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.
I am a veteran – of the Vietnam era, as are my friends and my brothers. My father, uncles, and an aunt were veterans of World War II. A great uncle was stationed on a battleship during World War I. A great-grandfather fought in the Civil War, an immigrant in an Illinois regiment who suffered the rest of his life from his bullet wound.
Veterans Day on November 11 was formerly Armistice Day, celebrating the end of the Great War. But it has turned from a celebration of peace to a celebration of the false glory of war. War damages everything associated with it, not only the sailors and soldiers but the civilians including the children, not only the body but the mind and the spirit. Glorification of war becomes support for more war, for accepting the easy violence of war instead of the difficult peaceful resolution of human problems.
At a massive rally to "Take Back Chicago," thousands of Chicagoans backed an agenda for economic justice -- and a challenge to the policies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Members of dozens of community groups and labor unions rallied Tuesday, October 15, roaring their approval for policies to end corporate subsidies and strengthen public services and neighborhood schools.
“Oh the Muslims… you know they are a coming… they’re gentle and they’re friendly so open up your arms and give’m a hug…”
— Opening Song from The Muslims Are Coming
Captain Phillips is a movie about the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama commercial container ship by Somali pirates. Pirates, one of Americans’ most beloved figures—consider the popularity of the recent Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy—are loathsome savages in this film. They kill their own, abandon their own, don’t aid their own when they are injured, and are portrayed as generally lacking in even the most rudimentary forms of human compassion. By contrast, Tom Hanks, who plays the eponymous Captain Phillips, urges the Somali pirates to treat their wounded; expresses paternal concern for his captors—“What are you, sixteen, seventeen? You’re too young to be out here doing this”; conveys indignation over the pirates’ conduct—“Is this how you do business? By shooting people?”; and repeatedly tells the hijackers that they could leave, right now, with $30,000, no questions asked—evoking a smarmy game show host (I kept picturing Regis Philbin).
In the eighteenth century the West shifted from mercantilism to capitalism. Mercantilism was an economic system that gave governments wide-ranging regulatory powers over commerce, mostly to ensure a positive balance of trade. It also allowed for strong guild structures and protection for domestic industries. However, the Industrial Revolution ended mercantilism and brought to power a business class that wanted to be free to operate without government oversight.
Monday morning I woke at dawn and drove an hour from Phoenix to the small town of Eloy, Arizona. It was pretty warm already and I knew the Arizona sun would only grow hotter. I grabbed my bandana and prepared to chain myself to the entrance of one of the largest detention centers with the worst reputation in the United States. There were six of us in all — two men and four women. One was 16-year-old girl named Sandy Estrada. Her brother was detained inside.
“I am doing this so he and everybody else in there knows that we support them,” she said. “Obama has the power to keep families like mine together. He hasn’t done a thing.”
A common practice for introducing students to the ethical foundation of philosophy is to pose moral dilemmas, possibly the most typical example being the life-boat dilemma that forces a person to choose who lives, and thus who dies.
Science fiction (SF) and speculative fiction often build entire other worlds in which the given circumstances create a series of moral dilemmas that are the basis of the tensions and actions of the novels and films. Writers such as Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale, for example) and Kurt Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle, for example) often build these worlds in the tradition of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley as a way to say, as Neil Gaiman explains about the power of fiction: “The world doesn’t have to be like this. Things can be different.”
First they came for the Arctic sea ice, and I did not speak out--even though its volume is two thirds what it was thirty years ago.
Then they came for our mountain glaciers--Kilimanjaro, Glacier National Park, the Andes, and Himalayas--and still I didn't speak out. My water supplies were not threatened.
They thawed the permafrost and continental shelves even though these areas could release planet altering greenhouse gases. Still I remained silent.
The price of fashion is on the rise as the death toll in Bangladesh’s garment factories grows.
Another fire in another garment factory – this one about 25 miles from the garment factory whose April collapse killed more than 1,100 workers – took the lives of at least 10 more workers on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.
Most of the workers who perished in this week’s fire were so badly burned they could not be identified. Approximately 50 other workers were injured in the fire, which took firefighters nearly 10 hours to overcome.
Just days ago thousands took to the streets in yet another March Against Monsanto, yet many people still don't understand what Monsanto is and what it's doing to our food supply. Take ten minutes and learn the truth.