Are we all bisexual?


A while ago I happened across an exhibit on bisexuality put up by the “Gender Equity Resource Center” on the U.C. Berkeley campus.


One of the signs (sorry for the blurry photo) said, “Bisexual: The capacity for emotional, romantic and/or physical attraction to more than one sex or gender. That capacity for attraction may or may not manifest itself in terms of sexual attraction.” This contradicts the standard definition of bisexuality, “sexual behavior with or physical attraction to people of both genders (male and female), or a bisexual orientation.” The question is: Why intentionally broaden the definition to include “the capacity” for attraction, which would include just about everybody?

The sign got me to thinking: Is there really a “gay agenda” in modern academia? It does seem at times that the message “Everyone’s gay; you’re gay too, even if you don’t realize it yet” is pretty omnipresent in certain departments.

This sign (which is more than just a sign — it represents the philosophy of the “Gender Equity Resource Center,” and was taken from “The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Bisexual Health book”) is a new twist on the concept: OK, maybe you’re not all gay, but you are all bi. The key word in the sign is “capacity”: In order to be classified as bisexual, all you need to have is the capacity for any sort of emotional connection with people of more than one gender. And really, everybody has the capacity for anything, even if it isn’t expressed — right? Q.E.D., everyone is bisexual. Whether or not they know it.

Is there now jockeying within the politico-sexual academic world for control over the right to dictate humanity’s sexual orientation?

What if I made my own sign:

Heavyweight Boxing Champion: Anyone with the capacity to train really hard and then become so good at boxing that they could win a championship match. That capacity for victory may or may not manifest itself in terms of actually winning a match.”

Anyway, the bisexuality sign got me to thinking, and I’m still thinking about it, though perhaps not in the way the designers intended. I haven’t reached a conclusion yet. What’s your opinion?

“It’s the Jews, Stupid.”

One of the most notorious regulars at Bay Area left-wing protests is a guy whom I refer to as “Mr. Binder Clips,” in reference to the clips he inevitably uses to hold his sign together. He usually displays a sign which says “SMASH THE JEWISH STATE” (here he is in 2004 and again in 2009, for example), though he sometimes branches out to other anti-Jewish messages.

Well, at the recent ANSWER-sponsored protest on March 21st in San Francisco, he decided to add an extra little sentence to his sign, in case anyone had any doubts as to his true feelings; he was captured in action by zomblog contributor “SaraRose”:


“It’s the Jews, Stupid.”


This isn’t surprising to those of us who have seen this guy in action: he’s obviously an unapologetic anti-Semite. Over the years I’ve eavesdropped on him various times, and learned he is an Argentinian Nazi.

For example, back in 2005, he attended a lecture given by Ward Churchill on the U.C. Berkeley campus, where I made an audio recording of the question he asked, to which I supplied the following caption:

Next up was this Argentinian fellow who brought the subject back around to Eichmann. But instead of agreeing with Churchill that Eichmann was nothing more than a bureaucrat who did evil things because he had no moral conscience, the questioner seemed to be a fan of Eichmann and took offense at the Mossad’s abduction of the former Nazi in Argentina in 1960:

“Because after all, most of the people in this country don’t even know who Eichmann was. Who was [I call it] kidnapped from my country by the Jews, and taken without any kind of diplomatic action. So isn’t that a fact that, that bother them that the fact that you call empire arrogant and criminal, what bothers them, actually?”

But what is surprising is that a Nazi (or at least a Nazi sympathizer) who is obviously anti-Semitic is accepted without dispute by the far left-wing in the San Francisco area. Perhaps, as I pointed out in the link above, because he claims to be a communist, he is allowed into the fold. All it takes is the proper use of a few buzzwords (“empire,” etc.), and you can get away with essentially anything on the far left.


On the night of March 18, anti-military radical protesters smashed the windows of the embattled Marines Recruiiting Office in Berkeley:

Windows were smashed and red paint was splashed Wednesday night on the Marine Corps recruiting center, which has been the target of protests for the past 18 months.

The incident, which came on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war, was caught on tape by a surveillance camera about 8:55 p.m. at the center in downtown Berkeley, police said.
Police have not made any arrests but are reviewing the tape, Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.

Police found a sledgehammer and a crowbar in a nearby garbage can that they are reviewing as evidence.

After breaking windows and defacing the Marine Corps logo at the center, the half-dozen vandals wearing dark clothing scattered in three different directions, police said. The suspects’ faces were covered, police said.

