Sunday, January 31, 2010


To Find Meaning in Murder

Charles Davis writes about the peculiarly American fetish of war.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Freedom From Fear

One month out from the international conference in London to discuss the reunification of Ireland, talks in Northern Ireland continue over the transfer of policing and justice powers from the UK. While both Britain and the Republic of Ireland support the devolution of powers, the current hitch is over parading. The DUP, representing the Orange Order, is still resisting restrictions on sectarian harassment, which everyone knows is the purpose of the Protestant clubs marching through Catholic neighborhoods banging drums and blowing horns.

Looking at newsreels from the 1920s in the US, when Ku Klux Klan robes and confederate flags flowed by the thousands past the Washington Monument in our nation's capitol -- one of the Blackest cities in our country -- I have a sense of how far the Irish have come in seeking equality and freedom from fear.

Friday, January 29, 2010


American Political Theatre

Last fall, in Maintaining the Deception, I wrote about how the supporting actors of American political theatre -- by limiting the scope of debate and imagination in the American public mind -- help to keep democracy down. In Dependency Limits Strategies, I observed that Campaign for America's Future and other progressive fronts for the Democratic Party were essential to undermining the democratization of capital. In Breathless Buffoonery, I noted how this progressive avant garde marginalizes authentic activists who offer genuine solutions to global crises.

In Fatuous Futurists, I chronicled their plans for positioning themselves to profit from the widescale resentment mobilized by justifiable anger at the Obama regime they themselves helped to elect, and, until recently, painstakingly apologized for. For their rising stars, capitalizing on crisis requires persistent hyperbole.

Of course, none of this is new.


Acting Out Angst

Michael J. Smith hosts a lively discussion on acting out angst.

Thursday, January 28, 2010



Given Obama's full spectrum betrayal of the American people, widespread religious hysteria, economic panic and social vengeance are probably inevitable. If progressives want to offer a credible alternative, they have to attack the neoliberal state's anti-democratic agenda that Obama has embraced wholeheartedly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The Predatory Pyramid

If you take a sheet of paper and write American Civics Lesson #1 at the top of the page, then draw a large triangle and divide the triangle into five horizontal layers, you can portray American society in a framework that elucidates the distribution of power. You can choose your own labels, but the ones I have chosen are as follows:

1. Aristocracy
2. Wall Street, U.S. Treasury
3. Political Parties, Media, Universities
4. Churches, Schools, Unions, Associations
5. Wage Slaves, Prisoners, Homeless, Veterans

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Culture Jamming

Listening to Cindy Sheehan speak in New York about the $750 million Madison Avenue advertising campaign to drum the words hope and change into American minds reminded me of the vast resources of the American aristocracy available to convince us that their servants like Obama are fighting for democracy. Ludicrous, I know, but as Sheehan observed, a quarter of the American populace — even after betraying 100% of his campaign promises — still believe the myth of Obama. Breaking that spell is going to require some serious culture jamming.


The Advent of Netwar

In the years ahead, the possibility should not be overlooked that a major new global peace and disarmament movement may eventually arise from a grand alliance among diverse NGOs and other civil-society actors who are attuned to the doctrinal elements of netwar. They will increasingly have the organizational, technological, and social infrastructures to fight against recalcitrant governments, as well as to operate in tandem with governments and supranational bodies that may favor the movement.

--The Advent of Netwar by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt

Monday, January 25, 2010


Curbing Free Expression

I'm not all that worked up about the Supreme Court's formal recognition of corrupt government; it doesn't really change the field of conflict. The announcement by White House info officer Sunstein, however, recommending massive infiltration of peace groups by FBI agents in order to set activists up for arrests, does. Bush test drove that unconstitutional policy at the RNC and DNC conventions, but Obama wants to extend it to criticism and normal protest, in addition to civil disobedience. A concern for journalists as well.

The first test will be March when Veterans for Peace and Cindy Sheehan set up a peace camp at the Washington Monument. It's also a break between pro-war progressives and IVAW, which makes for an interesting but unavoidable escalation of social conflict.

So Obama appointee Cass Sunstein advocates arresting anti-war activists and critics opposed to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Well, if the White House information officer is that afraid of Cindy Sheehan, Amy Goodman, and Veterans for Peace, then it’s surely time to send a donation to Peace of the Action.

While the Department of Justice has been harassing anti-war activists since the 1960s, this is the first mention of it being a government policy to curb free expression through illegal means. I suspect the Obama White House is floating this idea for three reasons: 1. to see how much opposition it generates, 2. to demoralize the anti-war movement, and 3. to make anti-war activists legitimate targets of derision by media, local law enforcement, and vigilantes. None of this is good news.

