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.
The Trump administration has begun publishing its promised weekly "list" of crimes committed by immigrants. These weekly reports are attempts to fulfill the mission of a new agency within the Department of Homeland Security called VOICE -- Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Reports list counties that did not turn immigrants allegedly convicted or charged with crimes over to ICE for detention and removal. But analyses have shown they are cherry-picked; they over-represent sanctuary locales, Latin Americans and detainer denials for people actually convicted of crimes.
While fascism busts loose, naked on the national stage, each day brings a new frontier of depravity. Faced with this dangerous reality, the sheer scale of protest and resistance that is needed can seem bewildering and insurmountable. At the root of this broad new era of organizing, however, is the defense of basic democratic rights, including the most fundamental: freedom of thought. Thoughts and ideas are metaphysical, and policing those same is a metaphysical endeavor. However, the thought police are real, and their banal tools exist in real locations.
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.
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.
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.