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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.kymberlieingalls.com/p/editing-services.html

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hot As Heaven

This is a piece written by Marisa Samuels, partly in tribute to the late columnist Art Hoppe, a mainstay of more than 50 years at the San Francisco Chronicle.
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Hot as Heaven


“Lord, there is a woman on Earth who says she is hot.”

“Oh, Me, St Peter.  She is?  Well, maybe she lives in what they call the Midwest.  I’ve been having trouble keeping the weather comfortable there.  I don’t know, maybe you-know-who has been interfering with my work.”

“No, Lord.  She says she is hot for Your Son.”

“Hot for My Son?  Does she mean she is hot because of My Son?  That does not make sense.  My Son does not control the weather.  Apparently even I cannot do that, no matter how hard I try.”

“It is a different meaning of ‘hot,’ Lord.  I looked it up on Your computer.  It seems that someone called her ‘hot’ and her associates grumbled.  She then said she was ‘hot for Jesus Christ.’ The shouters in the crowd meant she was ‘hot,’ um, sexually.  That is when she disavowed their assessment.  She says she meant ‘hot’ in the sense of – uh, enthusiasm .  She is enthusiastic about Your Son.”

“Well, that is good.  I am glad I got that computer. I should look up definitions more often.  The computer is easier to use than rummaging through My divine thoughts.  But what kind of crowd would shout such a thing?”

“The woman, who is pretty, in Earth terms, is running for political office.” 

“What sort of political office?”

“President of the United States of America.”

“WHAT?” 

“And she speaks of the End Times.”

“How can she speak of the End Times?  I have not yet scheduled them.  Although, as they say down there, ‘Lord knows’ I have thought of setting a date now and again.  Incidentally, I thought there was a separation of Church and State in the United States.”

“Historically there has been that Separation.  But some seem to want to combine the two.”

“NOT a good idea.  I have seen this happen in other areas of Earth.  Then there are wars, which I try to prevent, but you know, St. Peter, that My creations have free will.”

“Are You tempted to interfere, Lord?”

“I am not tempted to do anything.  My creations are tempted; one hopes they will resist temptation.  Temptations.  If this woman is ‘hot,’ as you say, for My Son, let us hope she keeps her ‘hotness’ in check.”

“I am hot about your decision, and your hope, Lord.”

“St. Peter, PLEASE!”

In fond remembrance of Art Hoppe’s columns in the San Francisco Chronicle.


© Marisa Samuels, August 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nominated!

This site has been nominated for a CBS-San Francisco's Most Valuable Blogger Award!  If you like what you've read here, please vote!  And spread the word!  One vote per day is allowed through Sept. 9th, 2011. 

I wouldn't be there if it weren't for every one of you, so thanks! 

You can click here, or copy/paste this link: http://sanfrancisco.blogger.cbslocal.com/most-valuable-blogger/vote/misc/, and just look for Neuroticy on the list.

Let's win this one together!

~ Kymberlie

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Pursuit Of Protest

Today I wanted to try something new - differing points of view.  In regards to the San Francisco protests in recent months, the constitutional right to freedom of speech has been up for debate.  Arguing both sides of the issue are myself, an avenging sort, and Roger Ingalls of Left Coast Voices - a radical thinker who rallies for revolution.  Feel free to chime in.
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First Amendment, U.S. Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I believe the U.S. is rapidly turning into a police state due to Homeland Security policies put in place during the Bush administration. Today's topic is the right to assemble. As can be seen above, the First Amendment is perfectly simple and direct.

Most people do agree that citizens have the right to assemble for various reasons. However, many people get upset if a protest causes an inconvenience. If a protest doesn't cause some type of grief for somebody than it has failed. An assembly for protest is usually arranged to affect change so it must, by nature, be somehow inconvenient.

Often, when there is a serious protest, the police with all their modern weaponry, night vision, communication devices and armed with civil rights violating Bush-isms, are out in force. Many protest today are against police brutality and government policies that create hardship. It makes sense that citizens should be allowed to use every legal and modern convenience to help them assemble and protest to at least be in the same techno-era as the police.

A new anti-protesting tact used by police and other government agencies is to shut down cellphone towers so the process of assembly for protest is disrupted. This is a violation of civil rights and, in the proper courtroom, in violation of the Constitution.

As countries like China and Egypt are slowly evolving into freer societies, the U.S. is retarding into totalitarianism. What's next, the inability to video tape or report on what appears to inappropriate police activities? Oh wait, maybe that is happening too. It's a slippery slope...wake up America!

- Roger Ingalls
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Here’s the thing – I’m really pretty pissed right now and not feeling super-patriotic.  The constitution is supposed to be this great thing that gives us our freedoms and rights and basically says “we’re setting up this government, but unlike our English fathers, we don’t want a tyranny so here are the ground rules…”
Image DetailGreat.  Fantastic.  Only now here’s the problem:  like with anything else, people have taken this over the decades and destroyed any usefulness of a good protest.  Especially recently here in the Bay Area.  Protests have reared like a blazing stallion in an old spaghetti western, but for what cause?  Criminals, and harsh policies / decisions brought on by their own actions.  Who is to blame?  ‘The Man,’ of course.  Apparently Big Brother is supposed to take the ass-kicking that society has given and not return blows.

