Saturday, May 11, 2019

Liam Clancy - Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Lyrics: Now when I was a young man, I carried my pack. And I lived the free life of a rover From the Murray's green basin To the dusty outback, I waltzed my matilda all over. Then in nineteen fifteen, my country said son It's time to stop rambling, There's work to be done. So they gave me a tin hat, And they gave me a gun, And they sent me away to the war. And the band played Waltzing Matilda, As the ship pulled away from the Quay And amidst all the tears, Flagwaving and cheers We sailed off for Gallipoli Well I remember that terrible day When our blood stained the sand and the water And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter. Johnny Turk he was ready Oh he primed himself well. He rained us with bullets, And he showered us with shells. And in five minutes flat, We were all blown to hell Nearly blew us back home to Australia. And the band played Waltzing Matilda, When we stopped to bury our slain. And we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs, And it started all over again. Those who were living, Just tried to survive In that mad world of blood, death and fire And for ten weary weeks, I kept myself alive, While around me the corpses piled higher Then a big Turkish shell, Knocked me arse over head And when I awoke in my hospital bed, And saw what it had done, Then I wished I was dead. I never knew there were worse things than dying. For no more I'll go Waltzing Matilda, All around the green bush far and near For to hump tent and pegs A man needs both legs No more Waltzing Matilda for me. They collected the wounded The crippled, the maimed, And they shipped us back home to Australia. The armless, the legless The blind, the insane. Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay I looked at the place where me legs used to be. And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me To grieve and to mourn and to pity. And the band played Waltzing Matilda, As they carried us down the gangway. But nobody cheered, They just stood there and stared, Then they turned all their faces away So now every April, I sit on my porch, And I watch the parade pass before me. I see my old comrades, How proudly they march. Renewing their dreams of past glories I see the old men, all tired, stiff and sore The weary old heroes of a forgotten war And the young people ask, What are they marching for? And I ask myself the same question. And the band plays Waltzing Matilda And the old men still answer the call But as year follows year, More old men disappear Someday no one will march there at all. Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda Who'll come a waltzing matilda with me? And their ghosts may be heard As they march by the billabong Who'll come a-waltzing matilda with me...

comment: Every time I listen to this, some bastard cuts onions.

Friday, May 10, 2019

‘Creepy tech oligarchs want to dictate your opinions’

‘Creepy tech oligarchs want to dictate your opinions’

Paul Joseph Watson on being banned from Facebook.


10th May 2019



Paul Joseph Watson’s sardonic YouTube monologues against social-justice warriors, mass immigration and modern art have racked up millions of views and have even caught the attention of President Donald Trump. Last week, Facebook designated Watson a ‘dangerous individual’ and banned him permanently, alongside others on the right. spiked caught up with this ‘dangerous individual’ to find out more about social-media censorship.

spiked: How did you find out you had been banned from Facebook?

Paul Joseph Watson: I received no notification whatsoever from Facebook. Facebook did not even send me a stock email to tell me my page had been deleted. I found out about it by media reports. I was on Twitter trawling through my feed. I saw CNN: ‘Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos have been banned.’ I thought, ‘Oh, really?’. I checked my Facebook and my Instagram and they were still up. They were still active for about half an hour after the first media reports came out. So immediately that tells you that they had given the story to the media, to get their justification out ahead of time, so that they could own the narrative.

They gave the story to the same media outlets like CNN, where their journalist Oliver Darcy has spent the past 18 months lobbying the social-media firms to ban CNN’s competition. People like Darcy have been abusing their platform and acting as activists rather than journalists, going to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and saying repeatedly, ‘Oh, doesn’t this post violate your policy? Doesn’t thisviolate your policy?’.

It’s not just Darcy. There is also the likes of Jared Holt at Right Wing Watch and Will Sommers at the Daily Beast, who have been very successful in silencing a great percentage of the online people who were instrumental in getting Trump elected. This has never been about ‘bullying’, ‘harassment’ or ‘hate’, whatever those mean; it’s about them fomenting this political purge ahead of the 2020 elections.

spiked: Are you a ‘dangerous individual’?

