Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Nation Annexed?

Michael J. Smith examines yet another fatuous essay at The Nation magazine. Reading the essay, one has to wonder if The Nation has been annexed by NPR.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Corpulence and Carbon

No surprise that the statistics show rich consumer populations contribute far more to climate change than poor, low carbon producing societies. Kind of turns the population growth scapegoating on its head though. Of course, indigenous peoples have been saying all along that it's the way of life that counts.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Total Indoctrination Awareness

Setting the stage for massive privatization of public schooling requires controlling the terms of discussion about educational inequality. One must not talk about educational funding that keeps the rich rich and the poor poor; one must talk about increasing billable hours that significantly expand the total market for extorting support from anxious parents. But keeping kids locked up longer in overcrowded underfunded institutions only serves to prepare them to fill beds for the prison and military industries. Obama's plan for education mirrors his plan for health care: of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. His fraudulent agenda, built on a social crisis he helped create, is a shameful episode in the history of unraveling civil rights in America. A key part of our total indoctrination awareness.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Getting to the Bottom of Things

You gotta laugh at the rhetorical flourish of Roosevelt Institute suggesting a Congressional-appointed inquiry commission is going to get to the bottom of the financial crisis. I mean, what are they going to discover that we don't already know? Maybe the commission can compile the high crimes, fraud and bribery over the last three decades in the White House and halls of Congress in a handy players program, but we can hardly expect restitution or prosecution from either of those bodies.


Israeli Racism

Mondoweiss has some good posts about Israeli vigilantes harassing mixed couples, but even in 1963 Mississippi the United States Air Force didn't bomb freedom schools or deny water, food and medicine to entire negro populations of the delta.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Obama Bush League

I never like sequels, mostly because I find them boring and repetitious. Which is partly why I find the Obama regime so annoying. I mean, when it comes to the spectacle of manufacturing consent for making war, Obama is strictly Bush league.


Pretentious Pretensions

Assistant Secretary of State explains why human rights is not a priority with his boss.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Greenwashing Big Oil

The Alberta Tar Sands is the largest and arguably dirtiest, carbon-generating industrial project in human history. So how do the oil companies go about defeating the First Nations and bona fide environmental networks opposed to the project? The answer according to Macdonald Stainsby and Dru Oja Jay, authors of Offsetting Resistance: the effects of foundation funding and corporate fronts, is to buy their own environmental group to negotiate with the government on their behalf.

That organization, Tar Sands Coalition (a Tides project), can then be counted on to help smother the grassroots environmental movement. As oil corporations like Tar Sands investor Sunoco look to defeat environmentalism and indigenous peoples from the Arctic to Patagonia, giant multi-billion dollar foundations like Pew Charitable Trusts are critical.

Using money-laundering operations like Tides to help them, Pew (same family that owns Sunoco), Rockefeller, Ford and Hewlett Foundations — all benefactors of the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation — can then effectively greenwash corporate fronts masquerading as environmental organizations. When organizations like The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, and Sierra Club can be bought off by big oil, the only thing to do is expose the colossal fraud. In their remarkable report, messrs. Stainsby and Jay have done just that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Blow to Biofuel

World Bank suspends oil palm loans in face of evidence the biofuel plantations in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Colombia are an integral part of genocide against indigenous peoples.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Rigged Against Justice

Philip Weiss discusses the significance and the shortcomings of the Goldstone Report, as well as the obstacles to Palestinian justice and Israeli accountability posed by the United States. As US UN envoy Susan Rice and the White House attempt to minimize the impact of the UN investigation into Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity, it is up to global civil society to thwart the coverup if not the perpetuation of apartheid in Palestine. As the UN special rapporteur observes, the UN system is rigged against justice.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Shopping in Baghdad

Now that half of the US troops in Iraq aren’t troops (they’re private mercenaries), supplying weapons has run into a snag. To get around the problem, private mercenary contractors are using US funds to shop for weaponry at open-air bazaars comprising the black market for weapons in Iraq. The obvious question, of course, is “Where are the black marketeers getting US weaponry to sell to US private mercenaries?”

Friday, September 18, 2009


Norton Finally Investigated

Gale Norton, former Secretary of the Interior, is finally being investigated for acts of corruption in office. Having built a career helping energy, mining, and timber corporations steal US assets, Norton now faces charges for parleying her finessing of contracts into a lucrative position with Shell. Of note to those following the World Indigenous Peoples’ Movement, Norton was also the original defendant in Cobell v Norton, the mammoth lawsuit to recover royalties stolen by Interior and the companies they regulate on Indian Trust lands.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Legitimacy and Governance

John Robb discusses legitimacy and good governance.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Medicare for All Americans

California nurses and organized labor come through in demanding Medicare for all Americans.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


State Schizophrenia

With the rise in consciousness of human rights instruments devised through the UN to redress the profound grievances of indigenous peoples resulting from colonialism, schizophrenic state institutional behavior has become the norm. As an example of this neoliberal psychiatric dysfunction, one would be hard-pressed to find a more illustrative example than the government of New Zealand. As one of the four UN member countries to vote against the September 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, New Zealand -- despite decades of negotiating land and resource restitution with Maori tribes -- nevertheless chose to exercise its police powers in October 2007 and again in 2008 against Maori communities in the form of unwarranted, heavily armed, dawn raids that terrorized the affected families.

