Why I believe SFC Bryan Sikes Statement Applies to More than Gwyneth Paltrow

At the end of May, an American Green Beret soldier had something to say regarding a celebrity’s comments on Social Media. Not only do I agree with him, I think it can be expanded to the Internet and Society at large and what happens on/in it.

We have seen it somewhere. People claiming they are in various forms of Military action yet they are not serving in an actual Military at all especially now when tensions run high on many a subject. This seems to be for unknown reasons encouraged by what some call Mainstream Media (TV, movies, news, books, etc.), I am not one to speculate conspiracies so I know not why but is clear that Mainstream usage has had an effect on Civilian Society and I strongly disagree with that. Here are some terms I will not be using anymore and shall replace whenever I see them used whether the original user likes it or not.

Flame/Twitter/etc. Wars – These are not real Wars. No one gets shot or bombed, goes to a hospital, performs ‘tactical and/or strategic maneuvers’ to defeat an enemy or anything else Military related. Some mean posting anywhere may hurt someone’s feelings but that is not the same as a War, it is just an idiot who needs be ignored and/or deleted from your viewing depending on the site it is done on. I will acknowledge there is a connection to this subject and bullying but that deserves its own separate write up sometime.

War of Words – Another version of the above.

Strategy/Strategizing – This is something soldiers do for combat also therefore should not be done by non-soldiers except, in my view, for and games involving Military elements. Corporations describe themselves as doing it along with some people for Social and possibly other encounters. For corporations, I am currently unsure what it should be replaced with, right now I am going with planning, while also done in militaries, is less Military like thus I consider better off. As for individuals, Socializing should always be described as such, less like Military encounters, I would go with more Social terms here such as Dealing With Issues, Handling Problems, things like that.

Hater – I have covered this word before and believe it also falls under this discussion. Hate, for example, is something done by the Modern World’s radical terrorist groups who engage in military behavior. In Social settings, the term is used for people who do not do things that terrorists perform such as attacks with weapons, beheadings, etc. thus it does not apply to someone who writes/says something you do not like and/or agree with. Another reason I dislike the currently common usage of this word and avoid/ignore it when used, a recent example, in the MechWarrior Online community through a Social discussion the term was used by a poster named 1453 R I mentioned here in that very encounter referring to me. Sadly he/she is mistaken since I performed no combat type action as a terrorist would have regarding his/her position so the usage of the term is incorrect and reflects an overblown definition of the Social encounter between us from 1453 R’s point of view.

The (insert whatever here) Army – Unless you are in an actual military, you are NOT in an Army or similar. One example is shown in this article, there is no such thing as a Social Army except in Military games. Another is celebrity armies, one I know of is the KISS Army, they are not a true Military army so are a fan club with an overblown name and I say this even though I have listened to KISS since the days of vinyl records and enjoyed their music. None of these or anything like it is a true army, just an overblown label that contributes to some of the horrible Social issues we face today in civilian life.

More terms may be added to this list as I come across them.

Point here I believe is very clear, Military terms in Civilian life cause reactions in people that make for bad Social encounters. Many terms used for non-soldiers have a certain word in them noted in capital letters here such as CIVILian, CIVILian Life, CIVILized Society and more. The common term CIVIL in these various words indicate a Social setting that is supposed to be free from things Military related that should include the use of Military terminology.

I even am getting fed up with the lingo used in various media. Example, I do not watch much TV, one of the few shows I watch is Suits. But I have noticed they have these lawyers talk like they are, “Going to war,” and, “Having knife fights.” Look, I know from a piece of advice an ACAP counselor gave me that some different career fields have overlapping skills, soldier and lawyer do have similarities in specific areas. Still, no one seriously ever had their bodies mutilated, developed PTSD or anything like those from going to court. Court cases are not wars of knife fights, they are CIVIL ways of resolving specific matters.

Now I could see where someone else may view what I say as Political Correctness or something like it. Well, it is not, just my own personal view and choice of something I am honestly fed up with given that, in my view, it contributes to a decline overall of non-military society that should not be happening.

Posted in Language, Military, News and politics, Random Thoughts, Socializing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why Sun-Tzu is Not That Great Anymore

There is this really ancient general from history, you probably have heard of him. Sun-Tzu from 6th Century BC China period. He supposedly wrote this book called the Art of War. Like any historical general, there are a few interesting things in it that are still valid today. There is a serious problem though, a real serious problem.

