Down & Out in San Franshitsco

June 20, 2014

I sometimes need to poop in the trash bag, if someone else is hogging up the restroom down the hallway. I am not anal retentive, which behavior leads to constipation and all other sorts of hideous bowel syndromes. So I squat over the small trash bin beneath my sink (after scooting it out to the room’s center), which is lined in a heavy duty garbage liner (for the sake of my own dignity). Usually when I need to dump a number two and someone else is in there…he just got in there, and will probably crap in the toilet followed by a robust shower of ten or more minutes! I thought over all sorts of Mother-Earth-Magazine types of solutions (such as a Mulbank toilet, or those eco-friendly portable potties used in campers or tents for visiting national and state parks on the cheap). But none of them promised a dignified existence in an urban SRO. Then it finally occurred to me to just dump my load in a lined wastebasket, tie it up pronto and toss it into the garbage disposal chute in the back porch. The stink doesn’t even have a chance to permeate.

Yet when I first tried that, the manager, Serge (2nd mgr. since Marcus E….the one in between, Rose, was a real new-age, pyramid-scheme doozie, who suddenly died of virulent cancer after participating in anti-Zeke schemes along with certain residents who had nothing better to do with their lives than torment This Faggot-Weary, Old-But-Gentle Soul), posted a note up in the lobby a few days later, stating:

“Human feces was discovered two days ago in one of the trash bins. Please be careful not to let anyone through the front gate, unless he or she has come to visit you.”

Naturally, I quickly figured the real situation, unbeknownst to manager and residents alike (who presumed it was a homeless person who sneaked in, or a friend of an illegal Mexican immigrant that worked in the teensy taqueria that shared a back door with our building’s basement): the cheap dollar-store trash liners were not sufficient to prevent the bursting of a bag under the weight of additional tenants’ trash disposal. Thus, my discarded sack had popped open, squishing my own excrement through the broken seams. Lesson learned: since then I now purchase the “hefty” type trash liners you get at Walgreens (fuk the dollah stores) to avoid such an embarrassment ever again…but also take the offending bag outside with me at the first opportunity, and deposit in an outdoor receptacle. Fortunately, there’s one situated right outside the gate and almost in front of the Wells Fargo trio of ATM’s just beside my building.

I’m 63 now, and I know full well the hazards of holding back a good dump…hemorrhoids being the least of the bad stuff that curses you unto death if you become a slave to Puritanical modesty. I had obsessed for more than two years, over how I could relieve myself in such a situation. But even worse: what if everyone came down with the stomach flu at the same time, and the WC would never be accessible at the critical moment, nine times out of ten? Most who live here rent a studio, or 1-or-2 bedroom, thus enjoy their own personal toilet and stove/oven/ fridge. But three or four residents on each of three levels (ground 1 is for the shops) such as yours truly, occupy a single room: no kitchen, no bathroom, communal restroom down the hallway. This was not a fecal hazard back when all three restrooms were accessible to anyone living in an SRO on any floor. A dozen or so steps upward to reach an unoccupied latrine did not threaten to force one’s personal Playdoh extruder into pants-stinking overtime.

But when the next manager, Marcus E., took over, his Los Angelenes high-crime paranoia overwhelmed this apartment building I call “Hotel California North.” Not only did he change the overhead hallway light bulbs from 20 watts to a hundred (thus transforming the ghostly-dull corridors into hospital-type passages of uber-sane sterility); but he imposed cheap door-closers to all apartment and room doors as well as the bathroom and back porch doorways, which at unexpected moments would pop a spring with such force that had they hit one’s eye you’d go blind (or at least have a bloody face). He also installed an uber-bright light in the backway passage that exits onto 16th Street, and lit up whenever a motion was detected. (As if that area needed any protection from scurrilous night dwellers, but it does not, it’s just a back passage with a locked gate.)

But most horrendous of all, he created a separate lock for each of the three shared commodes. So now, if one has to go really bad, he or she can not simply skip up or down one or two flights to access another relief station that was unoccupied at the moment. One must therefore concede to likely intestinal cramps awaiting one’s turn, or find a viable solution as I have. Would have been much more considerate for Marcus to provide SRO residents with one key for all three bathrooms. This would not only resolve his overhyped fears of the homeless sneaking in and skanking up the shared bathrooms (for which I am frequently scapegoated, only because I am seen in public talking with a street vagrant from time to time. As if I had offered him cart blanche to our hallway toilets in exchange for a decent BJ. If only things were that
simple!)

So once every other month or so, I find myself resorting to a healthy morning poop in my waste basket. Which plastic lining I twist up and tie ASAP after administering a quick wipe of water-dampened toilet paper followed by a dry version. While cussing the other two residents that share the commode, as my poop explodes into a satisfying relief of pent-up angst from a severe lack of privacy. Other difficulties that are born of poverty and living in an SRO are as follows:

Cooking. How does one purchase raw groceries and convert them into a satisfying meal, because eating out is just too cost prohibitive? Well, with some excess cash I was able to obtain a magnetic induction hotplate that cooks almost a third faster than a regular, coiled stove. (And is a lot safer, as you could place a paper towel between fry pan and hotplate, and nothing would burn or even singe.) I also owned an infrared, jumbo-size Black & Decker toaster oven that not only made great toast, but allowed me to whip up cakes, casseroles, sauteed veggies, and many other dishes that one would expect mandates a real kitchen! Sadly, the on/off chip short-circuited about three years after purchase, which forced me to discard an otherwise perfectly good piece of technology which planned obsolescence tossed me into a dark hell of makeshift cuisine.

