Thursday, September 30, 2010


In Awe of the Corporate State

One of the distinctions between working in agriculture and meatpacking, as opposed to working as mercenaries in the US military, is that immigrants and migrant workers from economies destroyed by agribusiness and the military industry might soon be able to acquire new citizenship in the land of so-called opportunity. Not that risking one's life for the benefit of Bechtel, Boeing or Raytheon is more personally rewarding than sacrificing one's life for the profit of Archer Daniels Midland or Monsanto, but murdering other misfortunates around the globe on behalf of Shell and Chevron at least bestows one with the esteem of those still in awe of the corporate state.

Not much consolation to those maimed and traumatized by participating in atrocities and other normal activities associated with wars of aggression, but desperate people often fail to think of the consequences ahead when making poor choices in the present.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Coca Colla

As California prepares to vote on the legalization of marijuana, Bolivia explores new popular uses for coca. Both demonized by US agencies profiting from police and military actions against them, these medicinal herbs have been used for thousands of years as tonics and stimulants, much like their unscathed cousins consumed at high tea. Consumed widely in Bolivian cafes, as well as in sacred indigenous ceremonies, coca in its natural state holds great export potential for beneficial use; the only obstacle is restrictions developed in response to US drug war hysteria, a policy pursued mostly for reasons other than public health.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Church and State

Frederick Clarkson discusses the evolution of conservative political infrastructure in the US.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Communities Under Siege

In February 2010, Bety Carino, a Mixtec organizer from Oaxaca spoke at the Frontline Defenders conference in Dublin, Ireland about the aboriginal struggle against the free trade invaders in Mexico.

In April 2010, Carino and Finnish human rights observer Jyri Antero Jaakkola were murdered by pro-government paramilitaries who ambushed a humanitarian peace caravan bringing food and medicine to Oaxaca’s indigenous communities under siege.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Welcome to Amerika

U.S. Department of Justice continues to harass anti-war activists. Using warrants to ransack their homes looking for evidence of uncommitted crimes, the FBI continues to intimidate any citizens or groups organized for the purpose of opposing crimes against humanity by the US military, mercenaries or intelligence agencies.

Welcome to Amerika.


Dinosaurs of Dominion

Bush, Clinton, Cheney, Obama: they represent the dinosaurs of dominion—what the culture we are creating anew rejects in its entirety.

Saturday, September 25, 2010



Stephen Lendman does the numbers on record-breaking US poverty.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Gaming the System

Some US presidents retire to their privileged haunts never to be heard from again, others engage in humanitarian enterprises. For William Jefferson Clinton, who like his political party's successor is the ultimate opportunist, gaming the system is an avocation that continues to be wildly profitable.

But while Clinton and Obama both enjoy the privileges bought and paid for by Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street houses of ill repute, Clinton has parleyed his connections to include some of the most brutal dictators and corrupt entrepreneurs on the planet. Living in the lap of luxury at the expense of tyrants who boil their political opponents alive may not trouble Bill, but they should be a source of concern for his U.S. Secretary of State spouse.

Leaving aside for the moment the gargantuan conflicts of interest illustrated by Hillary's position of power and how Bill is using it to profit handsomely, a quick look at the activities of the Clinton Foundation should be enough to show where his motives lie. The recent teaming up with Shell and Chevron on the REDD initiative pretty much says it all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


REDD Shell Game

Shell Oil denounced for undermining indigenous peoples human rights in order to profit from UN climate change protocols. Shell, Chevron, and the Clinton Foundation are funding REDD initiatives aimed at converting forests to plantations, all the while continuing to displace tribal peoples from their territories.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Craigslist Donation Burned

The Center for Young Women's Development, a San Francisco non-profit that serves previously incarcerated women, has burned an unsolicited $100,000 check from Craigslist. Unwilling to take blood money from a corporation that profits from trafficking women and children for prostitution, the organization chose to make a stand on principle rather than help whitewash criminal corruption.

While much was made of Craigslist's removal of adult services from its website recently -- a move made only after years of bad press and lawsuits by attorneys general across the US -- Craigslist only removed the ads from its US site, not in the 39 other countries in which it operates.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Yellow Dirt

Laura Miller writes at Salon about the US government's betrayal of the Navajo in order to mine, mill and dump uranium. With a lethal legacy of carcinogenic land, water and air that has yet to be resolved, Yellow Dirt is a timely and tragic tale. Intercontinental Cry features Uranium, a 1990 National Film Board of Canada documentary about the sacrifice of indigenous peoples in the pursuit of power and profit.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Reins of Power

A thoughtful read of American history by authors like Howard Zinn should be enough to remove illusions about any substantive remnants of a progressive movement. Yet, perhaps due to lack of political experience, this fantasy persists.