The photos above (courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News) were taken on the morning of Thursday, March 19, as the window was about to be replaced.

I went to Shattuck Square in Berkeley a few hours later to take pictures, and found that not only had the windows already been repaired, but — to my astonishment…


…the protesters were already back, brazenly demonstrating in front of the newly repaired windows, just a short time after they had been broken.


Pro-military counter-protesters got wind of the event and showed up as well, creating a defensive line around the office. (Notice the new window behind them; you can see in this photo I took last year during a previous incident that the window used to have a Marine Corps logo on it before it was broken.)


In an interview with The Daily Cal, Code Pink — one of the groups protesting — denied any responsibility for the window smashing, but added,

Joi said she did not know who was responsible for vandalizing the center, but that frustration with the Marines was understandable.

“It is not the right thing for us to do,” she said. “But I cannot tell (anyone) what the right thing is for (them) to do.”

In other words — we didn’t do it, but we don’t mind that it was done.

However, Code Pink wasn’t the only group there — World Can’t Wait was also on hand, and several apparently unaffiliated protesters — some of whom were masked, just like the attackers the night before. Hmmmmmm…

Note also the comical sign, “Racist ,Fa[s]cist, Pro War, Republican!” with an arrow pointing toward the center. Because, as everyone knows, no Democratic president has ever ordered the Marines into battle! They’re purely a Republican branch of the military.


The actual criminals themselves took a photo of their deed moments after smashing the window the night before, and posted it on IndyBay. Since IndyBay is likely to eventually redirect this link (they don’t like “outsiders” linking to their reports), here’s the text that accompanied the above photo:

At 9PM on March 18th, the eve of the 6th anniversary of the war in Iraq, a group of persons wearing masks smashed the windows and splattered red paint at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Center in Berkeley, California.

The center has been the target of protests for the last 18 months, and stands as a symbol of U.S. militarism and imperialist wars. The act of property distruction stands alone as the embodyment of frustration of a people whos government does not listen to or care about them.

Police have not made any arrests but are reviewing the tape, said Sgt. Mary Kusmiss. A sledgehammer and a crowbar were found in a nearby garbage can nearby, and are being reviewing as evidence. After breaking windows and improving the Marine Corps logo at the center, the group wearing masks and dark clothing scattered in three different directions, police said.

As of the time of this posting, no one involved has been arrested. The act was easy. You and a few friends could have pulled it off any day.

NO MORE IMPERIALIST WARS!!!

NO MORE GOVERNMENT!!!

SMASH THE STATE!!!


Predictably, Cindy Sheehan showed up as well. This is sort of her default location; when she has nothing better to do, she drifts back to the Marines office in Berkeley.


The circus continued all afternoon. Were the perpetrators among the crowd? Probably. But since they had been wearing masks, there was no way to tell.

Tookie Williams sidewalk stencils

Spotted in San Francisco:


Tookie Williams was a mass-murdering gang member. Convicted of four gruesome homicides, Williams bragged of killing many more, including police officers. He was executed at San Quentin prison on December 13, 2005. But in the years before his execution, he became the poster child for the anti-death penalty movement in California. I documented the “Save Tookie!” frenzy outside the gates of San Quentin on the night he was executed.

What did he do that turned his public image from that of a notorious unrepentant killer to that of a glamorous victim-hero? Why, he “wrote” a series of children’s books counseling kids not to join gangs, with titles like Gangs and the Abuse of Power. All of his books were “co”-authored by his girlfriend and acolyte Barbara Becnel, but even a cursory glance at any of them reveals that Tookie obviously didn’t write them at all — she wrote them, and put his name on them. Tookie was poorly educated and borderline illiterate, but the vocabulary, sentence structure and political tonality of those (and other) books bearing his name were not the kind of thing Tookie was capable of. But no matter: based on those books, not only did he become a hero of the anti-prison movement, but he was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.


These two stencils of Tookie Williams were photographed recently on the sidewalks of San Francisco, but I think they’ve been there since 2005, when there was a spate of pro-Tookie graffiti during the run-up to his execution.


San Franciscans have recently been finding themselves in the uncomfortable position of riding around on public buses plastered with the words “ISLAM – Submission to God.” I say “uncomfortable” because San Francisco is famously amongst the most secular and non-religious cities in the nation. But there has been nary a peep of comment or protest about these ubiquitous in-your-face ads, which are shown here in photos taken on March 2 in San Francisco.

