sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

July 24, 2013

Kurt Cobain Speaking From The Grave

Filed under: journalism, music, politics — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:41 pm

The come hither portrait of Dzhokar Tsarnaev gracing the latest cover of The Rolling Stone made me think of their first Nirvana cover.

Kurt Cobain scribbled “corporate magazines still suck” on his t-shirt.  Suck: as opposed to underground zine reading which is never a waste of time.  The editors of this particular corporate bi-weekly scored big with this willing display of punk rock authenticity

Back then I thought that the band wanted to have its cake and eat it too: to be commercially successful while currying favors with the people who resent success.  Now I see that Cobain was practically clairvoyant.  Not because his running around and incessantly talking of suicide somehow foreshadowed his own death, but because, gosh, Rolling Stone does suck.  Then and now (and always) they are creating controversies out of thin air.

What does the younger Tsarnaev has to do with music?  He’s not a performer; he wasn’t an underground cult figure prior to the Boston massacre.  After the bombing, sure, he did develop a following of “girls” in polyester rompers.  The irony of it is, he probably listens to some kind of Eurotrash — or Mideast themed Eurotrash — the kind of music that’s supposed to be an instant turn off to his groupies… if he wasn’t a murderous cult figure, that is.

January 29, 2013

Little Things That Are Making Me Miserable

Filed under: education, environmentalism, fashion, journalism, politics — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:33 pm

Facebook.  I tried to FB a while ago and couldn’t stand the… er… level of discourse.  Maybe it’s the people I know, or else FB reduces everyone to the lowest common denominator.  I wasn’t jealous of anyone I friended, quite to the contrary.  Every time I looked at my damn wall, I saw people broadcasting to the Universe that they are going to CVS to buy toilet paper — or some such.  A few couples’ PDA made me wonder about the fragility of their relationships.

Trying to decide whether to take my daughter to a Goth production of Prokofiev’s Cinderella is making me miserable.  I’m not a big fan of sanitizing tales, but I’m just not sure a 5-year-old enjoy this particular version.  I suspect the production is geared to grown children.  It’s only natural that choreographers are catering to hipsters in a city where they outnumber kids.

Smokers don’t make me miserable.  The ill effects of second hand smoke are vastly overblown, and I really don’t mind when people next to me have a cigarette or two.  What I can’t stand are the power trippers out to get smokers.  The formerly libertarian state of Oregon might actually pass a bill that would make cigarettes prescription only drugs.  I feel like hugging every smoker in this country of ours because when the smokers are gone, who’s next?

While outlawing tobacco, Oregon, many observers agree, is likely to legalize cannabis in the near future.  Here, in Cali, those on the hip side spent the last couple of decades joking that pot is now more socially acceptable than tobacco.  I’m sure this must be the case in both Washington and Colorado where recreational (what other kind is there?) marijuana is now legal.  And what do you know, CO is introducing a bill to set a limit for driving stoned.  It turns out that:

There’s a lot of pressure on lawmakers after legalizing pot. As the number of users grows, there is growing concern the number of people driving under the influence will as well. In 2011, the most recent data available, 13 percent of deadly crashes in Colorado involved pot.

13%?  Wow!  I recall the totally scientifically justified reasoning for legalization I heard all through my youth, that drunks do stupid things, like getting getting behind the wheel wasted, but stoners are just too mellow to get their tushies off their couches and therefore don’t drive intoxicated.

No word on how many accidents are caused by motorists impaired by tobacco.

I’m proud of my home town on occasion.  Last week, the one hometown paper that can tolerate me reading its pages printed a front page story about the effort of some goofy homegrown group to get the hometown Big 5 to stop selling the dreaded “assault weapons”.  Ours being a former navy town, the paper’ve heard from a few locals, including one reader who pointed out that the paper got all gun specifications wrong.  The paper retorted:

No one on the Sun’s editorial staff owns or ever has owned a gun. Officials at Big 5 did not respond to calls to clarify details about their merchandise.

So, basically, because they don’t know a certain subject they don’t possibly need to research it.  Hicks.

Another individual wrote on the subject of the grocery bag ban:

Cloth and canvas bags are the “ugly ducklings” of (reusable) shopping bags (“Treat Reusable Bags Like Dirty Laundry,” Jan. 17). They don’t hold their shape, being floppy. I can imagine people just throwing them away when they get too dirty.

“We” will wash our own bags. Oh, but of course, what about the many who don’t? Our food could get indirectly contaminated from someone else’s dirty bag, could it not?

