BartBlog

May 20, 2016

The 2016 BookExpo: Reading & eating pizza in Chicago

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:58 am

Ever been to Chicago? Why would you even want to go there? For the pizza! And the books. The 2016 BookExpo America was just held in Chicago. You walk into the huge McCormick Place exhibition hall and right before your very eyes there are hundreds of booksellers, all wanting you to look at their stuff — or to meet their authors. Or, better yet, wanting to give you a free book!

But by now I’m wise to the tricky ways of book conventions. When I first started attending them, I used to bring home all kinds of free books. Now I only bring home the ones that I know I will read — such as my advance-review autographed copy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s “Writings on the Wall”. I can hardly wait to dive into that one. Plus I actually got to meet him.

Then I met the authors of “The Heart of the Fight,” a book that tells us that having marital battles can actually help a relationship instead of hurting it, but only if you know how to fight correctly. Gotta read that. Not that I’m married or nothing — but I know lots of people who are. http://www.heartofthefight.com/

Also, after reading this book, I realized that the rules of fighting fair and square (and with effective results) can also be applied to fights between nations — or between neo-colonial invaders and the countries they invade. To judge them by this book, American neo-colonialists blow things up and murder people and destroy the planet because they aren’t getting what they need in their lives and can’t “break free from their limiting beliefs and behaviors,” ones that involve taking the entire human race down with them. http://chasfreeman.net/americas-continuing-misadventures-in-the-middle-east/

I also stayed at the South Loop Hotel, located in an area formerly known as Chicago’s South Side. All those housing projects are gone now. Gone. Leaving nothing but new yuppie condos and vacant lots. And DeMichael’s Market, where I subsisted on its corned beef sandwiches and Traders Point yogurt (when I wasn’t out actively searching for pizza). https://www.facebook.com/DeMichaelsMarket/

I also met authors Terry McMillan, Sebastian Junger, Colson Whitehead, Jennifer Chiaverini, Faith Salie and I forget who all else. And man whose wife wrote a children’s book gave me a ride to the convention center and a copy of “Gertrude and Toby’s Friday Adventure”. Your kid will love it. https://www.amazon.com/Gertrude-Tobys-Friday-Adventure-Shari-ebook/dp/B01BL1ABTQ?ie=UTF8&qid=1463434127&ref_=la_B019PZP1YA_1_2&s=books&sr=1-2

But now let’s talk about pizza. Connie’s Pizza was just so freaking good! http://www.conniespizza.com/ And I even found a restaurant that served gluten-free pizza. I ate the whole thing. https://giordanos.com/ I shoulda ate more pizza in Chicago. I shoulda read more books. But I got distracted by a wild party in Bronzeville and just barely missed getting arrested. But if I had gotten arrested, then I could have reported back on whether they served good pizza in jail.

PS: On my way up to see Navy Pier, the #29 bus drove right past Trump Tower. Which got me to thinking about what it would be like to have “The Donald” as president. He’s bad — but “The Hillary” would be far, far worse. Trump talks the talk about being down on Muslims, but Clinton actually goes out and kills them. Can America afford another Libya? No, no, no and no. Vote for Bernie. https://consortiumnews.com/2016/04/16/yes-hillary-clinton-is-a-neocon/

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May 7, 2016

Aleppo hospital bombing: Lies, lies & more lies from US/al Qaeda

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:42 pm

Just how many god-damned lies can the American public listen to before they finally start screaming “Enough!” Apparently a lot. Apparently Americans possess a bottomless capacity to both absorb lies and be lied to. Apparently the American public has no trouble at all believing all kinds of clearly-phony propaganda touts and “pants on fire” types of lies — they’re even better at believing propaganda than the “Good Germans” were before World War II. Disgusting.

What would Jesus do if He were alive today and being lied to like this? He’d move to Canada! Trust me, I am just waiting for global warming to heat Canada up a few more degrees and then I’ll be moving there too! Or else to Vermont. They don’t seem to be quite as gullible in Canada and Vermont.

So. Exactly which lies set me off this time? The ones about Syria. There are currently even more lies than usual about Syria on America’s mainstream media right now. “But what is the real truth?” you might ask. Let’s find out.

Between all the eye-witness accounts now available on the internet and FaceBook and Twitter, there is absolutely no excuse for the American public to be misinformed. For instance, here is the true 411 from a Syrian friend of mine about a hospital in Aleppo that just got french-fried by al Qaeda missiles — a vicious bombing that is currently being blamed by the mainstream media on Syrians, President Assad and the Russians. Huh?

I thought that Americans were spozed to not like al Qaeda. Why is the MSM now taking their side?

Journalist Vanessa Beeley recently asked a doctor in West Aleppo to confirm that a hospital there, that the MSM is accusing Assad of bombing, does actually exist. And, if it actually does exist, was it bombed by al Qaeda and then blamed on Assad by the MSM? The doctor’s response? “This hospital [Al Quds] did not exist before the war started. It must have been installed in a building [by al Qaeda] after the war began.” Further, the doctor didn’t know anyone who could confirm that the hospital being blown up in a MSM news video was even this mysterious Al Quds. The video really looks photo-shopped to me. https://mobile.twitter.com/i/status/726503070809497600

But then my Syrian friend clarified the situation even further. Here are some of his quotes:

“I know this doctor personally because I am his patient. He’s a very good physician and I trust him. And I too think that what he said is correct. This ‘hospital’ could be just a normal building that had been turned into a clinic to cure the ‘moderate rebel’ terrorists since 2012. No one knows of it or heard of it before.” Figures. http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/05/about-bias-and-propaganda-on-syria/#more-62556

“My brother said that this particular building had been hit by a US missile, as a false flag to blame the Syrian Arab Army for doing so.” And that’s the exact same type of lie we’ve been told here in America since “Remember the Maine” in 1898 and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in 2003 were forced down our throats.

“On the other hand,” says my friend, “The MSM hasn’t shown anything about the other hospitals that were hit by America’s beloved al Qaeda terrorists within the last week. They didn’t show the hundreds of injured people, the dozens who have been killed daily, the 500-year-old mosque and Christian orthodox church that had been shelled by terrorist mortars while people were praying Friday prayers in the first, and celebrating the Good Friday in the next one. It had been hit on Sunday while celebrating Easter.”

Of course Americans are never told anything about this.

