Berkshire’s Charlie Munger Explains US Culture

May 20, 2019

The US media uncritically celebrate the wealthy and suppose that their every thought may be a pearl of wisdom. The Daily Devil’s Dictionary explains.  Interviewed in the wake of the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting by journalist Andy Serwer of Yahoo Finance, Warren Buffett’s alter ego and...

Learning from an Indigenous Language

May 07, 2018

Reviving this indigenous language can teach people about an alternative worldview that can certainly help us today. I work with reviving an indigenous language in the two dialects known as Wendat and Wyandot. It is related to the six languages of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois (Mohawk, Oneida,...

Standing Up to the Dakota Access Pipeline

December 22, 2016

Protestors at Standing Rock keep up the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The conflict over a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP), along with other pipelines quietly approved in Texas and back in June in Iowa, poses pressing issues ranging from indigenous rights and landscape...

The Meaning and Taste of Thanksgiving

November 23, 2016

For one day in the year on Thanksgiving, Americans hope to renew a sense of “belonging” to a fading culture.  Once a year, on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans honor their imagined Puritan heritage, even if today only a tiny minority can trace their ancestry back to the...

Hollywood in Black and White

October 06, 2016

Hollywood has no place for ethnic minorities.  As a “person of color”—and how I hate being identified this way—in the acting field, I couldn't feel any sympathy for the #OscarsSoWhite protest. Forget about not being nominated for the Oscars; we, the people I talk about here, the other...

The Dangers of American Education

December 04, 2015

Why does the US base its national narratives on myth rather than history? Lately, some Americans have called the world’s attention, yet again, to our society’s shocking and relentless insistence on ahistoricism. Xenophobic, fear-mongering responses to the global refugee crisis from...

This is What Native Americans Think of Christopher Columbus

November 28, 2015

There is nothing to celebrate about Christopher Columbus. When the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus reached the shores of the Americas in 1492, it was by accident. He had been commissioned by the Spanish crown to find a passage to the East Indies, en route to a lucrative spice trade with...

For Native Americans, Sex Didn’t Come With Guilt

March 30, 2015

For the Aboriginal people of North America, sex was not associated with guilt.        The Wendat (Huron) are an Aboriginal people whose descendants live in four communities across North America – in Quebec, Michigan, Kansas and Oklahoma – and separately across the continent. Their...

At Risk: Brazil’s “Most Important Barrier to Amazon Deforestation”

September 03, 2013

A proposed amendment to Brazil's constitution threatens forests and indigenous rights. On April 16, 2013, the chanting of hundreds of citizens and the rattling of maracas flooded the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Brazilian National Congress. Traditionally dressed members of 70...

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