Tuesday, October 31, 2006



How we address the artificial divisions that overlay and smother authentic society depends literally on our point of view, something acknowledged by mediators like the Kluckhohn Center and enacted daily in the ongoing cultural conflict between our autochthonous peoples who make a place for everyone, and our invasive species that makes a place for no one. Exclusionary forms of organization--be they hierarchical or individualist--cannot create inclusionary results.

Monday, October 30, 2006


The Power Grid

Reading this morning of the upcoming Northern Cheyenne plebiscite on coal extraction within their reservation, and the discussion they are having over how to take advantage of their energy resources without ruining their environment, left me wondering if the Powder River Basin will end up like Appalachia. Now that the energy companies own the United States government, what's to stop them?

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Share In Their Spirit

Seven centuries ago, when Europeans and Middle Easterners were running amok in religious hysteria associated with the Black Plague, finding a refuge for sober social discussion was probably something like today's media-induced mania in America. Yet, despite the benefits of institutionalized higher education, public health (such as it is), and social security, even the brightest among us find it difficult to tear themselves away from the spectacle long enough to focus on the daily tasks involved in preparing the young to withstand the future fervent frenzy.

Chronicling the present madness is fine for journalists and historians, but it is hardly a practice worthy of our most dedicated and creative souls. Perhaps finding a niche for supporting a steady, grounded commitment like that of the Quakers, or the determined, balanced perspective of the world indigenous movement, will help our outraged brethren to weather the social storms ahead.

We don't have to adopt their religion to share in their spirit.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Appalling Tradition

In the preface to the thirtieth anniversary edition of his acclaimed book Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: an Indian history of the American west, renowned author Dee Brown observes that, "During the past generation, some tribal reservations have prospered, others have not...And the county with the deepest poverty in the United States is still a tribal reservation." Since these words were published in 2000, the government of the United States of America has embarked on the largest swindle of Indian tribes since the initial internment to reservations under treaties that guaranteed perpetual health care, education, and environmental stewardship to the indigenous peoples in exchange for these liens on the landscape they were coerced into ceding.

The obstruction of justice and conspiracy to defraud the tribes that led to a federal judge finding the Secretary of the Department of the Interior in contempt is now in its fifth year, and as Congress and the White House attempt to conceal the $200 billion of tribal oil and gas royalties stolen by energy companies with Interior's collusion, it is hard not to recall the endless string of broken promises detailed in Brown's classic account of deception, avarice, and savagery by our federal government toward the Indian people.

As he notes in the introduction to his remarkable book, "history has a way of intruding upon the present, and perhaps those who read it will have a clearer understanding of what the American Indian is, by knowing what he was...They may learn something about their own relationship to the earth from a people who were true conservationists...[who] could not comprehend why the intruders from the East were determined to destroy all that was Indian as well as America itself."

Friday, October 27, 2006


Full of Promise

One of my younger associates this morning was expressing his frustration and boredom with what he described as the, "tired bombastic oratory and tedious expose of conventional lefty think tanks." Which left me reflecting on how the talented, creative, technologically capable 30 and 40 somethings I regularly converse with rightfully demand analysis that is both stimulating and memorable.

In a society of the spectacle, it is no longer enough to be accurate and incisive; to motivate their participation, social criticism needs to be a work of art. Regardless of the medium, it's how you tell the story that determines whether you leave a lasting impression.

For those of us in our 50s and 60s, that's an important message--one that is at the same time elegant and full of promise.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Tomorrow's Storytellers

Social documentary report

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Indigenous Knowledge

Puget Sound tribes assert treaty right to protect the environment.

Monday, October 23, 2006


NewsHour Guestlist

PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer:
50% government and military officials
82% men
85% white
66% Republican


Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience has a long and noble tradition of publicly disobeying specific laws in order to change society. From Thoreau to Gandhi to King to Mandela, civil disobedience against unjust laws and illegitimate rulers was used to mobilize people based on moral convictions.

As such, their demonstrations--similar to some used to protest immoral laws and policies and conduct of our present administration--were prohibited by law, and they went to jail as a consequence. If we are to ever stop the monstrosities perpetrated by the US government, more of us will have to be willing to go to jail, suffer loss of employment, and perhaps die in our conflict with the state apparati.

Non-violence is a good policy, but our enemies don't always abide by it. People should discuss these things in advance of demonstrations and provide for group security should vigilantes or police run amok as they did in Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964 or Battle of Seattle 1999.

Social support networks leading to concerted actions are vital to sustaining long drawn-out struggles. Rent parties and shared child care and car pools help make it possible to take principled stands against tyranny. Without this kind of unity, we remain isolated and ineffective.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Non-profits and Democracy

"Philanthropy in general doesn't do that much to advance social justice, and by that I mean the serious imbalances in our society that have led to and perpetuated poverty and racism and other maladies in our society.

