Friday, March 31, 2006


Indigenous Sentiment Awakened

"The march is likely to stand as a historic milestone in the gradual but now unmistakable awakening of the indigenous giant of the Americas. ...On a North American and hemispheric scale, beyond the current bill and even the border issues, the marches confronted a more basic phenomenon of great concern to Indians. They rebuked a rising flood of anti-indigenous demagogy.

Bigots of all stripes are of one breath in attacking American Indian tribes, Mexican immigrants and the indigenous political movements of South America. The marches are sending a powerful message both to American politicians and to indigenous youth. These hateful attacks will not go unanswered. ...

These are the people asserting themselves in the white-shirt marches. They look like the long-sought foundation for the new alignment for indigenous rights."

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Before the Shoe Drops

Wampum follows Fitzgerald's imminent indictments:

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Another Phony Crisis

[Ed. note: With the flurry of questions rolling in after last weekend's pro-immigrant demonstrations, we thought it might help to address the confusion first.]

Unreasonable anxiety and fear over immigrants is manufactured the same way it is on other social issues--by social movement entrepreneurs.

Americans do not as a rule inform themselves or analyze facts; rather, they, by and large, shop for pre-formed opinions that they in turn make their own through habitual usage. That's why propaganda professionals like Goebbels and Buchanan use pervasive repetition of lies as a tool of indoctrination; it works.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


The Fatherland

Last night, we watched the PBS documentary Prisoner of Paradise about a Nazi Potemkin village in Czechoslovakia--set up by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in 1944--that successfully duped the International Red Cross into issuing a report describing this German concentration camp as a humanitarian relocation center.

Perhaps someday, American propaganda--disguising its role in subverting prodemocracy movements around the globe during the Cold War and its aftermath--will also be scrutinized as a means of deceptive mass communication. Comparisons with antecedents in Nazi Germany would be most enlightening.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Operation Fescue

[Ed. note: the following excerpt is from Karena's Blog. We liked it.]

Dear Lord Almighty, bless the nit wits, for they have been fruitful and multiplied, but they may cast just enough votes in 2006 to make Bush believe we support his invasion of Iran and this would not be good. So give the nit wits an extra ounce of courage on voting day to stay home and eat Cheetos on the sofa. Perhaps coupons for Cheetos and half-priced Hostess Cup Cakes will keep them appeased and at home on voting day.

If the nit wits get scared about gays on voting day, they may just go out and vote for some Republicans, so keep all images of gays doing anything, especially getting married, to a minimum. Do not let the Hollywood liberals air Brokeback Mountain on network TV before the elections. Gay sightings incite the nit wits, so please, Almighty God, please, do not let them see anything remotely gay, even Karl Rove or Scott McClellan, on television in the coming months. Amen
March 22, 2006


I wonder if W is saving up his trump performance for an October surprise: hopping on one leg from a megachurch alcove to the altar in a sort of three-legged race with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, proving once and for all who's really hearing extraterrestrial voices.
Posted by: spartacus March 22, 2006 at 07:38 PM

Spartacus, what we need right now is for you to join in the Nit Wit Prayer. Our analysis has been fruitless, so me must resort to what has been proven to work. Bless you and spread the good word to your good friends so we can defeat the Nit Wits in '06.
Posted by: karena March 22, 2006 at 10:41 PM

So this is a kind of pecksniff prevention prayer breakfast?
Posted by: spartacus March 23, 2006 at 12:46 AM

I guess, although I have never really heard of a pecksniff prevention prayer breakfast. Please povide details!
Posted by: karena March 23, 2006 at 09:18 AM

It may seem paradoxical, but the primer on prurient Pecksniffians--although originating with Charles Dickens--was most fully developed by my illustrious colleague Rufus T. Firefly. Needless to say, we seem to have been irrevocably put upon the path to pummeling these palavering Puritans, through prayer and other more terrestrial devices. Breakfast merely rounds out the more social possibilities of such a noble undertaking. Since Jay Ward is no longer available for the invocation, I thought perhaps we might induce the host of the Today Show to stand in.
Posted by: spartacus March 23, 2006 at 01:28 PM