“Many residential buildings in Aleppo have been destroyed by new types of mortars and rockets that are much more powerful than the old ones.” Yeah and where exactly did al Qaeda even get all these new mortars and rockets? Manufactured them in their tents out in the desert, did they? Not.

“Buildings in Aleppo have been collapsed on the heads of their inhabitants. One kid lost all of his family members. There are plenty of stories, really, of al Qaeda bombings. But the American MSM is lying, blaming all this carnage on Assad and the SAA.

And now the MSM is even showing videos of children who are supposed to be the kids of so-called freedom fighters. “They are supposed to be terrorists’ own kids, in order to gain our sympathy for these zombie terrorist ‘rebels’ — allegedly now ‘freedom fighters’ who are only protecting their families and not the real al Qaeda terrorists that they are. One of the little girls shown was named ‘Helen’. What kind of Syrian name is that! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjHzJEZ0Phg

“It would be like showing one of Osama bin Ladin’s sweet little girls and then claiming that bin Ladin is a freedom fighter based solely on his having fathered this child. All this lying is just about going to give me a stroke or a heart attack!”

Me too!

“Pregnant women and newborn babies had been killed in the obstetric hospital of Dabbeet in Aleppo, after been hit by terrorist mortars. Ar-Razi hospital had been hit with terrorist mortars and it caught on fire in some of its sections, and this is one of the few free hospitals left in Aleppo. Another private hospital had been hit in the New Aleppo sector of the city. But do Americans ever see them on TV?” Not that I’ve noticed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIfjOqywE7A

According to my Syrian friend, these hospitals have all been hit by al Qaeda “moderate rebels” — with mortars supplied to al Qaeda by the House of Saud, America, Turkey and Israel. Are we proud of our country yet? “O say does that star-spangled banner” now wave…over al Qaeda? It sure does.

I thought we Americans were spozed to hate al Qaeda. Apparently not.

“In the Midan neighborhood, it originally had Armenian residents but because of the crisis and refugees and immigrating, today it’s a mixed place for mostly poor people. It too has been hit so badly in the last week by al Qaeda.” Moderate rebels indeed. Anybody with any sense will know that it’s still all about oil, same as it was in Iraq and Libya.

In his must-read book “Overthrow,” Steven Kinzer states that America had armed and trained ten thousand (10,000) fundamentalist al Qaeda terrorists in the run-up to 9-11. And apparently a lot of them are still around. http://www.amazon.com/Overthrow-Americas-Century-Regime-Change/dp/0805082409 But I digress.

“I don’t know what to say,” continues my Syrian friend. “My wishful thinking is telling me that Russia, the SAA, Hezbollah and others will not let Aleppo to fall into the hands of these barbarians and whoever is supporting them. Syria’s defenders were doing so well before the ceasefire. The ceasefire agreement gave the al Qaeda terrorists better weapons and a rest to catch up and attack the way we are witnessing today.” Clearly, al Qaeda’s supporters have got their lies in a row.

“Al Qaeda is shelling civilians, sometimes randomly and sometimes deliberately — as when they targeted hospitals just today with new heavy and big rockets, and they also now have snipers with special exploding bullets, the kind which are used by the Israelis against Palestinians. Once these bullets enter a human body, they explode into many tiny shrapnel pieces in order to make as much damage as possible. These snipers have a very long range as well.” Sucks to be a Syrian these days.

“The media is not showing any of that, but instead are twisting all the realities and showing them the other way around, or else they might show only when the SAA is shooting back against deliberate provocation — as if the SAA was violating the ceasefire, not al Qaeda.” Why does the MSM do this? It must be threatened, bribed or bought out.

“But what is the difference between al Qaeda, al Nusra and ISIS?” I asked.

“They are all the same. It’s a full package of war on all levels: Fierce conflict on the ground; MSM polishing the terrorists’ image and showing them as ‘Freedom fighters’; lack of water and good supplies; expensive prices of everything for the poor people; more people to suffer, injured, killed, losing their homes, becoming refugees…etc.”

And this ugly truth is simply not getting out to Americans via the MSM, with their millions of viewers who now actually believe that al Qaeda is a good guy. But try telling that to the families of 9-11 victims and see what they say.

How can I deal with the knowledge that my own government willingly bombs hospitals — and then lies about it? I can’t.

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PS: Yahoo News just posted a completely mendacious article stating that President Assad is using sarin gas (again). It was a lie the first time — and it’s a lie now. http://www.newsweek.com/assad-uses-poison-gas-again-what-obama-going-do-455631?rx=us

May 3, 2016

ISIS: Is the word “assassin” derived from “hashish”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 8:19 pm

Here’s a link to a trailer for the new Edward Snowden film by Oliver Stone. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/snowden-trailer-joseph-gordon-levitt_us_5720d5f0e4b0f309baef4dc0 It shows American drones assassinating a bunch of folks in foreign lands.

And here’s what Seymour Hersch has to say about that: “What [reps of the American military-industrial complex] do now is [they] do targeted assassinations. Earlier, I think [they] just moved [perspective targets] out of office or did operations, political operations. But now it’s really just, [they] hit people. There’s a weekly meeting in which they go through names of people to target, assassinate, including, in some cases, an American, without any due process. It’s been a wonderful movement. I don’t mean to be too sarcastic about it, but [Obama] ended up in the same place far too many times, as Bush and Cheney [did]. https://newcoldwar.org/horrified-seymour-hersh-reacts-obamas-plan-send-250-u-s-special-ops-troops-syria/

But the most bizarre assassinations of all are being executed in Syria right now by drugged ISIS assassins (aka “moderate rebels”). How yucky is that!

Here’s the story. A Saudi prince was arrested in Lebanon for having an airplane full of two (2) tons of Captagon, a designer-drug amphetamine that turns regular run-of-the-mill sadistic ISIS guys into truly insane butchers. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34700489

Back in the day, assassinations in the Middle East were associated with the use of hashish — that the assassins would get all hopped up on hash and then go slit someone’s throat. But apparently hashish is being given a bum rap here, and assassins back in the 13th century were just bad people employed by a guy named Hassan-i-Sabah to kill all his rivals — and that the assassins’ alleged connection with hashish had been invented and glorified by a pulp-fiction writer in Paris in 1809 — or something like that.

