My Life Right In This Very Moment

public-domain-books

That damn thing happened again. This uncontrollable entertainer slash wannabe author has exploded inside me again the moment I started the life hacking away from the catering, home repairs and yards — odds and ends bullshit — and back toward my old way of being a hardcore nine to fiver giving up every day off I could to squeeze every drop of green out of the whole deal. It’s a problem. In one mindset it is key at this job app’d up point to go do the face-time thing anywhere where it’s not just a “blah, whatever” type resume submission.

But instead I’m in the process of opening a Patreon centered on my writing and just finally bought a web-cam of merit to adhere to the “best practices” guidelines they provide. Probably a new YouTube channel before long too. The thinking here is that, as I have whined about before here into the blogs, there really isn’t any good reason for me to online-publish things like pieces of upcoming fictional works and poetry anthologies. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this style of free-flowing Web content and this style of post would always show up on this blog.

However, when I look over my hard drive there is a lot of pieces on here that are better suited for a Patreon feed than just sheer live blogging potential future IPs so third-parties can just come in and give zero credit to the author while using a level of ads that is obviously excessive. People should get paid for their best work and art is work like any other. If I were to guess the objections some raise about this style of crowd-funding it’s that they don’t see writing, music, and art in general as something valid to pour money into unless it comes pre-packaged by the existing industry involved.

old_typewriter

What I think many are unaware of in this matter is that in the “old days” a writer of merit would receive an investment in the form of a large lump sum directly from the publisher then given a deadline to produce. This investment was expressly for living expenses, research materials, leisure time, and anything else that might enhance the final product. No going back from the Digital Era, obviously, so e-publishing is just a beast all serious writers have to tackle to ground or be eaten alive when you try and call yourself that in public. But there are many projects going on here and no time at all to finish all of them unless I do that thing where the heady stuff and the final draft prose is paying for itself.

Enough about that. My neighborhood was popping off a second ago. Live music from up the hill and little kids singing some pop song I don’t recognize from over the fence. Out here in the backyard after running around town a bit. This is Santa Cruz, CA by the way or “Surf City USA” or as I want to be known as the birthplace of NHS and Santa Cruz (Brand) Skateboards & Clothing. No I don’t work for them it’s more that you might have seen those stickers around and those are referring to my little surf / skate town here.

Think I liked San Francisco more but the housing costs are just stupid high so that’s off the table unless I could network that shit. Oh what else? All this poetry explosion going on in my head is probably because I’m in love again, which is nice but complicated when these new feelings are for a long time close friend who is keeping at a distance most days. Always been a fool for love but thanks to serious bumps in the road in my youth I can speak very openly and directly about these topics if people are comfortable enough with me to do so. Often the things left unsaid in romance can be sexier than spilling your guts twenty-four seven but oh doggies do things get complicated sometimes and the need for honest communication shifts into the foreground so strongly that it’s almost slapping you in the face.

Okay, that was a “rant” they call them in this box of digital expression that is linked to other boxes that occasionally do this creating unique ideas stuff. Peace, love and chicken grease.

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Eric Lightborn / Eruptide@YouTube out.

May Day Riot in Santa Cruz (Video)

WATCH:Anarchy Riot Santa Cruz Ca May Day 2010” on YouTube by alansitarbrown & “Violent May Day March in Santa Cruz” on YouTube by ksbwtv

Santa Cruz has suffered an incident of mass vandalism that is being labeled an “anarchist riot” in the news media. Cowardly and misguided individuals appeared at an un-permitted “May Day party” in Downtown Santa Cruz with masks, spray cans, paint bombs and rocks to destroy the message of international workers’ rights. Instead they terrorized and destroyed our city, for the name of what exactly I’m not at all clear.

These nut jobs smashed a series of windows and sprayed anarchist graffiti on local businesses after turning a workers’ rights rally into a riot. Whatever misguided notions they have about anarchism, or whatever message they were trying to convey, was smashed right along with the glass. Compounded by that only cowards wear masks to get “the word out,” for whatever that means to them. If you have a cause that you are passionate enough to protest about, use your face and real name to stand behind this cause and not the cloak of a mask.

These supposed connections between a local “anarchist’s cafe” and the madness in Downtown are weak, in my mind. Those groups are usually book clubs, not bomb-throwers and masked vandals like in some common misconceptions. But I do not speak from any personal experience on this specific group.