People in non-military life are applying the teachings of this book to their lives. Civilians, who are supposed to be living civil, peaceful lives, are instead applying this stupid book to their personal encounters and situations treating practically anything as a conflict they have to win.

First big mistake is one a lot of people make when reading a book, they never look up the history of the author. This crazy guy, Sun-Tzu, when he got tested to be a general by the King of Wu was ordered to give orders to concubines. When they failed to follow directions twice, Sun-Tzu has two of them killed scaring the King into making Sun-Tzu a general. People swear by this crap. Try pulling that stunt today and see where it gets you. I served in the military of the USA, no one could ever get into a command position of any kind by pulling a stunt like this. That fundamental difference shows a critical reason no one should take the Art of War seriously and apply it to their lives in the modern world.

Second will be listed in an upcoming blog about a modern military soldier and his response about how civilians treat their lives like they are at war when they should not be.

When you have a background like that, no one in this world we live in today should be applying your teachings to their non-military lives. To do so just adds more dumb shit into our world that we do not need as there are enough problems to deal with so we do not need some Sun-Tzu wanna be claiming everything is conflict. Not everything we deal with is conflict for not all of us are soldiers in a battle or war, if we were, the world would be a worse place than it actually is.

Do yourself a favor.

Do not apply the Art of War to your life unless you are in an actual military service and even then, it has limits as to what is actually valid and worth using. I am not saying the book’s contents are worthless but they are worth less then people give it credit for.

Posted in Military, News and politics, Random Thoughts, Socializing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Four Degrees of Internet Trolls

So recently was in a conversation on the official MechWarrior Online game forum about a piece of game equipment. First came the worst of the four trolls out of nowhere.

First and worst of the four posts under UserID Vanguard319, he/she will get a new nickname shortly. His/her and the initial troll post is found here. I did not have the time to do a full response to everything he posted but did to his/her last sentence he directed to me and the response was true since he/she clearly made an ‘assessment’ of me based on zero facts, lack of any time spent getting to know each other thus engaging in troll behavior. Other parts of his/her post both general and toward me are more troll behavior. Honestly, I should ignore the non-troll portions based on the troll ones. He/She also cited Sun-Tzu who is not worth as much as I read Vanguard the Grapefruit Troll to give him credit for, though I had a blog up on that but cannot find it so will do one hopefully soon. Finally based on a few posts The Grapefruit Troll makes after, he/she seems to have a mix of qualities of the Combat Simulator and the Sadistic Killer as far as MWO goes.

Next a more lower level troll is IraqiWalker. No where as high as VtGT above, Iraqi decided to accuse me of trolling without proof making his claim rather meaningless. Even worse, he also had ‘Liked’ the linked post above (you can only see this if you are a community member and logged in) so in doing so, he became a lower level troll for ‘Liking’ a troll post. Now the count is 2.

Then along comes member 1453 R who decided to go off in a mix of some detail but a lot of emotion and desire on the subject, also made a really bad analogy (this is covered further down). When I separate his mix of topic related posting from the emotional/desire content, there is more of the second than the first and the topic related content looked significant but actually was rather confusing on what he/she was trying to say, there were no clear points rather it came across as making 2+ points sometimes contradicting him/herself. Between that and the bad analogy plus sometimes I do not like quoting a long post, I just summed up his post as, “Bunch of Nonsense,” because that is how it came across. 1453 R trolled with the reference to, “a New York mugger,” line in a happy type tone, offensive since I grew up in New York City during the 1970s-1980s, a hard time and from experiences I and people close to me had regarding crime including muggings, of course such a line is going to offend.

Then come the false troll accusations directed at me with, again, zero proof. This went on for a couple of days with another named Tesunie getting involved becoming another low level troll. He also made the mistake of trying to claim 1453 R’s analogy was a good one and acting like a forum mod when he isn’t, self appointed forum mods never do well in a community.

Thus were born The Four Trollskerteers.

I should reference the fifth false accuser of me trolling, Shar Wolf. Again no evidence provided thus making his claim false but he never said anything troll like.

1453 R’s analogy, comparing a sneak/ambush attack in a military related computer game to that of a New York mugging, not only offensive as I described above but also horrible. Tesunie trying to justify the two had one common point, sneaking/stealth, does not help. For an analogy to be good, it has to have more then one common reference between the two. Now if the sneak/ambush attack were compared to something like a haunted house employee scaring a customer, that is a better analogy because it has at least two common points, sneaking/stealth and both are acceptable forms of such behavior while the New York mugging is an unacceptable one so it does not have a second point to compare to either.

