Here is a link where you can donate directly to the UN Refugee Agency which is directly helping refugees from the types of terror attacks that happened in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad a few days ago, and in Nigeria earlier today. 


Do you really see them as your enemy?

Please don't give in to Islamophobia. That's precisely what the attackers want. We've already seen attacks on Muslims and threats of violence toward Muslims as a result of the attack. This can't be an excuse to close borders and turn those in the greatest need away.

If you hate refugees, and believe that you should commit violent acts on them, or kick them out of your country, why are you any better than ISIS? You say you hate them because they hate women, because they kill people, because they don't see people as equal, because they hate your culture, because they want to implement their version of an ancient code of laws, because alcohol and drugs are banned, because you think that someone will get their hand cut off for stealing bread.  But how are you different? You may look at women as nothing more than sexual objects, you may believe that they should be killed because they are different than you, you may also believe not everybody should be equal, you may hate their culture too, you may believe so strongly in the original U.S. set of laws written hundreds of years ago that even in the wake of tragedies like the slaughter of children, or moviegoers, or college students, you will still fight to the death to keep believing in that ancient set of laws, you may think that the war on drugs should continue and that all drugs are bad, and you may think that it's reasonable for a black kid to get tackled and beaten for jaywalking simply because he didn't comply with the authorities fast enough.

There have been so many opportunities for a reality-check, and I see no reason for this time to be any different. There are so many passionately written responses to countless tragedies that plea for reason, yet somehow, none of it will ever get through to some. In the wake of nearly every tragedy, the affected community will always say that it is strong, and that their spirits cannot be broken. Right now the people of France, and the world say they are strong, and resilient, and will not be afraid. Yet a flight was delayed because a white woman saw some people with darker skin than hers watching a video on their phone and had them interrogated and delayed the flight because she was afraid. A stadium was evacuated because there was fear of a bomb. Two flights were diverted in the U.S. over fear of a threat. France declared a state of emergency and sealed its borders, and is now seeking to extend that state for three months. They have won this battle. The world is afraid right now, because it is broken by systematic inequality that has led to endless conflict over a never ending list of wrongs. Even the battles in the U.S. being fought in courts and schools by students and activists marching for equality are tied into this, because until we all get on the same page, this broken world will remain unfixable. 

The "suspicious package"

Once again, my path was blocked by caution tape. This time it was for a suspicious package, and it also kept me from getting home. I had the distinct pleasure of standing on Bancroft for an hour and a half while they brought at the robot to poke around the package. I'd like to note that was the worst evacuation I've ever seen. I was told I couldn't go into my building, but I saw all sorts of people standing in front of shops on that block of Telegraph just chilling and the police weren't telling them to leave. So what was all the fuss over?

Just a friendly neighborhood suitcase

Just a suitcase. I'm guessing it probably belongs to one of the many homeless people who cart around suitcases around here. The cop I talked to said that nobody even phoned it in, and that his "Lieutenant decided that it was suspicious."  Another wonderful adventure in the life of Kyle. 

I did however learn that the University of California has their own bomb unit and that they actually serve a lot of the bay area. I also learned that they don't send out the bomb unit for every suspicious package, so I don't know why this one was particularly special.