Spartacus, I am having trouble with the host of the Today Show ever since Laura Ingraham, famed author of Shut up and Sing, pointed out earlier this week that she had been to Iraq but Matt Lauer of the Today Show had not. She has irrevocably spoiled the image of Matt Lauer and Katie Couric, so we may have to look towards Regis and his new side kick. That Dr. Phil may be able to help too.
I will get the pancake batter prepared for this affair and let you know when the first Nit Wit Prayer Pecksniffin Breakfast is scheduled.
Posted by: Karena March 23, 2006 at 02:41 PM

Woops. I meant the Daily Show. Better toss some vitamin B complex in that batter.
Posted by: spartacus March 23, 2006 at 03:47 PM

Spartacus, Vitamin B is only part of the complex I plan to throw into that batter! We need all the fortification and inspiration we can get. Gotta run and do some herb researching!
Posted by: Karena March 23, 2006 at 04:34 PM

sick humor is better than hate humor. Get a life.
Posted by: Mombugjoan March 24, 2006 at 04:08 PM

Maybe Mombug has a point: when we recover from our festive frolick, the Pecksniffians will still be nit wits.
Posted by: spartacus March 24, 2006 at 05:10 PM

Well, Spartacus, our efforts may be futile, but they are not hate-based, so I must respectfully disagree with Mombug. As a matter of fact, I do not see one hateful thing I said about the nit wits. Plus, we are sacrificing our valuable time to pray for them, so I'm not sure why Mombug is so against us. I have a life, but am devoting it to others. Where is the harm?
Posted by: Karena March 24, 2006 at 05:30 PM

You're right Karena. If we're ever gonna get our hands on some of that juicy faith-based funding, I guess we gotta have faith. Maybe after our Pecksniff Prevention Prayer Breakfasts catch on, we can do some nit wit interventions. We could call it Operation Fescue.
Posted by: spartacus March 24, 2006 at 05:53 PM


In Search of an Epigram

One of the supreme ironies in American history is the philosophical evolution of the Pilgrim faction of Puritan denominations over the last four centuries.

The central tenet of Puritanism was God's supreme authority over human affairs, which led them to seek both individual and corporate conformance to the teaching of the Bible, pursuing moral purity down to the smallest detail. The Pilgrims (the separatist, congregationalist Puritans who went to North America) are famous for banning from their New England colonies many secular entertainments, such as games of chance, maypoles, and drama, all of which were perceived as examples of immorality.

They believed that secular governors are accountable to God to protect and reward virtue, including "true religion", and to punish wrongdoers.

In modern usage, the word puritan is often used as an informal pejorative for someone who has strict views on sexual morality and wishes to impose these beliefs on others. None of these qualities were unique to Puritanism or universally characteristic of the Puritans themselves, whose moral views and ascetic tendencies were no more extreme than many other Protestant reformers of their time, and who were relatively tolerant of other faiths — at least in England.

The popular image is slightly more accurate as a description of Puritans in colonial America, who were among the most radical Puritans and whose social experiment took the form of a Calvinist theocracy.

The modern Congregational Church (which merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1957 to form the United Church of Christ) is the direct descendant of New England Puritan congregations, although in the early 19th century a few of these old congregations adopted Unitarianism. Oddly, of most recent note, the United Church of Christ was pilloried by the Southern Baptist Convention for adopting the position of equal rights for homosexuals.

And while the citizens of present-day England may have the sixteenth century antecedents of these Baptist, Presbyterian, and Quaker dissenters to thank for their parliamentarian form of governance and the absence of a religious monarchy, it is indeed quixotic that the American refuge these religious protesters founded ended up being their greatest hope for establishment of a modern theocracy, under a distant cousin of the British queen.

[Editors of Skookum gratefully acknowledge reliance on Wikipedia for historical research.]

Thursday, March 23, 2006


The Resistance Prays Back


Go Git 'Em

Indian villagers mobilize to rescue B.C. ferry riders

HARTLEY BAY, B.C. - In fishing boats and speed boats, the people of this small Indian village headed into the stormy waters off British Columbia's north coast to help rescue 101 passengers and crew from a large British Columbia ferry that strayed off course, hit a rock and sank Wednesday.

David Hahn, president of B.C. Ferries, called the orderly rescue from the ferry's lifeboats and the fact that no one was seriously hurt miraculous.

Canadian coast guard spokesman Dan Bate said the southbound Queen of the North hit the rock without warning at 12:26 a.m. off Gil Island in Wright Sound, about 6½ miles southeast of here. The area is about 80 miles south of Prince Rupert and about 580 miles northwest of Seattle.