This is not to say that there have been no results from research, education, organizing and action over the last century, but the gains garnered have been largely eroded by collusion between the landed aristocracy and the corporate hierarchy now holding the reins of power.

As Zinn and others have shown, authentic progressive leaders were jailed, blacklisted, and murdered. Those allowed to conduct moral theatrics today, especially those on philanthropic payrolls, are the ones deemed no threat to our rulers.

Sunday, September 19, 2010



Jumping in our way back machine, we came across this rare photo of a Peace UFO hovering over San Francisco.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


The Meaning of Place

In his talk Indigenous Resurgence and Traditional Ways of Being, University of Victoria Professor Gerald Taiaiake Alfred examines the fundamental challenges facing indigenous peoples and their friends in confronting the nation-state and the corporations that fund it. Foundational to his vision of decolonization is the restoration of community through overcoming individual fear of confronting the colonialism within ourselves, part of which is comprehending how institutional power has patterned indigenous peoples.

In his distillation of the collective wisdom of indigenous communities, Taiaiake emphasizes that strengthening connection to a place is crucial to fortifying emerging coalitions, connections and networks devoted to universal justice. As a person who is committed to living in a respectful way, Professor Alfred implores us to engage in this spiritual battle with an awareness of the meaning of place in our own cultural heritage.

With all the forces amassed to pull us in other directions, staying on the pathway of peace and righteousness, says Taiaiake, requires re-rooting ourselves in order to mentor others for the long struggle. As he reminds us, "The struggle's not over".

Friday, September 17, 2010


Resolution v God

The San Carlos Apache make a stand for what God gave them and the largest copper mining company in the world wants to destroy. As with all sacred lands, there is no middle ground when it comes to mining; respect for the sacred means you leave it alone. Unfortunately, for Resolution Copper and other corporations, sacred is a foreign concept.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Israel In Security

Mondoweiss looks at how Israeli intelligence has infiltrated American academia and corrupted US homeland security.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


They Own You

Akin to the factory floor color-coded teams, the Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Partiers compete within the rules laid down by their owners; in the end, it doesn't matter how many teams the corporate aristocracy has, as long as they perpetuate the myth of competitive democracy. As with capitalist-sponsored activism, if you take their money, they own you.


Dewey Returns

Duane R. Clarridge, Mr. Death Squad, returns to help Obama take it to Pakistan.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Green Zone Girl

Barbara Bodine, former US Ambassador, University of California Regent, and lecturer at Princeton, is perhaps best known as the hatchet woman who as ambassador to Yemen denied a visa to FBI Commander John P. O'Neill while he was hot on the trail of Al Qaeda suspects involved in plotting 9/11. Bodine, who then answered to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, went on to assist with money laundering in Baghdad's Green Zone as post-invasion contractors lined up at the Pentagon PX. Indeed, Santa Barbara Barbara has had an illustrious Foreign Service career.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Undemocratic Priorities

Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, discusses American governance through the 9/11 lens.

Note: I take issue with Wilkerson's characterization of Colin Powell's fraudulent performance at the UN, that enabled a war of aggression, as less than criminal. I would also note that the 2002 FRONTLINE special The Man Who Knew documented Ambassador Bodine's thwarting of FBI commander John P. O'Neill's efforts at closing down Al Qaeda--another instance of high crime in the State Department. Bodine, like Wilkerson, answered to Secretary Powell, and in both cases the crimes violated both domestic and international law.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


An American Hero

John P. O'Neill


Closing Our Minds

America is a crazy country; Americans themselves frequently remark on the fact. But while this craziness enjoys a perverse popularity, the consequences of our corrupted culture around the world are anything but popular. The colossal consumption of drugs and guns that feed this craziness creates calamities we only avoid by closing our minds.

William Vega, an American public health researcher at Rutgers, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1998, observed that Mexican immigrants have roughly half the incidence of psychological dysfunction as Americans. After 13 years, though, these immigrants develop depression, anxiety and drug problems at the same level as the general population (32%). Additional studies have extended these findings to other ethnic groups, leading to the conclusion, that "socialization into American culture and society increase susceptibility to psychiatric disorders."

Studies from the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2000, as well as from the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1992 and 1996, document that the overall rate of depression in the US has doubled since World War II; for women, it doubled between 1970 and 1992. Even more startling, "American school children today are taking four times as many psychiatric meds as all of the rest of the world combined."

