Tuesday, 01 September 2015 / 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.

Jul 28

Bullet Songs From Gaza

By Shrouq Hamed El-Aila, We Are Not Numbers | Video

Once Ghada Shoman, 20, and her brother Mohammed, 16, began playing music, their songs flew through the sky as if seeking the peace missing from their lives. But lately their music has become so much more.

"Now my voice and my brother's guitar are our 'weapons,'" Ghada says, staring out to what lies beyond the horizon. "During the last offensive on Gaza (in the summer of 2014), the resistance was inspired by national songs of bravery and a vision of future freedom. And now, so are we."

Out of our homeland and in the global north, we have to be intentional about the way that we use our influence to impact countries in the global south.

When I was in my first year of university I began actively studying all of the people and cultures that I learned nothing about in high school. Indigenous Studies, African, Caribbean and Latin American history.

Imagine running through endless rows of luscious trees that tower over you, while being enveloped by the sweet aroma of freshly ripened apples. Envision yourself walking your dog down a nature trail and being entranced by the transformation of green leaves to bright yellow, orange and red. See yourself walking through a calm, undisturbed forest, while the snowflakes slowly dance down all around you. Then, visualize yourself spending hot summer days running up vast sand dunes and diving head first into the clear, refreshing water of Lake Michigan.

Gov. Mike Pence recently declared that Indiana will not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's new Clean Power Plan, calling it "ill-conceived."

However, it is Pence's position that is ill-conceived, since it will endanger the health of the most vulnerable residents of our state and is based on dubious, unsubstantiated economic analysis. Here's why.

Currently, the GOP is hailing Sen. John McCain as a war hero. As most people are familiar, in 1967, McCain became a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. To most people, surviving years of alleged torture would qualify one as a war hero.

But it is funny how this honor is quickly removed when the GOP finds it necessary.

Presidential front-runner Donald Trump gets DESTROYED in this rant by Lee Camp. But then again, doesn't he deserve it? 

Sonoma County Winegrowers bought an expensive, full-page, color ad, using tax dollars, this July in the daily Santa Rosa Press Democrat and in various weeklies. It ignited a firestorm of protest with angry letters to editors and online comments storming publications that ran it.

The ad, which ran on July 12, claims that the industry is "sustainable" and "growing a better place to live, work and play." It offers no proof or third party verification by an independent agency not employed by the wine industry.

The Koch Bros. have a new and exciting way in which they want to destroy America. It has to do with the fact that they're frustrated they can't buy our national parks. Step one - put astroturf op-eds in local newspapers as well as the NY Times. Step two - Tear apart the remaining green space in the country. 

Compelled by this research and evidence, the US Congress took the important step of including language in the 2014 and 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that would prevent aid to Ethiopia from supporting activities that result in forced evictions.

Despite such moves, all who speak out against such atrocities are labeled as terrorists and locked up in Ethiopian jails. Mr. Okello Akway Ochalla, the former governor of Gambella, is one such individual who has been languishing in the Kilinto prison for over a year now following his kidnapping from South Sudan by Ethiopian security forces.

Montana - where I'm fortunate to live and work - is often called "the last best place." The moniker is a tribute to what makes our state unique: vast expanses of undeveloped land on a scale that can be found in few places in the lower 48. This unspoiled wildness makes Montana an incredible place to explore and an invaluable area for wildlife conservation.

In the northwest corner of the state is a place that epitomizes some of the best features of our nation's remaining wild spaces.

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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.

Jul 28

Bullet Songs From Gaza

By Shrouq Hamed El-Aila, We Are Not Numbers | Video

Once Ghada Shoman, 20, and her brother Mohammed, 16, began playing music, their songs flew through the sky as if seeking the peace missing from their lives. But lately their music has become so much more.

"Now my voice and my brother's guitar are our 'weapons,'" Ghada says, staring out to what lies beyond the horizon. "During the last offensive on Gaza (in the summer of 2014), the resistance was inspired by national songs of bravery and a vision of future freedom. And now, so are we."

Out of our homeland and in the global north, we have to be intentional about the way that we use our influence to impact countries in the global south.

When I was in my first year of university I began actively studying all of the people and cultures that I learned nothing about in high school. Indigenous Studies, African, Caribbean and Latin American history.

Imagine running through endless rows of luscious trees that tower over you, while being enveloped by the sweet aroma of freshly ripened apples. Envision yourself walking your dog down a nature trail and being entranced by the transformation of green leaves to bright yellow, orange and red. See yourself walking through a calm, undisturbed forest, while the snowflakes slowly dance down all around you. Then, visualize yourself spending hot summer days running up vast sand dunes and diving head first into the clear, refreshing water of Lake Michigan.

Gov. Mike Pence recently declared that Indiana will not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's new Clean Power Plan, calling it "ill-conceived."

However, it is Pence's position that is ill-conceived, since it will endanger the health of the most vulnerable residents of our state and is based on dubious, unsubstantiated economic analysis. Here's why.

Currently, the GOP is hailing Sen. John McCain as a war hero. As most people are familiar, in 1967, McCain became a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. To most people, surviving years of alleged torture would qualify one as a war hero.

But it is funny how this honor is quickly removed when the GOP finds it necessary.

Presidential front-runner Donald Trump gets DESTROYED in this rant by Lee Camp. But then again, doesn't he deserve it? 

Sonoma County Winegrowers bought an expensive, full-page, color ad, using tax dollars, this July in the daily Santa Rosa Press Democrat and in various weeklies. It ignited a firestorm of protest with angry letters to editors and online comments storming publications that ran it.

The ad, which ran on July 12, claims that the industry is "sustainable" and "growing a better place to live, work and play." It offers no proof or third party verification by an independent agency not employed by the wine industry.

The Koch Bros. have a new and exciting way in which they want to destroy America. It has to do with the fact that they're frustrated they can't buy our national parks. Step one - put astroturf op-eds in local newspapers as well as the NY Times. Step two - Tear apart the remaining green space in the country. 

Compelled by this research and evidence, the US Congress took the important step of including language in the 2014 and 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that would prevent aid to Ethiopia from supporting activities that result in forced evictions.

Despite such moves, all who speak out against such atrocities are labeled as terrorists and locked up in Ethiopian jails. Mr. Okello Akway Ochalla, the former governor of Gambella, is one such individual who has been languishing in the Kilinto prison for over a year now following his kidnapping from South Sudan by Ethiopian security forces.

Montana - where I'm fortunate to live and work - is often called "the last best place." The moniker is a tribute to what makes our state unique: vast expanses of undeveloped land on a scale that can be found in few places in the lower 48. This unspoiled wildness makes Montana an incredible place to explore and an invaluable area for wildlife conservation.

In the northwest corner of the state is a place that epitomizes some of the best features of our nation's remaining wild spaces.