Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Land Language Identity

Mayan, Mapuche, Navajo, Seminole--young filmmakers take Big Apple by storm in Native American Film Festival.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Great Escape

I just discovered the perfect sanctuary from holiday madness--read the Lost Stories of Dashiell Hammett, edited by Vince Emery. Or watch The Tracker DVD, with awesome soundtrack by Archie Roach.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Why Oaxaca?

The mountains of Oaxaca became the refuge of pre-Columbian civilizations that were never fully conquered. The history of resistance and persistence that developed there permitted the survival of cultures that bucked a colonizing mentality and rejected tacitly or explicitly the wholesale imposition of colonial political systems. At the same time, to subjugate the rebels required some of the nation's most brutal forms of repression. Many of these remain fundamentally intact to this day. The governor, whose resignation has become the principal demand of the current Oaxacan insurrection, has inherited the mantle of this centuries-old tradition of repression. ...

[ From Oaxaca Fights Back by Laura Carlsen ]

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Atsa Nogud

Former Corporation for Public Broadcasting chair Kenneth Tomlinson, forced out over corrupt conduct there, renominated by President Bush to oversee Voice of America despite "using the office to run a horse-racing operation" and "signing invoices worth $245,000 for a friend without the knowledge of other board members or staff."


2006 Top Story

Forget the Koufax Awards; the big scoop of the year goes to Karena Espuela for breaking the code of the international terrorist network. We're thinking of calling it the Ward Award.

Christmas Day update:
Be sure to read the response to this announcement by the award recipient and her many devoted fans.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


A Simple Request

Health workers in Gaza request international sanctions against Israeli health institutions, universities and hospitals that support inhuman acts against Palestinian people. Physicians, nurses and ambulance drivers ask for assistance in ending Apartheid medical system denying treatment to Palestinians.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Warming Hearts

We're gonna run this appeal for winter coats for kids on the Sioux Indian reservations in South Dakota one more time. Highest poverty in the US, coldest winters--you know what to do.

Friday 22 December update:
150 down, 50 to go. Looks like those kids are gonna have a warm holiday afterall. Way to go, guys!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Fightin' Words

Argument turns physical after Jefferson GOP event
The Courier-Journal

A battle for control of the Jefferson County Republican Party turned physical last weekend, after an argument that one GOP delegate said left him with a bruised arm. Now John Lawlor has sworn out a warrant against Peter Hayes, charging him with assault. He says Hayes punched him in the arm hard enough to cause a bruise. Hayes says he tried to grab Lawlor's arm only to get his attention. The case is scheduled to go to mediation. Meanwhile, Hayes alleges that Lawlor kept him from being a delegate to the state Republican Convention for religious reasons.

The brouhaha at the convention was over the party's decision to exclude seven slates of delegates to the convention, claiming some of the slates contained Democrats, people who live outside the state, or too few or too many delegates. Hayes, a staunchly conservative Republican who has run for mayor several times, was among those disqualified. Both said they had words in the auditorium at Eastern High School after the convention. Lawlor said Hayes approached him and asked whether he was having a sexual relationship with another male Republican. "He knew my history and he was trying to provoke me," Lawlor said. Lawlor said he "was gay at one time and he (Hayes) knew that." Lawlor said he is no longer gay. Hayes said he merely asked why Lawlor had opposed Hayes as a delegate and sided with another faction of the Republican Party. He said he made no sexual references.

Lawlor said the two then began talking about Hayes' religion. Hayes belongs to the Unification Church, founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Both men said Lawlor then called Hayes a "Moonie." They agree that Hayes then objected. "I said, `You don't call people Moonies,'" Hayes recalled. "`Just like you don't call a black person a nigger or a Jewish person a Kike.'" Both men said Lawlor used the term "Moonie" several more times. Lawlor said that is when Hayes "bopped me" in his left arm. It caused a bruise and left his arm sore for several days, Lawlor said. Hayes, however, said he only tried to grab Lawlor's arm to get his attention.

Hayes said: "I asked him how come you didn't do the right thing, and he said, `It's because you're a Moonie and I don't want to work with you.' Then, he started saying, `Moonie, Moonie, Moonie, Moonie, Moonie.'" Lawlor recalled saying only "Moonie, Moonie, Moonie." Hayes said he believes Lawlor, who serves on the party's nominations committee, blocked his candidacy because of his religion. That violates his constitutional rights, Hayes said.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Tis a Puzzlement

When I saw the young LaRouchian recruiting agent outside in his neatly-pressed guerrilla camouflage pants and bootcamp cap hustling our landlady this afternoon, I thought to myself, "What's the difference? First it was UFOs, then chemtrails, now LaRouche. Somehow it fits. Maybe next year she'll become a Moonie." I mean, people are always looking for a way to explain why the world is so screwed up. If the Illuminati Jewish bankers' conspiracy is what gets her off, what do I care?

After all, she's a befuddled older woman titillated by the attention of a handsome young man and the prestige of knowing the big secrets we don't, and she's not very likely to engage in bigoted thuggery like some of the LaRouche diehards, so what does it really matter? Besides, in addition to subscribing to LaRouche's magazine, she also supports Southern Poverty Law Center and our local community radio.

