Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays from Leonard Peltier

Forwarded on behalf of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

Greetings and happy holidays. I hope this letter finds you all
enjoying the spirit of the season with family and friends.

My August parole denial was appealed in short order. We are expecting
a response to that appeal sometime very soon. It has occurred to
me that the viciousness of this system knows no bounds, and so I
believe strongly in the coming days we will hear of another loss,
another denial. This one will be timed and intended specifically
as a twisted Christmas present for me, such is the nature of those
in charge. With no sense of balance, fairness, or decency, I await
my own personal stocking stuffer.

We all know the so-called justice system of this country is
more about revenge and retribution than finding true and just
resolution. It doesn't take into account the plight of the wrongfully
convicted, nor does it allow flexibility as human endeavors always
require. This system has always been about making money at the top,
furthering careers in the middle, and forgetting those at the bottom.

Their reason for denying my parole is that I refuse to admit guilt
and show remorse for the deaths of two FBI agents. I know the
righteousness of my situation. I know what I did and didn't do. I
will never yield.

I also know what this country did and continues to do to me and many
others. While they demand I make a false confession for the sake of
my freedom, they show no remorse for the loss of much of my life,
or the lives of Joe Stuntz and countless others they have murdered
over the generations simply for being who they were. Those lives
are meaningless when compared to their precious FBI, I guess. And
now, some of the very ones responsible for the deaths and suffering
of so many of my people, are peddling books and claiming to be a
friend of the Indian. We've seen this before, and I'll speak more
about this soon.

I remain proud of what I have stood for and mindful of what real
justice is. In this season of love and forgiveness, please say a
prayer for all of those who never knew justice and others who have
such difficulty in finding it still today.

My love and my prayers go out to all of you.

Happy Holidays.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier
Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier

Monday, October 5, 2009

A chain letter from my Jewish Mother


1. The High Holidays have absolutely nothing to do with marijuana.

2. Where there's smoke, there may be salmon.

3. No meal is complete without leftovers.

4. According to Jewish dietary law, pork and shellfish may be eaten only in Chinese restaurants.

5. A shmata is a dress that your husband's ex is wearing.

6. You need ten men for a minion, but only four in polyester pants and white shoes for pinochle.

7. One mitzvah can change the world; two will just make you tired.

8. After the destruction of the Second temple, God created Nordstroms.

9. Anything worth saying is worth repeating a thousand times.

10. Never take a front row seat at a Bris..

11. Next year in Jerusalem. The year after that, how about a nice cruise?

12. Never leave a restaurant empty handed.

13. Spring ahead, fall back, winters in Boca.

14. WASP's leave and never say good bye; Jews say good bye and never leave.

15. Always whisper the names of diseases.

16.. If it tastes good, it's probably not kosher.

17. The important Jewish holidays are the ones on which alternate side of the street parking is suspended

18. Without Jewish mothers, who would need therapy?

19. If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. But if you can afford it, make sure to tell everybody what you paid.

20. Laugh now, but one day you'll be driving a Lexus and eating dinner at 4:00 PM in Florida ..


1. Under same management for over 5763 years.

2. Don't give up. Moses was once a basket case.

3. What part of "Thou shalt not" don't you understand?

4. Shul committees should be made up of three members, two of whom should be absent at every meeting.

5. Sign over the urinal in a bathroom at Hebrew University : "The future of the Jewish people is in your hands."

More Jewish Stuff

6. My mother is a typical Jewish mother. Once she was on jury duty They sent her home. She insisted SHE was guilty.

7. Any time a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies.

8. It was mealtime during a flight on El Al. "Would you like dinner?," the flight attendant asked Moshe, seated in front. "What are my choices?," Moshe asked. "Yes or no," she replied.

9. An elderly Jewish man is knocked down by a car and is brought to the local hospital. A pretty nurse tucks him into bed and says, "Mr. Gevarter, are you comfortable?" Gevarter replies, "I make a nice living ....."

