Monday, April 28, 2008


Disabled Veterans

Veterans Administration caught in cover-up of suicide epidemic among 1.7 million Afghanistan Iraq War veterans. 1,000 veterans per month now attempt suicide. Minimum waiting time for disability assistance for vets now at six months. Some with total physical disability still waiting for assistance after three years.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Coming Together

It is sometimes good to understand what's been lost, what is irrecoverable, what is valuable to us and what we would like to repair.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Gangster Capitalists

Indymedia Ireland exposes the Libertas campaign against the EU treaty. The Irish No-to-Lisbon tour, organized by US military contractors, is apparently intended to protect US dominance through NATO. Ironically, the reporter is also opposed to the treaty, but thinks limiting the corporate media discussion to the Pentagon's "gangster capitalists" is an unhealthy development.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


New Model for Living

Delegates to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues assert moral authority to be more than advisors to the UN Economic and Social Council; indigenous parliamentarians claim UN efforts to address economic and environmental crises will fail without their participation and consent. Bolivian President Evo Morales offers UN member states a new model for living.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Governance Gaps

60 years into the UN human rights regime, the Human Rights Council reports on the "governance gaps" in addressing corporate liability for international crimes. In the Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issues of human rights and transnational corporations, the HRC rapporteur -- while noting widespread corporate complicity in human rights abuses -- asserts the bedrock role of states in redressing them.

Not to belittle the responsibility and power of states to accomplish this duty under the UN charter, but the bedrock role lies with indigenous nations and their civil society allies. Reining in corporate as well as state actors requires we recognize and act on this reality.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Repairing the Damage

Evo Morales opens seventh session of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Agenda includes implementation of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted in 2007.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


4-Star Parrots

Yesterday's New York Times details how the stable of military analysts paraded on all major TV news networks in the US for the last seven years are also paid lobbyists for military contractors. As part of an elite public relations force of retired military, these 4-star parrots simultaneously collect military pensions, salaries from arms merchants, and speaking fees from major media. Indeed, these hit men are so well-programmed for nightly news propaganda, that the corporate talking heads have become largely superfluous.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Listen to This

Our nation is the only industrialized country that still uses the death penalty. It incarcerates more of its population than any other in the world. In some states, more money is spent on prisons than higher education. One out of three Black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.
Campaign to End the Death Penalty announces its 2008 speaking tour.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Freedom of Expression

Yang Tongyan to receive award from PEN. Pro-democracy activist one of 38 writers imprisoned in China for criticizing Chinese government. Tongyan, who served ten years in prison for participating in the 1989 China Democracy Party protests, in 2005 began serving a twelve-year sentence.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Irish Eyes

When I was young, the most inspirational Irishman in my life was John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Shortly after his passing, I became enchanted with another inspiring Irishman by the name of John Lennon.

Monday, April 14, 2008


On Their Shoulders

The National Congress of American Indians, Thomas W. Cowger's history of the organization's first twenty years (1944-1964), is a thoughtful, articulate and informative account of one of the brightest members of the Native American intertribal constellation. For anyone curious about how the federal--Indian relationship has evolved over the last century and a half, this book is essential reading.

If for no other reason, it gives one an appreciation of the sacrifices made by earlier generations in order for ours to continue the struggle for human dignity in North America. As a bonus, it also provides valuable lessons of practical politics in dealing with dominant society institutions.

Friday, April 11, 2008


No Easy Way Out

The Democrat and Republican parties were around long before the civil and human rights movements of the twentieth century, and indeed actively fought both -- then, as they do now. As fascist institutions, these corporate-owned parties offer nothing to those who hold values and beliefs that support human rights and sane environmental policy.

To overcome fascism in the US, American citizens will have to form a bona fide party -- not green weenies or red commies -- whose primary purpose is defeating this corporate menace. Until Americans acquire sufficient political literacy and intellectual maturity to grasp that, our society (and the world) will continue to suffer.

There's simply no easy way out.


Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein is now on YouTube. As the only party committed to ending British rule in Ireland, they steadfastly oppose imperialism, fascism, and racism nationally and internationally. I can see where the United States government might have a problem with that.


