Friday, 12 February 2016 / 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.

It has been frightening to listen to the intolerant tone of the debate over admitting Syrian refugees into America. Despite the fact that conflating refugees with terrorism is irrational and bigoted, this notion has spread quickly with: most of the Republican presidential aspirants making frighteningly bigoted statements about refugees or Muslims, in general; more than 30 governors saying that they will not accept Syrians in their states; and 289 Members of Congress voting to restrict the ability of the President to fulfill his goal of increasing the number of Syrian refugees to be admitted each year.  

In a time of global turmoil surrounding refugee crises in many areas, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the Palestinians compose one of the largest refugee populations as well as the most longstanding refugee population in the world. Of the 11.6 million Palestinians dispersed worldwide, 4.5 million individuals live today in stateless insecurity within the Israeli-dominated Occupied Palestinian Territory, a geographically discontinuous, increasingly fragmented, and ever-shrinking area including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

As we recognize the one-year anniversary of Obama's November 20 executive action on immigration, I remember that night one year ago when immigrant families packed into a room together to watch the president announce the executive action. He had already signaled that he’d be responding to the unprecedented community pressure against the record deportations that had surpassed two million at that point. He had publicly committed to reform inhumane policy and finally it looked like the delays would end.

One thing we have become all too used to is that our reality can be manipulated to create the appearance of something else entirely. Invading another country is defensive, rigged elections are passed off as democracy in action, more guns (or more nuclear weapons) ensure the peace, trade and foreign investment increase jobs at home. Orwellian logic has become commonplace.

Many people in Lebanon have overlaid their Facebook profile pictures with a transparent flag of the French Republic, making use of a feature promptly provided by the social media platform, through which users could visually express their solidarity with France's terrorism victims by displaying the country's flag. While people in Lebanon and worldwide collectively mourn the victims of Paris, the 46 victims of the attacks against the so-called Paris of the East, the capital of the former French Mandate, Beirut, remain marginalized in public discourse.

Nov 19

Peace Boats on the Seas of Okinawa

By Dr. Hakim, #Enough | Op-Ed

I picked some sea shells at Henoko in Okinawa. Henoko is where the US is relocating their military base against the wishes of 76.1% of Okinawans.

I gave the sea shells as gifts to some of the Afghan Peace Volunteers to help them remember Okinawa's story. 

Every first Tuesday of the month since 2010 a handful of us have been protesting the weaponized Reaper drone atHancock Air Base. In milder weather - from April to November - we also protest on third Tuesdays. We call this work, "street heat."

Why such persistence? Hancock AFB, near Syracuse, our home town, hosts the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard.

The recent killing of Corey Jones by a plain clothes police officer is another tragic indication of Florida's violent landscape against blacks. Indeed, Jones, a Black public-housing inspector and part-time musician, was waiting for a tow truck when he was shot multiple times by Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja. The incident turned deadly when Rjaa, an untrained officer still on probation conducting "surveillance" operations, approached Jones and fatally shot him to death.

President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on November 9 in the White House and is considering the Israeli request to give a 50 percent increase of nearly $1.5 billion in US military funding bringing the US donation to the killing of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to $4.5 billion a year.

Nov 17

Lessons From the Ebola Epidemic

By Christine Ngaruiya, Speakout | News Analysis

Ebola has scarred our minds with frightening images of death, destruction and dire challenges for the countries that have been affected. While the disease effects may be dissipating, with reported cases dwindling into the single digits, the repercussions on the healthcare system are crippling and will persist for a long time to come, as highlighted by the CNN piece, "Here's where we are 1 year later."

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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.

It has been frightening to listen to the intolerant tone of the debate over admitting Syrian refugees into America. Despite the fact that conflating refugees with terrorism is irrational and bigoted, this notion has spread quickly with: most of the Republican presidential aspirants making frighteningly bigoted statements about refugees or Muslims, in general; more than 30 governors saying that they will not accept Syrians in their states; and 289 Members of Congress voting to restrict the ability of the President to fulfill his goal of increasing the number of Syrian refugees to be admitted each year.  

In a time of global turmoil surrounding refugee crises in many areas, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the Palestinians compose one of the largest refugee populations as well as the most longstanding refugee population in the world. Of the 11.6 million Palestinians dispersed worldwide, 4.5 million individuals live today in stateless insecurity within the Israeli-dominated Occupied Palestinian Territory, a geographically discontinuous, increasingly fragmented, and ever-shrinking area including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

As we recognize the one-year anniversary of Obama's November 20 executive action on immigration, I remember that night one year ago when immigrant families packed into a room together to watch the president announce the executive action. He had already signaled that he’d be responding to the unprecedented community pressure against the record deportations that had surpassed two million at that point. He had publicly committed to reform inhumane policy and finally it looked like the delays would end.

One thing we have become all too used to is that our reality can be manipulated to create the appearance of something else entirely. Invading another country is defensive, rigged elections are passed off as democracy in action, more guns (or more nuclear weapons) ensure the peace, trade and foreign investment increase jobs at home. Orwellian logic has become commonplace.

Many people in Lebanon have overlaid their Facebook profile pictures with a transparent flag of the French Republic, making use of a feature promptly provided by the social media platform, through which users could visually express their solidarity with France's terrorism victims by displaying the country's flag. While people in Lebanon and worldwide collectively mourn the victims of Paris, the 46 victims of the attacks against the so-called Paris of the East, the capital of the former French Mandate, Beirut, remain marginalized in public discourse.

Nov 19

Peace Boats on the Seas of Okinawa

By Dr. Hakim, #Enough | Op-Ed

I picked some sea shells at Henoko in Okinawa. Henoko is where the US is relocating their military base against the wishes of 76.1% of Okinawans.

I gave the sea shells as gifts to some of the Afghan Peace Volunteers to help them remember Okinawa's story. 

Every first Tuesday of the month since 2010 a handful of us have been protesting the weaponized Reaper drone atHancock Air Base. In milder weather - from April to November - we also protest on third Tuesdays. We call this work, "street heat."

Why such persistence? Hancock AFB, near Syracuse, our home town, hosts the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard.

The recent killing of Corey Jones by a plain clothes police officer is another tragic indication of Florida's violent landscape against blacks. Indeed, Jones, a Black public-housing inspector and part-time musician, was waiting for a tow truck when he was shot multiple times by Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja. The incident turned deadly when Rjaa, an untrained officer still on probation conducting "surveillance" operations, approached Jones and fatally shot him to death.

President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on November 9 in the White House and is considering the Israeli request to give a 50 percent increase of nearly $1.5 billion in US military funding bringing the US donation to the killing of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to $4.5 billion a year.

Nov 17

Lessons From the Ebola Epidemic

By Christine Ngaruiya, Speakout | News Analysis

Ebola has scarred our minds with frightening images of death, destruction and dire challenges for the countries that have been affected. While the disease effects may be dissipating, with reported cases dwindling into the single digits, the repercussions on the healthcare system are crippling and will persist for a long time to come, as highlighted by the CNN piece, "Here's where we are 1 year later."