Posts Tagged ‘iraq’

San Francisco’s Most Anticipated Play of 2013: A.C.T.’s “Black Watch” – A Must-See – Runs Through June 16th

Friday, May 10th, 2013

This is it. This is your San Francisco Theatre Performance of the Year.

It’s Black Watch from Scotland.

It’s down in the Armory, in the Mission. If you show up late, they won’t let you in. 110 minutes, no intermission. And, oh yeah, all the tickets cost $100.

But everyone seems to love it. 

Get your tickets now if you want to go.

Look, it’s getting attention already:

Chad Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle

Karen D-Souza of the San Jose Mercury News

Georgia Rowe of the San Francisco Examiner

A shot from yesterday’s press preview at The Drill Court:

By  Brenden Mendoza – thanks!

All right, see you there!

Handy Guide: How to listen to Scootish People.

Here’s where it’s at:

The Armory Community Center
333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia)
San Francisco, CA 94103

View a larger map and get directions

Use the Bay Area’s 511 TakeTransit Trip Planner to get public transit information.

For more information about public transportation and parking lot options please visit the Black Watch show page.

All the deets: 

National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch

May 9–June 16, 2013
A Revolutionary Theatrical Event

by Gregory Burke
Directed by John Tiffany

Performing in the Armory Community Center, located in San Francisco’s Mission District at 333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia).

THERE WILL BE NO LATE SEATING!
Please plan appropriate travel time when making arrangements.

Running time:
1 hour and 50 minutes with no intermission

The internationally acclaimed hit—named “#1 Theatrical Event of the Year!”
by the New York Times
After transfixing audiences across the globe and receiving unanimous critical acclaim worldwide, National Theatre of Scotland’s revolutionary production of Black Watch makes its highly anticipated Bay Area premiere. Inspired by interviews with soldiers who served in Iraq with Scotland’s nearly 300-year-old Black Watch regiment, this hauntingly powerful depiction of war is so inventive and groundbreaking in scope that it demands a completely unique performance venue—and will take over the long-dormant Drill Court at San Francisco’s historic Mission Armory. Splicing together exquisitely deployed stagecraft, from choreographed marches and Scottish ballads to searing video news footage, Black Watch captures the layered state of being at war, from moment to gripping moment. A transformative theatrical event you don’t want to miss, Black Watch delivers a visceral, unforgettable experience.

Performances of Black Watch will take place in the Armory Community Center, located in San Francisco’s Mission District., located at 333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia). Click here for directions.

“Thrilling . . . a necessary reminder of the transporting power that is unique to theater.” —The New York Times

“A genuine spectacle that revels in its own theatricality and comes replete with music, marching, explosive effects and its own piper.” —Chicago Tribune

“Magnificent” —New York Observer

“Enthralling” —Washington Post

“★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ! The world must see this play. Immediately.” —The Herald (Scotland)

“★ ★ ★ ★ ★! Fierce, passionate, and unguarded” —The Guardian

“A landmark event” —The Independent (London)

“A glorious piece of theater—raw, truthful, uncomfortable, moving, graceful and dynamic” —Scotland on Sunday

“Stirring and absorbing” —The West Australian

“A pulsating epic” —Daily Mail

craigslist and craigconnects Founder Craig Newmark Announce Campaign to Support Veterans and Military Families

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Do you know about craigconnects from craigslist Founder Craig Newmark? It’s his:

“…personal, Web-based initiative aimed at helping people work together for the common good using the Internet. In addition to veterans’ organizations, the initiative spotlights many other organizations and agencies working in the areas of community building, connectivity, journalism integrity, open government, service and volunteering, and technology for social good.”

OK then.

Here’s the latest, he’s promoting these groups:

In craig’s words:Appears as if Eddie Money and NASCAR CEO Brian France will be involved as well. All the deets:

“craigslist and craigconnects Founder Craig Newmark Announce Campaign to Support Veterans and Military Families

SAN FRANCISCO, June 28, 2011 — craigslist and craigconnects founder Craig Newmark today launched a month-long campaign to support non-profit and government organizations that successfully work with veterans and military families. The campaign is part of his craigconnects initiative launched in March, and includes a $100,000 grant challenge for four highly respected non-profit veterans’ organizations, as well as extensive social media outreach by Newmark and the organizations involved.

“A lot of people do a lot of good work to help military families and vets, and I’d like to bring attention to them and to provide some direct support,” said Newmark.

The non-profit organizations selected for the campaign are Blue Star Families, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the Intrepid Foundation, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The four will participate in a grant challenge to raise funds from their existing and new supporters.

“These guys really get the job done, effectively providing services and advocacy where they’re needed,” said Newmark.

Newmark said he will donate a total of $100,000 to the four organizations based on the number of donations they receive during the challenge, rather than the amount of money they raise. “What I want to do with craigconnects is help build involvement, not just raise money. All non-profits need money, but what they really need are supporters who will be there long-term. I hope everybody will come to our site, check out these groups, and decide which they want to support.”

