Thursday, July 31, 2008


Democracy on the March

In Fourth World: Nations Without A State, Nadesan Satyendra discusses the role of intellectuals in the movement for self-determination.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Crime of Extinction

Colombia, the US and US corporations found guilty of fomenting genocide and crimes against humanity. The Permanent People's Tribunal, an independent investigative body that works in conjunction with the UN and the International Criminal Court, concluded that the militarisation of indigenous territories in Colombia is leading to the extinction of 28 tribes. Specifically cited in the PPT decision is Plan Colombia, the US-financed aspect of the now 64-year-old civil war.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Curating Heritage

Zuni Pueblo designs museum and heritage center linking sacred knowledge with responsibility to understand implications of its power.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Only One Law

In the aboriginal cosmology there is only one law, the law of generosity. In human interactions, this law plays out in the form of reciprocity and respect. All our relationships with other beings, living and dead, are either respectful or not; all our social structures, as such, are either fundamentally sound or rotten.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Hopelessly Mesmerized

Empire media trots out the undead to keep discussion within the bounds of elitist narrative. Even the U.S. Army War College seems willing to consider other points of view.

But by all means do google Armitage. (You can even type it in the search box here.) I mean, if this is the conventional voice of reason, then the empire constituency has indeed been hopelessly mesmerized into believing our only choice is between the insane and the criminally insane.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Ecosystem Restoration

On Water looks at the Elwha Ecosystem Restoration Project, an historic undertaking to remove dams in Olympic National Park in order to save the Elwha River chinook salmon. A blog of the Water Resources Center at UC Berkeley, On Water is affiliated with the Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Vital Verities

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Blackwater apparently sees a downturn in the mercenary business. According to Mother Jones, the profits in the protection racket are diminishing -- so much so that Blackwater subsidiary Greystone is outsourcing its thug recruitment to the Third World.

While obtaining State Department visas for Russian mafiosi and other nefarious hoodlums might be problematic, we suspect this will provide Vice President Cheney with post-White House entrepreneurial opportunities.

Perhaps the only thing worse than militarizing police functions is privatizing military functions. Still, it's nice to know that when mercenary work is in the doldrums these covert assassins can find employment in smuggling and spying.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Light of Reverence

Sacred Land Film Project takes us on a journey to authenticity, graciously guided by indigenous songs, dances and images from contemporary ceremony and celebration. There is much here to enjoy and inspire, so take some time to view the photos and film clips at your leisure.

Monday, July 21, 2008


The Bureaucracy of Fascism

The Washington Post runs down the list of usual suspects in the ongoing White House cover-up of the Plame affair.

Maybe someday we'll be treated to a treatise on the history of these suspects, following their covert, criminal careers under Nixon, Reagan and Bush at the National Security Agency, State Department, and Department of Defense. If nothing else, focusing on the felonies and high crimes of bureaucratic perps like Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Richard Armitage and General Wayne Downing, will serve as a guide to understanding how our national security state has never been and can never be conducive to maintaining an open, democratic society--a fact that somehow escapes otherwise seemingly intelligent people.

For the time being, we have The Iran-Contra Scandal by Peter Kornbluh and Peddlers of Crisis by Jerry Sanders to fill in part of that history.


Progressive Fascist Alliance

When we first rang the alarm about a merging of progressive interests with fascist ideology two summers ago, it was in response to the progressive marginalizing of alternative views and their adoption of other key parts of the fascist agenda. Over the past two years, progressives have continued down this destructive path.

We suspect that this capitulation by progressives is due largely to their failure to mount successful electoral or judicial challenges to the fascist regime, and while initially opposed to national aggression if not xenophobia, progressives are well on their way to endorsing the implementation of a total national security state.

While emotional weakness and psychological dysfunction led many progressives to this point of complete compliance, it is likely that mounting economic insecurity will seal the deal. As America's nervous breakdown intensifies, the progressive/fascist alliance can be expected to make matters worse for all of us.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Enfants Progressif

What can one say about a political milieu that embraces both Obama and Reagan? And you wonder how fascist youth groups arise.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Oil v Human Rights

US oil consumption used to be an economic issue. Then it became an environmental issue. Now it's a human rights issue. Every gallon kills.


Resting on Their Laurels

Reading James Forman's memoir of organizing in Mississippi in the early 1960s, makes it clear that the students and residents working with SNCC were cognizant of the broader movement for universal human rights of which their more restricted civil rights objectives were a part. This was no accident, though, but rather a consequence of a concerted effort to include political education along side their desegregation and voter registration projects.

