Friday, July 8th, 2005
Ever since 9/11, I have been arguing that the ‘war against terror’ is immoral and counterproductive. It sanctions the the use of state terror—-bombing raids, tortures, countless civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq—-against Islamo-anarchists whose numbers are small, but whose reach is deadly. The solution then, as now is political, not military. The British ruling elite understood this perfectly well in the case of Ireland. Security measures, anti-terror laws rushed through Parliament, identity cards, a general curtailment of civil liberties of British citizens will not solve the problem. If anything, they will push young Muslims in the direction of a mindless violence. …
At the beginning of the G8 meeting, Tony Blair suggested that ‘poverty was the cause of terrorism’. This was advanced thinking for a reactionary politician like him, but it is not so. The principal cause of this violence is the violence that is being inflicted on the people of the Muslim world. The bombing of innocent people is equally barbaric in Baghdad, Jenin, Kabul as it is in New York, Madrid or London. And unless this is recognized the horrors will continue. (source)
Wednesday, June 29th, 2005
Seems to be on the rise. Here, a group is organizing protests around the country on July 4th of the Supreme Court’s decision on Eminent Domain: JulyFourthProtest.com, including protests in New London Connecticut, Portland Oregon, Los Angeles California, and Washington D.C.
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005
When I was on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota a few years back I wondered why there seemed to be so many white-owned ranches on ostensibly native land. Turns out the feds lease the land to the whites, and pass along the check along to the true owners. (Well, some of it at least - remember the billions of dollars of native money they “lost"?) This from an op-ed in the Times:
As the land under their control dwindled, they presumed that Indians were not “competent” to own land outright. It had to be placed under the agency’s own enlightened trusteeship. They kept allotting parcels of this “trust land” to individual Indians, but an Indian couldn’t sell or lease his parcel without permission from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The rules discouraged sales and encouraged parcels of land to be passed on to multiple heirs. Today it’s common to find a tract with dozens or hundreds of owners. Instead of inheriting the family ranch, which they could work themselves or use as collateral to start another business, these Indians inherit the right to collect checks from the federal bureaucrats who lease their land to others, usually non-Indians. …
Some Indians are trying to go back to the old system, but it’s not easy, as Gus Gardner has discovered. For five years he has been hoping to exchange his trust lands - tiny portions of more 100 different tracts on the Crow reservation - for one big piece of land for his own cattle ranch. But he figures the paperwork involved will take at least another three years. …