Saturday, February 28, 2009


Learning from Nature

This just out International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Climate Change submission to the UN includes demands, perspectives and proposals for the protocols process to be taken up in Copenhagen this December.


Insurgency Scenarios

John Robb at Global Guerrillas posits some insurgency scenarios likely to follow from global economic depression.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Globalisation and Autonomy

The University of British Columbia Press has a number of interesting academic volumes on globalization and autonomy. Their G & A website has links to many intellectual resources for understanding the evolution of relationships between states, nations and civil society. Unlike mainstream media, they pay particular attention to the World Indigenous Peoples' Movement, and how the dynamics of self-determination under international law make possible the delinking of democracy from the sole purview of state control.


Banning Basques

Spain, in yet another anti-terrorism ploy, unites Basques by banning their political parties.


Bank Scam

In this article at Mother Jones, noted economist James Galbraith observes that the Obama Administration's bank rescue plan would "preserve the wealth of bank insiders and financial investors, while failing to prevent the collapse of the wealth of almost everyone else".


Self Government

Harassment by the government of Chile has led the Mapuche Nation to establish a school of self-government in order to afford themselves the protection of international law. Distinguished professors and jurists -- most notably the prosecutor who indicted Chilean dictator Pinochet -- attended the opening ceremony of the Indigenous school where they will soon teach.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Salting our Wounds

We are glad to hear Obama thinks the rich should pay more in taxes; after all, they've managed to avoid paying their fair share for decades. We also hope Obama finds ways to stretch the dollars we have.

But neither of these at present vague proposals begins to solve the major crisis bringing our society down. Without prosecuting the pervasive fraud in government and business that brought on this crisis, recovery is simply not possible.

Obama's closing the gate on CEO golden parachutes -- after they already gave themselves billions in taxpayer funded bonuses from the biggest bailout in history -- says something. If Congress and the White House were either too stupid or too crooked to institute measures to prevent this grand larceny, then they are too stupid and too crooked to lead us out of despair. Rather than salve for our souls, the chump change in tax breaks they're offering working stiffs is more like salt in our wounds.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Hillary's Makeover

The proliferation of puff pieces on Secretary Clinton's makeover of totalitarian governments in Asia recently, reminded us that the most effective propaganda is that which is not allowed to be challenged. We were so impressed by the rose-colored glasses of the State Department blog Dipnote, in fact, that we decided to make it our first link in a new sidebar category inspired by its persistently perky presence--something it shares with our new Secretary.


Secret Code Rings

We were wondering what shrewd idea the Bama-babies would come up with next. Looks like it's secret code rings.

As their trusted guru on how to outsmart the bad guys with clever linguistics notes, Obama -- and by reference his disciples -- is so deep and subtle, that those of us without the secret code rings will never figure things out. So there it is; those of us who relied on monitoring what he does, rather than what he says, have been fooled. Reality doesn't matter, it's the rhetoric that counts.

While he sells us out to Wall Street and ships more troops to Afghanistan, that's just cover for his secret plans. Those of us who saw in him just another bomfoggin' opportunist blowin' smoke up our behinds were wrong; Obama's down-the-line betrayals of campaign promises are instead subtle maneuverings to outfox the bad guys. See?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


New Special Forces

While it's hard to top the excitement of an aerial bombardment by the United States Air Force, such an explosive projection of force is an expensive way to liberate the oil and gas fields of Central Asia from their rightful owners. Granted, the perceived threat has to be loud and clear, but it's much more efficient to send in the foreign aid and development mercenaries to soften up the governments with bribes than it is to mount an invasion. Were it not for the money to be made by such spectacular displays of military hardware, even the tried-and-true method of political assassination by CIA operatives would be a preferable choice to ground troop occupation.

Fortunately, signals by the Obama Administration point to growth in all three sectors, strengthening diversity in the combined new special forces of sustainable global conquest. With the renewal of White House faith-based initiatives, we can even send along a detachment of Christian evangelicals as part of the joint operation to win Muslim hearts and minds.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Hillary's Craven Debut

Secretary Clinton assures China that human rights are a secondary concern to making money for the Obama Administration. Amnesty International condemns US diplomatic mission for selling out democratic aspirations of Tibet and in China as a whole.


Opposing Fascist Initiatives

Over the centuries of its existence, the modern state has consistently made use of arrangements with the church and market to extend its control of the citizenry and extract wealth from the same. In recent times, it has become popular among pseudo scholars to speculate about the redundancy of the state in providing services and functions more appropriately and efficiently provided by the market. Yet, however much we might bemoan the corruption of centralized state bureaucracies, the market could not operate without the considerable subsidies of the state in everything from research and development of new technologies, to the guarantor of last resort as we have seen in the numerous bailouts, contracts and outsourcing on the public tab.