Part of the problem with the stagnant rhetoric observed today, is that once the basic civil rights objectives were achieved legislatively, the financial resources for popular education on the topic of liberation -- briefly provided by churches, unions, and other liberal institutions -- dried up. Thus, since 1970, three decades have elapsed during which time the only money that's gone into "education" has been for arch-conservative brainwashing.

The whole anti-affirmative action backlash, or reverse racism as some call it, is a product of this psychological warfare by the far right, which is long-accustomed to acting out fantasies of Christian persecution and white victimhood. The inability of liberals to confront this pathetic whining by conservatives is a direct result of the lack of investment in pro-democratic ideas since Goldwater lost to Johnson in 1964.

Talk about resting on their laurels.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Seeds of Sociality

With the Katrina crisis and the Sarajevo siege representing the new model of official engagement, we can justifiably expect a future of convergent responders managing mayhem. This is not all bad.

While the betrayal of trust by modern state institutions is admittedly a moral outrage, the self-organizing that is taking place across the globe (to deal with the consequences of institutional malign neglect) is the foundation of self-reliance. Within the enclaves of what Hakim Bey called autonomous zones are the seeds of living life as festival.

In the dying days of market monoculture, these seeds of sociality can be planted in more benign political climates.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Islands in the Stream

David R. Lewis discusses how the intentional impoverishment of Native Americans by the US government has contributed to the toxic nightmare now destroying their traditional resources. As what he calls islands in the stream of American settlement, Indian reservations and aboriginal peoples now define modern environmental debates. Unfortunately, in the name of progress, that debate has left many tribes with hard and few choices. Like all human beings, they find that creating community under duress is not an achievement they always attain.


Summer of Love

Summer of Love eloquently articulates the underlying hippie values that led many of us to become volunteer researchers, educators, organizers and activists. The probing documentary by PBS allows us to celebrate these hippie values without indulging in nostalgia, but rather by examining what America is and might still be as we find new ways to impart an understanding of the links between consumerism and militarism. After all, the counterculture launched in San Francisco forty-one years ago was a challenge to change what was wrong; it still is.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


A Deafening Silence

It is often perplexing to citizens of the former British Empire to watch their governments and militaries assist Third World dictators in slaughtering Fourth World peoples in order to deny them their indigenous claims to resources and territories. Especially when they are non-violent, unarmed, and simply ask to be left alone.

Reading of the British warships shelling Biafran villagers during the Nigerian Civil War reminded me of a story my sister told me of talking with Australian Air Force pilots who’d just returned from what they described as a “turkey shoot” in East Timor, where the Australians were murdering native civilians alongside Indonesian forces as part of the ethnic cleansing of the region adjacent to oil fields the two countries planned to divide between themselves once the rightful owners had been eliminated. More recent actions to exterminate West Papuans with US armaments, likewise, seemed destined to clear away tribal peoples for the benefit of Canadian and American mining corporations.

Sometimes, though, I think that the incongruity of British, American, Canadian, and Australian relief efforts for starving children or traumatized adults — in these Fourth World theaters of war instigated by their own governments — must dawn on at least a few perceptive souls. So why is it that no one speaks of indigenous peoples?

Monday, July 14, 2008


The PC Press

Channeling discontent into unproductive activities appears to be the main task of progressive media. As such, activism that threatens progressive careerism is regularly marginalized by the PC press. Taking these clandestine authoritarians to task is not all that hard; documenting their hypocrisy and fraud is a good place to start.

Saturday, July 12, 2008



Readers who haven't yet discovered Sarajevo Photoblog are in for a treat. Seesaw has relaxed her pace a bit, so be sure to browse the archives for some interesting local tours of sights usually unseen.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Great Black Hope

As yet another black politico who sold his soul to whitey, Barack finds himself running with bad company. Unlike Colin and Condi, however, the Democratic frontrunner won't get a free pass for his servility to the totalitarian state. Instead, his betrayal of the constitution and human rights will likely get him a footnote in electoral history as the candidate too stupid to beat an idiot opponent lacking any charisma whatsoever.


Christian Racism Injustice

Illegal candidate screening in US Department of Justice linked to Anti-Indian firings. 2006 purge of US Attorneys reveals Christian racism in Justice.

Christian-conservative political ideology led DOJ employees to eliminate those who ''adhere to the principles of environmental justice, which are positively ridiculous (e.g., recognizing 'our spiritual interdependence to the sacredness of our Mother Earth' and 'oppose military occupation, repression and exploitation of lands, peoples and cultures, and other life forms').''

The employees attended Messiah College, Regent University and Pensacola Christian College.


