sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

August 21, 2014

In Honor of Media Instigators of #Ferguson Riots

Filed under: music, politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 8:57 pm

I am a suburban homeboy with a suburban ‘ho right by my side
I am a suburban homeboy and I say yo dog to my pool cleaning guy
I hope I’m baggy enough for them
I play my Shaggy enough for them
I’ll pop a cap up some fool at the Gap
‘Cause I’m a suburban homeboy

I am a suburban homeboy with a suburban ho right by my side
I am a suburban homeboy and I say yo’ dog to my detailing guy
I bought me cornrows on Amazon
I started listening to Farrakhan
My caddy and me he looks just like Jay-Z
And I’m a suburban homeboy

I am a suburban homeboy with a suburban ho right by my side
She’s known as Miss Missy Tannenbaum and she’s one freak bitch, ain’t no lie
She’s from the projects in St. Tropez
She looks like Iverson in a way
She yo yo’s me and I yo yo her back
And I’m a suburban homeboy
She yo yo’s me and I yo yo her back
And I’m a suburban homeboy
She yo yo’s me and I yo yo her back
And I’m a suburban homeboy

We are suburban homeboys
With our suburban ho’s right by our sides
We are suburban homeboys and we say yo dog and we mean it, by God
We’ve got an old school mentality
Oxford and Cambridge mentality
Props to our peeps and please keep your receipts
And we are suburban homeboys
Props to our peeps and please keep your receipts
And we are suburban homeboys
Props to our peeps and please keep your receipts
And we are suburban homeboys
Props to our peeps and please keep your receipts
And we are suburban homeboys

August 19, 2014

Existential Feminist

Filed under: feminism — Tags: — edge of the sandbox @ 9:39 am

Career women in New York City are submitting themselves to hormonal treatments:

Fashionable New York professional women gathered at a first-of-its-kind “egg-freezing party” this week — where they sipped champagne while learning how to scientifically put off motherhood until they decide that they’re fully ready.

Dubbed “Let’s Chill,” the event was sponsored by a company called EggBanxx, which is cutting the cost of egg freezing and marketing it to young go-getters who want to be ready for kids later in life.

“I don’t have a significant other . . . but I hope to one day and have kids,” said attendee, Donna Kanze, 35, of Manhattan, who has a career in the technology sector. She’s already signed up for egg freezing.

“I want to take my fertility into my own hands, rather than put pressure on the person I have my next relationship with,” she said.

“I don’t want to be in the position when I’m in my late 30s and panicking because I haven’t found the right man and I’d compromise and take anyone off the street!”

Does she want to be in a position of having a baby alone at 50?

One day Donna Kanze will die, and before then she’ll get old, and a decline in fertility is a part of aging.  With age her looks will fade, and so will her chances of finding an attractive partner.  Cutting edge medicine and top of the line beauty products can help her retain her looks and fertility longer, but they can’t make them last forever, and sooner rather than later these New York professional women will find themselves running against the same biological clock.  The time to panic is not 35, but 26.

I hear that single, professional, straight women outnumber men in NYC.  These women made a choice to build their careers before starting families, and they built their careers in the most exiting place in the world.  They are making a choice to continue to work and  live there even though they know that their chances of pairing up in the City are not so good.  If they hadn’t met anyone yet, what makes them think that they will in the next few years? If family is important to these women (as I suspect it is because they are shooting up hormones), they should try a different approach to finding love rather than buying up a little time to do more of the same.

Egg-freezing can temporarily relieve the angst, but it doesn’t eliminate the basic career versus family choice they are facing.

When EggBanxx’s marketing director Leahjane Lavin, 34, announced that she just underwent two cycles of egg freezing herself, the crowed whooped with approval.

“The pressure is off, and I feel so empowered,” she said of her feelings after she socked away her eggs for a later date. “I can now concentrate on my career and becoming who I want to be before having children!”

Refusing to face one’s own mortality does not a powerful woman make.

August 16, 2014

March for Federalization of Siberia

Filed under: Russia — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 3:23 pm

Read my post about March for Federalization of Siberia at Legal Insurrection blog.  Considering the time differences, the march is probably not happening as I type.

August 15, 2014

Ukraine: Finally a Conflict Worthy of New York Times Coverage

Filed under: politics, Russia, Ukraine — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:40 pm

Given how they are too post-modern for the conflict between good and evil,the New York Times doesn’t do well with moral clarity.  Israel fighting HAMAS is too much for them.  But here comes Ukraine’s Donbas region, with war full of no good guys, and voila– they get it!

LUHANSK, Ukraine — Every night, as darkness falls over Luhansk, the focus now of intense humanitarian concern and geopolitical intrigue, a cat-and-mouse artillery duel begins.

In a neighborhood of high-rise apartments, residents can readily identify the hollow pops of mortars as they echo among the buildings. After that, rebel fighters can be seen hastily dismantling the weapons and hauling them away.

An hour or so later, the Ukrainian military’s response comes: the whistle and boom of incoming artillery shells, fired from guns outside the city, in a fruitless attempt at silencing the rebel gunners.

You mean, it’s not Russian terrorists executing multiple large-scale false flag operations bombing Ukrainian cities?  While Putin’s fingerprints are all over the whole separatist business and some of his special forces are fighting in Ukraine, let me assure you, as a person who reads both Russian and Ukrainian, and knows people in Eastern Ukraine, few in Ukraine* believe the fairytale that Russian terrorists are slaughtering loyal Ukrainians.  And that it’s not a widespread opinion presents a problem for Kiev — the kind of problem that requires a radical solution.  Many Donbas residents are so convinced that it’s Ukrainian armed forces shell their towns, that they flee to Russia en mass, while others move westward into Ukraine where they don’t register as refugees for the fear of being drafted into Ukrainian army, but busy themselves with defacing Ukrainian flags.

NYT collected the following sample of popular opinion in Luhansk:

Polina Ivanova, a resident of one ravaged area, was sympathetic to the rebel mortar crew. “Look how many civilians are dying,” she said. “They are trying to protect us, and they have nowhere else to fire from. We are surrounded.”

She stood on a stoop in the predawn with Ekaterina Vladimirova, a neighbor who had a different opinion. “Both sides don’t care about us,” Ms. Vladimirova said. “For them, it’s a game. One shoots that way, the other shoots this way, and simple people suffer.”

Oleg Romanov, 29, said he huddled in terror with his wife and 1-year-old son in an apartment while “it booms all night long, and plaster falls from the ceiling.” He then rises at 4 a.m. to take his place in a line for water, and make the rounds of stores to hunt for groceries.

“The rebels fire Grads and leave, and then, of course, the answer comes back to that spot,” he said. “The rebels are long gone by then, but people are still around.”

That’s a pretty representative spread.

The only thing NYT missed in their story is that the utilities in Luhansk, Slavyansk and other Eastern Ukrainian cities were turned off by Kiev.  All in all, the paper of record should stop covering Israel and refocus on Ukraine, which they are infinitely more adept to cover.

It’s not just Ukrainians who question the official account.  Human Rights Watch checked out what’s going on in Donbas, and came up with a report confirming the use of Grad rockets by Ukrainian Army.  Yes, I know it’s HRW.

July 30, 2014

Illegals and Refugees

Filed under: politics — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 8:21 pm

Dear readers, any attempts to describe the new way of illegals as “refugees” is a manipulation. What else can it be? By the US law, a refugee applies for protected status outside the United States.  Those applying already in the US, get asylum status and a slower path to citizenship.  This is done to discourage foreigners from first coming to the US and *then* asking for protection — duh!  I was a refugee once, and my family spent a half a year in Italy waiting for papers (no, I’m not complaining).

Speaking of refugees…

For the purposes of discussing illegal immigration, the place of referral for status is key.  How would all these undocumented illegals like to go to some place outside of US and prove that they “have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion”?

I suspect none of the “baby Jesuses” that madam Pelosi is so anxious to adopt fit the definition.  They are illegals.

July 21, 2014

Po Nad Use

Filed under: Ukraine — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 6:37 am

In case my last post gives an impression that I’m taking sides in the Russo-Ukrainian war, here is a video of Ukrainian children being made to goosestep through the streets of Ukrainian towns:

“Glory to Ukraine — Glory to heroes” (“Slava Ukraine — geroyam slava) is a Ukrainian Nazi salute from the 1940’s and “Ukraiina po nad use” is “Ukraine uber alles”.
One day when I have time I’ll write a proper post about it.

June 19, 2014

Dear Parents of Russian Federation, Are You Nuts?

Filed under: parenting, politics, Russia — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:39 am

Echo Moskvy, one of the few opposition media sources (this is not an all-out endorsement, there are some despicable opposition figures in Russia) retells a personal story, corroborated with pictures, that previously made the rounds in Russian social media.  The event took place in late May:

Sick and sunburned, my daughter Ksenia returned from a Saturday celebration staged for Putin on St. Petersburg’s Isaakievsky Square.  5000 people, most of them from children’s’ choirs were appropriated to sing songs for the leader!  It was titled “The Limitless Wonder of the World”.

It was 30 degrees Celsius [~90 F – ed.] in Peter [St. Petersburg -- ed.] that day.  All 40 under the sun!  The children were sent off at 8 am.

Prior to the entrance to the square, the children’s choir was thoroughly searched. Documents were required (my child is 12, so I provided her birth certificate), then bottled water and juices brought by children were confiscated.

And then as usual – everyone waited several hours for the tzar, who’s always behind the schedule.  A five-thousand-strong crowd was blazing under the sun until noon.  The only entertainment was watching the snipers that swarmed all the roofs around Isakievsky Square.  Six out of the 37 children in our choir fell ill, and, our daughter observed, people were fainting right and left — volunteers and doctors were barely able to take them away and treat them with water.

Putin appeared for about 3 minutes in the middle of the concert, took pictures against the background of several thousand children (the leader and children — always a good picture!), then gave a short speech and departed.  The concert went on until 2 pm.

Ksenia did not last until the end of performance. She regained consciousness in medical tent where they threw water on her.

With all the traffic jams, the children returned to Sestroretsk by 4:30.

The child was hungry — she was not allowed to take any food — sunburnt, and in wet clothes, so she refused to go to the Birthday party of our friends’ child.

She also missed school on Monday because she wasn’t feeling well.

She is still not 100% after this show-off (Russian показухa — ed.) for the leader, which should really be called “The limitless shame of Peter”…

Words fail me.

Words fail me too, but for a different reason.  It’s not merely that the children got sunburnt — kids get sunburns — or even that so many of them fainted. It’s that the parents allowed the state to use their kids for propaganda purposes, when they should have expected the state to use them up and spit them out.

How to raise a slave

When in 2008 a group of Beverly Hills parents encouraged their children to sing a silly ode to then presidential candidate Obama, at least half the country was vocally disgusted by the creepy production.  But note, that was parents raising their own kids.  And while some of these parents surely think, in abstraction, that children belong to the “community”, they do not realize that the logical outcome of this line of thought is wholesale child abuse.

The fatalistic submission of St. Petersburg parents is not at all surprising.  When I was growing up in the former Soviet Union, subjects, young and old, were herded to all sorts of mass events.  We went because we went. Adults had their own parallel holiday — gave to Caesar what was Caesar’s and had a semi-discreet swig of vodka.  Children came, and our little selves were twisted into submission early on.

Not much has changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  It did not occur to the parent, who obviously dislikes Putin, to excuse her child from the event, however easy that would had been to do.  Nobody called in sick. Everyone knows their place.

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