No True Catholic.

Tim Kaine.

Tim Kaine.

While Tim Kaine’s pastor describes Kaine as “very compassionate, approachable, available, and friendly,” a Washington DC-based priest, a member of the Dominican Order, has told Tim Kaine that he is not a true Catholic and not entitled to receive communion. The issue? Tim Kaine has stated his personal opposition to abortion, but refuses to enact laws as a public official that would interfere with a woman’s right to choose.

The anti-abortion site LifeNews reported that Father Thomas Petri took to Twitter to condemn Kaine. “Senator @timkaine. Do us both a favor. Don’t show up in my communion line.” The priest also told Kaine that his beliefs that women should be priest and that “abortion is fine” makes him either “poorly catechized or a dissenter.”

I can’t say I was thrilled with the Veep pick, but anyone who pisses off priests gets credit from me. Nothing riles up priests like the disobedience of thinking. Perhaps Father Petri should spend more time praying than tweeting. I’m sure if he prays hard enough, god will do something or other, right?

Full story here.

Simon Moya-Smith at the DNC.

Simon Moya-Smith's beaded medallion, a anti-R-word button, and other neck wear.

Simon Moya-Smith’s beaded medallion, a anti-R-word button, and other neck wear.

DNC. Day 1. No press credentials. Hot and humid. Sweat on my brow and back. “No hope of a press pass,” the handlers say. To hell with waiting. “Where are the protesters?” I ask. City Hall, they said. I elbow through a parade of middle-aged demonstrators in downtown Philly. Hillary haters. They gum up the sidewalk. Stuck again. Sun barrels down. “Where are you?” a text reads. “I don’t know,” I respond. “But bring a lawyer.” A Hillary fan and a Bernie Bro battle it out on the curb. Newsmen and women scramble to eavesdrop. Mics in faces. Both sides posture. The crowd swells. Everyone dripping sweat. No shade. Just sun. And noise. A raucous noise. An ominous noise. Growling. More marching in the distance. More cops coming in. I take photo after photo after photo after photo. “What’s your medallion mean?” a man asks. “Means a lot to me,” I blurt. No patience at this point. Taking my blazer off. No help. Still hot as hell. Sweet jeezus. Meanwhile, the argument continues: “She deleted emails … She doesn’t release her speeches …” the Hillary head says. “His policy proposals are impractical … Writing is on the wall. … Not voting for Hillary is a vote for Trump!” the man in a ‘Bernie or Bust’ shirt blurts. “Bernie’s busted!” a man blares from somewhere behind me. Jeers erupt. More shouting and clamoring. A rush of photographers take aim behind my head. I turn to look. A man hoists a cut-out of Bernie’s head and hands. A child’s laugh breaks the rising tension in the circle. I feel faint. Who cares? Not me … at least not right now. This is the nucleus of rotten politics in the mosh pit that has become the U.S.A.


Got a text again. This time from Marlon WhiteEagle, an editor from Wisconsin. We meet at Fatso Foggerty’s, a pub on the south side of Philly. Two older black ladies laugh hysterically at the bar. A dog at their feet barks at anyone leaving the place like an adorable bouncer. Marlon has a Coke. I have two Jack and Cokes. Bartender eyes Marlon and I. “Who the fuck are these two?” I imagined her saying. This is indeed a local pub with a revolving door of regulars. The whole place is clam-baked with cigarette smoke. Makes me want one again. “You have smokes for sale?” I ask the bartender. “Across the street,” she says. Suddenly, Marlon gets a text telling us to zip to the Wells Fargo Center – The DNC. I down my drink, we crawl into an Uber, and get dumped about a mile away from the entry. “This is as far as I can take you,” the driver says. Cops blocked the road. Ten minutes of walking in 93-degree temps and suffocating humidity, and again I’m back in the mad mix of demonstrations. A child is dressed in a suit and tie, walking among the fray, shouting, “Bernie or bust!” A white boy goes around smudging people with sage. Cops here aren’t rushing him like they rushed Josie Valadez Fraire in Denver earlier this month outside of a Trump event. They allegedly told the indigenous woman that “smoke alarms” them.

The full column and photos at ICTMN.

Trump: Ask Me Anything.

Trump’s AMA, much like his presidential campaign, is expected to be a little different. Firstly, it’s scheduled right in the middle of the Democratic National Convention and, secondly, it will be hosted on a thread that openly refers to Trump as the “God Emperor.”

Redditors on the /r/The_Donald are already excited to host Trump’s AMA Wednesday, praising the move as “tremendous” and potentially a good show of momentum for Trump’s campaign. But there is some concern the AMA could be derailed by non-Trump supporters.

Think Progress has the full story.

Spiritual Vultures. Updated.

The late Thomas Banyacya, Hopi Traditional Spokesman, is seen here in Chaco Canyon. Courtesy Christopher McLeod.

The late Thomas Banyacya, Hopi Traditional Spokesman, is seen here in Chaco Canyon. Courtesy Christopher McLeod.

