Monthly Archives: November 2008

Press and Psy Ops to merge at NATO Afghan HQ: sources

Dandelion Salad

By Jon Hemming

KABUL (Reuters) – The U.S. general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan has ordered a merger of the office that releases news with “Psy Ops,” which deals with propaganda, a move that goes against the alliance’s policy, three officials said.

The move has worried Washington’s European NATO allies — Germany has already threatened to pull out of media operations in Afghanistan — and the officials said it could undermine the credibility of information released to the public.


U.S. General David McKiernan, the commander of 50,000 troops from more than 40 nations in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), ordered the combination of the Public Affairs Office (PAO), Information Operations and Psy Ops (Psychological Operations) from December 1, said a NATO official with detailed knowledge of the move.

“This will totally undermine the credibility of the information released to the press and the public,” said the official, who declined to be named.


via Press and Psy Ops to merge at NATO Afghan HQ: sources | International | Reuters

h/t: CLG

“Oops, We Meant $7 TRILLION!” by Ellen Brown

by Dr. Ellen Hodgson Brown
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Ellen’s post
Nov 30, 2008

What Hank and Ben Are Up to and How They Plan to Pay for It All

“We make money the old fashioned way.  We print it.”  – Art Rolnick, Chief Economist for the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank

The $700 billion that was arm-twisted from Congress by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in October was evidently just the camel’s nose under the tent.  According to a November 24 Bloomberg report, the Paulson/Bernanke team is now prepared to pay $7.76 trillion to rescue the financial system.[1] Prepared to pay how?  Congress has not raised its debt ceiling to anywhere near that level; but the approval of Congress, which originally voted down the controversial $700 billion bailout, is apparently no longer necessary.  The door has been opened, and the Treasury Secretary and Fed Chairman feel they can now pledge whatever they want.  Perhaps they are inching up a zero at a time just to see what the public’s tolerance is for unrepayable debt.  The new sum – $7.76 trillion – represents $25,000 for every citizen in the country, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year; yet it’s not clear that a mere half of our net worth will rescue the financial system.  One bankrupt bank after another has been bailed out with public money, in a futile effort to prevent a collapse of a massive multi-trillion dollar derivatives pyramid created by the banks.[2] But according to the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. commercial banks now carry over $180 trillion in derivatives on their books.  The public is liable to be bankrupted before this mess is resolved.

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UK Police Brutally Attack War Hero

Dandelion Salad



This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.


more about “UK Police Brutally Attack War Hero“, posted with vodpod


Full story here:…

The pictures of police brutality that will shock all of Britain. Three police officers beat up handcuffed Iraq war veteran.

These shameful and inexcusable scenes show a war hero who served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan fearing for his life amid a violent and unprovoked assault by police. Lance Corporal Mark Aspinall, highly praised by his commanding officer for bravery against the Taliban in Afghanistan, was set upon by three uniformed officers on his home town High Street.

The sickening attack, caught in forensic detail on CCTV, led a crown court judge to label it one of the worst examples of police aggression he had ever seen. Yet, in a travesty of justice, it was Mark who was at first convicted by magistrates of attacking the policemen.. despite the video footage clearly showing he was the victim.


They Auto Know Better: Fueling Anti-Union Fires by Walter Brasch

by Walter Brasch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Nov. 30, 2008

My local newspaper editor, as he does regularly, once again attacked unions as the problem in America. This is the same editor who once said “all the laziest goof-offs and goldbricks in the newsroom” where he began his career were union officials—and that the unionized New York Times editorial writers are nothing more than “limousine liberals.”

For this most recent attack, two days after Thanksgiving, he combined the economy with what he believes are greedy unions.  “[L]abor unions and their leaders are  . . . distorting the truth about the American workplace,” wrote the editor. First he set up Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, who said that “Tens of millions of Americans are working harder than ever just to stay afloat. The latest Census Bureau report shows that wages are dropping and more people lack health insurance . . . a greater percentage of the economy is going to profits than to wages.”

Then, he cut apart Stern’s statement by gleefully citing data from the pro-business pro-management U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber said that wages, adjusted for inflation, for workers rose 30 percent from 1967 to 2007. Now, 30 percent seems good—unless you do the math. That’s about three-quarters of one percent per year, far less than any executive compensation. The editor then added in about 30 percent for benefits. Of course, these benefits also include federally-mandated deductions, like social security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes.

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Iceland: A portent of the future + Street protests against government and economic meltdown

Dandelion Salad

by Chris Marsden
29 November 2008

Iceland is facing a social and economic catastrophe. Its 300,000 people have suffered the worst and most immediate impact of the worldwide financial crisis of any advanced country.

For that reason, the events in Iceland offer a portent of developments that must inevitably unfold in much larger nations and on the international arena.

