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Smoking and Sitting and Drones... Oh My!

By       Message James Armstrong II     Permalink

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So we have a situation where those in charge of this nation (United States of America) are dictating to Us that We are the Ones who need to be blamed for their (Elected Officials) criminality.  They are turning Us against One Another.  This is not going to solve the problem, everyone.  This is only making them more bold... more powerful.  They want to keep the Status Quo going so they can make as much cash as they can.  If this problem gets fixed, they don't make any money.  Well, that's not entirely factual.  They will make money; just not as much [money] as they like.  Capitalism has run roughshod right through Us All.  De-regulated Capitalism is like King Kong off the chains.  And everyone knows what the cost of doing business with that gorilla ended up costing.

Speaking of a classic film, "The Wizard of Oz" comes to mind when discussing this stuff. 

When discussing anything political, it is always better to have something visual to convey your message from... something analogous to the situation being discussed.  This gives the reader a clear-cut and concise picture of what the writer is trying to get across.  So this is what I will try to accomplish with this piece.  Two of these topics are topics I have been beating to death for over six months now, so I apologize for that... but these topics are very important, as they cut to the heart of our nation's (civil-liberties) core.  The third topic being discussed in this piece is a new one, though.  And it ties to the other two in that it involves all Our (American Citizens') civil liberties and rights to privacy from the very State trying to violate them.

Just like Dorothy, the journey began to get interesting once I met my version of the Scarecrow.  The Scarecrow needed a brain, but was not allowed to use the one it had, because the Powers That Be would not allow for this, so the Scarecrow had to use a surrogate to get the job done.  That surrogate was me, apparently.  The Scarecrow had the brains to get the job done, but again, was not allowed (by their employer [Block By Block]) to make a move, so I was integral in that process. 

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Just recently, I picked up the latest (October 17 - 23) issue of the East Bay Express (Ironically enough, considering some of my earliest sourcing came from this very publication with the story 'Private Cops on the Public Dime,' by Darwin BondGraham: click here=3108768) and checked their "News & Opinion" section.  I like that section because this is where they (East Bay [Express]) allow the readers to chime in with their thoughts on subjects written in their fish wrap.  Osha Neumann, chairman of the No on S campaign, and Head Soldier of the East Bay Community Law Center (Where so many of the homeless American Citizens have come to get legal advice and actual action against the State [and city] concerning violations of civil rights and/or liberties.), wrote a short, succinct statement.  This is what I noticed from his opinion: "It's about preemptive criminalization.  Some homeless people may do bad things, so let's criminalize something they do that's innocuous.  It's not about getting them services.  It's about getting them out of here."

And he's right, too.  It's not a bout services.  Because, I do not see those services out here.  Sure, there are some services going on, but (mostly) by private organizations, like church groups and churches themselves.  For the city of Berkeley to be spending "$2.8 million" [dollars] a year on the homeless of Berkeley, I'd have to see where it is being allocated before I believe it.  Voting Yes on Measure U will help assist with finding this sort of stuff out, folks.  The City Fathers (and Mothers) of Berkeley have been cutting programs, like the Y.E.A.H. (Youth Engagement Advocacy and Housing), where Berkeley's youth (25 and under) can get services and have a "drop-in center," so they are not merely hanging out on Shattuck.  This tells me it's syste matic; the harassment of these street kids is planned, otherwise these places would be open.  Too alleviate the pressure of the boulevard and appeasing those business owners who wish these kids would move.  If you're telling me there's a "problem with street youth hanging out on Shattuck Boulevard," but you are cutting services that affect those very same kids you are blaming, you're telling me that you're syste matically ha rassing American Citizens.


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Along the way, the Scarecrow and I picked up a friend... we ran into the Tin Man.  The Tin Man did not have the heart to go on the journey, alone... so the Scarecrow and I decided to take the Tin Man under our wings, as we carried the Tin Man along, even though the Tin Man al ready had the heart to do so, he did have the knowledge of intestinal fortitude to do so at that place and time.  It would take some gentle prodding and well-placed positive-affirmation, but the Tin Man would ultimately find the heart to carry on in this fight... as we were now much stronger in our journey... as we skipped, vigorously, down that gold-brick road, toward our destiny's'.

The city cut funding for that (Y.E.A.H.) organization, then con demns those affected by said cuts, and are currently and actively ha rassing these kids, through the police (Not the cops fault here... they are being told to do this by their superiors, who are being told by their superiors, who are being controlled by the Downtown [Berkeley] Business Association [D.B.A.], through SMS Holdings, through the Department of Homeland Security, which makes all of this very Fascist and very dangerous.), and Block By Block.  I continue to watch as employees ('Janitors') of Block By Block spy on (a select few) American Citizens. 

Just the other day, one of them was feigning cleaning up while they looked at some homeless panhandlers, got on their radios, called something in, looked at those panhandlers once again, who were doing nothing more than sitting there, mind you, called something else in, and then continued on looking for stuff to pick up (even though there was nothing [much] to pick up)... keeping a mindful eye on those people targeted.  I watched this unfold!  But they aren't here to spy on you?  Well, maybe not you.  If you aren't homeless they won't bother you.  If you are homeless, though... watch what you are doing.  Always pay attention to your surroundings, because a corporation (SMS [Suck Me Sideways] Holdings) out of the Red State of Tennessee and the Department of Homeland Security is watching you.

