Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We hope to welcome People's Grocery!

This week's Grub Box newsletter had very exciting news!

"...we are working on (...) the corner of Filbert St. and 30th St. in West Oakland. It is a 1/3 acre property that has tremendous potential to become an urban farm and training center. People’s Grocery is working with the owner of the property, the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), to develop site plans, secure a conditional use permit and establish a lease with NCCLF. We are grateful to NCCLF for presenting this opportunity to People’s Grocery and providing us with funding in support of the planning and development of the site."

I can't imagine more exciting news to kick off 2010! Our own, very cool, excellent, neighborhood urban farm, just one block over! Back when I asked Myrtle Street Review readers to wish us well on our hopes for a community garden – this is even better. If you wished us well, thank you very much.

I look forward to supporting the People's Grocery in any way we can, and can't wait to see them at our next block party!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Specimens of Bafflement

Objects to bury around West Oakland to confuse future archaeologists: (all these can be found at our house)

- Kikkerland head massager
- Toy rooster with real feathers
- Plastic skull, real size, economy model from The Bone Room
- 15-foot chain of rubber bands
- plastic jar with vertebrae, probably from a fox
- Yoga Toes toe stretchers

Archaeological Responsibilities

I have been reading the absolutely fascinating report from the Cypress Archaeology Project, and marveling about the rich history of West Oakland. In case you didn't know, when Caltrans reconstructed the part of Freeway 880 that collapsed in the 1989 earthquake, they contracted the Anthropological Studies Center at Sonoma State University to examine the area, in compliance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

So between 1994 and 1996, the archaeologists dug up artifacts all the way back to the Victorian era: tea sets, cutlery, dolls, tools, bottles, witch balls, decorative objects, religious objects. They wrote really interesting reports that reveal a vibrant, diverse, cosmopolitan community. They examined gender politics, race relations, and social class distinctions. From what they wrote, it looks like West Oakland used to be an urban planner's dream: a socially and racially diverse, "walkable" community with easy access to shopping and services.

When we toss stuff in West Oakland now, we are leaving a picture of our lives for future archaeologists. I am thinking about burying some weird stuff just to provide a bit of a head-scratcher.

Monday, January 4, 2010

How the U.S. will break up this year

Igor Panarin from the FSB (formerly known as the KGB) has been predicting the “moral and economic collapse” of the US for ten years. According to Igor, it will all fall apart in 2010.

The break-up predicted by Panarin would be the result of mass immigration, economic decline and moral degradation, all of which would trigger a second American civil war, and the collapse of the dollar. This would then lead to the break-up of the United States, by mid-2010, into half a dozen regional sub-entities. These would be dominated or absorbed outright by foreign powers.

  • Alaska would revert to Russia, and Hawaii would become Chinese or Japanese.
  • The West Coast (the three Pacific states, joined with Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Arizona in a Californian Republic), would fall to China or at least be under Chinese influence.
  • A Texas Republic, which would also include New Mexico, Oklahoma and all the other traditionally southern states (except the Carolinas, the Virginias, Kentucky and Tennessee), would similarly be either directly or indirectly under the sway of Mexico.
  • The aforementioned southern exceptions would join the northeastern states in forming a bloc that might join the European Union.
  • The rest – all midwestern and western states – would be at Canada’s mercy.
I wonder what "moral degradation" looks like from a KGB perspective?

Item spotted on Strange Maps.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How to get rid of neo-nazis and other right wing loonies

The Auschwitz Arbeit Mach Frei sign theft was organized by Swedish Neo-nazis, on commission from a wealthy British collector. The Neo-nazis were going to fund terrorism attacks in Sweden with the proceeds.

Which gives me some ideas. Since right wing loonies are hungry for terrorism cash and largely not in the top intellectual percentile, let's all start pretending to be wealthy evil masterminds and sending them on wild goose chases after crazy shit that will get them caught!

Go steal the Hope Diamond! Donald Trump's hairpiece! Dick Cheney's rifle! Go smuggle Barbies into North Korea! I'll pay you ten million as soon as you're done, I promise.

Speaking of Cheney, for being completely irrelevant these people sure manage to get press.

Photo from Mean Streets.
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