Passengers and crew aboard the 409-foot ship began boarding life rafts less than half an hour later, and were taken aboard local boats and the Canadian icebreaker Sir Wilfred Laurier, Bate said.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


South Dakota Siouxed

Fire Thunder Counts Coup on Puritans:


Gone Berserk

Since the gross war crimes perpetrated by the US military against Fallujah last year, I've refrained from chronicling the daily annihilation of civilians. This most recent account of troops gone berserk, however, was different:


Out of the Darkness

In an article linked in a post below, Hakim Bey writes about the well-underway Autonomous Zone Movement, where people have been actively seeking ways to restore human contact through various periodic gatherings and unmediated festivals, encampments, and nights of liberation. Which reminded me of one exceptionally dark night in a pilot house illuminated solely by the amber glow on the compass and red hue from the Radio Direction Finder and marineband radio to which we listened with distraction on our long slow journey crossing the Gulf of Alaska one night, on our way from Cape Fairweather to Cape St. Elias.

Briefly, as we smoked hand-rolled cigarettes and sipped boat coffee with our chocolate chip cookies, we caught a trace of English amongst the clutter of Russian and Japanese from the fleets of high seas trawlers working through the night somewhere over the horizon. As we checked our drift and set by radio and chart in those days before GPS, we momentarily heard the words "Bering, Bering--Beaver, over" and I excitedly set caliper and parallel rule aside as Thorstein disengaged the auto-pilot motor to better hear the faint voice perhaps calling our vessel out of the darkness.

When I took the helm while Sandy replied, the fleeting communication from his son--far away in the Aleutians--made possible by some unexplained combination of atmospheric conditions, informed us of his progress toward the cannery at Naknek, and then was gone. And when recalling these voices in the ether long ago, I was reminded of the virtual archipelago of voices gathered periodically in the virtual reality of blogging, and what delight ensues when we hear voices of those we've met, as well as those we hope to someday, and how this communicating in the dark and across the ether is creating in some small way part of the fabric of what Hakim Bey once wrote about in his essays on communing face-to-face.

And I think about the fact of our cultural marginilization, but take heart in the knowledge that we are at least self-organized.


My Friend Martin

My friend Martin was a Shakespearian actor from London, who’d once done a stint as a journalist in Kenya, photographed Joe Cocker for one of his album covers, and edited an oil industry magazine in Alberta, Canada.

When I met him, he was teaching environmental education to grade schoolers in British Columbia out of a science lab trailer he and his associates hauled around behind an old pickup, and sometimes shipped by rail to remote, snow-bound school districts in the north. Science teachers, and the kids, loved Martin and his critter outfits they donned before following him out to ponds to collect bugs and scum to look at under televised microscopes in the marvelous trailer painted to look like a big frog.

Seeing how this freelance merriment was so popular in the K-12s adjacent to metropolitan Vancouver, Martin and his friends frequently escorted inquisitive tykes through a local bog loaded with birds and fish and bugs and flora found little where else. An idyllic situation.

Then, one day, an industrial waste management company proposed said bog as an ideal location to dump said waste, and attempted—with political support—to railroad through said proposal sans public hearing and son, undoubtedly, more than a little bribery. Alas, it was not to be so easy, for Martin and friends knew how to hold a public hearing. They’d attended many such gatherings. In fact, as actors, they knew how to produce one.

And so it was one Saturday afternoon at the local bingo hall, neighbors and kids, parents and reporters, actors and bugs, all filled the room designated in public notices the week before, in anticipation of glimpsing the villains and giving them a piece of their minds.

Martin and cast played their parts so well, in fact, that not only did the usually-reserved good neighbors raise their voices in contempt at offers for future ball fields on top of the eventually-capped industrial waste, but continued to express their wrath at said government agencies the following Monday, bewildering bureaucrats far and near with their animosity. And thus, was the bog preserved, for kids and bugs yet to emerge from the primal ooze, by a bunch of merry pranksters, led by the illustrious actor born in the countryside where fair William once strolled.