I’ve asked around a little and nobody knows who did this. I’m going with the theory it’s just some cretins with no message at all beyond destruction and fear-mongering the public.

The real tragedy here is the taint to the righteous cause of workers’ rights worldwide that started when the organizing group, who are now under FBI scrutiny, refused to gather the proper permit.

I can report that unnamed local leaders were urging these people to file for the permit, hoping to close the open door to incidents like this one.

I think the poor police response time is the real story here. Reportedly, police were led away from the rally by a pair of false 911 calls designed to distract them from the situation brewing Downtown; however, according to multiple eyewitnesses (of which I am not one) as well as the included YouTube video the police took over an hour to respond.

Merced Sun-Star:

“We don’t think this was an unsophisticated group of protesters; we think this is an organized group of anarchists,” Santa Cruz Police spokesman Zach Friend said Monday, adding that investigators believe the anarchists had sought to strain city resources.

In the Political Internet this riot is being framed as having some connection to liberal progressives by the far right-wing. This is entirely untrue and goes to show how little these misguided conservatives understand how liberals feel about might-makes-right kind of messages like terrorizing people with riots and the mass destruction of property.

Unlike the cases of obvious tea party vandalism against pro-health care reform Democrats, there is no resounding vocal effort to excuse the actions of all these possibly politically motivated vandals and domestic terrorists on behalf of liberal progressives as there most certainly was on behalf of the “tea party conservatives.”

Whatever Free Speech you want to spread is fine, and odds are we’ll disagree about something somewhere, but making threats, inciting violence, destroying property and wearing masks is just the tactics of terrorists and fascists.

America The Hateful (Cyber-Harassment)

I called in to a radio show tonight to express my disgust for the current state of political debate in America today.

Alan Colmes of Fox News Talk has this late night / evening political talk show that has some of the lightest call screening in all of the talk medium, let alone that he is working under Fox. Many doubt it but he is a liberal, I would think of him as the kind of liberal who shops at only Wal-Mart. We might call him the “token liberal” of the opinion-media produced under the Fox mantle.

Here is my fan-script / transcript:

ERIC IN SANTA CRUZ: I want to talk about hate. I think there is a lot of hate out there, and I’m part of it on the left.

COLMES: You’re part of it?

ERIC IN SANTA CRUZ: Well, I’m part of it in that I get upset. I hear you doing it on the [phone] lines too. People will say something and you come back at them. And I just wanted to say that it’s wrong. No matter who does, whether it’s me or whatever, it’s wrong. We hate got to hating each other all the time. You can think whatever you want. I can even call someone a “racist,” or whatever, but you got to find a way to not hate people as individuals and just have your point of view.  It’s all over the internet, it’s going on the [Alan.com] chat room right now, it’s all over talk radio right now…. You start making it about people, and not about opinions; that’s when people get upset and we don’t know what to do. That’s when things get out of hand, people start talking about coming over to your house … You were right about the Tea Party, I think there’s racists — racism — in it, but …

COLMES: Well you don’t fight fire with fire, you fight fire with water.

ERIC IN SANTA CRUZ:

COLMES:

I misstated myself when I said “I can even call someone a racist.” I meant to say: “I can even call someone out on what I feel is racism without attacking person by focusing on the statement instead of the person.” (I also had a runny nose and forgot to blow it so I was making annoying snorting noises while on the air, to be fair here they put me on right away and I was shocked that I was on hold for perhaps less than five minutes. I thought I had a little more time than that…)

Also I could have been more clear that the times when he “hates” is rare, and I only mentioned it because it is the same kind of goading harassment and invective language that I see everywhere. Compared to everyone else on the radio-side of Fox he is a big huggable teddy bear with a pack of ravenous lions, but like anyone who deals with verbal harassment sometimes niceties fail and you end up sounding just like them. I am ten thousand times more guilty of this crime than he, but I’ve heard the sounding cry of the masses and it is hate that rules this tempest waging around us.

Forgetting to focus on the statement and not the speaker is the rule I have forgotten more than once now while online and have been rightly deleted / banned from websites as a result.

Hate begets hate. Violence begets violence.

