Sunday, October 31, 2010


Demon Possession

Bruce Wilson examines Teen Challenge addiction recovery centers in Colorado, where exorcism is used to cure people of homosexuality. As noted by recovery center staff, demon possession is a common problem.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Primary Foe

The Dine and the Appalachians speak different languages, but share a foe in Peabody Coal. In West Virginia, Peabody ships their mountaintops away on coal trains; in Arizona, Peabody pumps their water away in coal slurry pipelines. In a proposed water rights settlement with the Navajo Nation, Peabody is exempt from any limits. Is it any wonder the Navajo people want a word with their tribal council?

Friday, October 29, 2010


Achieving Coherence

Communications in Conflict

Fighting for Our Lives

Before November 30, 1999, most people in the world had no idea what the World Trade Organization (WTO) was or did. The anti-globalization special forces changed all that. N30, the Battle in Seattle, and the WTO became part of history.

Had there been no special forces, however, no one would have known the devious plans of this secretive United Nations agency working in tandem with transnational corporations to enslave the world. The marchers in Seattle would have had their thirty-second news spot, and disappeared from public memory.

But as the world knows, even a mainstream media blackout and subsequent cover-up by government officials were not enough to prevent N30 from being the downfall of the Seattle Chief of Police, and the Battle in Seattle from becoming a badge of honor for the pro-democracy movement.

And that only happened because some of the anti-globalization activists were thinking strategically about communications in conflict, and adapted their tactics accordingly. Those engaged in conventional marches and seminars were minor news items, easily dismissed by media and officials alike. They would not change the world, the Independent Media Center images from the lockdown at 4th and Pike would.

By outflanking network news through use of live streaming on the Internet, anyone in the world could watch Seattle police beating seated young people singing freedom songs, while television talking heads claimed protestors were running amok. The age of netwar had arrived.

In December 2008, the United Nations met in Poznan, Poland to hatch a new scheme for transnational corporations and investment banks to control the world: it was called REDD, a Ponzi scheme for carbon-market trading that would make the Wall Street heist of today look like chicken feed. Indigenous nations sent delegates to protest this life-threatening fraud by the UN and its agencies like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO. Civil society groups spoke in support of the aboriginal peoples, UN officials closed them out, and the world never knew.

December 2009, ten years after the Battle in Seattle, the world’s first nations and Fourth World peoples attended the UN Conference on Climate Change held in Copenhagen. Whether the carbon-market cartel will be allowed to take over the world, without a fight, depends in part on what happened there. Will the anti-globalization street-fighters, a no-show in Poznan, once again remind the planet’s netizens that, another world is possible?

Working with Words

The four modes of social organization — tribes, institutions, markets, and networks — all intentionally utilize words to communicate their unique perspectives and preferences. Words are chosen for their effect in creation stories, in mythologies, in advertising, and in propaganda.

Words themselves are invented for a purpose. They serve as tools of social organization, as weapons of war, as means of manipulation, and as medicine for the maligned.

Depending on how they are used, words can cause horrendous harm or great good. Meanings can be distorted or clarified.

Working with words can gain one respect, renown, and reward, but it can also generate resentment. Not all messages are appreciated.

Learning to use words effectively requires an understanding of the principles of communication, especially in what is termed netwar, which assumes that all communication in all its dimensions is contested, no matter the stated intent of the participants. Words are meant to achieve, and as propositions in the arena of human consciousness, they will be confronted; as such, working with words is serious business.

Achieving Coherence

As an editor, blogger and correspondent, I frequently come across brilliant scholars and committed activists struggling to communicate vital stories to institutional leaders, philanthropic donors, and media gatekeepers. As a communications advisor, I am amazed at how little attention is paid by these devoted humanitarians to the principles of this science.

As it is, many writers in academia – while often informative – are sometimes difficult to follow, as they offer bits of topics here and there.

Part of effective storytelling is to be interesting, which few writers accomplish, but to arrive at academic stature, that story needs to be sufficiently coherent. With essays by emerging authors, it is best for them to learn to think about structure and narrative coherence by doing that work themselves, but for those lacking a background in journalism or literature, manuals on such topics as briefings are worth looking at. Some pertinent articles are listed below.