A police state is looming over us because – hold on to your imaginations, kids – we have become a rancid riotous nation.  And maybe I am a fascist because I tend to think that when you break a law, there are consequences.  It may not always have a rosy outcome like tying up the court system while taxpayers house you and feed you until you get off on a technicality and are free again to further your criminal career, but that’s a risk taken upon making a choice to do the wrong thing.

Everyone threw a fit in San Francisco when Kenneth Harding was ‘killed over a $2 bus fare!’ – my mind was in a tailspin because all I saw was that a parolee wanted for questioning in the murder of a pregnant woman in Seattle was mostly likely about to be detained for that very thing, so he took his chances and bolted.  The community immediately turned it into a race thing because the boy happened to be black, and raised the roof that officers shot at him, denying that it was return fire on their part.  Didn’t matter, the authorities were in the wrong.  Being well-schooled in the concept of irony, I shouldn’t have laughed to myself upon learning that the man who lay bleeding to death in the street while his supporters rallied around him had actually been killed by his own bullet – but I did. 

When Charles Blair Hill took his intoxicated self to the BART train platform and stumbled around uncontrollably, wielding a knife and smashing glass all over the concrete, it was his situation – nobody else put him there.  I wonder who would have protested had he knocked an innocent passenger down the steep stairs or off the platform and onto the electric rail?  Then it would have been “BART sucks because they did nothing to prevent the problem!”  

I don’t just read the news stories about these incidents, I read the comments beneath them.  This is where the realism runs like an icy river throughout our society.  People speak the truth in their minds under false names with a false bravado that disappears under identification.  More people were glad these men are no longer amongst us than are protesting their violent deaths. 

People like yourself are fed up with gun-toting gangsters killing our children and pimping them out like farm animals.  We’re tired of our jacked up justice system letting too many career criminals back out on the streets they have sullied.  So much money has been wasted on the War On Drugs that true victims of rape, beatings and murders go uninvestigated, leading to more civil unrest and anger that bleeds amongst us all in a seething rage that is now showing up in these mobs that are protesting I think just to make some noise.  I wonder if you were to question these loud, angry people if they could tell us what the real cause was or if they just want to be heard by anyone?

We can be angry.  We have a right to be angry – just look around and that’s obvious.  But as Judge Judy always says:  “Be mad all you want to, but that doesn’t give you the right to break the law or to put your hands on anyone.”  And it’s not even that others don’t want to be involved, it’s that they don’t support the cause. 


Last week, BART officials made a monumental decision to disable cell phone service inside their stations when rumblings came around that the latest protest against the train service would be perpetuated by cell communication.  They did this knowing that there were emergency phones on the platforms for passengers, should the need arise. 

Given that at the last ‘peaceful protest’ at the Civic Center station got so out of control, people were climbing on top of the trains in order to stop the service, pushing, shoving, and screaming in the faces of officers was all prevalent it is understandable why they want to avoid another such situation.  The BART spokespeople have repeatedly stated that protesters are welcome anywhere but on the platforms, which makes sense if you’ve ever been on one. They are very open and the stairwells are extremely steep, the electric train rails are just one misstep away.  It is not safe for anyone to be in a mob scene there.  But these groups aren’t satisfied with following the rules. 

Those that showed up to protest Harding’s death threw tear gas down into the Muni train station entrances, vandalized the police substations, and stopped traffic everywhere they went. 

So, I feel that BART officials made the right decision, despite that they are a government agency who has to follow the constitutional amendments, in looking after their passengers safety.  If I were on that train, that’s exactly what I’d expect them to do, and I’m mad as hell just thinking of all of those people trying to get where they need to be and being held captive by these loud-mouthed, angry-at-the-world troublemakers. 

                   
(photos - KGO-San Francisco)

Now there’s a group of cyber-thugs who call themselves “Anonymous” who hacked into a third party BART companion website and, among other tactics, exposed the names and personal info of its users, all the while protesting their right to free speech. 


Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a group initiating active civil disobedience and spread through the Internet while staying hidden, originating in 2003, representing the concept of many online community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain. It is also generally considered to be a blanket term for members of certain Internet subcultures, a way to refer to the actions of people in an environment where their actual identities are not known
I’d like to know how they figure that trumps others’ right to privacy.  There is an irony in there somewhere that is too great for even Alanis to capture in a song.   ‘Anonymous’ called for a rally today in the City against BART’s curtailing of ‘free speech’ in last week’s protest event. The end result, of course, was that several stations were closed due to the mob mentality sparking once again and a rowdiness that ultimately made it unsafe for the passengers to exit the trains by trying to jam the doors and stop the service altogether.  When they were herded to the street because they didn’t follow the parameters laid out to them, they then stopped traffic several times rather than staying on the sidewalk where their pontifications would have drawn more support had they simply shouted their message from the sidewalks, not smeared it in the  faces of everyone trying to get home at the end of a long day.

Let me make sure I have this message right:  Your lives are unimportant compared to offenses that we weren’t even victims of.  Oh, and our cause is so important we’re going to hide like little whiney babies behind masks so that our lives are not disrupted by the pesky cops looking for us for illegal hacking and victimizing all of those people!

As the world crumbles around us like a burning building, it is people such as these who would trample over the kids and the animals to make sure that the arsonist got to safety. 

"Grand Pappy told my Pappy 'Back in my day, son, a man had to answer for the wicked that he done...'"

~ Kymberlie Ingalls


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