Saturday, June 28, 2008

Where Comes Money?

Perhaps the largest internal issue facing the United States is the separation of crime and state. Is this even listed in the platforms of either political party?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Striking Back

People over-complicate things, let themselves be overwhelmed by the scale of criminal negligence in the world. In reality, the crimes we see emanating from high-level operatives in Congress or the White House rely on an extensive network of support from the local to the international. Striking back at their vulnerable points wherever opportunities arise may appear to be futile when we allow ourselves to be distracted by big league spectacle, but weakening our enemies one community at a time can have amazing results.

In Blind Spots: A Citizen's Memoir, some useful local tactics are presented, as well as strategic discussions about what has worked in terms of regional cooperation in fighting the right-wing. There is no silver bullet to rid ourselves of this menace once and for all; it takes constant research, education, organizing and community action to make any headway.

But then, is there something more important you should be doing?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fighting For Our Lives

Coming to Grips with Traumatic Stress:

1. What's the deal?
2. How did this happen?
3. Where do we go from here?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Suspending Disbelief

As a reader, what I find most annoying about the Reagan Administration is, How can anyone write a novel about politics after they televised the Iran-Contra hearings? I mean, getting people to suspend disbelief has become an almost insurmountable obstacle.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Inability to Communicate

A few years after the republic was established, in a remote and isolated area in the interior of the state of Bahia, a place that had been developing or more or less languishing without communication with the rest of the country, there was a rebellion against the republic...The interesting thing was that nobody could understand what was going on because in the mind of the elite, the political, intellectual, military elite of the country, it was simply unthinkable that there was a rebellion of poor people against something that had been created precisely for their benefit...

It was at this moment that the progressive intellectuals of Brazil began to play a fundamental role. Because they could not understand what was happening, they did what all intellectuals do when they fail to understand something: they invented a theory...What is really fascinating is that this theory, an imaginary creation of the politicians and intellectuals of westernized Brazil, took shape little by little and became an incontrovertible reality, something so obvious that nobody thought of falsifying or criticizing it...

All the rebels were killed; it was one of the most horrible massacres in Latin American history, and it was said that at least forty thousand people were killed by the Brazilian army...Euclides da Cunha was one of the first Brazilians to understand that something very tragic had happened, that a terrible misunderstanding lay behind this social tragedy...What he showed in his book is that importing institutions, ideas, values, and even aesthetic tendencies form Europe to Latin America is something that can have very different consequences, something that can produce unexpected results.

He explained the rebellion, for instance, as a deformation of religious ideas that were imported to Brazil and imposed on this community of peasants...That was the driving force behind the rebellion, the religious idea that evil was in Brazil and that the Christians, the authentic Christians, should fight against this scourge...

For the people in the region, Canudos, the civil war, was [100 years later] still present and very much alive because it was the most important and perhaps the only important event in their lives. All families there had some parent or grandparent who had been in the rebellion...It was amazing to see how all the problems that had been behind Canudos were still there in the region...

It was because the newspapers said certain things about Canudos, because speeches were made and then published, because lectures were given about what was happening, that all this national misunderstanding was possible.

--Mario Vargas Llosa, author of The War of the End of the World, "a novel of reciprocal fanaticisms"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pow Wow

Indian Country Today looks at the academic value of Indian social dancing.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Independence is primarily a state of mind. Thinking for oneself, using one's faculties independently, exercising sound judgment--this is the basis for true independence.

In our media-saturated, market-biased social environment, however, the concept is usually confined to the notion of financial independence--an achievement or gift few in the modern world will ever attain. Given this self-limiting state of human affairs, independent thought is all that stands between us and perpetual anxiety--a mental state that is not conducive to good health.

One of the benefits of independent reasoning is that it conditions one's mind to problem-solving, which in itself leads to creative, independent solutions for meeting one's needs. As someone once remarked, you can't lead a free life until you free your mind.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Reassuring Smoke

Americans sell their souls cheap. Instead of getting something real in exchange (like health care), they settle for the illusory comfort of paternalism. Like little children, they naively support every charlatan who blows reassuring smoke their way.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Greed for Prophecy

The avidity for fortune-telling came from an inability to cope with one's anxieties. Instead of satisfying, it created a self-perpetuating greed for prophecy... It blinded one to the causes of one's problems... a vain and self-defeating search for expedient solutions to problems of moral integrity, caused by an unwillingness to face life as it was.

--The Gypsies by Jan Yoors

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?