Judgment and Restraint

Readers who were once teenagers might enjoy this short story:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Autonomy in Everyday Life

For something completely different:


From McCarthy to Sensenbrenner, ....Good Night and Good Luck

I somehow missed this conversation about kids, drugs, and totalitarian states that took place between Juli Meanwhile and Arvin Hill last spring, but it's one people should read:

Monday, March 20, 2006


Subatomic Penguin

Fellow blogger extraordinaire Juli Maria Kearns has published her first novel:


Emerging Perspectives

Some institutions of higher learning recognize blogging for what it is, a participatory media where emerging perspectives allow conversations to take place including many points of view. Visit Global Voices and see what discussions are taking place around the world, every day, unencumbered by government and commerce.


Off on the Wrong Foot

I always thought the phrase representative democracy was an oxymoron.

If so, then Americans took a wrong turn from the outset, when the Continental Congress consulted with the Akwesasne (Iroquois) on the foundation of their highly successful confederated form of government. The difference--and a significant one--was that the Akwesasne system of governance was based on participatory democracy, something the rich white guys, who had their eyes on the imminent real estate bonanza, weren't quite ready to unleash.

You see where that got us.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


The Right To Be Themselves

On Friday March 17--the 25th anniversary of the H-Blocks Hunger Strikes in the North of Ireland--KPFA radio interviewed my friend, former Long Kesh prisoner and Sinn Fein Belfast Councilman, Bobby Lavery, as well as Terry Kirby, both of whom now reside in the US. Listen in.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


The Madness of King George

"The bill would make it a crime to tell the American people that the president is breaking the law."


Megachurch Mullahs

Holy war in America:


Apocalyptic Spectacle

Some days, the headlines tell it all:

Halliburton Gave Troops in Iraq Contaminated Water

Top US Officer at Abu Ghraib: "Wrong" to Approve Use of Dogs on Detainees

Judy Miller Wants to Fight Subpoena from Scooter Libby's Lawyers

Govt Hits CBS with $3.6M Indecency Fine

Missouri Votes to End Birth Control Funding

US Launches Largest Iraq Air Assault since 2003 "Shock and Awe"


More Stupid White Men

Arvin Hill gets down on the minutemen crackers:

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


The New Plague

Broken minds--broken bodies:


Fascisti Opus

Mercury Rising has a thoughtful piece about the right-wing media's attack on liberation Catholics:

Monday, March 13, 2006


Rain Language

Lingua Franca Northwest:


Demented Souls

With the Republican party run top to bottom by convicted and active criminals--including the top GOP leadership in both Congress and the White House--I have to laugh every time I see their moronic spear-carriers waving signs these days in front of day labor centers, or soon, no doubt, in front of abortion clinics in American Taliban states. I mean, maybe we oughta spring for bus tickets for these demented souls to take their "What part of illegal don't you understand" signs to Lafayette Park where Bush and Delay, et al can actually see them.


What America Stands For

Half million people in Chicago march in support of immigrants:


Key Words

Some useful words to type in the search box above:

Arvin Hill
Bill Wassmuth
cbs 60 minutes
civil disobedience
civil war
Dewey Beard
Eloise Cobell
fourth world
Hakim Bey
Hans Magnus Enzensberger
John P. O'Neill
law and order
moral theatrics
Native American
private equity
psychological warfare
racial profiling
Richard Armitage
Sara Robinson
Social Security
wise use

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Mexico Today, America Tomorrow

"Their judicial system and their laws are there to serve the rich… We have to rebuild the communal fabric, build a new country."

--Subcommandante Marcos

Friday, March 10, 2006


Tir Eoghan

If first names are any indication--and they were significant up through my ancestors' emigration to South Carolina in 1768--then there appears to be a strong possibility that our line of O'Neals are descended from Owen, the first O'Neill king, as well as Shane "The O'Neill" aka "Defender of the [Catholic] Faith" born c.1500 to Con Bacagh O'Neill, the first Earl of Tyrone (Land of Owen), and his wife Alice.

This Shane, who died in 1567, married twice-once to an O'Donnell and later to a MacCarthy. His sons were Henry, Con, Art, Hugh (the "Great O'Neill" who led the 1601 rebellion at Kinsale), Shane, and two others unnamed, as well as a daughter Alice.

Leaping ahead in time to my emigrant ancestor Shane O'Neal, b. 1728 in Ireland, and his Irish-born children Jane, Alice, Margaret, and Arthur, it seems likely he and his wife Margaret were honoring this specific lineage.

