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.
On Saturday, December 15, the United Workers and the Maryland chapters of Physicians for a National Health Program and Healthcare-Now are launching the statewide campaign "Healthcare Is a Human Right Maryland." Local chapters have already been formed in Baltimore City and Ann Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery counties. At the launch, members from across the state will share testimonies about the importance of fighting for universal health care and basic human rights. Leaders from Vermont's successful universal healthcare campaign will also be attendance. Over the last few months, local chapter members have organized healthcare teach-ins, hosted movie screenings, and surveyed hundreds of Marylanders about their personal struggles with the current healthcare system. A substantial majority of those surveyed believe healthcare is a human right and support the creation of a universal healthcare system.
Jeh Charles Johnson, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, on Friday admitted that murder by drone is not a form of law enforcement:
"Some legal scholars and commentators in our country brand the detention by the military of members of al Qaeda as 'indefinite detention without charges.' Some refer to targeted lethal force against known, identified individual members of al Qaeda as 'extrajudicial killing.'
ABC World News has done two pretty tough reports from Brian Ross on the horrible fire at the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh that killed 114 workers.
On November 25, Ross talked about the
shameful record, as previously reported by ABC News, of more than 600 garment factory fire deaths in Bangladesh over the last five years, a place of the cheapest labor in the world and some of the most deplorable conditions.
I will say it again: Arizona continues to be a distraction, though it is undeniable that it is indeed the epicenter of ignorance, a laboratory for hate legislation and a mecca for the private prison industry. Yet, as a distraction, it continues to permit people to ignore their own backyards.
Most people associate Arizona with Jan Brewer and Sheriff Arpaio... and their bigoted views, but they are not alone, though whatever it is they are selling has an expiration date that is now long past due.
In October 2012, British Columbia teen Amanda Todd ended her life after suffering intolerable bullying triggered by a sexual predator who found and blackmailed her through Facebook. Millions were outraged. We were too. We are social media enthusiasts who care deeply about protecting vulnerable young users in the cyber woods from the predators out to get them.
The benefits of social media in connecting users worldwide are well known, and we ourselves have cheered the democratization of knowledge and information sharing. However, the proliferations of SM access to an increasingly younger demographic is most worrisome.
History is filled with examples of brave individuals who have broken the law to serve the greater good of humanity. In other words, whistleblowers expose crimes, even if they break a law in the process, and like a jaywalker who crosses street to stop a murder- they should be given medal for their heroism and pardoned the jaywalking ticket. Bradley Manning, who is alleged to have shared information with WikiLeaks that exposed spying, corruption, war crimes, among other tools of repression used by the global elite – is a shining example of one such individual who deserves to a ticker tape parade befitting a hero, not the over 900 odd days of imprisonment and torture that have lead up to his current hearing at Fort Meade.
On November 29th, 2012, activists, journalists and attorneys gathered for a press conference outside of New York's Federal Courthouse in support of jailed activist Jeremy Hammond. In a November 20th, 2012 hearing U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to the 27-year-old Chicago activist accused of hacking into the private intelligence firm Stratfor and releasing information to Wikileaks, and notified him that, if convicted, he could face 37 years-to-life in prison.
A November 22nd, 2012 communique from hackers revealed that Judge Preska, herself, had connections to a law firm the government considers "victims" in the Hammond case. The independently verified communique revealed that Preska's husband, Thomas J Kaveler is an employee of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a current Stratfor client and associate, and moreover was himself a victim of the alleged hack (Kaveler's Stratfor issued user ID is 234103).
When it comes to income inequality, the 2012 Presidential Election was not a choice in any real sense. Voters had the option between President Obama, who presided over the most unequal recovery in history, and Mitt Romney, who promised to accelerate inequality still further.
One of most comforting takeaways from the Presidential race is Wall Street, Big Oil, and King Coal bet big on Mitt Romney—and lost. Wall Street benefited most from President Obama's lopsided response to the economic crisis, but they still preferred Mitt Romney. The stock market reacted to the election with the biggest point decline of the year.
By the middle of the 19th century the multi-ethnic empire was on its way out as the dominant political paradigm in Europe. Replacing it was the nation-state, a political form which allowed the concentration of ethnic groups within their own political borders. This in turn formed cultural and "racial" incubators for us (superior) vs. them (inferior) nationalism that would underpin most of the West's future wars. Many of these nation states were also imperial powers expanding across the globe and, of course, their state-based chauvinistic outlook went with them.
Zionism was born in this milieu of nationalism and imperialism, both of which left an indelible mark on the character and ambitions of the Israeli state. The conviction of Theodor Herzl, modern Zionism's founding father, was that the centuries of anti-Semitism were proof positive that Europe's Jews could not be assimilated into mainstream Western society.