But there are currently actual evil assassins in the Middle East today. And they are all employed by the American military-industrial complex, their close allies Turkey and the House of Saud, and of course our old favorite for stirring up trouble over there, Israeli neo-colonialists. And apparently these assassins are being hopped up on Captagon in order to keep the heads rolling. http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/04/25/syria-aleppo-is-burning-and-western-media-is-silent/

So what’s the moral of this story? That America’s foreign policy is truly medieval. http://freepalestinemovement.org/2016/04/30/tears-on-capital-hill-and-amenas-stuffed-animal-stampede-for-palestinian-children/

PS: And speaking of death, I just scored a role in yet another student film, playing yet another dying little old lady. Good grief, when I actually do get ready to die, I will have already had dozens of rehearsals — and will be able to pull it off with amazing flash and charm.

PPS: And speaking of assassinations, American democracy appears to be getting systematically assassinated by Wall Street and War Street. The Arizona primary was a crime and the New York primary was a cruel joke (on us). https://34justice.com/2016/04/22/the-new-york-primary-was-a-shtshow-heres-why/

Younger Americans, Black Americans, working-class Americans and first-generation Americans are having their names systematically assassinated from voter-registration rolls all over America right now. And this stealthy and criminal behavior has been going on for years. And the only people who object to it are the people who can no longer vote. Of course.

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April 27, 2016

The IRS: Why it’s screwing America’s bottom 15%

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:28 pm

The Berkeley-Albany Bar Association has done it again! BABA just scored yet another resounding triumph at its latest luncheon meeting at the Berkeley City Club, where it featured a speaker who told us lots of important stuff that we didn’t already know.

The Berkeley City Club is an architectural work of art, both inside and out. Designed by Julia Morgan in 1927, it features Moorish/Gothic architecture, carved wooden banisters, exotic chandeliers and fabulous Persian rugs. Gotta love the place — even though its culinary specialty appears to be rubber chicken. I always take my granddaughter, baby Sofia, with me to BABA luncheons so that she can learn to appreciate true beauty at a young age, be instructed in the correct use of silverware and hear top-notch speakers as well (and also because I can’t afford a baby sitter).

Anyway, last month’s luncheon speaker talked about the latest changes taking place at the IRS. Apparently the IRS’s budget was cut by 15% last year. “That explains why I couldn’t get anyone on the phone there to answer my tax questions,” I commented to the attorney sitting next to me. “The phone would ring and ring, but nobody would answer.” Nobody was home at the IRS!

And the attorney sitting next to me replied, “Yes, and this fact also explains why the IRS is spending so much time auditing the bottom 15% of American taxpayers right now — because they know that the bottom 15% can’t afford to hire high-priced tax attorneys to fight their cases for them like the wealthy corporations can, and the IRS no longer has extra money to spend on hiring a bunch of tax attorneys to defend its actions. And so the bottom 15% of American taxpayers are now sitting ducks.” Oh. Good to know.

PS: I sincerely hope that the IRS doesn’t audit me! Have you ever tried to represent your own self in court, in propria persona, without an attorney? It is totally not fun! Plus the chances are really, really good that you will get completely steam-rollered over in court, even if you are right and the opposing party is wrong — to say nothing about not being able to afford court fees.

Sometimes what goes on in American courtrooms is less about justice and more about who can afford to hire the best judicial procedure. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2015/04/probating-family-feud-authors-note-this.html

But on the other hand, sometimes you actually do get assigned to a good judge who is fair in his role as “Trier of Fact” — and that makes your faith in the American judicial system bloom like a rose. http://www.eastbaytimes.com/news/ci_13629661

PPS: Speaking of injustice, I’ll be going to Chicago on May 11, home of the most outrageously unjust probate system in the entire United States. In Chicago, screwing widows and orphans has been elevated to a fine art! https://marygsykes.com/2016/04/13/from-ken-ditkowsky-time-to-do-something-about-the-ardc-protecting-felonious-lawyers/

And also while in Chicago, I plan to attend the annual BookExpo America, always big fun. Perhaps I will see you there. http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/Home/

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April 17, 2016

Columnist Touts Columnists

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 1:15 pm

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Bob Patterson as told to the intern.

Interesting lives are the raw product sought by writers. Living well is not only the best revenge, it is a great way to gather material.

Every year The World’s Laziest Journalist has made an effort to note and celebrate National Columnists Day.  This year the summer intern has made the annual event an opportunity for soul searching and self-realization because the intern has led a remarkably interesting life and is disappointed that the chances to tell the intern’s story are evaporating rapidly.

Since a great many books have been published about the literary heritage and history of San Francisco it would seem that someone who was an early anti-war protester, involved with the Diggers and the Family Dog and whose story is from the adolescent coming of age viewpoint  rather than the adults who led the younger generation into the beat subculture through works such as “On the Road”.

Hippies were beatnik wannabes and too young to have participated in the beat scene. They went wild and formed the basis of the Hippie fad much to the delight of the reporters and writers of the mainstream media.

Sitting back now, on the back porch of the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory employee recreational facility, dictating memoirs, may seem mundane but until the mainstream media labels today’s college generation the trendsetters will just have to bide their time until the new literary movement is properly initiated.

This year the columnists who are supposed to be in the vanguard of trend spotting should hang their heads in shame. Where are the influential pundits who will put a brand name on the new generation?

San Francisco has become the focus point for the internet savvy techies who are elevating gender confusing and dangerous sexual freedoms as the next cultural trend.

San Francisco has become Fantasy Island with franchises in all major urban centers.

Columnists seem to have abdicated their duty to alerting the country of the latest cultural trends instead adopting a politically neutral stances which is politically correct.

Isn’t that what they are supposed to be doing? Pushing the boundaries and making people think about what is happening and where that will lead them?

Have the pundits consciously refused to consider the long term effects of Fukushima?

Pundits are hysterical about Donald Trump not being entitled to the Republican Party nomination. Will any columnist ask if the young disgruntled Republicans are as upset as the young Democrats were when it became obvious Hubert Humphrey could not be denied the Democrat’s nomination?

Will any pundit define vicarious trauma for their readers?

Has any pundit reported the conspiracy theory fans are taking a new and closer look at the death of Sonny Bono?

The intern would like to promote the concept of a San Francisco Bay Area Commission to study the homeless problem, available resources and inter county cooperation. Perhaps even addressing the shrinking rental market and the skyrocketing rental prices.

