Friday, January 12, 2007

114th anniversary

How the US stole Hawaii.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Uncommon Sense

Perhaps the supreme barrier to communication between indigenous peoples and modern corporate states is the culture of disingenousness in the latter. Sometimes called duplicity, this ingrained social custom of lying--whether by falsehood or exaggeration--in order to deceive one's own populace, or to deprive another, is a standard convention of negotiation and diplomacy by the first world; in the Fourth World it is an abomination.

As an example, I remember once sitting in on a discussion between a sincere, devoted environmentalist, and representatives of an American Indian tribe she was hoping to persuade to budge from their position of opposing an additional industrial development in one of their prime fisheries resource areas, enabling her to successfully broker a deal satisfactory to her union longshore allies. From the viewpoint of the Indians, this was just one more nail in the coffin of their culture; based on their history, they knew that with white people it was always just one more--until everything they valued was gone.

When I pointed this out to the good-hearted spokeswoman, she seemed stunned, having come with good news that the deal came with a guarantee from the state that this fourth heavy industry dock would be the last if only the Indians would listen to reason. Unfortunately, the Indians had been listening to reasons offered by the state for two centuries; none of them made any sense.

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