“This is a very sacred kiva,” says the late Thomas Banyacya, Hopi Traditional Spokesman, pointing to an ancient sacred site at Casa Rinconada in northwest New Mexico. “We are looking at the spirit of our ancestors… they are here. They are watching us. We hope they will help Native people to protect their land and sacred sites,” he says in a frail voice recorded in archival footage.

Over the past three decades, the Sacred Land Film Project (SLFP) has produced films about how mainstream American culture antagonizes Native American sensibilities around spirituality and sacred sites. Casa Rinconada is one quintessential example—a cultural hub of Ancestral Puebloans, where thousands of New Age seekers gathered for the Harmonic Convergence in 1987, littering the sacred kiva with crystals, cremated human remains and one curious looking teddy bear wax candle.


“While producing films on threats to indigenous sacred sites, I spend a lot of time listening to communities all over the world explain the most urgent threats. I’ve been really struck over the years by the fact that universally, right up there with mining, logging, dams and land grabs, there’s deep concern about New Age appropriation of sacred places, cultural rituals and spiritual traditions,” says Christopher McLeod, Director of SLFP.

In northern California, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe can empathize with the predicament of the Navajo. The Harmonic Convergence also congregated on Mt. Shasta, a mountain deeply sacred to the tribe. “The Harmonic Convergence of 1987 unleashed an overwhelming flood of seekers, hundreds of New Agers leaving crystals and medicine wheels all over the mountain. Later, there were sweat lodges for hire, and now even cremation remains poured into a sacred spring. How do we stop this and redirect this desperate search for meaning and connection?” wonders McLeod.

The Winnemem, known as the Middle Water People, trace their ancestry over millennia along the watershed south of their revered Mt. Shasta. The Winnemem believe they emerged from the spring on Panther Meadow, where New Agers often congregate—drumming and singing and leaving offerings behind, including ashes of the departed.

“We believe this spring is so sacred. We only go there once a year to sing at the doorway of our creation story,” says Chief Caleen Sisk, spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu, in Pilgrims and Tourists, a SLFP film that explores the impact of New Age tourism on Native communities in the Russian Altai Republic and Mt. Shasta. “People dumped cremations right into this spring,” she says. “Cremations are a pollutant… everyone downstream is drinking that water. Do you put cremations on the altar in the Vatican?” she asks incredulously.


Besides cleaning the offerings in the spring, the Winnemem have to contend with thousands of climbers who attempt to summit Mt. Shasta. “On our mountain we have 30,000 visitors,” she says. “Non-indigenous people need to understand that there is a way to be there, a way of walking on that land without destroying it… people can admire the meadow from the edge.”

Ann Marie Sayers, Costanoan Ohlone, believes that contrasting value systems among Natives and non-Natives lead to cultural appropriation. “These places call for humility and respect,” she says.  In another SLFP film clip posted as part of a five-clip playlist on YouTube, a white woman naively claims that in her past life she has been black, Native American, Chinese and Egyptian and should not be denied access to Native sacred sites.

“New Agers look at traditional Native [cultures] for some answers to their spiritual bankruptcy. In an effort to find themselves, they are appropriating a lot of Native belief systems, to plug into for a weekend,” says Chris Peters (Pohlik-lah/Karuk) in a film clip from SLFP’s 2001 film, In the Light of Reverence.

The Winnemem say their ceremony is delayed every year, because the spring has to be cleaned from the offerings left behind. As the Winnemem youth remove bone fragments and cremation ashes from the spring, Chief Sisk remarks, “People can live without oil. They can live without gold, but nothing can live without water.”

It’s perfectly possible for white people to feel all spiritual and connected to nature, the universe, everything, without co-opting what you think is a peoples’ culture, and without invading and fucking up their sacred places. Once again, white people manage to make everything about them. If nothing else, stop thinking you’re honouring your dead by dumping them in places sacred to other people, and polluting while you’re doing it. How in the hell is that spiritual? Isn’t it about time you just left us Indians alone? Go, discover your own roots, there’s nothing wrong in that. A whole lot of cultures have a history of sweating, many of them white cultures, and in many of those cultures, such traditions are carried on. You don’t need to up and decide that the “Native American” way of doing something is so much more golly gosh darn pure and special”. That’s racist crap, perpetuating the noble savage nonsense, so cut it the fuck out.

No, there isn’t a place for you in various Indigenous ceremonies. You’ll live. Go and discover those ancient, traditional ceremonies you are a part of, learn about your own self instead.

Just reported, Pokémon Go players are getting in on the disrespect, too. Play your games, people, but pay the fuck attention to where you are, yeah?

According to CBC News, Gouchie was paying respects at her father’s gravesite on Sunday when she noticed dozens of Pokémon Go players searching the sacred First Nations burial ground.

“It’s sacred there,” Gouchie told CBC. “This land was once my ancestral land. This is the only little piece of land inside Prince George that is ours, and you are disrespecting it. My dad, my uncles, my cousin, my great grandmother are all buried there.”

The burial ground is open to the public within the Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, but Gouchie says the presence of a Pokéstop — a virtual location in the game where Pokémon Go players gather supplies to catch monsters — is disrespectful.