10. A rabbi was opening his mail one morning. Taking a single sheet of paper from an envelope he found on it only one word: "shmuck." At the next Friday night service, the Rabbi announced, "I have known many people who have written letters and forgot to sign their names, but this week I received a letter from someone who signed his name...and forgot to write a letter.

11. Three Jewish women get together for lunch. As they are being seated in the restaurant, one takes a deep breath and gives a long, slow "oy." The second takes a deep breath as well and lets out a long, slow "oy" The third takes a deep breath and says impatiently, "Girls, I thought we agreed that we weren't going to talk about our children."

12. And one final favorite: A waiter comes over to a table full of Jewish women and asks, "Is anything right?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Am Barack Obam's Political Prisoner Now by Leonard Peltier
September 11-13, 2009

If Only the Government Had Respected Its Own Laws...
I Am Barack Obama's Political Prisoner Now

T he United States Department of Justice has once again made a mockery of its lofty and pretentious title.

After releasing an original and continuing disciple of death cult leader Charles Manson (sic - Lynette Squeaky Fromme) who attempted to shoot President Gerald Ford, an admitted Croatian terrorist, and another attempted assassin of President Ford under the mandatory 30-year parole law, the U.S. Parole Commission deemed that my release would "promote disrespect for the law."

If only the federal government would have respected its own laws, not to mention the treaties that are, under the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, I would never have been convicted nor forced to spend more than half my life in captivity. Not to mention the fact that every law in this country was created without the consent of Native peoples and is applied unequally at our expense. If nothing else, my experience should raise serious questions about the FBI's supposed jurisdiction in Indian Country.

The parole commission's phrase was lifted from soon-to-be former U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, who apparently hopes to ride with the FBI cavalry into the office of North Dakota governor. In this Wrigley is following in the footsteps of William Janklow, who built his political career on his reputation as an Indian fighter, moving on up from tribal attorney (and alleged rapist of a Native minor) to state attorney general, South Dakota governor, and U.S. Congressman. Some might recall that Janklow claimed responsibility for dissuading President Clinton from pardoning me before he was convicted of manslaughter. Janklow's historical predecessor, George Armstrong Custer, similarly hoped that a glorious massacre of the Sioux would propel him to the White House, and we all know what happened to him.

Unlike the barbarians that bay for my blood in the corridors of power, however, Native people are true humanitarians who pray for our enemies. Yet we must be realistic enough to organize for our own freedom and equality as nations. We constitute 5% of the population of North Dakota and 10% of South Dakota and we could utilize that influence to promote our own power on the reservations, where our focus should be. If we organized as a voting bloc, we could defeat the entire premise of the competition between the Dakotas as to which is the most racist. In the 1970s we were forced to take up arms to affirm our right to survival and self-defense, but today the war is one of ideas. We must now stand up to armed oppression and colonization with our bodies and our minds. International law is on our side.

Given the complexion of the three recent federal parolees, it might seem that my greatest crime was being Indian. But the truth is that my gravest offense is my innocence. In Iran, political prisoners are occasionally released if they confess to the ridiculous charges on which they are dragged into court, in order to discredit and intimidate them and other like-minded citizens. The FBI and its mouthpieces have suggested the same, as did the parole commission in 1993, when it ruled that my refusal to confess was grounds for denial of parole.

To claim innocence is to suggest that the government is wrong, if not guilty itself. The American judicial system is set up so that the defendant is not punished for the crime itself, but for refusing to accept whatever plea arrangement is offered and for daring to compel the judicial system to grant the accused the right to right to rebut the charges leveled by the state in an actual trial. Such insolence is punished invariably with prosecution requests for the steepest possible sentence, if not an upward departure from sentencing guidelines that are being gradually discarded, along with the possibility of parole.

As much as non-Natives might hate Indians, we are all in the same boat. To attempt to emulate this system in tribal government is pitiful, to say the least.

