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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.

Apr 05

Peace vs. Development: The Untold Story of the Colombian Civil War

By Martin Winiecki and Alnoor Ladha, Speakout | News Analysis

San José de Apartadó, Colombia -- In a remote village in the northwest of Colombia, a remarkable community is celebrating its 20th anniversary. This is a significant feat, given that it is the leading peace community in Colombia, born in the heart of a civil war between the Colombian government, right-wing paramilitaries and the guerrilla army of the Revolutionary Armed Forces ofColombia (FARC-Ep). Dignitaries from around the country and the globe have gathered in San José de Apartadó, including high-level officials from the United Nations, European ambassadors and heads of international non-governmental organizations.

During the last week of March, representatives of 130 of the world's governments -- all of them non-nuclear weapons states -- gathered at the United Nations for unprecedented and successful negotiations for a nuclear weapons prohibition and ban treaty. With the nuclear powers standing out in the cold, the easy progress made by the majority of the world's nations toward a treaty that would prohibit possession, development, testing and use of nuclear weapons was one more manifestation that the post-Cold War era is now history. Note the symbolism.

I remember the moment I first heard Buddy Red Bow's music. I had driven over 1,200 miles over two days from Sacramento heading to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. While I drove past the town of White Clay, Nebraska, the image of baked skin shirtless drunks laying lifeless out on the street made for a surreal site. This was the border town next to Pine Ridge Indian reservation, White Clay was basically composed of a few shacks selling liquor to the Indians in the reservation where its sale was prohibited.

A budget is a moral document. So let me say this plainly so that you fully understand. The conservative-movement budget the GOP is going to deliver for President Trump to rubber stamp is a morally bankrupt document. There is something in this budget for libertarian free market monsters, predatory capitalists, racists, nationalist reactionaries, neoliberal corporate grifters, religious zealots and militarists. President Trump didn't write this budget. It has been written and has been passed in pieces since Reagan.

Milo Yiannopoulos is the latest in a string of far right-wing voices to salivate over an incident at Gustavus Adolphus College (which I attend) on March 20. The Diversity Leadership Council (DLC) put up A-frames advising students on how to respond to an incident of discrimination. Next to the A-frames was an example of such discrimination, where a sign was posted calling the United States a white nation, and asking citizens to report people who are undocumented. The right-wing media presented the poster on its own, chastising the DLC for spreading racism.

Mar 30

The Myth About College Degrees

By Ramin Farahmandpur, Speakout | News Analysis

Does a college degree boost earnings and reduce unemployment? That's the question that economists have been debating for years, especially after the "Great Recession," when hundreds of thousands lost their jobs as a result of the global economic crisis in 2008. Research shows that the earnings gap between high school and college graduates is widening. Between 1979 and 2012, it doubled from $17,411 to $34,969. Businesses cite this as evidence that college degrees accelerate economic growth, reduce poverty and increase wages.

"My brain is fried and I have so many words that I feel them winding around me like chains of lament, constricting me." When Alicia Crosby of Center for Inclusivity (quoted with permission) told me she was feeling that way, I gasped. I also feel like I'm choking and my brain is oozing out of my head. And I'm exhausted. Alicia and I are very different people in many ways, yet the feeling descriptors are identical and her words represent a destructive microcosm of struggle lying dormant in my gut. The lament, the grief and pain, wrapping themselves around my every move.

Mar 29

The March to "Brainwash Our Kids" With Science

By Brian Moench, Speakout | Op-Ed

Candice Millard's book, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, chronicles the atrocious medical care given to President James Garfield after he was shot in an assassination attempt in 1881. It should teach us a valuable lesson about embedding science in our most important public health policy.

It was March 7, and I wasn't expecting the snow. I tucked my fingers into my sleeves, wishing I hadn't left my gloves in California. I had traveled to the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor to demonstrate at the site of the largest stockpile of deployed nuclear weapons in the United States, likely the world. With a dozen protesters, I occupied lanes of traffic. Down this road, past the gate on Trigger Avenue, on the Hood Canal just 20 miles from Seattle, sits a deadly fleet of nuclear submarines.

Over the past ten years, Ecuador has achieved major economic and social advances. We are concerned that many of these important gains in poverty reduction, wage growth, reduced inequality, and greater social inclusion could be eroded by a return to of the policies of austerity and neoliberalism that prevailed in Ecuador from the 1980s to the early 2000s. A return to such policies threatens to put Ecuador back on a path that leads not only to a more unequal society, but to more political instability as well. It is important to recall that from 1996 to 2006, Ecuador went through eight presidents.

