As Radical As Reality: An Interview with Mickey Z By Frank Joseph Smecker

By Frank Joseph Smecker
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
August 17, 2010

Mickey Z is a self-educated writer, activist and lecturer living in New York City. He is the author of nearly ten books, and is probably the only person on the planet to have appeared in both a karate flick with Billy “Tae Bo” Blanks and a political book with Howard Zinn. Aware of today’s mounting environmental, economical and social problems, problems some would say are manifestations of a collapse-in-progress of the traditional institutions, paradigms and behaviors of an unsustainable establishment we’ve known our entire lives, Z channels said awareness into his work, inspiring his readers to do the same. “When exactly does all this goddamned awareness translate into productive action and tangible change?” Z asks. “We’re aware of global warming and its causes, factory farms, war crimes, environmental degradation, political corruption, fixed elections, the health care crisis… We know about it all,” he says. “We talk about it. We write about it. We complain about it. We hold meetings, talks, seminars, and classes about it. We march about it. We make signs about it. Nothing changes.”

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Republicans Attack the Peaceful Imam by Michael Carmichael

by Michael Carmichael
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
August 17, 2010

Standing in front of the derelict hulk of the Burlington Coat Factory in Lower Manhattan, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf made what historians will regard as the most explicitly peaceful statement of any Imam in the post-9/11 era.

I have been Imam of a mosque ten blocks from here for the last 27 years. Our congregation, our faith community, has been… victims of 9/11. From my congregation there have been people who died. From my congregation, my faith community, we were part of those who gave water to the firefighters. We are part of this community, and we intend to be part of this community. We want to rebuild this community. We are working with the other faith communities, because this is what this is all about. This is about the vast majority of moderate Muslims — who have been and want to continue to be part of the solution.

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Separation of Church and Hate: The Kate Mosque Solution by Greg Palast

by Greg Palast
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
17 August, 2010

Since everyone seems to have an opinion about the mosque near Ground Zero (and President Obama has two), I like to ask you all a couple of questions:

Given that white Christian supremacist Tim McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building, shouldn’t we ban white churches from the sacred ground of Oklahoma?

As New York City’s indigenous Lanape Natives died at Ground Zero by the thousands when overrun by Christian colonists, shouldn’t we ban Christian churches from their sacred ground?

If a mosque near Ground Zero is bad, then why not ban all Muslims from downtown? For this to work, should we require all Muslims in the city to wear yellow crescents?

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NOMA – The Face of Poverty By Siv O’Neall

By Siv O’Neall
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
August 17, 2010

The following article is based on a report “The tragedy of Noma [1]”, prepared by Mr. Jean Ziegler, Vice-President of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. Unless otherwise noted, the quotes in this article are all excerpted from this report by Jean Ziegler.

Malnutrition and hunger are not only direct killers of children and adults all over the developing world. A lesser-known but horrible result of the negligence and callousness of the rich Western world is a cruelly disfiguring disease called noma (from Ancient Greek nomē “spreading of sores”), a scourge which is destroying lives in large parts of the developing nations.

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American Propaganda By Timothy V. Gatto

By Timothy V. Gatto
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Aug. 17, 2010

A capitalism's social pyramid

Image via Wikipedia

When will the people of this nation understand that those they trust to guide them and protect them have nothing but contempt for them? Everyday there are people who have no work and have used up their 99 weeks of unemployment insurance, they are called the 99ers. Every day the people of this nation look into their television sets and hear the propaganda of a nation that is hell-bent on empire because they fear their own imminent collapse. This won’t affect the trans-national corporate hierarchy; they will just move to another country, it’s all the same to them. There is no patriotism and no loyalty to the United States among those that sit on the mantle of power.

The majority of Americans are decent, hard-working people, but they are none the less… stooges. They have been indoctrinated from birth to believe in a set of core values that are designed to keep them subservient and docile. They are the victims of propaganda that emanates from the government and the corporate media, designed to lead them to believe that we are “defending democracy” even though we have no real democracy of our own.

