Wednesday, March 28, 2012


PBF Media

The Santa Cruz County District Attorney has filed conspiracy charges against two journalists for covering an Occupy event in a vacant bank building without asking the police or the bank owner for an opinion in their news story. Yes, freedom of the press in the mind of the Santa Cruz DA only extends to police-and-bank-friendly media.

Should this case ever reach the U.S. Supreme Court, I'm sure the DA will find himself among friends.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


IC Espanol

One week from today, our friends at Intercontinental Cry launch a Spanish language edition. Underway are efforts to follow that with editions in Chinese, Portuguese, German, French and Italian. Ambitious as this sounds for an all volunteer publication, the Indigenous news magazine — founded by Mohawk editor and publisher John Ahni Schertow — is well on its way to becoming a truly international phenomenon.

Meanwhile, IC — like Public Good Project — could use your support. Why not send a contribution to each today?

Friday, March 23, 2012


The Opportunity to Kill

In his post Blood Makes the Grass Grow, Feral Scholar's Stan Goff -- former instructor at West Point -- notes that in America, "We are socialized to seek out the opportunity to kill other humans." It's all part of what Goff describes as the redemptive violence that leads us to, "valorize the military, the police, and the vigilante."

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Creating a Sacred Place

Warrior Publications notes the revitalization of sacredness on the Yurok Reservation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


No Saints

Kathryn Joyce at Religion Dispatches reports from Missouri, where the Catholic Church has set its sights on destroying SNAP--the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Back to the Future

Adventure, dignity, fulfillment. Art, cosmology, medicine. In which of these are modern societies advanced in comparison to traditional indigenous ones?

A thousand years ago, Maori sailors ventured to what would someday be named Peru, and returned to what would someday be named New Zealand with potatoes grown in the Andes. At the same time, Kiowa freely roamed the plains of what would someday be called America, composing poetry that took their minds beyond the distant horizon. On the coast of what would become British Columbia, Kwakwaka'wakw practiced the precursor to what would someday be called permaculture.

Today, plagued with introduced diseases like alcoholism and diabetes, indigenous scholars and health practitioners are rediscovering traditional medicine and nutrition that once maintained community health and well-being.

At the Northwest Indian Treatment Center -- where my colleague Renee Davis works as an intern in traditional plants education -- they prioritize long-term resilience through collaborative, holistic, integrative methods. As Renee notes, multicultural models of health and illness that favor health promotion over disease management comprise the future of health.

In his article Reviving an Ancient Agricultural Practice: The Root Gardens of Canada's West Coast Aboriginals, Daniel Green observes that indigenous permaculture was attuned to their environment as well as their nutritional needs, which seems like a pretty advanced concept in the age of industrial monoculture. So much for the nonsensical precept of progress.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Obstacle of Ownership

A while back, Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network spoke about environmental ethics and market values. In confronting market practices like unsustainable mineral extraction, Goldtooth says we need to listen to indigenous views on progress, as well as be willing to surmount the obstacle of ownership.

As part of revitalizing the environmental movement, Goldtooth observes that resistance to globalization entails removing cultural barriers erected to prevent the participation of indigenous peoples in international fora addressing such things as trade and climate change. Indeed, once we remove these barriers, he says, "Another world is possible".

Thursday, March 15, 2012



If you were alive in 1979, you likely remember two events: the Iranian hostage crisis, and Three Mile Island. If you lived in the United States, you might also recall the release of the movie China Syndrome -- which predicted a nuclear power plant meltdown -- eleven days before the real thing.

In the current issue of Guernica magazine, Tana Wojczuk recounts the little-known story of the GE Three, General Electric nuclear engineers who blew the whistle on nuclear power plant vulnerability to simple human error. As noted, the repetition of the 1979 disaster last year in Fukushima not only proves the GE Three were right, but that it takes courageous people to say and do the right thing to stop the nuclear madness now being promoted by the Obama White House.

Politicians come and go, and they are always the first to sell their souls, as well as the last to admit they were wrong. Lucky for us, they no longer have a lock on public opinion or information.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Patterns of Propaganda

Perhaps the greatest impediment to human rights and world peace is the failure of Americans to recognize patterns. As the United States prepares the minds of US citizens to support yet another military misadventure -- this time in Central Africa -- the pattern of propping up a U.S.-backed dictator with caches of cash and tons of guns under the pretext of bashing a bogeyman, seems all too familiar.

While this pattern has been repeated around the world many times over the last century (see Killing Hope by William Blum), the recent U.S. military misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq should suffice to remind us that U.S.-backed dictators -- even those purportedly gone bad -- are never promoters of human rights or world peace. Nor, as evidenced by the farce of scapegoating used to justify U.S. and NATO invasions, are extra-judicial assassinations a viable substitute for law enforcement and diplomacy.

As Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton seek to mobilize public opinion behind an invasion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, using the U.S.-backed Ugandan dictator as its proxy, the bogeyman -- this time in the person of the Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony -- may have a tough time competing with his predecessor, Osama bin Laden, in gaining the cover of Time magazine, but with Hillary's silly blog and Barack's nonsensical webpage, government propaganda as social media just might make up the difference.

In the Real News today, Paul Jay interviews DRC human rights activist Kambale Musavuli about the impending U.S. invasion, its thugs on the ground, and the reality behind the U.S. cover story. (So much for hope and change).

Oh, and did I mention the Congo has a lot of oil? Probably just a coincidence.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Sanity and Humanity

As someone who came of age during the anti-war, anti-nuclear movements of the 1960s and 70s, the continuity of promoting peace by such honored elders as Buffy Sainte-Marie — who was once blacklisted for her peace songs — is a poignant reminder that the struggle for environmental sanity and harmonious humanity are one and the same. Sainte-Marie, a Canadian Cree singer-songwriter from Saskatchewan, and special guest on Sesame Street for five years in the 1970s, went on to establish a foundation for American Indian scholarships as well as K-12 Native American curriculum development and teacher training. Through the Cradleboard Teaching Project, she was able to further cross-cultural connectivity in 11 states and four foreign countries.

Along with Sainte-Marie's friend and fellow singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell (also from Saskatchewan), Buffy served to inspire many of my generation to question consumerism and confront militarism in a way that set us on a different path that continues to this day. That path also led to a greater respect for indigenous peoples, cultures, and ways of life.

In a sense, the values we acquired in part through inspirational songs in our youth, helped us to weather the storms of corruption and bigotry that currently plague our country and the world. While inspiration alone is insufficient to endure the challenges we face, it is a good beginning. In fact, it is foundational to the commitment we develop over time.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Divesting in Nuclear Weapons

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons reports that banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers -- especially in the United States and Europe -- finance the corporations that manufacture nuclear arms. Divesting in nuclear weapons thus involves consumer choice in where they bank and with whom they invest. Mass divestment through simple choices can thus impede the industry of death.

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