Tuesday, 21 April 2015 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • On Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray and the Cost of Police Impunity

    While the corporate media report on killings of African-Americans by police, they fail to cover the actual mechanics underpinning the cycle of violence.

  • We Call It "Mud Season"

    William Rivers Pitt describes the atmosphere of New Hampshire as the GOP clown car rolls in for the primary: "The Iowa caucus is one thing ... but the New Hampshire primary is an entirely different ball of wax."

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.

This report provides a new understanding of the growing ways in which those inpoverty are disproportionately targeted, marginalized, and prosecuted.

Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and even incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans. A broken taillight, an unpaid parking ticket, a minor drug offense, sitting on a sidewalk, or sleeping in a park can all result in jail time. In this report, we seek to understand the multi-faceted, growing phenomenon of the "criminalization of poverty."

A tribal leader in one of India's tiger reserves is fearing for his safety after a wildlife official urged his community to beat him and drive him out for defending their right to remain on their land.

Telenga Hassa, a Munda man from Jamunagarh community inside what is now Similipal Tiger Reserve, has been leading his village's struggle against official moves to evict them in the name of tiger "conservation."

Mar 29

Take Me Out

By Rochelle Lefkowitz, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

You almost had to be on Mars last week to have missed San Francisco 49er rookie Chris Borland making football history. He did not make a breathtaking play. Instead, the talented, promising young inside linebacker quit the NFL at age 24.

Why did he do that? Chris Borland hadn't stopped loving football. It turns out he'd had two concussions before the NFL draft in college, then a third during practice. Instead of waiting until he fell victim, like too many pro-football players, to grave, irreversible brain damage, Borland announced his proactive retirement. Despite the thrill of the game, great pride in his team, the roar of the crowd and future millions, he'd concluded the risk was not worth the reward.

Last week, legislators in hub airport states of Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina all advanced proposals to end valuable handouts, loopholes and tax breaks worth over $93 million per year to United, Delta and American Airlines.

On Wednesday, March 18, a majority of the North Carolina Senate signed onto an economic incentive bill that would let American Airlines’ handout expire at the end of the year. The break is a cap on the amount of sales tax on jet fuel American pays, expected to be worth $15.5 million next year.

The weather this year has been bizarrely ruthless. Boston just recently hit the most snowfall EVER in their history - which means this year saw more racist snowmen police officers than ever before. California is apparently one year away from running out of water completely, which will leave their wet t-shirt contests dreadfully dry. A dry t-shirt contest? Are you kidding me?? I'd rather play naked Twister in a Panamanian mosquito breeding ground! 

Drought! Blizzards! Floods! Climate change is… fucked up. I didn't want to believe it but then I saw a report from NASA saying "Climate change is fucked up." Sure, NASA didn't use those exact words,but they wanted to. I consider myself NASA's id. 

Indiana's Republican Governor, Mike Pence, said on Wednesday he would consider implementing a syringe service program to help combat escalating HIV infection rates in Scott County, Indiana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently determined that HIV infection rates have soared in Scott County on account of the sharing of syringes used for the injection of heroin and other drugs.

Governor Pence expressed support for syringe service programs as part of a heroin emergency plan that he is expected to announce today. Governor Pence's announcement came just hours after Republican Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation that would create syringe service programs in local jurisdictions that formally approve them.

Finland, Minnesota - The OrganicConsumers Association (OCA) issued the following statement today in response to plans by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to reintroduce a federalbill to preempt states'rights to enactGMOlabelinglaws, and create a voluntary non-GMOlabeling scheme.

"The Pompeo bill, aptly dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, is not only anti-consumer, but anti-democracy and anti-state'rights as well.

I defied my advanced age last week to board a  special train, with a thousand mostly young people, and join in the big "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt/Main, Germany's big banking city. The trip,  though not the usual 4 ½ but seven hours, retained till well into the night a spirit of happy anticipation.

The occasion was the opening of a giant new European Central Bank building, over four years and $1.4 billion in the making, one more modernistic banking skyscraper to reshape the city's skyline, with two adjacent towers reaching up 201 meters (660 ft.).

Prior to announcing his bid for the presidency, in which he plans on raising an army of Christian conservatives to remake the US, TexasRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz was dumb founded by an unlikely heckler: a 3-year-old girl. Standing before a small group of people, Cruz was hell-bent on criticizing President Obama's foreign and domestic policies. After claiming that signing a nuclear enrichment treaty with Iran would cause another Holocaust, he then declared, "The Obama economy is a disaster… Obamacare is a train wreck and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind-the whole world is on fire!" 

Mar 26

Who Stands Behind?

By Elle Kurancid, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Cairo - To introduce the photograph above (unpublished until now), I was tempted to reiterate the scenes of "A Message Signed With Blood to the Nation of the Cross," an execution video released on February 15, 2015, by militants who pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group (IS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.