Such was not the case a few weeks ago in Ft. Lauderdale, however, which is one of the cities where the ads first appeared on buses. As reported in the Miami Herald, Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle joined a protest against the same ad campaign. While the protest did not succeed in getting the ads removed, it highlighted the fact the the ads were co-sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — a fact which can be easily confirmed with a little research: The ads themselves link to www.whyislam.org, which states at the bottom of the page that it is a project of ICNA; ICNA’s local chapter has a page on its own site about creating the ISLAM ad campaign in San Francisco; that page also lists CAIR as a co-sponsor (along with many other Muslim groups); and CAIR’s own site “Calling Islam” has many photos, links, and press releases about the ad campaign on its home page. So there’s no question that the ads are an ICNA and CAIR co-project.

Why is this noteworthy? Because ICNA is not your run-of-the-mill Muslim group, but rather is the North American branch of Jamaat-e-Islami, the fundamentalist Pakistani political party whose goal is the imposition of sharia law, and who are closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the primary fonts of Islamic fundamentalism in the modern world. ICNA’s mission statement on its own Web site says

The goal of ICNA shall be to seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT) through the struggle of Iqamat-ud-Deen (establishment of the Islamic system of life) as spelled out in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

The phrase “establishment of the Islamic system of life” means living under sharia (Islamic law) in a caliphate (Islamic political structure). Even the briefest of Web searches turns up any number of links about ICNA which show that it is among the most extreme of all fundamentalist Islamic groups in the United States.

(The proprietor of the zTruth blog also noted the San Francisco Islam bus ad campaign and tried to engage ICNA in a conversation about the cost of the ads — with predictable results: ICNA refused to answer his journalistic questions, even though they specifically invite email exchanges.)

But even more noteworthy is the involvement of CAIR in this concerted effort at dawah (Islamic proselytizing). CAIR derives its political credibility from supposedly being a respectable civil rights nonprofit organization:

CAIR’s literature describes the group as a “leading advocate for justice and understanding”, a mission which includes promoting the understanding of Islam, and protecting Muslim civil liberties. Their stated core principles include supporting freedom of religion, protecting the civil rights of everyone, and encouraging inter-faith dialogue.

But as their association with ICNA and this ad campaign now reveals, CAIR’s real goal is to convert Americans to Islam — with the eventual goal of turning the United States into a fully Islamic society (i.e. one operating under sharia).

In fact, on CAIR’s own “Calling Islam” site, they reveal their true agenda with several pages devoted specifically to dawah, such as this one called “How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim.”

There’s nothing wrong or illegal about religious groups trying to convert non-believers, but such activities become unethical when the groups try to pass themselves off as something else entirely — for example, when Scientologists set up innocent-looking “personality assessment” and “stress testing” booths in shopping malls, or when CAIR tries to pretend that it is a civil rights organization.


Later in the same day, I took this photo in San Francisco’s Castro District, at the corner of 18th and Castro streets. As everyone knows, the Castro is the epicenter of gay activism in the United States (note the rainbow flag in the bank window). And even in this neighborhood, the ISLAM bus ads appear prominently and frequently.

Now, whenever any Christian group tries to “cure” gays of homosexuality, or (as happened recently) campaigns to ban gay marriage in California, there are invariably eruptions of outrage in the Castro and throughout the San Francisco gay community, often culminating in protest marches, citizen forums, lawsuits, and more. Which is to be expected.

However, I have not heard the slightest peep of protest about these ISLAM ads appearing in gay neighborhoods. But, you may ask, why should anyone protest? Because, as it turns out, ICNA is virulently anti-gay. On ICNA’s own Web site is this passage, calling homosexuality “a pollution of the soul”:

Marriage is the proper form of satisfying the sexual activity. Adultery, fornication or homosexuality and such things are a pollution of the souls and the purity of genealogies.

Elsewhere on ICNA’s “Why Islam?” site, an essay is posted which says,

Islam teaches that homosexual acts are sinful and punishable by God. This teaching comes not from human beings, but from the Creator of all humans. God tells us in His own words how He punished the people of Lot for their homosexual behaviour.

The story of prophet Lot, on whom be peace, finds mention in several Qur’anic passages, especially Chapter 26:160-175 which reads:

[Qur'anic quote describing the destruction of Sodom.]

From these passages we learn that God saved Lot and the righteous ones of his family, and rained on the rest a shower of brimstone, so they were utterly destroyed. This is mentioned in the Qur’an not only for the sake of information, but mainly to serve as a warning to anyone who dares to repeat such acts.

