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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.

Seemingly few people realize that when the state came after Ethnic Studies in Arizona a few years ago, it was because the state deemed Raza Studies to be outside of western civilization.

That's Pat Buchanan-speak for: Brown people are savages. Actually, it's Torquemada-speak for these brown people are pagan. This war has actually been an old-school Inquisition against the Indigenous culture of Mexican/Chicana/Chicano peoples.

Yet, one thing is to go after a program, a department or even a discipline, but now, this civilizational war has become even more personal.

This video is a political statement protected by Anonymous and Fair Use laws. It is NOT approved by the Romney and Obama campaigns, as they are both bought and paid for by corrupt short-sighted greed-addicted oligarchs.

Anyone who pays attention knows that our political system is corrupt and unsustainable. Our elections have devolved into auctions. Our future is sold to the highest bidder. It's the two-party oligarchy versus the people.

The presidential debates are a tragic joke on the American people, a puppet show lacking legitimacy. Our government is rigged against hardworking Americans through blatant political bribery: campaign finance, lobbying and the revolving door between Washington and the world's most corrupt corporations.

I know. I've talked about it a million times. So have a million other people. It's dangerous for a black guy to show his anger. Frankly, I don't buy that. Not always. I think Ray Nagin's outburst about Hurricane Katrina pushed the Bush administration up against the wall. Quiet as it's kept, some white people are waiting on us. It didn't matter that Hannity wrecked his little Fuehrer heart to make Rev. Wright a lasting issue. Your excellent race speech helped, of course. However, when all was said and done, I don't think that whites viewed as surprising a damn near seventy-year-old black man having problems with race in this country. They rather he didn't air his grievances, but they're not surprised the grievances are there.

If you support strong and effective government, then the unfamiliar glow you felt after last Thursday's debate was the satisfaction of seeing your opinions forcefully defended by a national candidate. There hasn't been much of that going on lately. But a deceptive question was asked in the Vice Presidential debate, while other important ones still haven't been asked of any national candidate.

The President's been undercutting his own party's best message and keeps threatening to cut benefits for its signature programs. As for Mitt Romney and his running mate, there's little left to be said: They're both determined to undermine Medicare and Social Security. Even if they're retreating from their most radical ideas now, you know those ideas will be back once they're in office.

I was thrilled to get to talk with two of the organizers of the October 2011 Freedom Plaza occupation. They also helped organize Occupy The Debates and have stood up for justice in many places in many ways. Most recently they've been fighting against the Transpacific Partnership. I guarantee you will learn something from this interview.

This week, the U.S. war against the people of Afghanistan entered its twelfth year.

It's the longest war in our history, but you'd hardly know we've been at war, or that we continue to kill Afghan civilians. But on top of this, few Americans realize that Afghanistan has suffered almost continuous warfare for the past four decades. Some two million Afghans have died over the last forty years!

It's hard to imagine what the people of Afghanistan feel about this, because we are not to permitted to hear their voices. We know so little about the Afghan people.

But a remarkable group of young people in Kabul who espouse nonviolence and call themselves the Afghan Peace Volunteers have decided to tell us what they think, how they feel, and what they want us to do.

Oct 11

President Clinton Comes to Davis

By Jacqueline Stoddard, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

In the modern world, there are over 7 billion people, 300 million living in the USA, and over 30,000 on UC Davis's campus. Since 1790, there have been 44 presidents of the country, 5 of which are still living. When you hear that the most influential and successful one is coming to your college campus, it's a no-brainer whether or not you are going to miss class to hear him speak.

Tuesday of this week, the 42nd President of the United State Bill Clinton came to UC Davis in Davis, CA to endorse 4 local candidates for Congress, Barack Obama for President, as well as encourage the students to vote in November.

The era of focusing on victims needs to come to an end. It doesn't work. We can talk all day about how the culture of rape and violence has affected our lives, we can share individual stories and we can cite statistics and while this may be informative and therapeutic it is not going to get us where we need to get. It is not strategic.

I've always wondered about the slogan Take Back the Night. We can't take back something we never had. What we need to do is Take Down the structures responsible for the criminal climate of fear that we live in. Take Down the structures responsible for the exploitation, humiliation, and degredation women experience everyday.

And in order to do this we need to stop mourning. Stop having vigils. Stop being silent.

Oct 11

The Liar’s Master Class

By Lawrence Davidson, To The Point Analysis | Op-Ed

Mitt Romney might be the most brazen political liar since James Polk. Polk, who was the 11th U.S. president (1845-1849), lied through his teeth–to Congress, to his cabinet, to the newspapers– in order to get the country into a war with Mexico. Of course, other presidents have lied to this end, for instance presidents Johnson (Vietnam) and Bush Jr. (Iraq), but Polk had the same audacious, "lying is part of what I do," disposition as does our current Republican candidate.

If one has any doubt about Mitt Romney's mendacious temperment, the first presidential debate should have put it to rest. According to one analyst, Romney let loose with "27 myths in 38 minutes," finishing with a big grin after most of these prevarications. He produced trumped up assertions, false statistics, and wild exaggerations about taxes, energy independence, job creation, the deficit, medicare, "Obamacare," and military spending.

The coast is clear, the media tells us; economic disaster has been averted. The Euro Zone is finally stable and the U.S. economy is recovering. Whew!

Why, then, are government policies internationally still pursuing extremist measures? In the U.S., a third round of excess money printing —called Quantitative Easing — began recently in which banks are directly profiting by unloading their toxic mortgages on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet (another backdoor bailout paid by taxpayers).

After the U.S. presidential election, both Democrats and Republicans are committed to different versions of historic cuts to social services, education, Medicare, unemployment benefits, and very likely Social Security. This bi-partisan plan is often referred to as a "grand bargain," the details of which both parties are still haggling over.