I do believe all of the Four Trollskerteers and Shar Wolf may not know how to do legal arguing. If you accuse someone of a crime such as trolling, you have to provide evidence, in this case they should have quoted what I said was considered trolling by them but they never did making their claims baseless. Providing quoted comments of mine allows a response that clarifies what could have been simple misinterpretation/misunderstanding or something else based on how the accused, in this case me, responds. Since their accusations were baseless given the lack of evidence (quoted comments), I said so several times but they just kept up the bad behavior of false accusations. Here is a good example of how to accuse someone of trolling, Bishop Steiner quotes the part of lockwoodx’s post that Bishop asks if it is trolling. Quoting allows a response clearing up what is going on.

The amount of assumption they made was completely horrible. I did wonder if they were ever taught that old quote, “Never assume, you’ll make an ass out of you and me.” I know none of these guys outside MechWarrior Online and there, only through forum exchanges over the game so it is clear we are not friends, opponents (except in game) or anything else other than fellow community members. Where they got the ‘brilliant’ idea to make piles of unfounded assumptions about me, I have no idea. The sheer amount of egotism, overinflated sense of self worth, immaturity and childishness that reeked from their posts added even more fuel to the fire they created.

I have no idea if any of these four know each other and did this together or separately, either way, I am glossing over anything they say from now on. Maybe someday they will get better communication skills and learn some things.

Posted in Computers and Internet, Legal, Socializing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

News Website and Free Speech Under Attack by a Lone Person

This is not a joke. I am sharing this as a warning in case this person gets around to other Internet sites and will share this blog to whatever news sites I can think of. I am also sharing it because the individual is well on his way to committing a criminal act against me and/or others close to me so I want this to stand as a description of what happened and how this person escalated to criminal activity.

I sometimes frequent other news websites of various kinds. I have been to ones politically biased on all sides and those in between, local up to global, some from other countries outside my own home of the United States. Most of the time I get to check news though is spent on a local site, SILive.com, I prefer the local one to a lot of the others, those others where I sporadically read things here and there, not regularly.

Like other news sites, it has commenters. Some are rarely seen, others quite frequent. There are people who only show up if they have a personal connection to a story. Various kinds show up on the local news. This includes those of the political bent.

In politics, we have our Republicans, Democrats, those in between like myself. There are the extreme crackpots to the moderate from all over.

Things get rowdy, people say the craziest shit. At some future point I will even post some of it. However lately one individual stands out due to his recent actions, that person is known by his User ID Seal444. Obviously a fake ID like a lot of people use over the Internet.

Seal444 has made this unsupported claim for a while that he is a former Navy SEAL and has proven to be extremist with leftist leanings. Typically feuding with his polar opposites, he made several crazy things clear.

If you do not agree with him, you are automatically branded a, “racist Tea-bagger who watches too much FOX News.” It does not matter who you really are or what you do, Seal444 does not care about real people or anything else real, it is his way or no way in his self-created fantasy world that he confuses for the real one. I generally have dismissed him as one of several with extremist leanings. I have also been a target for his rants and false accusations regarding my politics despite proof I have shown proving him wrong in addition to how I also have gotten branded a flaming liberal and similar by some on the right. I figure if I get accused by both sides of being on the other, that is one of many ways of proving I am on neither. Seal444 ignores this reality too.

It should also be known that Seal444 has shown his Navy SEAL status is a fraud. His actions have always caused doubt regarding his claimed status. I have seen actual military veterans including myself post on there, there are certain qualities we tend to have regarding behavior that Seal444 does not demonstrate. It is also known there are a small amount of people who pretend to be military vets but are not. I have always had my doubts about the Navy SEAL status claimed and they have been proven true by the recent actions of Seal444. I also belong to a couple of veteran groups and am on military sites, at these places I see vets from different walks of life including political positions behave and talk, practically none share qualities with Seal444.

