Sunday, 19 April 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.

Nov 10

The Peace Process Hustle

By Lawrence Davidson, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Part I - Intractable Process

An intractable process, one that never seems to resolve itself, is either no process at all or a fraudulent one contrived to hide an ulterior motive. The so-called Israeli-Palestinian (at one time the Israeli-Arab) “peace process,” now in its sixth decade (counting from 1948) or fourth decade (counting from 1967) is, and probably always has been, just such a fraud.

One might object and say that the Oslo Accords (1993) were part of this process and they were not fraudulent. In my opinion that is a doubtful assumption. The talks were carried on in secret by officials who, at least on the Israeli side, never had an equitable peace in mind. Their goal was a political modification of the occupied territories that would free Israel from its legal obligations as occupiers of Palestinian territory and facilitate the pacification of the Palestinians and their resistance organizations. The Israeli side seemed to have believed that negotiating the return of Yasser Arafat and Fatah to the West Bank would provide them a partner in this process - not a peace process, but a pacification process.

Federal officials have refused to publicly release information about the cost and scope of a planned Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Tennessee, even as the project moves toward the design and construction phase.

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has raised alarms about the scant details that have been revealed about the multi-billion dollar UPF project at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Last month, POGO wrote leaders on the House and Senate appropriations committees questioning both the cost and mission of the proposed facility, which would among other things manufacture components for nuclear warheads.

“You didn’t know about the decision of the Singapore government to join the fight against ISIS?” she asked.

I was catching up with another Singaporean, Lynette ( a pseudonym to respect her privacy ), who had previously worked in Kabul and who was back in Afghanistan to do a month-long community-based survey with a US university, looking at the impact of disability on Afghan communities.

A federal appellate court ruled today that Kansas and Arizona may not force applicants using the federal voter registration form to show documents proving their citizenship when registering to vote in federal races.

The decision overturned a district court’s ruling that would have required the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to change the federal form to allow Kansas and Arizona to require documentary proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The district court’s order had previously been stayed pending appeal. The court found Kansas and Arizona “failed” to show their documentary proof of citizenship requirement was needed to enforce their voter qualifications. It also made clear the federal voter registration form “can only be modified by the federal government, not directly by states.”

Israel's decision to shut down al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday, 30 October, is not just a gross violation of the religious rights of Palestinian Muslims.

In fact, the rights of Palestinian Muslims and Christians have been routinely violated under the Israeli occupation for decades, especially in Jerusalem, and more recently in Gaza. During the 51-day war on the Gaza Strip, a reported 73 mosques were destroyed, while 205 were partially destroyed, according to a Palestinian government report.

"Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope." -Zechariah 9:12


"But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved."
-Hebrews 10:39

The NAACP Forward Together Moral Movement is a state-based, deeply moral and constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, fusion movement. 

Nov 10

Levers of Power

By Abraham Entin, Levers of Power | Song

A Song about Corruption, Revolution, Power, Hope and the Emperor's new clothes. Written by Abraham Entin with help from his friends.

A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that most households now have less wealth now than they did in 1989. The report, “The Wealth of Households: An Analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finance,” presents data on household wealth by age cohort based on the results of the most recent Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF). The analysis shows little or no gains for the majority of Americans over the last 25 years, even in the years since the end of the recession. This is true of and particularly concerning for near retirees.

“This is especially bad for those nearing retirement,” said Dean Baker, a co-director of CEPR and an author of the paper. “Households in this age cohort will not have a chance to benefit from any strengthening of the economy and will only have the wealth they have accumulated to date to depend on in their retirement.”

Washington, DC — As President Obama prepares to leave for Asia in another attempt to finalize the stalled Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, a broad coalition of labor, environmental and consumer groups delivered over half a million petition signatures and letters to key Congressional leaders today opposing Fast Track authority for the pact.  
 
"CWA activists are focusing all our efforts on stopping Fast Track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Millions of labor, environmental, community and human rights activists are fighting back and demanding that the White House and Congress put U.S. citizens ahead of the corporate and financial interests that already define and dominate the global economy," said Communications Workers of America president Larry Cohen.

LA, SF, NYC, Houston, Sacramento - 99Rise Citizen activists from across the country ended their water-only fast yesterday after weeks of deprivation in a bid to elevate the issue of money-in-politics corruption during this year’s midterm election. Those fasting had urged voters to exclusively support candidates who support pro-democracy reforms that would overturn the Supreme Court’s recent Citizen United and McCutcheon decisions through a constitutional amendment and federal legislation.

“It’s a bittersweet moment for me.” said 99Rise co-founder Kai Newkirk who broke his 18-day fast last night. “Our fast has come to an end, but it comes in the wake of a devastating election, stolen from the American people by corporations and billionaires who bankrolled these campaigns to the tune of 4 billion dollars. That's an auction, not a democratic election.”