For that remarkable toaster oven was no longer available on amazon.com (’cause discontinued), nor could I afford at the time, to purchase the item once more, even if it were still on the cyber-shelves. Since I live on a gov’t stipend I must confine my “sundry shopping” to 2nd-hand or free-box finds, else I’d perish. That includes stumbling upon a complete, hot meal left atop a trash bin by some generous resident. As well as clothing, books, decorative bric-a-brac, and so forth. Everything except underpants and socks (which I purchase at bargain stores that proliferate in the Mission and Chinatown).

There is also the matter of my teeth, of which but two-thirds
remain, and in rotting condition. Medi-Cal’s dental services for male adults were eliminated more then 10 years ago. Obamacare has not stepped up to rectify this, but has left it up to each state, via Medicaid. But even the blue states (such as my own California) have done little to provide free dental care for the poor, except to remove an aching tooth or resulting infection by a visit to the Emergency Clinic. I am most fortunate to have no serious infection or debilitation from my dental neglect, but to find alternative ways to eat healthy in spite of deteriorating ability to tear, crush and macerate my meals so they’ll provide maximal nutrition before being expelled via the intestines. For one, I use a freebie coffee grinder to pulverize walnuts, almonds, sesame and sunflower seeds into a dust that I can mix into my oatmeal, salads or casseroles. For two, I overcook my veggies beyond al dente, to make up for my lack of chewing mastery, that I may nonetheless provide my stomach with maximal absorption of the nutrients thus imparted.

As you must realize by now, one’s dental deterioration eliminates
many enjoyable dishes that most denizens of San Francisco take for
granted…since most of them are deliriously affluent, and do not
believe their own pleasures in life have anything to do with
requiring a significant percentage of the downtrodden in order to
maintain their high level of superiority. Such is the nature of Das
Kapitalism which at first presents itself as an innocent babe, then
ravages the nest of compassionate, liberal parents who wind up being
hornswoggled into complacent doddering. While their very essence of
life-exuberance becomes a struggle to survive, even if on the most
basic level of primitive fag-bashing and female-raping.

There is the issue of trying to eat healthy while one’s teeth deteriorate at an alarming rate. Since I do maintain a roof over my head (thank goddess), I keep certain equipment handy to facilitate the proper digestion of what food I can afford. Such as a coffee grinder employed to pulverize nuts and seeds that can be sprinkled over oatmeal, steamed veggies, soup and the like. What vittles I consume that require serious chewing, I take extra time to thoroughly grind the comestibles and wash it down with diet soda, milk or other beverage. Though (most remarkably) I rarely suffer any toothaches or gum infections. Which I attribute to my blessed destiny that gives me a certain amount of leeway to abuse my health so long as I keep it within a sane limit. For one, I don’t mess with hard drugs…only occasional alcohol and marijuana. Tobacco, too (I had stopped smoking for 32 Years, but resumed almost three years ago, probably has to do with imprinting my psyche onto Larkin’s). I utilize other equipment to aid my crumbling pearls, such as an Osterizer (high quality, found in a free box), a juicer (low-end but works great, just $10 at Goodwill), and a ceramic knife (purchased in Walgreens’ “As Seen on TV” section for half price).

I have been a vegetarian for years now, ever since I left my family way back in 1968. Though I aspire to become a vegan, I’ve since learned that such a lofty goal (to not enslave or murder innocent creatures for one’s own survival) demands a hefty sum of buckazoids beyond my present capabilities…living as I do on a humble gov’t stipend in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. True veganism requires special equipment for dehydrating fruit and vegetables, expensive processors, and a real kitchen to execute the necessary preparation. This also requires tons of free time that most folks just don’t have. I have the time, but not the money: talk about your catch 22!

My diet of late consists of oatmeal or granola (soaked in soy milk for at least 10 minutes) for breakfast…or down the street for a whole wheat sesame bagel with cream cheese and a small coffee, more java or iced tea (and usually an almond croissant or other pastry) at Bean There coffeehouse on Waller Street, and for dinner sauteed veggies on a bed of brown rice and small cubes of firm tofu, topped off with grated sharp cheddar cheese and a splash or two of soy sauce. For beverages I drink cheap, Safeway diet soda on sale for 99 cents per two-liter bottle, Silken soy milk (unsweetened), and a variety of five or six types of tea I keep stashed in the pantry. Sometimes a delicious meal, snack or sandwich is left for me on a trash bin, newsstand, doorstep or free box. Amazing what gourmet treats I discover on my lonesome hikes across The Seven Hills… often vegetarian or even vegan. Quality that’s certainly beyond the reach of my own thin wallet! May Queen Boudicca abundantly gift these kind denizens who think of the poor and homeless among us.

Speaking of free box, that is where I acquire most of my wardrobe, including footwear. But I only pick freshly laundered clothing in order to avoid bedbugs and other no-see-ums. Books, magazines, dishes and cups, cookware, utensils, toys, board games, charming bric-a-brac, paper, art supplies and storage boxes number among the free-box pickin’s one can stumble upon anywhere in Our Fair City. Without such generosity from the well-to-do, my simple life would be filled with so much more hardship than it is already. For I am but one baby step away from the gutters. Companionship is rare since all my friends from the past have long since moved on to more affordable climes. I take whatever camaraderie and brotherly intimacy I can get…and that’s way too infrequent for this poor faggot’s happiness. The street crowd (mostly homeless) seems to be my only source of this fundamental need for friendship and love. There are some truly sweet men out there, but I can only have their bodacious company for a night or two before they must skip along once more on their vagrant way. But they remain secure in my heart with loving memories I wouldn’t trade for a megazllion smackeroonies.