Earlier in 2006, I excoriated two nationally–prominent progressive pundits for mocking the principles mocked by the DOJ employees as being unscientific, impractical and unrealistic. In explaining to these self-avowed liberals that they were constructing a foundation for scapegoating Native Americans and environmentalists, they replied that they were trying to build bridges to the Christian Right. I also suspect they were seeking acceptance by the progressive mainstream that has distanced itself from these values they don’t understand.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Aficionados of Fraud

Readers who followed the New College of California fiasco over the last twelve months will be happy to know the doors are closed and the buildings are for sale. With luck, creditors will be satisfied and that will be the end of it.

While we're on the topic, aficionados of fraud might want to read this.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


An Inconvenience to be Managed

Le Monde Diplomatique looks at the drift toward corporatism and the bureaucratisation of politics in the EU. As an institutional aggregation of states, observes Christopher Bickerton, the EU provides "little scope for public debates that bring together ordinary people and their political representatives."

The recent rejection of the EU Lisbon Treaty by Irish voters underscores the popular disenchantment with policymaking by officials and experts. The elitism expressed by EU technocrats in their move toward better marketing of anti-democratic agreements explains why the supranational aspects of EU negotiations may have peaked.

As Bickerton notes:
European integration is driven forward by states whose decision-making is no longer based upon processes of representation and public deliberation. Public involvement is understood not as the foundation of a state’s authority but as an inconvenience to be skilfully managed. Decision-making is governed by administrative procedure, not by popular will. This means that the EU’s relationship to the public is necessarily oppositional: the EU’s strength rests upon the public’s apathy; a more active and assertive public can only weaken the EU.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Points of View

In a 2001 interview, Chip Berlet observed, "Racism is an ideology that is woven throughout the fabric of society." A concept crucial to understanding systems of institutions of power in the US, this legacy of the colonial era is so mainstream that even watch dog groups have difficulty seeing the forest for the trees.

The ongoing psychosis of the white man's burden surfaces in the form of scapegoating indigenous peoples trying to survive on what little of their traditional resources the dominant society hasn't claimed or destroyed, as well as in resentment mobilized against indigenous prosperity from gaming and other tribal industries. Even ethnic minorities that identify with the white masters of American institutions prefer indigenous peoples as noble victims rather than resilient survivors.

Remembering this aspect of our consumer civilization is crucial as we deal with dwindling resources and distorted histories that, when combined, cause anxious people to act irrationally. Public panic and social hysteria are poor arbiters of our vastly different points of view.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Switzerland by Boat

When we lost our photos from our 1999 visit to Zurich, I searched in vain for online shots of the paddle ship on Zurich Lake. Yesterday, Peter's Paris photo blog took a holiday in Zurich, and there she was. Have a look!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Lusomundo Bon Ami

Abandoning empire can have such a calming effect. The courteous goodwill we experienced in Portugal was startling to us as our first experience outside America. Carlos of Lisbon Weekly Photo is a good example of that Lusomundo type of Bon Ami.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Profile in Curage

Betrayal of the constitution is not rare, but Lee Hamilton is. As co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission, as well as chair of the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran (aka the Iran-Contra hearings), US Representative Hamilton (D) has stood firmly against transparency and accountability -- indeed against the constitution -- for over two decades.

And none dare call it treason.


Not On Our Side

As the president who did the most to institutionalize criminality in the federal government, Ronald Reagan is a horrifying choice for Barack Obama to emulate. Following on the heels of the Bush administration -- which did everything humanly possible to consolidate Reagan's criminal legacy -- Obama's fetish with this well-documented fascist is inexcusable. Barack is clearly not on our side.


Yuppie Bellicosity

Two summers ago, Obama was lauding Nixon's foreign policy. Two weeks ago it was Reagan's foreign policy he praised. Today he expressed his gratitude to Reagan for curbing the excesses of the 60s and 70s.

To sum up, the Democratic candidate for President of the United States finds merit in murdering 3 million Vietnamese, 1 million Central American Indians and peasants, and in denying the merit of the civil rights, free speech, and anti-war movements.

How can McCain possibly top Obama's yuppie bellicosity?


Promises Made

My mother and I were born in Seattle on Duwamish land adjacent to Lake Washington. Chief Seattle's descendants and relatives once fished Sockeye salmon where my grandmother taught swimming.

Along Seattle's extensive waterfront, there were ninety Duwamish longhouses when they signed the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott, yet it took the tribe until 2001 to get the federal government to acknowledge their existence. Later that year, the new federal administration withdrew this long overdue recognition of federal responsibility and obligations, obliterating the status of the Duwamish and six other tribes.

Today, the Duwamish continue their struggle to provide for their people and hold the federal government accountable for the promises made to Chief Seattle and his fellow indigenous negotiators in exchange for the lands we all enjoyed. My family wishes them well.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?