So now to Seal444’s recent actions. His first act of insanity was to start deleting comments of anyone who disagrees with him, says that he is a fake SEAL (which he is) and offends his opinion of President Obama. Anything under those three he doesn’t like, he demands to be deleted. He will allow anything that trashes Republicans, attacks FOX News, insults the Tea Party (who most people do not see as having much relevance anymore so don’t get his or a few others’ obsession) and goes after imaginary racists. In doing this, he is manipulating all conversation on that site to basically agree with him, “or else you get deleted.” The end result he aims for is to manipulate the news site so only content he like is allowed even though he does not own or pay for the site itself.

Ironically, his actions have not driven off Republicans as he thinks, just out of certain topics and made them post less. Even more interesting, a lot of Democrats have, “gone quiet.” There were even once Democrats and Republicans who, despite their disagreement, fights and whatnot, publicly stated in past times of deletions that they wished nothing to ever be deleted. But Seal444 has blown off everyone of various political positions in his efforts to, as he claims, protect himself, only President Obama (he could care less about anyone else who was ever President) and, “save the world.”

No I am not kidding. This guy has pretty much killed free speech and gone against many other commeters’ wishes even those who have agreed with him on other things. No respect for anyone, that is Seal444’s new attitude. “Fuck you,” his deletions say, “Its all about me.”

I took a description of what he did to a veteran group I am in. Without naming him or the site, I posted the story of the actions and asked fellow veterans and non-vets who support veteran issues that were part of the group what they thought of it. Here is the exact story I posted:

I participate in this local news site most choose to comment on using usernames, I used to but changed to my real name. The is one guy who claims to be a SEAL (not the only veteran there) who posts some of the craziest shit (not the only one) I have seen.
Point is recently he decided to start getting comments deleted by site admins that he did not like, a LOT of comments. It has escalated since then but the question I would like to see other vets comment on is this.
Do you think vets have a right to demand mass deletions of commentary they do not agree with?
I am not talking about content, I am sure we would all have different answers, simply whether someone who claims to have lived by the high code soldiers and even higher SEALs have to live by gets the right to demand mass deletion of comments leaving only those with positions he agrees with. I am curious on other veteran responses.

As I said earlier, I have been on various veteran group and news sites and seen how vets post and behave. Sometimes they get rowdy but they never go for mass deletions like this. Responses I got to this post proved it. Almost all of the responses showed both vets and non-vets who support veteran issues do not agree with Seal444’s actions. I even politely told him so. He had the comment deleted and went off with yet another crazy tirade.

His next step was a big mistake on his part. Just before I informed him of what other vets said about his actions, Seal444 put up a comment making the following publicly known: 1 – That he knew where I lived; 2 – Claimed to know where I worked and what job I did (this part is false, I have a listing on my Facebook profile that shows I left that place and job in 2003); 3 – That he knew personal information on relatives of mine and, by posting it, was clearly taking a step down a path of crime.

There are certain stories people read about, stories of those who first become obsessed with someone that eventually lead to criminal behavior of the worst kind. The first step is to become obsessed with someone and start digging up information on them; the second is to let the target know you have this information; the third is to start showing up where the target is at; eventually you get to the part where, upon realizing the obsession fantasy is not going to happen, the stalker commits one or more crimes such as kidnapping, rape, murder and/or possibly others. Seal444, by first becoming obsessed then posting a bunch of information about my relatives that is not as publicly known as he thinks, has proven to be on his way down this path of crime with me and/or relatives of mine as a target.

This is actually not the first time this has happened to me. I once had to deal with some really disturbed people that escalated to a point where there was an attempt on my life and an almost rape of a woman I cared about all to promote a disturbed agenda including things such as, “Saving the Superior White Man from a massive conspiracy of the rich, minorities and government,” that I was accused of being a part of and promoting a cult / gang’s sick, disturbed agenda, a true story of Staten Island I will tell someday when I am able to get all the details down. There have been other times I have been threatened as well for bogus reasons, I even posted one here about the local group of teenaged idiots.

So I know the signs of someone escalating to criminal activity of a severe nature. Given I will not stand by and wait for it, I post the story of Seal444 to always be here in the event anything happens and will send links to this to various news sites incase he tries to go to them. This will also be referred to all authorities I contact that I am looking into now. I will not go quietly while this nutjob continues his depraved actions, just because he deletes on one news site does not mean he can delete on the whole Internet, no one has that kind of power thankfully.

Posted in News and politics, Personal History, Socializing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staten Island’s Horrible Home Developments

aka How to Pack in Too Many People in a Limited Geographic Area

Time to write this.