Do you know the work of Joan Roelofs? Roelofs suggests that the real purpose of philanthropy in a society is to defuse and channel discontent into acceptable places and to protect and undergird the existing socioeconomic system, which is the same system that gave rise to philanthropy in the first place."
--Rick Cohen, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Friday, October 20, 2006


Transgressions Overlooked

If you look up the word dreamer in the Oxford English Dictionary, you will find a concise, belittling description: a romantic or unpractical person. If you describe someone as a dreamer to an aboriginal person in Australia, Canada, or Ireland, you will be understood to mean a visionary, someone blessed with the spiritual gift of imagination.

An acceptable alternative to being called a dreamer in English speaking societies, is to be a poet, or storyteller, or writer, or artist, or musician. They still see or hear or imagine visions in dreams they later translate and communicate to others, but they are honored for the act of translating while their unpractical transgressions in arriving at that point are somehow overlooked.

Of course not all writers or artists or musicians are dreamers, but they do on occasion associate with them and often understand that without them, nothing worthwhile would ever be accomplished. It is a secret that needs to be shared with those whose minds have been hampered by practicalities alone.

Thursday, October 19, 2006



Artistic and intellectual customs and achievements of a particular civilization. Refined appreciation of this.

Person of abnormally weak intellect, esp. an adult with a mental age of about five.

Ideological absence in which advertising has become the only active factor, overriding any preexisting critical judgment or transforming such judgment into a mere conditioned reflex. Inability to develop any political consciousness.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Missionary Mincemeat

Over the last few months, we've noticed the social conflict as public relations nonsense flourish, particularly in the form of self-described progressives propagating such idiocy as embracing theocrats in order to show them the error of their ways, and thereby convert them to liberal habits and civil manners and an ecological outlook while simultaneously holding fast to their racial prejudice, homicidal homophobia, and murderous intent over reproductive rights. We now believe we've located the culprit (or culprits) for this convoluted social phenomenon within the cult of framing propaganda that has -- since the re-election of the anti-christ -- permeated the liberal blogosphere as the fog that envelops our beloved towers of the Golden Gate.

Perhaps appropriately obscuring the Berkeley foothills from whence this foolishness emanated, this mesmerizing essence has unduly influenced the gullible minds of bleeding hearts determined to avoid social conflict at all costs, especially that of actually opposing the religious right-wing and the corporate fascists who lead them blindly along toward Armageddon.

Alas, tempted as we are to beg Christopher Simpson to add a section to his book The Science of Coercion about advertising run amok rendering the cognitive substance mincemeat, out of respect to the author of Psychological Warfare, Paul Linebarger, we simply ask that liberals leave missionary work to the Peace Corps and let us get on with the fight to save our republic, spilling what blood is necessary.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Nation State

A self-identifying people who share a common history, often language, a common culture and a homeland. A nation is the most persistent and resistant organization of people-culture-territory. There are between 7,000 and 10,000 nations.

(Examples: Hopi, Miskito, Catalunya, Ainu, Ndebele)

A territory built by conquest in which one culture, one set of ideals and one set of laws have been imposed by force or threat over diverse nations by a civilian and military bureaucracy. States are ephemeral and originate and disappear with the stroke of a pen (e.g. the end of the U.S.S.R., December 25, 1991). In 1993 there existed 191 states.

(Examples: USA, Sudan, China, Spain, Nicaragua)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Rebel Hearts Betrayed

Having just finished reading Rebel Hearts by Kevin Toolis, and just begun reading Betrayed by Linda Diebel, the question occurred, just what is it about Angles and Anglos that drives their insatiable aggression? Is there such a thing as inherent English colonial attitude, or is it simply an accident of historical circumstances that propelled these Norman-Saxons with the gift that goes on conquering?

When Toolis wrote his book about the internal struggles of the Irish Republican Army on the verge of another truce with the occupying British troops in 1994, the Zapatistas' struggle Diebel reports on in her book about the Mexican human rights lawyer Digna Ochoa had recently erupted into the world's consciousness. Rebelling against David Rockefeller and Bill Clinton's North American Free Trade Agreement that was running the indigenous of Mexico off their communal lands in order for American corporations to strip their forests and supplant their sustainable agriculture with genetically-modified monoculture, the Indians of Chiapas and Guerrero--some of whom were defended by Ochoa--were just beginning this phase of resistance to colonialism while the indigenous of Ulster were hoping to bring their's to a peaceful conclusion.

Although the North American Indian wars are only half as old as the war in Ireland, the international solidarity recatalyzed by the indigenous movement in the Americas has provoked reflection on how over the last few centuries advantages have been gained and maintained throughout the world, as well as consideration of how we might go about making amends. The October 2001 assassination of Digna Ochoa in Mexico City, like the 1989 murder of Northern Ireland human rights attorney Patrick Finucane in Belfast, signalled just how far the inheritors of privilege are willing to go to protect their ill-gotten gains.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Criminal Enterprise Today

Calls for a lifering from some exploding heads lately got me thinking about how to simplify my analysis. In the case of the Congressional treason and war crime scandals, the simplest way to put it is that they get elected and stay elected as a result of their compliance with those who generate proceeds--licit and illicit--to lubricate campaigns, secure public contracts, and cover up high crimes.

