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.
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.
Here we go again. Hillary touting her long experience in government, claimed knowledge of health care, and ability to "get things done" as she affirms her support of the Affordable Care Act and distorts Bernie Sanders' single-payer plan for national health insurance, Medicare for all. Yes, health care reform is again center stage as a hot issue during this election season, with rhetoric, disinformation, and false allegations filling the national media - so much smoke and mirrors.
In a landmark case last autumn in Pennsylvania, a US district court judge ruled that citizens are not obliged to unlock their mobile phones if this means engaging in self-incrimination. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bonan Huang and Nan Huang, former fraud analysts based in Virginia, made almost $3 million on a $147,300 investment from 2012 to 2015 by shorting stocks based on search queries of stock traded by Capital One's database of clients.
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 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 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 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.