In the time I have spent outside my home area of Staten Island, New York, USA I have seen various types of homes. Decent homes with decent yards, both privately and government built; apartment complexes ranging from decent to horrible; military barracks; trailer parks; areas for motor homes; run down areas with shoddy housing standards; but I have never seen anything outside Staten Island like the housing developments built here for some decades now. I am not saying they don’t exist, I just have never seen any in another location so it seems unique to Staten Island for me.

I first encountered them in the 1980s when my family looked for their first home to own and bought one. Then some were getting built in the Arden Heights neighborhood in several developments. Compared to traditional housing, they seemed rather odd only having enough of a driveway for 1 car and limited parking on the street. You could get a garage but certain homes allowed an alternate option where you could have an apartment by giving up the garage and a lot of people took that. It seemed like someone was making an attempt at building homes similar to those found in other boroughs but out of less durable materials and with horrible planning. They also built them in neighborhoods similar to those found in other places across the country, it was just the quality of the homes and design were (and still are) completely different. As families grew in these neighborhoods along with tenants, more cars were brought in for spouses, kids and tenants. Recall I said these homes had driveways usually big enough for 1 car with barely enough parking for a second, now you have families with 2-4 cars and tenants with 1-2 themselves, that is 3-6 cars per home on average in neighborhoods designed for 1-2 cars per home. End result, a lot of people wind up to this day parking all over the place in areas no one expects usually several blocks away, not to visit, just because they cannot find decent parking where they live. Add in trying to have family or guests over and parking becomes a complete mess.

During the time when I was in the Army between 1995-1999, one of the things I noticed in several places I went to is that somehow, these locations appear to plan new construction including homes, neighborhoods and commercial areas better than back in Staten Island. Places I went to included Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Hood, Texas; Euless, Texas; Taos, New Mexico; Las Cruces, New Mexico. I have been to some other locations also from different times such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; a few other locations in Pennsylvania; several in New Jersey; Worcester, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, North Carolina.  Homes are given enough of a driveway and curbside parking space for more than 2 vehicles either for family growth or visits. Maybe there are some places like the horrible Staten Island developments but I never saw them in my time throughout this country. I should also note part of this must be because of geography, most cities are surrounded partially if not completely by land so they have room to grow outward. While New York City is a metropolitan area with room to grow out, certain areas such as Staten Island and Manhattan are islands with a limited geography. Once you hit to water all around, either you accept you cannot grow more including homes and population or you have to grow buildings up and design infrastructure (roads, rail, etc.) to accommodate this growth.

It seems however there is no acknowledgement of this by designers and builders of homes, if there is they are flat out ignoring it. Since my return until now, I along with other residents have noticed how developments since the ones I mentioned before have become worse. The homes have gotten skinnier in width and more of them are attached to pack more people into a smaller area. The parking conditions have gotten even worse, some of the current worst examples have driveways barely big enough for a Mini or Smart car. Curbside parking is almost non-existent, even areas of other boroughs now have more curbside parking than these new developments do.

The qualities of the materials to build these homes, the methods of how they are built and the various systems in them also show how bad things have gotten. Since the 1980s, the electrical systems of some if not all are not built to any of the usual industry standards. I have heard stories and seen people try to do work in these homes, they have no choice but to buy following either guides that come with the new products to replace bad ones or do-it-yourself manuals, nothing in the homes measures up to what the instructions say. Electrical work, there are times these homes have no ground wires in the electrical systems (switches, outlets, light fixtures, etc.) and the color of wires such as hot and neutral don’t match. Instructions for new outlets, switches, etc., will tell you how to put wiring on them but the wiring in the home doesn’t match what the instructions say so you have to play guessing games to get things working. Sometimes there are more wires than you can fit on a new item. I knew one who had to replace the furnace that used to blow exhaust all the way up to a stack on the roof but the new furnace couldn’t do that so they had to make a new exhaust on the side of the house, problem is in the winter a good snow will cover it up and endanger everyone inside with carbon monoxide if it is not watched.

Below I will show some pictures of bad development in Staten Island. These are not the limit of what can be found and they can be found almost all over.