He added that he is also using social and traditional media to support government agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs and local VA medical centers. “They’re starting to use social media to provide better customer service and outreach to our veterans,” he said. “I want people to know about the good stuff they’re getting done.”

Additionally, the non-profit organizations will participate in craigconnects’ extensive social media effort through Twitter, Facebook, and the craigconnects website. Guest authors on the site will include several individuals prominent in the field of veterans support, including NASCAR CEO Brian France and entertainer Eddie Money. Newmark said guest authors will write about the organizations and issues they support.

craigconnects is Newmark’s personal, Web-based initiative aimed at helping people work together for the common good using the Internet. In addition to veterans’ organizations, the initiative spotlights many other organizations and agencies working in the areas of community building, connectivity, journalism integrity, open government, service and volunteering, and technology for social good.

To find out more or participate, visit http://www.craigconnects.org.”

Bon courage, craigconnects!

Mark Your Calendars: Word on the Street is that the Next Big Iraq War Protest will be on Saturday, March 19th

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Brace yourselves:

Click to expand

Mullahs, Guards, and Bonyads – The RAND Corporation’s New Report About Iranian Leadership

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

I don’t know, you might find this fresh report from the RAND Corporation about leadership dynamics in Islamic Republic of Iran worthy of attention.

Anyway, the price is right – it’s a free .pdf so take a gander, if you want.

Here’s the intro:

Mullahs, Guards, and Bonyads

An Exploration of Iranian Leadership Dynamics

By: David E. Thaler, Alireza Nader, Shahram Chubin, Jerrold D. Green, Charlotte Lynch, Frederic Wehrey

The Islamic Republic of Iran poses serious challenges to U.S. interests in the Middle East, and its nuclear program continues to worry the international community. The presidential election of June 2009 that returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power and led to broad protests and a government crackdown presents yet another cause for U.S. concern. Yet the U.S. ability to “read” the Iranian regime and formulate appropriate policies has been handicapped by both a lack of access to the country and the opacity of decisionmaking in Tehran. To help analysts better understand the Iranian political system, the authors describe

  • Iranian strategic culture, including the perceptions that drive state behavior
  • the informal networks, formal government institutions, and personalities that influence decisionmaking in the Islamic Republic
  • the impact of elite behavior on Iranian policy formulation and execution
  • factionalism, emerging fissures within the current regime, and other key trends.

The authors observe that it is the combination of key personalities, networks based on a number of commonalities, and institutions—not any one of these elements alone—that defines the complex political system of the Islamic Republic. Factional competition and informal, back-channel maneuvering trump the formal processes for policymaking. The Supreme Leader retains the most power, but he is not omnipotent in the highly dynamic landscape of Iranian power politics. The evolving role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the vulnerability of the elite “old guard” to challenge, and the succession of the next Supreme Leader are key determinants of Iran’s future direction. In light of complexities in the Iranian system, U.S. policymakers should avoid trying to leverage the domestic politics of Iran and instead accept the need to deal with the government of the day as it stands. Moreover, they must take as an article of faith that dealing with Iran does not necessarily mean dealing with a unitary actor due to the competing power centers in the Islamic Republic.

 

Hundreds Show Up in San Francisco to Protest President Obama’s Afghanistan Escalation

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Here’s last night’s protest against Barack Obama‘s Afghanistan escalation made up of members of Code PINK, ANSWER, World Can’t Wait, and the International Socialist Organization, among others. It was a fairly ho-hum affair, without the expected Black Blockers.

Several hundreds gathered at 6:00PM near the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market. Click to expand:

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A few words and then they were off down Market Street:

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A “hopeless” escalation? Really?

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Only Time Will Tell.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Don’t Work – RAND Corporation Study Suports Gays in Uniform

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

You know how to read, right? So have at it – I just found a nice link for you that I couldn’t find last month. Hai, doozo:

Attitudes of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans toward Gay and Lesbian Service Members

So, the “unit-cohesion” rationale, the concern about risking “the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability” and all the underlying foundation of Bill Clinton’s antediluvian, pre-Lewinsky Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces is out the window due to changing attitudes over the past couple of decades.

go8f7690-copy

Or if all that .pdf is too much, here’s the elevator pitch.

(President Barack Obama will end the policy, someday, maybe.)

All the deets, after the jump.

(more…)

IraqMoratorium.org is Still Out There at Fell and Masonic

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Once a month, like clockwork, you’ll see the folks from Iraq Moratorium at the corner of Fell and Masonic, doing their part to help you “THINK PEACE.”

This hula hoop is new though:

IMG_7783 copy

Click to expand

See them every third Friday of the month.

The Rule of Three: Counting People at an International ANSWER March

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition organizes a lot of protests here in the Bay Area, as is their right. And they seem to consistently exaggerate the number of souls who participate in their marches, as is their right. O.K. fine. But Saturday’s march down Market Street on the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War had such small numbers compared to the big antiwar marches of 2003 that a person could have easiy tallied up an accurate estimate, if only to see how much the ANSWER Coalition exaggerates.

