Sunday, 10 December 2017 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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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.

In the midst of escalating hostility toward non-Christians, there are signs of Jews and Muslims forging alliances. Jewish advocates for religious inclusion made their presence felt at the airport protests against the Muslim ban, while the bipartisan Muslim Jewish Advisory Council is lobbying lawmakers to condemn hate crimes against religious minorities. Louder Than Words, an artist-activist collective focused on combating domestic violence and sexual assault, exemplifies this upsurge of Jewish-Muslim collaboration.

May 16

Evidence Suggests Comey's Firing Was Not Justified

By Gleb Tsipursky, Speakout | News Analysis

We all want our top investigative bodies to be headed by competent officials. We also all want to ensure that these officials can freely investigate other branches of the government -- including the presidential administration -- without fear of retribution. How can we tell whether Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey was meant to ensure competent leadership of the agency, as Trump claims, or to prevent Comey from digging deeper into Trump's potential connections with Russia, as many Democrats claim?

May 16

Tulsi Gabbard Cautions Against Proposed Afghanistan Troop Surge

By Michael Sainato and Chelsea Skojec, Speakout | News Analysis

"Without a clear objective and mission, and therefore a clear exit strategy, it doesn't make sense to continue to pour manpower, military assets, and billions of dollars into Afghanistan," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and currently serving as a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, in a statement. In 2013, she visited Afghanistan, where she insisted stability in the country can only be achieved by the Afghan people themselves.

During his January 20, 2017, inaugural address, Donald Trump triumphantly proclaimed, "The people became the rulers of this nation again." A Trump presidency, he stated, would begin the process of "transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the American People." Rather than enhancing the power of the people, however, the essence of the Trump administration has become evident after its first 100 days: to weaken democratic norms and institutions that would resist the administration's ultimate goal of shifting public wealth and power into the hands of a state-supported oligarchy.

Donald Trump's (in)famous presidential campaign slogan was "Make America Great Again." However, based on his rhetoric and the policies that his administration has enacted so far, his agenda may be better understood as an attempt to make "whiteness great again." The way out of the crisis of the 1970s through the imposition of neoliberalism brought about a reduction in what race scholar David Roediger refers to as "the wages of whiteness."

May is mental health awareness month, full of associated hashtags and promotional campaigns. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has called on Americans to "become inspired, informed, and involved." The Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, who helped create the Mental Health First Aid Act, has stated publicly that May is "the perfect time to break the silence and discuss what we can do to move mental health in America forward." Others are encouraging folks to "talk to their doctors."

Donald Trump's first 100 days in office were marked over the weekend by a 200,000-person march for climate justice in Washington, DC, multiple solidarity actions around the country, and a plethora of news stories marking the new administration's blunders and decisions. It is fair to say, even if the world isn't completely different than it was 100 days ago, the presence of racism, science denial, misogyny, wealth-worship, consolidation of corporate power and overall crudeness in mainstream behavior and political discourse has gained new acceptance.

Looking around the world at places like Turkey, Russia, Venezuela, the Philippines, and even the United States, an alarming truth has become increasingly apparent: Authoritarianism is on the rise. The best antidote to this authoritarian resurgence is organized and active citizenries, but Congress must act to ensure that civic spaces remain open, thereby giving civil society a forum to challenge regressive policies grounded in fear.In his first 100 days, President Trump has shown a surprising willingness to cozy up to authoritarians across the globe.

The People's Climate March on Saturday, April 29, 2017, flooded Washington, DC, with over 100,000 protesters. Organizers claimed 150,000, with marches in 330 other cities across the country and in three dozen solidarity events abroad. Coinciding with President Trump's 100th day in office, the marchers also protested his anti-environmental actions. The previous Saturday (April 22, 2017), thousands of scientists marched to protest the Trump administration's belittling of science. The demonstrations were planned for Earth Day to signal a particular concern with the enormity of current climate policy.

Whatever the intentions behind it, the possibility of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) offers an opportunity forprogressives. The burgeoning movement to resist Trump has generated tremendous energy, but unless that energy is channeled productively, it will be wasted. In the case of NAFTA, this means advocating for a trade regime that has far stronger protections for labor and environmental rights than were included in the original version, or in any trade agreement since. An improved NAFTA would, in turn, provide a blueprint for an international system that leads to a better future for all.