The earldom of Tyrone (Tir Eoghan) was first conferred by Henry in 1542 on Conn Bacach O'Neill, and was forfeited in 1614 when an act of attainder was passed against his grandson Hugh, 2nd earl--the famous rebel mentioned above--who fled from Ireland along with Hugh O'Donnell, the earl of Tyrconnell (Donegal) and Hugh Maguire, the earl of Fermanagh, in 1607.

Descendants of Con Bacach (in Spain) continued to style themselves earls of Tyrone till the death early in the 18th century of Owen O'Neill, grandson of Owen Roe (Eoghan Ruadh) O'Neill [who returned to fight the British in 1641], himself the son of Art MacBaron O'Neill, and 1st cousin of Art Og O'Neill.

While it is sometimes difficult to piece together this lineage, the names Hugh, Shane (Sean), Conn, Art, and Alice continue in this line right up to where it reappears in 1728 as John (Shane) and forty years later as his son Arthur, daughters Margaret, Jane and Alice, on the Belfast ship list in our family records.

Today, the "Great O'Neill" Hugh's castle in the community of Dungannon (Co. Tyrone, North of Ireland) is now an RUC police station, and the O'Neals as represented by my mother and her sister's black hair and dark eyes still suggest the possible infusion of Spanish blood from the generations exiled on the Galician and Cantabrian coasts adjoining Asturias and Basque country, but my investigation--for now--comes to a dead end on the docks of Belfast two and a half centuries ago.

I recently, however, located an Arthur O'Neal in the 1766 Religious Census Returns for Co. Tyrone, Diocese of Armagh, Carnteel Parish. As well as Freeholders' Records of the early 1800s where I discovered John O'Neal of Co. Armagh. I also came across two O'Neale jurors listed in the 1608 Dungannon Inquisition, one of whom was the son of a Sir Arthur O'Neale. And while browsing through some old Irish maps, I found the ancient tribal name of the Ua Neills in the Armagh/Tyrone region was Airthir, which I presume to be an Irish version of Arthur.

In the end, it seems I've come close to completing the links, but despite the thousands of blood relatives who undoubtedly reside in Ireland today, I'm in many respects separated by more than a few thousand miles from finding them.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Audience and Purpose

In doing graduate research for the thesis included in my second book, I developed a curricular proposal that incorporated the study of psychological warfare as a key component of effective social activism:

The more I observe discussion online about social conflict now taking place on the Internet and public airwaves, the more I realize how widespread and entrenched the misunderstanding of the nature of this conflict is, and in turn how important it is for those engaged in this war of ideas to acquaint themselves with at least the basic principles if not tactics of psychological warfare. For those unable to access the classic texts on this topic--Psychological Warfare by Paul Linebarger, and The Science of Coercion by Christopher Simpson--I'll try to recall them here.

For starters, there are two things to always keep in mind: the target audience, and the purpose of the message. In a theater of war--physical or psychological--there are combatants and non-combatants and at least two sides, as well as many interests. In communicating social transformation, psychological warfare will be employed at different times and in different ways depending on the audience targeted and what the message transmitter is attempting to affect.

In recruiting the uninvolved or uncommitted, the message might convey an urgent threat, a righteous cause, a juicy opportunity, or a chance for revenge. In retaining the involved, a message would likely include an appeal to pride and expectations of victory. In undermining the resolve of the enemy, messages generally try to create doubts about all the above.

One area often overlooked by the unexperienced in psychological warfare, however, is the use of messages crafted and delivered for the purpose of preventing the enemy from effectively mobilizing audiences potentially supportive of its views, goals, and objectives. These strategically-developed messages--sometimes overt, sometimes covert--are those most-commonly associated with gray and black ops, white being forthright, gray misleading, and black counterfeit.

Understanding these techniques of mass communication--deployed in abundance in politics and advertising today--is essential for those who care about where the world is heading, even if in the end they decide to avoid the field of social conflict themselves. Once educated on the topic, they can at least refrain from unwittingly undermining those with whom they agree.


A Bad Thing

I hate to say this, but my mother was wrong: crime does pay, and cheaters do prosper. Of course, mom was right about the moral lessons; she just had more faith in justice than is any longer warranted.