And when all is said and done, it's the ideas of fascist cult leaders like LaRouche or Reverend Moon we're fighting, not the gullible individuals duped by right-wing propaganda or led astray by conspiracism masquerading as investigative news in left-wing media. There's a lot of competition for the hearts and minds of donors out there, and a logical, coherent, scholarly approach often finishes last. So it goes.

[For more on this topic, read Right Woos Left or listen to Fascist Cults by Public Eye magazine.]


Oaxaca Libre

"No movement can be won if no risks are taken."
--Indigenous Oaxaca organizer

Listen to the radio program.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


From Acorns to Oaks

Three blogs lend insight into Islam and conflict in the Middle East:
This Here Garden
Al Musawwir
Listen to Who is Hizbollah? (episode #1 of The Muslim Street)



It's this time of year with the rain sheeting on redwoods a short leap from my door, that we are especially reminded we inhabit the southern range of the coastal temperate rainforest extending from Seldovia to Big Sur. Having worked summers in the spruce-covered islands of the Alexander Archipelago, as well as the fir and cedar laden shores of the San Juan Islands, these redwood forests of the Marin Peninsula--laced with salmon and steelhead streams--form a tangible connection through both space and time.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Crass Cruelty

From Gaza posts a letter from Ramallah illustrating the bureaucracy of oppression affecting the viability of Palestinian marriages.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Moosylvania or Bust

As someone who at an early age came to a healthy distrust of politicians as well as disbelief in conventional wisdom via Mad Magazine and Rocky & Bullwinkle, I now realize how much I owe to Jay Ward and the fellow who started Mad whose name escapes me at the moment. They not only kept me regularly amused; they also prepared me to join the hippie counterculture at a time that true believers in our official doctrine were dropping napalm on Vietnamese kids. So, for what it’s worth, a toast to the irreverent tradition, and the reconstruction of our sorry culture into one of mirth, joy, and playfulness.

Oh, and peace and love, too.

MAD was born in 1952 as a response to the censorship of the McCarthy era. William Gaines founded it, but Al Feldstein, who took over as editor in 1956, made it the cultural icon it was to become.

Jay Ward, who kicked off Rocky & Bullwinkle in 1959, also made headlines when during the Cuban Missile Crisis he tried to crash the gates of the White House in an admiral’s uniform in order to seek the creation of the new state of Moosylvania on an island in northern Michigan.


Fortuitous Change

As immigrant-bashing for political purposes wanes on the national level, local politicians are presently making hay with ordinances aimed at harassing employers, landlords, and humanitarians who interact with undocumented (as well as green card) workers. Along with federal harassment of immigrant workers and their families by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, now local police are getting caught up in bullying school kids, maids, and yard workers that look Mexican or speak Spanish.

While the xenophobic campaign continues to wreak havoc nationally, it has also opened up opportunities for people of conscience to become involved in community level education and organizing against bigotry. And perhaps that's a good thing.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Alive and Well

Arvin Hill, aka The Texas Tornado, is alive and well, and has been using his extended sabbatical preparing to do some serious flaming--or partying--I'm not sure which. FYI, Arvin is one of the more promising writers to surface on weblogs that I've seen. His style is unique.


Foundational Dispute

The recent showdown at the United Nations over whether or not indigenous peoples should be treated as human beings, is instructive in that it provides an opportunity to educate, reflect, and reassess relationships between first and fourth world peoples. As an ongoing dispute, the conflict between synthetic states and authentic nations is literally foundational--not only in how we are to live together and coexist, but perhaps more importantly, whether we choose to end a destructive way of life and embrace a more creative future.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Northern Exposure

Thanks to Changing Winds Advocacy Center, some of the poorest kids in the US, who also live in one of the harshest climates (the Northern Plains), might get winter clothes to survive until spring. If you have the wherewithall to make a donation for this straightup vital charity, now is the time to help.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The Money Behind 9/11

FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' report claims 27 pages censured from the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 part of federal coverup to protect Saudi government and US arms merchants from exposure of treasonous activities.


American Graffiti

Casey Woz Ere
Dulles Woz There
Negroponte Everywhere

Monday, December 04, 2006


Party of Betrayal

Democrats in Congress get head start on destroying Social Security. Fraudulent privatization scheme evidently linked to finance industry campaign contributions.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Still Abandoned

Some of the people on the New Orleans streets…it’s difficult to describe, but they seemed to communicate in their manner the kind of end-of-the-world hopelessness which inspires a sense of invisibility and in that sense of invisibility they abandon themselves to a posture of hopeless languor one doesn’t see with people who feel they’ve a voice and a future.
--Juli Meanwhile
from a recent post about her holiday trip along the Gulf Coast.

Friday, December 01, 2006


South of the Border

With his novel The Shadow of the Shadow, Paco Ignacio Taibo joins Dashiell Hammett as my favorite crime/mystery novelist. What more can I say?

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