Saturday, October 31, 2009


War in Chile

Intercontinental Cry reports on the escalating conflict between the Mapuche nation and the Chilean state over lands belonging to Mapuche but invaded by multinational corporations at the behest of the government of Chile.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Good News!

Good news! Only half the members of the House subcommittee controlling Pentagon spending are under investigation for influence peddling.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Castle Made of Sand

When my landlady attempted to coerce me into signing a fake lease (falsely stating triple our actual rent) for the purpose of defrauding her mortgage lender last summer, I was unfamiliar with the chaos that had created a climate of corruption in the foreclosure lending industry. All I knew at the time was that the deregulation of banking and real estate had spun out yet another pyramid scheme, and that millions of homeowners and tenants were being displaced nationwide. Little did I dream that one year later I would come home to my apartment to find a Trustee's Sale Notice taped to the door.

Now, one month later, the Trustee's Foreclosure Sale has been forestalled by a last minute application for bankruptcy protection by my landlady, and she issued us a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. Having been in touch with Bay Area Legal Aid since the day after I was surprised by the sale notice, we held our rent for the new owner or bank, in order to prevent our unscrupulous landlady from skating with that money, as well as our last month rent and security deposit.

As we now wait for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to dispose of our landlady's application, my main question is whether our landlady – a mortgage broker and realtor herself – will walk on her earlier fraud that led directly to the current mortgage delinquency and foreclosure, or if the bankruptcy court will give her a pass.

Looking over the foreclosure notice the other day, I was wondering how a two bedroom, single bath dozer could be mortgaged for a million dollars. I mean, where did the money go? The place is a dump.

I mentioned this to a neighbor who inquired about the Stop Work Notice posted on the fence by the building inspector after the landlady had her handyman begin demolition of her rotten second story balcony without a permit, and she told me that our landlady recently mentioned losing half a million in the stock market. I couldn't help thinking that if she had half a million dollars to invest, what was she doing defaulting on her mortgage and using our rent to live on, but I figured there must be a reasonable explanation.

As it happened, that afternoon I was hiking with a friend in the woods to whom I told this tale, and she said our landlady once tried to lure her into a stock market pyramid scheme, and that a former tenant in our building had lost her shirt on the deal. At this point, it all started to come together.

Apparently, our landlady had refinanced her residence, fraudulently stating its income production in order to borrow against that inflated value to invest in the pyramid scheme. Then, when the scheme collapsed, her creditors, as they say, watched her castle made of sand fall in the sea.

Now I'm beginning to wonder if her bankruptcy application might be referred to the Attorney General's office for investigation. Could she have been stupid enough to try to con the court in covering up her earlier crime? Time will tell.

Monday, October 26, 2009



Brenda Norrell reports from the 7th Southwest Uranium Forum held at Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


New Kinds of Leadership

Adapting to a rapidly-changing ecosystem requires new kinds of leadership. State-centric, market-oriented institutions have failed, and indeed are an ongoing impediment to our survival. If humankind has any chance of evolving organizationally to deal with the climate change crisis, it will be the relational understandings of tribal peoples and their network of civil society friends who lead the way; not the US, EU, or UN.

If you look at what the UN does, as opposed to what it says, it isn’t much different from its member states. This isn’t to say we don’t have to deal with its agencies; it only means we have to be as vigilant in holding it accountable as we do the US and EU. Indeed, my associates and I have done just that.

I have written elsewhere about the UN process on climate change protocols, and its betrayal of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change, while at the same time paying lip service to their rights under international law. Something many would expect from the governments of Canada and the United States, but oddly not the United Nations.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


CWIS Celebrates 25 Years

Our friends at CWIS celebrate 25 years. Read the congratulations at Public Good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


AFN Informs Prime Minister

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo expresses dismay at Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s remark that Canada has no history of colonialism.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Leading the World Astray

Margaret Kimberley discusses Obama's unique ability to lead the world astray.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Notable War Criminals

Electronic Intifada this week looks at notable war criminals Ehud Olmert, Barack Obama, and Tony Blair as they engage in netwar to cover up their crimes. As these notable criminals spread lies across college campuses and over the airwaves, it is good to remember they work in tandem. In order to be effective, psywar has to be pervasive, just like the transnational criminal networks Olmert, Obama, and Blair represent.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Life in the Andes

