BartBlog

December 19, 2014

Berkland gets “Mad as Hell”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 1:26 pm

crop of spray can cat

On Sunday, December 14, 2014, we learned that members of the clergy in the Berkeley area were holding a Ferguson protest march. We went to cover the event and got a good shot. It showed a local clergyman holding a “Black Lives Matters” and due to the low angle it also included the Church belfry tower. We asked the minister his name and he declined to say and also added he did not think it would be a good photo to use. (Has he ever been a judge in the Greater Los Angeles Press Photographers’ monthly clip contest? We have.) We immediately had the thought that he might not want his congregation to know that he had participated in a protest to protect the rights of a wounded suspect to make a U-turn and charge at a pursuing police officer. We responded: “I can understand you wanting to disassociate yourself from this . . . (fill in the blank)______ .” You don’t have to ask twice to get the World’s Laziest Journalist to do less work. Unless you read the Revolution News, you won’t see any original material online about that particular protest in Berkeley.

On Saturday, the local NAACP leaders held a protest march in Oakland because they felt that the leadership of the Ferguson protests was being co-opted by white people in the Black Block movement, the anarchists and perhaps even the communists.

Also on Saturday a stunt at the University of California at Berkeley grabbed headlines by displaying large images of lynch mob victims with the sign reading: “I can’t breathe!” It was reported on Sunday on KCBS news radio that it was an art project created by some artists with African-American heritage.

Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton have arrived to garner their share of face time on the network evening news shows.

The chief of police for the Richmond CA Police Department made the news (at least locally) by showing up to a Ferguson protest in uniform and holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign. The Richmond Police promptly reminded the chief it is against department policy to participate in a political event while in uniform.

On Monday, December 15, 2014, protesters chained themselves together in Oakland and blocked roadways and entrances to the Oakland Police Headquarters. According to KCBS news radio it took “several hours” for the police to use bolt cutters to separate the protesters and then to arrest them.

Monday was also the 75th anniversary of the premiere of the movie “Gone with the Wind.”

Could the Oakland Police have worked slowly to help the protesters make their point . . . Or . . . could they have worked slowly as a way to increase the commuters’ frustration level and thereby generate more animosity which would be directed at the supporters of the protest against police violence?

One protester was quoted on KCBS as saying (paraphrasing here) that if people weren’t part of the protest then they were part of the problem and deserved to be late for work.

On Monday afternoon Oakland students from various local high schools held a protest at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in West Oakland and disrupted some people’s afternoon commute. They then walked to Lake Merritt for a candle light vigil. Did that cause even more disruption of the evening commute?

Apparently some protest strategists believe in a paraphrase of the old Vietnam era maxim: “When you got them by the traffic jam, their hearts and minds will follow.” . . . or not.

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, the Berkeley City Council was scheduled to hold a meeting at the Lincoln school because they wanted to use the auditorium to accommodate a crowd that was expected to be much larger than usual. Citizens wanted to sound-off about police conduct during recent protests.

A rally was scheduled to precede the meeting. About 3 p.m. it a rain downpour started (cue the British cliché about tall cow/flat rock) and we reassessed the need to fact check by attending the city council meeting. We assumed that Rev. Whatzizname from Sunday would question the need to attend the city council meeting and immediately concurred. So we heard reports on Tuesday night on KCBS news radio that the rain may have suppressed attendance at the meeting but that some citizens were taking advantage of the chance to express their criticism of the recent use of teargas for crowd control.

According to what we heard on KCBS, Mayor Tom Bates promised that the complaints wouldn’t be ignored. The Berkeley City council moved to devote a meeting in January to the problem. The precise political term for this legislative move is called: “Kicking the can down the road.”

On the pop culture beat, it is interesting to note that with all the criticism of white police officers, we have not yet heard the word “honky” used once. (Is using that word a hate crime?) This week the word “culture” was named the word of the year. Some wags use the word Berkland to designate the Berkeley/Oakland border area.

Students at Berkeley went home for the Christmas Holiday break and by Thursday, December 18, 2014, KCBS was reporting that a protest march in Oakland featured about fifty protesters.

Japanese Company, SONY, changed the game for Americans by capitulating to terrorists’ demands and invalidating the sacrifices that Americans have made to accommodate the new Homeland Security era. According to one comment we heard, SONY will be refunded all their production costs by an insurance company, and thus prove that it was worth the new danger level Americans will have to adopt because of their greed.

We heard an outrageous rumor that the bookshop/gift store at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory was going to offer T-shirts showing portraits of Pretty Boy Floyd, Clyde Barrow, and John Dillinger and the words “White Lives Matter.”