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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.

In the midst of escalating hostility toward non-Christians, there are signs of Jews and Muslims forging alliances. Jewish advocates for religious inclusion made their presence felt at the airport protests against the Muslim ban, while the bipartisan Muslim Jewish Advisory Council is lobbying lawmakers to condemn hate crimes against religious minorities. Louder Than Words, an artist-activist collective focused on combating domestic violence and sexual assault, exemplifies this upsurge of Jewish-Muslim collaboration.

May 16

Evidence Suggests Comey's Firing Was Not Justified

By Gleb Tsipursky, Speakout | News Analysis

We all want our top investigative bodies to be headed by competent officials. We also all want to ensure that these officials can freely investigate other branches of the government -- including the presidential administration -- without fear of retribution. How can we tell whether Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey was meant to ensure competent leadership of the agency, as Trump claims, or to prevent Comey from digging deeper into Trump's potential connections with Russia, as many Democrats claim?

May 16

Tulsi Gabbard Cautions Against Proposed Afghanistan Troop Surge

By Michael Sainato and Chelsea Skojec, Speakout | News Analysis

"Without a clear objective and mission, and therefore a clear exit strategy, it doesn't make sense to continue to pour manpower, military assets, and billions of dollars into Afghanistan," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and currently serving as a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, in a statement. In 2013, she visited Afghanistan, where she insisted stability in the country can only be achieved by the Afghan people themselves.

During his January 20, 2017, inaugural address, Donald Trump triumphantly proclaimed, "The people became the rulers of this nation again." A Trump presidency, he stated, would begin the process of "transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the American People." Rather than enhancing the power of the people, however, the essence of the Trump administration has become evident after its first 100 days: to weaken democratic norms and institutions that would resist the administration's ultimate goal of shifting public wealth and power into the hands of a state-supported oligarchy.

Donald Trump's (in)famous presidential campaign slogan was "Make America Great Again." However, based on his rhetoric and the policies that his administration has enacted so far, his agenda may be better understood as an attempt to make "whiteness great again." The way out of the crisis of the 1970s through the imposition of neoliberalism brought about a reduction in what race scholar David Roediger refers to as "the wages of whiteness."

May is mental health awareness month, full of associated hashtags and promotional campaigns. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has called on Americans to "become inspired, informed, and involved." The Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, who helped create the Mental Health First Aid Act, has stated publicly that May is "the perfect time to break the silence and discuss what we can do to move mental health in America forward." Others are encouraging folks to "talk to their doctors."

Donald Trump's first 100 days in office were marked over the weekend by a 200,000-person march for climate justice in Washington, DC, multiple solidarity actions around the country, and a plethora of news stories marking the new administration's blunders and decisions. It is fair to say, even if the world isn't completely different than it was 100 days ago, the presence of racism, science denial, misogyny, wealth-worship, consolidation of corporate power and overall crudeness in mainstream behavior and political discourse has gained new acceptance.

Looking around the world at places like Turkey, Russia, Venezuela, the Philippines, and even the United States, an alarming truth has become increasingly apparent: Authoritarianism is on the rise. The best antidote to this authoritarian resurgence is organized and active citizenries, but Congress must act to ensure that civic spaces remain open, thereby giving civil society a forum to challenge regressive policies grounded in fear.In his first 100 days, President Trump has shown a surprising willingness to cozy up to authoritarians across the globe.

The People's Climate March on Saturday, April 29, 2017, flooded Washington, DC, with over 100,000 protesters. Organizers claimed 150,000, with marches in 330 other cities across the country and in three dozen solidarity events abroad. Coinciding with President Trump's 100th day in office, the marchers also protested his anti-environmental actions. The previous Saturday (April 22, 2017), thousands of scientists marched to protest the Trump administration's belittling of science. The demonstrations were planned for Earth Day to signal a particular concern with the enormity of current climate policy.

Whatever the intentions behind it, the possibility of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) offers an opportunity forprogressives. The burgeoning movement to resist Trump has generated tremendous energy, but unless that energy is channeled productively, it will be wasted. In the case of NAFTA, this means advocating for a trade regime that has far stronger protections for labor and environmental rights than were included in the original version, or in any trade agreement since. An improved NAFTA would, in turn, provide a blueprint for an international system that leads to a better future for all.