[ Salubrious Reader: do not lose heart over my unhappy situation. For there is one man– one glorious dragon of a man– who has been my savior, my teacher, my guardian and my BFF of all time, for these past eight otherwise-lonesome years. And you already know his name if you’ve been following my blog for just a mere week; or read my novel, “Free Me From This Bond” (even if only the first ten pages). He is, of course, Larkin Kelsey. And we two are about to embark upon the next chapter of a great spiritual odyssey that shall never end. It will commence on my birthday, July 1st, as far as I can tell. ]

Pissing in the sink is another aspect of living in an SRO. Who in his right mind wants to walk down a brightly lit corridor late at night just to relieve the bladder? (I did use a plastic quart container for a couple of years, but the possible embarassment of being seen walking down the hallways with a urine-filled container was more than I could handle.)

[ In fact, Tardigradian Reader, I was cornered by next-door-neighbor Barry four years ago, with urine bottle in hand. It was transparent, thus the liquid’s amber color shone like a lantern. He held a scissors in his hand, asked me to clip off a gnarly thick hair that protruded from a perfectly square scar by his left shoulder blade. Sign of the Gay Warrior! I set my plastic receptacle on the hallway floor, complimented him on the noble scar, and clipped the unwelcome intruder. Then Barry chuckled when he spotted my bottle, and I whisked myself off to unload it in the communal bathroom, embarrassed as hell. ]

As a light sleeper such an interruption would curse me with insomnia for the remainder of my nocturnal respite. So I piss in the sink. Which affords me unbroken darkness and just a few steps required before urinating and hopping back into my nest. Guests (some of them quite handsome) pose another problem entirely. Which is that it’s much better they pee in the sink than expose themselves to jealous queens or nasty priks or kunts they are more likely to encounter in their hallway romp to the bathroom. (FYI, I wash my dishes in a plastic tub, so that urine does not permeate my digestive system.) But of course this presents the matter of bowel expulsion which, as we all know, is a regular function of daily human existence. So there is no way to totally hide my visitors from neighbors. But usually this does not interfere with my overnight debauchery (if such it comes to), so long as my usually-heavy-hung guest (though not always so if he can give really good head) does not impart a lascivious greeting (or any other sort of “howdy,” just say nothing and go to the restroom w/o occupying it for more than ten minutes). But these are gregarious and fun-loving men upon whom I would not dream of imposing upon more than a bit of My Instructions On How To Spend A Night With Zeke And Get Away With It In One Piece.

[ BTW, Vestibular Reader, I’m presently typing this account via my brand new android tablet’s swype keyboard. Certainly a fantastic boon to those of us who suffer carpal tunnel and other forms of repetitive stress injury (RSI) from decades of finger-clacking. But it doesn’t always get what letters you specifically chose. For example: every time I swype the word “app,” it gives me “asp.” Shades of Cleopatra’s ghost! But there are also other, more common, words that somehow elude this newfangled swype feature. Try typing “cock” and you’ll get “chock.” Or “vagina” and you’ll get “basins” (which confuses me as to whether this glitch arises from prudishness or a Freudian slip by its programmers). Don’t believe for a microsecond, however, that Swype’s shortcomings are confined to hi-tech slang that may or may not one day find their presence in the American Heritage Dictionary, or to words viewed as unsavory to the ignorant, horse-hockey masses. Another example: when I swype “begun” I get instead “begin.” Rather than bore you with further evidence, just be warned that The Swype Gremlins are working overtime.

I must admit though, that Swype is already intelligent enough to bring succor to millions of hardworking folks, from this debilitating malady of RSI. So much so that I’ve begun to use my tablet (with a 10.1 inch screen for ample finger room) at home, instead of the conventional keyboard that’s rested upon my desk for nigh unto thirty years, ever since I purchased my first computer, a “Compaq Luggable.” (Ha! Try swyping “luggable” and you’ll get “pluggable.”) So, My Sweetest Readers Of All Time, permit me to end this elucidation of living on the “down and out” here in “San Franshitsco” (as my friend of many years–but who had to return to his home city of Philadelphia more than a decade ago, that he tend loving care to his mother dying from Alzheimer’s–Sean, describes it). Though I leave out a majority of descriptions about the oppression and downright evil that is dumped upon the poor and homeless by our wealthy, who now compose the larger part of This Harlotrous Burg, which I cynically call “The City of Saint Francis.” (Another joke: swype “harlotrous” and you get “halitosis!”)

In spite of what good people remain in this town, or who moved here recently. It’s simply a matter of too few and far between. But I have Larkin, thus my own world is perfect. ]


Fetching Veitch

December 10, 2011

Link to Charlie Veitch's web site and blog.

His name is Charlie Veitch, who claims to be your pure anarchist and worshipper of 100% individual liberty. He neither votes, nor is a member of any political party, as he correctly perceives them to be nothing more than the vulgar dupes of a sociopathic cabal. He hails from England, and is such a darling-handsome fellow, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve already pleasured myself thinking of that glorious face of Celtic Brilliance, since I discovered his activist videos on Youtube only three weeks ago. Mr. Veitch’s confrontational and theatrical street theater activism is quite reminiscent of the mischievous types of dissent that were the hallmark of the 60’s Free Speech Movement.

