Friday, 04 September 2015 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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.

The rally to defend lunch and recess time at the Wednesday Seattle school board meeting was an overwhelming success. A few dozen parents, teachers, and kids rallied and testified with one message: eating and playing–lunch and recess–are human rights.

The school district began the meeting by announcing they would form a task-force that would make a recommendation on lunch and recess times within eighteen months. This absurdly long timeline to grant students their basic rights only inflamed the passions of the protesters.

Nov 11

Discovering Iran

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Marcel Proust once said: "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." During the past two decades, I visited Iran on numerous occasions staying 10-14 days at a time. This time around, I stayed for 2 months and heeding Proust, I carried with me a fresh pair of eyes. I discarded both my Western lenses as well as my Iranian lenses and observed with objective eyes. It was a formidable journey that left me breathless.

Nov 10

The Peace Process Hustle

By Lawrence Davidson, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Part I - Intractable Process

An intractable process, one that never seems to resolve itself, is either no process at all or a fraudulent one contrived to hide an ulterior motive. The so-called Israeli-Palestinian (at one time the Israeli-Arab) “peace process,” now in its sixth decade (counting from 1948) or fourth decade (counting from 1967) is, and probably always has been, just such a fraud.

One might object and say that the Oslo Accords (1993) were part of this process and they were not fraudulent. In my opinion that is a doubtful assumption. The talks were carried on in secret by officials who, at least on the Israeli side, never had an equitable peace in mind. Their goal was a political modification of the occupied territories that would free Israel from its legal obligations as occupiers of Palestinian territory and facilitate the pacification of the Palestinians and their resistance organizations. The Israeli side seemed to have believed that negotiating the return of Yasser Arafat and Fatah to the West Bank would provide them a partner in this process - not a peace process, but a pacification process.

Federal officials have refused to publicly release information about the cost and scope of a planned Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Tennessee, even as the project moves toward the design and construction phase.

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has raised alarms about the scant details that have been revealed about the multi-billion dollar UPF project at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Last month, POGO wrote leaders on the House and Senate appropriations committees questioning both the cost and mission of the proposed facility, which would among other things manufacture components for nuclear warheads.

“You didn’t know about the decision of the Singapore government to join the fight against ISIS?” she asked.

I was catching up with another Singaporean, Lynette ( a pseudonym to respect her privacy ), who had previously worked in Kabul and who was back in Afghanistan to do a month-long community-based survey with a US university, looking at the impact of disability on Afghan communities.

A federal appellate court ruled today that Kansas and Arizona may not force applicants using the federal voter registration form to show documents proving their citizenship when registering to vote in federal races.

The decision overturned a district court’s ruling that would have required the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to change the federal form to allow Kansas and Arizona to require documentary proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The district court’s order had previously been stayed pending appeal. The court found Kansas and Arizona “failed” to show their documentary proof of citizenship requirement was needed to enforce their voter qualifications. It also made clear the federal voter registration form “can only be modified by the federal government, not directly by states.”

Israel's decision to shut down al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday, 30 October, is not just a gross violation of the religious rights of Palestinian Muslims.

In fact, the rights of Palestinian Muslims and Christians have been routinely violated under the Israeli occupation for decades, especially in Jerusalem, and more recently in Gaza. During the 51-day war on the Gaza Strip, a reported 73 mosques were destroyed, while 205 were partially destroyed, according to a Palestinian government report.

"Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope." -Zechariah 9:12


"But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved."
-Hebrews 10:39

The NAACP Forward Together Moral Movement is a state-based, deeply moral and constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, fusion movement. 

Nov 10

Levers of Power

By Abraham Entin, Levers of Power | Song

A Song about Corruption, Revolution, Power, Hope and the Emperor's new clothes. Written by Abraham Entin with help from his friends.

A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that most households now have less wealth now than they did in 1989. The report, “The Wealth of Households: An Analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finance,” presents data on household wealth by age cohort based on the results of the most recent Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF). The analysis shows little or no gains for the majority of Americans over the last 25 years, even in the years since the end of the recession. This is true of and particularly concerning for near retirees.

“This is especially bad for those nearing retirement,” said Dean Baker, a co-director of CEPR and an author of the paper. “Households in this age cohort will not have a chance to benefit from any strengthening of the economy and will only have the wealth they have accumulated to date to depend on in their retirement.”

