Saturday, January 28, 2012


Canada Fights Back

As reported on The Real News, Canada's government isn't taking its humiliation over the Enbridge Pipeline fiasco lying down. They're using Powerpoint!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Globalization Canadian Style

Arno Kopecky writes in The Tyee that Canada is beginning to feel like Peru; having covered the conflict between Peruvian President Garcia and indigenous peoples there, Kopecky notes the demonizing of First Nations recently by Canadian Prime Minister Harper has the same tone. The problem with that, says Kopecky, is that it paves the way for the Canadian government to trample all over them.

In recent years, especially since the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the natives of the Amazon and the Andes have become well-organized in asserting themselves before international bodies like the UN and OAS. Documenting the callous disregard of North American mining and oil companies in their territories, they have been effective in demanding environmental protections and a voice in the process of development. Now that Canadian corporations are looking toward cannibalizing their own country, the tribal peoples are again in their way.

Taking a page out of the Peruvian manual, the Prime Minister has chosen to attack First Nations that don’t surrender to globalization Canadian style. The problem with that is Harper meets next week with First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo to discuss a new relationship to carry Canada into the future. If that future is one of capitulation or annihilation, it’s hard to see how that can be considered a new beginning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Demolishing Democracy

When modern states like Chile and the United States abandon all pretense of being democratic political entities, the citizenry and indigenous nations ruled by these states have only one viable option left: civil disobedience. Diplomacy with these fully-owned corporate states is senseless; armed insurrection against these police states is suicide.

Within this scenario, pro-democracy scholars, activists and journalists are considered enemies of the state, which, given the total corruption of these institutions, is at least partially true. With the totalitarian tools enacted under Chilean and US laws, dissent is now considered terrorism, leaving little if any room for negotiation.

Back in 2006, US Senator Dianne Feinstein sought federal legislation to make it a federal crime to interfere in any way with a corporation. With Obama's recent signing of the bill to allow secret, unlimited detention of US citizens, it appears Dianne's dreams of a totalitarian state may yet come to fruition. How's that for hope and change?

Monday, January 09, 2012


Without a Second Thought

Canada's Oil Tar Sands mining in northern Alberta is one of the world's largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, and one of the dirtiest polluters of waterways on the planet. As a result of the Canadian Tar Sands, Cree communities on the Athabascan River have been devastated by disease.

Knowing all this, one is hard pressed to comprehend how the oil companies in Canada actually believed their television ad Ethical Oil could succeed in duping American liberals into believing the Tar Sands nightmare equates to a human rights initiative. Then again, it wasn't all that long ago that a candidate for US President ran on a platform of hope and change that had liberals swooning.

I could come up with other examples of phony PR campaigns that hoodwinked liberals into supporting such frauds as the wars on Iraq, but I think you get my point. No matter how fraudulent, immoral, or simple minded, Madison Avenue has the upper hand when it comes to baffling liberals. All they have to do is invoke saving the panda, children, women or whales, and liberals will fall all over themselves to support warmongers and planet destroyers without a second thought.

The interesting thing about manipulating consumerism and human behavior today is that not only can populations be so easily persuaded to buy what they don't need as well as refrain from opposing war and other acts of aggression, but also to be complacent about the corruption of governance. While intellectuals may be amused by the pedantry of propaganda like Ethical Oil or Clean Coal, humanists who find expression of their values in consumerist behavior like shopping or voting are remarkably easily manipulated by emotions that appeal to their sense of morality.

Where they were once content to be mindless consumers of tangible products, in their advanced liberal imbecility they now demand to feel good about themselves and their purchases, happily congratulating themselves on their politically correct idiocy retooled by Madison Avenue into morality. No matter how patently absurd, if it feeds into their fantasy of painless piety, they'll buy it--hook, line and sinker.

Sunday, January 08, 2012


A Matter of State

Brenda Norrell recounts how the US State Department under Secretary Hillary Clinton clandestinely undermined human rights for indigenous peoples in the Americas.

Saturday, January 07, 2012



Twelve days after we landed in Marin County, N30 erupted in downtown Seattle. Twelve years later, as we were being displaced by the imploding Bay Area economy, Occupy had begun shutting down the Port of Oakland. During our intervening twelve years on the Golden Gate, the American psyche had been shattered by the tremors and upheavals of a civilization in collapse.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


A Search for Meaning

What was it that made Celts Celts as they migrated over centuries from the Caucasus Mountains across the northern Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula to the British Isles? According to Dr. T. Anantha Vijayah, in his Fourth World Journal article Digitizing Worldviews Intangible Cultural Heritages, it was their stories.

As they recorded and retransmitted ideas over generations and geographical locations, these stories that encompassed their indigenous knowledge and worldviews were more reliable than cultural artifacts and natural heritage sites in transporting their culture.

In his article about indigenous peoples’ cultural survival, Dr. Vijayah notes that while the expressive part of culture is subject to change, the culture that underlies that expression is that which determines the perception of the community and the worldview of their culture. Their worldview, in turn, determines their perception of reality.

Worldviews, Vijayah observes, emerge from the totality of peoples’ perceptions and beliefs. Aboriginal worldviews, he notes, are founded on a search for meaning from a metaphysical journey for knowledge based on the premises of skills that promote personal and social change that leads to harmony with rather than control over the environment.

Indigenous worldviews, intrinsically holistic and interdisciplinary, have had to survive alongside colonial worldviews. As indigenous peoples, Celts, like all other aboriginal societies, have experienced intercontinental migration and colonial subjugation. The stories they carried with them create a mental space for others to experience their culture and way of thinking.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Template for War

War, first and foremost, is business. Big business. Perhaps second only to energy.

Going to war, however, has to follow certain protocols. In the American version, it has become customary to declare economic warfare against non-compliant countries, then military warfare when the targeted state fights back against economic sanctions. From beginning to end, psychological warfare is conducted in order to demonize societies that have the nerve to oppose US aggression.

As Antifascist Calling observes, this template for war -- used effectively by the US against Yugoslavia and Iraq -- is now being used by the Obama Administration against Iran. Perhaps every US president wants a war to call his own; Clinton and Bush had theirs, now Obama dreams of having his. No doubt it will also help get him re-elected.

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