Can anyone other than a columnist ask if the readers have heard the rumor that Hillary may have suffered a recent stroke?

Many famous writers have offered their opinions to the world in the guise of writing columns.

The intern and the World’s Laziest Journalist strongly endorse this maneuver and urge young writers to express their ideas and opinions on the internet.

Stay tuned.  Meanwhile have a mind-blowing 420, pay your taxes (the intern debates whether you have to witness against yourself or just file a blank signed form, if you can find the form) and read as many different columnists as possible.

Now the disk jockey will play… ditt ditt ditt Dah…Beethoven’s fifth for you drogues.

Two important American history books: “1776″ and “Overthrow”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:14 pm

Purely by coincidence I have started reading two different books about American history — but they both have the same theme.

One book, “1776,” tells the emotional story of how heroic yeomen-farmers and shop-keepers in America put together an amazing rag-tag army and heroically risked defeat and death in order to fight for justice, liberty and the very soil of their own country, in order to defend it against tyrannical despots from across the sea. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1067.1776?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true

The other book, “Overthrow,” also tells emotional stories of how heroic yeomen-farmers and shop-keepers across the globe have put together their amazing rag-tag armies and heroically risked defeat and death in order to fight for justice, liberty and the very soil of their own countries, in order to defend them against tyrannical despots from across the sea. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/90540.Overthrow

The only difference between the two books is that one book is about defending America against a tyrannical despot — and the other book is about countries around the world defending themselves against a tyrannical despot. The tyrannical despot in “1776″ was Britain. The tyrannical despot in “Overthrow” is America. http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/2016/04/14/lebanon-now-it-is-being-forced-to-collapse-andre-vltchek/

Reading about the overthrow of Britain by brave American rebels in 1776, and then reading both here and elsewhere about the overt or covert overthrow of the legitimate governments of Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Panama, Nicaragua, Iran, Mexico, Palestine, Vietnam, Chile, Taiwan, Guatemala, Argentina, Grenada, Congo, Angola, Lebanon, Haiti (twice), Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. by tyrannical American invaders is all just too deja vu for me. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/stokelycarmichaelblackpower.html

“Since independence in 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions…. America is using ISIS in three ways: to attack its enemies in the Middle East, to serve as a pretext for U.S. military intervention abroad, and at home to foment a manufactured domestic threat, used to justify the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-created-al-qaeda-and-the-isis-terror-group/5402881

In addition, America has also continually missed its many chances to follow the example of our heroic 1776 ancestors and help overthrow a lot of tyrannical despots across the globe too — such as Saudi Arabia, where the 9-11 plot was actually hatched, or Israel, where the 9-11 plot was cheered on. Instead, America has made these tyrants and despots some of their closest allies. What’s with that? http://www.france24.com/en/20160415-obama-faces-pressure-saudi-arabia-trip-secret-28-pages

And America should also stop supporting ISIS in Syria and Iraq as well. Syria under President Assad just held a parliamentary election. Can American-supported “moderate rebels” aka ISIS make that claim too? No, no and no. In fact, the Syrian election results aren’t even in yet because several ISIS-held sections of Aleppo aren’t being allowed to vote. Just one more example of America backing tyrannical despots — in this case ISIS. George Washington must be rolling over in his grave.

How far have American ideals and values fallen since 1776? About as far as humanly possible. “We have met the enemy and they are us,” to quote Pogo. https://www.rt.com/news/339672-iraqi-youth-usa-enemy-poll/

PS: Speaking of books, the annual BookExpo America will be held in Chicago this year, starting on May 11 — and I’m going to be there. Try to be there too, okay? http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/Home/

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April 12, 2016

Selling Hoover Dam: To whom & for how much?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:44 am

Privatization in America has gone way too far.

America is not supposed to be like the old Soviet Union, breaking up and selling off pieces of itself to the highest private bidder in order to avoid bankruptcy due to the high costs of war. Or perhaps it’s already too late to close the barn door to privatization in America and we already have become just like that. Actually, with over half of our government’s money now being spent on weapons and so-called “war”, it sort of looks like we already are following the Soviet Union’s lead — especially when you consider how rapidly we too are selling stuff off.

And if this escalating process of selling our stuff off is as true as it appears to be, then I would like to put in a bid on Mt. Rushmore!

Let’s just imagine for a moment how that auction will go. The auctioneer clears his throat. “What am I bid on this lovely set of hand-carved sculptures?” I bid five dollars! “Sold to the little lady in the back row.”

Then Hoover Dam goes up on the block next. Who the freak would ever want to buy Hoover Dam? Apparently somebody does. It just got sold for less than one cent on the dollar — way less.

And now they are trying to sell off the Berkeley Post office. “Magnificent old building, prime real estate location. What am I bid?” Again, it is going for less than pennies on the dollar. Someone is going to walk away from this auction a happy man. And it ain’t gonna be the U.S. taxpayer either.

And speaking of Berkeley, our mayor and his developer friends here are trying to auction off our downtown business district and various residential areas near the Cal campus for pennies on the dollar too. “We need more condos!” cry our real estate developers. “They are really wonderful stuff!” And our mayor and a lot of our City Council members agree with the developers too.

But I have a question. If all these new condos (there are already thousands of them in the works) as indeed so fabulous, then how come the mayor, members of our City Council and even the developers themselves don’t live in any of them — and prefer to live in the very type of traditional brown-shingle Berkeley cottages and homes that developers are now so anxious to tear down?

And why are none of these developers and their supporters living in the Library Gardens condos, where six people fell to their deaths last year due to faulty construction? And 20 years from now, all these creepy high-rise “condo” buildings will be falling apart. “Welcome to the new Berkeley inner-city slums.” However, the upside of all this is that by then all these high-rises will have become “affordable” housing — broken sewage lines, dangerous conditions, rats and all. But I digress. Let’s get back to the auctions.

Anyone out there want to purchase the Brooklyn Bridge?

