Black Wattle & Venerable Fence Post

From Lofty.

Black Wattle Firewood.

Black Wattle Firewood. © Lofty.

Never heard of Black Wattle before. It’s a very beautiful and striking wood. It’s an Acacia, but there are so many Black Wattles!

Venerable fence post. © Lofty.

Venerable fence post. © Lofty.

I have a thing for fence posts myself, they have been frequent subjects – some of them have such character. I really like this shot. Thanks, Lofty!

Springsteen cancels NC concert


Springsteen posted the following to his website, Facebook, and Instagram today:

As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

Standing On Sacred Ground

Eight Cultures, One Fight.

Around the world, indigenous people stand up for their traditional sacred lands in defense of cultural survival, human rights and the environment.

Watch them stand against industrial mega-projects, consumer culture, resource extraction, competing religions, tourists and climate change.


As part of a four-part documentary series on indigenous struggles over sacred sites that was over seven years in the making, Standing on Sacred Ground, will be broadcast on PBS’s First Nations Experience channel (FNX) as well as other stations to include KQED through April and May, nationally on WorldChannel and the San Francisco Bay Area station KCSM beginning Sunday, April 17 through Friday, April 22 (Earth Day.) … The project airs over the course of four episodes and includes stories on the indigenous shamans of the Altai Republic of Russia, a northern California tribe, the Papua New Guinea people, the First Nations near the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, the Gamo Highland peoples of Ethiopia to the indigenous communities near the Andes of Peru, as well as Aboriginal Australians and Native Hawaiians.

Standing On Sacred Ground Home. Broadcast Schedule. ICTMN article.

Answering a Police Brutality Survey While Native

Simon Moya-Smith, ICTMN Culture Editor, above standing in Central Park in New York City, apocalyptically responds to a questionnaire about police brutality by the University of California-Berkeley.

Simon Moya-Smith, ICTMN Culture Editor, above standing in Central Park in New York City, apocalyptically responds to a questionnaire about police brutality by the University of California-Berkeley.

UC-Berkeley: Many years from now, as you bounce your grandchild on your knee, give us one image that captures the new era of policing – with respect to your community – that your work will have helped bring about.

Moya-Smith to his future grandchild: “You know, my dear, they never lifted the bounty on Native American heads. So the hunt continued into 2016. The authorities were killing all of us — yes, even Native American kids, and these bastards were still getting medals for killing an Indian or Indians [depending how many bullets he had left in his clip] 120 years after Wounded Knee. I once tried to re-build the Mayflower so as to send the rotten eggs back to Europe, but there were too many by then. And we couldn’t get the mainstream media to talk about the killing of our people either. Not black reporters. Not Latino reporters. Not gay reporters. Not Asian reporters. Or at least not nearly enough, my dear. The conversation was seriously binary on the matter of police brutality: Black and white. Black and white. Black and white. And then when we tried to talk about police killing Native Americans more than any other race, we’d get, “We’re not talking about that right now! You’ll have your chance, Indian!” But we never did, love.

Full Column Here.

Oceti Sakowin and Chante tin’sa kinanzi Po

The protest against the Dakota access pipeline continues.


The spirit riders at Standing Rock show support for keeping the Missouri River waters clean.

The spirit riders at Standing Rock show support for keeping the Missouri River waters clean.

In the coming weeks or maybe even days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue a decision as to whether or not they will allow the Dakota Access Pipeline, also known as the Bakken Pipeline, to be constructed.

Until then, citizens and allies of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation) will continue to protest the pipeline, urging stakeholders to recognize the devastation that would ensue should the pipeline be built.

“The DAPL poses a threat to our people, cultural and historically significant areas,” said Paula Antonie, Chair of Shielding the People and a Rosebud Sioux tribal citizen. “We will stand by our Hunkpapa relatives in defending against any major environmental, public health and safety hazards within our treaty territory.”

The proposed pipeline would stretch for thousands miles across four states beginning in western North Dakota and ending in Indiana. It would cross the Missouri River mere feet away from the northern border of the Standing Rock Reservation, threatening to contaminate and destroy the waters.

Full Story Here.

Science says…

Superman should be black.

Black superman (Shutterstock)

Black superman (Shutterstock)

Superman derives his powers from the sun, which scientific research suggests he should be black, and not white — as he’s depicted in comic books, TV shows and movies.

The biologist JV Chamary lays out his case for a dark-skinned superhero in a lengthy post at Forbes Science, which he bases on a wide variety of research.

Superman’s biological father, Joe-El, explains in the movie “Man of Steel” that he’s more powerful than humans because his cells have absorbed radiation from Earth’s sun, which is younger and brighter than his home planet Krypton’s — strengthening his muscles, skin and senses.

Other movies demonstrate that Superman is indeed powered by solar radiation, which Chamary argues would be a similar process to photosynthesis.

Full Story Here.

Face Time Works

Teenager Taylor Alesana in a video about Transgender Day Of Remembrance (YouTube)

Teenager Taylor Alesana in a video about Transgender Day Of Remembrance (YouTube)

Transgender people are at 25 times greater risk of abuse, assault and suicide than the general population, the study authors note. And as transgender rights come increasingly into the public eye, advocates fear that this could prompt a backlash against an already marginalized community.

During the south Florida effort, Broockman and Kalla set up an experiment in which 56 canvassers went door-to-door and encouraged active perspective-taking with 501 voters. They were asked to think of a time when they had felt mistreated for being different. The scientists also canvassed a control group of respondents about recycling. The researchers followed up with online surveys at three days, three weeks, six weeks and three months.

The scientists found that those who were asked to do analogic perspective-taking were significantly more likely to exhibit a higher tolerance toward transgender people than those who were in the control group. The effect, the researchers said, represented an even greater attitude change than the shift in American attitudes between 1998 and 2012 toward gays and lesbians.

“They’ve made their entire process enormously transparent,” Paluck said in an interview, “so that’s one reason to trust in the results. They’re part of a growing number of social scientists who have been responding to concerns about psychology, social science and economics and how untransparent their results are.”

Full Story Here. The Advocate has also covered this story. I don’t find this surprising in the least. The governor of South Dakota ended up vetoing their transgender hate legislation after meeting with transgender representatives and allies. I expect most people have a nebulous, fearsome image in their heads which is based on absolute ignorance. Being faced with regular people is probably enough of a shock to get people thinking.

Unfortunately, bigotry is still going like a world on fire, and Kansas, Tennessee, and SC are all jumping on board.

[Read more…]

Caucasians Logo, Yeah.

Sports journalist Bomani Jones speaks to ESPN (screen grab)

Sports journalist Bomani Jones speaks to ESPN (screen grab)

Sports journalist Bomani Jones got Twitter buzzing on Thursday after he appeared on ESPN wearing a shirt with the word “Caucasians” in the style of the Cleveland Indians logo.

“I don’t blame Bomani for being a disgrace, I blame @espn for allowing it,” a viewer named Jimmie wrote. “@bomani_jones who hurt you? I’m serious, I don’t want ppl in pain.” [Christ, I might die of irony poisoning here.]


“The reason they won’t get rid of Chief Wahoo — it’s completely indefensible — is because they can still sell stuff with it,” Jones added. “They can say they’re going to deemphasize it, but they’re not going to set money on fire.”

“If you’re quiet about the Indians and now you’ve got something to say about my shirt, I think it’s time for introspection.”

Full Story Here (Video at the link). ICTMN also covered this story. In a related story, Cleveland Indians Fan Apologizes to Native American For Red Face.

[Read more…]