Saturday, February 27, 2010



There are different measures of social exclusion, a term used more in Europe than here, but they all get back to inequality in terms of participation. There is more to life than the right to be equally excluded. Indeed, there is more to human dignity than civil rights. Like fulfillment, which entails responsibilities we are deprived of exercising due to institutionalized exclusion from decision-making on all the vital choices. Denying us the opportunity to be responsible generates all sorts of misbehavior and dysfunction.

Friday, February 26, 2010


In Our Image

Afghanistan's puppet government has succeeded in mirroring ours. The president is in bed with the banks, and white collar looting is rampant. Not exactly the surge we had in mind.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Murder and Theft

Murder and theft are big business on Wall Street, and if one looks at almost any sector of financial investment, murder and theft aren't hard to find. Sometimes it's as obvious as the war and energy industries, other times it's as obscure as banking and health. The invisibility of murder and theft on a global scale is aided by mainstream media that portrays this official US policy as defense and development. Nevertheless, if one examines the situations where this policy is deployed by US troops, advisors and mercenaries, murder and theft is the only conclusion an honest person can reach.

As the Obama Administration perpetuates this policy of murder and theft on behalf of the industries it represents, the lives of indigenous peoples worldwide will be on the conscience of every American citizen, even if their blood is not literally on their hands.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010



Regarding the current controversy over aiding terrorist organizations, one has to keep in mind the nature of organizations that end up on the U.S. State Department terrorist list. Many are indigenous nations seeking accommodation with oppressive states. While some seek limited autonomy or outright independence, all of them are seeking their human rights as recognized under international law. Unfortunately, many of these oppressive states are also friends of the United States government and the corporations it represents. This leaves anyone who effectively advocates freedom for indigenous peoples in the position of being an enemy of the US. My colleague Rudolph Ryser explains.


Fighting the Financial Cartel

In the wake of the colossal betrayal of Americans by the Obama Administration, Cyrano's examines the move toward state-owned banks as a means of fighting the financial cartel on Wall Street.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Illuminating the Rift

The difference between appearance and substance is illuminated by the rift between those who support the corporate state while retaining social security and civil rights (liberals), and those who wish the corporate state to be more accountable to their notions of human rights (progressives). Both want reform of the existing corporate system, but neither advocate democratizing capital in order to achieve their goals. That would also entail a shift in posture from begging to demanding, and involve risking those corporate paychecks and foundation grants.

Socialists who've succeeded in attaining a better deal for everyone, though, have endured blacklisting, harassment and assault from church and state and their lackeys. Sometimes the lackeys are conservative, sometimes liberal, but the marginalizing of peace activists by Obama supporters demonstrates that even progressives are essentially anti-democratic.

This labeling identity conundrum is causing unnecessary consternation among dedicated human rights advocates; if they are committed to a socialist agenda, then they need to abandon the notion of working within the capitalist system. But due to the prevailing mindset of most Americans, taking this step is much too frightening. So, for now, progressives and liberals continue to seek rights without the corresponding responsibilities, and the empire rolls along.

Monday, February 22, 2010


The Corporate Choice

Glen Ford speaks about the role of the Democratic Leadership Council in demobilizing American progressives and resuscitating the US empire.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Marketplace of Ideas

Pimping ethnic diversity or democracy, like pimping poverty or the environment, isn’t anything new. Remember the we are the world Coca-Cola ads?

Nowadays, though, with the advent of unmediated online communication threatening corporate control of public discussion, the marketplace of ideas has been invaded by corporate messaging in the guise of grassroots media. Witness the numerous alternative news sites and blogs funded by neoliberal philanthropies like Ford, Soros, et al.

In fact, if you look at the funders of any well-heeled progressive new media, you’ll find they have ties to the neoliberal philanthropic network. Taking corporate ad money is bad enough; feigning integrity and independence when beholden to thieves who launder blood money via foundation grants is particularly loathsome.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Achieving the Impossible

Sinn Fein leads Ireland toward reunification.


A Racial Framework

International conventions and domestic legal prohibitions against discrimination based on perceived racial difference are arguably useful tools in promoting equality, even if academia and the moral theatrics industry sometimes mischaracterize social conflict within a racial framework. The danger comes when this mischaracterization leads policy makers and activists to believe that oppressive relationships like those between Indigenous nations and corporate states can be resolved by equal opportunity within a capitalist system.