Nationally a great amount of attention was focused on the announcement this week that diplomatic relations would be restored between the USA and Cuba.

One of the minor effects of this bit of news is that suddenly a visit to Hemingway’s home near Havana had vaulted to the top of our bucketlist.

Perhaps we could visit Key West for Hemingway Days and then get a chance to take a short flight and scratch visiting Finca Vega off the bucketlist.

Didn’t Pan Am get started with a route from Miami to Havana? Won’t there be a new opportunity for a small airline to provide that same service next year?

Didn’t the CIA’s staff at the station assigned to monitor Cuba and the Cuban exiles in Miami move to Saigon in the mid Sixties?

For our closing quote, we’ll note that Hunter S. Thompson wrote: “I’d like to get hold of some priests’ robes. . . . They might come in handy in Las Vegas. But there were no costume stores open, and we weren’t up to burglarizing a church.” (Roger that, HST!)

Now the disk jockey will play Lenny Bruce’s “the Berkeley Concert” in its entirety, Stan Freberg’s “Green Christmas,” and Nathalie Cardone’s version of “Haste Siempre, Comandante” (AKA the Che Guevara song). We have to go reread Norman Mailer’s “Algiers Motel Incident.” Have a “buy the ticket; take the ride” type week.

 

December 16, 2014

Still Waiting on Justice’s Trap Door

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 1:00 pm

NamWelshhang

December 14, 2014

Diaspora: People all over the world are now on the move

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:53 pm

We are currently in a totally unique period in the history of the human race. Seven billion people inhabit the planet right now — and a good many of those are now on the move — bumping around our world like glittering particles in a snow globe, shaken not stirred.

Back in paleolithic times, humans migrated out of Africa to every habitable corner of the world, sure, and of course for many centuries after 1492 there were boatloads of Europeans migrating off to the New World — but this current worldwide migration is happening on steroids compared to what happened back then.

Now, instead of a few hundred Homo sapiens taking centuries to move from Point A to Point B or thousands of Europeans sailing off over a span of centuries, we now have hundreds of millions of human beings packing their bags and moving across oceans and continents within the span of mere decades — or even within a few days.

It used to be that people lived in small communities of around 150 inhabitants — and almost none of them traveled further than 20 miles from their homes in the course of their entire lives. But now you find massive and disruptive diasporas happening everywhere you look.

In Berkeley, California, for instance, I recently went to a neighborhood potluck dinner — and there were at least six different languages spoken there (not counting English) by people from all over the world.

Check this out:

The African diaspora: Not caused this time by a forced migration of slaves but by the forced migration of natural resources. For instance, hundreds of residents from other parts of Africa stream over the border into South Africa daily from even as far away as Congo and Sudan, looking for safety. What drives this huge diaspora? The looting of Africa’s diamonds and oil by huge corporations. http://business-humanrights.org/en/eritrean-refugees-file-claim-in-canada-against-nevsun-over-allegations-of-forced-labour-at-bisha-mine-eritrea

The Middle Eastern diaspora: These days, all of Europe is being flooded with people from Yemen, Iraq, Palestine, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, etc., mainly as a result of wars being started in their home countries by the American military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about. http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/48451-syrians-will-rebuild-aleppo.html

The new Israeli diaspora: Thousands of Israelis are now ending up in America (and Germany, Ukraine and Russia of all places too), desperately escaping from their so-called “land without people for a people without land”. http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/1.625058?v=01A73EFCBF9193D32E259E93F5A7766F

These displaced Israelis left because they resented being victims of the old bait-and-switch con game. They thought they were going off to live in a small safe haven on the peaceful shores of the Mediterranean — only to discover that their new country had been taken over by uber-fanatic settlers, hard-core neo-nazi military extremists and Likud’s dream of establishing a Netanyahu Caliphate from the Euphrates to the Nile. “Not what I signed up for,” these refugees lament.

The Latin American diaspora: Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador? Whole populations are now on the move from there — thanks to Reagan’s wars on Central America, Clinton’s NAFTA and the Bush-Obama “war on drugs”. And America’s support for the cruel junta now in power in Honduras has imitated a sad and tragic latter-day Children’s Crusade. http://www.cispes.org/blog/salvadorans-commemorate-25th-anniversary-jesuit-massacre/

The Asian diaspora: As a result of decades of American wars on Asia. In California alone we now have Little Cambodia, Little Vietnam, Little Laos and Little Seoul. I rest my case.