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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.

Apr 05

Peace vs. Development: The Untold Story of the Colombian Civil War

By Martin Winiecki and Alnoor Ladha, Speakout | News Analysis

San José de Apartadó, Colombia -- In a remote village in the northwest of Colombia, a remarkable community is celebrating its 20th anniversary. This is a significant feat, given that it is the leading peace community in Colombia, born in the heart of a civil war between the Colombian government, right-wing paramilitaries and the guerrilla army of the Revolutionary Armed Forces ofColombia (FARC-Ep). Dignitaries from around the country and the globe have gathered in San José de Apartadó, including high-level officials from the United Nations, European ambassadors and heads of international non-governmental organizations.

During the last week of March, representatives of 130 of the world's governments -- all of them non-nuclear weapons states -- gathered at the United Nations for unprecedented and successful negotiations for a nuclear weapons prohibition and ban treaty. With the nuclear powers standing out in the cold, the easy progress made by the majority of the world's nations toward a treaty that would prohibit possession, development, testing and use of nuclear weapons was one more manifestation that the post-Cold War era is now history. Note the symbolism.

I remember the moment I first heard Buddy Red Bow's music. I had driven over 1,200 miles over two days from Sacramento heading to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. While I drove past the town of White Clay, Nebraska, the image of baked skin shirtless drunks laying lifeless out on the street made for a surreal site. This was the border town next to Pine Ridge Indian reservation, White Clay was basically composed of a few shacks selling liquor to the Indians in the reservation where its sale was prohibited.

A budget is a moral document. So let me say this plainly so that you fully understand. The conservative-movement budget the GOP is going to deliver for President Trump to rubber stamp is a morally bankrupt document. There is something in this budget for libertarian free market monsters, predatory capitalists, racists, nationalist reactionaries, neoliberal corporate grifters, religious zealots and militarists. President Trump didn't write this budget. It has been written and has been passed in pieces since Reagan.

Milo Yiannopoulos is the latest in a string of far right-wing voices to salivate over an incident at Gustavus Adolphus College (which I attend) on March 20. The Diversity Leadership Council (DLC) put up A-frames advising students on how to respond to an incident of discrimination. Next to the A-frames was an example of such discrimination, where a sign was posted calling the United States a white nation, and asking citizens to report people who are undocumented. The right-wing media presented the poster on its own, chastising the DLC for spreading racism.

Mar 30

The Myth About College Degrees

By Ramin Farahmandpur, Speakout | News Analysis

Does a college degree boost earnings and reduce unemployment? That's the question that economists have been debating for years, especially after the "Great Recession," when hundreds of thousands lost their jobs as a result of the global economic crisis in 2008. Research shows that the earnings gap between high school and college graduates is widening. Between 1979 and 2012, it doubled from $17,411 to $34,969. Businesses cite this as evidence that college degrees accelerate economic growth, reduce poverty and increase wages.

"My brain is fried and I have so many words that I feel them winding around me like chains of lament, constricting me." When Alicia Crosby of Center for Inclusivity (quoted with permission) told me she was feeling that way, I gasped. I also feel like I'm choking and my brain is oozing out of my head. And I'm exhausted. Alicia and I are very different people in many ways, yet the feeling descriptors are identical and her words represent a destructive microcosm of struggle lying dormant in my gut. The lament, the grief and pain, wrapping themselves around my every move.

Mar 29

The March to "Brainwash Our Kids" With Science

By Brian Moench, Speakout | Op-Ed

Candice Millard's book, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, chronicles the atrocious medical care given to President James Garfield after he was shot in an assassination attempt in 1881. It should teach us a valuable lesson about embedding science in our most important public health policy.

It was March 7, and I wasn't expecting the snow. I tucked my fingers into my sleeves, wishing I hadn't left my gloves in California. I had traveled to the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor to demonstrate at the site of the largest stockpile of deployed nuclear weapons in the United States, likely the world. With a dozen protesters, I occupied lanes of traffic. Down this road, past the gate on Trigger Avenue, on the Hood Canal just 20 miles from Seattle, sits a deadly fleet of nuclear submarines.

Over the past ten years, Ecuador has achieved major economic and social advances. We are concerned that many of these important gains in poverty reduction, wage growth, reduced inequality, and greater social inclusion could be eroded by a return to of the policies of austerity and neoliberalism that prevailed in Ecuador from the 1980s to the early 2000s. A return to such policies threatens to put Ecuador back on a path that leads not only to a more unequal society, but to more political instability as well. It is important to recall that from 1996 to 2006, Ecuador went through eight presidents.