While not all states employ race as a criteria in exercising oppression, many utilize the colonial model developed by racially-biased European powers, and have adapted to the assimilationist structures for denying human rights to Indigenous peoples, regardless of skin color. In the end, it is this authentic distinction between ways of life that is most crucial to the survival of humankind, rather than superficial constructs like race.

Friday, February 19, 2010


US Human Rights Record

The United Nations Human Rights Council is accepting testimony pursuant to a review of the human rights record of the United States. Indigenous peoples, governments and organizations are encouraged to submit information.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


CWIS Notes

Center for World Indigenous Studies Fellow and Associate Scholar Mirjam Hirch has been accepted to present a guided poster presentation at the 20th International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Conference convening in Geneva, Switzerland from July 11-15. CWIS Chair Rudolph Ryser has been nominated for an appointment to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the 2011-2013 term.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Promoting Militarism

In 1980, Canada and the U.S. led a boycott of the Summer Olympics in Moscow due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Thirty years later, it is the United States, Canada, and the other NATO countries that are occupying Afghanistan. Instead of a boycott, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics are being used to promote militarism.

--Derrick O'Keefe

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Olympics Train Wreck

Jules Boykoff examines the publicly-financed corporate franchise called the Olympics. Criticized for dozing native lands, doubling homelessness and militarizing public space, can the Olympics still pretend to preserve human dignity? As Shailagh Keaney reports from Onondaga, the Olympics is not just about sport; it is political, colonial and imperial. As Stella August and Phillipa Ryan note from the Vancouver Women's Centre, the Olympics are another broken promise.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Okay to be Gay

Thanks to Dead Horse for this article about America's charming illiteracy.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Racist Roots

As Devin Burghart reports from the Tea Party national convention, the movement is not a new one, but, rather, more of a revival against multiculturalism. Essentially white supremacist, homophobic, middle class Christians, the purpose of the Tea Party, notes Burghart, is to build or re-energize a movement against equality, liberty and freedom for everyone else. Initially mobilized by righteous indignation toward the bank bailouts, the exercise of Tea Party political influence through the electoral process has readily revealed its racist roots.


Supreme Surmise

The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy. Ingratiation and access, in any event, are not corruption.

--United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Defending Autonomy

The Chilean Mapuche have established an autonomous legal defence unit to protect their political prisoners and community activists from police brutality. Working with the United Nations and NGOs like Amnesty International, Mapuche traditional authorities hope to defend themselves from ongoing attack by the Chilean state aimed at destroying Mapuche social and political structures. As the largest aboriginal landowners in Chile and Argentina, Mapuche forests are much sought after by North American corporations working hand in hand with the Chilean government, which has shown an eagerness to use terrorism laws to dehumanize and incarcerate native leaders.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Compare and Contrast

Abiding in Bolivia compares the United States and Bolivian military academies and contrasts the attitudes of presidents Obama and Morales.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Enduring Malign Neglect

There are many examples of misplaced priorities and distorted values emanating from Congress and the White House, but due to their peculiar history, the disaster unfolding on South Dakota Indian reservations deserves special mention. Still without electricity and water, thousands of families have now endured two months of bitter cold temperatures without heat. Food supplies for the most impoverished people in the United States are also dangerously low.

When there was gold to steal in the Black Hills, the US government had no trouble mobilizing troops to the sacred lands of the Sioux. When the Lakota tried to free themselves from the colonial oppression of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the US government did not miss a beat in sending the army and federal police to quell their democratic aspirations. But now that the Sioux have been subdued to a condition akin to Gaza, what is there to gain from continuing official malign neglect?

The Sioux have paid many times over for defeating the US Seventh Cavalry. Maybe it's time the United States paid for what it has done to them since then.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Insidious Goals

In February 2001, Yakama Indian Nation cultural leader and CWIS Board Member Russell Jim spoke about the insidious goals of the US government toward the indigenous peoples of the world, including the Nuclear Attack on the Yakama Culture by the atomic energy industry.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Aggression as a Way of Life

What does it say about our culture when conventions and sporting events are an economic boon to people who traffic children for prostitution?