“This has to stop,” said Gouchie. “This game has only been live in Canada for one week. It’s only a matter of time before that burial site is filled with Pokémon Go people.

“I was thinking, I need our K’san [traditional] drummers out here so we can block both these gates and … stop this,” she said.

Gouchie does not blame the players, but does blame the game creator Niantic. She has submitted a request to the game developers to have the Pokéstop removed and reported the incident to her tribal council.

Full Story here.


John Calvin Coolidge granted automatic citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States in June 1924, but he also began desecration of Mount Rushmore in August 1927.

John Calvin Coolidge granted automatic citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States in June 1924, but he also began desecration of Mount Rushmore in August 1927.

With a sweep of his pen in June 1924, John Calvin Coolidge granted automatic citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States.

Afterward, Coolidge, wearing a dark suit and grasping a hat in his hands, posed for a photo outside the White House with four tribal leaders—three of whom were dressed in traditional attire. Although the photograph likely was taken several months after Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act it came to symbolize a new era in federal-Indian relations.

President Calvin Coolidge with four Osage Indians after Coolidge signed the bill granting Indians full citizenship. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.)

President Calvin Coolidge with four Osage Indians after Coolidge signed the bill granting Indians full citizenship. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.)

Also known as the Snyder Act, the Indian Citizenship Act, sought to reward Indians for service to their country while also assimilating them into mainstream American society. Because two-thirds of the indigenous population had already gained citizenship through marriage, military service or land allotments, the act simply extended citizenship to “all noncitizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States.”

Passage of the act came partly in response to Indians’ overwhelming service during World War I. About 10,000 Indians enlisted in the military and served during the war, despite not being recognized as U.S. citizens.

[Read more…]

Takumi Kama.

I’m a at a bit of a loss as to where to start with this most wonderful artist, who has a pointed and humorous take on many subjects. Okay, I have to start with the McD’s Fries:


This wonderful work is one of many which can be seen here. Takumi Kama also has two pieces which are what I would refer to as Turtle Island, and they are delightful.

“I am terrified of high school girls,” admits artist Takumi Kama. “If I encounter a group of them on a train there is a high possibility I will escape to another car.” And Kama surely isn’t alone in his fears.

In Japan, this adolescent subset of beings known as joshi kōsei (女子高生) are fetishized and eroticized to the extreme in all types of media. But instead of hiding from his fears, like he normally would do, Kama has decided to confront them head on in the only way he knows how: by creating intriguing anthropomorphic portraits of schoolgirl animals.


More of these portraits can be seen here.

Then, it’s the leaf insects.


To avoid becoming prey, leaf insects use mimicry to blend into their surroundings. But in Takumi Kama’s imagined future, when the insect’s natural environment has been completely destroyed, these masters of camouflage will have no choice but to move in with those who took away their home.

They may not look it, by Takumi Kama’s insects are 2D, and you can see more here.

Bestiary of Improbable Beasts.

Mateo Pizarro is wildly beyond talented. He does absolutely amazing work, some of which is incredibly detailed miniature work, the Micro-Barroque. He also has an amazing series of drawings done on the pages of On the Origin of the Species.

It’s Pizarro’s Bestiary though, that I chose to focus on today. I have a great love of bestiaries, illuminated manuscripts of all kinds, and cabinets of curiosities. When reading old bestiaries, the descriptors are often much more amazing than the resultant illustration, even when those illustrations are wonderfully improbable. Working with a colleague, Pizarro worked from the descriptions alone, without knowing what animal was being described until he was done drawing. The results are truly fantastical!

The following animals are based on descriptions found in classical sources, or those written by naturalists in their travels. The process we followed involved Maria del Mar searching (in a wide range of books) for passages in which animals are described in peculiar ways, then editing those texts so the animal’s names are excluded from the description. This is central to the project: I don’t know what animal is being described. So the drawings are based solely on the written accounts. The idea is to try to reproduce the experience of a person who reads about some beast he has never seen before (say a hyena or a shark). Before photography and google, this was not an uncommon experience.One of the things we find to be interesting is how wildly different the imagined animal can be to the real one. If you were so inclined, you might spend a little time thinking how many possible versions of the elephant existed in the imagination of Europeans between the Ist and the XIVth centuries, several of whom had heard about them but most had never seen a pachyderm in their lives. You add that to the fact that maps still had vast blank areas in them, and you end up with a version of the world that has a certain kind of infinity to it.

This is going to be a book. The first chapter we did was:
Note: you will find the names of the actual animals being described next to each drawing. It should be said that at the time of the writing of most of these texts, many mythological creatures were just as real as cats, wolves, or giraffes. Also, I am of the opinion a giraffe, for example, is just as improbable as any sciapod or unicorn.
Finaly: ahí ustedes disculparán el espanglish.

Armenian Horned Chicken.

Armenian Horned Chicken.


 Leaf-Nosed Vampire Bat.

Leaf-Nosed Vampire Bat.


Camel Ostrich.

Camel Ostrich.




You need to see everything. It is all pure amazement, wonder, joy. Bestiary One. Bestiary Two. Bestiary with some original descriptors.