Law enforcement, while including conscientious public servants, is also subject to Congressional pursestrings as well as oversight by politically subservient administrators, who quickly weed out idiosyncratic bureaucrats and agents. Thus, as we have increasingly witnessed since December 2000, no federal crime is too large to be swept under the rug or dismissed out of hand--including espionage, arms and narcotics trafficking, obstruction of justice.

International criminal enterprise today--whether in drugs, prostitution, or nuclear technology--is anything but ad hoc; laws, borders, treaties, and conventions are regularly and systematically transgressed with what now approaches impunity. In the scheme of things, a member of the US Congress is a relatively small player.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Blinded by the Light

Sometimes the answer is so glaringly obvious we are literally blinded by the light. Scanning through the headlines of Jane's recently, it dawned on me that while Persian Gulf oil might serve as a convenient motive for anti-war propaganda related to the US-led chaos there, it could just as easily be any other strategic Third World resource coveted by the Euro-American alliance.

Perhaps a better question given the more sane and practical method of simply purchasing minerals from their rightful owners, is what do we stand to gain from persistent global destabilization and provocation? If our largest export product is weaponry and armaments, I guess we've long since answered that question.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Shocking Expose

Vanity Fair online archives are currently down, but if you can put your hands on the September 2005 issue, the article An Inconvenient Patriot will prove to be an eye opener for even the most cynical among us. Perhaps the most shocking expose available of how deeply entrenched corruption and treason has become within the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal intelligence agencies, the article by David Rose--focused on Sibel Edmonds and other high level whistleblowers--details how security and law enforcement agencies regularly coverup espionage, bribery of elected officials, and falsification of intelligence reports in order to protect criminal enterprises within the Pentagon, Congress, and the National Security Agency.

While bureaucratic incompetence and harassment of dissidents is nothing new, pervasive protection of treason and money-laundering that has become what can only be called systematic, is disturbing enough. The fact that this phenomenon has thoroughly penetrated our security and justice systems is horrifying.

Watch the documentary trailer. Learn more about Edmonds and the whistleblowers.

Friday, October 06, 2006


More Than Just Words

The U.S. government might have problems mastering integrity, but when it comes to retaliation they know what they're doing. For readers unfamiliar with the politics of Indian gaming, there are two words crucial to your vocabulary: sovereignty, and trust.

Sovereignty being the right under both international law and the U.S. Constitution of American Indian nations to run their own affairs; trust referring to our federal government's obligations agreed to by treaty and responsibilities incurred by statute to protect the assets and resources of America's indigenous peoples.

The fact that the U.S. failure to live up to its trust responsibilities and treaty obligations is what forced Indian tribes into gaming to meet their needs, is sometimes lost in the rhetorical conflict, especially when tribes use proceeds from gaming to protect their sovereignty or to guard their communities. With $200 billion of stolen oil and gas royalties sitting in the Department of Interior, energy company, and Republican Party vaults, the idea of Indians having the wherewithal to fight for the restoration of these trust funds must be terrifying--enough so to prompt the feds to harass and otherwise intimidate tribes that believe trust and sovereignty are more than just words.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Curbing Criminality

Two recent commentaries found here addressed the impact of institutionalized criminality on our society: one regarding an attempted takeover of the Washington Supreme Court by the Building Industry Association of Washington, the other regarding the U.S. Department of Interior collusion with oil and gas corporations in stealing over $200 billion from American Indian tribes and individuals. What these two stories had in common is a long-standing practice of symbiotic criminality between business and government involving racketeering, fraud, money-laundering, and bribery.

Much like the Enron and Bank of Commerce and Credit International cases of colossal concealment of assets, tax evasion, and pervasive deceptive practices to avoid regulation, the BIAW and Department of Interior criminal enterprises were consciously constructed to enable the frustration of our justice system. At bottom, what they all have in common is the theft of our health and well-being, our future, as well as our human spirit.

For those who seek truth, justice, reconciliation, and healing amongst our citizenry, the path is clear: accountability, not apathy, is the only way toward making amends to those harmed. In the case of industrial destruction of our environment and looting of natural resources, the harmed include all of us; only by a concerted effort to curb white-collar criminality in our country can we start down a new path to peace and prosperity for ourselves and those yet to come.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Encuentros for Humanity

Read R. J. Maccani's article on the Zapatista's intergalactic initiative of rebellious peoples, furthering the culture of resistance through encuentros for humanity. Learn more about the evolution of the Chiapas-inspired global movement against neoliberalism, especially constructing networks outside the Non-Profit Industrial Complex.

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