Thursday, 14 December 2017 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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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.

Oct 21

Send in the White Helmets

By Stephanie Van Hook, Speakout | Op-Ed

We've all heard of the Blue Helmets - the United Nations armed peacekeeping wing. But have you heard about the White Helmets, the unarmed peacekeeping and first responders in Syria?

Seeing organized nonviolence in the midst of violent conflict is not expected and not often found, but it's on the increase.

"[W]e should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history," marine chemist Ken Buesseler said last spring.

Instead, the US Environmental Protection Agency halted its emergency radiation monitoring of Fukushima's radioactive plume in May 2011, three months after the disaster began.

Every once in a while, a new technology threatens to fundamentally change life in the US as we know it. But we're living in unprecedented times, and we may be on the verge of two such revolutions at once: the world's tech giants are in the process of building an industry around wearable technology and, meanwhile, Google (and plenty of others) are working to fill our streets with autonomous cars.

I felt empty when I heard that to the north of where I work in Kabul, bombs were dropped on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, for a full hour. Twelve hospital staff and 10 patients were killed, three of them Afghan children. Thirty-three persons are still missing.

Borderfree Afghan Street Kids say that the three Afghan children shouldn't have been killed by a US airstrike on a Doctor Without BordersHospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Mitt Romney was chastised in the last election for campaigning around Lyme disease in Virginia by reporters like Michael Specter at The New Yorker. But Specter was then bombarded with "millions of pieces of hate mail" and told NPR host Terry Gross that, in his many years of writing controversial articles, he'd never received a response like that. As Specter learned, Lyme disease is a major issue.

Oct 16

US-Sponsored Carnage in Yemen Continues

By David Zuther, Speakout | Op-Ed

Six months into the Saudi-led military offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen, civilians suffer most.

Human rights groups found ample evidence of indiscriminate airstrikes by the coalition, which might well amount to war crimes.

Oct 16

Is $15 an Hour Enough?

By Sue Sturgis, Facing South | Report

Across the South and the rest of the country, workers and their advocates have been fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage, more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. But a new report finds that in many states $15 an hour is not a living wage for a single person, let alone a family.

How do we distinguish system-changing initiatives from reforms that seek social betterment within the current system? We need a basis for knowing what initiatives are truly transformative and not merely transactional. The question is a fundamental one.

Since they were first published in 2000, the guidelines that most doctors follow for the treatment of Lyme disease have been the subject of intense controversy, including an antitrust investigation by the state of Connecticut and hundreds of protests.

As President Obama expands Pell Grant eligibility to current prisoners for the first time since 1994, strange bedfellows Van Jones and the Koch brothers unite to tackle criminal justice reform, and the Black Lives Matter movement continues to demonstrate the racial inequities in our policing and incarceration system, we should recognize that we are living in a historic moment for criminal justice.

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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.

Oct 21

Send in the White Helmets

By Stephanie Van Hook, Speakout | Op-Ed

We've all heard of the Blue Helmets - the United Nations armed peacekeeping wing. But have you heard about the White Helmets, the unarmed peacekeeping and first responders in Syria?

Seeing organized nonviolence in the midst of violent conflict is not expected and not often found, but it's on the increase.

"[W]e should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history," marine chemist Ken Buesseler said last spring.

Instead, the US Environmental Protection Agency halted its emergency radiation monitoring of Fukushima's radioactive plume in May 2011, three months after the disaster began.

Every once in a while, a new technology threatens to fundamentally change life in the US as we know it. But we're living in unprecedented times, and we may be on the verge of two such revolutions at once: the world's tech giants are in the process of building an industry around wearable technology and, meanwhile, Google (and plenty of others) are working to fill our streets with autonomous cars.

I felt empty when I heard that to the north of where I work in Kabul, bombs were dropped on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, for a full hour. Twelve hospital staff and 10 patients were killed, three of them Afghan children. Thirty-three persons are still missing.

Borderfree Afghan Street Kids say that the three Afghan children shouldn't have been killed by a US airstrike on a Doctor Without BordersHospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Mitt Romney was chastised in the last election for campaigning around Lyme disease in Virginia by reporters like Michael Specter at The New Yorker. But Specter was then bombarded with "millions of pieces of hate mail" and told NPR host Terry Gross that, in his many years of writing controversial articles, he'd never received a response like that. As Specter learned, Lyme disease is a major issue.

Oct 16

US-Sponsored Carnage in Yemen Continues

By David Zuther, Speakout | Op-Ed

Six months into the Saudi-led military offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen, civilians suffer most.

Human rights groups found ample evidence of indiscriminate airstrikes by the coalition, which might well amount to war crimes.

Oct 16

Is $15 an Hour Enough?

By Sue Sturgis, Facing South | Report

Across the South and the rest of the country, workers and their advocates have been fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage, more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. But a new report finds that in many states $15 an hour is not a living wage for a single person, let alone a family.

How do we distinguish system-changing initiatives from reforms that seek social betterment within the current system? We need a basis for knowing what initiatives are truly transformative and not merely transactional. The question is a fundamental one.

Since they were first published in 2000, the guidelines that most doctors follow for the treatment of Lyme disease have been the subject of intense controversy, including an antitrust investigation by the state of Connecticut and hundreds of protests.

As President Obama expands Pell Grant eligibility to current prisoners for the first time since 1994, strange bedfellows Van Jones and the Koch brothers unite to tackle criminal justice reform, and the Black Lives Matter movement continues to demonstrate the racial inequities in our policing and incarceration system, we should recognize that we are living in a historic moment for criminal justice.