But if you think back to what happened in the Nixon White House (Watergate) and the Reagan White House (Iran-Contra), it's not something we haven't dealt with before. They'll push until we manage to raise a ruckus and stop them. In the meantime, our online discussions and mentoring are helping prepare a cadre of operatives across the country to do our part. It'll be a mess as usual, but then nobody said liberty comes cheap.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Fatuous Futurists

For those who were infatuated by the netroots nitwits, you’re going to love the fatuous futurists gala in D.C. And speaking of fatwas, our favorite futurist — that lovable other Sara — has returned from the mountaintop to pronounce her new discovery: politicians, even Democrats, are untrustworthy. You heard it here first!

Yes, the other Sara has decided that the only hope for change is to join progressive visionaries like herself in embracing the teabaggers.

Utterly brilliant! Breathtaking! We can’t wait to see what the progressive change agents come up with at their grand gala this summer.


Newark's Nemesis

Bruce Wilson examines the praying people taking over the streets of Newark.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Defeating the Warmongers

As our anti-war network prepares to engage our pro-war enemies, it will be useful to review the concepts of netwar, which is the application of research, education, and organizing for action in a network organizational framework. While there are many roles in netwar, there is but one purpose--to win. But defeating the warmongers, be they progressive or fascist, requires observing the same principles of psywar--something we've discussed before.

In the end, luck and persistence are likely to determine the outcome, but luck only comes to those who comprehend the science of coercion.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Culture Death

Three years ago, in a post titled Fatal Attraction, I wrote about imagination, intellectual development, isolation and public mental health. In the spring of that year, in a piece titled Radical Hope, I posted a commentary on globalization and the loss of faith in progress. Last summer, in Unfounded Faith, I explored how the lethal concept of progress perpetuates destructive arrogance.

About this time last year, in Worldview, I discussed competing perspectives on governance and social evolution. Then, in Lethal Ways, went on to examine the psychological warfare associated with the concept of progress, and how it has historically been challenged by those determined to vent their rage.

In Closing Society Down, I briefly observed how progressives are unable to deal with the phenomenon of what some have called culture death. And in The Slogan is Attack, I noted why progressive values have failed.


Taking Responsibility

War is still the most fucked-up, mentally deficient and morally bankrupt activity that was ever developed by mankind, and most Americans don’t even think about that fact for even a few seconds. We the People must take some responsibility for allowing the War Machine and its War Parties to pull black hoods over our heads.

—Cindy Sheehan

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Obstacles to Change

The people who voluntarily act on the principle of justice are already making important changes; you can find them maligned in the news all the time. Some, like Cindy Sheehan, become celebrated, but most do not. And even the celebrated ones involved in mobilizing moral sanction often operate out of pocket. Those drawn to working within the system of career activism, however, frequently function as obstacles to change. Anyone who believed working for Obama would make a difference is unlikely to grasp that.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Blood and Politics

In The Radical Center and the Outer Limits, Paul de Armond reviews Leonard Zeskind's new book Blood and Politics. Paul also provides a bibliography of other essential reading about the "intensely alienated middle America" mobilized over the last half century by the hard core racialists examined in detail by Mr. Zeskind.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Shameless Audacity

From the White House Open Government Blog:
Americans chose Barack Obama to be President of the United States to change the way Washington works. To do just that, on his first full day in office, the President signed two critical documents that have shaped the Administration: the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government and the Executive Order on Ethics. As a result of the Memorandum on Transparency, we have since Day One, worked to empower the public – through greater openness and new technologies – to influence the decisions that affect their lives. And as a result of the Ethics Order, we have since that same day worked to reduce special interest and lobbyist influence in Washington so the voices of the American people can be heard.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Attacking the Peacemakers

As activists mobilize for Peace of the Action, corporate media and pro-war progressives will be mounting attacks on the peacemakers. Led by Cindy Sheehan (a gold star mother), Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against War, and other opponents of U.S. imperial adventures, the media will draw on psychological warfare resources at the Pentagon and elsewhere to discredit and undermine the revitalized peace movement.

Homeland Security phone-tapping, e-mail hacking, and peace group infiltration is a key part of the federal government’s repertoire in keeping democracy down. We expect no less from the current White House.

The fact that the peace movement is led by the veterans and military families betrayed by Bush and Obama makes the current conflict more challenging for the secret agencies used to spy on American citizens, but not impossible. As we saw during the Vietnam War, when they can’t take you on directly, they resort to covert ops, using devious means to destroy movement morale by influencing the perceptions of employers, landlords, families, and allies. They will do this again.


