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.
It is really bizarre how folks find it so difficult to mention the trade deficit as the obvious source of weak demand in the economy. This is not a debatable point. We have a trade deficit of around $500 billion a year or roughly 3.0 percent of GDP. This is money that is creating demand elsewhere, not in the United States.
If we are going to maintain something like full employment then we need to make up this $500 billion in lost demand with higher than normal expenditures from another sector, which means either government spending, investment, residential construction, or consumption. This is all simple GDP accounting, the stuff everyone learns in intro economics. This is about an accounting identity, it is not a theory that can be debated. It is by definition true.
It's been one month since the largest climate march in history, and recent "Climate Action" pledges from global leaders like the Department of Defense, President Obama and the United Nations do not add up to what communities need.
The People's Climate March on Sunday September 21, 2014 was a major historic event. It was historic because of the unprecedented numbers - 400,000 people came out to march. It was historic because the participants and leaders of the march were made up of primarily people of color on the frontlines of the climate and economic crises: communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, youth of color doing environmental justice work, and indigenous peoples from around the world led a broad march from many sectors including faith communities, labor, and more. For Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), as co-anchor of the Our Power Campaign, it was historic to mobilize for this march because of the way the grassroots organizing sector and climate policy organizations came together to collaborate in the planning of the march, and laid the groundwork for strengthened relationships and a broader united movement for climate justice.
Amendment, The First
As the legitimacy of any system depends on the appearance of freedom, the inalienable right of the people to harmlessly assemble shall not be infringed; nor shall meaningless speech be abridged; nor shall the corporate-controlled media in any way be prohibited from fulfilling its vital role in the promotion of consumer capitalism. Those interested in making basic structural change, please send letter of intent and DNA sample to Stratfor Global.
Amendment, The Second
Though the US Government could destroy every one of its citizens with a push of a button, the fantasies of frustrated white men who blame the blacks and Mexicans for all their problems shall not be infringed, though this little illusion has resulted in the mass slaughter of our children.
I would not have guessed that people cared so much and so well about US prisoners. The Governor of Pennsylvania is expected to sign into law a dangerous precedent that we all need to speak out against and put a quick stop to. In the first day since posting the following petition, over 10,000 people have signed it and added quite eloquent reasons why. It can be signed here
Imal, a 7 year old Afghan student in the 2nd grade, came to visit us in Kabul.
As Imal grew up, he kept asking his mother where his father was. His mother finally told Imal that his father had been killed by a drone when he was still a baby.
If you could see Imal in this video, you would want to hug Imal immediately.
From March to August Under de Blasio/Bratton, NYPD Made More Marijuana Possession Arrests than Bloomberg/Kelly in Same Period of Previous Year
New York: A new report released today by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project and the Drug Policy Alliance shows that, despite campaign promises, marijuana possession arrests under Mayor de Blasio are on track to equal – or even surpass – the number of arrests under Mayor Bloomberg. As under the Bloomberg and Giuliani administrations, these arrests are marked by shockingly high racial disparities. The report, Race, Class & Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s Two New Yorks: the NYPD’s Marijuana Arrest Crusade Continues in 2014 draws on data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and shows that despite a change in mayoral administrations and police commissioners, the NYPD continues its practice of making wasteful, racially biased, and costly marijuana arrests.
Naomi Klein's book THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING has provoked a wide spectrum of reviewer reaction by arguing that fighting back capitalism is the only real climate change solution.
Especially interesting has been the criticism by those that agree with Klein that climate change is an emergency requiring urgent action but view the path to needed mitigation much differently.
Recently, 78 civil society leaders from around the world released an Open Letter in Support of the Marshall Islands' Nuclear Zero Lawsuits. I am proud to be among the signers of that letter supporting a courageous small Pacific Island country, one with only 70,000 inhabitants. The Marshall Islanders are seeking to make the world a far more secure place, free of the nuclear threat that has hung over the collective head of humanity for some seven decades.
The Open Letter was addressed to Christopher Loeak, President of the Marshall Islands; Tony de Brum, Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands; and the People and Parliament of the Marshall Islands. They all deserve credit for their courage. They are much like David in "David vs. Goliath," but they carry court papers rather than a slingshot.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has dismissed concerns over the abuse of British cleared detainee Shaker Aamer, in a letter to his lawyer at human rights charity Reprieve.
In August 2014 Clive Stafford Smith wrote to the Foreign Secretary after a fellow detainee had described what he called a new 'standard procedure' of abuses at the prison. Yemeni Emad Hassan, cleared for release and detained without charge since 2002, wrote that "an FCE [Forcible Cell Extraction, where a team of guards in riot gear manhandle a detainee] team has been brought in to beat the detainees [...] On Sunday, Shaker ISN 239 was beaten when the medical people wanted to draw blood."