Out, out, damn dams

From The Bear Deluxe magazine: June 2009

Molli Jane White, a Karuk Indian from the banks of the beleaguered Klamath River, says her husband, Leaf Hillman, drove four hours (one way) last September in order to ask the Yuruk Tribe in Happy Camp, Calif. for two salmon so that the Karuk would have a few forkfuls of fish to offer tribal members during their annual salmon renewal ceremony. White, 26, appreciates the irony, she says, but she’d rather see PacifiCorp, which operates four hydroelectric dams along a 300-mile stretch of the Klamath in Southern Oregon and Northern California, eat concrete. So to speak. At the present moment, she… Read More »

Al Quds Militiawoman

An Al-Quds militiawoman pauses during an anti-American demonstration Feb. 8, 2003 in Tikrit, Iraq. The military parade featured roughly 45,000 civilians in an exhibition of Iraqi resistance to U.S. forces.

The annual Al-Quds (which means “Jerusalem” in Arabic) parade was held every year to honor Sadaam Hussein’s birthday. Hussein was born in a small town just outside Tikrit. Hussein claimed that the Al-Quds Militia would be used to drive Israelis from Palestine.

Hardscrabble Salvation

From Utne magazine (originally published in In Good Tilth) Nov./Dec. 2010

In 1974 my mother, my father, and I moved from a trailer park in Cleveland to a 97-acre farm in Liberty, West Virginia. I was 13, a city brat, an only child, and I thought I’d died and gone to hell. The world I left was coated in concrete, which led to shopping centers and movie theaters. The world to which I was banished was covered in corn, beans, potatoes, and squash, which led to blisters.

A wise child would have been grateful. He would have seen that so much land, so much freedom, is worth a little blood. He would have thanked his mother for this second… Read More »

Sura

From Night of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq (Nazraeli Press: 2006)

She is one of a group of about 150 armed militiawomen who’ve surrounded me on a parade ground in Tikrit, Iraq⎯circling, jabbing the air with their Kalishnikov’s, chanting, “Down with Bush!  Down with U.S.A.!”

We’re all enduring the annual Al Quds Militia parade, held here every February 8 to celebrate the birthday of Sadaam Hussein, whose rags-to-rags story began in a hamlet on the outskirts of this desolate desert town. 

I doubt that many of the women understand the script that’s been handed to them.  It’s a drama that’s obviously… Read More »

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