Category Archives: Politics/World

The sale of the land at Wounded Knee and why everyone took the bait

So the 1st of May deadline for the proposed land sale at Wounded Knee came and went and the supposed number of bidders interested in the land don’t seem to have jumped to do a deal. No surprise to me.

Ever since the owner of 40 acres of land on the sacred land at Wounded Knee was announced at the beginning of the year with a 3.9 million dollar price tag (offered exclusively to the tribe till May 1st) I was sure this was just an opportunity of land owner James Czywczynski to steal the headlines away from the 40th Anniversary commemorations of the Wounded Knee occupation that was just weeks away. The store, gas station and “museum” that was on his land that he had invested in were destroyed during the occupation and so he clearly would want his grievance highlighted during this anniversary.

The fact that the market value of the land in less than $10,000 makes it clear that the price tag was an obscene attempt to fleece the tribe. After the fundraising to buy Bear Butte the year before was successful he perhaps saw a way of manipulating sentiment into a similar action here.

What got me was how much credibility he was being given (even in the New York Times) and also that the response was not as aggressive as it should have been to shut this down.

As the deadline loomed I started emailing many people in the tribal administration on Pine Ridge from the President and Vice President to others in political and influential life there that they should go on the offensive with an eminent domain action to see if that could get traction but also and perhaps more decisively with a proclamation that no business licenses would be issued to anyone for that land, thus rendering the land valueless and making any purchase, pointless.

Interestingly a few days later reports start appearing in the media that both actions were being pursued. I have no idea if this is as a response to my correspondence or just coincidence but what is most important is that the tribe started enforcing its sovereignty more around the issue.

I think at the end of the day it is interesting to see how people got swept up so much in the rumor (a horse slaughterhouse being put there was one) and not just looking at the bare facts and motivations. The land under his ownership has laid there unmolested for 40 years. To think it would have millions of dollars of value in the open market when unused by him through this time would be preposterous. I am sure this will probably just slip away as a little footnote of a man trying to grab the headlines and manipulate truly sacred land.

See my most recent post regarding Johnny Depp’s interest in purchasing the land here

Our DVD’s are available at amazon or where you can save 15% using the coupon code Blog15 to save 15% or Blog20 to save 20% when spending $60 or more.

Available to watch online in full for the first time – Watch An Interview with Russell Means – 45 mins

In 1999 I’d been on Pine Ridge less than 3 hours when I found myself through twists of fate at Russell Means’s house as 3 days of political meetings were commencing. Russell asked me to record the event and also agreed to do an interview with me the next morning. For the first time this interview is available online in full (other than editing out some of the questions)

The 45 mins interview was up till now only available on the Special Edition DVD of our movie Rez Bomb that starred Russell and was shot on Pine Ridge. Excerpts from the interview are in our feature documentary A Thunder-Being Nation, the most comprehensive look at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (10 hours of extras on the Ultimate Edition DVD)

Click on this link to view it. Little excerpts are below.

Our DVD’s are available at amazon or where you can save 15% using the coupon code Blog15 to save 15% or Blog20 to save 20% when spending $60 or more. The closer we get to recovering our costs on our films the quicker we can start looking to invest more in other projects in Indian Country although it’s an uphill battle finding an audience

My response to Town Removes Nativity after Muslims Complain article and hate filled anti Muslim comments

I just read this article and the appallingly naive hateful comments below and had to respond. I’m not a fan of religion but the attacks on Islam are so hate filled that if they were against a race or sex we’d be fighting harder against it.

Town Removes Nativity after Muslims Complain
By Christine Bouthillier, QMI Agency

MONTREAL – A posh Montreal suburb has decided to remove a nativity scene and menorah from town hall rather than acquiesce to demands from a Muslim group to erect Islamic religious symbols.

The decision by the Town of Mount Royal upsets a Christian resident who says the town is abandoning an established tradition under pressure from a tiny religious minority.

Town councillors of several different religions unanimously decided to remove the Christian and Jewish items.

Read more:

This was my comment

Interesting how most of those making comments clearly didn’t pay much attention to the article as the Muslims were not asking anything to be taken down just to participate. There was a Menorah there as well as the nativity and of course I’d assume you’d all do a little research before commenting but Jewish people in Montreal are a smaller minority than Muslims and of course Muslims would not ask for the nativity to be taken down when they worship Jesus, unlike those that follow Judaism. The council are the ones exhibiting prejudice by not allowing these three members of the same religious family to participate together. The comments here prove the degree of hate and prejudice and ignorance that the Muslim population have to face daily. Pity the freedom of religion and freedom from religion that is enshrined in the US constitution is given so little regard by those posting here.