Clear enough for you?

Furthermore, at major Muslim conferences co-sponsored by ICNA, various speakers and presenters said things like,

Dr Hathout told his audience that the materialism that has captured American society and to which Muslims are not exempt, troubles him. Also troubling is the impetus in modern society to accept the homosexuality as just another lifestyle choice. He reminded his audience that Islam does not accept homosexuality, and he reminded them that people have the choice to make and are mandated by Islam to reject homosexuality.

Moreover, clerics associated with ICNA have issued fatwas against homosexuality. Again, even cursory Web searches bring up many links of all sorts suggesting that ICNA — like most fundamentalist Islamic parties — is unapologetically opposed to homosexuality, and advocates strict adherence to Islamic law, under which the penalty for homosexual acts is death.

And yet — there is a resounding silence from San Francisco’s gay community about these ads, which are paid for by a group whose ultimate goal is to outlaw homosexuality in the United States. Imagine, for a moment, if a Christian group with similar goals had paid for and displayed proselytizing ads in the Castro. The outrage would be deafening. And yet when a Muslim group does it — silence. Why? There’s only one possible answer: Fear.

The cowardice and hypocrisy of the gay activist community on this issue is deeply troubling.


Other cities:

When the same ad campaign appeared on the New York subway system, the New York Post exposed the terror connections behind the ICNA-associated imam who was promoting the ads. Even so, as Weasel Zippers pointed out, the media continued to write puff pieces about ICNA.

The “Creeping Sharia” blog had an extensive post about the Ft. Lauderdale bus ads which had some excellent background research on the issue — pointing out, for example, how the ads (and CAIR’s Web site associated with the ads) are insulting and offensive to Christians and Jews. The Creeping Sharia post also has a great deal more evidence conclusively proving that ICNA is an offshoot of Jamaat-e-Islami, the Pakistani religious party seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate.

The controversy over the ads in Ft. Lauderdale led the County Commission to consider banning all religious advertising on local buses.

In addition to San Francisco and Ft. Lauderdale, the same ad campaign has also appeared in Miami and Chicago. This article says the ads have also run in Orlando, Jacksonville (FL), Portland (OR), and San Antonio.

Zomblog readers report seeing ISLAM ads from this campaign on buses, trains and billboards in New York, Baltimore and Seattle. Have you spotted them in your town?

Former Weather Underground leaders William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn made an appearance at San Francisco’s Modern Times Bookstore on February 21 to promote their new book Race Course Against White Supremacy.

I attended the event for one reason only: To see what kind of reception San Francisco would give to these two former terrorists. I took a few photos, but luckily someone who goes by the name “SFPatriot” took some videos as well and sent them in to me; they are presented below, along with my photos.


It was quite clear that just about every single person there (except me) idolized these two unapologetic violent revolutionaries. The entire store was packed full of people.


But we ran smack dab into what I call the Ayers-Dohrn Paradox, which is:
Ayers and Dohrn gained fame as violent revolutionaries willing to commit murder and other terrorist acts in order to overthrow the United States. For that, they were greatly worshipped by the far left. Now, in their sunset years, they’re trying to re-cast themselves as “respectable” left-wing professors with “reasonable” opinions, who have long ago sworn off violence. And so, at these events, neither of them ever mentions their violent heyday, except rarely in passing. Instead, they focus exclusively on their current obsessions: Introducing Marxist thought into schools, and closing down the prison system. However, almost no one who goes to see Ayers and Dohrn gives a damn about hearing monotonous lectures on these particular topics: instead, their fans idolize them because of their violent revolutionary past. So at these events, the audience (as in this case) is full of far-far-far-left radicals who came in order to hear overheated revolutionary rhetoric. But instead, what they get is a boring professorial monologue. If Ayers and Dohrn were nothing more than your run-of-the-mill leftist professors, no one would go to their appearances. They’re coasting on their violent reputation, while at the same time trying to distance themselves from it. And that is the Ayers-Dohrn Paradox.


(Video by “SFPatriot”)
This video shows one of the very few references to their past made all night: During the introduction by fellow former radical Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (who now works at Modern Times Bookstore), the following exchange occurred, which produced the biggest laugh of the night:

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: “Bill and Bernardine have been a collaborative pair for so long, I don’t even think of them as a married couple, even though they have three children and grandchildren and all. They’re partners in…um…in um…
Bernardine Dohrn: “Crime.”
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: “Crime.”
Audience: [Laughter.]


