sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

February 28, 2012

Political Scandals Rock the Bay Area

Actually, they don’t really rock the Bay Area, considering that said events are unlikely to inspire any soul-searching; they just happened to take place here.

Numero Uno is Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, third wife of State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.  I Own the World summarizes: Politicians, Meth, Alcoholism, Sex Tape* and no Mention of Political Party.  My first thought, was, why, we only have one party around here.

Then I thought of SF sheriff Ross Mircarimi, on trial for domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.  He got his wife to proclaim the following:

“This is a case of political persecution, and we Venezuelans know what that is,” said Ms. Lopez, who denied that her husband had abused her. “Everybody believes that politics in the United States is very transparent. But it’s actually a bit cloudy.”

“Welcome to the U.S.A., everybody,” she said. “It’s very dirty, really, and there are many hidden interests at play.”

You wife compares the US to Venezuela, and next thing you know, you are charged with dissuading a witness.

Mircarimi is a co-founder of the  California Green Party, something that newspapers don’t like to mention either.  Somehow Mircarimi is also a member of NOW, and as DH points out, Lidia Stiglich, his Berkeley-based attorney, looks an awful lot like a lesbian.  Although I doubt either Lockyer or Mircarimi consider themselves white, none of behavior described here is hypocritical; it’s ironic.

Lidia Stiglich, center

Meth… domestic violence… our ruling elites are so white trash around here.  But students over at Cal OD on cocaine.

In case you are wondering, Nadia Lockyer is a Democrat.

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* Add domestic violence to the list.  Supervisor Lockyer’s boyfriend alleges that she attacked him.  Nadia Lockyer is a recipient of the LULAC 2009 Champion Against Domestic Violence Award and the Alameda County Family Justice Center’s Diamond Leadership Award.  She is historic — the first Latina and the first woman of Native American heritage elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

October 10, 2011

I Heart Occupy

Filed under: Bay Area politics, politics — Tags: , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 5:25 pm

We are having one of those climate change Bay Area summers which is like the warmest winter Mark Twain ever witnessed, only more so.  It rained well into May, there were only a couple of heat waves, and it’s already raining again.  I had to go to the City last week to see my dentist; there I ran into a sad encampment of Occupy San Francisco.  Their tent city took up about a half of a small city block.  They erected their tents to keep dry and two guys were screaming something illegible into a loudspeaker.

Considering that San Francisco is the home base of the far left, a demonstration with less than a 10,000 turn out should be considered a failure.

Some speculate that Occupy movement is astroturf, pointing out that George Soros finances Adbusters, the Canadian magazine that promotes the Occupy Wall Street movement.  They might as well be astroturfed by Karl Rove or the Koch brothers.  While it’s true that Adbusters is partially financed through Soros’s Tides Foundation, I doubt it’s possible to be a marginally successful lefty publication and not receive money from the mogul.  I don’t think Adbusters were getting their ideas from either Soros or the organized labor or the Democratic party.

leftist conspiracist

The Day of Rage, which was intended to be a send off of the Occupy movement was a colossal failure.  Adbusters wanted 20,000 to march in New York, but even by the most generous estimates no more then 2,000 goofballs showed up.  The more adventurous occupiers decided to dig in at Zuccotti Park until their to-be- determined demands are met.  But really, who sets up an outdoor camp just in time for Indian summer?  These and other rookie mistakes point to the fact that Occupy is, in fact, an authentic anarchist movement.

Occupy Wiccan

I suspect this young lady might dabble in Wicca.

Adbusters fans proved that the lack of amenities are not a deterrent if one can use a McDonnald’s bathroom.  They proved that they are going to hang in there as long as the cameras are around, and the cameras, of course, kept rolling.  So now Democratic politicians have chimed in and union leaders, which, I’m sure, knew about the protesters all along but couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge them, expressed interest in the movement.  Only the numbers to match the Tea Party are still not there.

Occupy Wall Street hottie

OK, so she's heard about ancient history. But if the US is an empire like Rome, and it's really really bad to be an empire, one should be happy that our Rome is burning. And she is happy. On the other hand, if Wall Street is evil and decadent like Nero, and this is one message we get from this movement, then Rome burning is not so hot. But this protester is laughing, posing provocatively and wearing a silly hat.

I don’t see how it is in Democrats’ interest to keep this movement around.  What Democrats need to do is to give anarchists a pat on the back and send them on their merry way.  We already know that the far left is disappointed with Obama.  The last thing Democrats need is having to keep placating them when the President urgently needs to move to the center.  Me, on the other hand, I’m enjoying the spectacle, and I hope Rosanne Barr, who recently visited the bums, emerges as a credible far left alternative to Barack Hussein Obama.

Occupy Wall Street nudity

Look, walking dissertation, deeds speak louder than words.

September 7, 2011

Astroturf in Israel?

Filed under: Israel — Tags: , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 7:34 pm

Turns out, huge demonstrations demanding cheap housing that recently shook Israel were organized by an American Democratic operative:

According to an investigative report by Maariv‘s Kalman Libeskind, the protests were engineered by a group of media strategists who are directed by prominent Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg, a former adviser to Bill Clinton, John Kerry and others. Greenberg directed the strategists to create a protest that was not led by one specific group, in order to create social ferment. An unnamed left-wing leader would eventually step into this ferment and take the reins, Greenberg predicted.

I suppose it’s not astroturf if grassroots show up, but I found those demonstrations puzzling.  You see, Israel’s economy is doing phenomenally well and the country is attracting Jewish youth from the English-speaking world:

Despite overwhelming odds, Israel has matured into an economic powerhouse boasting an ever-increasing GDP, strong currency, a lower unemployment rate than the US and the EU, and a rich and diverse culture. With all that Israel has to offer, Aliyah is increasingly becoming a normative lifestyle choice for recent college graduates and young professionals from western countries.
Young professionals in their twenties and thirties are faced with major life choices: What career path should I pursue? Should I attend graduate school? Should I date this person? These critical life decisions naturally tie into where one chooses to live. Will I find fulfillment in Manhattan or Toronto? Los Angeles or London? Such times of introspection inevitably lead to larger questions of how we define ourselves as individuals, as members of a community, and as Jews.
When studying the recent trends in Aliyah, it emerges that many young singles at this juncture in their lives are realizing that their future is in Israel. Since 2002, over 7,000 students and young professionals have made Aliyah from North America and the UK with the help of Nefesh B’Nefesh, bringing with them their skills, idealism and determination to contribute to a society that is at the forefront of global technology.

Seven thousand might not seem like a lot of people, but considering that a little shy of six million Jews live in Israel, and slightly less in the US, and not all of them are in their 20s and 30s, this is not a bad number.  I doubt young people from the developed world would be flocking to Israel if they thought they wouldn’t be able to make a good living there.

Israel’s unemployment rate is at an all-time low, at 5.7% this May, if you are wondering.  The long-term prospects are good thanks to highly educated, dynamic population and the prospect of developing natural resources.  Plus, Israeli society doesn’t have the structural problems that loom over other developed nations.  The total fertility rate for the Jewish women in Israel is 2.9 and rising.  The TFR for Muslim women is 3.7 and falling.

When Greece or the UK rioted, we knew it was about the looming end of welfare state.  Economically speaking things are looking up for Israel.  So why the demonstrations?

Israeli leftist organizations are funded from abroad, mainly the US.  They typically attack Israel on foreign policy issues, and are designed to deligitimize Israel in the global arena.  Foreign money was behind the libelous Goldstein report.  David P. Goldman argued that the protests are good news because they show that the country is united behind Bibi’s foreign policy, and the only way the left can think of attacking him is on the domestic front.  I hope he is right.  On the other hand, perhaps they are just diversifying.

Dear people of Israel, please don’t let the party responsible for the failed American policies select your next Prime Minister.

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