I bring this up not to disparage the woman who introduced me to Jiminy Cricket and other value-laden mentors of childhood, but rather to take note of the formidable challenge that lays ahead as a result of the consolidation of ill-gotten gains between the Reagan era and Bush II. While some would prefer not to admit it, the colossal hoarding, stealing, fraud, and tax evasion by the right-wing in the US, makes it all the more likely they will continue to haunt us for decades, perhaps centuries, to come.

Because as anyone with a sound mind knows, money in America determines what most people see, hear, learn, think, and believe. In the hands of the apocalyptic coalition, that is a very dangerous and unhealthy thing.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Perps Walk

Karena nails it on the psychopathic Colin Powell:

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


From Madness to Suicide

[Ed. note: The following comments are from a post at Mercury Rising.]

Coming to our senses as Americans invokes an image of the helmsman on the Exxon Valdez when he suddenly notices the aids to navigation flashing on the reef ahead, and the helpless feeling of knowing that the momentum and steerage capability of the monstrous vessel he's on guarantee imminent disaster.
# posted by Spartacus O'Neal : 3/06/2006 09:16:15 AM

Yes, yes, it would appear the ship is sinking. But alas, how will it all be portrayed in the mainstream media? At the end of the day, they still wield the most power to influence the public debate.
# posted by MediaBloodhound : 3/06/2006 09:25:29 AM

MediaBloodHound: But how much longer will the media as we know it continue to exist?
# posted by Phoenix Woman : 3/06/2006 11:24:59 AM

PW: I think the media is dissolving before our eyes. How many people believe what they read or hear from corporate media? I think it's a terrible situation. This is the sort of anarchy from which demagogues arise and nations turn from madness to suicide. But maybe God will be kind, and the last 34% will see Our Dear Leader and the mess that the Republicans have created in its full truth.
# posted by Charles : 3/06/2006 04:00:29 PM

And the helmsman of the Exxon America is starting to notice that the captain is drunk off his ass and has been for the whole voyage.--cde
# posted by Anonymous : 3/06/2006 09:39:32 PM Post a Comment


Movement Money Ideas

[Ed. note: We recently came across this discussion (about one of our earlier posts) at a philanthropy blog, and decided to share some of the discussion.]

Thinking for Money

Spartacus O'Neal on "The Movement." He sees not movement, but stasis. He deplores the right's funding of pseudo-intellectual work by its minions and minion-wannabees. He calls for funding from progressives to pay (I imagine) Spartacus himself and others like him to write and think for the public good.

My own feelings are different. The best minds in the right wing think tanks do indeed want so many dollars per word or hour, and considering it their livelihood, will not part with their rhetoric for anything less than top dollar. Of course they won't do it for free. It is killing their souls and their brains and their self-respect to write the stuff at all. Why would they trade their precious moments of sanity to produce more HQ orchestrated claptrap?

We who are active citizens think for ourselves, and do it for free, indeed do it for fun, for recreation and to take our minds back from the media so polluted by paid-for hack work. We have real jobs. Those of us who are professionals work in a real house of fame. We don't need to get paid to "make a case" for some funder.

The Movement is an awakening of the sleepwalkers from all walks of life. It won't happen just because a paid person plays upon a Wordygurdy for $35,000 a year so he doesn't have to punch a clock at WB. The awakening passes from person to person like a contagion. I don't know how much longer the paid for thinkers, no matter how disciplined their message, can keep us asleep. Or, better yet, they may soon put themselves to sleep.
January 26, 2006 in Think Tank Thinkers

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Phil, he's talking about much more than funding an intellectual platform. He's talking about activist infrastructure, the craft of moving the political structure and the training to do that. Good ideas are fine things to have. So are smart policy proposals. They're completely useless without a coordinated effort to move them forward. And that means there has to be way to keep body and soul together for the people engaged in actually doing it.

Everyone focuses on the intellectuals. Forget about them. It's the people who take phone calls and go out to lend a hand that make a movement.
Posted by: P.I. Tchitchikoff January 27, 2006 at 11:06 AM

OK, P.I., thanks. Good points. Do you see this kind of grassroots infrastructure funded by a few big funders, realistically, or by paypal type fundraising? Can we imitate the right wing model of astroturf funded by fatcats? I don't think so. Too few fatcats and even if they were of the noblesse oblige variety, we still would need ordinary people to put their nickles and dimes and sweat equity into it or it would again be top down. Big Foundations? Soros? One doubts it.
If people man the phones for short money, wouldn't that be raised locally in small denominations by those who can't man the phones, but can send in $10 instead?