The “answer” is this: they overestimate by 200%. It’s the Rule of Three, just like in the movie American Pie 2. So, take the “official” estimate of 4000 marchers, divide by three to get 1333 and there you have it. Bingo bango.

Here’s Saturday’s march from above. The 440 or so people marked with white circles represent a third of the total number. (It took about 4 minutes to tally this shot and another ten minutes to tally folks in other photos.) Click to expand:

(Of course lots of people want to give President Barack Obama some time to have a chance to deal with matters, and it was raining, and yada yada yada. The point is that it shouldn’t be so hard to say that the crowd was slightly bigger or smaller than last year – there’s no reason to lie about it, is there? Moving on…)

Kudos to the Socialist Worker, which came a bit closer with an estimate of 2500 people. Perhaps they use the Rule of Two.

Double kudos to local journalist and photographer Josh Wolfe, who came in with “maybe 1000 people” as his honest estimate. Bay City News kept it conservative with “hundreds,” which is literally true, but that word could also suggest 200 or so. Oh well. The San Jose Mercury News played it safe with no estimate at all.

And SFGate / San Francisco Chronicle? Well, they originally went with “massive” as a description of the masses (which was particularly inappropriate given that similar marches six years ago had numbers about 50 times greater), but then pulled back a bit later to just talking about the “crowds.” All of this is ably documented by Robert B. Livingston here on the IndyBay.

Check it, before:

And after:

Originally posted by Mr. Livingston, I presume.

Robert Livingston is also correct in stating that writers Heather Knight and Steve Rubenstein produced a bit that was “well composed, accurate, and captured much of the essence” of the event, so that’s a good thing. It’s not clear who came up with the boner “massive.”

Chronicle Editor-at-Large Phil Bronstein has recently opined on these kinds of issues – here’s a re-hash of a count controversy back in 2003.

Anyway, the correct estimate is 1330 marchers, mas o menos, depending whether you include the cops, the undercover cops, the people who didn’t have the chance to march because they were setting up in Civic Center, the people who left early, the people who arrived late, the marchers without signs who happen to be on the sidewalks, the photographers, the videographers, etc.

The Rule of Three has been tested and proven. Would certain people have more credibility if they didn’t spin so much? Yes, yes they would.

Jessica: “If a guy tells you how many girls he’s hooked up with, it’s not even close to that. You take that number and divide it by three, then you get the real total. OK, so if Kevin is saying it’s been three girls it’s more like one or none.”
Vicky: “None?”
Jessica: “The rule of three. It’s an exact science. Consistent as gravity.”

What If They Called a War Protest and Nobody Came? Sixth Anniversary of Iraq War

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Well, of course, it wasn’t actually like nobody came, but the crowd at today’s International Day of Action on the 6th Anniversary of Iraq War had an unexpectedly low turnout, even considering the spates of rain. Was the crowd massive,” as indicated by the San Francisco Chronicle? No, not at all. Do some people at the Chron have a “massive” problem estimating crowd size? Yes, apparently.

Did 4000 people march? No. Did at least a couple thousand march? No. Not to belabor the point, but you don’t need to hire a helicopter to accurately estimate the size of a march. Moving on… 

Where’s Waldo? Sadly he wasn’t there. But, where’s Code Pink and the Black Block? Click to expand and you’ll find them. This was the bulk of the crowd just after the speakers stopped speaking, with the insular International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) camera left, out of frame.

So yes, there were other groups around the Ferry Building area but they were much smaller. Oh, here’s Code Pink:

One of the speakers was a San Francisco Chronicle employee(!) From her, the crowd learned that “health care is free and will always be free in Cuba.” She urged listeners to defy the current ban on travel to Cuber by visiting this year, specifically July. O.K fine.

Heading up Market Street in light, on-again-off-again rain:

And here’s el bloque negro:

The 911 Truth crowd was there as well – it handed out varying denominations of Truth Bucks, sadly disintegrating in the wet.

A terrorist is “what the big army calls the little army.”

“Jail Greedy Bankers”

“Queer Israeli” vs. “Queer Palestinian”

Speaking of which, you had a good 50 or so counterprotesters with Israeli flags penned in right in front of City Hall.

The Green Line of Polk Street. There was a scuffle between these groups later on, resulting in a handful of arrests. See the “Footage of Chaos,” if you want.

This green-hatted NLGobserver,” avec “Specs” brand goggles, was briefly enthralled by an exchange between the blonde and the cop, who wanted her to stay on the sidewalk. She could probably get the Lieutenant for battery and maybe even false imprisonment, if he weren’t an on-duty, uniformed peace officer. See? There’s always a catch…

So there you have it.

IVAW Group Blocks Market on 6th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Here’s the scene this afternoon on Market Street between 7th and 8th – a handful of Iraq War veterans stopping for one second of silence for each U.S. service member lost. That’s 4259 seconds, or about 70 minutes, and they just about spent that much time on Market before getting hauled away by the SFPD.

Click to expand:

Shortly before getting arrested:

Iraq Veterans Against the War