Since viewing–and later, meditating* upon–fourteen of his more recent flicks, my life has drastically changed from a most boring and difficult journey (including my entire childhood, sad to say), to one that celebrates every new day, and every frggin’ minute that day contains. Coincidence? I don’t think so…in fact, I do believe I’ve just uncovered one of this planet’s very-near-future respected activists and beloved 21st-century visionaries. Possibly, as President, Premier or King of the New Celtic Nation, which will include Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany…and perhaps several other slices off the European mainland.

Here is his most recent video, which I surmise may be one of his very best to date (you’ll also get to see his lovely little doggie, a Jack Russell terrior I think):

Video: Why Weed Made Me Smarter

Here’s another Veitch video, almost as recent, likewise excellent:

Video: Psychological Warfare & the Police

Finally, last but not least:

Video: Psychological Warfare & the Police

Don’t forget to subscribe to this wonderful man’s channel if you believe, as I do, that he deserves the world’s most respectful and devoted attention. Charlie numbers among the relative handful of heterosexual activists, who is in solid and aggressive support of gay equality. I pray to the Great Spirit every eve, every morn and every mid-day, that Mr. Veitch will miraculously morph into 100% homosexual cravings, and find me the most handsome, fun, hot, and sexy lover in this entire, infinite universe.

And I don’t think I’m the only person (and far from the first, most surely) to harbor such a fantasy about this rockin’ Brit dude of great courage, heart and orgasmic convulsions off the Richter Scale.

__
* If you regard jacking off as a valid form of meditation, then yes, I was meditating. A lot. :P


A Rotten Deal

February 15, 2011

Image of Karel

Hey, Karel, I posted you a similar message a few weeks ago, about what Remote Area Medical (RAM) does and does not provide. You had mentioned them as a way for the uninsured to get free dental treatment…and said you need crown and bridge work. So I emailed you, with a link to their page that describes the services they do provide…and it only covers the basics.

The info is right there for anyone to read, at their own web site:

http://www.ramusa.org/expeditions/2011/northerncal2011.html

Scroll down to “dental”, you’ll see the services provided, which are these and only these: “Cleanings, fillings, extractions. Pediatric dentistry is available.”

No crowns, no bridges, no oral surgery…at least, not for adults. (Though they do not state any additional services for children; my guess is for the same and no more.)

Yet today, I heard you explicitly state on your radio channel, that RAM does do crowns. Which is obviously not the case.

Over half my own teeth have almost all completely fallen out (or broken down to stubs), due to Medi-Cal’s continuous cutbacks of dental services since the Prez Clinton era, until July 1, 2009 when all adult dental services have been eliminated. Though long before that, they eliminated crowns for the back teeth, then the sides, and finally the front…also bridge work and root canal, and surgery…until all you could get any more were exams, cleaning, extractions, and standard fillings.

Teeth that could be saved (but required more than just a simple filling) weren’t. Every time a dentist yanked out a perfectly good tooth, I cursed Amerika for its miserable mistreatment and neglect of all our poor and disabled. The only way for me to get dental care (and by now I need tons of work, including crowns, bridges, surgery) is if I have AIDS…which I do not. But even the local AIDS funding is drying up here in SF, and across the nation.

I also looked into the new program “Healthy San Francisco” and guess what: dental services are not part of the package. Local dental schools offer drastically reduced prices…which nonetheless are too cost prohibitive for the low income. (Example: a crown that retails for $1,200 may cost “only” $680 at a dental school. My total monthly income is $1,130…so you do the math. Plus, I need six crowns and three bridges, though at this point I’d prefer to have ’em all yanked out and replaced with dentures.)

It is most frustrating and humiliating (and depressing) to have know-it-alls get in my face and accuse me of neglecting my teeth, because they insist that dental care is available for the poor. I’ve been on disability most of my adult life, and would never neglect my teeth if I had any way to access dental services. They are simply not there any more.

I listen to your show faithfully, every single weekday, and admire your good works via Green960. That is why I believed you would never intentionally broadcast misinformation on any issue.

Otherwise, I’m afraid you’re behaving just like the “know-it-alls” who claim that certain health services exist for the poor, when in reality they do not…and which only serves to scapegoat our burgeoning class of low-income citizens.

Amerikans are a sadistic lot.

A devoted (but disgruntled) listener:

PS: What about your other devoted listeners who take you up on your advice to seek dental care at one of RAM’s one-day events, only to be turned away? I don’t think they’ll be too happy for your having wasted their valuable time and scarce finances. You need to rectify your false advertising ASAP, if you truly value your so-far-excellent reputation as the world’s only syndicated gay talk show host.


Send your own message to Karel: click here.


Image of rotten teeth


El Blog Del Narco Y Barfo

August 15, 2010

Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2010 17:50:51
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Berkeley Linux User Group
Subject: El Blog del Narco

MEXICO CITY – An anonymous, twentysomething blogger is giving Mexicans what they can’t get elsewhere: an inside view of their country’s raging drug war.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20100813/LT.Drug.War.Mexico.Narco.Blog/

The actual link to El Blog del Narco is:

http://www.blogdelnarco.com/

(NOT appropriate for minors, sorry Nate et al.)

I’d say that Wiki Leaks and El Blog Del Narco are two excellent examples of how the use of open source services (wikis and blogs) and an open Internet, empower individuals who are passionate for justice to be served. Such potent tools never existed before, and couldn’t come at a better time when our conventional news sources have failed their duty to keep citizens informed, including as whistle blowers against gov’t, military, religious and corporate skulduggery.