As far as beds and shelters go in the city of Berkeley, here are some real statistics you won't get from the city mayor's office: "Berkeley suffers a serious shortage of shelter beds, just 135 spots for more than 600 homeless people.  The situation is worse for homeless youth: Only 35 beds, all of which are full from when the youth shelter opens in November until its closure in April." Those were the words of Christopher Cook, communications director, and Bob Offer-Westort, coordinator, Berkeley Standing Up for the Right to Sit Down/No on S.

And again, the Y.E.A.H. isn't even open anymore, because the city cut funding to that program.  So now there is nowhere for these kids (under 25) to go.  So, they end up in front of these storefronts, and the businesses do not like it.  So, instead of actually fixing the problem, these businesses have decided to be lazy and allow a Bully in from a Red State to usurp Berkeley, ala "Trojan Horse," during an election year no less... and this is going to fix the problem, how again?  Lazy thinking and allowing for a fear-based consciousness, instead of a logical, frugal, realistic approach to the problem to persist, is how we got here, and it is how we stay here... stuck in this mire; stuck in this muck.

As the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and myself strolled down the road... slashing through and over, deep inside some giant-fern-laced cut, near a dark-wooded forest full of ten-foot-stalks of Nature's Green Medicine, the three of them decided to take a safety break... get their heads clear... and then take their next course of action.  That's when they encountered the Cowardly Lion.  The Cowardly Lion jumped out of nowhere, scaring the crap out of the Tin Man.  So much so that he almost evacuated his heater coil and made an oily mess out of everything.  The Lion was all hot air, however, as I figured out his game, right away.  The Cowardly Lion was obviously missing courage.  He was projecting all his insecurities on to me and the other two... so we handed him what we were discussing at the safety meeting and he calmed right down.  It's a mazing how that works.  Someone can be so... in sane.  But if you take them on a safety break, they come back a lot less crazy.

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As for the "No Smoking in the 'Commercial' District," I think I have made my case clear from the beginning.  Do not take cash for something you think is "poison" and then b*tch about the "effects from cigarette smoking in public places."  Again, that is like complaining about the crack dealer on the corner of your block, but then you sneak out at three in the morning to collect twenty percent from that very dealer you are so at odds with.  If you don't want poison in your face, do not sell it in your front (and back) yard.  Do not allow it anywhere in the downtown area.  Don't be selective here; don't be hypocritical; don't be full of "detritus."  Also, don't trot out a program about the city of Berkeley, designed to attract tourists, with the wrong, out dated information on it.  Because you are (outright) lying to them for financial gain if you allow them ('Visit Berkeley!' programs) to persist and be handed out by your Ambassadors as promotion of your fair city.

My third and final topic comes to you from The Daily Californian.

The headline reads, "Sheriff seeking to invest in drone."  Okay... I thought it was bad e nough when the city of Oakland and Berkeley wanted to buy a tank... because, both cities are in a budget crisis, and "have no money!" for homeless services and such, but did have cash for a tank... and now, a drone?  Is this I raq?  Is this Af ghanistan?  I thought the main theory for going to war was to keep this sort of crap out of our country?  Wasn't that part of the (in sane) logic for going to war?  That if we somehow just killed everything in the Middle East, that somehow we wouldn't have to deal with that over here?  Yet, here it is?  Here we are

Now we're discussing whether (or not) we need a drone in the East Bay? 

But the Federal Government taking over ('Receivership') the Oakland Police Department was "no big deal"... right

As the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and me approached the Emerald City, we noticed that Wicked Witch of the East (Federal Government) stewing around the city of Oakland, we noticed that b*tch trying to upgrade, from her broom to a drone.  This will not stand!  "This aggression, will not stand, ma'an!"  That is what the Cowardly Lion screamed.  The Tin Man pointed out that, the Cowardly Lion just wanted his rug back... that it, "Really tied the room together."  The Scarecrow, he just wanted to get a smokeless pipe, as he was afraid of lighting pipes, bongs, or even paper... for obvious reasons.  Me?  I just want all these Fascist-Nazi a**holes to die off, in slow, agonizing pain... maybe... Buckwheats. (See: 'Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead' for source... trust me on this, you'll thank me later.)

According to The Daily Californian article (written by Libby Rainey), "[Sheriff] Ahern has stated he that he plans to deploy drones only for 'emergency use' and 'proactive policing."

Okay, first off... who and what decides what an "emergency use" is, and secondly... what the hell is "pro active po licing"???

I mean, that would pretty much allow "au thorities" to do whatever the hell they like concerning said drones?  Sounds to me they could violate Our civil rights quite easily with logic like that.  It's always that logic (or lack thereof, actually), too.  The (il)logic of fear.  These Bastards like scaring the be jeezus out of everyone into allowing full-body cavity-searches... one-by-one, your rights are being stripped from you.  And what is even worse is, my rights are being stripped along with it, and I never stated that I was giving up any of my rights, for any reason, whatsoever!

"Those who choose security over liberty deserve neither."

-Benjamin Franklin

Don't worry, though... there is plenty of opposition to this occurring.  The A.C.L.U. (American Civil Liberties Union), as well as many other individuals, groups, and organizations, are fighting against the implementation of a drone flying overhead the East Bay.  The only way this is allowed to happen is if we end up in a full-scale, Red-(False) Flag, Martial Law... I hope.  Otherwise, it may as well be Martial Law, if you cannot drive or walk down the road without fear of some (Federal) Nazi at the controls of a small toy, with armament capa bilities, mind you.

I think it's high time we lift the veil off this fraud.

-James Richard Armstrong II


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I'm a homeless student, writer, and activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.).

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