Seeking Due Process

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has agreed to hear a land claim petition from First Nations on Vancouver Island. Seeking due process in the international arena, after frustrated attempts to negotiate with the governments of Canada and British Columbia, will likely reveal Canada’s standing in the Organization of American States as a result of its vote against UNDRIP, the preeminent international accord on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Friday, February 05, 2010


An Age of Treachery

It wasn't merely the thuggery and thievery that signaled a sea change for the new century that already seems old and tired from abuse. The impunity that now permeates most social institutions and relationships stems from a long permutation of values once paid lip service by brokers and bagmen of multiple political persuasions. That now, in our exhaustion, defines an age of treachery that threatens to take root in our hearts and minds, as untreatable disease takes hold in a time of wanton pharmaceutical misuse. An age of treachery we are want to abandon but cannot find method to mangle.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Attack the Warmongers

As Obama sends more troops to Afghanistan and promotes a nuclear arms buildup, resisting American empire requires shedding any notion he is a man of peace. As a warmonger hungry for power, Obama must be stopped. Civil resistance is the only way.

Join the March for Peace and Camp Out Now. Support those who engage in civil resistance against Obama, Wall Street and the war industry. Stop being a consumer and start becoming a citizen.

Attack the warmongers. You won't regret it.


Vast Empire Constituency

When Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman remarked recently that,"The powers that are trying to shrink our aspiration for democracy are greater than our imagination", I was reminded of an observation by American author Jerry Sanders: "How deeply militarism is rooted in America's political culture must rank as the most profound question of our time". Twenty-seven years after Sanders wrote Peddlers of Crisis, that question remains.

At the time, Sanders referred to the vast empire constituency of the liberal/conservative alliance that ruled the US, what some have since termed the progressive/fascist alliance. Even with the rise of the ameliorationists, responding to the Madison Avenue campaign for hope and change, the assumptions of militarism as America's favored form of diplomacy have gone largely unchallenged.

As America's politically-correct progressives wrestle with the dichotomy of another imperial presidency, marketed as both main street's Messiah and the torchbearer of Reagan's legacy, the failure of our imagination takes on apocalyptic proportions.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Disseminating Toxic Ideas

Reading an article about the pesticide industry using African-American organizations like CORE to shill for them in fighting environmental sanity reminded me of a post at Black Agenda Report exposing NAACP as a "civil rights whorehouse". Whether it's the pesticide manufacturers or the communications industry, though, the means of disseminating toxic ideas remains mass media, and as Christopher Simpson wrote in his book The Science of Coercion, "Psychological warfare is the application of mass communication to modern social conflict". The fact that the white establishment manipulates black poverty pimps is not surprising; James Forman exposed that in his memoir The Making of Black Revolutionaries.


Obama's Folly

While Obama seeks another couple hundred billion dollars for his folly in Central Asia, analysts note he has yet to learn some basic lessons from the history of conflict there.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Fighting a Lost Cause

Defending democracy from the philanthropists was the topic of an interesting post by a friend of mine, but you probably get the gist of it: there are those who do what needs to be done, and then there are those who do what can get funded. In the process, those seeking funding over effectiveness usually contribute to misperceptions about the problems we face, often distorting them to suit their self-interest. Which leaves us fighting both the thieves who stole our wealth and the career activists who frequently do their dirty work.

With both integrity and consciousness in such short supply, accomplishing anything worthwhile means accepting that we are likely fighting a lost cause, but taking consolation in the possibility that whatever battles we manage to win means things aren't as bad as they could have been. Not denying hope, but neither promoting undue optimism.

What I try to convey is that there is great satisfaction in torpedoing bad guys, even if you don't acquire either fame or fortune. Making a living is a separate problem. My friends and I have brought down corrupt media, governments, and domestic terrorist networks, put people in prison, and shut down criminal enterprises through investigative research and strategic communication--without a paycheck for our efforts. We've even written about our work, and made it available free online.

Monday, February 01, 2010


The Futuristas Rebellion

To belabor the obvious, Americans are a silly people. Systematically denied their responsibility, their energies are channeled into endless opportunities for silliness, which they eagerly welcome. Without it, they would despair, for they are unprepared for seriousness, and thus disinclined toward maturity.

Of course, they get a lot of help from professional progressives like Center for American Progress, which promotes the silly notions that Americans can be pro-war and progressive, pro-democracy and pro-Democrat. And for those feeling the sting of Democratic Party betrayal, there is the Institute for America's Future, where the disaffected can join the Futuristas rebellion.

Such silliness.

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