Good questions.  If we can’t trust our fellow citizens to put their used plastic bags in a waste basket, we certainly can’t trust them to wash their cloth bags.  Lets legislate.

The dashing good looks of Democratic women had long been the subject of discussion of the right-wing blogosphere.  I hope my discussion of the sublime get-ups of Michelle Obama can be considered a humble contribution to the genre.  Do take a look at a representative specimen at Viking the Kitten blog.  EBL has Lena Dunham and Legal Insurrection — Jennifer Granholm.  I find all of these ladies hilarious, but my readers might prefer to plaque their eyes out rather than click at the links above.

OK, not everybody is blessed with good looks. But lets not go out of the way to make ourselves ugly

In any event, here is some news to cheer them up: universities are cutting assistant professors’ hours to comply with Obamacare which said professors enthusiastically endorsed.  No doubt they thought they’d benefit from Obamacare.  Remember when Pelosi promised that once O’care is signed into law, everyone can, like, stop worrying and join a band.  The sub-professorship class might know about brown nosing, which, to be sure, is an important skill in academia.  However, they seem to poorly understand how political power works in this country — or the world — or how the economy works.  Do you trust them to educate your children?

January 14, 2013

A Post That Writes Itself

Filed under: Bay Area politics, journalism, politics — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 3:43 pm

After watching The Tournament of Roses on the New Years Day, we were flipping through the channels, and found some sort of New Year’s Day parade in Oakland.  It wouldn’t cross my mind to take the kids to Oakland to watch a parade when we can cozy up next to the fireplace and watch the one in Pasadena.

Needing something to say, the TV host said that Oakland is the number five tourist destination in the world.

“What?” I said. “You have Mecca, and you have Paris, and a few other cities, and then there is Oakland?  Maybe if you are really into the Black Panthers, you’d want to see all these historical places.”

We did a little googling, and found the source of that trivia — The New York Times.  The paper of note compiled the list of the 45 places to visit in 2012.  There, at number 5, squeezed between London (“The Olympics!”) and Tokyo, was Oakland, Ca.  Newspaper’s rationale?

New restaurants and bars beckon amid the grit.

Tensions have cooled since violence erupted at the recent Occupy Oakland protests, but the city’s revitalized night-life scene has continued to smolder.

The historic Fox Theater reopened in 2009 and quickly cemented its status as one of the Bay Area’s top music venues, drawing acts like Wilco and the Decemberists. Meanwhile, the city’s ever more sophisticated restaurants are now being joined by upscale cocktail bars, turning once-gritty Oakland into an increasingly appealing place to be after dark. James Syhabout, the chef who earned Oakland its first (and only) Michelin star two years ago at Commis, followed up in May with the instant-hit Hawker Fare, a casual spot serving Asian street food. Big-name San Francisco chefs are now joining him. Daniel Patterson (of two-Michelin-star Coi) opened the restaurant Plum in late 2010 and an adjacent cocktail bar later, and another restaurant, called Haven, in the recently renovated Jack London Square last month.

Not sure why it”s necessary to catch touring national acts specifically in Oakland when any self-respecting American city has a splendid art deco theater or two, but there are some good restaurants, to be sure.  Some are still standing, despite Occupy Oakland’s best efforts.  However, if a tourist is simply interested in food, why not stay in San Francisco, or, better yet, go wine-testing in Sonoma, which boasts excellent venues and a landscape that’s easy on the eyes?

Aside from the few upscale restaurants and breweries, there is nothing to see in Oakland.  If my readers do end up here, I recommend The Alley, an ostensibly unpretentious old school piano bar.  Locals like to sing the Oakland Song (starts on the 7:15 mark):

A taste of the lyrics:

Oakland’s got the Tribune Tower,

Oakland’s got Lake Merritt too

[...]

And don’t forget the tube to Alameda.

Oakland does have wealthy and well-kept enclaves and many neighborhoods that have potential for charm.  Then there are  a couple of sad museums. A few years ago the city was hoping to become a marijuana tourism destination, a kind of Amsterdam on the Pacific, but the dealers in charge of medical pot dispensaries quickly figured out that, should the drug become legal, they’d be put out of business by industrial-scale growers, and killed the bill to legalize it.  So now Colorado and Oregon are pioneering marijuana legalization.  California is sure losing its edge…

All in all, it’s not much of a tourist draw.  But where Oakland does stand out, is violent crime.  It is currently the third on the Forbes magazine list of most dangerous cities in America.  Violent crime rate here is 1,683 per 100,000 residents.  Just last Friday, six people were shot, four of them fatally, in a period of four hours.  Last night another eleven people were shot.  No word on which assault weapons were used, so, I presume, the crimes weren’t committed with “assault weapons”.