I am ashamed, but only in my expression and not in my passion.

Cyber-harassment is wrong, and it’s currently the favorite past time of lazy teabaggers who have yet to call in death threats or destroy property of health care reform advocates.

MTV-AP Digital Abuse Study:

Objectives/Background
As part of its multi-year public affairs campaign to address the emerging issue of teen digital abuse,
MTV partnered with the AP on a study that provides an in depth look at the prevalence of digital abuse
among young people today. This research was designed to quantify how young people are affected by
and respond to issues like sexting, digital harassment and digital dating abuse.

UCSC Student Protest & Possible Suppression of Facts

University of California Santa Cruz is often associated as a left-leaning campus and administration, being the keepers of The Grateful Dead Archive and located in a mainly undisturbed forested historic location, but they have raised the ire of this liberal blogger in the aftermath of a recent four day sit-in protest of a 32% increase in college fees enacted by the university.

I personally side with the protestors, and the group leading the statewide protests called “Occupy California,” in that the increase is outrageously high and only serves to make higher education less available to lower and middle-income households. UC colleges across the state have spent huge amounts of money on construction projects but done nothing to improve affordability or increase teacher pay. I am well aware of the budgeting woes of the university that are not connected to administration decisions and believe this heavy of a rate increase and the response to the Kerr Hall Student Protest are examples in poor leadership above all else. If the spokesman had spoken with the protestors prior to speaking with the press he would not have spread what appears to be inaccurate information, and if the president had only come to find a method of negotiation with the protestors instead of simply ejecting them from the campus using the police department this incident might have been avoided.

It appears the administration, though unlikely in a unanimous effort by any fashion, sought to simply throw these civil protestors off campus without even addressing them as concerned Americans because the protestors raised matters they would rather not address. Such attitudes of indifference to differing logic pang more of the “loyalty tests” we see coming from conservative-ideological camps than it does of liberal-ideological camps. I detect a desire to silence the facts of this matter, perhaps because it looks bad for the “image” of the university. I am also willing to entertain this may have been a decision of the University of California administration as opposed to a decision of the UCSC administration to handle these protestors as such.

To make all these matters worse the local news-outlets are simply repeating statements of UCSC Spokesman Jim Burns, thereby I believe are under-reporting and outright altering the objective truth of the events surrounding the aftermath of this protest.

Both The Santa Cruz Sentinel and The San Jose Mercury have notably deleted the online-versions of the articles they published on the matter.

I do not have all the facts of the case, at this time, but it appears that either the Santa Cruz Police Department or the UCSC administration or both are guilty of greatly mishandling the matter of their response to a small number of destructive and misguided individuals who committed unclear amounts of property damage at UCSC’s Kerr Hall.

One eyewitness told me that people were indeed being forcibly pushed out by the police of Kerr Hall, one website claims mace was used on students and a Letter to the Editor in the Sentinel claims that batons were used.

According to the eyewitness:

“You had to be there. It was frightening to see police officers show up in response to a peaceful sit-in protest with riot gear and holding tazers.”

“The whole point of the protest was non-violence and the leaders of the protest were adamant about keeping the property protected and stopping any violent behaviors before they began. Many of the people who were doing the destruction were not even from UCSC, it is not fair that so many are saying to protestors were the ones doing the damage to the building.”

I asked this eyewitness if they had witnessed any use of non-lethal force against the protestors by the police:

“I didn’t see anything like that. They were pushing people. It’s true that when they arrived a few people had overturned a table and were trying to keep them out, but that was only about three people and from there they were very heavy-handed with everyone.”

I inquired as to why some were so angry in the first place that they felt the non-violence and anti-property destruction ethics of the promoters should be ignored:

“There was a letter sent to the president of the university and it simply asked him to come down and talk to them and it was outright refused. Some people were made very angry about this and started saying things like that the university didn’t care to even take them seriously. I’m not sure, but I think that was motivating some of those people who were very angry. That all went on upstairs, I only know what happened after the police made us all leave.”

Without inquiry the eyewitness filled in the next question I had:

“A lot of people, I was one of them, were trying to get the police to let us back in to clean up the trash and try to repair some of the damage done by the unruly protestors, and we were told that we would be arrested if we went back inside.”