Even for individuals, such as myself, in a time when all local progressive activism has been usurped (for the most part) by egotistical, self-serving Libertarian types who really have no sense of justice or democracy, and only see such groups as stepping stones towards some sort of career, celebrityhood, or (gasp) sabotage.

If you have something to say, do not wait in some imaginary line in hopes of having your voice heard in a newspaper, local gathering, or radio call-in. Just go straight to the Internet, where you will discover many effective venues to contribute your proposals, philosophy, and maybe even some startling revelation that is the hallmark of courageous whistle blowers everywhere.


Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2010 19:08:07
From: Dan R
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Hi Zeke,

I’ve been subscribed to this list for some time and you seem to write a fair bit here so thanks for this and all of your contributions. I want to ask you to tone down your political comments however. Calling libertarians egotistical, self serving, and lacking a sense of justice and democracy is purely inflammatory and was wholly unnecessary to your message. ALL political philosophies have very intelligent and reasonable proponents, and I’d hope that if you’re going to attack any of them, you’d go beyond name calling and ad hominem attacks.

Cheers,

Dan


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 02:17:47
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Dan Roberts :

{{ALL political philosophies have very intelligent and reasonable proponents,}}

Like Tea Baggers, Nazis, Fascists and Aryan Brotherhood? Some political philosophies *need* to be condemned. I don’t look the other way when an egregious wrong is going on.

{{I’d hope that if you’re going to attack any of them, you’d go beyond name calling and ad hominem attacks.}}

Nah. Libertarians *do* suck, of any stripe. Especially since they’ve fully incorporated Ayn Rand’s horrid, vile ideological invention called “objectivism”.

So if someone joined this list who is a Scientologist, I must then remain silent on my disgust of that ideology too? Ooops, did I offend anyone out there who is a Scientologist? Good.

How about capitalism? Anyone offended when I say capitalism sucks?

Seriously, I don’t think we have any serious Libertarians in this group…don’t know why you are so thin skinned.

Some aspects of the Democrats sucks, too. Should I be afraid of speaking out against crooks who happend to be Dems…especially Dixiecrats and Centrists? They suck rotten eggs big time!

How about Republicans? They suck so bad, I don’t see why anyone even gives them the time of day any more.

Cheers!


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 03:00:03
From: Paul I
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Well played, Zeke.

As a registered Green, I take personal offense that you did not mention how much *we* suck. From the naive doves, to the fringe conspiracy theory types, we suck for not even liking our own ‘kind’ most of the time.

:)


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 03:07:47
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Paul I
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Paul I:

{{Well played, Zeke.}}

Hey, finally, another participant with a sense of humor! WOOT! Yeah, I don’t like the American Green Party in the least. But the European version…excellent. You are so *right* about the doves, too, and the weirdo fringe types.

Sucks that I left them out. My apologies.

Cheers!


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 03:31:59
From: Sameer V
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

This is still a Linux User Group, right?

Sameer


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 09:48:32
From: Jack D
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

{{This is still a Linux User Group, right?}}

Sometimes it is hard to tell… :/

The point that I believe Dan was (quite politely) trying to make is that this is in fact a Linux users group with many different people who appreciate Linux/open-source for many different reasons, and the point of the list is to discuss the things that we all have in common – namely an interest in OSS. It is not a soap-box by which to try to gain converts to any political way of thinking or to spread propaganda (whether accurate or not) for any political cause.

The truth is, Linux and OSS are so awesome that all sorts of people with all sorts of political opinions use it and appreciate its different values. Many such people are represented on this list. Because of that, I think discussions that focus on Linux/OSS and not on the things that divide us are much more productive, and in fact are the point of group – to unite people with common interests (surprisingly, the point was not to create a political debate group).

So, in conclusion, let’s try to keep things on-topic and productive. Now, everyone go have a drink of choice and relax. It is Saturday! I’m going to be doing some weekend coding. :)

Cheers!

Jack


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 10:21:04
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Sameer V:

{{This is still a Linux User Group, right?}}

The original post by yours truly clearly makes that so. Any other questions?


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 12:47:52
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Jack D:

{{Many such people are represented on this list. Because of that, I think discussions that focus on Linux/OSS and not on the things that divide us are much more productive, and in fact are the point of group – to unite people with common interests (surprisingly, the point was not to create a political debate group).}}

Consider me your token Linux activist. I keep alive a welcoming space for those who are passionate about Linux as a tool for social change…for the better, of course. If we consider ourselves a diverse group, that must be allowed.

{{So, in conclusion, let’s try to keep things on-topic and productive. Now, everyone go have a drink of choice and relax.}}

Or a joint. :)


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 11:45:21
From: Larry C
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

+1 Jack and Sameer.


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 13:15:38
From: Bill S
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

My thoughts as well, Sameer, Jack, Larry.

This last thread had only the barest relation to Open Source, and not at all about Linux. I don’t believe that the word Linux appeared in your email at all. So I think Sameer’s question was quite to the point. I don’t think BLUG needs a ‘token’ Linux activist… it already has *actual* Linux activists.

The mailing list isn’t a blog. You already have one of those, post these things to it and link to it, if you really must. I like to reading interesting articles about FOSS and Linux. However, I’m kind of tired of the political/economic rants (even the ones I agree with). And I’m definitely sick of the political digs and name calling (even the ones I agree with). Calling it humor doesn’t wash. It’s not really relevant and its certainly not polite discourse.