No doubt we have not heard the end of nonsense from the "free market" sector, but at least in the age of the Internet it is possible to do unmediated research to obtain facts as opposed to the propaganda proffered by parasitic mouthpieces like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

As President Obama works his smoke and mirrors on faith-based initiatives and stimulus plans for the golden parachute crowd, it will be important to keep an eye on key principles of democracy -- like separation of church and state, and equal protection under the law -- to prevent the federal monstrosity from morphing into an authoritarian nightmare. After eight years of arming the Far Right in the US at public expense, it is not unimaginable that all hell could break loose; with progressives now lining up for handouts from Obama, they are not the ones opposing his fascist initiatives. In that, we are alone.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Running Interference

Leaving aside for the moment the white man's burden assumptions behind the big business of foreign aid, Center for Global Development President Nancy Birdsall -- speaking at the 2006 Hilton Humanitarian Prize Symposium on Democracy and Development -- begins by stating that it's hard to say whether democratic governance or market economics should be the starting point for social sustainability. Assuming this incoherence to be typical of the NGOs and institutional bureaucrats milking this industry, I can only respond that it's no wonder that so many despots are dependent on the graft from this aid to purchase patronage and silence dissent. Her comment that better coordination of government aid with transnational social investment, by such notorious corporate criminals as Coca-Cola, demonstrates why innocents like Birdsall are promoted by the aristocratic class to run interference for criminal enterprises posing as humanitarian missions.


Controlling the Message

The White House snub of Native American media recently at a Department of Interior event was significant both for what they said and what they did not. The explanation that the White House is more comfortable with the (white) traditional press pool was bad enough, but the fact that Interior handles Bureau of Indian Affairs monies as well as Minerals Management Service royalties compounds the offense.

While we understand that President Obama might not want to have Native American journalists asking questions about the ongoing embezzling of Indian trust funds by Interior and the energy companies it colludes with, denying American Indian media access to Cabinet level officials is de facto censorship.

As Indigenous peoples worldwide develop their own media to cover world affairs from their perspective, gaining access to audiences poses a major challenge. Having controlled the message since mass communication was invented, the inheritors of colonial power are not going to cede ground without a fight; apparently, President Obama has already chosen sides.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Wag the Dog

For readers who enjoyed Secretary of State Colin Powell's performance at the United Nations to manipulate America into a war in Iraq, Wampum looks at the Judith Miller syndrome still extant at the prime promoter of war, the New York Times.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Not a Game

Veterans for Peace confront the US Army Experience Center, a $12 million combat simulator game arcade in a Pennsylvania shopping mall used to seduce boys into joining the armed forces.


PayPal Problem

If anyone sent us a donation on PayPal that wasn't confirmed, please let us know. Apparently they have become dysfunctional when it comes to paying out in a timely fashion. More on this problem in the link.


US Model

Former Irish President and United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson "deplores collusion between liberal democracies and countries with very bad human rights records". The International Commission of Jurists observes that many dictatorships around the world now justify tyranny by pointing to the US model.


Secret Government

As long as one is not concerned with liberty, equality, or justice, the National Security system of secret government is fine. ACLU notes some troubling signs from the Obama Administration.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


World of Cliches

Looking at the layers of bumper stickers in my liberal neighborhood yesterday, I was contemplating the Deanie-babies cum Hopium smokers and their fixation on Internet-savvy politicians. I mean, hoping for change is one thing, but actually believing democracy can be achieved by clever slogans e-mailed to millions would seem to venture deep into the wishful thinking ether.

I suppose growing up on TV has something to do with the superficiality of progressive thought, but the false sense of belonging and participation fostered by political operatives is so obviously Orwellian you'd think literate people could see through the charade. Then again, living in a culture swarmed by marketing mania, perhaps a world of cliches is all they can imagine.

Of course, when the believers lose their jobs, homes and pensions, they'll be looking to crucify the non-believers. After all, counseling sobriety is never a popular message.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Obama's Thieves

Bruce Dixon at Black Agenda Report warns of the imminent attack on Social Security and Medicare by the thieves who Obama helped loot the treasury. As the credit cartel extorts trillion upon trillion by consolidating its stranglehold on Congress, the chief thief in the White House is preparing plans to starve seniors. If he stays on this track, I would not be surprised to see Oklahoma City reenacted in DC.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Bolstering Bigotry

Francesca Rheannon discusses Obama's decision to perpetuate pandering to religious leaders in order to shore up his church-based support. Bolstering bigotry through federal handouts to churches, while unconstitutional, is nevertheless attractive to unscrupulous politicians like Bush and Obama, precisely because this pork-barrel patronage buys votes. Unfortunately, it also fortifies fascism, restocking the reserves of religious fundamentalists which they in turn use to undermine civil and human rights.

The wedding of church and state, initiated under Reagan, promises to be an obstacle to democracy for the foreseeable future. Obama's embracing of The Family means the fascist foundation laid by Reagan-Bush will now undergird discriminatory aspects of the anti-democratic movement in America.

While this scourge is no change from the past, neither does it warrant hope for the future.


Eric Mar

Eric Mar, past New College School of Law Dean, was one of a handful of New College employees during the 1990s who took on the trustees for their corrupt practices that in 2008 brought the school down. Mar is now a new member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Congratulations, Eric.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Belated Valentine

A belated valentine from HRC.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Chump Change

Real News talks with editor and publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel about Obama and the progressives.