Iceland’s banking system has collapsed, plunging its entire economy into an accelerating decline. In the space of seven days in October, its three major banks became insolvent and the government was forced to step in and take them over. The Brown Labour government in Britain used anti-terror laws in an effort to force the return of hundreds of millions invested there by individuals, company’s pension schemes, local councils, charities and police forces—much of which will not be retrieved.

The scale of the losses was due to Iceland’s efforts to become a centre for global speculative investments, primarily by linking bank rates to inflation, which exceeded 15 percent. Its banks offered rates often 50 percent higher than available elsewhere.


via Iceland: A portent of the future

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Iceland: Street protests against government and economic meltdown

By Jordan Shilton
29 November 2008

Thousands protested in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik last Saturday, calling for the resignation of the government and for early elections. The protest follows weeks of unrest on the streets, in the aftermath of the banking collapse last month that left the economy in meltdown.

Protestors gathered to demand the release of a fellow demonstrator who had been held by police from the previous day. After demonstrating in front of the parliament (Althingi), several hundred protestors proceeded to the main police station where violent clashes took place. Police used pepper spray against demonstrators, and it was reported that at least five people were taken to hospital with injuries.


via Iceland: Street protests against government and economic meltdown

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Protestors clash with police in Iceland

video no longer available


A peaceful protest in Iceland against government and banking officials ended with a police charge after hundreds rioted outside a police station.

more about “Protestors clash with police in Iceland“, posted with vodpod


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Prisoner released in Reykjavik – Iceland 22 November 2008


Protesters demanded that Mr. Haukur Hilmarson should be released –
He is the guy that put on the Parliament building the Bonus flag a few Saturdays ago.
The protesters attack Police HQ in Reykjavik first – but the riot police got them out – but then suddenly – the prisoner was released.

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The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Thai protesters win some hearts and minds + Thai police flee Bangkok airport as protesters attack

Dandelion Salad


Thai protesters have taken over Bangkok’s main airport, crippling Thailand’s tourism industry and stranding visitors to the country.

Step Vaessen reports from inside the capital’s international airport.

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India’s 9/11. Who was Behind the Mumbai Attacks? by Michel Chossudovsky

Dandelion Salad

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, November 30, 2008
– 2008-11-29

Washington is Fostering Political Divisions between India and Pakistan

The Mumbai terror attacks were part of a carefully planned and coordinated operation involving several teams of experienced and trained gunmen.

The operation has the fingerprints of a paramilitary-intelligence operation. According to a Russian counter terrorist expert, the Mumbai terrorists “used the same tactics that Chechen field militants employed in the Northern Caucasus attacks where entire towns were terrorized, with homes and hospitals seized”. (Russia Today, November 27, 2008).

The Mumbai attacks are described as ” India’s 9/11″.

The attacks were carried out simultaneously in several locations, within minutes of each other.

The first target  was in the main hall of Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station (CST), where the gunmen fired indiscriminately into the crowd of passengers. The gunmen ” then ran out of the station and into neighboring buildings, including Cama Hospital

Attacks by separate groups of gunmen took place at two of Mumbai’s luxury hotels – the Oberoi-Trident and the Taj Mahal Palace, located at the heart of the tourist area, within proximity of the Gateway of India.

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Mumbai terrorists used Chechen tactics

Dandelion Salad


The terrorists in the Indian city of Mumbai, who killed more than 150 people and injured over 300, used the same tactics that Chechen field militants employed in the Northern Caucasus, says Russian counter terrorism presidential envoy Anatoly Safonov.

more about “Mumbai terrorists used Chechen tactics“, posted with vodpod



Deepak Chopra Blames Washington For Mumbai Terrorist Attacks

Grim news from Mumbai hits home + Terrorists monitored British websites using BlackBerry phones + Taj Mahal erupts in flames

Something Grand Happened At The Café de Flore By Gaither Stewart

Gaither Stewart
by Gaither Stewart
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Nov 30, 2008

(Paris) It is counterproductive to attempt to debunk Parisian cafés and café culture. Whether revisionists and debunkers approve or not, the Café de Flore on Paris’ Boulevard Saint Germain is a living institution. Since its founding in 1870 it has existed as a café and second home for writers, artists and intellectuals of the likes of Apollinaire, Camus, Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and frequented by Hemingway and even Truman Capote. In the 1920s and 30s, the Flore was the meeting place of the Right, after World War II of the Left. Forming a triangle with the famous but touristy Deux Magots (today “out” and taboo for the Parisian intelligentsia) and the Brasserie Lipp just across the street, the history of the Flore has always been linked with Paris, culture and political ideas.

For purposeful and inflexible urban walkers like Henry Miller and myself certain cityscapes palpitate with the violent ideas that have made great cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, Berlin, Munich and Budapest. It is impossible to pass the Café de Flore without pausing a moment to imagine Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre ensconced at a back table in that left-bank citadel of thought on a rainy November day, discussing the rage and the alienation and the revolt and the urge for revolution of their age.