Evil Empire

As the US extends its forward bases of aggression closer to the oil fields of Asia, NATO recruits like Romania step up totalitarian measures against dissent. In preparation for the NATO summit in Bucharest this week, 27,000 police cracked down in advance on potential protesters, while Romanian TV urged vigilante violence toward citizens opposed to making Romania a target of revenge by NATO-invaded states.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Creating Culture

Sometimes we get so caught up in the spectacle of off-the-shelf culture that we forget there are others creating culture for themselves. Indymedia Ireland recounts the hidden history of social centres from the Warzone in Belfast to Dublin's Garden of Delight and the aptly named Cork Autonomous Zone in the People's Republic.

For these creative and sometimes courageous souls, founding democratic enclaves within the hostile surroundings of the free-market is the only means of creating dogma-free community available. For those of us who found sanctuary in co-ops, communes, social centres or collectives over the last forty years, it's nice to know the spirit of inclusion is still alive.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Time and Place

It takes strength to write, more than to tell, of tragic lives one has known. Especially while one is a participant in tragedies still unfolding.

Noting disastrous personal tensions and human frailties demands disciplining one's emotions; creating a novel from such distress requires a fortitude that challenges one to conquer despair. To do so under threat to personal safety assumes a cognizance approaching grace.

Reading Nadine Gordimer's novels Burger's Daughter, Occasion for Loving, and None to Accompany Me reminds me that it is how one responds to the moral demands of time and place that distinguishes one's work. Doing that well over five decades is remarkable.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Indigenous Development

Lewis and Clark Law School recently hosted a symposium on indigenous economic development, featuring the director of the National Museum of the American Indian, as well as our colleague, Shawnee author and Indian Law professor Robert J. Miller. Over the past year, Professor Miller has toured the English-speaking world presenting how the Doctrine of Discovery affects indigenous peoples today.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Indicting Justice

In their April 2007 report Maze of Injustice, Amnesty International documents the failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA. In an attempt to address this brutal legacy of ongoing colonialism in Indian country, Amnesty International — with the cooperation of Indigenous women’s organizations across the country — has compiled both an earth-shattering indictment of the US justice system, as well as a solid plan of action. Failing to act on this plan is not merely racist, it is inhuman.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Things Fall Apart

Totalitarian Chinese state battles ethnic bids for genuine autonomy. Uyghurs join Tibetans in protests against Chinese fascism. Chinese military demonizes minorities as sub-human.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Capacity to Lead

It's not fair, and it's certainly asking a lot to expect Fourth World nations to clean up the climate change mess caused by industrial societies, but if they don't take the lead, who will? As our friend and colleague Rudolph Ryser observes, expecting modern states -- based on two centuries of industrial and commercial consumption -- to lead us out of catastrophe is wishful thinking.


Land of the Free

U.S. Special Operations Command examines psyops against bloggers, and how to co-opt them. One option considered is to treat them like other media: embed, exclude, bribe or threaten. Nothing like a free-market military.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Getting Around

Marc Brenman, Executive Director of the Washington State Human Rights Commission, has a new book out on The Right to Transportation, and how mobility affects social cohesion. Check it out.


American Crybabies

Americans are such crybabies; blaming politicians for everything wrong, then going back to their TV sets for another evening of imbecilic programming. Politicians don't solve problems, they never have. They only do the right thing when responding to the mobilized force of educated, organized, active citizens. But that requires effort, not just complaining between TV shows.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Anti-Apartheid Action

60 years of racial discrimination is nothing to celebrate. Learn more about the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Consuming Calamity

I was looking at some upscale websites for tips on the latest in presentation style for informative content, and came across a couple that seem to exemplify what I will term chic chagrin. As well-heeled examples of the secular genre meant to induce intensity of feeling rather than propensity to action, Circle of Blue and Frontline allow viewers to experience strong emotions and feel intellectually superior without the discomfort of having to confront the corresponding demands of civic responsibility.

I guess that's why they have such ample funding.

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