Thursday, October 04, 2018

 

Pattern of Deception

Inherited fortune and tax fraud made Donald Trump a wealthy man. As the New York Times special investigation, Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father, notes, The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

 

Critical Thinking

Language is not neutral. That is one of the lessons drawn by Paige Raibmon, professor of history at the University of British Columbia, in As I Remember It: Teachings from the Life of a Sliammon Elder--the K-12 textbook she co-authored about relations between Indigenous Peoples and Europeans.

As Raibmon observes, assumptions are not universal, but rather, culturally specific to a people, place and time. Many assumptions presented by Europeans as universal, she says, unwittingly promote continuity of the racist concepts these assumptions are based on.

As Raibmon notes, We all believe at some point that our particular ideas and practices are the norm. Those of us who benefit from various forms of privilege can retain that illusion because the world around us endorses our perspective. This is why the “First Peoples Principle of Learning” that “Learning requires exploration of one’s identity” applies to all learners of all ages. It invites non-Indigenous learners to start with themselves, rather than the Indigenous “other.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

 

In the Wind

When the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs established boarding schools to destroy indigenous cultures in America, they targeted the Plains Indians, noting, "The children would be hostages for the good behavior of their people." Today, as tribes such as the Northern Arapaho repatriate the remains of indigenous children--who died due to the routine abuse at the Indian boarding schools--the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has been asked by the National Congress of American Indians to demand the U.S. Government "provide a full accounting of the children taken into government custody under the U.S. Indian Boarding School Policy whose fate and whereabouts remain unknown."

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

 

Nuking Safety

The U.S. Department of Energy--long-depressed by films like The China Syndrome--has decided that due to bad PR on nuclear power plants since Chernobyl, it will no longer allow access to information by the Nuclear Safety Board. Apparently in violation of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act, this conduct--at a time of aging infrastructure and increasing radioactive and chemical accidents at American nuclear plants--has Democrats and Republicans alike up in arms. Given the boondoggle of shoddy construction and government cover-ups in the industry previously, the attitude of the current presidential administration toward public health and safety borders on criminal.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

 

Criminal Conspiracy Against Lakota

As reported at Indian Country Today, the collusion between oil companies, law enforcement, and the private military security company TigerSwan targeted Lakota People's Law Project attorney Chase Iron Eyes as part of a "racially-motivated criminal conspiracy by oil companies and mercenary security corporations to deny Native Americans and their allies their civil and treaty rights." This violation of the Federal Civil Rights Act against the Standing Rock tribe--for protecting its primary source of fresh drinking water from the oil company that moved its pipeline from a white community to the edge of the Standing Rock reservation--included a military operation and media campaign to racially profile the Lakota people as terrorists.

Friday, August 17, 2018

 

Demonizing Media

Calling journalists the "enemy of the people" is tantamount to terrorism. Anyone who defends the president's threat to a free press is either a fascist or a fool.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

 

Erosion of Standards

Anomie:

Lack of moral standards in a society.
Social instability caused by erosion of standards, values and ideals.
Alienation and purposelessness experienced as a result of a lack of social standards.

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