In their works those existentialist intellectuals wrote the biography of European rebellion born with the French Revolution. Much of their thought was born in the Flore.

Now we too might pause to wonder who is going to write where the history of the great modern American Revolution in the making. When will it begin, we wonder now? Or has it already begun somewhere in the guts of America? We can’t help but wonder.

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Ralph Nader Challenges Obama while visiting UB Law School

Dandelion Salad


Ralph Nader visits the University at Buffalo Law School

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Gaza: Beyond the blockade + Gaza media blackout

Dandelion Salad


Sameh Habeeb reports on the humanitarian crisis taking place inside Gaza’s sealed borders

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Who is Paul Volcker? Obama appoints a longtime enemy of the working class

Dandelion Salad

By Patrick Martin
29 November 2008

President-elect Barack Obama announced Wednesday the appointment of former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker to head a White House advisory board to oversee the new administration’s policies for stabilizing financial markets. The selection of the 81-year-old Volcker puts an inveterate enemy of the working class at the side of the new president, and demonstrates the class character of the right-wing government that Obama is assembling.

In the course of the week, Obama selected his entire economic team: Timothy Geithner, currently president of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, who will become secretary of the treasury; Lawrence Summers, former Clinton treasury secretary, who will head the National Economic Council, the chief White House group for coordinating economic policy; and Peter Orszag, who will become budget director. Summers, Geithner and Orszag are all protégés of former Clinton treasury secretary Robert Rubin, former CEO of Goldman Sachs and now director and vice chairman of Citigroup.


via Who is Paul Volcker? Obama appoints a longtime enemy of the working class


Can Africa survive Obama’s advisors? by Patrick Bond

The Obama Dilemma: A Mission Impossible? by William Bowles

The Obama “Dream Team”: Rubin-clones And Other Fakers By Mike Whitney

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse


Bill Moyers Journal: Hunger in America with Michael Pollan + An American Abroad

Dandelion Salad

Bill Moyers Journal
November 28, 2008

Big Green Tomatoes

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Michael Pollan

Bill Moyers sits down with Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley, to discuss what direction the U.S. should pursue in the often-overlooked question of food policy. Pollan is author of IN DEFENSE OF FOOD: AN EATER’S MANIFESTO.

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New York Times Misleads on Taliban Role in Opium Trade By Jeremy R. Hammond

By Jeremy R. Hammond
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Foreign Policy Journal
November 29, 2008

Crossposted on Foreign Policy Journal

The New York Times and other major U.S. media sources commonly report on the production of opium in Afghanistan as though it were under the control of the Taliban. The facts on the ground, however, tell a different story. Who dominates the Afghan opium trade? Foreign Policy Journal investigates.

The New York Times reported this week that the Taliban have cut back on poppy cultivation and is stockpiling opium, grossly overstating the group’s role in the Afghanistan drug trade.

“Afghanistan has produced so much opium in recent years,” the Times reported Thursday, “that the Taliban are cutting poppy cultivation and stockpiling raw opium in an effort to support prices and preserve a major source of financing for the insurgency, Antonio Maria Costa, the executive director of the United Nations drug office, says.”

Mr. Costa’s remarks came last week as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) prepared to release its Afghan Opium Survey 2008 report, the executive summary of which has already been available for some time. The now released report shows that poppy cultivation was reduced in much of Afghanistan and is even more highly concentrated in the south, with Helmand province being by far the biggest producer.

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Tour of Duty By Gary Corseri

By Gary Corseri
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Nov. 29, 2008

He wants a new language!
Ratta-tat-tat!  Ratta-tat-tat!
The old one’s full of homonyms
That sound too much like war:

“Military-industrial”; “Humvee”;
“Bombs bursting in air”;
“Predator”; “duty … honor … country. …”

BAM!  Ker-pling!  Ka-boom!  BAM!

Even “pride,” even “love”–
Drafted into service.

Every word has a medal
Stapled on its buttocks.
Every word’s a hero
In an honor-guard casket
With a flag drooling over.

Tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat. …
S p l a t !

Armor-piercing bullets say,
“Accept the world as it is!”
The shock and awe of their logic
Like cancer in children’s dreams.

Boom boom boom boom boom boom boom….

Guns talk to guns–
A crimson tete-a-tete.
Nothing succeeds like excess.
Under the din of mourning–
Litigious sirens wail.

Snap!  Crackle!  Pop!

There is no light except for
Laser-guided missiles … and … possibly


Enhanced night-vision goggles.

Gary Corseri has posted/published his work at Dandelion Salad, The New York Times, Village Voice and hundreds of other venues.  He served as the Arts Coordinator of Prout’s “Building a New World Conference” (Radford, Virginia) in May, 2008.  His books (which may be ordered at Borders, etc.,) include the novels, A Fine Excess and Holy Grail, Holy Grail, and the anthology, Manifestations (edited).  Contact: