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It's getting strange out there. After going to school (Berkeley City College), to enroll (Which I did! Just need twenty bucks now and I can be a student once more, and receive my financial aid in just three short weeks?!), I head for my spot, in front of John's Ice Cream. After a couple minutes someone points out the BBB are cordoning off the bus stop area on the southwest corner of Kittridge and Shattuck (next to the Berkeley Public Library). They have "caution" tape up, all over the Public Space.

Then, a couple of them stage a farcical inspection of the garbage can next to where I'm sitting. What is funny (and sad) about all of this is, this is how it begins. It starts as a simple "clean-up" venture, and it slowly turns into something far more insidious than anyone would first believe.

The reason people never see the Evil coming is because the Evil is good at hiding. It is good at disguising itself as something else, i.e. "A Wolf in sheep's clothing."

Also, and this is important to note, too: this organization ('Block By Block') is being supported ('sponsored') by conservative entities (such as 'SMS Holdings.'). Make no mistake, this is also a political move by conservatives in this country. Berkeley is a "Liberal Stronghold," and conservatives would love nothing more than to get their heels dug-in to a-town-like Berkeley, California, which has not yet relinquished its' Liberties, as of yet. But I do hear the wolves howling, just off in the distance....

Berkeley, California has become the modern-day Alamo.

Check out the front page. On one of the possible links you can access, it reads, "Our Cities."

Whose Cities???

What if I don't want their brand of "help"? Am I not allowed to forge my own path? Who are these people to tell me anything? I'm a writer... leave me the hell alone. And, my artist friends, too... leave them alone, too. What I want to know is: are the BBB trained to handle artists as opposed to someone else they believe has a "substance abuse problem"?

Update on the "outreach program": Apparently, through information obtained by one of my sources, they have discontinued that program. At least here in Berkeley. Not that we (Artists) want their brand of help anyway. But I think it is important to note that they have suspended it ('community "outreach"') because it shows they have no desire in "helping" anyone, anymore. Only to "get rid of," apparently.

And, here is the real culprit behind the BBB:

What is sad is, the rest of the nation has capitulated to this Neon-Yellow Menace because they are fearful and do not want to see the result of their Criminal Enterprise Government, because they would have to do something (tangible) about it. They would actually have to do something other than just say, "Damn, that sucks, what are we doing for dinner hon?"

We are at "critical mass," everyone. Right now, it's not at your (most of America's) doorstep, yet, but you're next. Once they "clean up" the streets of the people you are tired of seeing, they will come for you next. Maybe not Block By Block, but an extension of that sort of arm will reach out and most certainly grab you, and it will probably come under the guise of "for your own good."

I am not the "boy who cried wolf," although "wolf" is appropriate in this piece. I am not a "Panicking Nancy." I am not screaming the "sky is falling!" for my own gratification. I am screaming it because it actually is falling. Actually, it fell a few weeks back when our wonderful Commander and Chief signed that bill stating that we (United States Citizens) can be detained, without due process, for an indeterminate amount of time, of their choosing.

That sound like the America you grew up in? Not me. I don't know what this is. Oh yeah, I do: Fascism.

It's obvious. I just didn't think the small businesses would turn this way. I didn't think they would start pushing around the poor because those above them are pushing them around, but I should have. Human behavior is anything if it's predictable.

So, I decided to violate the "internet black out" today, because I feel the situation out here (in Berkeley) is getting worse and worse, and had to get it out. So, my bad. I wanted to be part of it, though. But I've done mine in the past, and have a heavy caseload for the future (unless someone wants me 'shut up'), so... this is necessary. This (for me), may as well be the first salvo for the Federal Government to peruse... I am not afraid. If I were (fearful), that would mean I am no longer in the country I believed to be growing up. But that feeling, that... dark, creeping feeling is just at my back, and I am not giving in to the Fear and Fascism (formerly 'Loathing'). And we all have to stand up to it, too. To use the Government's own vernacular, "Stay Vigilant." Keep your eyes open for something that doesn't look quite right, even if it looks "official."

Especially if it looks official!

And tell others. The best way to expose Fascism or any other "ism" is to shed light on it, so stay alert and stand strong. They (BBB) do not have any authority over you, and if they persist in trying to engage with you even after you have told them to go away, you can have the police come and have them removed from the area. That would be "harassment." So, unless you are violating some sort of law (or petty ordinance most likely), don't engage with them. If you're breaking some law, let the police handle it. That's what they get paid to do. The Block By Block people do not have that power. They are here to "clean up" the city.

Just because I'm paranoid does not mean they are not out to get me (and everyone else who opposes 'them').

Too bad they used to terminology of: "We're going to 'get rid' of 'them,'" ('Block By Block') and, "We're going to be 'coming down hard' on the 'homeless,'" (Berkeley PD) otherwise, they may have just gotten away with it.

"There are spies everywhere."

-Hunter S. Thompson

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was recently attacked by one of them. (7+ / 0-)

    I was on the Santa Monica Promenade looking for a store that I used to shop at but that was no longer there. This son of a bitch rode up to me on his segway and asked me if he could help me find something.

