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.
Protests against Monsanto's Roundup - with its poisonous, weed-killing glyphosate - have spread around the globe. An arm of the World Health Organization declared it a probable cause of cancer in 2015. California's Environmental Protection Agency recently decided to label it as such. Environmental groups and activists in Northern California, a region known for its wines, advocate a moratorium on this herbicide as health concerns mount. Roundup is the world's most widely used pesticide.
I have long argued that how candidates for high office speak about the Middle East should be a critical test of their capacity to lead our nation. Since the end of the Vietnam War, we have spent more money, sold or given more weapons, sent more troops, fought more wars, lost and taken more lives, expendedmore political capital and have more vital interests at stake in that region than anywhere else in the world. Yet our candidates have not faced this reality by providing us with a substantial discussion.
The worst worry of a child's school day should be homework. Maybe a lost book, or an argument with a friend. No child's walk to school should routinely involve armed soldiers and fear of sometimes being chased and assaulted by angry adults. But for the Palestinian children who live with their families in the small rural villages that make up the South Hebron Hills, this is how the school day begins. Illegal settlements and outposts isolate and separate their villages and soldiers are a constant in their lives.
The trajectory is becoming clearer day by day. With Hillary Clinton's lead shrinking in Democratic polls, Bernie Sanders is inching towards a possible victory in the primaries, something the mainstream media is slowly coming to grips with. As voters become more familiar with his message, Sanders' poll numbers surge. His ascendancy in polls is particularly remarkable because Clinton is a known quantity, but Sanders does not enjoy the same kind of national visibility.
Pundits and politicos incessantly invoke but seldom define "terrorism." Like the phony "war on drugs," the phony "war on terrorism" promotes economic interests and serves political agendas. Neither war reduces drug use or violence. Nor are they designed to. "Terrorism" - past and present - pervades the US psyche and economy. "Terrorism" - the fear thereof - blunts our minds and shrinks our hearts.
We all know about Monsanto. The agribusiness giant is a huge international corporate entity that wields immense power and courts controversy wherever it operates. We know that Monsanto spends undisclosed millions each year to block elected local governments from introducing and implementing GMO-labeling laws. We know the way that Monsanto has continued to push the use of known carcinogens in increasing volumes on food crops around the world.
At the Democratic town hall on January 25, 2015, Hillary Clinton said: "You know, when I'm actually in office, they say really nice things about me, we have a whole list of the nice things they say. What a good colleague I am. How easy I am to find common ground with. How willing I am to try to find common ground. And then when I run, oh my goodness, it's just unbelievable… I'm going to be just giving them all bear hugs whether they like it or not."
The Transition Towns environmental movement (Transition) has been critiqued by the Simplicity Institute for being run and populated by middle-aged, middle- and upper-middle-class, highly educated, post-materialist progressive white people. Since its inception, Transition has sought and failed to find ways to attract and retain people of color. The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub observes that people of color will stand with white people in the protest and march-in-the street varieties ofenvironmental movements.
For a long time, as he campaigned for president, a wide spectrum of establishment media insisted that Bernie Sanders couldn't win. Now they're sounding the alarm that he might. And, just in case you haven't gotten the media message yet - Sanders is "angry," kind of like Donald Trump. Elite media often blur distinctions between right-wing populism and progressive populism - as though there's not all that much difference between them.
For both Democrats and Republicans, this year's presidential contest is another "Armageddon election," the outcome of which will decide critically important domestic and foreign policy concerns. Despite its significance, we are just days away from the "first in the nation" Iowa caucuses and the direction of this election is still very much "up in the air" and about as confusing as any in recent memory. Iowa, therefore, will be important.