PS: Much to my horror, something even more crucial to the American way of life has also been privatized: Christianity. Jesus himself was a revolutionary, a man of the people, a proud member of the 99% and even a socialist. But the privatization of Christianity in America has reduced Jesus to being merely a shill for corporations, a ham actor in endless commercials for war-mongering, and/or just another emogi on FaceBook — and an evil emogi at that. *>:) devil

PPS:  Here’s the latest April report from my friend from Aleppo — where Americans and their neo-colonialist cohorts, henchmen and partners in crime are happily violating the Syrian ceasefire every chance that they get!  http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2016/04/breaking-chemical-weapons-used-in.html

     Talk about “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”.  Gary Sinise would just drool to get his hands on this script.  http://www.globalresearch.ca/isis-is-a-us-israeli-creation-top-ten-indications/5518627

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April 7, 2016

The life-changing magic of tidying up…the Middle East

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:21 am

My apartment was completely disorganized and so I went to the library and checked out a book entitled, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. The author, Marie Kondo, talks about how to avoid the “vicious circle of tidying”. Holy cow! That must be avoided at all costs! http://tidyingup.com/books/the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up-hc

And we also clearly need to put some life-changing magic to work in tidying up the Middle East as well.

President Endogen of Turkey definitely needs to get folded, sorted and put back into whatever sock drawer he came from. The guy is a mess and he’s been out cluttering up Syria with his ISIS buddies for far too long. http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/english/84325/Turkey_removes_al-Nusra_from__terror__list.html#

Hillary Clinton also needs to be shoved back into the closet ASAP — before we trip and fall over her messy weapons stashes, Libya disasters and AIPAC suck-ups (again) and American taxpayers (again) get seriously hurt. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hillary_clinton_full_neocon_aipac_demonizes_iran_palestinians_20160322

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have a clue about what is going on in the Middle East. The “vicious circle of tidying” has obviously sucked him right in. Enough said about that.

And what about Obama and his greedy pals on Wall Street and War Street? Let’s get out our garbage bags and kick all them to the curb. What is the opposite of “tidy”? Chaos. And these guys have left the Middle East in total chaos — and Europe, Latin America and Africa in chaos as well. Plus, due to these guys’ sloppy housekeeping, the American economy also needs some life-changing tidy-up magic right now. And too many of our sons and daughters have misplaced limbs due to them.

According to Stephen Kinzer of the Boston Globe, “Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of ‘rebels’ or ‘moderates,’ not that it is the [the very un-tidy] local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a ‘rat line’ for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria.” All theses media lies need to be immediately tidied up. http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/02/18/the-media-are-misleading-public-syria/8YB75otYirPzUCnlwaVtcK/story.html

And according to W.V. Cole, the media could also use some tidying-up magic with regard to reporting religious affiliations. “Christians have been committing war crimes all across the world for centuries now. But does the press always identify the butchers as Christians? Hardly.” Take Hitler, for example. Do you ever see him always identified as a Christian even though he gave many speeches claiming to be one? And are America’s favorite perpetrators of war crimes (the Bush family, the Clintons, Reagan, Obama, etc.) always identified by the media as Christians too? No, the MSM only identifies breaking-bad “Muslims” by their religion. It’s time for them to clean up their act. http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/03/25/dear-media-radovan-karadzic-european-christian

Kondo recommends that we tidy up one category at a time, starting with our clothes. That works for me. Let’s start by getting rid of all those wolves in sheep’s clothing in Washington who are responsible for making the Middle East the unlivable mess that it is today.

“Japanese organizational consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly declutter your home once, you’ll never have to do it again.” America is our home and it desperately needs some emergency decluttering right now! Perhaps Bernie Sanders can do it. Perhaps not. But Trump and Clinton definitely can’t. Neither one seems to know how to organize their own drawers let alone America’s.

And then after our country has finally gotten tidied up once and for all and we’ve carefully put all those giant corporations, lobbyists, election manipulators and weapons manufacturers out on the sidewalk in garbage bags where they belong, then hopefully America can go back to being a tidy democracy again. But only after that happens can we start the life-changing magic of tidying up the Middle East too. http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-aleppos-black-box-is-found-under-the-rubble-of-propaganda/5516288

First things we need to do to get the Middle East tidied up? Put all the Pentagon’s war toys away. Put the Israeli neo-colonialists’ brutal occupation and “settlements” out with the trash. Get rid of General Sisi in Egypt. Call the Salvation Army to come pick up the House of Saud. And take all those trillion-dollar American airbases, contractors, spies, fleets, missiles, drones, tanks, etc. back home and throw them in the trash too. Job well done!

And after we have tidied up and decluttered all that humongous Wall Street and War Street litter both here and abroad, our lives here in America too will be magically changed — for the better.

If I can declutter and tidy up my own messy apartment, then there is definitely hope for the rest of the world.

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April 1, 2016

Losing weight, losing sanity, losing control

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:07 am

So last summer I went on a gluten-free/sugar-free/sugar-substitute-free diet and started losing weight — whether I needed to or not. But it actually (sort of) worked out well. My sugar cravings have gone way down — and I can easily make do when they try to sneak back in again. There is a lot to be said about breaking a piece of Ghirardelli’s 100% cocoa unsweetened chocolate into a cup of hot steamed milk at 3:00 am in the morning when one can’t sleep because the whole world is going to hell in a hand-basket and one cannot afford to move to Tahiti. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35383-will-the-us-own-up-to-its-role-in-europe-s-refugee-crisis

But it has been really hard to give up croissants. Pie. Birthday cake. Pancakes! But I can still eat all the whipped cream I want as long as there’s no sugar in it.

And when I stepped on the scale at the YMCA yesterday, I weighed 102 pounds. But does all this weight loss make me happy? No, hardly. It only makes me want to sneak into Libya or Yemen or Gaza and report on the type of news that even FaceBook isn’t telling us because there are no eye-witnesses to the genocides going on in those places who have easy access to computers. Or sugar. Or gluten either for that matter.

But going without sugar and gluten also makes me crazy — but in a good way. It magnifies my discontent. I am suddenly very unhappy that my apartment is filled with junk. I am now even more unhappy that my very own government is running guns to ISIS and al Qaeda abroad, and is being kidnapped by corporatists and banksters here at home.

Maybe discontent is a good thing. It keeps me from resting on my laurels. What laurels?

And as for losing control of my life, did I ever really have control of it in the first place? Even during those staid and normal years when I was getting my Masters degree at U.C. Berkeley? Or those wild and exotic years when I was hanging out with country-and-western musicians? Or all those years as a mother when I was basically surviving on chocolate chip cookie dough (as full of sugar and gluten as you can get)?

Do any of us ever really have our lives under control?