Watson: Haha! If I’m dangerous to society, then that is an illustration of how coddled, pathetic and cowed Western society has become. Mark Zuckerberg, who basically now controls the feeds of 2.4 billion people, is now setting up a Chinese-style social-credit score in the West. In tandem with these bans, Facebook has said that anyone who posts an Infowars link without condemning it could have that post removed – and even their account could be removed. This is a creepy oligarch who controls a platform with a third of the planet’s entire population and wants to dictate what thoughts and opinions can be expressed.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are basically monopolies. They are the new public square. Outside of those three, there are few other options. I would argue that concentrating so much power into the hands of so few corporate entities and so few billionaire oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg is a far bigger danger than my snarky Facebook posts or my video rants about modern art and brutalist architecture.

spiked: What do you think led to the ban?

Watson: I don’t think there’s any specific thing that winds them up, it’s just that I’m effective. Gavin McInnes is banned on Twitter. James Woods is currently suspended on Twitter. Laura Loomer and Milo are obviously banned. But David Duke – literally of the KKK – is still on Twitter. Richard Spencer, the leader of the actual alt-right, who believes in an ethnostate – he’s still on Twitter. If you’re not effective or your audience is fringe, you’re allowed to continue to exist on these platforms. They only really target people who are effective.

Again, that comes down to the fact that a lot of these digital media outlets like Buzzfeed, Vice, and even now CNN, are having to do hundreds of layoffs. They are basically trying to pick off their competition because before all these bans came into place, we were absolutely creaming them in terms of social-media, traffic, exposure, impressions and YouTube views. A lot of it is to do with money. They’re not only politically purging people – they are all in line with Hillary Clinton and the Democrats – but also trying to eliminate their competition because they are sinking financially.

These journalists and activists are basically pursuing their petty vendettas. They get into spats on Twitter – I used to do that way more than I do now! – and as soon as they get into these spats, they know that they have the power to get these social-media giants to silence their personal enemies. It’s a vindictive, petty little effort to shut down anyone who calls them out on social media.

spiked: Are big corporates now a bigger threat to free speech than the government?

Watson: Here in the UK, we have very sensitive laws about hate speech. Thousands of people are arrested for tweets and social-media posts each year – and I rail against that. But I have never been investigated by any UK authority for posting anything offensive or for anything hate-speech related. I have no criminal record. So the UK government doesn’t deem me to be dangerous, but Facebook does. The UK government can’t dictate what websites I can go on and where I can post. The way these corporations are ringfencing acceptable opinion is much more dangerous.

Now you have these ‘dangerous’ people. You can’t associate with them, you can’t have your picture taken with them, you can’t appear on a podcast with them, and it carries over on to other social networks. So you end up self-censoring. I had been self-censoring, anyway. And you become increasingly enclosed inside these ringfenced ideas of what is acceptable opinion because of the way these social-media giants behave.

These companies have far too much power. I’m not a libertarian or an anarchist. I do believe in some kind of government regulation. Private companies can’t just do what they like. Just as you can’t refuse service to someone just because they’re black, I don’t think you should be able to refuse service to someone because of their political views, unless they have posted something which is criminal or a direct incitement to violence (which I never did.)

We have a situation now where you have a Russian app called Telegram and its founders are saying they will not enforce codes of political correctness and will not ban users. That’s the sad state of free speech in the West. To have actual free speech – and yes, sometimes it is a little bit offensive (oh my God, the horror!), sometimes a little bit mischievous – you literally have to use a Russian app. I could go on Weibo, the Chinese Communist Party app, and I’d probably survive longer on that than I would on Facebook.

spiked: Why is it so important to defend free speech online?

