of Alcatraz were host to Well Contested Sites a 13-minute dance and theater collaboration between a group of men who were previously incarcerated, performing artists from the Bay Area, choreographer Amie Dowling and filmmaker Austin Forbord. The performance and film draw on the experiences and physical memories, or memories of the physical.
Now seven years into the great recession of 2008, there is no respite in sight for the American working class. Yet while much of the economy and people are afflicted by the contraction of austerity in the capitalism of the 21st century, some areas have never done better. In order to understand the duality of 21st-century capitalism, we need to look at the forces of power benefiting from it.
Last November 20, the French National Assembly signaled its strong support for the government's militarist and securitarian reaction to the killings of November 13 by voting almost unanimously to extend for three additional months, effective November 26, the state of emergency decreed six days earlier. This was the first time since the Algerian war (that is, during the putsches of 1958 and 1961) that the state of emergency had been proclaimed throughout the entire French metropolitan territory.
Three new documentaries (The Dream of Europe, Lampedusa in Winter, Salam Neighbor) track the journeys and lives of Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers.
What is it really like to be forced to flee the place you call home burdened with the uncertainty that you may never go back? To live most of your life in a refugee camp? To crowd onto a small rickety boat, or evade the police in a forest, unsure if you’ll survive the night?
Millions of Americans believe that war doesn't work, that war cannot end terrorism because war is terrorism and that US war-making is breeding a new generation of terrorists around the world. Millions also want the senseless killing to stop and they realize we must begin with ending our own military's killing sprees. Americans want a new nonviolent response to the violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.
What is it, this nonviolence? Who gets to define it? A kindergarten teacher is nonviolent when she puts a vase of fresh flowers on her desk and smiles at her little students, right? A young man who publicly refuses to be drafted during an invasion of another country is nonviolent, certainly. How about an old man who writes a letter to the editor arguing for peace on earth? And really, how about a rich man who makes money entirely by playing the stock market from his home computer? That's nonviolent, eh?