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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.

The rally to defend lunch and recess time at the Wednesday Seattle school board meeting was an overwhelming success. A few dozen parents, teachers, and kids rallied and testified with one message: eating and playing–lunch and recess–are human rights.

The school district began the meeting by announcing they would form a task-force that would make a recommendation on lunch and recess times within eighteen months. This absurdly long timeline to grant students their basic rights only inflamed the passions of the protesters.

Nov 11

Discovering Iran

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Marcel Proust once said: "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." During the past two decades, I visited Iran on numerous occasions staying 10-14 days at a time. This time around, I stayed for 2 months and heeding Proust, I carried with me a fresh pair of eyes. I discarded both my Western lenses as well as my Iranian lenses and observed with objective eyes. It was a formidable journey that left me breathless.

Nov 10

The Peace Process Hustle

By Lawrence Davidson, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Part I - Intractable Process

An intractable process, one that never seems to resolve itself, is either no process at all or a fraudulent one contrived to hide an ulterior motive. The so-called Israeli-Palestinian (at one time the Israeli-Arab) “peace process,” now in its sixth decade (counting from 1948) or fourth decade (counting from 1967) is, and probably always has been, just such a fraud.

One might object and say that the Oslo Accords (1993) were part of this process and they were not fraudulent. In my opinion that is a doubtful assumption. The talks were carried on in secret by officials who, at least on the Israeli side, never had an equitable peace in mind. Their goal was a political modification of the occupied territories that would free Israel from its legal obligations as occupiers of Palestinian territory and facilitate the pacification of the Palestinians and their resistance organizations. The Israeli side seemed to have believed that negotiating the return of Yasser Arafat and Fatah to the West Bank would provide them a partner in this process - not a peace process, but a pacification process.

Federal officials have refused to publicly release information about the cost and scope of a planned Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Tennessee, even as the project moves toward the design and construction phase.

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has raised alarms about the scant details that have been revealed about the multi-billion dollar UPF project at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Last month, POGO wrote leaders on the House and Senate appropriations committees questioning both the cost and mission of the proposed facility, which would among other things manufacture components for nuclear warheads.

“You didn’t know about the decision of the Singapore government to join the fight against ISIS?” she asked.

I was catching up with another Singaporean, Lynette ( a pseudonym to respect her privacy ), who had previously worked in Kabul and who was back in Afghanistan to do a month-long community-based survey with a US university, looking at the impact of disability on Afghan communities.

A federal appellate court ruled today that Kansas and Arizona may not force applicants using the federal voter registration form to show documents proving their citizenship when registering to vote in federal races.

The decision overturned a district court’s ruling that would have required the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to change the federal form to allow Kansas and Arizona to require documentary proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The district court’s order had previously been stayed pending appeal. The court found Kansas and Arizona “failed” to show their documentary proof of citizenship requirement was needed to enforce their voter qualifications. It also made clear the federal voter registration form “can only be modified by the federal government, not directly by states.”

Israel's decision to shut down al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday, 30 October, is not just a gross violation of the religious rights of Palestinian Muslims.

In fact, the rights of Palestinian Muslims and Christians have been routinely violated under the Israeli occupation for decades, especially in Jerusalem, and more recently in Gaza. During the 51-day war on the Gaza Strip, a reported 73 mosques were destroyed, while 205 were partially destroyed, according to a Palestinian government report.

"Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope." -Zechariah 9:12


"But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved."
-Hebrews 10:39

The NAACP Forward Together Moral Movement is a state-based, deeply moral and constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, fusion movement. 

Nov 10

Levers of Power

By Abraham Entin, Levers of Power | Song

A Song about Corruption, Revolution, Power, Hope and the Emperor's new clothes. Written by Abraham Entin with help from his friends.

A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that most households now have less wealth now than they did in 1989. The report, “The Wealth of Households: An Analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finance,” presents data on household wealth by age cohort based on the results of the most recent Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF). The analysis shows little or no gains for the majority of Americans over the last 25 years, even in the years since the end of the recession. This is true of and particularly concerning for near retirees.

“This is especially bad for those nearing retirement,” said Dean Baker, a co-director of CEPR and an author of the paper. “Households in this age cohort will not have a chance to benefit from any strengthening of the economy and will only have the wealth they have accumulated to date to depend on in their retirement.”