Saturday, 24 September 2016 / 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.

Join us for PEACE AND PLANET, a mobilization to build a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world!

April 24-26, New York City

Long Beach, California — Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run "aquifer exemption" workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California's underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

"Instead of this 'Toxic Dumping for Dummies' class, Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators should protect our water from oil waste," said Ash Lauth of Californians Against Fracking. "During this devastating drought, oilcompanies shouldn't be allowed to use our aquifers as trash dumps for fracking flowback and other dangerous fluids."

Zahra Shahtahmasebi: Thank you to everyone tuning in to this important interview. Joining me this morning is a very special guest, Nicky Hager.  I'm sure he needs no introduction for those of you in New Zealand, but for those who don't know him, he is the author of six books including Secret Power and last year's page turner: Dirty Politics. His most recent work examines theSnowden files extensively, to analyze New Zealand's role in the Five Eyes Alliance.

Having assessed in the last three posts the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the last five years,  we have seen that the ACA will not bring universal access, contain health care costs for patients and tax payers, or improve the quality of care. 

These are some of the main lessons we have already learned from the ACA's initial five years.

Thanks to "Waiting for Fahd: One Family's Hope for Life beyond Guantánamo," you know something about CCR client Fahd Ghazy, detained at Guantánamo since he was 17, never charged, twice cleared for release, waiting to be reunited with his teenage daughter whom he last saw as a baby. But today we want to tell you about some of the other men held illegally and unjustly in Guantánamo. Omar Farah and Aliya Hussain spent last week at the detention facility and, in addition to Fahd, met with our clients Tariq Ba OdahMohammed Al Hamiri and Ghaleb Al Bihani. Like Fahd, they are all from Yemen, all cleared for release – and yet still not free. Aliya and Omar gave a live report back on their visits from Guantánamo on Thursday.

On Friday, March 20th, I spoke at the University of the District of Columbia Law School in Washington, D.C., as part of a series of teach-ins about peace organized by SpringRising.org. While there, a young man in a suit with a Russianaccent approached me. He gave me his card, which says at the top "Embassy of the Russian Federation." It identifies him as a Major and as The Air Attaché Assistant. His name: Alexsei G. Padalko. The card includes the address of theRussian Embassy in Washington, two phone numbers, a fax number, and a gmail email address. His name appears on lists of diplomats on the websites of the Russian Embassy and the U.S. State Department.

Alexsei bought one of my books, which I signed, but he said he had another he hadn't brought with him and wanted signed, and he wanted to discuss working together for peace. I said I'd meet him the next day at a coffee shop. When we met, he began talking about having information about Ukraine. He wanted to slip me articles already written and payme to publish them under my name. He claimed a personal interest in peace and a desire to keep this secret from his employers.

Mar 24

Naked Bibi

By Dr. James J. Zogby, Arab American Institute | Op-Ed

In the lead up to Israel's March 17 election, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, fearful that he might lose his re-election bid, threw caution to the wind making blatant appeals to scare voters into returning him to office. He did so not caring who he alienated or what the consequences of his behavior might be. I have always argued that in the animal kingdom there is no creature more dangerous than a panicking politician and, in the last few days, Bibi was one such creature.   

The day before votes were cast, Netanyahu gave a series of interviews to friendly media outlets developing themes that preyed on Israeli fears: of Palestinians, of "foreign conspiracies," and of Israel's own Arab citizens. He charged, for example, that if his opponents won, they would submit to the pressures of the international community leading to the creation of "Hamastan B" in Jerusalem. In another interview he said, "...anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian State and evacuate territory, gives territory away to radical Islamists." And when asked if that meant he was backing away from his 2009 pledge to support a two-state solution, Netanyahu responded "Indeed."

Ten hours by bus coming from Mexico City, I finally arrived in the tiny remote municipality, surrounded by mountains and a dense fog, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The town boasts about 21,000 people, many of whom are self-sustained farmers.

Each year, over 120,000 people come from places such as this in Hidalgo to work under an H2-A VISA in agriculture and in other industries like landscaping, construction - and crab picking under an H2-B VISA.

Mar 24

The Need for Wisdom

By Marcus Peter Ford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, is subtitled, "Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere." The University of Everywhere, however, could just as easily be called the University of Nowhere because it exists only on the internet.

Minerva University, named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom, is just this type of university. Minerva is the brain-child of multi-millionaire and former Snapfish president, Ben Nelson. As a freshman at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nelson concluded that there was a more rational way to structure higher education, one predicated on certain modes of analysis and skills. All students should be required to take the same courses their freshmen year - formal analysis (mathematics); empirical analysis (science); complex system (social sciences), and multimodal communication (writing, rhetoric, and public speaking). These four courses constitute to the basis of all subsequent study at Minerva.

At 9:15 am on March 19, the 12th anniversary of the U.S.’ illegal invasion of Iraq, seven members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars shut the main gate of the Hancock Drone Base (near Syracuse, NY) with a giant copy of the UN Charter and three other giant books – Dirty Wars (Jeremy Scahill), Living Under Drones (NYU and Stanford Law Schools), and You Never Die Twice (Reprieve). 

The nonviolent activists also held a banner quoting Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, stating that every treaty signed becomes the supreme law of the land. They brought the books to Hancock to remind everyone at the base of the signed treaties that prohibit the killing of civilians and assassinations of human beings.