Just my 2 cents.

Bill


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:27:07 -0700 [08/14/10 19:27:07 PDT]
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Bill S:

{{My thoughts as well, Sameer, Jack, Larry.}}

Umm, Jack was opposed to Sameer and Larry’s kneejerk reaction.

{{This last thread had only the barest relation to Open Source, and not at all about Linux.}}

The original post, mine, was indeed an open source topic…how it impacts political and social mores. Much of the *comments* however, were inappropriately oppositional, yours included.

{{I don’t believe that the word Linux appeared in your email at all.}}

Oh the horror.

{{So I think Sameer’s question was quite to the point.}}

Albeit pont *less*…more like a troll than a respectful participant.

{{I don’t think BLUG needs a ‘token’ Linux activist… it already has *actual* Linux activists.}}

I *am* a real Linux activist.

{{And I’m definitely sick of the political digs and name calling (even the ones I agree with). Calling it humor doesn’t wash. It’s not really relevant and its certainly not polite discourse.}}

How hyperbolic of you.

I had no idea how many EMO types subscribe to this list!


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 20:12:21
From: Jack D
To: BerkeleyLUG
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Zeke,

I am “opposed” to all rhetoric on this list whose only main effect is polarizing the group over issues that are not directly related to Linux/OSS – this includes many posts in the past (even some from myself). While the subject of your original post is probably within reason for a LUG list, I think some of the rhetoric (the stuff Dan pointed out) in the post was exactly the type that serves no purpose other than to incite a reaction over an issue that is outside of the
realm of OSS.

And, quite frankly, yes I would request that you (and everyone else) keep your opinions on Libertarians, scientoligists and whatever other irrelevant group off of the list. I respect your right to have strong opinions on this issues (and I might agree with you on many of them), but this list is not a soap box for expressing these opinions. Doing so, does nothing but make the list less welcoming for all involved. This list is intended for discussing Linux/OSS related topics and the
activities of the BerkeleyLUG.

So, to put it bluntly: please try to keep discussions on the list related to linux/OSS. Do not include rhetoric whose main effect is to incite a reaction over issues outside of Linux/OSS. I.e. keep personal opinions on polarizing social/political issues off the list. I really don’t want to censor the list; that would really be a bad precedent, and I quite frankly don’t have the time. So please, keep the discussion on the topic Linux/OSS and express your opinions on
polarizing topics in a different venue.

Now seriously, we all have better things to be doing on a saturday night! For the love of tux, let this thread die!

Cheers,

Jack


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 22:36:57
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Jack D:

{{So, to put it bluntly: please try to keep discussions on the list related to linux/OSS.}}

My intent, obviously, was to open a dialogue about the favorable impact of OSS applications–such as wikis, blogs and social media–on the effectiveness of activism. OLPC (One Laptop per Child) is prime example, and has been discussed numerous times on this list, and in our group). I would enjoy other’s opinions on what they think of such political movements based on OSS tools.

But in the least, such topics posted from time to time, show potential members who would enjoy discussing the political aspects of OSS, that they are just as welcome here, as the dedicated coders, who don’t want to spend so much as a nanosecond on such issues. (I must say, however, what is now being shown, is thoughtless *hostility*, intended to discourage activist-type participants. This is no accident.)

I think this is something to celebrate: how effective and ubiquitous open source has become, in supporting progressive revolution. Business, corporations, and industry are not the only aspects impacted…OSS has gone a long way in forwarding humanitarian concerns that have nothing to do with the almighty dollar.

If people only want to discuss coding, fine. Just stay off any thread that enthusiastically shares opinions and links about the political, social, educational, philosophical, scientific (and even perhaps) religious impact of open source. But to make rude comments and attempts to sabotage any such discussion, is pretty darned underhanded.

I think the activists at Wiki Leaks et al are excellent folks, who’ve made fantastic use of open source, to further important causes, risking their own lives in the process. This is an incredible result of open source, far beyond (and worthier than) the praise so often heaped upon corporate use of OSS. OLPC is great too, but no one has to take such great risks in that effort.

I can’t imagine what sort of progressive political and social change could be achieved these days, without the existence of open source. There’d certainly be no Wiki Leaks, OLPC, or El Blog del Narco!

There are many Libertarian ideas espoused by some Linux users, which because of their destructive agenda, should not be ignored. Such as the use of slave labor worldwide (to produce all these computerized products we so love), to benefit an elite handful. And no health care, job protection, etc. for more and more workers in the advanced nations. No safety net, either. That’s all Libertarian dogma.

I think that whenever people praise such ideology, they should be challenged. To censor someone because he puts a label to it (“libertarian”) is to obfuscate a serious matter, and suppress dissent. Every progressive group (including the techy ones) has been considerably infiltrated by elitist ideas such as Libertarianism. And of course, its advocates will do whatever’s necessary to silence the opposition.

As I wrote in my blog entry, “Open Source Can Do No Harm,” I pointed this out quite clearly, with linked references, that others might be better informed.

I know my occasional posts regarding OSS’s political impact is really not that big a deal. But small minded people with a hidden agenda will whine and spew nasty accusations in an attempt to censor those contributing worthwhile ideas to better the lot of the poorly advantaged. And I am most enthusiastic that Linux and Open Source now play a major role in this (though chagrined that it is also being utilized, more and more, for harmful purposes under a Libertarian banner). Obviously, some others in this group do not share my enthusiasm.

