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.
On Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino's official website, he promises to lead the fight against government corruption: "New York government is ranked as the most corrupt in America. It is a disgraceful distinction." But it seems that Astorino is part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. Astorino issued a revocable license to the Houston, Texas, based oil pipeline company Spectra Energy Partners, LP, to expand the existing Algonquin Pipeline through Westchester County's Blue Mountain Reservation, ignoring the proper channels of the parkland alienation process, which would require a vote at the state level for approval. For this, it appears Astorino was amply compensated.
This has been the mantra of market advocates for many years under the theory of consumer-directed health care (CDHC), which posits that patients will be more judicious in their use of health care if they have "more skin in the game" (ie. through more cost-sharing). It has been repeated so often and for so long as to become a meme: a self-replicating myth or slogan that by constant repetition becomes part of everyday language, without regard to its merit.
In an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a surrogate for Donald Trump (the former being a millionaire and the latter a billionaire), would like you to believe they know the mindset of blue-collar Americans. News flash: They don't. Simply put, people like Senator Santorum and Trump know how to exploit blue-collar fear and anger for their personal benefit.
"The danger is, as ever with these things, unintended consequences." So wrote Prime Minister Tony Blair to President George W. Bush in 2002, as Bush prepared to invade Iraq. Blair's unstinting support of US policy, notwithstanding numerous unknowns and acknowledged large-scale obstacles, is more than a case of over-optimism or misplaced friendship. For as the Chilcot Commission has just concluded after a seven-year long investigation of British policy, bad judgment was multiplied by hubris, a deeply flawed decision-making process and an unquestioned faith in the ability of military power to resolve political and economic problems.
The most disappointing consequence of Brexit for foreign residents living in the UK has become the unexpected rise of xenophobia. According to the behavior of locals, the European Union's (EU) open door policy has completely failed. Brits have made it clear that foreigners are not welcome. Not only immigrants from conflict areas, but people from Poland and Baltic states face insults or even physical violence, hear offensive words and the call to pack their bags and leave.
During her opening comments, DNC Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz, spoke about "putting ourselves in others' shoes." That's what we've tried to do with our amendment. We do not often see the Arab Israeli conflict through Palestinian eyes. As Senator Sanders has made clear, there are two peoples in this conflict -- who need to be understood and whose pain needs to be recognized.
Seven years following the commencement of the long-awaited Chilcot inquiry, the findings have finally been published this week. The Guardian newspaper has referred to the findings as "crushing." Russian media have taken this one step further by calling the report "damning." Despite the media's clear inability to find any positive spin on the report, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair continues to stick to his decision to forcibly remove Saddam Hussein in 2003, creating a vacuum of power which plunged Iraq into chaos.
When I saw this ESPN story about Paulette Leaphart, I thought, "She's incredible. Heroic." Leaphart, a breast cancer survivor, social worker and mother, recently walked topless for over 1,000 miles to show her double-mastectomy scars to lawmakers in Washington, DC, and put a face to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who still struggle to pay for health care, and did it -- out of necessity, with her eight-year-old daughter in tow. I wanted people to know about her.
The Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee reported on immoral conduct committed by US military and CIA personnel while detaining and interrogating terrorist suspects during the administration of President George W. Bush. The torture described in those reports must never be allowed to happen again. Although there are many perpetrators who are known to have authorized, ordered or performed acts of torture, they have escaped prosecution by relying on the vague definition of torture written into our current law.
"It was freedom to destroy freedom." Jesse Williams' provocative and heart-wrenching speech at the BET Awards on June 26 made me recall the words of W.E.B. Du Bois. History is dangerously repeating itself, mirroring many of the events around the world during the first half of the 20th century, including the rise of fascism, Jim Crow and apartheid. We've seen displays of xenophobia in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, like young men in Manchester who verbally assaulted a man on the bus with racist language.