As celebrations of indigenous life like those in the Andes last week remind us, globalized privatization -- a process that began 500 years ago -- is anathema to sustaining authentic culture, as well as ecosystems. As industrialized countries fall apart, organic philosophies are required to mend our psyches, as well as our communities. Restoring public wealth and communal health, then, becomes both a noble and pragmatic project. One in which we all can effectively engage.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Constructing Coherence

Constructing coherence concerns the flow of attention and continuity of apprehension of the situation.
--Therese Ornberg Berglund

Friday, October 16, 2009


No Invasions Required

As Steven Pressfield 's continuing interview with Chief Zazai illustrates, the problem with US troops in Afghanistan isn't the number or duration, but the fact they are there to support the wrong guys, thugs masquerading as the central Afghanistan government. This isn't a new problem with US foreign policy, the US almost always backs anti-democratic criminal thugs it can work with in exploiting a countries' resources. It almost never backs honest local governance with a track record of maintaining peaceful law and order.

Thus, all the hand-wringing over timelines, troop levels, and geopolitics in Central Asia, Central Africa, and South America is just so much bogus spectacle, designed to bamboozle American citizens. Back the democratic movements, and cleaning up bad guys like the Taliban and Al Qaeda becomes a simple, local police action, no invasions required.

Unfortunately, explaining this to corrupt US politicians on the take from the arms industry, or to pious poseurs of the moral theatrics industry, is almost as futile as convincing American voters the whole US government system is a farce. Bamababies especially.


Equality on the March

Cleve Jones tells it like it is.


Getting Real

Black is Back takes on Obama.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Weak Minds Weaken Resistance

Frederick Clarkson addresses the Progressive Fascist Alliance.


Pariah Update

Mondoweiss has a whole slew of articles about the changing stature of Israel in the world. Do go check it out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Climate of Corruption

A personal note on surviving in a society out of control.


Here to Help You

Foreclosure Rescue Mirage by Mother Jones looks at government help to homeowners.


Gallantry Under Fire

As things fall apart on the home front, I am reminded of scenes from the movie Master and Commander. As we individually fight for food, shelter, and medicine in a collapsing economy, let us be remembered for our "damn fine gunnery" as well as our gallantry under fire. When all else is lost, we will be judged by our character under duress.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Hope in California

Governor signs Harvey Milk Day into law.


Tribal Rights

UK government upholds complaint against British mining company for violating tribal rights under international law.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Army of None

More US soldiers committed suicide than were killed in combat this year.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Military Rape

October 12-16 is Military Rape Awareness Week, bringing to public attention the fact that one in three women in the US armed forces is raped.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Eve of Depression

We don't pretend to be economists, so we rely on knowledgeable friends to point us toward those who might help make sense of things. In this disturbing article, the receding recession sounds like the exiting tide before a tsunami. Accordingly, fake recoveries aside, the indications are that we are now on the eve of depression.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Prevention of Terrorism

In Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life, John Conroy examined daily life in West Belfast, Northern Ireland in the early 1980s. One of the facts of life there at the time was the 1974 Prevention of Terrorism Act, a law used by the UK to compile dossiers on individuals, to force people to become informers, and, "to harass activists whose politics the government did not appreciate". In a report by Amnesty International examining the unwarranted detentions, interrogations, and torture of individuals arrested under the act, 88% of those arrested were found to be innocent of any crime whatsoever.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Chamber Mindset

Readers might recall the US Chamber of Commerce has been a steadfast opponent of international human rights. In the case of climate change impacts on indigenous peoples, these two issues converge. The Chamber mindset, as such, is consistent with the attitudes that prevailed regarding the U.S. Constitution prior to amendments outlawing slavery and extending equal civil rights to Blacks, Indians, and women. Today that mindset is supportive of such things as sweatshops and human trafficking, as well as in denial on the calamity of climate change.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


St. Hillary

St. Hillary calls for an end to sexual violence in conflict zones. How pious. Maybe someone can explain to her eminence that creating conflict for the benefit of profiteering is the problem, and when that abomination is eliminated, then the symptoms will also disappear.

Friday, October 02, 2009


In the News

Obama makes deal to help Israel avoid international inspections of its nuclear arsenal. The estimated several hundred nuclear bombs in the Israeli arsenal place Israel in violation of international law and US policy. After forty years of White House cover-up, however, Israel's nuclear warheads are now in the news.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Black is Back

Real News interviews Glen Ford about the growing Black resistance to the capitalist power structure in the United States.


No Change

BAR looks at Bush 3, otherwise known as Obama 1.

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