Open Forum on Dandelion Salad by Lo

by Lo
Dandelion Salad
19 June, 2010

photo by Dandelion Salad

Hi Everyone!

At Ariel Ky‘s suggestion I thought I’d start an open post here for you, the readers to discuss whatever you’d like to discuss.

Any thoughts or concerns about the environmental disaster?

Suggestions for preparing for the future?

Whatever you’d like to have a conversation about.

I’ll put a link to this post on the blog so you can find it easily, too.

Thanks, in advance.



Update: July 19, 2010

Renaming this post to Open Forum on Dandelion Salad.

159 thoughts on “Open Forum on Dandelion Salad by Lo

  1. Pingback: Open Forum on Dandelion Salad | Dandelion Salad

  2. Comments are back on again. I tried to close comments on blog posts over 2 years old and keep the comments open on this post, but the setting to close the comments on older posts overrode the individual setting for this post. changed the Spam setting for all our blogs recently and now I’m receiving a lot of Spam on older blog posts.

    • Thanks, David, yes, I agree it’s one to watch.


      Updated: Feb. 23, 2014 Comments are temporarily closed as this post is getting hit with lots of Spam comments. Will open it up again in a few days, hopefully.

  3. Recently has been running more frequent ads on the free blogs who have not purchased their “no ads” annual upgrade.

    Dandelion Salad has not purchased this or any upgrade as I work for free and the writers here donate their work for free.

    Have you noticed more ads?

    Supposedly frequent readers do not see the ads. Is this true?

    Those logged into also do not see any ads (with a recent exception to blog owners*), so do you usually log into WordPress before reading the posts here?

    * In the last few days has been posting very large (the size of a video) ads on the bottom of all the posts with no way to close them.

    Here is the forum post, if anyone is interested in reading it:

  4. I would like to hear what range of opinions there may be here as to the approach that Greenwald and the Guardian has taken on the Snowden NSA information.

    What is this forum’s assessment of this piece of apologia from him?

    “We’re not engaged in a mindless, indiscriminate document dump, and our source didn’t want us to be,” said Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian writer, in an email to BuzzFeed Saturday. “We’re engaged in the standard journalistic assessment of whether the public value to publication outweighs any harms.”

    He claims that “our source didn’t want us to be..”

    You don’t suppose that a man of Snowden’s age might be manipulated in any way by old hands at the game such as Greenwald? Surely that is a silly suggestion–aye?

    I would also suggest {in that silly sort of way} that the last sentence of Mr Greenwald’s quote be examined closely. That is deconstruct it. What are the assumptions in the subtext?

    Are we to automatically assume that what has so far been “standard journalistic assessment” has resulted in open truth in the media?

    What is the definition of “harms” that Greenwald refers to?

    After all these questions pertain to the fact that only very few of the revelations Snowden brought to the table were actually published by the Guardian, and Greenwald is obviously on the side of gatekeeping in this situation.

    In my view this is another instance of protecting the National Security State.

    Are there other opinions on this?


  5. Hi Dandelionsalad,

    This free-form forum is a good idea.

    I have been reading some of the commentary that is already posted.
    It is interesting and diverse.

    It may be too diverse at some point after a couple hundred comments.
    Perhaps at some point the forum could be divided into general topics so that it doesn’t devolve into a huge dogpile…???

    Or you might have a Monthly Open Forum, that still remains totally open but confines the length and confusion of a “forever forum”…

    Just my 2 cents,


    • Thanks, hybridrogue1.

      Yes, there are drawbacks to having only one post for the Open Forum.

      Unfortunately I don’t have the time to make any changes such as the ones you suggested. All good ideas, though.

  6. Published on Apr 23, 2013
    [WASHINGTON, DC] Farea Al-Muslimi, a Yemeni youth activist and writer, testified today at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights chaired by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the moral, legal and constitutional issues surrounding targeted killings and the use of drones.

    Extremely important testimony Lo, if you’ve not yet heard it.

    • Vandana is, as always, laser-precise ~ early in the talk she refers to Manfred Max Neef.

      The Max Neef interview is from 2010 of course, but I don’t think I have heard or read a more exquisite, lucid and concise summary of the sheer insanity of current economic policies that this.

      A masterpiece of clarity.

      Geoff Lawton’s current work needs no commentary, just superb.

  7. Lo: Since I brought this up, I have looked for reliable online material on Gene Sharp and the controversies raging around his alleged CIA complicity etc.