Storytelling and Globalization

Networks and Netwars

Communication, Power and Counter-power in the Network Society

Thursday, October 28, 2010



The Dominion has obtained documentation of NGO collusion with the Canadian government in excluding First Nations from major environmental accords. As I noted in my post on the orthodoxy of radicalism, those who view activism as a career are always willing to sell out principles they profess to protect. As predictable and controllable entities, the Big Non Government Organizations (BINGOs) -- much like corporate media -- function as another branch of the establishment. As such, attacking them requires using the strategy first developed by T.E. Lawrence.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Intelligence Integrity

Wikileaks leader Julian Assange joins Katharine Gun and Sibel Edmonds as the latest recipient of the Sam Adams award.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Enemies of the State

To be arrested, incarcerated and tortured by agents of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in the United States requires no acts of violence at all. It simply requires exercising your rights under the constitution to peaceably assemble and voice your dissent to US policy. Thus demonizing peace activists, the US Department of Justice under Obama equates Quakers with Al Qaeda in terms of being enemies of the state. In the public mind, this equation is intended to justify depriving them of equal rights under the law, an unequivocal act of tyranny.

Monday, October 25, 2010



One week ago, the US government blocked the electronic funds transfer host for Wikileaks in retaliation for its expose on the Afghan war. Friday, with the release of The Iraq War Logs, Wikileaks now offers five new ways to donate to its investigative journalism. That ought to keep the Pentagon, State Department and White House busy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Usual Suspects

In its expose of Transformation Hawaii, Talk to Action rounds up the usual suspects of Christian Dominionism, most notably the International Transformation Network and the New Apostolic Reformation—prayer evangelists engaged in promoting theocracy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Cashing in on Hate

One of the ironies of the current US military expansion in Central Africa, is that while homosexuals fight for their constitutional rights in our armed forces, the armed forces of America's proxy army in Uganda may soon be legally authorized to murder homosexuals under Ugandan law. Another irony in the resource rich heart of the African continent, is that the charismatic pentecostal network behind lethal homophobia and other forms of Christian bigotry there was promoted in part by Rick Warren, the right-wing preacher President Obama propelled into international prominence by selecting him to preside at his inaugural.

As the Ugandan troops prepare to attack opponents of US aggression in the region, religion will no doubt play a large role, albeit not as large as the insatiable transnational corporations pulling Obama's strings in order to plunder the minerals and forests of Africa's heathen natives. Joseph Conrad couldn't have written a more bloodthirsty script.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Handmaid's Tale

For anyone who has read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, the image of Christian theocracy is a terrifying prospect. With candidates like Christine O'Donnell, James Aiona and Sarah Palin, the likelihood of Christian fascism spreading like wildfire is enough to challenge our taken-for-granted values like diversity and multiculturalism. Bruce Wilson examines Hawaii gubernatorial candidate James Aiona's relationship with the homophobic Christian theocracy movement known as International Transformation Network.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Pandering to Christian Bigotry

The clear message in the Five Steps to Tyranny videos is that demonization is a political tool, used by politicians to suppress dissent and subvert solidarity. Two current examples not in the series are the US Department of Justice raids last month against peace activists by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the recent passage of legislation in Uganda mandating the death penalty for homosexuals. Even the calvinist Millenium Development Goals of the UN serve as pretext for ethnic cleansing of indigenous peoples. All of these examples are in synch with Christian dominionism, such as that promoted by President Obama’s friend Rick Warren. Pandering to Christian bigotry is one of the fastest roads to tyranny in America, and is well documented on the Talk to Action blog. What the International Transformation Network of Christian fascists might be willing to do under a theocracy is perhaps best answered by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Poverty Pimping

Anyone who has observed politicians and developers in action knows that the quickest way to destroy community cohesion is through programs like the war on poverty. As it and other myriad schemes by governments to use the plight of the poor to enrich themselves, the cover of moral sanctity is essential to success. On the global scene, the UN Millenium Development Goals — auspiciously aimed at poverty reduction — contain the seeds of warfare, genocide, and ethnic cleansing–all in the name of charity. Lined up against indigenous self-determination and sovereignty in this battle are the World Bank, IMF, and poverty pimps like William Jefferson Clinton, Bill and Melinda Gates. Caught in the crossfire are native peoples whose idea of appropriate development does not include the extraction of their resources by transnational corporations backed by the armies of UN member states.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Navajo Charges Against US

The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission response to the periodic review of UN member states includes charges against the US government for failure to respect religious freedom, failure to address land claims, forced relocations, and opposition to sovereignty over indigenous resources. As one of only four countries in the world that voted against the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United States remains a major global deterrent to human rights for native societies. The Navajo will present their case before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month.

Monday, October 18, 2010


A Tactic of Warfare

Contrary to propaganda proffered by the State Department, terrorism is not a belief system; it is, rather, a tactic of warfare. Sometimes used offensively by states in suppressing dissent or in subduing populations, sometimes used defensively by those being suppressed or subdued, terrorism is an effective means of making one’s determination known. As a systematic tactic that employs collective fear as a lever in political conflict, terrorism is deployed in both spectacular and spectral ways, usually in conjunction with other means of psychological warfare.

Genocide and other extreme extensions of conflict between societies rely on the justifications developed to carry out this warfare, and indeed are natural extensions of commercial philosophy. I thought about the connections between commercialization, terrorism, and psychological warfare recently when listening to a talk by the director of the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism, who was addressing the formidable task of fighting the commercialization of life and the attendant threat to indigenous cultures worldwide from the corporate states that control the media and international institutions guiding such protocols as the Convention on Biological Diversity.

By chance, I happened to notice a news item the same day about the United States government deploying financial warfare against the whistleblower organization Wikileaks for exposing US war crimes in Central Asia, and recalled how financial warfare was likewise used in the mid 1980s to undermine the former Republic of Yugoslavia. While these hostile acts do not constitute terrorism, they nevertheless are terrifying, and contribute to the destabilizing effect of globalization—the ongoing commercialization project of states and corporations benefiting from the theft of what the rest of us need to live. In that context, it is not surprising that some of the victims resort to terror as a defense.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


America's Brown Shirts

Recent news about the Pentagon recruiting Mexicans to join the U.S. military in exchange for green cards reminded me of a post by Juli Meanwhile five years ago, in which she so eloquently critiqued the Pentagon sponsorship of the Boy Scouts. Evidently, all that mass marketing and hot air by the top brass was for not, as the boys in brown opted for playing at home rather than fighting abroad.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


A Murderous Mission

Talk to Action examines the homophobic International Transformation Network, an association of charismatic evangelicals pursuing global Christian theocracy through demonization. As a movement bent on acquiring political power through the subversion of mainstream Christian denominations -- like the Presbyterian, Anglican and Roman Catholic churches -- the prayer warriors have used receptive heads of state and legislators to demand such things as the death penalty for homosexuality. As noted by Rachel Tabachnick, a significant aspect of their power play is the conversion of native peoples worldwide through the disingenuous use of racial reconciliation rhetoric. In reality, the ITN is on nothing less than a murderous mission.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Birds of a Feather

Sunlight Foundation illuminates the $9 million skeleton in Securities Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Schapiro’s closet.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Black Women Against Obama

Black women in the Chicago teacher’s union fight back against Obama.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Israel's Lawyer

Maggie Sager exposes the absurdity of Barack Obama.


A Threat to the Police State

As Food Not Bombs approaches its thirty year anniversary of distributing food to economic refugees and disaster victims, Stephen Lendman looks at the ongoing harassment of the organization by the FBI and local police. As providers of meals to protestors at the RNC and DNC conventions, Food Not Bombs members have been targeted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, giving a green light to local police departments to imprison them for voicing opposition to the American empire while ladeling bowls of soup.

Internal government documents obtained by ACLU suggest high-level concern that they’re turning Americans away from militarism, instead advocating social justice, including quality education, universal health care, and good living wage/essential benefits jobs – the direct opposite of current US policy under either dominant party.

Supported by Amnesty International in its efforts to feed the poor and educate the homeless, Food Not Bombs activists have been arrested over 1,000 times by San Francisco police alone.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Five Hundred Years

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has again ruled against the government of Mexico for abuses committed against the indigenous peoples of the State of Guerrero. As throughout the region that includes Oaxaca and Chiapas, the military and police narrative of combating drugs is mostly a cover story for preventing indigenous organizers from successfully implementing international human rights law. For the Indians of Mexico, this is a struggle they have been fighting for five hundred years.