Watson: Free speech is the lifeblood of any free society. The problem is that the left has completely abandoned any understanding of what free speech means. As Noam Chomsky says, if we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. And yes, some people are offensive. Big deal. If we allow free speech to be completely redefined to the point where it’s only ‘free speech BUT it offends me and needs to be removed from the internet’, then that is authoritarian. History tells us that doesn’t end well.

Paul Joseph Watson was speaking to Fraser Myers.

League of California Cities Opposes SB50

Information from the League of California Cities (5-8-19):

SB 50 (Wiener D) Planning and zoning: housing development: incentives.

For a Summary of Senate Bill 50, please click HERE.

Excerpt from the Summary:

"Senate Bill 50 would authorize a development proponent of a neighborhood multifamily project located on an eligible parcel to submit an application for a streamlined, ministerial approval process that is not subject to a conditional use permit. The bill would define a “neighborhood multifamily project” to mean a project to construct a multifamily structure on vacant land, or to convert an existing structure that does not require substantial exterior alteration into a multifamily structure, consisting of up to 4 residential dwelling units and that meets local height, setback, and lot coverage zoning requirements as they existed on July 1, 2019."

The League of California Cities' position letter, dated 5-8-19, opposes SB-50 unless amended. The letter is copied below:

Link to the League's letter:

May 8, 2019

The Honorable Anthony Portantino
Chair, Senate Committee on Appropriations

State Capitol Building, Room 2206 Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: SB 50 (Wiener) Planning and Zoning. Housing Development Incentives Oppose Unless Amended (as amended 5/1/19)

Dear Senator Portantino:

The League of California Cities must continue to oppose SB 50 unless the measure is amended to address our key concerns. Unfortunately, the amendments taken in the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance do not address our primary objections with SB 50. In fact, these recent amendments raise additional questions and concerns.

SB 50, as amended, creates a new two-tiered process that exempts cities with a population of less than 50,000 that are in a county with a population of less than 600,000, from the most extreme provisions of the measure. It is unclear why these cities should be treated differently than a similar size city in a county with a population over 600,000. Instead of arbitrarily establishing a population metric, it would be much more appropriate to consider the full range of community characteristics when determining which areas of the state SB 50 should apply.

The League of California Cities objects to allowing developers of certain types of housing projects to override locally developed and adopted height limitations, housing densities, parking requirements, and limit design review standards. Specifically, the League has significant concerns with the following:

• Waste of time and money. SB 50 would greatly undermine locally adopted General Plans, Housing Elements (which are certified by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)), and Sustainable Community Strategies (SCS). By allowing developers to override state approved housing plans, SB 50 seriously calls to question the need for cities to develop these community based plans and the justification for spending millions of state and local funds on the planning process. HCD spends a significant amount of money and staff time to review and certify housing elements for 482 cities. In this year alone, HCD will allocate nearly $130 million to local governments to update their housing plans and approval processes. Governor Newsom has proposed to spend an additional $250 million on local plans. Why would the Legislature pass a bill that encourages developers to defy these plans and essentially waste millions of taxpayer dollars?

• Housing developers and transit agencies would have the power to determine housing densities, heights up to 55 feet, parking requirements, and design review standards for “transit-rich housing projects” within one-half mile of a major transit stop. For those “transit-rich housing projects” within one-quarter mile radius of a stop on a high-quality bus corridor, developers would be able to determine housing density, and parking requirements above .5 spots per unit.

• What is the full scope of SB 50? As presently drafted, it is very difficult to determine what constitutes a “jobs-rich area” since the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Planning and Research are largely tasked with making that determination. It is hard to understand why the Legislature would want the Executive Branch to define essential terms that have broad implications for how SB 50 would be implemented. Additionally, by not defining “jobs-rich area” in statute, there is no way of knowing if SB 50 will actually accomplish its stated goal.

