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.
This past Tuesday, while preparing dinner, I listened once again to Sarah Palin's unmistakable voice reinvent the English language. So overwhelmed, I wept (and not because I was chopping Vidalias at the time). You see, I lived with Sarah Palin for two years. That's how long it took to research and write Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin (Howard Books, 2011), an insider's look into the rabbit-hole that is Sarah Palin's life (a process that included documenting over 50,000 emails between Mrs. Palin and confidant Frank Bailey).
Given the number of deeply rooted policy problems facing the United States today - extreme inequality of wealth and political influence a fountainhead among them - it is perhaps not surprising that the idea of revolutionary change is becoming increasingly popular. Evidence of this is found, for instance, in the popular support for Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has boldly proclaimed his commitment to a political revolution.
When ISIS militias swept into Mosel, Iraq, in June 2014, Ibrahim Mahmoud plotted his flight, along with his whole family, which included 11 children. Once upon a time, Ibrahim was himself a child escaping another violent campaign carried out by equally angry militias. In his lifetime, Ibrahim became a refugee twice, once when he was nine years old living in Haifa, Palestine, and yet again and more recently, in Mosel.
The ongoing EU-US trade negotiations, TTIP, seek to bring rules on both sides of the Atlantic together by means of so-called regulatory cooperation. This part of the talks involves dismantling existing "regulatory barriers" and preventing new ones from emerging with public interest regulations having to go through lengthy procedures, including vetting by business for possible impacts on trade. It has sparked concerns that the trade deal will lead to attacks on environmental protections, safety at work regulations and laws to defend public health and food safety.
The company housing DNC servers, NGP VAN, has deep ties to the Clinton family. It was founded, in part, by Nathaniel Pearlman, who was the chief technology officer for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. The current CEO and president of NGP VAN, Stuart Trevelyan, served as a member of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs during the administration of President Bill Clinton.
The United States suffers from a self-imposed amnesia. It has chosen only a few threads from the rich thoughts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to weave into the fabric of its national epic. Forgotten is King's major address on US foreign policy, delivered at the Riverside Church in New York City on the night of April 4, 1967, exactly one year to the day before his assassination. He began, "I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice."
That food you bought today at the big box store was labeled "organic." Is it? How do you know?
Crooked politicians in the US, specifically Washington DC, have encouraged Big Food businesses to help themselves to the organic industry by marketing products openly in breach of stringent organic criteria established by the US Department of Agriculture.
In Kabul, where the Afghan Peace Volunteers have hosted me in their community, the US military maintains a huge blimp equipped with cameras and computers to supply 24-hour surveillance of the city. All of this surveillance purportedly helps establish "patterns of life" and bring security to people living here. But this sort of "intelligence" discloses very little about experiences of poverty, chaos, hunger, child labor, homelessness and unemployment which afflict families across Afghanistan.
Syriza's rise to power was accompanied by popular hopes for reform on all fronts: economic, environmental, political and cultural. Alas, none of the hopes became reality. In fact, instead of spurring positive social change, the governing Syriza party has followed closely in the footsteps of its predecessors.
When microbiologist Bruce Hemming was hired two years ago to test breast milk samples for residues of the key ingredient in the popular weed-killer Roundup, Hemming at first scoffed at the possibility. Hemming, the founder of St. Louis-based Microbe Inotech Laboratories, knew that the herbicidal ingredient called glyphosate was not supposed to accumulate in the human body.