It was only this year, in the Troy Davis, case, that the U.S. Supreme Court recognized innocence as a legitimate legal defense. Like the witnesses that were coerced into testifying against me, those that testified against Davis renounced their statements, yet Davis was very nearly put to death. I might have been executed myself by now, had not the government of Canada required a waiver of the death penalty as a condition of extradition.

The old order is aptly represented by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who stated in his dissenting opinion in the Davis case, "This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged 'actual innocence' is constitutionally cognizable."

The esteemed Senator from North Dakota, Byron Dorgan, who is now the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, used much the same reasoning in writing that "our legal system has found Leonard Peltier guilty of the crime for which he was charged. I have reviewed the material from the trial, and I believe the verdict was fair and just."

It is a bizarre and incomprehensible statement to Natives, as well it should be, that innocence and guilt is a mere legal status, not necessarily rooted in material fact. It is a truism that all political prisoners were convicted of the crimes for which they were charged.

The truth is the government wants me to falsely confess in order to validate a rather sloppy frame-up operation, one whose exposure would open the door to an investigation of the United States' role in training and equipping goon squads to suppress a grassroots movement on Pine Ridge against a puppet dictatorship.

In America, there can by definition be no political prisoners, only those duly judged guilty in a court of law. It is deemed too controversial to even publicly contemplate that the federal government might fabricate and suppress evidence to defeat those deemed political enemies. But it is a demonstrable fact at every stage of my case.

I am Barack Obama's political prisoner now, and I hope and pray that he will adhere to the ideals that impelled him to run for president. But as Obama himself would acknowledge, if we are expecting him to solve our problems, we missed the point of his campaign. Only by organizing in our own communities and pressuring our supposed leaders can we bring about the changes that we all so desperately need. Please support the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee in our effort to hold the United States government to its own words.

I thank you all who have stood by me all these years, but to name anyone would be to exclude many more. We must never lose hope in our struggle for freedom.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier
Leonard Peltier #89637-132
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier

LaFountains! (Watch out for us)

From "Jen's New Mexico Blog"

Only in New Mexico: 88th Annual Indian Market kicked off by first-ever Indian Arts and Culture Week
August 19th, 2009

Happy summer!

Yesterday Southwestern Association of Indian Arts Executive Director Bruce Bernstein announced the memorialization of a new and special week for NM: Indian Arts and Culture Week–which will culiminate in the world renown Indian Market, August 22 and 23 here in Santa Fe. This is an event that showcases the finest in Native Art from around the state, giving visitors a chance to shake hands with the artisans responsible for both contemporary and tradition productions in everything from clothing and jewerly to painting and pottery.

Read Inez Russell’s article on the ribbon cutting here:

For general information on Indian Market, visit

Let me now introduce Ken Lingad, who has personally represented some of the Southwest’s best Native artists. Ken tells us some of his tips for this year’s artists.

I was honored to wear a Fritz Casuse's contemporary take on the squash blossom necklace.

I was honored to wear Fritz Casuse's contemporary take on the squash blossom necklace.

Ken Lingad’s Best Bets for Indian Market

Jennifer Hobson: You’re known as a specialist in American Indian art of the Southwest. As we head into what promises to be another spectacular Indian Market season, are there specific artists you have your sights on?

Ken Lingad: I always keep a finger on the pulse of new and established talents, alike. There are some stellar standouts every few years, and this year will see a select few, in my opinion. For example, I stated last year in Santa Fean magazine that Picuris Jeweler Tol-pi-yine Simbola was on my radar – this year he was honored by SWAIA with a Youth Fellowship Award. If you haven’t planned on making it to his booth, get there.

JH: Are you following other jewelry artists?

KL: Absolutely. Samuel LaFountain, Melanie Kirk-Lente, Steve LaRance, Pat Pruitt, Cody Sanderson, and Kathy Whitman-Elk Woman. I’m looking forward to being significantly impressed by Fritz Casuse – he raises the bar for all of his peers and juniors.

JH: Who’s on your pottery list?