For a really classic example of vile (and ultimately *pointless*) attacks perpetrated by Libertarian style geeks, read the thread entitled “Seek the Wisdom Of Our Elder Geeks” on this page:

http://www.weak.org/pipermail/buug/2010-March/subject.html

I was the OP (and ironically, the *founder* of that group and list); and the attacker is a Unix expert of great reknown…though *is* somewhat notorious, also, for his nasty behavior on mailing lists. Don’t know why he’s like this (why he chooses to soil his good reputation in a public venue) but you, Jack, have also commented to me about his unsavory manner. (As have a few others, over the past decade or so.)

For me not to speak out from time to time, regarding very real culture wars going on in the OSS community–as it does in all other groups–would be to remain silent in the face of a flood of Libertarian/right-wing dogma that now plays a majorly *negative* impact on the once largely progressive and anti-capitalist Linux geek community.

And in so remaining silent, I’d contribute to the empowerment of one of the most destructive forces now ravaging this planet: Libertarianism. I’d rather be *booted* off a mailing list, than comply with unnecessary self-censorship. (I’ve said the word “Libertarian” nine times, in this one message alone, thus far!)


Zeke Krahlin
https://zekeblog.wordpress.com

Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian
Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian
Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 23:06:19
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: berkeleylug@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

ADDENDUM

I should also take this moment to point out a particular star in the Linux community, who is generously distributing laptops to the poor children in Afghanistan, via the OLPC project. In fact, here is a video where she is featured, and sitting beside her is (lo and behold) our longterm Berkeley-LUG member, Grant Bowman:

Click on image to play video

The star is Carol Ruth Silver; and I wonder: Grant, do you know who this remarkable woman is, her incredible history and accomplishments?

Wonderful Ms. Silver is, politically speaking, out of the old-school left wing. She served on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors during the time Dan White shot Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk. More than that: she was first on Mr. White’s list of victims, but by good fortune Carol had already stepped out of her office at that crucial time.

–I now quote Wikipedia [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Ruth_Silver ]:

Carol Ruth Silver (born 1938)[1] is an American lawyer and former politician. She was a Freedom Rider arrested and incarcerated for 40 days in Jackson, Mississippi…

Silver’s 1977 election was part of a shift toward diversity on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors; she was described as “the board’s first unwed mother.”…

Silver then retired from politics and continued her philanthropic work, which had included founding San Francisco’s Chinese-American International School in 1982…

In the summer of 2002 she traveled to Afghanistan to explore ways that American citizens could extend a hand of friendship to the Afghan people…

In 2007 she was appointed Director of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office of Prisoner Legal Services.

–end quotes

Regarding her recent position w/the Sheriff’s Office, from which she voluntarily retired two years after beginning that post.

–Here’s why:

In recent years Carol was the directing attorney for Prisoner Legal Services of the Office of Sheriff. But she resigned her position effective today. Carol has said: “I was participating in a system that made me feel criminal.” She told of one experience where a woman, who was in jail, needed Carol´s help to place her children in foster care. The woman was is in prison for pot charges. That upset Carol: “She should not be prosecuted, she should not be in jail, and here I was helping to place her children.” Silver announced that she was joining Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and would campaign to end the war on drugs.

–end quote

That quote is from the blog “Classically Liberal”, see:

http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2009/02/good-for-carol-ruth.html

So I just thought you should know this, Grant, if you don’t already. Ms. Silver is not just a wealthy old lady with a kind heart, who has decided to join the OLPC project. She is a dyed-in-the-wool progressive, whom I doubt very strongly, would *not* speak out against Libertarian intrusion in any group in which she held some interest.

It is important to make those aware that many progressive people have created this wonderful OSS community, but who are now being forgotten, supressed, silenced, trivialized and scorned by newer members who overrun these organizations with their foolish and mean-spirited ideology.


Best Way To Hack A Cell Phone…

July 8, 2010

…is to have a good Samaritan nearby use the Heimlich maneuver on your desperate person. Better yet: don’t swallow it in the first place, so you’ll never *need* to hack it up! Take my nanowife, please!

No, seriously folks, I just purchased my first cell phone. For two dollars and fifty cents…such a deal! I selected the sexiest from the lot of ’em, at a thrift store on Duboce and Church: “Out of the Closet”. Now, all I needed was a phone charger and I’d be in business…which charger BTW, cost far more than the phone itself.

Now, I could finally learn what all this bruhaha is about re. “texting”. Downloaded the user guide, and…Wow, what a ridiculous waste of time, but at least I get the drift: treat your fingers like little slaves, working them to the bone till they’re all wasted from RSI and you’ll need to wear digit splints on your texting hand for the rest of your life…and you’re not even 30 yet! Or maybe even texting while crossing a busy intersection and–in your absorbed T9Word rendering–inadvertantly step on (and squash into its next life) a hapless black cat that had just veered off the sidewalk to avoid scampering under a ladder. Moving on…

Why did I buy a used cell phone? Why didn’t I just go the regular subscription route? Only because–as one who is dead set on never acquiring this new-age albatross to tether me down to a chattering network of inane blathering for a highway robbery sum–I also saw the good in acquiring a diminutive handset, just for the sake of 911…which number by law, every cell phone is required to access, *including* those that are not subscribed.

Mine is the Verizon LG VX4600, which debuted waaay back in 2003. It’s in excellent condition, battery just fine. But now that I own a cell phone, I want to *play* with it, outside and beyond the subscription realm. Or IOW, I want to learn how to *hack* the precious little silver hand robber.