My first example is Mazza Court in the Arden Heights area. I could not get pictures of the homes, the one time I was able to shoot photos there some people were in the way and watching me. People sometimes do not like to be photographed so unless I have permission, I try to avoid people shots (unless I am goofing with people I know). However, I can show pictures of the area around it. Mazza Court is on the inside of a curve of Arthur Kill Road, a busy street, so when people try to get out, they have a hard time seeing traffic approaching from either direction and drivers on Arthur Kill Road cannot see Mazza Court until it is too late. Add in how people drive above the speed limit on Arthur Kill, you have an accident waiting to happen and it has.

Mazza Facing East

Here above is a view facing East with Arthur Kill Road in plain view (go to 1869 Arthur Kill Road in a map program for a closer view). That area I outlined in red is Mazza Court and the street sign for it. I am off to the side of Arthur Kill some, if you were on the street, you would not see Mazza Court until the last minute including anyone trying to pull out of it. Find it in Google Maps if you are not sure.

Mazza Facing West

A view of Arthur Kill heading West some distance from Mazza Court (go east from last location and look back), it is not viewable and roughly where the red arrow points around the second right turn. Bad visibility from this direction as well as the other seen previously.

Mazza Facing West Sign

A bit further from the last shot still looking west (near 1886 Arthur Kill Road in a map program), there is that sign warning people to slow down but it is for the hidden driveway outlined in red. Once past that, some people would probably speed up again before getting to Mazza Court, presuming they did slow down, some Staten Island drivers would not and then there is the next picture.

Mazza Facing West Sign Distance

A little more east from the last photo(near 1880 Arthur Kill Road in a map program), the top of the sign is outlined in red. Clearly any driver cannot see the rest of it so would probably NOT slow down as the sign says if they felt inclined to do so.

Unknown off Arden Avenue

I really short type of street off Arden Avenue near where it meets Arthur Kill Road (near 15 Arden Avenue in a map program). I describe it this way because maps don’t mark this as a street, not even Google Maps. You can see it, it is just not marked. About 8 homes all joined together crammed into a space so some builder could get the most money possible.

Ilyssa Way 1

This is Ilyssa Way off Arthur Kill Road further east of the last photos. (near 1401 Arthur Kill Road in a map program) These homes are in a development that was originally built for Navy personnel when there were plans for a Navy port on Staten Island. The port never happened so these went to private sale. Streets in this development have little zigzags in them, homes are packed together and you are lucky to have anything like a driveway. Notice the blue SUV in the middle sticking out into the street because the so called driveway is not long enough to fit it. I had a friend who lived in one of these, they are very narrow on the inside, New York City brownstones have more width inside them than these homes do.

Ilyssa Way 2

Same as last photo, just showing the other side of Ilyssa Way and the cream colored car also with not enough driveway to fit it. You may think they can park in the garage but usually home owners will have a second vehicle if not more so they cannot. You cannot grow a family in these homes.

Ilyssa Way 3

This is what the Ilyssa Way homes call a backyard. There isn’t one, just a path linking them together. The woodland on the right is not part of the home property, it is protected parkland. Other homes built to these crap standards barely have backyards. I said these were Navy homes, compare them to other military homes and you wonder who built these. For comparison, find Killeen, TX then go to the west end of US Highway Business 190 near where it meets US Highway 190. Along there is a small area including Venable Road. Put the little figure from Google Maps on US Highway Business 190 then in the photo view, face south towards Venable Road and the homes, notice how they are done. When I served in the Army, I was in this area once, the homes are nice and wide single story structures, you cannot see them but the driveways and curbside have plenty of room for parking. You compare those nice homes to the Staten Island ones built for the Navy and you wonder who screwed up what since I was told military homes had standards to be built to.

Arthur Kill & Amanda Court

This is a view from Arthur Kill Road looking up Amada Court (near 1320 Arthur Kill Road in a map program). Notice how much of the cars fit in the driveway. The space from the garage door to the curb is not big enough for average vehicles. If someone argues about putting them in the garage, very likely they already have a car there given how many 2+ vehicle families live on Staten Island. This is one of many development neighborhoods with not enough curbside parking to accommodate all the vehicles.

Arthur Kill & Bianca Court

Here in a nearby spot we look from Arthur Kill Road onto Bianca Court (near 1310 Arthur Kill Road in a map program). At least, I THINK it is Bianca Court, maps and map websites do not even have this ‘street’ marked as a street. I call it Bianca Court because that is the closest nearby street connected to it. These are similar to the homes from the last picture except the driveways are even shorter, not even enough room for Minis, Smart cars or anything similar. I would consider it a miracle if they could fit a Big Wheel or something similar.