KL: I will be checking out Marvis Aragon’s pottery works, in addition to Goldenrod, Dominique Toya, and Ed Kabotie. I expect Santa Clara Pueblo artist Autumn Borts-Medlock to keep reaching even newer heights of near-perfection with skillful precision and clarity of thematic development.

JH: You’ve personally managed some of the biggest names in Contemporary Native Art, specifically painters. Who impresses you?

KL: I would have to say – hands down – C.J. Wells. If you can get anything of hers, do it now. Unlike many other artists, the sheer depth and quality of C.J.’s masterpieces justify the consistent rise in market value. While other artists have come and gone in Santa Fe, C.J. remains a force that cannot be reckoned with – only honored. I can stare at her pieces for hours. I do stare at her pieces for hours.

Mateo Romero continues to blow my mind, while other talents on my radar (not relegated to a specific medium) include Sheridan McKnight, Ryan Singer, Eve LaFountain, Wanesia Spry-Misquadace, Dyani Reynolds-White Hawk, and the legendary Ed NoiseCat.

JH: Great information Ken; I hope I can pick your brain again at some point regarding the art scene.

KL: Definitely! I am particularly excited about the energy a handful of new galleries are bringing to the table.

About Ken Lingad:

Ken Lingad (Isleta Pueblo) is a recognized authority on Southwest American Indian Art and Culture. He works frequently with organizations such as the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC), Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA), and other scholarly institutions. Working behind the scenes on some of Santa Fe’s most successful large-scale exhibition premieres, Lingad remains a significant figure on the city’s fine art scene.

As you peruse the wonder of New Mexico’s Native Art this weekend, enjoy some of the summer’s best weather too–we have been loving the hot, clear days and cool high desert nights.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

not sure about this...

The Adventures of One eskimO could be a giant leap for Native people into a mainstream eye or it could just be another story of the past (looks more likely based on the trailer) where a little Indian goes in search of his love Little Feather and has a mystical connection with animals. It looks like Disney's Pocahontas all over again but with a boy character and an indie band sound track.

Check out this article for more info.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who wants to come to this with me? please!


The Exiles chronicles one night in the lives of young Native American men and women living in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles. Based entirely on interviews with the participants and their friends, the film follows a group of exiles — transplants from Southwest reservations — as they flirt, drink, party, fight, and dance. UCLA film preservationist Ross Lipman will introduce Kent McKenzie’s amazing 1961 film. The screening will take place outside on Hill Street between 3rd and 4th streets in downtown LA. Bring a chair and snacks to share. FREEEEEE!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mud Stencils

I really like this idea: Mud Stencils (follow the link to see the work of Jesse Graves who makes mud stencils).

Who's up for running around LA and tagging with mud?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Flavorpill and Wanderlust want to send you to Tahoe

"Yoga and Spoon together in the mountains (which are near a desert?) Seriously, this could not be the more perfect trip for me. Help me get there for free!"
Flavorpill is sending a couple people to Wanderlust, a yoga and music festival in Tahoe, featuring Spoon and Girl Talk.

If you sign up for the free email (it's great, you want it anyway), I get a chance to win. Let's do it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Woodstock Lovers

40 years after Woodstock, this infamously photographed couple are still together.

Seriously read this story from the New York Daily News, it is so cute!

Dennis Lim on the 2009 Flaherty Film Seminar for ArtForum (I wish I could've gone!)