Mechanized Aggression

Mechanized aggression doesn't just propel military power; it also generates hostile takeovers in the marketplace and malicious harassment in society at large. Aggression, as a political economic system, thus legalizes bullying the citizenry. Robbed of communal resources, forced into debt and dependency, the aggrieved are then harassed into surrendering their properties and lives to this machine. When all they have left is their blood, the automated telemarketers will remind the victims who did this to them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Three Strikes

By our count, President Obama just struck out. His decision to expand the unconstitutional Bush program to shovel public pork to favored religious leaders caps off his third week in office. Obama's decision to continue the international crime of kidnapping and torture at the CIA, followed by the $800 billion kickback to his investment banker masters on Wall Street, makes three strikes in our book.


Implementing Plan Colombia

Apparently the victims of paramilitary death squads, 17 Awa tribal members were murdered last week in Colombia. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees reports on the Indigenous peoples' situation there.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


A Shameful Episode

West Papua Information Kit examines how the US and the UN sold out the West Papuan allies from World War II for all that glitters. Beginning with President Kennedy, the betrayal for the benefit of copper and gold was intricately wound up in the highest levels of the National Security Agency, leaving these friends of American war veterans to the merciless onslaught of the Indonesian military. A shameful episode that continues to this day.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


New Project

Dear Friends,

I'm working on a film project produced by the Center for World Indigenous Studies in Olympia, Washington. The film series -- planned for public television -- is on the UN, climate change, and Indigenous peoples.

We plan on a web page as soon as we have seed money; for now we are pursuing start-up grants, and later, major funders. If you want to help us, just click on the donation button for the Prepared to Lead Fund and follow the simple instructions.

Blessings and many thanks.

Friday, February 06, 2009



The Real News Network reports on the world economic crisis, noting that millions worldwide now question whether the international leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland are qualified to solve the problem.


Anti-Democratic Deals

Friends of Peoples Close to Nature looks at the UN carbon-trading scheme's impact on Indigenous peoples, who were blocked by the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand from participation in UN climate change talks. FPCN also looks at the conflict of interest of NGOs like The Nature Conservancy, that profit handsomely from brokering these anti-democratic deals.


Rightful Participation

In today's post at Fourth World Eye, Rudolph Ryser observes that Indigenous nations are not NGOs, and that to be treated as such by the UN frustrates their rightful participation in international affairs, as well as impairs the ability of other governing authorities like UN member states to resolve conflict over such crises as climate change.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Continuing the Cover-up

ACLU reports on Obama continuing the cover-up of war crimes by Bush.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Already Made Off

Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report looks at the futility of the investment bank bailout within the context of the pervasive fraud created by these same institutions. Having financed the private equity leveraged buyouts of corporations that foreclosed any hope of sustainable productivity, the bailout accomplishes nothing but to gild severance packages while the hollowed out economy lays in ruins. The aristocracy and otherwise ultra-rich who used these banks to pillage real assets have already made off with the goods.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


How Media Works

This IJOC article on private equity media ownership is informative for those of us outside the rapidly-changing industry.


Shame on Our Country

In today's article at Indian Country Today, Paiute historians clarify the history of Yosemite National Park--an area previously inhabited by Paiutes. In an all too familiar scenario, the National Park Service compounded earlier travesties against the Paiutes by gold-greedy settlers, by revising the history of the valley to suit US government interests. Part of that history -- the co-opting of other Indians hostile to the Paiutes, in order to subdue the inhabitants of Yosemite Valley -- is a shameful episode in a long string of atrocities perpetrated by government officials and vigilantes from Yosemite to the Golden Gate; the fact the Park Service is perpetuating this travesty is a shame on our country.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Invading Pakistan

In a lengthy article on invading Pakistan, Tom Burghart compares Obama's escalation of the conflict in the Pakistan tribal areas to the expansion of hostilities in Central America under Reagan and the massive increase of violence in Southeast Asia under Nixon. Less than two weeks in office, President Obama appears to have learned little from history, other than that war is America's biggest business.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Logic Aside

As one of the three countries in the world that are not signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United States' hostility toward Indigenous peoples' participation in UN talks on climate change makes sense. As the only societies that have practiced sustainability as a way of life, Indigenous peoples' cannot in good conscience be excluded from contributing their traditional knowledge and ecological understanding to the array of tools assembled by humanity to adapt to challenging conditions like climate change. Logic aside, though, that is exactly what the US has attempted to do.

As international law evolves in recognition of the harms caused by such things as racism, colonialism and environmental destruction, the US remains a backward state, fighting progress on all fronts. As such, the countries of the world have had to meet these challenges despite the ongoing opposition and interference of the US.

As the international community and Indigenous peoples prepare for the convention on climate change in Copenhagen this coming December, the differences between legal systems and other customs will be discussed in world media. How that discussion treats the worldview of Indigenous peoples will depend in part on how the US behaves or misbehaves. After all, when you get right down to it, it's all about relationships; conservation requires cooperation--and cooperation requires respect.

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