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March 26, 2016

Sightseeing in Washington DC: Good, bad & really ugly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 3:58 pm

Being a tourist in Washington DC can be a truly glorious experience — or not.

The area known as the Federal Triangle features a collection of magnificent granite buildings, and tourists and locals alike are in awe of such splendor — until I realized that the crown jewel of all this architectural awesomeness is a building now named after a war criminal. Ronald Reagan. http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=15924

In the early morning light, I went out to see the breath-taking Iwo Jima memorial. It was large and impressive and humbling and brought tears to my eyes — until I noticed that all around the base of the statue, etched in gold letters, were listed some of the many many many “wars” that Marines had participated in, including disgraceful and bloody actions against the Philippines and Haiti. But the list stopped at Somalia. Guess there was no point in adding Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine and Libya, seeing as they are still on-going money-pit “wars” and still a source for the incubation of terrorists. To paraphrase the Marines’ anthem, “From the Halls of the Munich Olympics to the shores of 9-11, London, Madrid, Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, San Bernardino, Brussels and Kabul”.

To quote journalist Finian Cunningham, “More than grieving, European [and American] citizens need to get a grip and hold their governments accountable for not just Europeans [and Americans] suffering terrorism but for suffering under the same terrorism in many other countries as well. Maybe when the Eiffel Tower displays the national colors of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Mali, Yemen or other unfortunate victims of terrorism, especially state-sponsored terrorism, then the grieving process might acquire a more constructive purpose.” http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160324/1036899417/brussels-atatcks-europe-grief.html But I digress.

In Washington DC, the Metro subway system is amazing, taking you everywhere that you need to go — until at the Rosslyn station I experienced deja vu as I took an escalator down down down, three or four stories under the ground. This was just like the escalator to a subway station at Pyongyang, North Korea — which was built to also serve as a bomb shelter. Apparently DC is also ready for war. If you happen to be in the Pentagon area at the time of an attack from any of the long list enemies that the Pentagon has created, no worries. Just head for the Metro.

At the Pentagon City Metro stop, they have a fabulous mall and I was also impressed by it, clearly a mall worth fighting for — until I saw an electronic billboard that said, “Congratulations, Marines. The F-35B is now operational!” Now there is a picture worth a million lives. Plus Lockheed Martin can now blame Marines for the 391 billion taxpayers’ dollars that have been wasted on the F-35A-Z.

Then I saw the U.S. Capitol’s shining dome from afar — oops, no longer shining. It was covered with what looked like black garbage bags. Huh? Since all of America’s money is now going to “war,” even one of our most treasured national infrastructure icons has come to this?

Then a friend took me to the most beautiful mosque in the District — but if the current crack-down on freedom of religion continues apace, then before we know it, Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism could easily get cracked down on too. That’s a very dangerous precedent to set. But then the Christianity of Jesus that I have come to know and love, already no longer exists either, having been replaced by bigotry and hate. http://www.investigaction.net/Brussels-attacks-no-Mr-Prime.html?lang=es

Then I visited the Newseum, a heart-warming tribute to American journalism. It was housed in a beautiful new and modern building — but its displays were truly depressing. Its display of Pulitzer-Prize-winning photos only reminded me of war, war and more war. The exhibit on Vietnam reminded me of all the abject horror that America is capable of creating in foreign lands. And the exhibit on civil rights in the 1960s reminded me of America’s excellence in producing injustice. How can we even dare to export claims of “Humanitarianism” and “Democracy” after seeing this exhibit of what life was (and still is) like for minorities here at home.

But I should have known from the start that Washington DC was going to be a contradiction and a conundrum when I flew into “Ronald Reagan Airport” — named after a man who almost single-handedly started our country on a downward spiral of cruelty, inhumanity, lies, “war” and economic collapse. Does this mean that Congress is going to have to change the airport’s name again too? To the “Reagan Bush 1 Bush 2 Obama Clinton 1 Clinton 2 Trump War Criminal Airport” — just to keep our list of war criminals real?

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March 22, 2016

Scientific American said WHAT?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 10:06 pm

 

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Guest Article by Karla Gottschalk

Waiting in line to buy the basics for dinner I noticed the new Scientific American on the stands. The cover proclaims it is on the sexual mind.

A teaser on the cover asks “How Gay are you?” and offers “Transgender and Young” articles. Food for punditry if not for thought.  Is this really the Scientific American of the last 100 years or more? What has happened to science?

How gay are you, really? This must be an April Fools joke. No, the cover proclaims a special issue for spring and it should be on the stands until May. Titillating, so lets look inside.

“The greatest obstacle to an antidote for anorgasmia (sic) may be squeamishness about masturbation in the presence of a stranger”, from the article Lust’s Reward.

I am “squeamish” in front of anyone.  My fantasies are private and I don’t need you voyeurs to share the experience. Better to play the maid upstairs being taken in a frolic.  Much better and less work with more pleasure.

And what about the rewards of LOVE? IMHO masturbation sucks rotten eggs compared to Love. When did sex become 24/7?

We are not Bonobos but I am willing to listen to them lecture on mediation as a way of conflict resolution. According to the Bonobos a little dalliance brings resolution without violence and, um, with honor. (See page 42.  The answer is 42?)

And now what is : Transgender and young?

I  can hardly wait to be sterilized.? A teenager is quoted as “ It makes me sad when I realize I can’t have my own children. But sometimes in life, when you really want something, you have to accept things you don’t like.”

The child starts high school next Fall.

Oh, really?  Can a child really understand a life of sterility at 14? And who really has the right to make such a choice for a child? This is not a property issue.

I did make a sperm deposit that was intentionally destroyed by the California Cryobank . It was front page news in San Francisco 6 years after my sex reassignment surgery in 1974.  It was done for my wife. She left after the possibility of children evaporated.

Now, as to what you want-is that enough?  I never wanted to be a transsexual but I know from my first thoughts I “knew” I was female and prayed to be changed, then fell in love and prayed to be healed.

Do you know what the future will bring? NO.  But you are willing “forever” to live a lie and be sterile at fourteen? A eunuch or a spayed female?

As your older sister (or brother) erotic transvestism cannot be transsexual but can be transgender.  You don’t need to mutilate yourself.  You have already seen how much hurt and suffering it brings you and those who are close to you and love you.