I’m not sure the historic Fox Theater is worth the risk.  Individuals interested in an offbeat hipsterish environment and gourmet cuisine, are advised to visit Portland.

July 6, 2012

Last Meal with Obama

Filed under: journalism — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 6:18 pm

It must be a slow news day.  The top headline on MSNBC reads:

Latest: Last Meal with Obama, Unicorn & More

woman dies after eating with Obama

Obama and unicorns: does it get any better?

That heart warming Obama story:

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE – The elderly owner of an Ohio restaurant where President Barack Obama ate breakfast on Friday died of natural causes just hours after meeting him.

Josephine “Ann” Harris, 70, owner of Ann’s Place, where Obama was served eggs, bacon, toast and grits, died at a hospital in Akron, Ohio. The president called her daughter from Air Force One to express his condolences.

This is totally noteworthy because our President appears to be so relatable here.  Now you go out and cast your vote for Ann!

May 18, 2012

Local Press Reviews

The latest issue of the Alameda Sun, the one local publication we are still allowed to read, is something to blog about.  First, there is “The Sun Shines Everywhere” section for which the readers send in the pictures of themselves holding up the rag in exotic locations.  The latest installment shows locals partying in Cuba.

Alameda Sun Cuba

I had to do a double take. Is it really Cuba or some place called “Havana Club” in the heart of Miami?

The man and woman on the right are “two of Alameda’s favorite Realtors, Dianne Richmond and Victor Jin”.  Judging by the vibe of the picture, their trip doesn’t look too terribly legal, but it’s possible that they ostensibly went to Cuba on a humanitarian mission.  According to the caption, they went in April this year.  In January, the 31-year-old dissident Wilmar Villar died in Cuban prison on ahunger strike.  Did the foursome visit his family?  Did they try to gain access to Alan Gross, an American citizen held in Cuban prison since 2009?  When one of my extended family members was a refusenik in the Soviet Union, he had a string of Westerners visiting him.  It was very important to all of us in the uncertain times.

Here is an idea:when visiting a totalitarian state, make an acquaintance with freedom-loving dissidents and take their pictures holding up your little paper.  Party pictures from the Prison Island make revelers appear evil.

Me and DH were talking about what goes on in that section.  I thought that perhaps Alameda Sun publishes just about any picture that readers care to send in because they can’t possibly have that many submissions.  DH suggested a way to test out that theory.  Next time we are in Israel, take a picture with IDF soldiers next to the Wailing Wall.  Send it in, see what happens.

***

The same issue carries a story about the upcoming Harvey Milk Day at a local middle school:

Making schools and communities safer for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer teens is the focus of this year’s celebration of Harvey Milk Day from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 21, at Wood Middle School, 420 Grand St.

The evening will feature a screening of the film Not in Our Town: Staging a Response to Hate about the 2003 death of transgender teen Gwen Araujo in Newark,

Keynote speaker, veteran Palo Alto educator Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, initiated “Not in Our School: Palo Alto.” Pat Skillen, a founding member of the Newark-Fremont Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will also speak.

The Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at the celebration[.]

I admit that the concept of a transgender teen gives me pause.  I’m puzzled by the fact that individuals not old enough to vote or buy a can of beer can get gender reassignment surgery.  I must be a hater.  Especially because I don’t understand why middle school teens are invited to celebrate Harvey Milk.  I suspect Alameda Sun doesn’t know it either.  The sole reference to the historic accomplishments of the slain  SF Supervisor is found in his photo description:

Harvey Milk has milk on his shirt in this 1975 photo that Mark Cohen took in front of Milk’s business, Castro Camera. Milk, an avid amateur photographer, owned the store from 1972 until his death in 1978.

Who doesn’t like an amateur photographer, especially an avid one?  In real life, Harvey Milk, a buddy of Jim Jones, was a politico with no particular achievement record.  He had the misfortune of being killed by a madman, so now we get to canonize him.  Seriously, is there someone else a middle school can celebrate, queer or not?

***

On the 12th of April, under the title “Shooting for a Safer Community”, the paper published a photo of unbelievable coolness:

Shooting for a safer community

I still can’t believe they published it.

From the description:

Alameda Police Department (APD) Officer Emilia Mark (left) watches as Speisekammer Restaurant owner Cindy Johnson takes aim at the target at APD’s shooting range. Johnson recently graduated from the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) Academy.

Anyhow, pro-Palestinian activist and an old “friend” Paula Rainey obliged to respond.  Interestingly, she also feels that the paper needs to be pickier about the pictures it prints:

In response to the photo (“Shooting for a Safer Community,” April 12) paper I say not! What were you thinking? Immediately after seeing the offending photo, with the barrel of a gun nearly pointed to me, I called the Alameda Police Department. My question: Is this an accurate reflection of the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) Academy?

Why was this aspect of the training highlighted? What business does a citizen involved in the training program have with practicing with weapons? To what end?

What happened? Why did the newspaper so thoughtlessly choose a photo and headline that shouts disregard for the violence in our communities, violence that destroys families, hopes, and futures. I don’t know.

The Trayvon Martin case, and the overwhelming injustice in any number of other extrajudicial killings in our communities haunt us.

Of course these tragedies immediately came to mind. What were you thinking? Any citizen collaboration with the Alameda police needs to build relationships, not violence or threat of violence.

I don’t want to see guns normalized. I don’t want to see a repeat of the Trayvon Martin case in this city or anywhere else.

I applaud efforts to promote residents’ efforts to know and support their neighbors, especially in times of need.

I applaud efforts to erase stereotypes, to put an end to bullying and racial profi ling.

It is these efforts that make safer communities, not the use of weapons. I would like to invite the community to communicate directly with the police department about their views on the elements of policing that bring safety.

I request the Alameda Sun apologize to the community for running this most repugnant photo and headline. In addition, I would like the Sun to provide space for the community to have conversations about how to make our community safe for everyone.

We may want to consider meeting together to follow up on these conversations. [Bold is mine, -ed.]

— Paula Rainey

This lady evidently holds enough swing over the local papers to ban delivery to dissenters.

I think she might be under the impression that Palestinians are pacifists.  Maybe all these pizzeria bombings didn’t happen and the rockets don’t rain on South Israel.

***

In other news, the local government noted that  the sales tax in neighboring towns is higher, and duly wants to raise ours for unspecified projects: “It’s for the kids!”

March 29, 2012

A Battleship Potemkin Village

Filed under: journalism, parenting, politics — edge of the sandbox @ 4:58 pm

One of the consequences of a rush to judgement is making a total donkey out of oneself.  A very large number of people in this country heard of the Trayvon Martin shooting from the media and got outraged.  And what is there not to be outraged about: a black teenager carrying a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea for his little brother was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, an overzealous white neighborhood watchman.  When the demagogues from the Black Panthers to Barack Obama whipped up the crowd, mass rallies ensured demanding “justice for Trayvon”.  I want justice for Trayvon too, and justice means weighing the evidence.

One disturbing element of the rallies was presence of kids, often in the front rows, with signs that drew a comparison between the slayed teen and the often much younger sign holder.

Who is Trayvon?

Even if the story as initially reported by the media was true, does it justify propping up your child with a sign like the ones above?

I get impression that the kids were told that they could be easily shot just for being black.  Which is a horrible thing to teach them because the great majority of white Americans pose no threat to black children.  I suspect that the kids have to know that they are unlikely to share Trayvon’s horrible fate because they have never met anyone who was killed by a “white Hispanic” neighborhood watch captain.  In fact, white on black (and black on white) crime is rare.

Although I don’t believe children belong at political rallies, I respect parents who think otherwise.  Parents might want to teach their sons and daughters about political activism or may simply end up taking their children along because they don’t have alternative childcare arrangements.  Staged pictures of kids posted online to further a political goal is something quite different.  The internet is teeming with photographs of tykes holding up Trayvon-related signage:

trayvon kid

How do you get your kid to stare at the camera this way?

Another example of the meme:

trayvon martin kid

This protege must have wrote the sign himself. Good job with drawing the squares -- way ahead of his peers in fine motor development!

Hey, kids support Trayvon too!  The internet says so.  If the quality of pictures above does not satisfy the audience, how about a professional take?

I am Trayvon photoshoot

DC photographer Eunique Jones snaps portraits of people, many of them kids, wearing a hoodie

Major media noted the result:

trayvon martin

Presumably the tot himself shared with Eunique his dream about future occupation

Not quite the Odessa Steps scene from Battleship Potemkin, but still can squeeze a tear or two from a voter.

The rationale for the kids-in-hoodies trend is to make a point that the late Mr. Martin, whose childhood pictures are used to illustrate the mainstream media stories was a minor.  These representations obscure the fact that Trayvon was not a baby or a child; he was a teenager, which puts him in a different category completely.

How about this collection of Trayvons?

who is trayvon?

Kids being kids, they smiled for the camera. They probably found ways to have fun at the somber rally, too

Now for a family  family of white (possibly a “white Hispanic” baby) Trayvon wanna-bees:

Trayvon Martin family

Feel strong enough about the Trayvon tragedy to use one's own child as a prop?

Why would any parent want to give her child “I am Trayvon” sign is beyond me.  My heart grows cold when I think that my son might grow up to be like the late Florida teen.  Unlike the candy and non-alcoholic beverage kid we met in the media accounts, the real Trayvon was suspended from school for smoking marijuana — not exactly an extraordinary occurrence, but not a portrait of innocence either.  Trayvon’s school trouble doesn’t end there; a bag of woman’s jewelry and a screwdriver were found in his school bag and passed on to the police.

Trayvon tweets

The picture Trayvon Martin had chosen for his twitter account: Still baby-faced, already thuggish

His twitter accounts exhibit teenage bravado, giving us a glimpse at behavior that probably doomed him at the end.  Police videotape shows Zimmerman’s scared head, corroborating the shooter’s account of the scuffle.  I gather from the emerging evidence that the young man’s behavior had something to do with his tragic death.  I don’t expect my kids’ teenage years to be easy, but dear G-d, please not let them be Trayvon.

I find myself amazed by the grown ups who use Trayvon’s untimely end to get their own 15 minutes:

trayvon martin rally

She must really be cool with black people because nobody in this predominantly black crowd broke *her* nose, at least as far as we know

Something smug about her.

There is no justice in teaching kids to identify with a delinquent youth; it will not help us avoid future violent deaths:

Trayvon Martins

Democratic Underground calls it "Powerful". This picture was posted on Facebook

The parents in picture above said:

We dress our children in hoodies because we want them to grow up to share the burden we feel. [Italics are mine, -ed.]

You mean it wasn’t the kids’ idea?  Nothing wrong with teaching kids one’s values, even if parents are misinformed, but making a display of it is exploitative.  If parents get the story wrong it’s also counterproductive.

UPDATE 3/29/2012: An insightful post at Other McCain, particularly:

My bedtime reading lately has been The Future Once Happened Here, Fred Siegel’s brilliant account of how liberal social policy destroyed America’s cities. Siegel’s book was a major resource for Chapter 8 of Donkey Cons, and is full of insights on the development of our contemporary attitudes about poverty, race and crime. On page 58 of his book, Siegel writes about “a cultural shift” that occurred in the 1960s:

“[O]lder ideas about shame were starting to be replaced by a new concern for self-esteem. Christopher Lasch wrote that formerly “shame was the fate of those whose conduct fell short of cherished ideals.” But in the 1960s, the new age of moral deregulation and therapeutic ethics, shame came to refer to whatever prevents us from feeling good about ourselves.”

Am I the only one who sees the Trayvon Martin carnival in this context? Liberals have turned the case into a sort of public festival, a self-congratulatory celebration of their own moral superiority. And they have arranged the symbolic elements of the narrative so that to criticize them — the shameless media moralizers — is to become implicated in George Zimmerman’s presumed guilt.

They are using the corpse of Trayvon Martin as a human shield to conceal their ideological agenda and protect themselves against criticism.

A shift from shame to self-esteem occurred primarily in middle class families, the kind that can be seen parading their white children in hoodies holding up “I am Trayvon” signs.  They are the ones who use Trayvon’s death as a “public festival” of their “moral superiority”.  They also teach their own kids to avoid unnecessary violent confrontations.  Their culture is run on guilt.

Trayvon Martin, on the other hand, is a product of a different environment.  His tweets offer a clue:

F*** a b***.  Any b***.  who you want? take yo pick. but you gone have to take yo time.

Or:

Lol so Daisha think she a boss cause she walked in class late 2day. …. I do dat everyday

He’s very much full of pride, only he’s proud of something that should be a source of shame.  It’s probably his misguided pride that eventually led him into the confrontation with George Zimmerman.  How subversive it is that sanctimonious white families stoke the fire of wounded pride in black children!  They are working to make sure that countless young black men will lose their lives — to other blacks, to Hispanics, to whites or anyone else, really.

March 23, 2012

Free Speech Bay Area

Last night DH was looking over one of the two free local papers we still get delivered to our door.

“Is there anything I need to read?” I asked.

“Meh.  If you want to, you can check out the letter here about a “free speech” event for Jew-bashers.”

Under the heading Breaking Down Barriers I read the following:

For more than a year, visitors to the Saturday Alameda Farmer’s Market encounter bright orange traffic cones with notices proclaiming one small place at the very end of the vendor area a “Free Speech Zone” — all this fuss with signage and color that shouts “caution,” for one citizen’s effort to talk about matters of peace in Palestine and peace in the Middle East.

For those who desire to know more about the situation in Palestine, non-violent efforts to resist the military occupation and the international boycott; divestment and sanctions movement that is gaining steam around the world, I would like to extend an invitation to the Sabeel Conference tomorrow and Saturday, March 23 and 24, at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, 732 West Fremont Ave.

The conference will offer an opportunity to hear many voices of conscience — American, Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Christian and Muslim.

You won’t be put off by seeing “caution” cones or feel yourself restricted to talk “freely” in a small designated area. Instead you will be greeted with invitations to talk with people who live and work in Israel and in the Palestinian territories You will have the opportunity to learn to challenge the status quo, and act to promote freedom, justice and equality.

You might even find yourself challenged to hold onto this issue and join the ever growing call for peace in the Middle East here in the streets of Alameda! Additional information can be found at http://www.barriers-conference.org.

— Paula Rainey

I’m curious about these orange cones: did I missed something entertaining a year ago?  Ms. Rainey is a local proponent of the boycott, divest, sanction effort currently in vogue with Israel’s enemies, and she did have an event planned at the Farmer’s Market at some point.

Not sure what boycott of and divestment from a besieged tiny nation has to do with  “peace in the Middle East” or “breaking down barriers,” if by barriers we mean barriers towards peace or at least  security, and not the defensive wall Israel had erected to protect her citizens from terrorists attacks in 2004.  Most of the said barrier is actually a fence, and it did effectively end the “Second Intifada”, or the wave of terror that swept Israel in the second half of the last decade following Yasser Arafat’s rejection of a generous Israeli land offer.  Those opposed to the Jewish state have been railing against Israel’s non-violent defense (which is what the said wall/fence has been since it was built).  The wall part of the construction is prominently pictured on the conference’s website.

The conference will feature a variety of speakers with consistent anti-Israel bias.  Who else signs on to promote the boycott of the sole democracy in the Middle East?  This event is being billed as some sort of an open mike.  Interesting that they feel censored, scary orange cones and what not, because there is another free speech twist.

In May 2010, the Turkish Islamist government sent a ship called Mavi Marmara, loaded with weapons and unusable medical supplies, to break the legal blockade Israel imposed on Gaza Strip in lieu of Hamas terrorists regularly firing rockets on Israel.  The IDF boarded the ship, were attacked and killed several armed crew members.  International outrage ensured as the media outlets the world over had the public convinced that Mavi Marmara was carrying peace activist with humanitarian aid.  Since it is Friday, here is the terrific Caroline Glick and Latma TV with “We Con the World,” a parody inspired by the incident:

Paula Rainy, who at least at one point was a member of the ultra-left Green Party, has long been obsessed with the Jewish State.  She was signing anti-Israel petitions as far back as 2001.  When, following the Mavi Marmara incident, lefties everywhere called for retaliatory boycotts of Israeli ships, Ms. Rainy participated in the East Bay Area efforts.  She wrote letters to local papers about the “historic achievement” of hers: together with her buddies she picketed a ship of Israeli Zim line, preventing it from docking in the Port of Oakland for 24 hours.

We read her letter in the Alameda Journal, another free local paper delivered unsolicited to virtually every household, and DH was pissed enough to write a response.  He did express some doubt before hitting that “send” button (“Basically, I am giving my name and address to every leftist organization in the country”), but mailed the letter.  Not surprisingly, Alameda Journal didn’t print it.

A week later we stopped receiving the paper at our door.  It is still delivered to all our neighbors as well as the empty, abandoned and foreclosed property in the vicinity.  Evidently, defense of Israel around here is beyond the Pale (pun intended).  Needles to say, the local papers and people writing letters to editors had no problem with Assad slaughtering his own people or the Muslim Brotherhood seizing power in Egypt.

Oh well, it could have been worse, we could be living in a real life people’s republic.

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