Bernardine Dohrn: A life of crime. And proud of it.


(Video by “SFPatriot”)
I’m not particularly interested in simply reporting what Ayers and Dohrn had to say. In fact, during Ayers’ speech, that’s exactly what he recommended: Do not let your ideological enemies even get the opportunity to present their narrative. Besides which, they both already have way too much of a platform. But I’ll show a little mercy here and give Bernardine a minute in this video to explain the thesis of their book, Race Course Against White Supremacy.

There. Having seen SFPatriot’s video, aren’t you glad you missed the rest of the lecture?


(Video by “SFPatriot”)
Just like our new Attorney General Eric Holder, Dohrn and Ayers think the United States is “a nation of cowards” for not “talking about race” enough — as if 23 hours per day isn’t satisfactory. In this video, Dohrn says she agrees with Eric Holder. Which is exactly what Obama’s detractors were saying during the campaign — that Obama would appoint people to powerful government positions who would in fact be promoting the Ayers/Dohrn philosophy. And now we know — that’s exactly what has happened.


“Guilty as hell — free as a bird!”

The Graveyard of Zombietime Flops

One might get the impression, from reading zombietime, that I put together a photo essay about every single political event I go to.

Well: one might be wrong.

The truth is, what you see on zombietime are only the successful events I attend. I find myself at all sorts of rallies, meetings, protests, art exhibits, and other public (and private) political shindigs, and often as not come away disappointed. There was either nothing there worth photographing, or I couldn’t take pictures without looking suspicious, or (most often) the resulting photos of the event in question were pretty uninteresting once I looked at them after the fact.

Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your point of view), I’ve saved some of these flops, and I’ve decided to rescue them from complete obscurity by presenting here a selection of “the ones that got away” — the worst, least interesting and most pointless zombietime reports that never got published. And so I present:

The Graveyard of Zombietime Flops

Voting at the Venezuelan Consulate: December 2, 2007


The nation of Venezuela held a national referendum on December 2, 2007 over the issue of whether to grant dictatorial powers to Hugo Chavez. The referendum barely lost, which was considered a huge victory for Chavez’s opponents. A little-known aspect of the vote was that overseas Venezuelans were allowed to vote as well — and the only place in the entire United States where they could vote was at the Venezuelan consulate on California Street in San Francisco. I decided to go check it out, in case pro-Chavez thugs tried to disrupt the voting with violence. But when I got there — not much was happening at all, aside from what you see in the photo: dozens of expatriate Venezuelans milling around on the sidewalk, talking about politics, as the cable cars rumbled by. From what I could tell in my attempted eavesdropping, they seemed mostly anti-Chavez — so the people you here here may very well be the ones who pushed the “No” vote over the top and stopped Chavez from ruining the country forever.

Dennis Prager Appearance at U.C. Berkeley: May 5, 2008


Radio talk-show host and pundit Dennis Prager gave a speech at U.C. Berkeley on May 5, 2008. I went to it, expecting to see the same kind of protests that had earlier greeted Daniel Pipes, Michelle Malkin and Alan Dershowitz. But nothing happened at all. Prager came in, posed for pictures with members of various campus Jewish groups, and then started to give a speech that didn’t sound much different from one of his radio shows. To top it off, I brought the wrong camera and couldn’t get a decent picture of him in the dimly-lit lecture hall. There wasn’t a single protester in sight, so I left early.

Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby in a Toilet: August 31, 2007

John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt’s egregious book The Israel Lobby was scheduled to be released in early September 2007. By sheer happenstance I obtained a pre-release copy of the book, and decided, as a parody of the many rumored “Koran flushing” incidents that had been reported around then, to put it in a non-functioning toilet at an undisclosed location and take a picture of it there. Although this was an obviously artificial scene, I had never before or since “staged” a picture, and because of that I felt a little uncomfortable putting it online. Although this picture was all by itself featured in a post at Little Green Footballs, I never uploaded it as part of any zombietime report, since I had no other pictures to go with it. (And no, the picture is not Photoshopped — the book really is in a toilet.) Finally, “Mearsheimer and Walt in the Toilet” earns a spot on zomblog here.


Later, I visualized what the book would have looked like if it had been released in the 1930s, and created this satirical version of the cover (based on this infamous book).