    The following posts seem to cover all this accurately enough and with sufficient contextual references to warrant informed discussion on the issue as Zinn, Chomsky, Zunes and others supported Sharp (2008) against Meyssan’s (2005) expose.

  8. In further response to Felicity Arbuthnot’s article on Iraq, a 22-year-old Genocide, I would like to add a few more thoughts.

    I’ve been teaching English at a private university in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. So unlike most Americans, I’ve had the chance this past year to get to know some Iraqis, and they are lovely people. It makes me so sad. I want a world that is safe for them. I want them to have good lives and prosper. However, the people running my country have wanted something much darker for the people of Iraq. What can be done? First of all, we must speak out against it.

    There are always bridge people in every country, people who can bridge different cultures, different nationalities, different languages, different religions. We have a great responsibility to help other people understand what’s happening in the world, and to change it. Thank you again, Felicity, for bringing it to the fore that we must show somehow that we don’t want this happening. It’s got to stop.

    Here in Malaysia, a primarily Muslim country, there is a certain level of resentment towards Westerners, and I believe that it comes from the attacks on Muslim countries that have been ongoing for some time. And yet there are so many American influences, even the Malaysian flag is a variation on the American flag. We could turn this around if we were to open our hearts and see where we have done wrong.

    Humanity must evolve. We must get past our differences and heal from our wounds. I’m speaking from a distance, knowing what needs to be done, but not even how to do it in my own personal life. I just know that we have to come together for our very survival collectively on this planet. Somehow we need to learn how to support each other instead of harming each other. I think it’s going to take a transition to entirely new and better systems that promote altruism, quality of life, stewardship of resources, caring for the Earth, and sharing and caring for each other.

    I will repeat the point again that I have repeatedly made. We must make war unprofitable. We must take war profiteers to court and get them to pay reparations. We need war crime tribunals with the authority to confiscate funds from accounts of the companies found guilty. Every company that has profited from the war against Iraq needs to be held accountable. Every art treasure stolen from its museums needs to be returned. How do we even begin to help with the deformed babies being born? How do we clean up the radioactivity that’s been released?

    These our problems that we all face. And Felicity Arbuthnot has shown how this is a major problem for humanity of how U.S. policies and actions have been destroying the people and the country of Iraq.

  9. Lo: I’d like to recommend Joanna Harcourt-Smiths’s website
    In particular, I’d like to draw your attention to a couple of short interviews she conducted recently Dec 28th at Bioneers on the Bay “Connecting for Change” ~ “The Long Term View” an interview with Katherine Collins; & “The Watchman’s Rattle” an interview with Rebecca Costa.
    Powerful and confident women inspired to make a difference who make a great deal of sense.

  10. I’ve just received this from Dr Mae-Wan Ho’s I-SIS
    I’ve followed her work for 15 years, and recommend her contribution strongly.
    She is an old friend and colleague of Dr Vandana Shiva.whom I have met at Schumacher College in Devon, and who works closely with Satish Kumar, whom I know personally as he lives close by.

    I trust I have not overburdened you with links, Lo. Open, intelligent debate and controversial discussion have always appealed to me. In particular, non-fiction film and radio have been a lifelong interest of mine.
    I was fortunate to work with a veteran film editor from Alsace in Canada for a while in the 1980’s, who taught me a great deal about documentary…in my opinion our Web-inspired cut & paste endeavours are not just a new skill, but an emergent & powerful new activist art-form!

    I think Burroughs was right, when he predicted very early on that computers would change the game. And although I could never completely digest McLuhan, he certainly recognised the genius of Joyce. What he did not see though, was the spiritualised feminine, that I believe has yet to manifest its real power in the world.

  11. Lo: thank you for posting the Moyers interview with Leiserowitz. Excellent summary. There is no comment option so I am contributing here.
    I want to mention a couple of points about this all-encompassing urgent issue.
    First a note of suspicion about establishment “denial.” This may be a jejune assumption, if the truth is that denial is a smokescreen deployed to conceal government complicity in secret weather modification activities.
    I am not suggesting these may be a major contributory factor to global climate change, although they may indeed be aggravating an already perilous situation; but they may obfuscate and confuse the issues, thus benefiting vested interests in the name of “security,” whilst the government pretends to acknowledge climate “sceptics” so culpable parties may avoid implication in covert programmes.
    My other point is this: I think the real “clash of civilisations” is about farming and foraging, as this is now such a heavily industrialised artificial chasm.
    We need to encourage and support the hybridised views exemplified by permaculture organics, transition towns, green design, bio-mimicry, gift economics, “quantum jazz” (Mae-Wan Ho) and similar related innovative initiatives.
    I recommend this film that was recently posted in the Top Documentary feed that is also available here

  12. Sibel Edmonds just posted a video on the pacification of the public that I think everyone should listen to. I was on the same wavelength this week.