Found at

Class Consciousness

Left: Colgate University. Right: Pawel Wojtasik, Autopsy, 2008, still from a color video in HD, 23 minutes.
AN ANNUAL WEEKLONG MARATHON of thematically connected screenings and discussions, the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, which held its 55th edition at Colgate University from June 20 to 26, has a long and storied history as a testing ground for filmmakers and a battle zone for ideas about their work. But it is also not what most people think it is. Despite its namesake, the seminar is not devoted solely to documentaries (Flaherty, best known for Nanook of the North [1922], is generally considered the father of documentary filmmaking); narrative filmmakers have been spotlighted over the years, even though the emphasis is on nonfiction and experimental work. Despite the intensive screening schedule, it differs from almost all film festivals in privileging ideas and debate over novelty and buzz. And despite the abundance of academics, it’s more rambunctious—and less removed from the real world—than the average scholarly conference.
Founded in 1955 by Frances Flaherty, Robert’s widow and collaborator, who used to host the event at her farm in Vermont, the seminar adheres to a cardinal precept of “non-preconception.” Although some guest artists are announced ahead of time, program details are withheld from the 150 or so participants, a mix of scholars, programmers, critics, and filmmakers (some of whom are presenting work), all housed in university dorms. Each highly regimented day features six or seven hours of screenings and four or five hours of discussions (much more if you count the conversations over cafeteria meals and late-night drinks). At the seminar’s beginning, discussions tend to meander and sputter, but hot spots and fault lines eventually emerge. Alternately invigorating and infuriating, the Flaherty is, above all, a truly collective experience. By midweek, you realize that the group, as if by some alchemical process, has become its own living, breathing (and increasingly sleep-deprived) organism.
This year’s guest programmer, Irina Leimbacher, the former artistic director of the San Francisco Cinematheque, brought together more than forty works, ranging from shorts to features to installations (and even documentations of those installations), under the rubric “Witnesses, Monuments, Ruins.” (Full disclosure: I will be serving as the guest programmer for the 2010 seminar.) Leimbacher’s charged theme ensured that historical trauma was a constant. All week, questions surfaced about the responsibility and reliability of the filmmaker as witness; the power and pitfalls of direct address and the first-person form; the loaded notions of culpability, victimhood, and forgiveness. Many works revolved around what often remains unseen and unheard: the joys and trials of daily life in occupied Baghdad (Kasim Abid’s moving, if somewhat shapeless, two-part domestic chronicle Life After the Fall); the Indian subcontinent’s history of sexual violence against women (Amar Kanwar’s immersive eight-channel video installation The Lightning Testimonies); the hidden recesses of the human body (Pawel Wojtasik’s wondrous, Brakhage-referencing memento mori Autopsy).
Heavy on overlooked and underappreciated artists, this year’s seminar afforded plenty of opportunities for discovery and rediscovery. It was a treat to see the all too rarely screened film-poems of the veteran avant-gardist Chick Strand (suffering from terminal cancer and unable to attend) and the lyric documentaries of Saint Petersburg’s Pavel Medvedev, whose almost Tarkovsky-esque sensibility would likely have made him a festival darling by now if he worked in the feature-length format. At the Flaherty, of course, discovery means not just new films but also new connections, sparks that come from provocative juxtapositions and from encountering relatively familiar and established filmmakers, like the Paris-based, Mali-born Abderrahmane Sissako, in an unexpected context. Sissako’s 2006 feature, Bamako, a fantastical polemic that puts the World Bank and the IMF on trial for Africa’s economic woes, crystallized many of the seminar’s bubbling concerns. An act of testimony and of symbolic justice, here was a film that affirmed the power of the spoken word even as it revealed the limits of language.
“Flaherty at MoMA: The Films of Abderrahmane Sissako” runs at the Museum of Modern Art through July 2. The monthly Flaherty NYC series, featuring selections from this year’s seminar, begins in September; for more details, click here.
Dennis Lim
talkback (1 message)

Sunday, June 7, 2009


While driving through the Mojave Desert en route to Las Vegas we stopped for gas.

This donkey lived at the gas station.

This was the first truck we saw when we got back on the highway.

This is definitely America.

Elivs at Sunrise

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I'm writing to let you know about an exciting new film I heard about called "SLEEP DEALER," which is opening this weekend on Friday, April 17th.

It's a science-fiction, but has nothing do to with space aliens, or cops who shoot robots.

SLEEP DEALER is a film of ideas; and it looks at the future from a perspective never seen before: from south of the border, looking at America from the outside.

A.O. Scott of The New York Times says: SLEEP DEALER is "Exuberantly entertaining -- a dystopian fable of globalization disguised as a science-fiction adventure...."

According to everything I've seen and heard, SLEEP DEALER is a thriller filled with lush visuals and big ideas about the future of war, immigration, the environment, and the border.

There's more information here: and reviews and stills from the film below.

As we all, know, audiences on opening weekend determine the future of a film. I'm wondering if you'd like to go with me, or organize a group to support this film and in the process support the idea of a more wild, diverse, and relevant cinema?

Again, the opening is this weekend, Friday April 17th, in Los Angeles and New York.

Hope to see you there!

The New York Times
Exuberantly entertaining -- a dystopian fable of globalization disguised as a science-fiction adventure.... Mr. Rivera is a brilliant young director and takes his audience into a future of "aqua-terrorism" and cyberlabor that I wish I could dismiss as implausible.
-A.O. Scott

...impressive, eye-opening...a timely message, deftly delivered... like Blade Runner and other big-brained sci-fi flicks, it's about ideas... Sleep Dealer serves up a radical vision of a troubling tomorrow...
-Jason Silverman

A dazzling journey! True originality and artistic verve!

"Sleep Dealer" is a film with something to say about humanity and its relationship with technology. This sense of humanity, more than its numerous mind-blowing fantasy images is what ultimately sets "Sleep Dealer" apart.
-Steve Ramos

Brilliant and bizarre-ass... A stellar moment in independent filmmaking!
-Rebecca Carroll

... Rivera revives the promise of an American independent cinema that can intervene in our world, imagine the worst, hope for the best - and entertain like mad along the way.
-B. Ruby Rich

The New York Times
"Sleep Dealer" taps into the cultural and economic fears that have come with a globalized planet... For all its newfangled trappings "Sleep Dealer" reasserts a narrative as old as this country...
-Dennis Lim

From Alex:
I'm writing to let you know that a labor of love - a film I've been working on for twelve years (ouch!) is finally making it to movie theaters. SLEEP DEALER will be in theaters THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 17th in Los Angeles and New York.
SLEEP DEALER is a Sundance award-winning sci-fi thriller that looks at the future from a perspective we've never seen before: from south of the border, looking at America from the outside.
Thanks so much for checking out SLEEP DEALER. It's my first feature film, and in some ways, a humble film. But it's an honest attempt to do something radically new with cinema. I hope you enjoy it and that we connect again soon.

Un abrazo!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Go Jolene!

Thanks Erik for the link!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I wrote my first press release!

USA continues to deliver the best in television with the critically acclaimed hit series BURN NOTICE. Don’t miss the second season’s explosive finale premiering Thursday, March 5 at 10/9C on USA Network.
BURN NOTICE is the hottest show on television this winter as it finishes up its second season, delivering the best numbers for the series. BURN NOTICE is averaging 5.05 million total viewers, 2.65 million in P25-54, 2.41 million in P18-49 and a household rating of 3.78 . BURN NOTICE has been dominating cable competition and beating broadcast competition in key demo's as well.

LESSER EVIL – Episode 16
In the season finale, Michael Westin (Jeffery Donovan) learns some surprising facts about Victor's (Michael Shanks) past, and is forced to take on the sexy, whip-smart Carla (Tricia Helfer), Michael’s only contact at the mysterious organization that burned him, in a final showdown. Will Michael finally find out who burned him? Tune in to find out.

For more information about the show or to watch the full episode, please log on to Password: characters
For photos of BURN NOTICE, please log on to the NBC Universal Media Village at

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Mickey Rourke: Let me ask you one question.
Christopher Walken: Yeah.
Mickey Rourke: Where did the dinosaurs go?
Christopher Walken: They're sitting in the tree outside.

Monday, February 23, 2009



Bill Brand, my professor and mentor, has restored his infamous Masstransiscope installation in the New York City Subway. Check out this article in the New York Times!



Also check out the Masstransiscope blog.

Friday, February 20, 2009

just think of it as public art

if only this wasn't an add...

watch this one first:

then watch the making of:

Monday, February 2, 2009