Parking Wars

Just one of many examples of what people on Staten Island do to ‘find’ parking. Through the broken bottom of this garbage can, you can see the top of a fire hydrant. Yes, this is illegal yet also done on Staten Island. Other methods include putting parking cones and/or sawhorses in legal spots people try to ‘reserve’ as theirs, putting signs on any car that parks in a spot considered to ‘be owned’ by someone and even physically damaging vehicles that park in someone’s ‘spot’ despite the spot being public parking for anyone. One of the problems Staten Islanders have been living with for years due to poor planning in the construction of these developments.

Main Street Parking 1

Main Street Parking 2

The above two photos are examples of a situation caused by the developments (on Huguenot Avenue near Avon Green in a map program). Due to there not being enough parking in the development, this major road winds up becoming the extra parking lot of vehicles owned by the people in the development. During the day, there is hardly anything in this area and others like it unless there is an Express bus stop nearby.

This type of nonsense is all over Staten Island. People talk about it, demand they want the situation fixed, politicians make promises that never happen and yet more developments keep going up. Sometimes builders and whoever else are involved do stunts like this.

New Construction

This is one development still being built. What is relevant is that this one and some others have been built partially on land that was supposed to have been preserved for one or more environmental reasons. Despite that, the ‘protected land’ got acquired for more home building, not even decent homes but these crappy developments. This is how come Staten Island is still growing in population, packing people in like sardines in a geographically limited land mass. At least Manhattan built some buildings up, I am not sure how well that would go over in Staten Island but there is hardly any attempt to consider it!

In conclusion, I am leaving you with links to a few stories from the local news site, SILive, on other crappy home building.

Here’s a recent one of several where people tried (a bit late) to fight a new development.

A fire in one home winds up in several since they were built attached so close together. Near here, put Churchill Avenue, Staten Island, NY into a map program and you will see a tiny street dead ending in a north direction from it. That tiny street was built just to pack in one more home into a spot where they could and give access.

A story on a home built on a real tiny plot of land with a poll taken by some residents. They do this sometimes, get so desperate to build, they build junk like this on any tiny parcel they can find.

This type of crappy home building needs to go. If you know of any ways to stop this, feel free to contact politicians and the news site of Staten Island with the information.

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Why people should ask Congress to pass S.967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013

Back in June, 2011, I put up a letter I sent to Congresspeople about a bad military law and how it caused phony sexual assault cases to get too much attention, allowed potential real cases to get no attention and caused suicide of innocent people presumed guilty. Today I am going to add onto that more details because of bills before Congress that relate to what I wrote.

One bill that has been introduced in the Senate by one of my Senators, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY, called S.967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013. A similar bill in the House is H.R.2016 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013. Both aim to change the military justice system so commanders do not have to handle all of it. There have been people such as top level leadership in the military and some Congresspeople who disagree and believe commanders should still handle military justice.

As a former military serviceman in the Army, I have at times talked to people about military subjects and noticed either they don’t know, or worse, don’t care about what goes on in it including how their justice system works. I have also noticed high level military leaders tend not to tell people what some aspects of military life are like for unknown reasons. These things convince me there is a serious gap in understanding between soldiers and civilians of military life and everything that goes along with it. I am going to apply a piece of advice I once got when transitioning out to civilian life, I will convert military life into civilian terms comparing it civilian life so it may be easier understood by others.

Civilian justice is known and considered to have faults but for the most part thought of as doing well a majority of the time. I am sure those who read this know how it works. Military justice, some may think it works like shown in media such as the film A Few Good Men. Problem is, this is not completely true. Some aspects of military justice are handled under a different system. The Judge position is occupied by the unit commander the ‘crime’ is assigned to, Company, Battalion, Brigade, Division, Corps. The Plaintiff might be another soldier or someone in the Chain of Command between the commander (Judge) and Defendant. The Defendant is the soldier whatever ‘crime’ is being accused of who has to represent himself. Now I will clarify the bigger problem.

In civilian justice, the positions of Judge, Prosecution and Defense Lawyer are usually occupied by people who have studied the law a lot including laws the average person does not know about. In military justice as I described above, the same positions are occupied by people with different levels of understanding of military regulations (laws) and, in my view, not to the same degree as a civilian lawyer/judge. Think of a civilian justice system where the three positions are occupied by average people instead of those who spent years studying and practicing law. Also, in the civilian justice system people can represent themselves but have the choice of getting a lawyer or being provided one for free. In the military, most crimes the Defendant has no choice but to represent themselves.