Are you aware of the number of transsexuals that no longer accept sex change as the answer? Do you really want to never really be female (or male) but fool people by passing because it makes you feel better to parade an affliction adorned with deceit?

Really, WHAT is gender? Is it S-E-X? Let’s cut to the chase.

Hi!, What are you? I’m a 66 year old transsexual! I am a person of color: white hair with some kinky black hairs, blue eyes, light brown skin and my mother was Spanish/Italian, my father was a non-privileged white man with ethics.

A gender changer is something that allows a bolt to bolt connection or nut to nut. Gender is a thing not a person.Gender is not sex. My affliction was the drive to be sexually fulfilled without having to be a stereotype.

Anyone can pretend to be a stereotype but it takes courage to be authentic.

There has to be a better way.  I was a peer as well as contemporary of Christine Jorgensen. Let’s talk and solve this for the betterment of all.

Isn’t writing propaganda for sex role adjustment by sex change just as fraught with danger and as irresponsible as giving a child a revolver and a single bullet and teaching them the game of “Russian Roulette”?

It is the Spring Solstice and these are the fertility rites of Spring. Why is Scientific American celebrating masturbation and gender mutilation?

Dear AIPAC: My holocaust is bigger than your holocaust!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 5:19 pm

Well, I finally did it. After thinking about it for many years now, I finally sent off to http://23andme.com for a DNA testing kit. First you send them some spit and then they test it for DNA — so that you can find out who your ancestors are.

“We will send you the results in six to eight weeks,” they told me. Goody! Now I can actually find out once and for all if our old family legend is true or not — that my great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Ballard Johnston was a full-blooded Cherokee. If so, that would make me one-sixteenth Original American.

And speaking of dead ancestors, I just flew off to attend a conference in Washington DC entitled “Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America” http://israelsinfluence.org/video/default.html and that got me to thinking about Israeli neo-colonialists and how they are always bragging about the size of the Jewish holocaust in Germany under the Nazis, and using that sad and terrible event as propaganda to justify creating a whole new Muslim holocaust too — like the Jewish holocaust gives them the right to kill as many Muslims as they want.

That’s just plain bull-dookie.

That would be like saying that just because 80 to 100 million Original Americans were killed by European colonizers, descendants of Original Americans now have the right — no, even the duty — to go out and kill as many Chinese or Chileans or Canadians as they want and steal their land too.

But guess what? I really don’t want to kill anyone or steal anyone’s land, no matter how the http://23andme.com test results come back. Does that make me a self-hating Cherokee? I like to think not.

PS: The DC conference was a big success, giving me hope that perhaps there might someday be an end to the wholesale slaughter of Palestinians. I certainly hope so. Don’t you? Doesn’t AIPAC too? Apparently not. https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/trumps-islamophobia-racism-go-hand-hand-aipacs-agenda/

But always remember, AIPAC, that my holocaust is bigger than your holocaust — and then just shut up about it. Why? Because the horror that happened in Germany sixty years ago isn’t even your holocaust to begin with. It belongs to the Jews, not to some Israeli neo-colonialist fascist hypocrites, racists, bullies and thugs who pretend to be Jews.

PPS: Here’s a link to Hillary Clinton’s speech to AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) this week — where she practically gives away the whole American farm. Gag me with a spoon! http://time.com/4265947/hillary-clinton-aipac-speech-transcript/#4265947/hillary-clinton-aipac-speech-transcript/

But I do agree with one statement that she made. “If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. If you see a bully, stand up to him.”

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March 21, 2016

AIPAC’s Dilemma: Jewish Sanders or War Hawk Clinton?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 6:36 pm

When the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee holds their annual convention in Washington DC this March, who are they gonna endorse for the Democratic presidential nominee? Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish — or Hillary Clinton, the ultimate war hawk who will support anything that Israeli neo-colonialists decide to do with regard to making “Greater Israel” a reality?

Will AIPAC choose to support the Jewish race and/or religion by going with Sanders, the ultimate Jewish grandpa?

Or will AIPAC go with neo-colonialism and choose Hillary Clinton, the goy who will obviously support attacking Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, the Gulf States, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq (again) and anything else that might get in the way of creating the “Greater Israel” neo-colonialists’ wet dream — even if the USA gets in the way?

This is gonna be very interesting to see how AIPAC’s choice turns out.

I’ll bet you a bagel that they’ll choose Clinton.

PS: I’ll be in Washington DC on March 18 for the “Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad?” conference. http://israelsinfluence.org/default.asp

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March 18, 2016

Requiem for a Canine named Roscoe

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 11:51 pm

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Some very serious questions will need to be considered after an unfortunate incident involving a security guard occurred this week in the SF Bay Area.

Family dog named Roscoe is dead after being kicked by the security guard at an outlet for a well-known supermarket chain.

Ultimately a jury may have to determine the value of the victim and supplying a code of conduct for security guards.

A snarky columnist  who is usually content with snide remarks and sarcastic comments is  bamboozled by this heartbreaking family tragedy.  Weekend protests are planned and they might bring the topic of animal cruelty to commentators around the country.

Out of respect for the family who describe themselves as lifelong customers of that supermarket chain we will try to limit ourselves to “just the facts, Mam” approach to our coverage of this tragedy.

The family will receive suggestions as to what legal path to be followed and what amounts for compensatory and/or punitive damages.

As a former dog owner, we sympathize with this family’s loss and know that such a death can be a crushing blow.

We have always endeavored to observe, analyze and then comment, however, the relatively new concept of “vicarious trauma” might be applicable in this particular case.  Money and/or cliche’s cannot heal the emotional wounds related to this family’s tragedy.

We only hope that the well-known homeless lawyer in The Bay Area can use the events of this week to bring the subject of animal cruelty to a national audience as well as companies and security guards aware of their responsibilities and duties.

If it were a child instead of a dog who died, the guard might well be facing first degree murder charges.

With all the election year mud-slinging, perhaps radio talk show hosts will be grateful to have a change of pace topic available.

The DJ will now play, “Dead Puppies aren’t much fun”, “How much is that Doggy in the Window” and Elvis’s extremely tear jerker ballad “Old, Shep”.

Have a “Remember Man’s Best Friend” kind of week.

For more goto SFAwareness at Blogspot

March 9, 2016

Yesterday, today (and hopefully tomorrow) in Aleppo, Syria

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 12:39 pm

     I shouldn’t even be posting these reports from my friend in Aleppo, Syria, because I surely wouldn’t want him to get into trouble with the US, Turkey, ISIS and the Saudis — just for telling the truth. But. I just can’t resist because these are such excellent and authentic on-the-ground eye-witness reports. My bad.

From today:

The water situation:  “Water started to return to Aleppo city yesterday, after around two months of a lack of water supply to the city. It was a deal between the Syrian government and Da’esh [derogatory term for ISIS], where each side was controlling the flow of water to the other side. Da’esh in al-Bab village can’t have water because their water lines comes from Aleppo city. However, Aleppo water comes from the Euphrates which is under Da’esh control. So they finally reached to a deal.”

The power situation: “Red Crescent is helping with the power generators to pump the water as well, because there is no power in the city for five months. We didn’t have water yet at home, but other areas started to have it.

“And electricity! We’re finally having power at home now for the first time in five months! It came for one hour last midnight, and for an hour (so far) today at 6:00 am.”

From yesterday:

The ceasefire situation: “On the 2nd of March, we thought that the ceasefire was over. Heavy clashes started mid-day in Aleppo city and didn’t end till evening. First the government-held sides had been attacked several times by mortars, then the ambulance sirens were heard for some time, before hearing the first artillery retaliation from government side. Then it developed to hear some airstrikes later on.

“What happened?

“According to news and other witnesses, the fighting was at Castillo junction village, to the north of Aleppo city. That village and axis were the last smuggling arms way to the [ISIS] terrorists, coming from Turkey. The clashes were between the YPG Kurds vs. The Nusra Front [al Qaeda] and other armed gangs. The aftermath of the fight ended by liberating that northern village, and therefore the [ISIS] terrorists in the city are surrounded and have no supply anymore from the Turks.

“The ‘rebel’ activists said that the Kurds started the fight and violated the ceasefire to help the Syrian ‘regime’ in besieging the ‘rebels’. But the YPG sources said that what happened was the opposite. ‘First, neither the Nusra Front or Chechen fighters had signed nor agreed on the ceasefire agreement, so the fight with them never stopped,’ said the YPG [Kurd] source. ‘We didn’t start the fight. They started targeting Sheikh Maqsoud district — the northern one in Aleppo city under the Kurds control — with nonstop mortar shelling, and they tried to occupy al-Mesherfé Hill, coming from the Castello village. So we were defending our areas’.

“It seems that the Syrian Arab Army had backed the YPG and together they made the terrorists under siege now.

“The Russians recorded five violations to the ceasefire agreement in Aleppo the next day (yesterday) from the Nusra-held areas against the YPG in Sheikh Maqsoud district. Other sources mentioned casualties of two killed civilians and 25 injured ones.

“However, yesterday was in general a calm day. Funny jokes started to pop up amid all the merciless fighting, saying that people who used to sleep on despite the bombs, shelling and shooting noises each night for such a long time, are now having difficulties in sleeping in the calm atmosphere of the ceasefire agreement 😃!

March 5, 2016

Phoenix, Arizona: Saving the world one crime-novel at a time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:13 pm

Somebody out there needs to step up to the plate and save the world from total destruction — and do it right now! But almost nobody else seems to be doing anything about saving our world. Nobody seems to even notice or care that just the single factor of “war” alone (and the pollution it causes) is heading us straight towards Doomsday. So if I want my world to be saved at all, looks like I’m gonna have to do it myself.

And so I went off to a murder-mystery readers’ and writers’ convention in Phoenix AZ last week in order to get some ideas. The first question I asked, of course, was “Who done it?” Giant corporations, weapons manufacturers and crooked politicians. The usual suspects.

“What?” exclaimed a local Tea Party member. “You’re saying that it’s not the homeless, food stamp recipients, undocumented workers and welfare queens who are destroying the world?” Sorry, no. Just look at your average homeless person — cold, hungry, unhealthy and sleep-deprived. Capable of destroying the world? Hardly. So if I’m determined to save the world, it’s clearly not gonna happen by me hanging out on skid row!

But I did score some free crime novels at the convention and planned to get some ideas from them. http://www.leftcoastcrime2016.com/

Timothy Hallinan has a new book which is about to be released called “King Maybe” (I got an advance copy!) and its about an anti-hero burglar who steals from the rich. Now there’s a great idea for saving the world. http://www.timothyhallinan.com/junior.html

Lisa Brackmann also has a new book in the works that’s about to be published. “Go-Between” is its name, and the heroine takes on the for-profit prison system at one point, another great idea. I would love to be able to save the world one prisoner at a time — starting by putting as many corporate CEOs, evil banksters and weapons manufacturers in jail as humanly possible. Alcatraz, San Quentin, Attica, Sing Sing, Leavenworth, Rikers Island. Just throw out all the prisoners now in there for stupid crimes like smoking weed and replace them with corporate jailbirds. Great idea! http://www.lisabrackmann.com/books/

Phoenix, for some reason, is a very easy city to get lost in because it’s so flat and nondescript. So I walked five miles east instead of five miles west (or was it north?) and ended up in front of the infamous Maricopa County Jail. Yep, Sheriff Joe Arpio’s bailiwick.

“But we love Sheriff Joe!” cried one Phoenixonite. “There’s almost no recidivism on his watch!” Booyah. Let’s send him to Washington so that he can put our corrupt politicians in pink jump suits instead. Then let’s send him to Wall Street to make corporate CEOs live in prison tents in the hot desert sun. Works for me.

At one point, Hallinan’s anti-hero burglar quotes some guy describing the USA after World War I. “America is the great unspanked baby of the world.” No one should ever spank a baby. Ever. But Sheriff Joe is obviously spanking the wrong crooks. Paraphrasing Hallinan’s burglar, “Senators are just crooks with better healthcare.”

And to quote the blurb on the back of Brackmann’s soon-to-be-published book, “An all-too-realistic thriller about for-profit prisons, big-money politics, shady non-profits, the War on Drugs — and the people who would kill to keep the system intact….” Why isn’t Sheriff Joe out arresting them?

PS: Here’s another report I just received from my anonymous friend in Aleppo, Syria — this time about the water, power and ceasefire crises there. His report is entitled, “Yesterday, today (and hopefully tomorrow) in Aleppo, Syria,” and can be read at http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2016/03/yesterday-today-and-hopefully-tomorrow.html.

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