Respecting Certain Selves as Worthy of Defending

“Self-defense” throughout American history has never been an equal-opportunity recourse. Instead, pious abstractions about a supposedly universal right to employ violence in defense of one’s person have, from the start, reflected chauvinistic calculi of which persons are deemed valuable or disposable in the first place. From the colonial era to the Civil War, to the frontier to modern suburbia, some lives have mattered more than others. And for all the lofty rhetoric to the contrary, our courts and norms have only really respected certain selves as worthy of defending.”

White Defenders | The New Inquiry

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Let’s Put A Few Things in Perspective about Oregon

Burns Tribe (Paiute) Asks Oregon Protesters to Go Away as They Desecrate Sacred Land | ASSOCIATED PRESS and KGW

BURNS, Ore. — The leader of an Oregon Indian tribe whose ancestral property is being occupied by a small, armed group opposed to federal land policy says the activists aren’t welcome and need to leave.
Burns Paiute Tribal Chair Charlotte Rodrique told reporters Wednesday that the tribe is concerned about damage to cultural artifacts. She says the group is “desecrating one of our sacred sites.”

The activists seized buildings at the remote Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday. Authorities had not yet moved to oust the group of roughly 20 people.

Tribal council member Jarvis Kennedy took a much more direct approach (see video above), saying protesters need to “get the hell out.”

“We as Harney County residents don’t need some clown to come in here and stand up for us,” he said.

Rodrique and Kennedy said the Paiute people spent their winters in the area long before settlers, ranchers and trappers arrived.

She says the tribe signed a federal treaty in 1868 and expected the government to honor the agreement to protect their interests, though the U.S. Senate never approved it.

Also…

The Things Nobody is Talking About | Harsh, Painful, Stunningly Accurate Article about Greece, Written by a Non-Greek

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds | VANITY FAIR

[The Greek state was not just corrupt but also corrupting. Once you saw how it worked you could understand a phenomenon which otherwise made no sense at all: the difficulty Greek people have saying a kind word about one another. Individual Greeks are delightful: funny, warm, smart, and good company. I left two dozen interviews saying to myself, “What great people!” They do not share the sentiment about one another: the hardest thing to do in Greece is to get one Greek to compliment another behind his back. No success of any kind is regarded without suspicion. Everyone is pretty sure everyone is cheating on his taxes, or bribing politicians, or taking bribes, or lying about the value of his real estate. And this total absence of faith in one another is self-reinforcing. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible; the collapse of civic life only encourages more lying, cheating, and stealing. Lacking faith in one another, they fall back on themselves and their families….]

447-438 B.C., Athens, Greece --- The Parthenon at Dusk --- Image by © Colin Dixon/Arcaid/Corbis

447-438 B.C., Athens, Greece — The Parthenon at Dusk — Image by © Colin Dixon/Arcaid/Corbis

A Speechless Speech

On Sacred Ground

Indigenous communities around the world resist threats to their sacred places—the original protected lands—in a growing movement to defend human rights and restore the environment. In this four-part documentary series, native people share ecological wisdom and spiritual reverence while battling a utilitarian view of land in the form of government megaprojects, consumer culture, and resource extraction as well as competing religions and climate change.

The Enormous, Little Known, Global TPP Trade Deal

[What’s been leaked about it so far reveals that the pharmaceutical industry gets stronger patent protections, delaying cheaper generic versions of drugs. That will be a good deal for Big Pharma but not necessarily for the inhabitants of developing nations who won’t get certain life-saving drugs at a cost they can afford.

The TPP also gives global corporations an international tribunal of private attorneys, outside any nation’s legal system, who can order compensation for any “unjust expropriation” of foreign assets.

Even better for global companies, the tribunal can order compensation for any lost profits found to result from a nation’s regulations. Philip Morris is using a similar provision against Uruguay (the provision appears in a bilateral trade treaty between Uruguay and Switzerland), claiming that Uruguay’s strong anti-smoking regulations unfairly diminish the company’s profits.

Anyone believing the TPP is good for Americans take note: The foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based corporations could just as easily challenge any U.S. government regulation they claim unfairly diminishes their profits — say, a regulation protecting American consumers from unsafe products or unhealthy foods, investors from fraudulent securities or predatory lending, workers from unsafe working conditions, taxpayers from another bailout of Wall Street, or the environment from toxic emissions….]

Read the full article | AlterNet

43 Portraits of Mexico’s Missing Students

In Iguala, a city in Mexico, it’s impossible to forget what’s happened. Everywhere, there are reminders of Sept. 26, the day when local police and drug cartel gunmen killed six people and kidnapped 43 students at La Escuela Normal Rural Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa. The 43 are still missing — presumed dead and buried in a mass grave somewhere in the state of Guerrero.’

These are the faces of the disappeared: All 43 missing students | GLOBAL POST

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