As noted in the Indigenous World 2009 report, these raids and other abuses justified under anti-terrorism laws were completely unfounded, and can only be seen as police brutality run amok--psychologically similar in some respects to Seattle police running wild in the streets during the 1999 WTO Ministerial in response to their perceived humiliation by anti-globalization activists and organizers.

As Free Trade and other instruments of globalization come to be understood as forms of neocolonial theft by states like New Zealand and UN agencies like the WTO, IMF, and World Bank, state misbehavior in the form of calculated harassment and random violence is something we must unfortunately plan on.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Part of the System

Hostile takeovers in the union industry remind us that unions are part of the capitalist system. Admittedly ameliorative for its members, they often function as both lobbyists and supplicants to owners of inherited wealth, built from the sweat of wage slaves. Until wage earners become owners, they and unions will continue to support the system that deprives us all of a decent life. That may be the best some can hope for, but it isn’t much to inspire civic engagement.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Team Obama

Charles Davis reports on the latest con job by the Obama Administration regarding relations with Iran. For readers unfamiliar with the background of the Team Obama fraud in the Persian Gulf, Davis conveniently rounds up the usual suspects from Nancy Pelosi to Hillary Clinton, and exposes how this malign maneuver is right out of the Bush/Cheney playbook.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Phony Excuse

David Swanson cuts through the fog of Obama's sellout on health care. As progressive members of Congress prepare to cave in to Black Reagan, Swanson reminds us that the money to provide medicare to every American citizen was looted by Obama earlier this year on behalf of Wall Street bankers and the war industry. Pretending we cannot afford medical care for everyone is as phony as Obama's highly-touted commitment to education earlier this week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Morgenthau Missive

NYC DA Morgenthau now fact-free. Charles Davis reports on lame NY Times innuendo by Morgenthau to bolster bogus claims against Venezuela and Iran in order to lay the groundwork for sanctions.

And you thought Bush/Cheney/Powell were laughable in leading the US to war in Iraq.


Preventing Change

God save us from the social innovators.


Craker Care

Obama has steered health care into the ditch. Listening to bamababies defend his betrayal, you'd think the global microbial and viral plagues -- looming on the horizon as a result of Free Trade and privatization -- were science fiction, rather than epidemics already underway in regions where public health has collapsed. In this, the bamababies remind me of the innocent, wide-eyed Crakers, fictional characters created by Margaret Atwood in her novel Oryx and Crake.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Maintaining the Deception

In 1973, Walter Karp wrote Indispensable Enemies, the definitive book on the politics of misrule in America. In that book, Karp argues that the political theatre of feined conflict between the Republican and Democratic parties is necessary to conceal the fact they are both owned by the American aristocracy.

One of the essential facets of this charade playing out in the American media, academia and public square, are supporting actors who help limit the scope of debate and imagination of the American public. Sometimes these actors are aspiring talking heads, ideologues or politicians, but more often than not, they are crass opportunists echoing messages developed by the respective parties or industries they actually represent. Pious progressive poseurs cautioning pragmatism, religious fundamentalists warning of Armageddon, and business-minded authority figures chastising radicals for suggesting fraud is anti-democratic, all play their part in keeping democracy down.

As neoliberals busy themselves with helping neoconservatives rob us blind on behalf of their mutual masters, it takes a lot of extras — perhaps a cast of thousands — to keep up the appearance of democracy. Meanwhile, “futurists” and other noble heroes allegedly guarding us from notorious villains, have to work overtime to maintain the deception.


Dependency Limits Strategies

What the “futurists” missed is the fact Obama sold his soul five years ago. Harper’s ran an article in 2006 on the deals he made with Wall Street and the DNC in 2004 in order to finance his political career. As apologists for the Democratic Party, the futurists and other progressive fronts serve as examples of why the professionalization of activism may seem pragmatic to funders like Tides, but in the end undermines the democratization of capital. Dependency limits strategies.


Gaza Surf

Mondoweiss looks at surfing in Gaza.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Big Talk Little Walk

Having forsaken every progressive principle he paid lip service to during his campaign, President Obama is now reduced to doing PR stunts like his address to America's youth. While this is a refreshing change from presidents landing on aircraft carriers, in essence it's the same thing: big talk, little walk.

Americans may have come to expect such shallow amelioratives in lieu of actual public service, but it's sad to see people like former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown saying we should lighten up on Obama. I mean, we're talking about the man who presided over the largest transfer of public wealth to the private sector in the history of the world, wealth that could and should have been used for such things as public health and education.

