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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.

Dec 05

Why Do Douche Waffles Get Elected?

By Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV | Video

The full campaign spoofing the Direct TV commercials, produced by Acronym TV for Move To Amend. All six spots, each about 30 seconds, are included here in this single video.

Written by Lee Camp and Dennis Trainor, Jr, and Directed by Trainor, these spots aim to hijack a popular meme to shine a seriously unserious light on the issues of corporate personhood and money as free speech.

The Homeless are the most at-risk population. And we're waging a war on them.
The basics:
On any given night in January 2012[1]
633,782 people are homeless in the U.S.
394,379 as individuals(62%)
and 239,403 as families(38%)
62,619 were veterans (10%)
--With 6,371 homeless veterans in L.A. Alone
99,894 people are chronically homeless(16%)
[Chronic homelessness= being homeless for more than a year. Or having four episodes of homelessness is 3 years, and a disability.]

Next week, the Uruguayan Senate will vote on a bill that would make their country the first in the world to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults. The bill was approved in the House of Representatives in July with 50 out of 96 votes. The Senate vote will most likely take place on Tuesday, December 10. Once approved in Senate, Uruguay will have 120 days to write the regulations before implementing the law.

The Corporate Reform Coalition is deeply disappointed by and demands an explanation for the removal from its agenda of the most widely supported rulemaking in the Securities and Exchange Commission's history. The agency chose to put the political spending disclosure rule on their docket for consideration based on its strong support from investors and the potential risks to companies from secret political spending. The decision to drop this rule and others from the Commission's agenda is a step back from the SEC's proactive agenda to protect investors.

Dec 03

Spy vs. Spy

By Barbara Garson, Truthout | Op-Ed
I took part in one of the 1500 Walmart protests this past BlackFriday.  It gave me a new perspective on NSA Surveillance.       
 
Well before noon my husband and I were sitting on a sunny bench in front of the Secaucus, NJ, Walmart.  To the Walmart security agents, conferring with groups of Hudson County Sheriff's officers, we must have looked like the silver haired elderly couple that we are.  They didn't seem to realize that we, like they, were waiting for the demonstrators.

TAMPA, FLORIDA – A new home owner has the legal right to use the name of his home’s construction company to publicize his web site criticizing the company, Public Citizen told the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida today.

Defendant Andrew Smith is one of a group of people living in the Willowbrook subdivision of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, who are dissatisfied with what they say is shoddy construction of their new homes, and are calling on the construction company KB Home to take responsibility for its mistakes and buy back the homes. Smith created a non-commercial website at thekbhome.com to express his opinions and campaign for a buyback program.

Dec 03

An Open Letter to the 3.5%

By Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV | Video

This is an open letter to you.

Yes, you: You! Are! The 3.5%!

We are in a historic moment where a new cultural, political, ecological reality must emerge and replace the dominant paradigm. The planet itself, to say nothing of the overwhelming majority of human beings, can no longer live with the killer that is global corporate capitalism in our midst.

NEW YORK – Today, more than 29 cities across the U.S. are joining a Global Day of Action against toxic trade agreements. The protests were called for by groups in Indonesia as the World Trade Organization begins meetings in Bali, with numerous campaigns in the US organizing events locally. The protests also precede negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) set to begin in Singapore on Dec. 7th.  

In Washington, DC, advocates will deliver a petition signed by more than 2,000 people to the US Trade Representative, demanding that negotiator Stan McCoy stop pressuring countries to accept pharmaceutical policies that protect profits at the expense of people’s lives.  They will also deliver a second petition, signed by 42,000, demanding transparency by releasing the text of the agreement.

Dec 03

A Victory for Diplomacy

By Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses | News Analysis

By now most readers know that the five permanent member nations of the UN Security Council – the United States, China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom – plus Germany,  (referred to as the P5+1) have reached a six-month interim diplomatic settlement with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Within this six-month period the P5+1 powers and Iran will seek to conclude a permanent and comprehensive agreement. Readers may also know what Iran has to do according to the agreement, because most of the Western media have repeatedly listed those terms. Either skimmed over or skipped altogether are those things the P5+1 have to do for Iran.  Here is a brief synopsis of the agreement...

Dec 03

Using and Abusing Polls - What Egyptians Think

By Dr James J Zogby, AAIUSA | Op-Ed

By now, I should be used to the fact that people will "cherry-pick" polls or try to "spin" results to fit their agendas. But, it still rankles.

For example, I still get upset when I recall how then Vice-President Dick Cheney famously tried to find good news in the first poll Zogby International conducted in Iraq in October, 2003. Our poll findings demonstrated that even at that early date America was in real trouble with the Iraqi public. But Cheney would not accept bad news. Appearing on "Meet the Press" a few days after our poll release, he praised the "carefully done...Zogby poll" saying that there was "very positive news in it".