The Japanese diaspora: Fukushima happened and now suddenly all of Japan has become radioactive and folks there are constantly looking for a safe way out.

The Tibetan diaspora: When 1,200,000 of your closest friends and neighbors have been slaughtered by roving bands of Chinese Communist gangs, who could possibly blame you for thinking it might be time to move on to a safer ‘hood. http://www.namsebangdzo.com/Lord_of_the_Dance_p/11185.htm

Then there’s the Iranian and Russian diasporas — but those ones have been slowly drying up to a trickle as Russians and Iranians suddenly begin to realize there is no longer any better place to go. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/12/butchers-of-langley/

But one of the strangest international migrations these days is the migration of the members of ISIS. These blood-thirsty pirates are now deliberately migrating toward danger spots, not away from them. And in large numbers too. Why? Who the freak knows. Like horses that refuse to leave a burning barn? Or like psychopaths driven mad by being tortured and held in captivity for too long? Or, more than likely, like mercenaries being paid big bucks by America, Turkey and the Saudis to wreck havoc on places containing natural resources and oil. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2014/10/question-for-isis-whered-you-get-all.html

“But why exactly are there suddenly so many diaspora start-ups happening in this new 21st century? Why suddenly now?” you might ask.

Two reasons.

The first reason is that no matter where you go on earth today, the “haves” are busy stripping the “have-nots” of their treasures as fast as humanly possible — and so the “have-nots” are simply following the trail of their stolen treasures back to the lands of the “haves”.

The second reason can be explained in just one three-letter word: W-A-R. Brutal, heartless and unnecessary war. Neo-colonial wars for profit. Murderous wars based on shameless greed or racism or power. And the American military-industrial complex is clearly responsible for most of these wars, either overtly or covertly. http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/cruz-stop-blaming-bush-things

People all over the world are now running away from American war planes, American weapons, American “boots on the ground” and American drones. And, most recently, American paramilitary police. Sucks to be a powerless weaponless peon these days, right? http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/gov-tortured-killed-innocent-people-specific-purpose-producing-false-propaganda.html

“But what’s your point, Jane?”

I have several points to make. First, that the whole world has been agitated and shaken up — and like ants in an ant colony, people are running every which-way to get away from all the threats. Second, that all of this forced migration is not good — not good for children or any other living thing. Third: That, sadly, we Americans will also have to pay the price for all this destabilization someday soon too. And, fourth, that Americans should stop bitching about “illegal aliens” coming here following their treasures. If the American military-industrial complex hadn’t shaken our snow-globe, there wouldn’t be such a huge immigration problem in the first place.

PS: And then there’s always the ongoing diaspora to California. Sure, a few people do go off to live in the Red States — but who the freak wants to live in Mississippi when they can be living in San Francisco! And who would ever want to live in the frozen northern states under ten feet of climate-change-caused snow when the electricity goes off?

PPS: Now let’s talk about happiness — what most of these global refugees are pursuing. Happiness is a good thing, right? And what makes us happy? Kittens, puppies, money, new cars? Sex and love? Organic vegetables and Vitamin D? Friends?

Or is it war that makes us happy? With the American military-industrial complex’s incredibly strong record of starting and maintaining wars, one would think that, if war truly made us happy, Americans today would be the happiest people on earth! But we are not.

No matter how many “positive psychology” motivational speakers we worship or anti-depressants we take — or “wars” we start, Americans are just not all that happy. http://barbaraehrenreich.com/website/brightsided.htm. Take for instance all those nation-wide protests against Wall Street and police brutality. If Americans were really all that happy, would they be marching in the streets — for no matter what reason? And why aren’t all our homeless children and unemployed former members of our formerly-great middle class wearing smiles on their faces either?

PPPS: Economist Thomas Piketty states that, “The value of human capital is much higher than any other form of capital.” If this is true, then why is the American military-industrial complex happily engaged in killing off our most valuable and important form of capital both at home and abroad? That just doesn’t make sense.

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December 13, 2014

Mr. Torture

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 1:28 pm

NamCheney

December 12, 2014

Flashbacks in Berkeley

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: — Bob Patterson @ 1:33 pm

St. Ronald Reagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday December 9, 2014, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates canceled the regularly scheduled meeting of the Berkeley City Council. According to a city councilman, the Mayor did not have the power or authority to do that. The next night at a meeting of the Berkeley Police Review Commission the public comment segment produced a stream of assertions that on Saturday December 6, 2014, a demonstration protesting recent grand jury decisions elsewhere in the country, the Berkeley Police Department employed the unauthorized use of teargas and baton strikes for crowd control. The speakers noted that subsequent news coverage of the event was inaccurate.