• Greater density but no public transit? SB 50 would require cities to allow greater density in communities that are high opportunity and jobs rich, but may lack access to public transit. This seems at odds with many state policies that encourage and incentivize more dense housing near transit so that individuals may become less dependent on automobiles.

• Community-led planning? SB 50 allows some communities to be exempt if they develop their own plan that is consistent with the objectives of the bill. Why not all communities? Shouldn’t all jurisdictions have the ability to have a community-led planning process that takes into account local needs and input as long as state objectives are still met?

For these reasons, the League of California Cities opposes SB 50 unless it is amended to address the above concerns. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (916) 658-8264.

Jason Rhine
Assistant Legislative Director

cc. Senator Scott Wiener
Members, Senate Committee on Appropriations
Mark McKenzie, Chief Consultant, Senate Committee on Appropriations Ryan Eisberg, Consultant, Senate Republican Caucus

SB 50 (Wiener D) Planning and zoning: housing development: incentives.

Would authorize a development proponent of a neighborhood multifamily project located on an eligible parcel to submit an application for a streamlined, ministerial approval process that is not subject to a conditional use permit. The bill would define a “neighborhood multifamily project” to mean a project to construct a multifamily structure on vacant land, or to convert an existing structure that does not require substantial exterior alteration into a multifamily structure, consisting of up to 4 residential dwelling units and that meets local height, setback, and lot coverage zoning requirements as they existed on July 1, 2019.

League Position: Oppose Unless Amend

Primary Lobbyist: Rhine, Jason

Policy Committee : HCED

League Position Letter(s) & City Sample Letter(s):

SB 50 (Wiener) Oppose unless Amended, Sen. Approps., 5-8-19

SB 50 (Wiener) Oppose Unless Amended Letter 4-17-19

SB 50 (Wiener) Sample Oppose Unless Amended Letter Senate Gov and Finance

SB 50 (Wiener) Oppose Unless Amended Letter 3-27-19

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Renowned UCLA Urban and Economic Geographer comes to San Francisco May 30th

48 hills

and the USF Urban and Public Affairs Program


a talk by internationally renowned UCLA urban and economic

Michael Storper

Why Scott Wiener’s SB 50
Will Not Get Us Affordable Housing

The New Trickle-Down Housing

Economics:Build for the Richest 30% and Cross Your Fingers For
Everyone Else

Thursday, May 30, 6:30 pm
San Francisco LGBT Center
1800 Market Street
Free admission

Read Michael Storper’s March 2019 interview
with The Planning Report:


FABLE: The Wolf, the Nanny-Goat, and The Kid

A Nanny-goat went out to fill her empty milk bag
And graze newly sprung grass, 
She fastened the latch tight,
Warned her Kid saying: 
"Do not, upon your life,
Open the door unless  you are  shown
This sign and told this password: 
'Plague on the wolf and his breed!' "
As she was saying these words,
The Wolf by chance  prowling around,
  Overheard the spoken words
And kept them in his memory.
Nanny-Goat, as one can well believe,
Had not seen the glutton beast.
As soon as she departs, he changes his voice
And in a counterfeit tone 
He asks to be let in, saying: "Plague on the Wolf,"
Believing he'd go right in.
The  canny Kid looks through the crack,
"Show me your white paw, else I'll not open."
He shouted at once. (White paw is a thing
Seldom  seen in wolfdom, as everyone knows.)
This Wolf, aghast  upon hearing these words,
Went  slinking home the same way he had come.

Where would the Kid be now, had he believed
The password, which by chance
Our Wolf had overheard?

Two guarantees are  better than one,
Even a third one would not be extreme.

Better be sure than sorry

Tiburon listens to the community and cancels Maintenance Shed

Tiburon nixes storage shed near Blackie’s Pasture after public outcry

People play on the newly renovated McKegney field in Tiburon, Calif. on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

PUBLISHED: May 3, 2019 at 3:22 pm | UPDATED: May 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm

The Tiburon Town Council has pulled the plug on a controversial storage shed proposed near Blackie’s Pasture.