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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.

Nov 10

The Peace Process Hustle

By Lawrence Davidson, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Part I - Intractable Process

An intractable process, one that never seems to resolve itself, is either no process at all or a fraudulent one contrived to hide an ulterior motive. The so-called Israeli-Palestinian (at one time the Israeli-Arab) “peace process,” now in its sixth decade (counting from 1948) or fourth decade (counting from 1967) is, and probably always has been, just such a fraud.

One might object and say that the Oslo Accords (1993) were part of this process and they were not fraudulent. In my opinion that is a doubtful assumption. The talks were carried on in secret by officials who, at least on the Israeli side, never had an equitable peace in mind. Their goal was a political modification of the occupied territories that would free Israel from its legal obligations as occupiers of Palestinian territory and facilitate the pacification of the Palestinians and their resistance organizations. The Israeli side seemed to have believed that negotiating the return of Yasser Arafat and Fatah to the West Bank would provide them a partner in this process - not a peace process, but a pacification process.

Federal officials have refused to publicly release information about the cost and scope of a planned Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Tennessee, even as the project moves toward the design and construction phase.

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has raised alarms about the scant details that have been revealed about the multi-billion dollar UPF project at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Last month, POGO wrote leaders on the House and Senate appropriations committees questioning both the cost and mission of the proposed facility, which would among other things manufacture components for nuclear warheads.

“You didn’t know about the decision of the Singapore government to join the fight against ISIS?” she asked.

I was catching up with another Singaporean, Lynette ( a pseudonym to respect her privacy ), who had previously worked in Kabul and who was back in Afghanistan to do a month-long community-based survey with a US university, looking at the impact of disability on Afghan communities.

A federal appellate court ruled today that Kansas and Arizona may not force applicants using the federal voter registration form to show documents proving their citizenship when registering to vote in federal races.

The decision overturned a district court’s ruling that would have required the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to change the federal form to allow Kansas and Arizona to require documentary proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The district court’s order had previously been stayed pending appeal. The court found Kansas and Arizona “failed” to show their documentary proof of citizenship requirement was needed to enforce their voter qualifications. It also made clear the federal voter registration form “can only be modified by the federal government, not directly by states.”

Israel's decision to shut down al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday, 30 October, is not just a gross violation of the religious rights of Palestinian Muslims.

In fact, the rights of Palestinian Muslims and Christians have been routinely violated under the Israeli occupation for decades, especially in Jerusalem, and more recently in Gaza. During the 51-day war on the Gaza Strip, a reported 73 mosques were destroyed, while 205 were partially destroyed, according to a Palestinian government report.

"Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope." -Zechariah 9:12


"But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved."
-Hebrews 10:39

The NAACP Forward Together Moral Movement is a state-based, deeply moral and constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, fusion movement. 

Nov 10

Levers of Power

By Abraham Entin, Levers of Power | Song

A Song about Corruption, Revolution, Power, Hope and the Emperor's new clothes. Written by Abraham Entin with help from his friends.

A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that most households now have less wealth now than they did in 1989. The report, “The Wealth of Households: An Analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finance,” presents data on household wealth by age cohort based on the results of the most recent Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF). The analysis shows little or no gains for the majority of Americans over the last 25 years, even in the years since the end of the recession. This is true of and particularly concerning for near retirees.

“This is especially bad for those nearing retirement,” said Dean Baker, a co-director of CEPR and an author of the paper. “Households in this age cohort will not have a chance to benefit from any strengthening of the economy and will only have the wealth they have accumulated to date to depend on in their retirement.”

Washington, DC — As President Obama prepares to leave for Asia in another attempt to finalize the stalled Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, a broad coalition of labor, environmental and consumer groups delivered over half a million petition signatures and letters to key Congressional leaders today opposing Fast Track authority for the pact.  
 
"CWA activists are focusing all our efforts on stopping Fast Track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Millions of labor, environmental, community and human rights activists are fighting back and demanding that the White House and Congress put U.S. citizens ahead of the corporate and financial interests that already define and dominate the global economy," said Communications Workers of America president Larry Cohen.

LA, SF, NYC, Houston, Sacramento - 99Rise Citizen activists from across the country ended their water-only fast yesterday after weeks of deprivation in a bid to elevate the issue of money-in-politics corruption during this year’s midterm election. Those fasting had urged voters to exclusively support candidates who support pro-democracy reforms that would overturn the Supreme Court’s recent Citizen United and McCutcheon decisions through a constitutional amendment and federal legislation.

“It’s a bittersweet moment for me.” said 99Rise co-founder Kai Newkirk who broke his 18-day fast last night. “Our fast has come to an end, but it comes in the wake of a devastating election, stolen from the American people by corporations and billionaires who bankrolled these campaigns to the tune of 4 billion dollars. That's an auction, not a democratic election.”