(I am told both the journalistic articles of The Sentinel and The Mercury did not include this report, and that they only repeated the UCSC Spokesman Jim Burn’s statement. Neglecting to report on this claim that many protestors offered to try to clean up whatever damage they said a “select few” were causing in the upstairs of Kerr Hall and also omitted these reports of mace and batons being used.)

Then, after pumping them for information, they started pumping me for information:

“Why weren’t you there?”

I was working, I have been broke for way too long, but I probably would have missed it due to ignorance of it going on more than a lack of support. (I could have asked for the time off if I knew in advance.) Also I’m the “firecracker” in the crowd and might just have my pocket-Constitution handy since I’ll never be able to carry around that huge textbook o’ mine on U.S. Constitutional Law. (The Freedom of Speech shall not be infringed.) I should have been there on Saturday, no question, but I might have only gone as an objective observer.

Had I attended the sit-in protest itself I would have been there on behalf of all American Workers, and on behalf of the working-poor and their equal right to higher education as the upper-classes. All while the UC system makes them the target of the budget gap that have in part created with speculative construction projects.

Here is a notion: how about all UC administration officials take a statewide 25% pay cut?

The difference that would make should be removed from the 32% fee increase and then that would be a policy I might support and would be more critical of those protesting such a hike in fees under such a circumstance.

If the state is suffering and people are struggling perhaps the UC administrations around the state should consider putting themselves in a position in which they have to file for food stamps and are collecting their change to pay for gasoline to get to their job like the rest of us.

To the credit of The Santa Cruz Sentinel they published a Letter to the Editor by one of the protest organizers who is also a UCSC alumni and I believe one of the other credible sources on the events of Kerr Hall:

“Shame on UCSC administration

Throughout Saturday night at UC Santa Cruz, students faculty and staff massed outside Kerr Hall where students barricaded themselves [incomplete]”

To credit of The Santa Cruz Police Department they have recently formed a gang task force after myself and many others made voice to our concerns about the matter. I failed to give credit as that story broke to the SCPD after berating them over the matter via weblog. I believe this was simply a matter of a poor response, in this case, on behalf of the department to arrive with riot gear and non-lethal weaponry instead of standard equipment.

The party that appears to hold the strongest share of what went wrong at Kerr Hall, is the UCSC administration, in both refusing to meet the protestors head-on and directly address their concerns and seek a peaceful solution to their vacation from the grounds if one exists and also in the case of publicly denying that protestors were asking to clean up the facilities that others had damaged if they were indeed ordered by law to leave grounds by means of their spokesman.

Atop of that the university is claiming an unrealistically high damage cost for what multiple sources have told me was mostly minor damage caused by only a small numbers of irate individuals.

It is my view, that if the administration had only addressed the protest from the lens of a civil rights matter they would not have made the same decisions.

One thing I’ve learned, is that ordinary people don’t bend the truth and I believe these two testimonies over any of the “big-name” reporting to come out about this so far.

I don’t have all the pieces at my disposal to provide what I would call “full-coverage” of the UCSC Protest and the aftermath, but I thought it important to share what I know so far as it is somewhat difficult to get the whole journalistic story on this matter with only internet resources:

CBS5.comUC Student Protest

No arrests were made and the demonstration ended without confrontation, UC officials said.

I believe it to be inaccurate to say that the demonstration ended “without confrontation” only in that, according to my sources, approximately 75 people approached the police and offered to clean up the second floor. However, CBS5 is only repeating the statements of the UCSC Spokesman. It is accurate to say no arrests were made in Santa Cruz.

NewUniversity.orgUC Santa Cruz Protest: From a Face-off to a Mace-off

Someone at the protest was using CNN’s iReportUC Santa Cruz Protest Enters Day 4

-The protests at the UCSC campus are soon entering Day 4.
-Additional students entering Kerr Hall to aid and support the occupiers.
-Protest has remained peaceful and non-violent.
-Positive atmosphere
-Dozens of students remain outside supporting those inside.
– As of 1:20AM Sunday morning, supporters and occupiers are still present.

The final component here is the political right-wing native to Santa Cruz and our local political dynamic perhaps effecting a great many views on this matter.