One of the public comment speakers said that he had posted videos on Youtube of Saturday night’s confrontation using the handle “rancid diesel” and the titles smoke bomb 1 and smoke bomb 2.

An organization of journalists announced they were going to file a complaint about the way members of the press were treated while covering the Saturday night confrontation between protesters and police.

On Thursday December 12, in the evening, KCBS news radio reported that on the previous evening an undercover California Highway Patrol officer had drawn his gun and aimed it at a crowd of protesters. Was a modern Kent State incident narrowly avoided?

In Washington on Thursday, the legislative maneuvers that were used to pass a budget measure looked like political extortion.

Has Democracy in action in the United States disintegrated? Is the Republican Reich really what the voters wanted?

For one cynic, what the Berkeley Police Department did on Saturday night could be summarized by the glib question: “Wasn’t the Berkeley Police Department merely carrying out Mayor Dailey’s orders?”

The journalist who had his camera smashed by police this week might be tempted to think that he had experienced a flashback moment that revived the spirit of Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention.

Americans have traditionally been advised that if a catastrophe occurs, they should stand by and wait for the authorities to tell them what to do . . . and what to think.

As this tumultuous week in Berkeley came to an end, the situation might cause some nostalgic prone conservatives to recall the words of (then governor of California) St. Ronald Reagan who said: “If it takes a bloodbath to end this dissention on campus, let’s have it and be done with it.” About four weeks later, students were shot at Kent State and the era of student unrest came to a halt.

Christmas is rapidly approaching and if Santa Claus gets enough identical requests from conservative millionaires, perhaps St. Nick will accede to their requests and give them a Christmas present America will never forget.

It seems that Karl Rove’s wish for a Republican Reich will make his Christmas a happy and holy time this year.

Speaking of Christians, it seems that a new tactic for handling the homeless during a rain storm is to deny them permission to spend time in places like under the awnings of a movie theater. Many liberals seem to forget that in the famous Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ said: “Blessed are the fascists who kick the homeless f**kers out into the rain!”

Since today is National Believe Day, we will quote W. C. Fields: “A man’s gotta believe in something . . . and I believe . . . I’ll have another drink.”

To be continued . . .

 

 

 

December 8, 2014

One at a time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 3:53 pm

The Internet seems to be resisting the postings of protest photos, so we’ll go with one at at time

long shot car and window

This car was in a strange place (in front of a broken window) when the sun came up Monday.

More Photos from Berkeley Prostest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 3:46 pm

 

So “they” don’t want you to see photos of protests, eh?

Adeline at night

 

Another photo (we hope)

Protest in Berkeley CA

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: — Bob Patterson @ 3:34 pm

best of smiley face

 

The plan to start the Sunday evening protest in Berkeley at UCB at 5 p.m., was disrupted by a memorial candle light vigil service for a recently deceased student. The Ferguson protesters respectfully changed their plans for starting their event in the same place at the same time.

 

The marchers grew impatient and the march started off down Telegraph Ave about 5:30 p.m.

 

In downtown Berkely (at approximately 7 p.m.) the marchers pauses for some speeches.

 

This columnist couldn’t keep up with the young marchers and journalists, so we went home.

 

About 12:30 a.m. early Monday morning we heard helicopters near the location of the Berkeley Bowl. We got up, grabbed our Nikon Coolpix and went to see what was happening.

 

The protesters were walking down Shattock in silenece.

 

We encountered the owner of the Roxy Deli keeping guard on his business.

trash bin fire

We spotted a buring trash bin and noted that a photographer from the UCB student newspaper, the Daily Cal (Californian) and a photographer from Reuters were on hand to record the event for posterity.

 

A fellow in a van yelled to the Roxy owner and this columnist: “I can’t breathe, I’m laughing at the Police.”

 

A young person relayed the rumor that if there is another protest on Monday, the National Guard will be called out. We have to fact check that allegation.

 

We did note that we had raw material for writing yet another column outlining how a major news event is too unwieldy for citizen journalists to cover without backup.

 

We have a smorgasbord of topics for use in future columns.

 

Our late night photo safari produced images of a burning trash bin and some broken windows.

 

Early on Monday morning, we took additional photos to document the riot damage.

 

We noted that a car had been parked adjacent to a broken window.

