9/11: A Personal Reflection After Twenty Years, by Kenn Orphan

9-11: Lies!

Image by Hayley Constantine via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
September 11, 2021

For 20 years I resisted making any personal remarks about the attacks September the 11th, particularly regarding the World Trade Center in NYC. I thought it was inappropriate and inconsequential because I did not suffer personal loss like so many that day. But I have been reflecting a lot on that historic event lately. And given that the US war against Afghanistan is now over, at least officially if not covertly, I think there is good reason for that.

Continue reading

A Letter to Americans about Afghanistan, from the Margins of Empire, by Kenn Orphan

Afghan-Americans hold NYC vigil to protest Kabul bombing, June 2, 2017

Image by Joe Catron via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
August 31, 2021

Dear Americans,

I wanted to share some thoughts with you on Afghanistan, as it sits atop the rubble of another indifferent imperial folly with the dread of once again living under a fundamentalist authoritarian regime on the horizon. And especially on the American public’s disconnect from its own government’s culpability in spreading misery there and throughout the Global South. I wanted to talk about reflection too.

Continue reading

The Myths of Empire and the Real Message of Dune, by Kenn Orphan

Dunes 0213

Image by mliu92 via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
August 24, 2021

This fall, the much-awaited remake of Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic Dune will hit theatres. Dune tells the complex and multi-layered tale of a feudal interstellar empire in the future, where noble houses compete, often violently, for dominance over the planet Arrakis, a desert world that possesses the only source of a substance called the “spice.” It is essential for space navigation and also has the potential to enhance mental and metaphysical senses and abilities. The imperial powers of the Dune universe use political chicanery and treachery to manipulate various political figures within the noble houses. Arrakis has a desolate and hostile environment. Its inhabitants, the Fremen, are looked down upon by most of the noble houses as savage, inferior and backward. They are the last to see any benefit from the trade of spice, if any at all.

Continue reading

There Will Be No Ferries Coming To Save Us, by Kenn Orphan

Smokey Sunset Vancouver 2021

Image by Rod Raglin via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
August 20, 2021

Titanic fires lay waste to vast forests in Siberia, California, Algeria and beyond. Violent muddy rapids sweep through quaint German villages, and the city of Sochi in Russia, and inundate modern subway systems in China and NYC. Marine life bakes in their shells, not in any cooker, but in the very ocean habitat where they were spawned. Stunned crowds clamor onto ferries surrounded by flames that stretch upward to the sky on picturesque Greek islands… It is that last image that somehow strikes at the heart, and somehow in a way that is different.

Continue reading

Kabul has Fallen, by Kenn Orphan + U.S.-backed Afghan Government Surrenders to the Taliban

Protest against U.S military interventions and endless U.S. wars, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 8, 2016

Image by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
August 16, 2021

“The Taliban is not the North Vietnamese army. There’s gonna be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy of the United States from Afghanistan.” — US President Biden, July 2021

Continue reading

The War on Wokeness, by Kenn Orphan

woke

Image by Rob Larsen via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
August 9, 2021

“I am human, and I think nothing of which is human is alien to me.” — Publius Terentius Afer, Roman playwright (195/185 – c. 159 BC)

Continue reading

Why the Ruins of a Little Village Called Lifta Still Matter, by Kenn Orphan

ליפתא | Lifta

Image by RonAlmog via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 29, 2021

In the Middle East stand the ruins of an ancient settlement known as Lifta. Archeological digs have traced its’ origins as far back as the Iron Age. It contains the remains of a court-yard home from the Crusader period at its centre and the ruins of several other beautiful homes, and once housed a vibrant and culturally rich community.

Continue reading

On a Ten Minute Joyride in Space, Capitalism’s Endgame, and a Radical Imagination for the Future, by Kenn Orphan

Capitalism isn't working

Image by Cary Bass-Deschenes via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 23, 2021

“It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.” — Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

Continue reading

The Fourth is an Annual Day of Collective Amnesia, by Kenn Orphan

Lies

Image by tq2cute via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 5, 2021

“​Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.” — Albert Einstein

“Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.” — Arundhati Roy

Continue reading

Defending the Shame of Apartheid, by Kenn Orphan

End Israeli Apartheid

Image by Alisdare Hickson via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
June 24, 2021

It was to be expected. Following the worldwide exposure of an active campaign of ethnic cleansing in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem’s and Israel’s murderous 11 day campaign raining death and destruction on the captive population of Gaza, the apologists for Israel went into full on damage control. Anyone who decried these obvious injustices and war crimes were swiftly labeled “antisemitic” or extremist.

Continue reading

Navigating the Digital Commons on Our Own Terms, by Kenn Orphan

267/365. Addicted.

Image by Anant Nath Sharma via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
June 18, 2021

The other day I made a Facebook post that referred to the arbitrary and, yet, purposefully designed algorithms of social media and how they are effectively silencing and censoring people, especially those on the left. I have noticed it myself. I get far less traffic to my page than in prior years. This makes the social media “experience” less desirable (I will go into the reason why a bit later), and so I said I would likely be spending less time here as a result.

Continue reading

The Spotlight on Israeli Apartheid Must Not Fade, by Kenn Orphan

Free Palestine

Image by duncan c via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
May 26, 2021

Unlike ever before, Israel is finally seeing some major pushback that is international in scope. With its ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign exemplified by the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, its attacks on worshippers at one of the holiest sites in Islam, Al Aqsa, and on the holiest of holidays, and its murderous and criminal assault on the captive population of Gaza, Israel has been put in an uncomfortable spotlight. But the key to dismantling its entrenched apartheid system lies in keeping that spotlight fixed, especially now that a ceasefire has been implemented. If attention is diverted, as Israel desperately wants, then it will become even more intransigent, especially as the Biden administration continues its business-as-usual approach.

Continue reading

There is No Getting Around It: This Is Apartheid, by Kenn Orphan

Pull Down the Apartheid Wall

Image by socialistalternative via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
May 16, 2021

I suspect some of you may be tired of my posts on Israel/Palestine this last week, especially on social media. I would say I am sorry if I was, but I am not. Not in the least. I have stood shoulder to shoulder with Palestinians, as well as their allies, including many, many Jews and even many Israelis, for most of my adult life. And until apartheid ends and as long as I have a voice that isn’t censored, I will not cease speaking out. So here are my latest thoughts…

Continue reading

Enough is Enough: It is Time for Apartheid to End, by Kenn Orphan

End Israeli Apartheid

Image by Alex Chis via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
May 12, 2021

I have anxiety in my heart tonight. I have friends in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, Palestinians and Israeli Jews, and I am truly fearing for them. Several of them have reported explosions close to their homes. Buildings and entire blocks have been flattened in Gaza, rockets have fallen in Tel Aviv, and rightwing Israeli mobs are terrorizing Palestinians at Al Aqsa Mosque. And this feels like the build up of something big. Like it felt before the 2014 assault on Gaza. I pray this isn’t so, but it is difficult to ignore the signs.

Continue reading

How the Pandemic Laid Bare the Cruelty of Capitalism, by Kenn Orphan

Class War #occupyboston

Image by Chase Elliott Clark via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
April 9, 2021

One thing this pandemic has demonstrated in stark terms is class struggle. Those people deemed essential, though often applauded in public, have been treated as expendable. In truth, they were always treated this way. But this last year has made this struggle visible for anyone paying attention.

Continue reading