Willie knows better. Now we need to tell our kids.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Presidential PR

Removal of the unusual and exclusion of the non-conforming is the primary purpose of state-sponsored education. Obama’s commitment to privatizing public education is an endorsement of indoctrinating American youth with the neoliberal, imperial, militarist viewpoint. This isn’t brainwashing per se, but it is propaganda, and it is oriented toward marginalizing those who question authority, even if it isn’t forbidden. And goodness knows, Obama’s owners have invested a lot in promoting a cult-like atmosphere around his candidacy and presidency. Still, if he wants to address America’s children, fine, as long as his message isn’t the final word.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Fired Up

Some of the Obama babies have been sniping at gays for pushing their fearless leader to live up to his promises. A few of these toadies have even posted ad hominem attacks on Cleve Jones, Harvey Milk's right-hand man during the first national equality march thirty years ago. We figure it's time to call Obama and his sycophants to account. For starters, if you haven't watched the videos on the Equality Across America website, it's time you did. Then we can have an intelligent discussion based on fact, not the fear-mongering by Democratic Party pundits.

Jones' speech at the Salt Lake City gay pride clears up the nonsense. Gays and civil rights enthusiasts were fired up by the movie Milk, and energized by the battle against bigotry in the form of LDS-sponsored California Prop 8. As Cleve elucidates in the interviews, when the movement is fired up, you mobilize. This time, for full equality under all civil laws in all 50 states.

And there's only one place you can do that. It's called the National Mall.

Saturday, September 05, 2009



The term extremism is currently in vogue to describe hate groups and other malcontents listed as such by knowledgeable monitors like Southern Poverty Law Center and others, but while we all know what a bigot is, the standard for extremist is vague.

Pressing public opinion or the Department of Justice to adopt the term for creating lists is a mistake. If organizations or individuals advocate violence to deprive others of full and equal protection of the law, I think we can come up with a better, more accurate term.

Extremism, as I say, is an extremely imprecise term. Who gets to decide who is extreme? Homeland Security? That's reassuring. FBI agents and former CIA spooks turned extremist experts? Why not, they did so well as terrorism experts.

Misbehavior is misbehavior and should be dealt with accordingly. If crimes are committed, they should be prosecuted. But demonizing those disillusioned with the American government cuts a wide swath.

The extent of our misrule is so entrenched and pervasive, that handing wiretap and detention powers to secret agencies -- to harass anyone who is fed up with government corruption -- will only help the American aristocracy in keeping democracy down. The fact of the matter is that we have been abandoned, and no amount of state idolatry can change that.


Clouded Title

In the comprehensive report Indigenous World 2009, the evolving set of relations between indigenous nations and modern states is examined in detail. Within the new context of international human rights instruments developed for this purpose, the majority of states continue to pursue a policy of assimilation or other forms of annihilation of indigenous cultures. Included in their strategies are the assassination and co-opting of traditional leaders in support of the neoliberal development model.

The primary change resulting from recently adopted UN instruments appears to be greater participation by indigenous peoples within the state model, with little observation in practice by states of the principles of international humanitarian law cited in their constitutional reforms. As extractive industries continue to exploit indigenous territories with state military and police backing, the clouded title of state and corporate interests in inherent indigenous property is no clearer than it was under colonialism.

What is clearer, though, is indigenous consciousness, communication and organization. Notwithstanding the moral social shortcomings of the states reviewed, the report itself is a remarkable achievement. The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs deserves our thanks.

Friday, September 04, 2009


LGBT Civil Rights

Join the National Equality March this October 10-11, and support equal protection under the law.


A Creature of Advertising

In November 2006, Harper's examined the career of Barack Obama. In that article, 2004 stands out as the year Obama sold his soul.


Boycott and Divestment Working

Boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli apartheid is working. Check out Global BDS Movement for the latest news.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Black Reagan

Black Reagan is no FDR. Kiss health care goodbye.


Craven Scoundrels

Looking for present real life parallels to this 1950s television series, we know who the villains and thieves are; they're in the White House, Congress and Wall Street. But who's merrily romping in Sherwood Forest waiting to ambush these craven scoundrels? I mean, other than Ralph (Robin Hood) Nader, Amy (Maid Marian) Goodman and Michael (Friar Tuck) Moore?


Save the Kids

Thanks to Al Feldstein and Jay Ward, we were able as children in the 1950s to see through the Cold War ruse that bamboozled our parents. Of course, their pre-TV indoctrination and life experience were quite different, especially when it came to questioning authority. For us, however -- raised on Fruit Loops and Hula Hoops -- war was just another product sold on TV. If we have anyone to thank for instilling in us an aversion to advertising, it's Al and Jay. God bless them both.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Climate Change Overdrive

As climate change goes into overdrive, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood becomes less a dystopian fiction and more a roadmap to reality.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Legislation for Extinction

Mi'kmaw Associate Professor Dr. Bonita Lawrence of York University discusses the history of the regulation of indigenous civilizations in Canada through the control of native identity.

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