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.
There's an alarming trend that few seem to have noticed: According to World Values Survey data, a growing number of Americans believe that having a democratic system is a bad idea. Using the annual average rate of growth from 1995-2011, I've estimated that over 60 million Americans - that's more than twice the size of Texas - are of this view today.
Let's be clear. Most modern liberal democracies have not come close to reaching gender parity in politics. In 2015, the global participation rate of women in parliament hovers around 20 percent, according to UN women. In the United States, only 104 (76 Democrats and 28 Republican) members of Congress are women, making women 19.4 percent of the 535 members.
The Force Awakens is the most racially diverse and feminist of the franchise. Its leads are two men of color and a white woman. Some fans seethed at the new cast but they are the result of conflicting values within Star Wars. On one side, progressive politics; on the other, a racial and gender conservatism. The first film came out in 1977, it's only now, more than three decades later that this fictional world is catching up with the diversity of our real one.
In a creative protest in Nazareth in January 2015, activists from Dream Defenders and the Black Lives Matter movement conjoined their (post-)colonial anxiety transnationally with the geopolitical conditions experienced by Palestinians, reaffirming Black solidarity with Palestine, chanting "free Palestine" in Arabic and "Black lives matter" in English. The reciprocal African-American and Palestinian apprehension of the other's suffering is accentuated in the contemporary revival of a historically present bond.
Most people who have explored options or purchased health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges learned quickly that premiums and deductibles are closely related - the lower the premiums, the higher the deductibles will be. This is the insurance industry's come-on way of attracting enrollees, which may work at first but not in the longer run. Here we examine what this inter-relationship means for many millions of Americans as premiums go up and coverage goes down.
Protests for the racial equity at Ithaca College date back to 1964, when students joined in the first March on Washington. Another upsurge in protests for racial equity occurred in 2001, when students and faculty refused to attend classes on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Today, demonstrations continue to demand racial equity.
The results of the 2015 regional elections in France are known: the far right FN (National Front) has made major gains. In other countries polled in Europe - Poland, Hungary, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden - the far right has also scored major successes or even rules the country (Poland, Hungary). There are many reasons for this xenophobic, racist and reactionary surge, which in many cases resemble the reasons behind the success of reactionary and racist Donald Trump in the US.
In all of the Republican presidential debates - including the one last Tuesday - candidates were quick to call for large increases in military spending. Indeed, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has repeatedly dubbed himself the "most militaristic" of his challengers.
But a massive defense buildup - like the one during the Reagan administration - is a dangerous proposal.
On 12th December at 7:16 p.m. Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs and President of COP21, announced to a room packed with ministers, negotiators, NGOs and prominent guests "I see the room and I see that the reaction is positive. I don't hear any objection. The Paris Agreement for the Climate is adopted." His voice quivered with emotion as he banged his gavel on his sounding block, marking the end of a tense and often strained two weeks of climate negotiations.
The Miraflores Locks are perhaps the principal tourist attraction of Panama City. Visitors are more than willing to pay the $15 admission to a state-of-the-art museum espousing the grandeur of this enormous emblem of human engineering and its contribution to the global economy. There is another museum, though.