Next add in the branch (industry) performing the justice. I served in the Signal branch, similar to civilian telecom technicians and phone operators. So in Signal, the Judge is a Senior Telecom Manager, the Plaintiff a lower level Telecom Manager and the Defendant a Telecom Tech or lower level Manager. If it were the Transportation branch, the Judge is a Manager of Truck Drivers, the Plaintiff a lower level Manager and the Defendant and Driver or even lower level Manager. Now I am sure you see where this is going.

Add onto that the Military Police. The MPs have somewhat similar duties to a civilian police officer, however some ‘crimes’ are not investigated or looked at by MPs, instead they are looked into by the Chain of Command. Converting to civilian again, in Signal you have various levels of Telecom Managers doing some police duties, Transportation has Managers doing these same police duties and so on throughout the branches.

Does this sound like Justice? This is one of many reasons why soldiers have to spend time adjusting to military life when joining and then readjusting to civilian life when leaving. In addition, I spent 3 years working in a Company and 6 months at Battalion, from what I lived I saw people in the Chain of Command who wished they did not have to do this. They do their best to perform the duties assigned to them but they do not like being assigned to positions as judges, lawyers and police. At Battalion, I knew officers and non-commissioned officers who wished someone else handled these duties, probably people specialized in the law much like in civilian life. They would rather spend their time focused on the branch they are in be it Signal (Telecom), Transportation (Trucking) or some other one. They don’t admit such beliefs/feelings to higher level leadership due to the American military being under drawdowns so much over the past several decades, drawdown being the same as a civilian recession. This is from a similar thing that happens in a civilian recession, people will sometimes not speak out about problems due to fear of losing their jobs. It is wrong to repress that way but that is what has been happening and explains why higher level leadership does not see it as a problem. Despite what they claim, it is actually detrimental to morale, it does not benefit it.

This is also one of the areas that divides people in military and civilian life that I believe should be improved. I hope this clarifies a few things and possibly get some people to back the bills mentioned. Changing military justice in ways to make it more like civilian justice allows for members of the Chain of Command to focus more on the job field they joined, gives a better justice system to the entire military and helps bring both sides, military and civilian, closer together so they have less misunderstanding between them. In addition, it will hopefully reduce or better eliminate the sexual assaults/harassments and, though it is not mentioned in the news and should be, suicides caused by such wrongful laws as the one I wrote Congress and blogged about here. If you are an American and reading this, I cannot choose for you but would like the believe you will tell your Congresspeople to support the bills I mentioned at the beginning. There are other bills such as S.538 – A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to modify the authorities and responsibilities of convening authorities in taking actions on the findings and sentences of courts-martial. While commendable an effort was made, these bills make the Chain of Command keep in some ways doing what they have been doing and I like to think I explained why that should stop.

If you at least read this far, thanks for reading.

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Cultural Truths About Staten Island Relating to Recent News

With all the recent flap about Representative Michael Grimm for his threat against NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, I figure this is a good time to clear up something about Staten Island, its culture and some of its people and I do not just mean the GOP, Democrats are guilty too.

There has always been an attitude of hostility on SI. It seems different on the surface depending on what area you live in. As I grew up here from the 1970s until today, I have seen the various geographical forms it has taken.

Racism on the North Shore (not just from whites).
Hyped up rages on the South Shore over who is the tough guy.
Fights over women that, years later, seemed stupid to the participants.
Alcohol & drug incited anger.

It does not matter what race, gender or political party a person who does such activities is. It is dishonest to claim it comes from only one group defined by any division. Therefore, Rep. Grimm was doing what some other Staten Islanders do but are too proud and egotistical to admit to.

This has even been reflected in media about Staten Island and New York City. Various TV shows and films that make such behavior look glamorous and an expected part of the culture. Jersey Shore, Mob Wives, self titled Staten Island films, films showing, “the good ol’ days of the mob.”

Sometime soon, I will expand on this with specific information from my own history showing what life on Staten Island has and is still like, I already have one story up at this link:
http://rogue1618.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/before-i-have-to-shoot-someone/

With teenagers like this running around threatening people simply because they are bored and looking for kicks, I don’t see how anyone could expect different from their representatives.

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