 

Apparently our plan to take an extended hiatus from column writing was another example of a “victim” of the Berkeley response to some unpopular recent grand jury decisions outside California

 

Grateful that I’m not a wealthy widow in Chicago (and not a Ukrainian or Syrian either)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:31 pm

Author’s note: I haven’t had much to be grateful for this past Thanksgiving because I spent that time recovering from an operation that involved re-breaking my arm, realigning the bones in my left hand and having nine pins, a bone graft and a titanium plate installed. Ouch! So now I’m all busy trying to make up for lost time and dreaming up things to be thankful for. Here are a couple of items I’ve come up with (besides my wonderful family of course).

To paraphrase that song by Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being old.” There just aren’t that many perks involved. Your teeth fall out. Your joints freeze up. Say goodbye to your sex life, no matter what they claim about Viagra. Plus no one ever invites you to parties any more and you can no longer Twerk.

However, having enough money to make yourself comfortable in your old age can surely help alleviate all those various aches and pains associated with old age — unless of course you are an elderly widow living in Chicago and have 100K or more in your savings account. Because if that is you, then getting old is really really gonna to suck eggs.

“But, Jane,” you might ask, “why is that?” Let me tell you.

You’ve heard of ambulance-chasing lawyers before, right? Well, in Chicago they also have rich-widow-chasing lawyers. These heartless scoundrels actually go out and scour through various tax and real estate records until they find clues to locating financially-solvent yet vulnerable senior citizens, preferably rich widows. And then they move in for the kill.

The first thing they do is have their target victims declared incompetent — which is not all that hard to do when you have Chicago’s probate courts helping you out. Then they get themselves appointed Guardian ad Litems for these vulnerable wealthy elders. And then the fun part begins.

“First they pop these poor souls into rest homes where they are warehoused, starved, fed tranquilizers and ignored,” said one family member whose mother had been victimized in Chicago. “Then they sell their victim’s home, empty her bank accounts and pocket the profits — calling all these ill-begotten gains their ‘fees’ for services rendered. And then, when the victim has no more money left, they then throw her unceremoniously out of the rest home and onto the cold streets of Chicago — that is, if she is still alive.”

But there is hope. Some relatives of the victims and other conscientious local attorneys are starting to fight back. For instance, Joanne Denison, an honest Chicago attorney with a conscience, stumbled onto this racket about three years ago by accident and tried to do something to stop these malfesiants. “So what did she do?” you might ask. Denison started a blog. That’s all she did. She started a blog to try to expose some of these worst practices and blow the whistle on said legal vultures.

According to Denison’s blog, “40% of all psychotropic drugs are sold to nursing homes as illegal chemical restraints, and no one ever seems to do anything about it, even though they are deadly dangerous to most elders and the FDA says they are contra-indicated or not recommended for those under 20 or over 60.”

“So what happened to attorney Denison as a result?” you might ask next. What do you think happened to her? This is Chicago — not Utopia. Her attorney’s license has just been suspended for three years. http://marygsykes.com/2014/11/22/three-years-yeah-i-am-proud-to-annouce-that-the-ardc-says-i-am-suspended-for-3-years/

Now we all know that Rush Limbaugh and Fox News can tell any lie that they want over public airwaves and/or on the internet and get away with it, right? But if you ever dare to tell the truth and expose corruption in Chicago, you had better watch out.

And if you are a wealthy widow in Chicago, you had better really watch out!

So during this week after Thanksgiving I’m gonna be super-grateful for a lot of things — and one of those things is going to be that I’m not a widow, am not wealthy and don’t live in Chicago!

“What else are you going to be grateful for?” might be your next question.

“That I don’t live in Ukraine or Syria or any other foreign country that the US or NATO or BIBI has its eyes on.” If there’s just one take-away that I’ve learned after enduring all this pain in my left arm, it’s that injuries to our bodies can really really hurt, really hurt a lot. And that a human body will probably hurt even a hecka lot more if you are hit by a NATO smart-bomb in Ukraine or if an American-made cruise missile lands on you in Gaza or if you get gang-raped by American-funded ISIS in Syria — and have no pain-killers or hospitals or doctors to help you out like I did.

Do I think that the rich widows of Chicago have it bad? Yeah. But this sad injustice is almost minimal compared to having the vultures of Wall Street and War Street eying your assets and trying to steal them by torturing, raping and blowing up yourself and your kids.

At least the rich widows of Chicago don’t have to worry about getting hit with NATO smart bombs or having their heads chopped off! http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-rethinking-the-cost-of-western-intervention-in-ukraine/2014/11/25/b92f8496-741a-11e4-9c9f-a37e29e80cd5_story.html

PS: Not really sure why I’m worried about getting old. It’s probably not gonna happen to any of us anyway — at least not while the deep-state neo-cons who now control America, Israel and NATO are all so bound and determined to try to pick a fight with Russia, China and Iran (one that they truly can’t win). http://fortruss.blogspot.it/2014/11/grandmaster-putins-golden-trap.html.

And if all this current saber-rattling foolishness doesn’t kill us all off in a mass wave of war-induced grim reaping, then don’t forget that climate-change-run-a-muck will be sending us off to the happy hunting ground soon too. http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2014/08/watch-book-trailer-changes-everything-capitalism-vs-climate

Have the oligarchs of DC and NATO and BIBI totally lost their minds — or do they just have a death wish for peons like you and me? Either way, these malfesiants now hold all the power and the rest of us are all screwed. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/war-in-ukraine-a-result-of-misunderstandings-between-europe-and-russia-a-1004706.html

But here is the good news.

Perhaps facing WW III and/or the coming climate apocalypse might end up being a good thing. “But how?” Because now we’re all going to have an air-tight excuse to run down to the mall, max out our credit cards and buy all kinds of new gear to wear to the show. https://hughw.net/h2o/texas-water-well-level-movie.html How’s that for positive thinking!

And here’s another positive thought. Extinction of the entire human race will surely mean that we won’t have to worry about who is gonna pay for our funeral — because there will be no one left alive to attend it! Sorry, guys, but there won’t be any “handsome corpses” on display at the local funeral chapel any more. Rats. I was really looking forward to that.

PPS: I am so freaking bored from sitting around doing nothing while waiting for my arm to heal that I actually checked Thomas Piketty’s new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” out from the library. If I’m going to be bored, I might as well be really bored. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/sep/21/-sp-thomas-piketty-bestseller-why

“The main driver of inequality today [which appears to be wanky pseudo-capitalism run amuck] threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values,” sez the dust jacket. Just one more reason why I won’t have to worry about paying for my own funeral — I won’t be able to afford it. And neither will you.

“But if you’re so bored, then why don’t you just go see the film ‘Interstellar’ instead,” suggested one of my kids. Good idea. Now I can go watch our planet die on the big screen instead of having to wait to watch it die in real life.

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The Attempt to Hide Our National Disgrace

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 12:38 pm

cool-cartoon-8253790

December 5, 2014

All Choked Up

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 7:55 pm

namchoke

December 4, 2014

Epic Rhetorical FAIL

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 2:32 pm

cool-cartoon-8237902

November 30, 2014

Ye Old Scribe Answers “What the %$#@! Went Wrong in 2014?”

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 6:02 pm

Mothra2
Dem operatives are out in force trying to do what ReThugs did in 2012: claim what went wrong. Of course they didn’t follow any of their advice so Republicans had a big loss and are headed for extinction: on another planet, in an alternate universe that doesn’t exist.

Nah, just said, “Screw that,” and doubled down.

Dem operatives are puzzled. After all the warnings, what went wrong.

Perhaps not dire enough?

After all, why E-mail Dems with a subject line like, “Absolute meltdown,” when, “Careful, Mothra working for Republicans is coming and will burn you alive if you vote” is so much more colorful? (more…)

November 26, 2014

Does this week remind you of the Sixties?

Filed under: Commentary — Bob Patterson @ 1:28 pm

crop of Ya gotta be kidding

Walking into the men’s room on the ground floor of Wheeler Hall and meeting some UCB co-ed protesters who were urging gender neutral restrooms was not on our “to do” list for Friday, November 21, 2014, but since that happened less than 24 hours after we decided to write a Thanksgiving column listing our memorable moments fighting the never ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, we were glad to have something new and unusual to add to the list.

However, we quickly realized that since gender neutral restrooms might be a new and unfamiliar topic, we might want to write an entire column on this new and controversial issue, instead.

The day before when we were fact finding the new series of student protests trying to convince the board of regents to roll back the latest tuition price increase, we realized that since one of the protesters didn’t know what Prop 13 was and why it had started California on a course that produced the controversial increase, we might want to write a column that outlines the history of the events that resulted from the passage of Prop 13 and the unpopular consequences that measure delivered.

With the student unrest, the reaction to the Ferguson decision, and the ISIS problem, maybe we could bang out a column under the headline: “Are the Sixties really over?”

Unfortunately our attempts to take, edit, and post some photos of the new protest at the University of California campus in Berkeley revealed that the computer used at the World’s Laziest Journalist New Organization, was malfunctioning and disrupting our plans.

That, in turn, caused us to re-evaluate the need to do all the necessary work involved as well as to subsidize our expenditures in the long process of posting weekly columns for (as best as we can recall) continuously for a decade and a half.

