Saturday, September 26, 2009

Precarious Platforms

As Global Voices notes, the crackdown on independent media by the Peruvian government has been mirrored by hackers and swarmers attacking indigenous rights bloggers. A good lesson about backing up files, and not placing one’s trust in precarious corporate platforms like Google, Blogger or YouTube.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Greenwashing Big Oil

The Alberta Tar Sands is the largest and arguably dirtiest, carbon-generating industrial project in human history. So how do the oil companies go about defeating the First Nations and bona fide environmental networks opposed to the project? The answer according to Macdonald Stainsby and Dru Oja Jay, authors of Offsetting Resistance: the effects of foundation funding and corporate fronts, is to buy their own environmental group to negotiate with the government on their behalf.

That organization, Tar Sands Coalition (a Tides project), can then be counted on to help smother the grassroots environmental movement. As oil corporations like Tar Sands investor Sunoco look to defeat environmentalism and indigenous peoples from the Arctic to Patagonia, giant multi-billion dollar foundations like Pew Charitable Trusts are critical.

Using money-laundering operations like Tides to help them, Pew (same family that owns Sunoco), Rockefeller, Ford and Hewlett Foundations — all benefactors of the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation — can then effectively greenwash corporate fronts masquerading as environmental organizations. When organizations like The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, and Sierra Club can be bought off by big oil, the only thing to do is expose the colossal fraud. In their remarkable report, messrs. Stainsby and Jay have done just that.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Norton Finally Investigated

Gale Norton, former Secretary of the Interior, is finally being investigated for acts of corruption in office. Having built a career helping energy, mining, and timber corporations steal US assets, Norton now faces charges for parleying her finessing of contracts into a lucrative position with Shell. Of note to those following the World Indigenous Peoples’ Movement, Norton was also the original defendant in Cobell v Norton, the mammoth lawsuit to recover royalties stolen by Interior and the companies they regulate on Indian Trust lands.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Progressive Fascist Alliance

As early as 2006, the milieu that would become the bamababies began marginalizing those who fight for social inclusion, while simultaneously reaching out to those who fight for social exclusion. As this milieu was comprised of progressive Democrats, it came as no surprise that Obama would follow suit. The Far Right may be the enemy of democracy, but so is the Democratic Party. The GOP and the DNC thus constitute a progressive/fascist alliance, if you will.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Dependency Limits Strategies

What the “futurists” missed is the fact Obama sold his soul five years ago. Harper’s ran an article in 2006 on the deals he made with Wall Street and the DNC in 2004 in order to finance his political career. As apologists for the Democratic Party, the futurists and other progressive fronts serve as examples of why the professionalization of activism may seem pragmatic to funders like Tides, but in the end undermines the democratization of capital. Dependency limits strategies.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Fired Up

Some of the Obama babies have been sniping at gays for pushing their fearless leader to live up to his promises. A few of these toadies have even posted ad hominem attacks on Cleve Jones, Harvey Milk's right-hand man during the first national equality march thirty years ago. We figure it's time to call Obama and his sycophants to account. For starters, if you haven't watched the videos on the Equality Across America website, it's time you did. Then we can have an intelligent discussion based on fact, not the fear-mongering by Democratic Party pundits.

Jones' speech at the Salt Lake City gay pride clears up the nonsense. Gays and civil rights enthusiasts were fired up by the movie Milk, and energized by the battle against bigotry in the form of LDS-sponsored California Prop 8. As Cleve elucidates in the interviews, when the movement is fired up, you mobilize. This time, for full equality under all civil laws in all 50 states.

And there's only one place you can do that. It's called the National Mall.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Extremism is an extremely imprecise term. Who gets to decide who is extreme? Homeland Security? That's reassuring. FBI agents and former CIA spooks turned extremist experts? Why not, they did so well as terrorism experts.

Misbehavior is misbehavior and should be dealt with accordingly. If crimes are committed, they should be prosecuted. But demonizing those disillusioned with the American government cuts a wide swath.

The extent of our misrule is so entrenched and pervasive, that handing wiretap and detention powers to secret agencies -- to harass anyone who is fed up with government corruption -- will only help the American aristocracy in keeping democracy down. The fact of the matter is that we have been abandoned, and no amount of state idolatry can change that.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Clouded Title

In the comprehensive report Indigenous World 2009, the evolving set of relations between indigenous nations and modern states is examined in detail. Within the new context of international human rights instruments developed for this purpose, the majority of states continue to pursue a policy of assimilation or other forms of annihilation of indigenous cultures. Included in their strategies are the assassination and co-opting of traditional leaders in support of the neoliberal development model.

The primary change resulting from recently adopted UN instruments appears to be greater participation by indigenous peoples within the state model, with little observation in practice by states of the principles of international humanitarian law cited in their constitutional reforms. As extractive industries continue to exploit indigenous territories with state military and police backing, the clouded title of state and corporate interests in inherent indigenous property is no clearer than it was under colonialism.

What is clearer, though, is indigenous consciousness, communication and organization. Notwithstanding the moral social shortcomings of the states reviewed, the report itself is a remarkable achievement. The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs deserves our thanks.

Friday, September 04, 2009

LGBT Civil Rights

Join the National Equality March this October 10-11, and support equal protection under the law.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Role Models

Do you remember the Robin Hood television series?