The local “Club for Growth” neoconservative / libertarian / conservative right-wingers had their voice well expressed in this Letter to the Editor in the same edition of The Sentinel:

“No-growth policies come home to roost

[incomplete]”

I wouldn’t be surprised to discover many of the local police officers agreed with this position and such attitudes are not often found from reactions of law enforcement officials in regards to right-wing protests.

The tuition increase along with the excessive spending on construction contracts while neglecting other more pressing matters like affordability were exactly what the sit-in was in protest of and this individual insists upon finding a way to blame the protestors for the highly questionable decisions made the UC that many, including myself, find upsetting.

I long for a day when “tea-baggers” and neoconservative (“neocon”) pro-war protestors are treated with the same heavy-hands and greatly scorned just for the sake of expressing their ideals. I would love to serve some of these people the medicine of civil injustice and public harassment they so enjoy seeing done to any left-wing protest.

I dream of an America that remembers the past of this country, endless disagreements of every nature and sort that we came together and sought solutions and found a way to look our neighbor in the eye even though we believed their politics to be nothing but whimsical rubbish.

I believe far too many in this community would seek to blame the protestors themselves for all ills than ever look at the matter scientifically, or at least rationally.

With all this love of the “expose,” I should really start tearing apart our local nut jobs and tell my tale of complete disillusionment with a prominent figure in local-conservatism.

The true “expose” here is to be had on portions of the American Press, as well countless figures across the nation touting themselves as “objective” in politics when in fact they are nothing but the most bitter partisans you could hope to find who simply smile and laugh as they create an atmosphere of utter hatred for their fellow Americans. The people tearing apart our legislature, our political media, our newspapers and our economy in this state are not we the liberals and progressives of the state.

I will continue to be critical of both sides and attempt to convey both sides of an issue, and then people can judge for themselves if any level of credibility should be bestowed upon people who distort facts to suit an agenda.

Coming from any political persuasion, such actions are wrong.

The population of students, alumni and residents here in Santa Cruz may be left-leaning individuals but I have long held the impression that the UCSC current administration is not that by any means and this possible suppression of what really happened when the sit-in protestors were asked to leave and the circumstances surrounding the dispersal.

R.I.P. Tyler Tenorio

The Santa Cruz Community has suffered a great loss. A young man taken from us in his prime.

Whatever the circumstances, this horrible violence has touched me and I don’t feel I conveyed the depth of my thoughts on the matter when I spoke of it previously.

When I was sixteen, I was really stupid. I didn’t know Tyler, and I have recently discovered some of my friends in fact did know Tyler or his family. I am making an assumption that perhaps teenagerist stupidity was at play in this stabbing based on myself, not Tyler.

I feel what must be said is that I believe in my heart of hearts that Tyler Tenorio rests in peace with God.

This young soul taken from us before his time.

My heart is with all those who have lost loved ones.

I apologize if any person took offense from my previous post in regards to Tyler. I was awarded an “Editor’s Pick” on Open Salon for my efforts, but in retrospect I should have expressed my emotions on the matter rather than pure dispassionate conjecture.

Gangland Stabbing in My Town

A young man was stabbed to death in front of a 7-11 parking lot in Santa Cruz, California. Tyler Tenorio was sixteen at the time of his death on October 16th around 10 p.m.

20091024__CSS53015~5_GALLERYFriends of Tyler Tenorio (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)


20091024__CSS53015~4_GALLERYMore than 300 people gather on Laurel Street Friday evening to voice their opposition to gang violence and to remember Tyler Tenorio. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)


The Santa Cruz Sentinel

What was conjecture of the locals the day prior has become an issue of major concern for the District Attorney and the police department.

Was Tyler representing gang membership or making a claim to belong to a gang surrounding the time of his death?

Those like myself who read the original article published in The Sentinel on this tragedy saw this element of the story coming ahead of time.

I don’t wish to cause anyone to be troubled but in my estimation Tyler, and likely his friends as well, were representing themselves as being in a gang called “Westside” that associates with the color red and is local to this side of Santa Cruz.

The history of “Westside” is not my focus here, but it is a gang that is mainly people claiming to belong to it and has very few (if any) actual members beyond teenagers wearing colors.

It is my contention that Tyler Tenorio was wearing red clothing, and having his shirts pressed by his mom, because he wished to be associated with a local gang that would never seek recrimination upon those who falsely claim to belong to it.