Extraordinary Rendition

Extraordinary rendition (kidnapping, incarceration, torture and murder) of brown-skinned, non-Christians suspected of harboring resentment toward white, Christian invaders of their homelands today is not so different from the methods used in the first half of last century, only then it was used against American and Canadian Indian children ranging in age from 4 to 14. Today we excuse this practice against infidels on the premise of national security. Back then it was simply a matter of ethnic cleansing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Peace of the Action

March 13-22
Washington Monument

contribute now


Until We Try

Truth commissions, be they in South Africa, Canada, or Guatemala, are fraught with difficulties, as emotional traumas and crimes against humanity are exposed and examined in public. Asymmetrical power -- as both the root cause of atrocities and the source of distrust in reconciliation -- is never more evident than when the most vulnerable accuse the least generous.

Given this tense situation, memories and testimonies are suspect, apologies and sincerity questionable. Media often seeks out the most bizarre, victims sometimes imagine unprovable horrors, the accused always try to control how much is exposed, the public largely resents the moral intrusion into their innocent psyches; it is not a pleasant process.

Yet, it is a necessary step toward resolution, and while it can present unforeseen dangers, it allows for better understanding that is required for social cohesion and cooperation on essential future initiatives. Distorting the past only ensures endless conflict.

While there is much to criticize about the Canadian truth commission process, they have at least begun. Maybe someday the people of the United States will get around to telling the truth about their history. When that happens, perhaps the two North American neighbors can resolve their objections to supporting human rights for Indigenous peoples worldwide.

As two of the three pariah states obstructing those rights at the UN, a change of heart by Canada and the US might help other states to walk the talk of equality, liberty and fraternity. We'll never know until we try.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Worse Than You Think

Here’s some new background on the Reverend Annett assault in Vancouver, mentioned in the earlier post Stolen Lives. While he has been vilified by church and state officials for exposing past abuses of Indian children in church-run, government residential schools, it is likely his current expose of prostitution and pedophile rings protected by Vancouver police that got him beaten recently. For the residential school controversy chronology, see the timeline compiled by the Assembly of First Nations. To follow the official public process to resolve residential school grievances, beginning June 2010, bookmark Truth and Reconciliation Canada. For further information about violence targeting Indigenous women and children in British Columbia, readers might want to read about prostitution and racism on my associate Melissa Farley’s website.


Delivering His Lines

It's a toss up as to which is more ridiculous--Pat Robertson claiming Haiti had a pact with the devil, or Barack Obama telling the banks we want our money back. Both, of course, are political theatre and little more. But while Robertson might be excused on account of delusional dementia, Obama is merely playacting, and like his idol Ronald Reagan, just trying to keep a straight face while delivering his lines.

Friday, January 15, 2010


O Hearts W

Uncle Tom rescues man child from obscurity.


Financial Crisis Commission

In Britain, this type of scandal would be handled by the Office of Serious Fraud; in the US, we get Congressional commissions led by people like Lee Hamilton—politicians with experience at whitewashing corruption and covering up high crimes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Obama's Bonanza

I just watched Sarah Palin's debut on FOX, and while her observation that Pelosi is not exactly in synch with her constituency might irk party faithful, her pro-Zionist posture is a godsend to President Obama. Indeed, after promoting the violently homophobic Rick Warren at his swearing-in ceremony, I don't see why Obama doesn't just make Palin part of his cabinet.


The New McCarthyism

Nora Barrows-Friedman examines the Zionist assault on academic freedom in the US, what she terms the new McCarthyism.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Against the Presidential Will

Harry Kreisler interviews Daniel Ellsberg about the aura of the American presidency, and how the interests of the presidency and the interests of the people are never the same. Beginning with the premise that all presidents lie, says Ellsberg, the moral choice is in making a commitment against the presidential will.


Stolen Lives

Before the documentary film Unrepentant debuted at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2006, few people other than Canadian Indians knew about the atrocities committed by the Canadian government and mainstream churches against Indian children in the church-run, government residential schools. Even fewer knew about the campaign of harassment waged by the Canadian government and church hierarchies against the church pastor who documented and exposed these atrocities to Canadian media.

Last fall, that pastor and a group of Canadian Indian residential school survivors bore witness to this atrocity in front of the Vatican, and plan to seek an audience with the Pope in 2010. Last week, in the runup to the planned civil disobedience by these survivors during the February Vancouver Olympics, Reverend Kevin Annett was assaulted and beaten. As Annett and his friends continue pushing for accountability by government and church authorities responsible for the deaths of 75,000 Indian children, it is not hard to imagine church and state once again colluding to cover their crimes.

In addition to demanding the return of the remains of these thousands of children buried in mass graves, the survivors are insisting that the perpetrators — past and present — of sexual abuse, including church and government officials involved in pedophile rings, be brought to trial. They are also seeking UN support for an investigation into these deaths as crimes against humanity. Something to keep in mind as the survivors interrupt the fun and games of televised sports spectacle to remind us that it wasn’t just stolen land that made the Olympics possible, but stolen lives as well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Shaming Canada

Survivors of Indian residential schools announced they will disrupt the February 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, as well as church and state operations during the Olympics, if Canadian church and state authorities fail to arrange for returning the remains of the 75,000 Indian children who died at the church-run government schools. The survivors are also demanding an official inquiry into holding accountable the church and government officials responsible for these deaths.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Democratizing Power

In his clip, Arthur Manuel addresses how non-native supporters of the indigenous peoples’ movement can help prevent violence against indigenous activists, as well as promote the indigenous agenda in dominant society institutions. This strategy reflects what Joseph Dore remarked about us all being in this together.

For examples of how an indigenous political struggle made use of affinities and diaspora to bolster life-and-death initiatives, the political parties of Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) and Wallmapuwen (Southern Chile) come to mind. Independent political parties aren’t the only vehicle to democratizing power, but they are apparently an essential one in today’s world. As international indigenous governing entities develop, I suspect new infrastructure for organizing will be built that will in turn accommodate, socialize and nurture researchers, analysts and activists from all communities within a multicultural milieu.

One can never have too many friends.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Dalliance with Death

William Blum recalls America's dalliance with death during the 1960s in Brazil.


Level 47

Defenders of the Land: a network of Indigenous communities and activists in land struggle across Canada. Maintaining the flow of life.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Hillary AID

Who says Hillary lacks a sense of humor? In her recent speech, she lauded the prospects for world peace through expansion of US AID. No doubt the Bolivian people would find that highly amusing, after US AID funneled millions to the fascist landed aristocracy there to use in attempting to overthrow the newly-won democracy by Bolivia’s indigenous peoples' movement.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Sense of Solidarity

For socially conscious individuals, identifying with a movement's goals or an organization's objectives is an important part of protecting their personal sanity. Without that connection, thoughtful people will inevitably turn to self-destructive behavior.

The networks that comprise modern social movements, however, are not (as commonly thought) coalitions of non-profit corporate entities. Rather, they are comprised of indomitable individuals -- sometimes affiliated with formal organizations -- who more often than not are independent researchers, analysts and activists.

While these collegial networked relationships create a sense of ideological belonging, they do not sustain the movements with which affinity groups and individuals voluntarily identify. That, on the contrary, can only be accomplished through shared effort and mutual support: finding each other jobs, promoting each other's work, providing for each other's needs--the kind of solidarity one sees in tribal societies.

Applying this type of solidarity to citizenship within modern state constructs, requires conceptual tools and philosophical development generally unavailable in academia. As such, online hedge schools and the face-to-face discussions they hint at meet a social mental health need, but mostly receive no funding.

Given this undeveloped sense of solidarity, the intellectual services required to attain and maintain social sanity remain largely inaccessible. Turning this situation around necessitates freeing individual minds from the captivity of consumerism--especially eschewing the commodity of conventional activism.


Feeding the War Machine

Mother Jones looks at militarizing middle school as part of Obama's plan for maintaining America's maniacal mindset.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Word to Live By

The slogan is Attack.
--Nelson Mandela

Monday, January 04, 2010


Rat Patrol

For those of you following the delinquent landlady saga, today she reluctantly promised our county health department that she would comply with their October 23 order to stop feeding rats and hire a pest control service to destroy the nests adjacent to our apartment. Many thanks to Bay Area Legal Aid and County of Marin Environmental Health Services for their prompt assistance and effective advice.

Should there be any new developments in the rat patrol series, or on either the foreclosure fiasco, mortgage fraud, or bankruptcy odyssey, we will post updates as needed. (For earlier episodes, just type landlady in the search box.)

Stay tuned.


Carbon Colonialism

Neither human rights language nor the rights of indigenous peoples were recognized in the [Copenhagen] Accord. This will lead to further human rights violations, climate destruction, loss of land and disruption of the livelihood and well-being of indigenous communities from the Arctic to the global south.

--Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Pro-War Progressives

Cindy Sheehan lays into pro-war progressives like Code Pink.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Effective Moral Sanction

This Is Where We Take Our Stand -- part of the Winter Soldier Project comprising videotaped testimonies by Iraq Veterans Against the War -- looks at the reality of America's war machine. IVAW’s presence in uniform at the Democratic National Convention stunned police sent to molest war protestors. As IVAW marched in order past the riot squads to the cadence of their anti-war marching song, the police refused to arrest them. An effective act of moral sanction if I’ve ever seen one.

Friday, January 01, 2010


Progressive Reports Now

The Progressive Reports Now series by Charles F. Oxtrot is the best thing since MAD magazine.

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