Many-to-many against the might few?
If so, doesn't it come down again to creating ideas or songs, or art, with the lift to energize a torpid, or mass media mezmerized public?
Are we back to fundraising per se, not unlike many a grassroots org or like moveon?
Posted by: phil cubeta January 27, 2006 at 04:53 PM

Phil, I think deep pockets funders are going to be mostly interested in what funding a movement can do for their bottom lines. Building an infrastructure based on the kind of controlled disbursment of money most of them favor would cripple the ideological base. It would wind up with Stirling Newberry when we need Jay Taber, Bob Parry and Jon Schwarz.

PayPal funding has been next to impossible. Small time donors are in a hurry and give their money to high profile, sexy causes, like the Dean campaign. The disappointment dries up that well very quickly. To make it work, an outreach network that was not affiliated with dismal failures or wretched triangulating would have to be built first. Someone should start a site, maybe call it the "Gift Hub", and see if they get any enthusiasm for helping with that :~p
Spinorb has something very worth looking at. It pertains to the many-to-many question and grassroots fundraising.
And yes it does come again to revitalizing culture. The strength of movements can't be measured in dollars, but in what they have that is not for sale.
Posted by: P.I. Tchitchikoff January 27, 2006 at 05:57 PM

I just stumbled on your post, Phil. Seems like a good discussion took place.

You might want to take a look at my free online memoir in the sidebar of Skookum to get a sense of what us thinkers do besides write about lessons learned from painful experience. If you do, you'll see it involves a lot more than writing blogs, and, is rarely rewarded.

As for funding for activism, I've never in thirty years received any, so maybe you misunderstood my comments. What I have on occasion gotten is an airline ticket to a conference, or physical therapy so I could travel, or a part-time minimum wage job from someone who wanted to make it possible for me to continue doing research, education, and organizing in a way that enables the next generation to avoid some of the pitfalls we encountered.

A couple of times, people I hardly knew just showed up at my door and handed me a couple hundred bucks. No need to make it complicated.

P.S. You also might notice I don't panhandle on my blog. Food for thought.
Posted by: Spartacus O'Neal March 07, 2006 at 12:06 PM

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Forum for Global Exchange

Current Issues and more:
February 2006 article by Jay Taber:


In the Name of God

Torturing teens for fun and profit:


A Force for Evil

David Brock's 2004 expose The Republican Noise Machine is a handy, detailed guide to the right-wing media that destroyed democracy in the US.


They Never Learn

Journalist John Gorenfeld cites Moon authority Daniel Junas in a recent post elaborating the long history of the Moon organization's vital influence and support of right-wing American politics.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Two Great Americans



This four-part essay by our colleague at Feral Scholar deserves serious attention.


Maharishi W

Heh, heh.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Synchronized Drama

The boomerang of globalization is, of course, immigration, or--in a more universal sense--displacement. This modern incarnation of corporate state colonialism--made possible by the ability to move capital and armies around the planet at will--inevitably forces people on the receiving end to relocate in order to survive the devastation such things as the war on terror/war on drugs/war on welfare apparati have on their home countries and communities.

So when these refugees from our wars show up on the doorsteps of the US or EU, no one should be surprised. Unless, that is, they are regular viewers of Fox News or CNN, where not only will they not hear a word about US policy being the cause of much of the dislocation and displacement, but they won't even find out that the Minuteman Militias (openly supported by both of these TV networks) work hand in hand with the Klan and other lynch mobs in what they themselves boast about as a synchronized effort with the Republican National Committee to use this racist drama to win the 2006 Congressional elections.

Read what SPLC has to say about CNN at:


Stealth and Silence

A new voice out of rural Ireland I hope will be around a long time. Mogue Doyle's Down A Road All Rebels Run spares none of the scars nor emotions of Eire's hard-won, but partial, independence. A superb and classic work of fiction by a masterful storyteller.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Coming Home

Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan came to our small town last week. Jane to help promote a new documentary about GIs against the war in Vietnam, and Cindy, I imagine, to honor her work. The documentary can be previewed at
The best all-time movie against war can be found at:

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