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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.

Join us for PEACE AND PLANET, a mobilization to build a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world!

April 24-26, New York City

Long Beach, California — Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run "aquifer exemption" workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California's underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

"Instead of this 'Toxic Dumping for Dummies' class, Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators should protect our water from oil waste," said Ash Lauth of Californians Against Fracking. "During this devastating drought, oilcompanies shouldn't be allowed to use our aquifers as trash dumps for fracking flowback and other dangerous fluids."

Zahra Shahtahmasebi: Thank you to everyone tuning in to this important interview. Joining me this morning is a very special guest, Nicky Hager.  I'm sure he needs no introduction for those of you in New Zealand, but for those who don't know him, he is the author of six books including Secret Power and last year's page turner: Dirty Politics. His most recent work examines theSnowden files extensively, to analyze New Zealand's role in the Five Eyes Alliance.

Having assessed in the last three posts the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the last five years,  we have seen that the ACA will not bring universal access, contain health care costs for patients and tax payers, or improve the quality of care. 

These are some of the main lessons we have already learned from the ACA's initial five years.

Thanks to "Waiting for Fahd: One Family's Hope for Life beyond Guantánamo," you know something about CCR client Fahd Ghazy, detained at Guantánamo since he was 17, never charged, twice cleared for release, waiting to be reunited with his teenage daughter whom he last saw as a baby. But today we want to tell you about some of the other men held illegally and unjustly in Guantánamo. Omar Farah and Aliya Hussain spent last week at the detention facility and, in addition to Fahd, met with our clients Tariq Ba OdahMohammed Al Hamiri and Ghaleb Al Bihani. Like Fahd, they are all from Yemen, all cleared for release – and yet still not free. Aliya and Omar gave a live report back on their visits from Guantánamo on Thursday.

On Friday, March 20th, I spoke at the University of the District of Columbia Law School in Washington, D.C., as part of a series of teach-ins about peace organized by SpringRising.org. While there, a young man in a suit with a Russianaccent approached me. He gave me his card, which says at the top "Embassy of the Russian Federation." It identifies him as a Major and as The Air Attaché Assistant. His name: Alexsei G. Padalko. The card includes the address of theRussian Embassy in Washington, two phone numbers, a fax number, and a gmail email address. His name appears on lists of diplomats on the websites of the Russian Embassy and the U.S. State Department.

Alexsei bought one of my books, which I signed, but he said he had another he hadn't brought with him and wanted signed, and he wanted to discuss working together for peace. I said I'd meet him the next day at a coffee shop. When we met, he began talking about having information about Ukraine. He wanted to slip me articles already written and payme to publish them under my name. He claimed a personal interest in peace and a desire to keep this secret from his employers.

Mar 24

Naked Bibi

By Dr. James J. Zogby, Arab American Institute | Op-Ed

In the lead up to Israel's March 17 election, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, fearful that he might lose his re-election bid, threw caution to the wind making blatant appeals to scare voters into returning him to office. He did so not caring who he alienated or what the consequences of his behavior might be. I have always argued that in the animal kingdom there is no creature more dangerous than a panicking politician and, in the last few days, Bibi was one such creature.   

The day before votes were cast, Netanyahu gave a series of interviews to friendly media outlets developing themes that preyed on Israeli fears: of Palestinians, of "foreign conspiracies," and of Israel's own Arab citizens. He charged, for example, that if his opponents won, they would submit to the pressures of the international community leading to the creation of "Hamastan B" in Jerusalem. In another interview he said, "...anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian State and evacuate territory, gives territory away to radical Islamists." And when asked if that meant he was backing away from his 2009 pledge to support a two-state solution, Netanyahu responded "Indeed."

Ten hours by bus coming from Mexico City, I finally arrived in the tiny remote municipality, surrounded by mountains and a dense fog, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The town boasts about 21,000 people, many of whom are self-sustained farmers.

Each year, over 120,000 people come from places such as this in Hidalgo to work under an H2-A VISA in agriculture and in other industries like landscaping, construction - and crab picking under an H2-B VISA.

Mar 24

The Need for Wisdom

By Marcus Peter Ford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, is subtitled, "Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere." The University of Everywhere, however, could just as easily be called the University of Nowhere because it exists only on the internet.

Minerva University, named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom, is just this type of university. Minerva is the brain-child of multi-millionaire and former Snapfish president, Ben Nelson. As a freshman at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nelson concluded that there was a more rational way to structure higher education, one predicated on certain modes of analysis and skills. All students should be required to take the same courses their freshmen year - formal analysis (mathematics); empirical analysis (science); complex system (social sciences), and multimodal communication (writing, rhetoric, and public speaking). These four courses constitute to the basis of all subsequent study at Minerva.

At 9:15 am on March 19, the 12th anniversary of the U.S.’ illegal invasion of Iraq, seven members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars shut the main gate of the Hancock Drone Base (near Syracuse, NY) with a giant copy of the UN Charter and three other giant books – Dirty Wars (Jeremy Scahill), Living Under Drones (NYU and Stanford Law Schools), and You Never Die Twice (Reprieve). 

The nonviolent activists also held a banner quoting Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, stating that every treaty signed becomes the supreme law of the land. They brought the books to Hancock to remind everyone at the base of the signed treaties that prohibit the killing of civilians and assassinations of human beings.