How to save half a trillion dollars a year to cut deficit in one easy move,

Here’s an easy way of cutting the deficit. Take half a billion dollars a year out of defense spending and the US would still be spending about 84 billion more than the second biggest spender… China. Is the US really so weak that it needs to have so many more bombs to have a chance to defend itself? Of course not. this is just a budget for aggression. The US spends around 42.8% of the global military expenditure.

SIPRI Military Expenditure Database

This list is based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Military Expenditure Database for 2010 (in constant 2009 ). It also includes military expenditure data as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009. (Note: this graph uses US dollars (USD) as its monetary code).[1]
Rank Country Military expenditure, 2010[2] % of GDP, 2009
1 United states 698,105,000,000 4.7%
2 People’s Republic of China 114,000,000,000 2.2%
3 France 61,285,000,000 2.5%
4 United Kingdom 57,424,000,000 2.7%
5 Russia 52,586,000,000 4.3%
6 Japan 51,420,000,000 1.0%
7 Germany 46,848,000,000 1.4%
8 Saudi Arabia 39,200,000,000 11.2%
9 Italy 38,303,000,000 1.8%
10 India 36,030,000,000 1.8%
11 Brazil 27,120,000,000 1.6%
12 Australia 26,900,000,000 1.9%
13 South Korea 26,550,000,000 2.9%
14 Spain 25,507,470,000 1.1%
15 Turkey 25,000,000,000 2.7%
16 Canada 21,800,000,000 1.5%
17 Israel 16,000,000,000 6.3%
18 United Arab Emirates 15,749,000,000 7.3%
19 Republic of China (Taiwan) 15,000,000,000 2.4%
20 Netherlands 11,604,000,000 1.5%
21 Afghanistan 11,600,000,000j 1.8%
22 Poland 10,800,000,000 1.8%
23 Greece 10,398,498,000 3.2%
24 Singapore 9,829,496,000 4.3%
25 Colombia 9,191,000,000 3.7%
26 Iran 9,174,000,000 1.8%
27 Egypt 7,150,000,000 2.1%
28 Pakistan 6,410,000,000 2.8%
29 Mexico 6,300,000,000 0.5%
30 Norway 6,200,000,000 1.6%
31 Algeria 6,000,000,000 3.8%
32 Sweden 5,500,000,000 1.2%
33 Thailand 5,200,000,000 1.9%
34 Indonesia 4,740,000,000 0.9%
35 Kuwait 4,700,000,000 4.4%
36 Iraq 4,663,000,000 5.4%
37 Belgium 4,544,000,000 1.2%
38 Denmark 4,330,000,000 1.4%
39 Austria 3,650,000,000 0.9%
40 Oman 4,047,000,000 9.7%
41 Switzerland 4,000,000,000 0.8%
42 Venezuela 4,000,000,000 1.3%
43 Portugal 3,825,843,000 2.1%
44 Angola 3,774,000,000 4.2%
45 Chile 3,620,000,000 3.5%
46 South Africa 3,160,000,000 1.3%
47 Finland 4,051,320,000 1.5%
48 Ukraine 1,200,000,000 2.9%
49 Malaysia 3,500,000,000 2.0%
50 Morocco 3,256,000,000 3.4%


I find it so interesting to hear the line coming out of the Republican Party and beyond about Obama not speaking out enough in support of the protesters in Iran. John McCain himself was very vocal about this point. It is this naive thinking that has led to the USA screwing up so much of the world as they avoid empathizing with those in the other countries. What Obama is doing is just about perfect. The USA needs to keep quiet through this time.

The more the US supports the demonstrators the more they empower the Iranian administration to clamp down on those protesters and will give them more support from the population who do not support the protests as they shall see the USA as trying to stir up a new revolution. The more internal the demontrations are the more likely the military are to not support a violent clamp down.

When John McCain opened his mouth on this issue it showed his stupidity and make me so grateful he lost. If he describes himself as a student of history he deserves an F. US interferrance has ALWAYS inflamed a situation not helped. Reagan saying “Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall” did not lead to the tearing down the Berlin Wall it was just political bluster as Gorbachev was already of the mind to bring on all this change. These opportunist politicians need to grow up as peoples lives are at stake.


20 years Tiananmen Square, I remember walking down the road to their and freezing as I realised I was looking at the bit of the road where the guy stood in front of the tanks. I was with my gf of the time who during the protests lived in her family home less than a mile away. Her grandfather was Mao’s agriculture minister in the 60’s up to the Cultural Revolution. The thing nobody mentions is that the Chinese officials who crushed the protests had more genuine fear of student power than any other country because many government officials were purged and killed by students during the Cultural Revolution.

It was all so heartbreaking