The five-minute video marches on with the decapitations of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Chadian man purportedly on a Libyan beach. Like me, perhaps you recall the bloody ideology gripping 42 men on camera: half of them wearing Gitmo-inspired orange jumpsuits, their lips moving in prayer with hands bound while kneeling in the sand, each of them paired with an IS executioner standing close behind.

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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.

This report provides a new understanding of the growing ways in which those inpoverty are disproportionately targeted, marginalized, and prosecuted.

Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and even incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans. A broken taillight, an unpaid parking ticket, a minor drug offense, sitting on a sidewalk, or sleeping in a park can all result in jail time. In this report, we seek to understand the multi-faceted, growing phenomenon of the "criminalization of poverty."

A tribal leader in one of India's tiger reserves is fearing for his safety after a wildlife official urged his community to beat him and drive him out for defending their right to remain on their land.

Telenga Hassa, a Munda man from Jamunagarh community inside what is now Similipal Tiger Reserve, has been leading his village's struggle against official moves to evict them in the name of tiger "conservation."

Mar 29

Take Me Out

By Rochelle Lefkowitz, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

You almost had to be on Mars last week to have missed San Francisco 49er rookie Chris Borland making football history. He did not make a breathtaking play. Instead, the talented, promising young inside linebacker quit the NFL at age 24.

Why did he do that? Chris Borland hadn't stopped loving football. It turns out he'd had two concussions before the NFL draft in college, then a third during practice. Instead of waiting until he fell victim, like too many pro-football players, to grave, irreversible brain damage, Borland announced his proactive retirement. Despite the thrill of the game, great pride in his team, the roar of the crowd and future millions, he'd concluded the risk was not worth the reward.

Last week, legislators in hub airport states of Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina all advanced proposals to end valuable handouts, loopholes and tax breaks worth over $93 million per year to United, Delta and American Airlines.

On Wednesday, March 18, a majority of the North Carolina Senate signed onto an economic incentive bill that would let American Airlines’ handout expire at the end of the year. The break is a cap on the amount of sales tax on jet fuel American pays, expected to be worth $15.5 million next year.

The weather this year has been bizarrely ruthless. Boston just recently hit the most snowfall EVER in their history - which means this year saw more racist snowmen police officers than ever before. California is apparently one year away from running out of water completely, which will leave their wet t-shirt contests dreadfully dry. A dry t-shirt contest? Are you kidding me?? I'd rather play naked Twister in a Panamanian mosquito breeding ground! 

Drought! Blizzards! Floods! Climate change is… fucked up. I didn't want to believe it but then I saw a report from NASA saying "Climate change is fucked up." Sure, NASA didn't use those exact words,but they wanted to. I consider myself NASA's id. 

Indiana's Republican Governor, Mike Pence, said on Wednesday he would consider implementing a syringe service program to help combat escalating HIV infection rates in Scott County, Indiana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently determined that HIV infection rates have soared in Scott County on account of the sharing of syringes used for the injection of heroin and other drugs.

Governor Pence expressed support for syringe service programs as part of a heroin emergency plan that he is expected to announce today. Governor Pence's announcement came just hours after Republican Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation that would create syringe service programs in local jurisdictions that formally approve them.

Finland, Minnesota - The OrganicConsumers Association (OCA) issued the following statement today in response to plans by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to reintroduce a federalbill to preempt states'rights to enactGMOlabelinglaws, and create a voluntary non-GMOlabeling scheme.

"The Pompeo bill, aptly dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, is not only anti-consumer, but anti-democracy and anti-state'rights as well.

I defied my advanced age last week to board a  special train, with a thousand mostly young people, and join in the big "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt/Main, Germany's big banking city. The trip,  though not the usual 4 ½ but seven hours, retained till well into the night a spirit of happy anticipation.

The occasion was the opening of a giant new European Central Bank building, over four years and $1.4 billion in the making, one more modernistic banking skyscraper to reshape the city's skyline, with two adjacent towers reaching up 201 meters (660 ft.).

Prior to announcing his bid for the presidency, in which he plans on raising an army of Christian conservatives to remake the US, TexasRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz was dumb founded by an unlikely heckler: a 3-year-old girl. Standing before a small group of people, Cruz was hell-bent on criticizing President Obama's foreign and domestic policies. After claiming that signing a nuclear enrichment treaty with Iran would cause another Holocaust, he then declared, "The Obama economy is a disaster… Obamacare is a train wreck and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind-the whole world is on fire!" 

Mar 26

Who Stands Behind?

By Elle Kurancid, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Cairo - To introduce the photograph above (unpublished until now), I was tempted to reiterate the scenes of "A Message Signed With Blood to the Nation of the Cross," an execution video released on February 15, 2015, by militants who pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group (IS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.

The five-minute video marches on with the decapitations of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Chadian man purportedly on a Libyan beach. Like me, perhaps you recall the bloody ideology gripping 42 men on camera: half of them wearing Gitmo-inspired orange jumpsuits, their lips moving in prayer with hands bound while kneeling in the sand, each of them paired with an IS executioner standing close behind.