    Here’s a message that I sent the other day to David Krieger at Nuclear Age Peace Foundation when I received a message from him about the strategies of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. I’ve been on Beyond War’s mailing list for some time, and they announced this week that they’re moving into another phase and that readers support three foundations that had the same goals.

    Krieger said that the strategy of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation was 1) to build and support a coalition of top NGOs who could present a strong, unified voice to governments and the public, 2) implementing outreach campaigns to engage at least one percent of the world’s population to oppose thermonuclear arsenals, and 3) a legal action campaign to bring targeted pressure against nuclear-weapon countries for their failure to fulfill their existing treaty obligations to negotiate in good faith to abolish nuclear weapons. (He’s talking about countries such as North Korea and Iran, of course, not the U.S. and Israel, which are exempted from such failures.)

    Here was my response:

    Your strategy is deeply flawed. NGOs by and large support the status quo of ongoing war and torture. I have tried to get every single major international human rights group to investigate the use of torture at Diego Garcia. I’ve been working on this issue for ten years now. To this date, nobody has even been allowed to visit the military base at Diego Garcia to investigate allegations of torture. And frankly, I’ve never been able to get a satisfactory response on this issue. Talk to Clive Stafford Smith at Reprieve in England. They are the only organization that I’m aware of who have done anything substantial on this issue. Ask him about how effective NGOs have been on this issue. (Update: or ask Sibel Edmonds at Boiling Frogs about working with NGOs based in the U.S.)

    Here’s a strategy that I believe can work to build a broad-based effective coalition to end wars:

    1) Align with peace movements in other countries. Build an international peace movement of solidarity and support. (I have no confidence whatsoever in Americans being able to end wars without this kind of global approach.)

    2) Encourage women to move into more decisive roles to support their families and communities in making the transitions in our systems that will bring about peace and harmony, equality and ample opportunities for everyone.

    Of course, there are many steps to be carried out in following such a strategy, and it’s kind of like operating a stick shift. You have to keep changing gears and using the clutch. It’s a two-fold operation of putting out the fires of conflicts, exposing the truth about false flag operations, rallying international public opinion (the global society we now have which is the only check today on the corruption of obscenely wealthy royal families and their supporters who mask their operations behind the impersonal front of corporations, including NGOs, while at the same time creating new systems, both economic and political, and activating people to shift into a higher level of cooperation than we’ve ever seen in the world before.

    That’s what new and that’s what we have to do. I speak as a peace visionary who now sees very clearly what needs to be done and what can be done to end the practice of war and exploitation of people, all living creatures, and the resources of our planet.

    • Ariel, my question would be this: if it were feasible for a global survey to establish what people really think about war, what would it produce?
      How has it come to pass that a syndicated clique of vested interest groups now determine who fights what wars, where, and why? A planet-wide referendum might even be possible, to establish the actual opinions of people everywhere in the world through a coordinated internet process.
      Is this realistic and, what might it achieve?
      Or have we reached a stage, where maximum potential information must encounter minimum cooperative will? In short are we witnessing the lethal failure of enlightened government in a world that is just too big, too dangerous and too lawless to function as a multi-polar commonwealth?
      The sceptics will argue, that the inevitability of war always means we must prepare for it, and that some entity must carry the biggest stick, as a deterrent to rogue elements.
      The reality is that the nuclear “fraternity” decides who that is. Right now it is NATO.
      OK, but we gain nothing by blaming professional soldiers in this perpetual crisis of attrition. It is this nuclear-defense industry that should be taken to task.
      The only effective way to do this is through the frameworks of law.
      In my view, that is where our efforts must be most concentrated. The actual rules of the game. The Law.

      • I’m going to respond again, as I have more to say on points you’ve made. We do NOT have enlightened governments in the world today. We have highly corrupt governments everywhere that are not looking after the interests of their people, serving the interests of the ultra-wealthy instead. We have royal families and their minions (especially in high positions in the governments of countries) accruing more and more of the wealth of the world, reestablishing their ascendancy, power and control of the people of the world through the impersonal face of corporations.

        And these are not nice people. They make money from wars. The armaments industry is extremely lucrative for them, and you’re not going to take away their favorite toy, simply by saying it’s not fair, it’s not just, it’s evil. Not only do they accrue ever greater ill-gotten wealth through the armaments industry, they gain more and more control over the lives of people. These people peddle fear and hopelessness.

