Sunday, August 29, 2010

Designed to Deceive

Cyrano's looks at the role of television news in perpetuating fantasies about the occupation of Iraq by US troops, in particular the propaganda surrounding the shuffle of troops and mercenaries designed to deceive gullible Americans into believing there is actually a military withdrawal.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Seed Money

One of the things Phil Williams discovered in his research on transnational criminal networks is that human trafficking for prostitution is an important component of organized crime portfolios, in some instances providing the seed money for other ventures in smuggling guns and drugs. With the foundation laid by proceeds from prostitution, their ability to corrupt public institutions, banks, and society at large is given an enormous boost.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Theory Versus Reality

With the Craigslist sex trafficking PR offensive in high gear, we thought it might be helpful to offer a sober analysis of the most common misunderstandings on the topic.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Honorable Experience

Three years ago this week, I began as a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, a blog of the Center for World Indigenous Studies. This was a natural outcome of my archival work for Public Good Project and my posting on its blog Continuity that I'd started working on a year earlier.

I first met Joe DelaCruz and Rudolph Ryser in 1996 at a conference the Center for World Indigenous Studies hosted for research activists fighting Wise Use. In December 2005, CWIS invited me to join as an associate scholar, and in February 2006 my essay The Power of Moral Sanction was featured in their Forum for Global Exchange. In September 2006 my paper Institutional Memory as Community Safeguard was published in their peer-reviewed Fourth World Journal. In January 2007 they asked me to serve as moderator for their private online forum.

Since 2007, I've found our paths cross regularly in furthering democracy, human rights, and the world indigenous peoples movement. Looking forward to extending our informal joint efforts in research and education, through venues like online distance learning, I can say that the choice to actively pursue mutual endeavors has been a rewarding and honorable experience--one I hope we continue long into the future.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Development Aggression

Yesterday’s article in The Dominion about debt forgiveness for the Democratic Republic of the Congo reminded me of a recent message by the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, which stated that development aggression is one of the greatest threats to the survival of indigenous peoples. In The Dominion article, it is noted that the IMF debt incurred by colonial and dictatorial rulers of the DRC never benefited the people, but was actively used against them in order to support development aggression by the World Bank and foreign corporations involved in extracting the Congo’s vast mineral wealth.

Canada, long an aggressive promoter of corporate mining on indigenous lands, has a sordid history in the DRC involving numerous prime ministers and other high officials. As The Dominion rightly observes, the copper and other minerals extracted there are tarnished with the blood of the natives.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Assets of Humanity

Socially responsible investment companies urge US government to adopt and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Citing the relationship between sustainable economic development and human rights for indigenous peoples, the financial asset management firms noted that corporations doing business in tribal territories will follow the government’s lead.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Misplaced Trust

I just watched The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, coming to PBS in October. As the Obama Administration goes after Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for revealing official lies about the war in Afghanistan, it’s time for Americans to remember what happens when our trust is misplaced.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Newmark's Nemesis

FAIR Fund exposes Craigslist hypocrisy.

Friday, August 06, 2010

World's Oldest Oppression

Melissa Farley is featured in today’s New York Times article about online sex trafficking. Dr. Farley, an authority on international trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation, is also noted in the same article carried by San Francisco’s Bay Citizen. My comments there help put in context the apparently biased coverage of the topic by reporter Scott James.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

SWIFT Action

As explained at BDS, the time is right to initiate international sanctions against Israeli banks. SWIFT action worked against South African apartheid, and according to Terry Crawford-Brown, it can work against apartheid in Israel.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Tried and True

According to Wikipedia, psywar practiced by the Mongols under Genghis Khan and Tamerlane included catapulting severed heads of their enemies into enemy camps. Something to think about when devising ways of communicating our outrage to elected officials in Congress and the White House.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Moral Theater

It was bound to happen; now that the Irish and other activists made their point with freedom flotillas to Gaza, American moral actors want in on the theater. While this is a legitimate political engagement, you’d think they could come up with something more creative and effective than a copycat boat trip. I mean, if they want to stop the brutalization of Palestinians by the State of Israel, they should be storming the White House and halls of Congress, or attacking arms manufacturers.

The money saved not buying a boat could be donated to the Palestinian Red Crescent, or invested in an anti-war campaign.