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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.

If Portland is to ever become truly world class, it needs to finally atone for (among other transgressions) its role in the ethnic cleansing, internment and internal exile of its entire Japanese American population during WWII. Back then, the Rose City stood out as a hotbed of vicious racism that couldn't get its Japanese Americans - most of whom were American citizens - rounded up andremoved from the city fast enough.

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.

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.

Feb 02

We Need More From Our Candidates

By Dr. James J. Zogby, Speakout | Op-Ed

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.

Feb 01

Our Terrorisms

By Ed Kinane, Speakout | Op-Ed

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.

Feb 01

Democratic Primaries: The Race to the Top

By Naqi A. Jaffery, Speakout | News Analysis

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.

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."

Jan 29

Fighting to Hold Monsanto Accountable

By Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Speakout | Op-Ed

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.

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.

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.

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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.

If Portland is to ever become truly world class, it needs to finally atone for (among other transgressions) its role in the ethnic cleansing, internment and internal exile of its entire Japanese American population during WWII. Back then, the Rose City stood out as a hotbed of vicious racism that couldn't get its Japanese Americans - most of whom were American citizens - rounded up andremoved from the city fast enough.

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.

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.

Feb 02

We Need More From Our Candidates

By Dr. James J. Zogby, Speakout | Op-Ed

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.

Feb 01

Our Terrorisms

By Ed Kinane, Speakout | Op-Ed

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.

Feb 01

Democratic Primaries: The Race to the Top

By Naqi A. Jaffery, Speakout | News Analysis

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.

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."

Jan 29

Fighting to Hold Monsanto Accountable

By Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Speakout | Op-Ed

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.

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.

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.