        Nevertheless the human spirit is eternal, indomitable and brilliant. People are part of the life force that is ever creative and intelligent. Even against their great wealth and power, we do have the ability to change the game in ways that they will not have anticipated. Today the law serves them. They change laws with impunity to serve their interests. They buy the lawmakers. They choose the judiciary. They control the law enforcers. Don’t look to the law for answers.

        • Ariel thank you for responding. I agree with you almost 100%, only I do feel there have been major improvements in the way things are addressed, through constitutional precedent and legal process, perhaps not in the US, but definitely here in Britain.
          You know it really is a different culture here, and the rest of Europe differs again.
          Our monarchy it is certainly true is incredibly redundant in most respects, and is largely a tourist asset with immense privilege and symbolic significance. The Queen is still the tutelary head of state, but she is also subject to constitutional process.
          Personally I loathe all the pomp and circumstance, but others love it.
          It will change dramatically over the next generation or so. as the affairs of the elect become increasingly more transparent and accountable.
          If we lived in a multi-polar world, international law would become the essential prerequisite of due governance.
          The problem today is corporate affiliation and “invisible” finance.
          Dynastic power is only one side of the problem, secrecy is the other.
          Nobody, not even popes and monarchs should be beyond the law. They may think they ARE the law, but they certainly do not have any spiritual authority to dictate the real Law, that is by any reliable definition, supernal.

  13. For a long time I thought the Democratic Party was worth supporting, but in looking back over the last twenty some odd years, it is easy to realize the two parties have one and the same goals.. It is past time for a new more progressive government entity to come to the forefront, a party which will instill people’s faith in our country once again…

    • Agreed, while I am relieved Obama won a second term, he is not that progressive in any way. There is no better public spokesperson in the US Senate that I can think of than Bernie Sanders. 2020 is too long

  14. I will also take a positive step here in saying, that I will do all I can to achieve Leah Plante’s Amazon book wish list…

  15. While not being in the throes of election fever at this point, I am supremely angry that Jill Stein, a presidential candidate, by the will of the people who support her, was put in jail on the last debate night. This is deplorable!

    • It is deplorable. And it’s not very democratic of the Democratic Party to exclude all Third Party candidates. That was one of the main reasons I left the Dem. Party in 2000. The way they treated Nader was also deplorable. He wasn’t allowed in the debates, and the Dem. Party did everything possible to keep his name off the ballots in as many states as they could. The Rep. Party is no different, either. The so-called “2-party system” is only one party: The Capitalist Party. It is an entire illusion that we live in a democracy and have real choices for who our leaders may be. The politicians are bought off by the corporations. It’s really Fascism.

      • Agreed!! The Republicrats aren’t going to let anybody speak or debate who can and likely will take votes away from their Capitalist agenda…It is no small wonder to me that more Socialist leaning candidates are gaining more and more support from the people…

      • Dennis Kucinich got shut out of the debates also when he ran for president in 2000. I agree that we only have one party, but it’s not just the capitalist party; it’s the war party. Why Americans don’t oust all these crumbbumbs from office who prosecute war is beyond me. I just don’t believe that most Americans are that violent, aggressive or evil. What I do believe is that most Americans are fools and dupes and still believe that we have a democracy. It’s just that somehow it isn’t working, which has everyone confused as long as they believe all the lies that we’re being told to swallow.

        I have clarity. I am disillusioned. But I’m not living a lie or living in an illusion. What I truly am is furious at how war criminals have been running our country, how corporations have stolen our democracy and left us with only the carapace, and yes, disgust for how easily Americans have been betrayed.

        As long as the U.S. president continues aggressive attacks on other countries, it doesn’t matter if his name is Obama or Romney or even if her name is Clinton.

        • Sorry, I got my dates wrong. Kucinich ran in 2004.

          In 2000 we had the corporate coup when the Supreme Court made George Bush president. When the overseas ballots and mail-in ballots finally got counted in 2000, Al Gore had actually won the election. It’s all been downhill at a precipitous pace since then.

  16. I realise the nation is in the throws of election fever right now, and it is a precipitous moment, especially given the abyss that is opening in the Levant ~ but I just listened to a couple of fantastic talks by Janine Benyus on bio-mimicry from a few years back, that I thought could remind us there is an intelligent counterweight to the massive investment in political charade that has now become so tedious and predictable, so here’s the link

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