So I’ve just begun the adventure, and would like to share the following cell hacking sites for others who may enjoy:

Cell Phone Hacks ? How to hack your cell phone (Samsung, LG, etc)

How to Unlock Your Cell Phone for Free

Mobile Phone Resource & Community

Of course, I am limited from performing any hacks that require my own subscription, but *meh* I can handle that. Just think of all the money I’ll save! (‘Scuse me now while I figure out how to “sext” w/o a camera; maybe I can arrange smileys in some compromising position.)


Zeke Krahlin
Free as in dandelion necklaces


Oh Tremble Amerika

May 29, 2010

Oh tremble Amerika, you land of Moloch,
for you have greatly broken my covenant:
that you should speak for The Angel of Democracy
to every corner of the world.

What have you done, Amerika, spreading fear
of your own self (instead of love for freedom)
to every nation, to every person;
yeah, even unto your own citizens,
that they tremble so before you,
Oh Hand of Satanic Ruin?

Who are you, Amerika, that you should take ten percent
of your children,
(who you call “homosexual” but I call “Hellene”)
and teach them terror unending from day to day,
and year to year,
right unto their very own death?

What wickedness is this, Amerika,
that you take the very Word of God and blaspheme it
to preach the killing and misery of a good number
of your brave children (Hellenes)
whose only sin is brotherly and sisterly love?
(Were you to sin in such a seemly manner,
you’d all know heaven by now!)

Amerika, you are NO LONGER God’s country,
for you have broken your covenant with me,
in a most grevious manner.
You have invented A NEW ARROGANCE which hubris
even I have never seen, nor Lucifer ever conceived;
in such unbridled malice of your own loyal
Hellenic citizens, WHO ARE ALSO MY ANGELS!

Oh, Amerika, tremble now, for the hour has arrived:
for amber waves of grain to wither under a Great Drought,
for purple mountain majesty to shower pestilence
upon the fruited plain,
and for fiery whirlwinds to level your great cities
that lay parched of spirit and void of compassion.

My hetero Amerikans: return to your homes,
complacent in your gender supremacy,
believing that you are righteous
in your condemnation of homosexuals,
or in your tolerating these citizens
(as long as they don’t demand equal treatment
under your laws).

Amerika-Moloch, you ARE hypocrite
unlike any other under the sun,
and your time in this age has come to a close.
You have sealed your own fate:
of a terrible Civil War of many deaths and unholy
destruction.
Vermont shall go insane with rabid homophobia
and rape herself into many pieces;
while Florida burns from political fires,
and sinks into the Atlantic,
her great smoky plume turning all of Mexico into midnight
for eleven dark months.

And all lands in between and west of these two raging
states,
shall likewise be consumed by plagues and madness
of myriad types.
The Great Mississippi shall overflow with the blood
of you hypocrites,
drowning many in your sleep;
and your towns shall stink of your children’s putrifying
flesh.

For I have summoned my Angel who long ago
freed the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage,
to now unshackle all same-sex lovers from your
diabolical chains.
For them, I shall keep the region known as Northern
California, as a safe refuge…
casting out all who maintain homophobic ideas,
no matter how slight.
This includes many churches of the Christian realm.

And this region I shall name “Athenia”,
to separate her from the punishment I shall mete out
to the remainder of land known
(for a while longer) as Amerika.


Capture Those Bazongas!

April 29, 2010

Now, see? That’s exactly what I mean about you heterocentric cavemen! Using the female form to sell any product whatsoever, under the Sun and Even Elsewhere. This is a perverted way to think of Our Fairer Sex (whether straight or queer), 51% of our species Homo Sapiens…that is: The Not-So-Silent-Anymore Majority! These ads encourage a most ugly image of all women–every single female on the planet including generations as yet unborn–as whores, prostitutes for Amerikan Kapitalistic Dogma.

Now just look at that floozy advertisement: which a few frames I managed to grab off the Maximumedge (webmail) logout page. The actual ad is probably 10 or more different frames. (I first attempted to download it with the usual r-click, but alas it failed.)

Here we have your stereotype blonde bimbo, flashing her breasts up and down in a most voluptuous manner, while a dirty old man’s hand grabs hopefully at the Treasure Chest. The heart icon itself is simply a distraction to trick you into perceiving the ad as “innocent”. Or, more than likely, to give you the perfect excuse should you be questioned as to why you were smiling at the Cyber Siren. And should anyone really challenge you, you’d simply say: “Oh you’re making too much of this!”

What gives it away for me, is that hand. Not a young man’s hand by any means. Nope, it’s not even a hand possessing flesh. It is the hand of a skeleton. It may even be the hand of the Grim Reaper Himself! (Probably isn’t, but it may as well be, when one considers the karmic implications of this bitty bawdy babolicious blinking booby banner. Someone must have sold his soul to come up with such an ad. Indeed! They’re a penny a dozen.)

But is this not morally corrupt to regard any human being as solely (or most importantly) as a sex object? It would seem such objectification in a hard-core commercialized society (as Amerika has become), gives major influence towards male inspiration to intimidate, terrorize, bash, and rape, Our Better Half, The Feminine Majority.

This is beyond bad taste. This is brutal.

This is my gift for Mother’s Day 2010: My Salute To Women’s Suffrage and Lesbian Pride.

(Click on the misogynistic animation above to go to a much better place.)


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