[UPDATE:]
         
zomblog reader “gegenkritik” sends the two images shown above, first reported on the Lizas Welt blog, along with the following explanation:

Sadly, reality once again is ahead of satire:

On the left you can see the cover of the German edition of Mearsheimer/Walt’s “The Israel Lobby”.
And on the right is the cover of a book from 1942, written by Johann v. Leers, an influential Nazi-ideologist, who emigrated to Egypt after WWII and continued his anti-semitic struggle there, supported by the Egyptian government and his friend, Mufti Amin al-Husseini.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Note that both the Mearsheimer & Walt book and the Nazi book share the same cover design: An American flag sprinkled with Stars of David. So my parody-cover ended up being quite true-to-life.


There — I think that’s the maximum dosage of fizzled zombietime reports that a person can take at any one time. I’ve got plenty more, but I’ll leave it at that, and save the rest of the flops in case I want to torment you in the future.

The City of Berkeley last year paid artist Scott Donahue $196,000 to install two sculptural groups at either end of a new pedestrian bridge across the freeway on the city’s waterfront. The two installations (which you can see at the bottom of this post) mostly feature large human figures doing “typical Berkeley” activities. But, as noted in this Matier & Ross column, the artist recently added a series of small bronze bas-relief sculptures around the base of each statue. The new sculptures around the base of the westernmost statue depict, among other things, dogs going shit, fucking, and sniffing each other’s butts.


Matier & Ross wrote that the San Francisco Chronicle editors “blushed at the idea of publishing” photos of the dog sculptures, but I have no such compunction. As a public service, I decided to photograph each of the bas reliefs and publish them here, so the taxpayers of Berkeley (most of whom never use that pedestrian bridge) can know what they’re paying for. Here we see a photo showing all three of the bronze dog sculptures.


This is the “shitting dog” sculpture (illuminated this time with a camera flash, so the anal area is more clearly visible).


And here’s the one showing two dogs fucking.


And of course, the butt-sniffing.

When interviewed by Matier & Ross, Donohue said,

“I am showing dogs doing what dogs do at the dog park.” … Donahue says the west end sculpture simply depicts the natural and recreational activities at Berkeley’s waterfront, which includes a dog park.

“I am a realist,” Donahue said. “You can celebrate a place in both a serious and lighthearted way.”

You decide: Is this the best way to spend Berkeley’s taxpayer dollars?


Here’s the full sculptural group at the west end of the bridge. As you can see, the large figure shows kite-flyers, ducks, and a dog leaping for a Frisbee. The smaller bronze bas-reliefs depicted in the photos above can be seen on the right side of the tilted red base.


The other sculptural group at the east of the bridge show activities associated with the town of Berkeley itself, as opposed to just the waterfront park. Here we see screaming protesters holding signs, interspersed with scholars studying.


Around the base of this scultural group are other “typical Berkeley” activities, including “occupying” a grove of trees (note the small bronze figure in the branches at the lower left), an apparent reference to the Berkeley “tree-sitters.”


Another depicts the Berkeley “Critical Mass” bike-riding protest, in which bicyclists surround and harrass car drivers.


Donahue’s installation was already controversial for being visually incomprehensible to passing drivers, for whom it is intended. To motorists whizzing by on the freeway below, the sculptures — which are supposed to be an invitation to Berkeley — look like nothing more than a jagged mass of hard-to-decipher shapes.

Swastika in Richmond


I spotted this swastika spraypainted on the sidewalk in the city of Richmond, California. The street where this photo was taken is not in the residential part of town, but adjacent to some business parks in a light industrial area next to the freeway. The road next to the swastika is frequently used for “sideshows” — late-night car-spinning and street-racing outdoor gang parties. The asphalt up and down the block is covered in skidmarks and tire-tracks.

In all my days in the Bay Area, I have practically never seen a swastika drawn as graffiti anywhere (outside of a political protest, of course). I had originally intended to note that Richmond is not known to have any neo-Nazi activity (the city is actually known for its large African-American community), until I noticed this article about a hate crime in Richmond in which a black man was beaten up by white teenagers spewing racist epithets. Racists in Richmond? What?


Here’s a close-up of the same swastika. I could speculate as to what the appearance of such a symbol means in this place and context, but the truth is I have no idea. I doubt it has any direct connection to the beating incident, but the swastika certainly is disturbing, I’ll say that for it.

Inauguration day nostalgia: "I Miss Ike"

A bit of unexpected political nostalgia spotted on a car bumper in Berkeley on January 20th — inauguration day: