Thursday, 23 October 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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.

Money Talks, and Climate Action: "What do we want?" "Climate action!" "When do we want it?" "Now!" What does climate action look like? Marching out on a life - if only for an afternoon - that's inextricably bound to fossil fuels? In Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? author Mark Fisher posits that "it's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism." Again, what does climate action look like? Strolling into a nonbinding climate summit? With respect to global climate change, the difference between "inextricably bound" and "nonbinding" is life and death.

Washington, DC -The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released new proposals for preventing predatory hedge funds and hold-out investors from blocking debt restructurings. The paper proposes a series of reforms to debt contracts, including strengthened collective action clauses and a modification of the pari passu clause that hold-out hedge funds used to sue Argentina.

"In the wake of debt restructurings in Argentina and Greece, the IMF is incredibly concerned about vulture funds," stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty coalition, Jubilee USA Network. "The IMF is advocating a market approach, but we also need a statutory approach. We need to change both the contracts and the laws." 

22 veterans take their own life every day in the USA. On 17th September 2014, Jacob David George was one of those veterans. And today, 7th October 2014, we mark thirteen years since the invasion of Afghanistan – an occupation with no end in sight, despite the promise of withdrawl by 2014.

We continue to witness new eras of the US-led Global War on Terror, and with it, a persisting conveyor belt of new generations of veterans, too many of whom will become another "one of 22."

In 2008, the Obama Administration made eye-popping headlines by announcing a 10-year, $80 billion nuclear weapons development program. In 2009, Mr. Obama promised to pursue a “world without nuclear weapons,” but that was then.

By 2010, new warhead plans had grown to an estimated $355 billion, decade-long cash cow that amounts to a cool $1 trillion over 30 years. The colossal expense has already been generally adopted by the House and Senate in military authorization bills -- according to the Sept. 22 New York Times.

Kabul - “I woke up with the blast of another bomb explosion this morning,” Imadullah told me. “I wonder how many people were killed.” Imadullah, an 18 year old Afghan Peace Volunteer, (APV), from Badakhshan, had joined me at the APVs’ Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence.

The news reported that at least three Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in the suicide bomb attack, in the area of Darulaman. Coincidentally, the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APVs) had planned to be at the Darulaman Palace that same morning.  To commemorate Gandhi’s birthday and the International Day of Nonviolence, we wanted to form a human circle of peace at the Palace, which is a war ruin.  But the police, citing general security concerns, had denied us permission.

Oct 06

The Smart Bomb

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Poem

My brother frequently picked on me

 

Last week he even ditched me with his friends,

All older by several years,

And I waited an hour at the park

For nothing

Oct 06

Humpty-Dumpty and the Fall of Berlin's Wall

By Victor Grossman, SpeakOut | Op-Ed
“Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall. “                                 
 
The children’s rhyme and its words Wall and Fall came to mind in connection with commemorations of the fall of the Berlin Wall - actually its opening up. Is such an allusion frivolous? Maybe. For millions that event twenty-five years ago was marked by genuine, understandable euphoria. But unceasing ballyhoo in the German media, weeks and weeks ahead of the anniversary, and plans for 8000 white helium balloons lit up by 60,000 batteries along the ten-mile length of the former wall, to be released in the evening with triumphant trumpet blasts, jubilant church bells or something similar while Angela Merkel, Lech Valesa, Mikhail Gorbachov, Berlin’s departing mayor and other celebrities cast their eyes gratefully heavenward, may perhaps justify my somewhat different approach.  

Washington, DC – Today, consumer and worker rights groups filed a joint amicus curiae brief with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of Food & Water Watch v. USDA. The lawsuit challenges the agency's New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) rules, a plan modeled after the agency's controversial pilot program that USDA's own employees have fervently opposed.

Organizations listed on the brief include the Government Accountability Project (GAP), Consumer Federation of America, Center for Foodborne Illness, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Nebraska Appleseed.

Oct 06

What Violence Is Acceptable to You?

By Priya Sawhney, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Women engaged in peaceful animal rights advocacy in India were attacked in September by a mob of angry men outraged by their presence on a public street. The Western press's reaction has been typical. The Washington Times decried the "Muslim mob" that descended on the women, failing to note that the women were themselves apparently Muslim. Another conservative journal was more explicit in its discriminatory bias: "These Liberals Might Stop Saying Islam Is Peaceful After What Just Happened To Them." Of course neither press account noted the mass violence against women that occurs in the United States, a predominantly Christian country, with nearly one in five women experiencing sexual assault.

A group of social activists in Brazil, concerned with how the outcome of the upcoming nationwide elections would impact on the LGBT community, launched a nonpartisan campaign in order to increase the pro-LGBT representation within political parties and Brazilian legislature.

The #VoteLGBT campaign is mapping all candidates running for the Senate, the Lower House and the Legislative houses of each of the 27 states in Brazil who advocate civil rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans persons. “In Brazil, political institutions rarely represent the diversity of the country’s population. They are usually taken over by individuals who are committed to maintaining the privileges of a certain portion of society, denying or ignoring the rights of minorities, and the elections are the moment we can change that,” says Gui Mohallem, one of the campaign coordinators.

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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.

Money Talks, and Climate Action: "What do we want?" "Climate action!" "When do we want it?" "Now!" What does climate action look like? Marching out on a life - if only for an afternoon - that's inextricably bound to fossil fuels? In Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? author Mark Fisher posits that "it's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism." Again, what does climate action look like? Strolling into a nonbinding climate summit? With respect to global climate change, the difference between "inextricably bound" and "nonbinding" is life and death.

Washington, DC -The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released new proposals for preventing predatory hedge funds and hold-out investors from blocking debt restructurings. The paper proposes a series of reforms to debt contracts, including strengthened collective action clauses and a modification of the pari passu clause that hold-out hedge funds used to sue Argentina.

"In the wake of debt restructurings in Argentina and Greece, the IMF is incredibly concerned about vulture funds," stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty coalition, Jubilee USA Network. "The IMF is advocating a market approach, but we also need a statutory approach. We need to change both the contracts and the laws." 

22 veterans take their own life every day in the USA. On 17th September 2014, Jacob David George was one of those veterans. And today, 7th October 2014, we mark thirteen years since the invasion of Afghanistan – an occupation with no end in sight, despite the promise of withdrawl by 2014.

We continue to witness new eras of the US-led Global War on Terror, and with it, a persisting conveyor belt of new generations of veterans, too many of whom will become another "one of 22."

In 2008, the Obama Administration made eye-popping headlines by announcing a 10-year, $80 billion nuclear weapons development program. In 2009, Mr. Obama promised to pursue a “world without nuclear weapons,” but that was then.

By 2010, new warhead plans had grown to an estimated $355 billion, decade-long cash cow that amounts to a cool $1 trillion over 30 years. The colossal expense has already been generally adopted by the House and Senate in military authorization bills -- according to the Sept. 22 New York Times.

Kabul - “I woke up with the blast of another bomb explosion this morning,” Imadullah told me. “I wonder how many people were killed.” Imadullah, an 18 year old Afghan Peace Volunteer, (APV), from Badakhshan, had joined me at the APVs’ Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence.

The news reported that at least three Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in the suicide bomb attack, in the area of Darulaman. Coincidentally, the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APVs) had planned to be at the Darulaman Palace that same morning.  To commemorate Gandhi’s birthday and the International Day of Nonviolence, we wanted to form a human circle of peace at the Palace, which is a war ruin.  But the police, citing general security concerns, had denied us permission.

Oct 06

The Smart Bomb

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Poem

My brother frequently picked on me

 

Last week he even ditched me with his friends,

All older by several years,

And I waited an hour at the park

For nothing

Oct 06

Humpty-Dumpty and the Fall of Berlin's Wall

By Victor Grossman, SpeakOut | Op-Ed
“Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall. “                                 
 
The children’s rhyme and its words Wall and Fall came to mind in connection with commemorations of the fall of the Berlin Wall - actually its opening up. Is such an allusion frivolous? Maybe. For millions that event twenty-five years ago was marked by genuine, understandable euphoria. But unceasing ballyhoo in the German media, weeks and weeks ahead of the anniversary, and plans for 8000 white helium balloons lit up by 60,000 batteries along the ten-mile length of the former wall, to be released in the evening with triumphant trumpet blasts, jubilant church bells or something similar while Angela Merkel, Lech Valesa, Mikhail Gorbachov, Berlin’s departing mayor and other celebrities cast their eyes gratefully heavenward, may perhaps justify my somewhat different approach.  

Washington, DC – Today, consumer and worker rights groups filed a joint amicus curiae brief with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of Food & Water Watch v. USDA. The lawsuit challenges the agency's New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) rules, a plan modeled after the agency's controversial pilot program that USDA's own employees have fervently opposed.

Organizations listed on the brief include the Government Accountability Project (GAP), Consumer Federation of America, Center for Foodborne Illness, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Nebraska Appleseed.

Oct 06

What Violence Is Acceptable to You?

By Priya Sawhney, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Women engaged in peaceful animal rights advocacy in India were attacked in September by a mob of angry men outraged by their presence on a public street. The Western press's reaction has been typical. The Washington Times decried the "Muslim mob" that descended on the women, failing to note that the women were themselves apparently Muslim. Another conservative journal was more explicit in its discriminatory bias: "These Liberals Might Stop Saying Islam Is Peaceful After What Just Happened To Them." Of course neither press account noted the mass violence against women that occurs in the United States, a predominantly Christian country, with nearly one in five women experiencing sexual assault.

A group of social activists in Brazil, concerned with how the outcome of the upcoming nationwide elections would impact on the LGBT community, launched a nonpartisan campaign in order to increase the pro-LGBT representation within political parties and Brazilian legislature.

The #VoteLGBT campaign is mapping all candidates running for the Senate, the Lower House and the Legislative houses of each of the 27 states in Brazil who advocate civil rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans persons. “In Brazil, political institutions rarely represent the diversity of the country’s population. They are usually taken over by individuals who are committed to maintaining the privileges of a certain portion of society, denying or ignoring the rights of minorities, and the elections are the moment we can change that,” says Gui Mohallem, one of the campaign coordinators.