The crew that takes care of the town’s parks spends more than 1,200 hours a year maintaining the McKegney Green soccer field. But a request to save time by storing a lawnmower and other equipment closer to the field came under fire this week after residents protested, saying that a proposed storage shed would diminish the amount of park space available to the community.

“We should not waste our precious, pristine park space to store equipment solely for the convenience of town staff,” resident Samantha Walravens wrote in a letter to the Town Council. Walravens was one of dozens who wrote to city officials protesting the proposed storage facility.

“It is a fiscally irresponsible, unnecessary building, located inside one of the Bay Area’s most prized parks,” resident Angela McInerny wrote.

On Wednesday the council abandoned the idea of the $20,000 storage shed, which Town Manager Greg Chanis had asked permission to build in the Richardson Bay Lineal Park.

He had identified a site for the 600-square-foot building next to the public restrooms between McKegney Green and Blackie’s Pasture. A gravel access road would have provided a pathway for town employees to drive up to the shed from existing paved paths.

For now, maintenance staff will have to haul the mower and other equipment to the field from the town’s cramped corporation yard, which is about 2 miles away. Council members suggested the staff work with Tiburon’s Parks, Open Space and Trails Commission on another solution for storing the equipment.

“I think there was a recognition that Blackie’s Pasture defines Tiburon,” said Councilwoman Holli Thier. “It is not the best place for putting a building to store equipment.”

Thier was a fierce critic of the storage shed when the Planning Commission considered awarding a permitlast year. During a public hearing in October, she told the commissioners the decision would be “the most important vote that will ever come before you in your lifetime probably.”

Chanis withdrew his application for the shed at that October meeting before the Planning Commission took a vote. He said it was clear that commissioners wouldn’t support it and he planned to ask the Town Council for its input.

“We absolutely believe this is an important project,” Chanis said. “It would be beneficial for the town and the residents and would allow us to more efficiently and effectively manage these amazing parks we own.”

McKegney Green reopened in March after a $2 million renovation. It had been closed for nearly a year. The town bought $150,000 worth of new equipment — including a $40,000 lawnmower — to maintain the new grass, which is a sand-based alternative to typical athletic turf and is not artificial. The estimated 1,200 yearly hours of staff time spent maintaining McKegney is a new regimen, according to Chanis.

Before the renovation, he said, “Really we weren’t maintaining it as an athletic field. We were essentially taking care of it as grass.”

A crew now mows the grass twice weekly. Workers also calibrate the McKegney’s irrigation system and weed, aerate and fertilize the field.

The town’s corporation yard, at 199 Kleinert Way, is now bursting at the seams with the addition of the new equipment, Chanis said.

“It’s tight. It’s cramped. It doesn’t even come close in terms of space, but it’s what we have,” he said.

But despite those challenges, a storage shed in the Richardson Bay Lineal Park would have been a poor use of space, Thier said.

The councilwoman wants to expand the bayfront park that is home to Blackie’s Pasture, which she calls Tiburon’s “crown jewel.” She’s championed an initiative to buy land owned by the Richardson Bay Sanitary District in the park and has worked with local middle school students to brainstorm uses for that space. She said it could become, for example, a public swimming pool, a bocce ball court or a community center.

Many Tiburon residents share Thier’s love for Blackie’s Pasture. The field is named after a beloved horse, Blackie, who was tied up there for years in the 1960s after he was retired from a career as a cavalry horse for the U.S. Army. Tiburon residents visited Blackie regularly to feed him treats until he died in 1966. He was buried in the pasture that year and his grave is marked by a memorial plaque.

“When people think of Tiburon they think of Blackie,” resident Ernie Cervantes wrote in a letter to the Town Council this week, opposing the storage shed. He said placing a storage building so close to Blackie’s grave would be “disrespectful.”

“Poor Blackie,” Cervantes wrote, “is probably rolling over in his grave right now.”