sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

September 30, 2014

Mandy Nagy – @Liberty_Chick – FUNDRAISER

Filed under: politics — edge of the sandbox @ 7:57 pm

edge of the sandbox:

Please help Mandy Nagy in her recovery:

Originally posted on The Camp Of The Saints:

[NOTE: This post will stay here, at the top of the Dispatches, until further notice. See new posts below]

As you may recall, my very good Friend In The Ether, Mandy Nagy, suffered a stroke in early September.

William Jacobson has been updating us nearly every day on her condition here.

She’s going to require a good amount of rehab, so Bill has put together a Fundraiser to help her and her family with some of the expenses she will incur in the coming months.

Please give what you can.

And leave a word for Mandy at Bill’s post — he’ll make sure it gets to her.

If you’re the praying kind, well, that won’t hurt either.

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Suspected East Bay Area Pacifism Outbreak

Filed under: Bay Area politics, politics — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:13 am

From the Department of You Just Can’t Make It Up, all italics are mine:

Those who know Alameda resident Stephen Michael Petersen were stunned to learn Monday that their friend — a guitar player who fronts a folk band — was one of two men arrested on suspicion of setting a string of fires in the city that damaged or destroyed several homes and businesses.

Petersen, 27, is a well-liked musician who hosts an open mike night in Alameda and keeps a strict vegan diet, according to his friends. But he was nabbed by police at 2:43 a.m. Sunday in front of his apartment amid a rampage of fires that began to break out within a 7-block radius just before 1 a.m., authorities said.

“I’ve known him for five years and consider him a friend,” said 28-year-old Jesse Strickman, a musician who has performed several times with Petersen. “He’s a very nice guy. He is extreme, but I don’t think he would do anything that would hurt anyone.”

Petersen’s brother, Eric Marcrum of San Diego, said police arrested the wrong person.

“It does not sound like anything my brother would be involved in. He’s a pacifist. He abhors violence,” said Marcrum, 40. “I want to see these charges dropped, and I want to see him released.”

Right.  And he hasn’t been tried yet.

The other suspect, 22-year-old Andrew Resto Gutierrez, said to be a transient who frequents Alameda, was arrested at 4:49 a.m. Sunday, police said. A day later, authorities were working to see how the men were connected, said Alameda police Lt. Jill Ottaviano.

No one was injured in the fires that ultimately racked up $3 million in damage and displaced four families, Alameda fire officials said.

No one was injured?  It could be the first known case of pacifist arson.

The first fire was reported at 12:56 a.m. — a trash bin blaze on the 1300 block of Regent Street that crews quickly extinguished. Soon crews from multiple East Bay agencies were responding to a rash of fires that they would spend hours putting out, said Capt. Jim Colburn of the Alameda Fire Department.

At 1:39 a.m., someone set the back of a two-story home on the 1100 block of Regent ablaze, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage. Then a two-story Victorian duplex on the 2200 block of San Antonio Avenue was set on fire, Colburn said. Four sleeping children escaped from the rear unit, but there was $300,000 in damage.

Children are a burden on mother Earth, aspiring musicians and transients.

The most devastating fire was reported just after 4 a.m., after Petersen’s arrest. At least five businesses were damaged when a fire spread from the alley behind a commercial strip on the 1600 block of Park Street, Colburn said.

The fire destroyed Angela’s, a Mediterranean-style restaurant, and Brite 1-Hour Cleaners. Investigators estimated $2.6 million in losses.

Are Brite 1-Hour an eco-friendly chain?

‘Out of character’

Justin Vanegas, 29, another musician in the Alameda scene, said he is one of Petersen’s closest friends. The two trade off doing sound engineering at Rooster’s Roadhouse on Clement Avenue. On Saturday night, Vanegas said his friend was working at the bar and got off his shift around 1:30 a.m. before walking home.

“This is completely out of character,” Vanegas said. “I think he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This whole thing just doesn’t add up. I’m really confused. None of this makes any sense at all.”

According to his friends, Petersen graduated from San Francisco State University and is straight edge, a hard-core punk subgenre whose adherents refrain from using drugs or alcohol.

On the other hand, if he’s fronting a folk band, he has to be a drinker.

On Aug. 25, Petersen posted a picture on his Facebook page of a Germanic rune on an anarcho-communist flag, which he said shows he is a “pagan but anti-fascist.” 

The Germanic rune symbols was used by the Nazis and continue to be used by the neo-Nazis.  There are all sorts of anarcho-Nazis running around Ukraine now, mostly fighting monuments, but killing people, too.

In a line describing himself, Petersen wrote, “I believe in non-violence adamantly, I’d rather let you hit me than try to hurt you, for in the words of Gandhi: ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.’”

Me, I’m for self-defense and against destruction of property.

‘Not a violent person’

Strickman, who fronts the band Dear Indugu, had Petersen sing on his most recent album.

“I opened for him, and he’s opened for me,” he said. “He’s not a violent person. He is very political and really believes in animal rights.”

Hitler was a vegetarian.

Vanegas added, “He definitely has the protester in him, but he’s never violent in any way, shape or form.”

September 9, 2014

Things I Learned This Summer

1. The reassuring wisdom of Darling Husband is immense. Darling Daughter won a coloring contest this summer. She’s not without an artistic streak, but in the case of this particular project, she dialed it in. When we turned in her work, we thought she would learn a lesson when she finds out that she blew it because she didn’t do her best. Imagine our surprise when DH received a message that she got first place in her age category. Oh no, is she going to rest on her laurels now?
We congratulated her, but then told her that she needs to consider that not enough kids entered the contest, and that she needs to try harder next time if she wants to keep winning. I guess I have my issues. After a few days DH told me to chill: She learned an important life lesson, that, as Woody Allen said, 90% of success is showing up.
“Although,” DH quickly added, “Woody Allen tried to take his words back and made an entire documentary to repudiate it. Not to repudiate that he slept with his daughter or anything like that, but to repudiate that he believes that 90% of success is showing up.”
2. To further quote my husband, if open concept homes are such a good idea, how come nobody thought of it before? These days flippers try to demolish every wall in the house, save bedroom walls. Open concept houses look nice and zen, and they sell like hot cakes because buyers find it easy to imagine themselves living in spacious, light-filled homes.
The reality of living in them is different, and once moved in, owners begin carving out rooms of their own, mancaves, and other areas to escape family members. Also, open concept homes are not good when it comes to containing mess.
3. Who is Joel Gott?
4. Local governments can be pretty darn ridiculous. We decided to remove an old chimney on our roof, and the contractor told us that because it’s visible from the street, he’s not comfortable working without a permit. So I went to the City Hall and payed a hefty fee. The clerk told me about the paperwork I’m required to submit.
“Do you know Photoshop?” She inquired. She asked me to take pictures of the roof from various vantage points and submit them for review together with the pictures where the chimney is photoshopped out.
After I turned in my paperwork, they sent letters to our neighbors asking if they don’t mind if we remove the chimney. Next they told me to post the permit application in front of our house and mail them the picture of the posted permit.
Finally, the City Hall also wants to know if I plan to close the gaping hole in my roof and how.
5. Who is Joel Gott?
6. нет пророка в своем отечестве. I’m Putin’s troll. Or so say some of my compatriots when I point out certain… Problems with their understanding of the place where I happen to be born and raised. The place happened to be eastern Ukraine.
Everything Ukraine is pretty much inside baseball. What I hear again and again that there once was a country called Ukraine that Russia took over, starved a whole bunch of Ukrainians and brought Russians in their place, and that’s how Russians ended up in Ukraine. It’s true about Holodomor.
I do believe that we should had dispatched Kissinger to negotiate unified unaligned Ukraine and to assure Russia’s assistance in the Middle East. To risk a nuclear war (or even an economic downturn) over strongly Russian-leaning regions in a country with intractable corruption and social problem and no unifying national identity does seem a bit excessive to this blogger — and that’s why I’m Putin’s troll.
DH, again, quips that he’s still waiting for his paycheck from ZOG, and now where is his paycheck from FSB?
7. We have a new neighborhood school now. It the old one was Tijuana meets Hanoi, the new one is Portlandia. I have to say I prefer the latter because something like education does take place in it.
8. My children got in trouble this summer for simulating a gun with their hands and saying “Poof!” Daddy explained that when he was young, he had a holster with two guns in it and he played World War Two with his brother. Ah, the good old days!
9. Encouraging an ostensibly independent 7-year-old to walk down the block on her own can be a challenge these days. At first DD like the idea, but after some consideration she said “who’s going to watch me?” I told her that when I was her age and I wanted to play, I didn’t pester (ok, I used different language) my mom about my availability (her language) for play dates, I just went outside.
Next thing I know, she rolled on her scooter out of the park. That’s more like it.
…we are not fully moved in and unpacked. My desktop is not configured yet, and I hate typing on my mini, so I can’t say I’m back to blogging.

August 30, 2014

Such a Rip-Off

Filed under: music, politics — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:19 pm

The President got a tan suit?  At least it’s not a burgundy beard! [With a false start]:

In other news, I’m moving and have no time to post anything else.  Marc Bolan recorded some good packing and cleaning music.

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 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.

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