This is a very common occurrence in Santa Cruz youth, to claim to be part of “Westside”.

This case underlines the need to be aware of what our children and our friends are doing around us.

There is another element I feel I should touch upon as well.

There is a possibly that this tragedy was not as strongly related to gang affiliation of any sort, but rather was a case of prideful arrogance boiling into sheer violence on behalf of both parties.

The entire scene of violence could have been avoided if only Tyler had chosen to keep driving and avoid the confrontation itself.

It is within reason to assume that this young man is dead because of man-pride and the need to prove yourself right at the end of a fist.

After the shouting, the driver pulled the car onto Myrtle Street, parked and Tenorio and his friends got out. One friend told police he was angry and got out to fight, according to the court document.

I was not present for this event. I can only read news reports and hear what people have to say around town about it. But based on what I know it is a possibility that this senseless death was fueled by the arrogance of the young men in both parties, or it also possible that this was a gangland stabbing that involved a false gang member being stabbed by a real gang member who assumed that other was affiliated.

The Secrets of The Lockheed-Martin Fire

1.fire-31.Fire rages on Eureka4

My area has been struck with wildfires burning unchecked for a few days that have finally come under control thanks to no small effort from statewide firefighting services called unto the task. The Lockheed-Martin Fire has reached a high level of containment at long last and residents have been allowed to return to their homes. The danger is still present, but the blaze has become more manageable after intense firefighting into the late hours of the night.

I recently spoke with three firefighters called in to help from the Central Valley and they had a rather interesting story to tell about their experiences while working on this call.

As you may or may not know the private military contractor Lockheed-Martin holds a rather large facility up in the Bonny Doon Hills just north of Santa Cruz City. Three firefighters were telling me that they and the rest of their units were charged with guarding five buildings inside the Lockheed-Martin property after the staff of the facility had been  evacuated.

These men knew nothing of the area and were specifically called in to guard specifically this area, presumably because they are not from Santa Cruz area and would not have much reason to share their stories with locals in the area. On top of that, who is going to believe a bunch of “valley boys?”

They claim to have been guarding one building that was just a big cement bunker with a large diesel generator on the side that held a huge yellow sign saying:

“Danger! No Less Than 11,000 Pounds of Explosives Present!”

They explained to me that in a normal situation in firefighting that if the flames overtook you one need only to pull out a kind of “fire tent“, that is more a large silver-blanket, and wait inside that covering until the flames passed over you.

In this case, they were informed that if these buildings were to catch fire that they would have to evacuate the area immediately but at the same time they were also told that these building simply “could not go up.”

So they were in a position where they had to simply fight the fire no matter what with no idea whatsoever exactly what they were guarding.

One of the younger firefighters was saying that one of the buildings was nothing but a shell of a building with walls falling apart and they received an order to protect that building as if it was the building marked with high-explosive storage labels.

They were apparently told: “if that goes, we all go.” With no further explanation beyond that.

Apparently there is a light and siren system up there. A yellow light means caution and danger is present. A red light means danger is real and you should be getting ready to evacuate. A red light with a siren means you have about 30 seconds to get the heck out of the area with no room for error. They all said that when they saw a red light go off they were about to lose their nerve thinking about hearing a siren all of a sudden.

I have no idea how true it was but they claimed that Lockheed-Martin is working on some kind of new explosive material and that was the reason why the “top brass” in the Pentagon were quite intent on protecting the facility at all costs. It’s possible that’s just hearsay and rumor.

But the facts are solid and absolute that our proud and brave California Firefighters have saved the day once again. We suffered no massive explosions in the hills and the smoke blowing through the city is hardly the same kind of damage that could have been wrought if the explosive storage and possible nuclear facilities within Lockheed-Martin were to have become inflamed.

We all know that there is underground facilities in Lockheed-Martin and some question could certainly be raised as to just how much danger their was of explosive outbreaks from the tiny bunkers catching fire. But I myself am grateful for the firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect unnamed and secret bunkers full of military secrets.

As to what started the fire there is some talk as of today that trespassers on an area we call “The Moon Rocks” are to blame. I myself blame the facility full of explosive equipment before I blame some random visitors to one of our local spots to see and enjoy.

But no conclusive evidence is available to answer the causal question at this time.