The World Health Organization has found that schizophrenia in developing nations is up 45% from 1985, due primarily from "significant disruptions in cultural practices, social routines, and traditional roles in work and family." The WHO predicts that "depression will become one of the most common disabling disorders in the world by 2020, second only to heart disease."

We have the capacity to end this madness, but it requires we open both our hearts and our minds. Anything less will fail.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


A Day in the Life

Because I was up late hanging the laundry that wasn't quite dry due to the dryer door malfunction and my dearth of quarters, I noticed the butter dish was empty and wisely took out a fresh cube from the fridge so Marianne wouldn't have to spread hard butter on her toast at five a.m. Little did I know at the time that she would miss it entirely in the dull light of dawn and wake me complaining about no butter for her toast.

Later, searching for a place to sit and have my tea among her hanging nightgowns and Cosmo's freshly-washed stuffed animals, I had a premonition it might be one of those days.

Having secured a spot for me, my toast and tea, the neighbor's car alarm began a long uninterrupted rendition, until some resourceful compatriots discovered they could open the door, release the brake, and roll the annoying vehicle down to the next block, where it continued in a distant, muted reminder that where there's a will, there's a way. Peace is a relative commodity.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Escaping Education

In Solidarities of Resistance, The Dominion looks at the capitalist concept of education and its impact on indigenous youth in Canada. Gustavo Esteva, author of Escaping Education, notes that the separation of learning from community is intertwined with the formation of nation-states. As Squamish language instructor Dustin Rivers observes, it is time for a new way of learning that respects traditional culture.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


The Ethics of Ethanol

A consortium of indigenous peoples and NGOs pressures the World Bank to cease funding monoculture palm oil plantations used in ethanol production. Expansion of plantation development to meet the ethanol demand, created by the U.S. Congressional mandate, has fueled both deforestation of indigenous territories and genetically modified organism mono-cropping that drives a new wave of forced evictions of tribal peoples from their traditional territories.

Monday, September 06, 2010


Higher Education

Indian Country Today looks at the indigenous programs at the University of Victoria, a cutting edge institution in facilitating the indigenous perspective in higher education.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Territory of Mapuche

Pascual Pichun Collonao, a twenty-seven year old journalism student, is serving five years in a Chilean prison for burning a logging truck. Along with the seventy other Mapuche political prisoners incarcerated under Chile's anti-terrorism law, Collonao is part of the indigenous movement for Mapuche self-determination under international law. As the Special Rapporteur for the UN Human Rights Council observed, the draconian terrorism laws used against indigenous activists are a direct violation of treaties, conventions and declarations to which Chile is signatory.

Apparently, the North American timber companies carry more weight with the government of Chile when it comes to the indigenous territory of Mapuche.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


The Ponzi Pattern

When it comes to political con artists, the two main obstacles to Ponzi pattern recognition are illiteracy and immaturity. Illiteracy obscures the fact that temporary public windfalls from Ponzi prosperity are doomed to fall like any pyramid scheme; immaturity deludes the gullible into believing that somehow this time it will turn out differently.

An obvious example of the above can be heard in Democratic Party circles, media and astroturf fronts lauding the good times under Clinton that Bush undermined. What this myth is intended to disguise is that -- like any Ponzi -- there comes a day of reckoning, when the pyramid finally collapses. Clinton set in motion the deceitful deal-making crudely initiated by Reagan, and Bush put them into overdrive. They were all on the same page or team if you will, and now Obama is in charge of cannibalizing the residue in preparation for the next Ponzi. As Barack himself said during his campaign, his hero was Ronald Reagan, and privatization of public assets (like education, Social Security and Medicare) is his mission.

The madmen of Madison Avenue who concocted Brand Obama as a candidate of hope and change knew just how gullible American voters are, and how easily US citizens can be manipulated into supporting con men like Obama. Like the illiterate and immature elsewhere, they desperately want to believe rainbow sparkle ponies will be in their Christmas stockings this year, even though they've always recieved a lump of coal in the past. So it goes.

Friday, September 03, 2010


A Christian Idea

In Native Nations, Shawnee law professor Robert J. Miller discusses Manifest Destiny, U.S. law and the Doctrine of Discovery with Umatilla television’s Philosopher Seed.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Disappeared in Canada

Amnesty International and the Red Cross call on the Canadian government to get in line with international law as a means of protecting indigenous women from appalling violence.

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