If we can not do our photo editing duties at home, we would have to do all that work somewhere else. Should we do a feature column answering the question “Where did all the Internet Cafés go?”

Then we asked ourself: Why should we do all that work and underwrite all the costs?

The idea that providing online content would ultimate produces fun, fame, and fortune was a bit of a miscalculation. If we wrote a column that listed the highlights it would be obvious that we did have a great deal of fun but the bottom line for a freelance Liberal pundit is very anemic.

We’ve been warning folks for years that JEB will be the star in the Bush Dynasty restoration saga. There’s not much we can do to change the inevitability factor for this prediction so perhaps we should permit ourself to take a sabbatical leave during the same time that Congress diddles around with their lame duck session until the new Congress is sworn in so they can lay the preliminary groundwork for JEB’s inauguration by impeaching President Obama.

On the night of November 24, 2014 to Tuesday, November 25, 2014, we ignored an opportunity to go to Oakland and observe first hand the local reaction to the Grand Jury’s decision in the Ferguson police shooting case.

Approximately forty years ago we covered the Venice Canal riot and in the time since we did that, our infinite supply of energy and enthusiasm has mysteriously diminished considerably.

Four decades ago, we were very much motivated to help the Marina (del Rey) Tenants Association in their battle against the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors who had tuned a unique situation (private real estate development on county owned land) into an endless supply of campaign contributions for the board members. Now the San Francisco Board of Supervisors seem determined to duplicate the unique Marina del Rey setup by sanctioning private real estate development projects on the county owned land where Candlestick Park used to be located.

Our columns about this potentially dangerous possibility get no notice or response so we have to ask: “Why bother?”

Perhaps a mid-semester sabbatical vacation could revive and regenerate our levels of energy and enthusiasm. We could come back when the new Congress is sworn-in in January of 2015 and be the usual happy-go-lucky columnist we have always been.

In the meantime, we could rest or work on some other writing projects such as revising and polishing a effort to write our autobiography.

Recently we have been reading Carlo Gebler’s 1988 book “Driving through Cuba.” Since the book concerns the writer’s quest to locate a rare Cadillac Eldorado convertible on the island which, before the revolution, “imported more Cadillacs than any other country,” we wonder if there might be a window of opportunity for the World’s Laziest Journalist to go there and update car fans on how things are in Cuba.

Perhaps we could use some down time to find a sponsor to help defray the costs of an attempt to update the latest aspects involved in a visit to the time capsule car fan’s Valhalla. We could start by asking the management at Frank Nicodemus’ Castle Cadillac Restorations about a sponsorship deal because “it never hurts to ask.”

If we get to Cuba, it seems likely that we could work in a visit to Finca Vega (Cuba’s version of Owl Farm) and scratch a tour of Hemingway’s home, off our Bucket List. What was the name of Hemingway’s favorite bar in Havana? (The Floridita?)

We reserve the right to impulsively reverse our decision to take a sabbatical break should we see an unexpected need for our talent to observe, analyze, and comment on various current events topics.

We always try to put some unique facts into each column and we have been meaning to casually mention that we have been searching the Internets for the source of the car racing use of the expression “the pits” to designate the place where mechanics work on the cars during the race.

In the 1971 Ballantine Books editon of “Alfa Romeo,” written by Peter Hull, readers learn on page 59 that the old course for the Lyone-Givors race included a portion where trenches were dug at the side of the road. Peter Hull notes that the holes “were sunk into the border of the road thus showing the origin of the term.”

[Note from the Photo Editor, since a photo that has nothing directly to do with the contents of a column will lure extra readers into the column, we will use one of our favorites from the past to accompany this week’s posting from the World’s Laziest Journalist.]

Speaking of car races, we saw a documentary film on the life of actor Steve McQueen and in the later stages of his career he provided us with the closing quote for this column when he said: “I’m getting to old for this s**t!”

Now the disk jockey will play Dooley Wilson’s “As Time Goes By,” the soundtrack album for “Revel without a Cause,” and the latest addition to our list of favorite songs, Nathalie Cardone’s “Hasta Siempre, Commandante” (AKA the Che Guevara song). We have to go check costs for winter excursions to New Zealand (where summer is just beginning.) Have a “the more things change . . . ” type holiday season.

 

November 24, 2014

Immigration problem solved: Israelis got dual citizenship so why not Mexicans?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:51 pm

Currently Republicans have their knickers all in a twist with regard to illegal immigration from Mexico, right? Well, I have the answer to that one. Let’s just grant dual citizenship to Mexicans. Then Mexicans in this country will no longer be illegal! Problem solved.