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Keiser Report №69: Shir Hever on the economics of occupation and BDS

RussiaToday | August 17, 2010

This time Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, look at the scandals of swindled nuns, bounty hunters for small time fraud and Irish banks in a ‘league of their own.’ In the second half of the show, Max talks to economist, Shir Hever of the Alternative Information Center, about the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement and about the economics of occupation.

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Is Israel an Apartheid State?

Journalist Jonathan Cook and Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard on apartheid & Israel.

Renown Nezareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook says not only is Israel’s control of the West Bank based on an apartheid system of segregation but also the system inside Israel proper. One of the top Israeli human rights lawyers, Michael Sfard, disagrees. In a Tel Aviv interview with The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky he talks about his conclusion that Israeli control in the West Bank is now only moving towards an apartheid-like system based on the dual legal systems that Israeli settlers and Palestinians get subjected to. He describes that if an Israeli settler and a Palestinian were to be arrested for the same crime, they would be judged, investigated, and convicted in separate legal systems.

Jonathan Cook is a British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He has written for the GuardianInternational Herald Tribune and Le Monde diplomatique among other publications, and is currently a correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based National newspaper. He is the author of three books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, the latest being Disappearing Palestine.

Michael Sfard is one of the top Israeli human rights lawyers. His Tel Aviv-based practice represents many Israeli human rights groups and high profile rights cases. Most famous is his firm’s challenge of the separation wall annexing land from the West Bank village of Bil’in. A former conscientious objector, Sfard represents reservists and others who refuse to participate in the occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

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Living with the Taliban on the Afghan frontline by Alex Thomson

by Alex Thomson
Channel 4 News

Channel 4 News has obtained rare film of Taliban fighters on the Afghanistan frontline, including footage of their attacks on US forces. Channel 4 News Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson looks at what the film tells us about the insurgents and their tactics.

Even if I did want to do it, I would not be allowed to by ITN. Nor would anybody here. But out there in the wide open world of the freelancer, Paul Refsdal did it. He did it brilliantly well.

If he hadn’t slightly overplayed his hand at the last moment, he would have got away with it unscathed and pulled the whole thing off. But even as it is, he has emerged from Afghanistan with footage the like of which has not been seen I will bet, in nine years of war.

Because that’s what it’s like if you want to seek out the Taliban or other insurgent groups across Afghanistan and set up what the west would call an “embed” with them. It’s a helluva risk.

Paul is at least alive to tell the tale and sell his story. Though not without a six day kidnapping under murky circumstances. The Norwegian cameraman insists that no ransom was paid.

Armed fighters

It all starts with the moment when you move beyond the point of return. When the RV finally takes place up some distant mountain track in the east of the country in this case, Kunar Province.

Unsmiling, heavily armed fighters suddenly materialise and then there you are, out there, on your own, with nothing but trust to keep you going. From behind their turban-masked faces they are smirking, saying quietly to each other, “He’s really scared of us, isn’t he?” And so it went on for the whole of the first day as they trekked back up to their command post.

Day two and things had calmed a little. Commander Dawran – who set the whole thing up – made it plain that Refsdal is a guest. And that is that. Under Afghan custom they will now pretty much lay down their arms to protect him. Rather, on this occasion, than shoot or behead him as a suspected spy.

And by the second day the faces are being revealed, they are laughing around and joking: “If I appear in this people are going to say ‘Who’s the country boy?’” His mate laughs and adds: “He’s filming us all to say look here – these are the bad guys.” And things begin to fall into something of a routine.



video no longer available

Living with the Taliban on the Afghan frontline


Updated: August 27, 2014

Behind The Taliban Mask: The Other Side Of Afghanistan’s Front-line

Journeyman Pictures on Feb 25, 2014

Though they would eventually kidnap him, the Taliban granted journalist Paul Refsdal unprecedented access. This exclusive documentary shows us a side of the Taliban that we have never seen before.


Battle for Kandahar is on

1.8 Billion Barrel Oil Find in Afghanistan

Afghan civilian casualties, protests insue