Monday, October 11, 2010


The Tyranny of Obama

In the aftermath of Justice Department raids on antiwar activists, Cindy Sheehan writes about media complicity in the tyranny of Obama.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Human Migration

As one of the inevitable consequences of the global crises generated by globalization, human migration is a growing aspect of life in the 21st century. Given the projected disruptions from climate change, widescale migration is perhaps a permanent social phenomenon. At the Fourth World Social Forum on Migration held in Quito, activist scholars will discuss such things as human mobility and refugees, as well as the intersection of displaced rural residents, indigenous peoples, and migrants worldwide. Mapping out this aspect of the likely future for humankind, they will address the core issues of diversity, coexistence, and sociocultural transformations now taxing our resourcefulness.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Hearts and Minds

As someone who made a vast fortune privatizing public goods, Bill Gates has a vested interest in restructuring public consciousness on the subject of white collar looting. Pauline Lippman discusses the hostile takeover of public education by Barack Obama with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Friday, October 08, 2010


The Promise of Pot

Peter Coyote narrates this trailer from the new film about the therapeutic uses of cannabis, including cancer prevention.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Prison Road

David Bacon takes a walk down prison road, the central California monument to failed public policy. As schools and social services statewide close down, only prisons are going up.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


People of Conscience

I remember thinking two years ago about the young peace people and older people of faith arrested for planning to demonstrate against the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Watching the celebrations of militarism taking place in their Midwest cities was bad enough, but the overt displays of consumerism -- with the logos of corporate sponsors visible everywhere -- must have been hard to stomach.

This morning I thought of the Quakers and Catholic Workers and young peace people in those Midwest cities again harassed by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. With the lists of people against US imperialism in their database, and their budgets fortified from earlier exercises against democracy, the SWAT teams last week broke down doors, ransacked homes, and terrified more innocents who've chosen to voice their dissent.

Eleven years ago, before the 9/11 infrastructure of social control was in place, police in the city of my birth were humiliated by young people who refused to be locked down or out of the discussion about globalization, and many were wrongly incarcerated, tortured, and no doubt blacklisted for their acts of citizenship and humanity. Today, people of conscience in America are serving time in federal prison for opposing our daily export of homicide from bases and ports and board rooms across our country.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Scourge of the Jungle

In the news last week for teaming up with Chevron and the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation in support of REDD initiatives to turn indigenous peoples’ forests into corporate plantations, Shell is again in the news for developing lands stolen from Guarani Indians in order to produce biofuel in Brazil. I guess after facing worldwide condemnation for its complicity in genocide in the Niger Delta, Shell has made it clear how concerned they are with the human rights of tribal societies.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Opposing Injustice

Electronic Intifada notes anti-war activists are planning new actions after rallies took place in dozens of cities across the United States to protest the raids by the FBI on homes of solidarity activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Liberty Beat examines the background of the Joint Terrorism Task Force attempt at criminalizing anybody who organizes against US imperialism.


Toklas Tea

Mother Jones reports on the cosmic convergence bringing Americans together for brownies and tea.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Only Fair

Pot possession in California is now an infraction, akin to littering and not paying a parking meter. Personally, I don't see how the state can equate the public menace of littering with the public benefit of inhaling a medicinal tonic. Still, if pot possession gets you sent to remedial class, then they ought to do the same to all those Porsche owners caught parking in crosswalks or blocking fire hydrants. It seems only fair.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


Colossal Cowardice

In the aftermath of last week’s FBI raids on anti-war Quakers and Catholic Workers, Glen Ford discusses Obama’s war on dissent.

Friday, October 01, 2010


The Price of Admission

The Art of the Steal is not only a superbly crafted documentary about high crimes by the rich and powerful, it is also an inside look at the ruthlessness of the philanthropy industry exemplified by the notoriously duplicitous Pew Charitable Trust. For art devotees as well as champions of the underdog, the film is an inspirational story as an expose well done. For anyone who has been trampled on by benefactor bullies like the Pew oil magnates and their money grubbing offspring, seeing this misanthropic bunch of scoundrels get their comeuppance is well worth the price of admission.

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