“But, Jane,” you might say, “if we do that, America will become overwhelmed and we will lose control of our country.” Yeah. That indeed could happen. Just look what happened when we granted dual citizenship to Israelis. They took over America quick as a wink. You might have a point there.

In 1967, Israeli leaders unilaterally gave the order to attack and destroy the USS Liberty — and our American leaders went along with that http://consortiumnews.com/2014/11/12/behind-the-uss-liberty-cover-up/. At least Mexico has never attacked a US warship. There’s that in Mexico’s favor, right?

Almost no member of Congress and President of the United States has ever been elected in the last several decades without the backing of the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Imagine if Mexicans had their own AMPAC! Yikes. http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/us-media-erase-israeli-state-and-settler-violence

Israel put pressure on America to make the decision to go to war with Iraq — and we Americans are still paying for that mistake. And let’s also take a look at the Project for a New American Century, America’s current guidebook on how to screw up the Middle East. At least half the people who wrote that damning document possessed dual citizenship with Israel. And who benefited from all its resulting endless and bloody wars? It wasn’t us Americans, no no no. http://socialistworker.org/2014/11/19/israel-tightens-the-noose

“But Jane, undocumented Mexicans are taking our jobs!” Yeah well. But dual-citizen Israelis are also taking our jobs too. And our tax money. And our weapons industry. And our government positions. And our real estate agents too. Re-Max is now advertizing the sale of condos in the Occupied West Bank. But if we gave dual-citizenship to Mexico too, then Re-Max could be selling condos in Occupied Juarez as well! I’d buy one. Would you? http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/republicans-accuse-obama-of-treating-immigrants-like-humans?intcid=mod-most-popular

“But what about terrorists?” you might ask next. You’re right again. That too could be a problem. But it is also coming to light already that dual-citizen Israelis have been supporting the ISIS terrorist organization behind our backs all along. And they still support ISIS. http://news.antiwar.com/2014/11/17/mossad-backed-jundallah-pledges-support-for-isil/

So if Mexicans also had dual citizenship, then their ISIS-like drug lords might come with that package-deal too, which would not be a good thing. But surely an occasional drug-lord beheading south of the border can’t be as bad as the daily beheadings by ISIS, which are sponsored by the dual citizens of Mossad. http://www.globalresearch.ca/israeli-military-support-to-syria-al-qaeda-terrorists-operating-out-of-the-golan-hights/5369619

And then there are all those mass graves that have been recently discovered in Mexico. According to an article in “The Nation” with the hilarious title of “This Mass Grave isn’t the Mass Grave you have been looking for,” journalist Greg Grandin states, “There were at least 26,000 disappearances and 83,000 homicides” in Mexico. http://www.thenation.com/blog/190721/mass-grave-isnt-mass-grave-you-have-been-looking

109,000 dead in Mexico? That’s a mere drop in the bucket in relation to population percentages when compared to the number of Palestinians that have been butchered and/or “ethnically cleansed” by Israelis in the past 60-odd years — almost 80% of all Palestinians. http://www.democracynow.org/2014/11/19/palestinians_always_live_in_fear_jerusalem.

Mexican drug lords are almost puny when compared with Israeli warlords — who really think big. http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ref-nakba.html

2,133 Palestinians were murdered in Gaza just this past summer alone. 750,000 Palestinians were either murdered or driven off their land back in 1948. At least 33 known mass grave sites of dead Palestinians have been found and there many more mass grave sites that are as yet unknown. Along with the American Indian holocaust, the German/Polish/French Jewish holocaust, various African holocausts over the centuries and the Holocaust in Tibet, this Palestinian holocaust is one of the largest and most tragic in history (so far).

What has happened and is still happening in Palestine is very much like that nightmarish WW II ethnic cleansing of Germany, France and Poland. And, like that earlier tragic time also, we hardly ever hear anything about this ethnic cleansing in the media either except from a few alarmists like me. All we ever hear about here in America is when a few Palestinians struggle to fight back to protect their families and land — and then they are instantly labeled “terrorists”. How come Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and Tibetans in Lhasa weren’t labeled “terrorists” too.

And how come no one in America ever hears about the Israeli Caliphate or the Israeli State in the Levant (ISIL) — like we constantly do about its nightmarish ISIS blowback.

All in all, I think that giving dual citizenship to Mexicans is a great idea. Just look how well it turned out when we gave dual citizenship to Israelis!

Wailing wall - Copy

Same Old, Same Old

Filed under: Toon — Ye Olde Scribe @ 1:06 pm

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