    "GET AWAY FROM ME YOU FASCIST BASTARD" I yelled because I could see right through him. Suddenly I was surrunded by segways and felt the sting of a needle in my side. Next thing I know I am in a re-education camp in Orange County where my eyes were propped open and I was forced to watch Atlas Shrugged on an endless loop. After that it was Pete Seager songs at full blast while watching horrid films of death and destruction.

    Worst acid trip ever.

    I was Rambo in the disco/ I was shootin' to the beat/ When they burned me in effigy My vacation was complete. Neil Young

    by Mike S on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 12:28:49 PM PDT

  •  What BBB does (8+ / 0-)

    Oakland Tribune:

    "From 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. we've been power washing the streets five days a week," said Lance Goree, operations manager of the new organization. "We've got it cleaned up, and now the hard part is going to be keeping it clean."

    The cleaning crews say they have removed 25,000 gum stains and hauled off 8,500 pounds of trash. Crews have painted 71 fire hydrants, 426 light poles, 34 utility boxes and 92 trash cans. The association also has installed 180 hanging flower baskets and added eight flower planters.

    Yup. Exactly like Hitler.
    •  More like Joseph Goebbels (0+ / 0-)

      What is hilarious about people like you, who only scratch the surface of something, is you swallow the hook.


      •  Well, the Neon-colored shirts... (0+ / 0-)

        ... are certainly more cheery than stuff like this:

        Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright, April 2008:
        BO: ‘You know what your problem is?’
        JW: ‘What is that?’
        BO: ‘You have to tell the truth.’
        JW: ‘That’s a good problem. That’s a good problem.’

        by tbetz on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 01:53:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Good reference! (0+ / 0-)

        As a reader of this diary, and of the ensuing comment stream, I get the sarcasm (so clever and funny), but I am a little surprised by (and a little ashamed of) this turnout of the Kos community.

        So, some criticism that I hope you will find constructive:

        I get your concern, but your tone is a little shrill. I get that you are passionate about this topic, and that you want to draw attention thereto. But I think that by using a dramatic headline, without sufficient supporting detail, you shook up and opened a can of snark-ass all over yourself.

        I think that had you introduced some of the ideas from the piece above (at least providing a link in the body of your Diary,) and "zoomed out" a bit to provide a broader perspective, you might have made a better case for your argument and reached a broader audience.

        The headline from the blog you referenced, "SMS Holdings: Faith-Based, Anti-Labor" encapsulates a broad view of the topic. For me, another part of this story that concerns me is that it represents continuing privatization of public services.

        Believe me, I value your passion, and understand that you are just starting out as a Diarist on this site. I am just getting started, too, and have been studying what makes diaries "successful."

        In addition to stating your position clearly and with enough depth, and detail to engage this audience, it seems important to use tags effectively.

        For this story, touching on the details of labor, religion, and privatization of government services, along with the use of related tags, would have helped you reach readers with whom this story would resonate.

        Format! If you are unfamiliar with the basics of HTML formatting, and the specifics of using DKos formatting conventions, study them here.

        Use block quotes to reference portions of material you find in other sources.
        Use bold and italicized text for emphasis, and so on.

        Anyway, I tipped story for your efforts, I applaud your passion, and appreciate your point of view, and I will be following your progress.

        Work on organizing your presentation, and you will find your audience.

        Good luck!

        The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question. For there are few things as useless–if not dangerous–as the right answer to the wrong question. -- P. Drucker

        by The Angry Architect on Sun Apr 29, 2012 at 11:08:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Silly liberal can' read between the lines. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, Unit Zero, VClib, volleyboy1
      From 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. we've been power washing the streets five days a week
      "Power washing" is a euphemism for using a machine gun.
      The cleaning crews say they have removed 25,000 gum stains and hauled off 8,500 pounds of trash.
      That equals about 50 people.
      Crews have painted 71 fire hydrants, 426 light poles, 34 utility boxes and 92 trash cans.
      They painted them red to signify the Red State's takeover of America.
      The association also has installed 180 hanging flower baskets and added eight flower planters.
      they are fake and when you smell them they knock you out to make it easier to do what they did to me.

      This is so obvious that I am surprised you missed it.

      I was Rambo in the disco/ I was shootin' to the beat/ When they burned me in effigy My vacation was complete. Neil Young

      by Mike S on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 12:50:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  First they came for the gum stains... (3+ / 0-)

      ...and I said nothing, for I was not a gum stain.

      Then they painted the fire hydrants, and I said nothing because I wasn't a fire hydrant.

      Then they hung flower baskets, and I said nothing because I wasn't... um... er....

      Dammit. I give up.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 02:18:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So did we all, I guess (4+ / 0-)
    So, I decided to violate the "internet black out" today
     Or somebody threw an internet black out and forgot to invite quite a few of us.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 12:42:42 PM PDT

  •  My father grew up... (8+ / 0-)

    in Mussolini's Italy.

    It didn't begin like this.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 12:53:01 PM PDT

  •  I knew it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unit Zero, VClib, volleyboy1

    "All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree" -- James Madison

    by paulitics on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 12:53:04 PM PDT

  •  If you are a writer... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unit Zero, volleyboy1, begone

    ... you should learn the proper use of "quotation marks."

    "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Willy Wonka

    by Huginn and Muninn on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 01:01:58 PM PDT

  •  are James Armstrong and Jessica Sapperstein (0+ / 0-)

    two different people?

    I'm confused.

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