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Subi Memorial

Zap Mama/ King Sunny Ade
July 19 concert is cancelled.

Below is a statement by the concert promoter:

"Today (6/29/15) we deeply regret to report that, as result of a worldwide computer system breakdown within The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, US Consulates have been unable to issue visas for King Sunny Ade. Due to the uncertainty surrounding this unfortunate situation, we are forced to announce the cancellation of King Sunny Ade's tour date with Zap Mama at The Regency Ballroom on July 19th. We apologize for the inconvenience surrounding this issue. Tickets will be refunded automatically and post back to your account shortly , tickets purchased in person can be refunded at point of purchase."

Rescued from a kill shelter in Manteca, Petey Pumpkinhead III entered our lives 7 years ago. Abused by a previous owner he was skittish and nippish. That changed with love, affection and attention.

He was a majestic furry orange tabby. His coat emitted a perpetually lovely fragrance. He had the sexiest strut with an ever present erect tail and endearing behind.

Petey had simple needs. Belly rubs topped the list. He loved resting in his backyard igloo. He would prance out when I entered the yard and open wide for belly rubs and rolly polly.

He bonded with Klimey who also was rescued from a shelter. Klimey loved licking Petey and taught Petey how to love back. They were inseparable.

Petey-Weedy (as we called him) evolved into the sweetest and most gentle of companions. When hungry, he would jump into bed and delicately place his paw on my face. No histrionics, just a love tap and breakfast was on.

He loved sleeping inside the space between my legs or alongside the curve of Clara's thigh. His body language suggested the most delicious of dreams. He also had the squeakiest yawn when awakened.

Petey had a ravenous appetite and wore his weight well. That changed last October when he dropped 2 pounds in short order and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

He continued to lose weight but his sweet demeanor never changed. Although not a lap cat during his youth, lately I would place him in my lap in the back yard and we would stay together for long periods. These were cherished moments. Klimey would join us and stay by Petey's side.

Strong medication was required every 8 hours to dissipate the fluid in his lungs. No matter how much lasix was dosed, it could not stay on top of the progression of his heart disease.

Last week Petey hit a low point and could hardly breath. He hadn't eaten for 2+ days. We upped the lasix and he recovered miraculously. His breathing appeared normal and he started eating - but only food fresh out of the can. He ate more than he had in months. He had playful sparring sessions with Klimey, tons of rolly polly and belly rubs, his tail was erect and he slept next to my face the other day.

Today he had a good appetite in the early afternoon. I didn't see him the rest of the day. When the thunder rumbled and the rain came pouring down I went outside.

He was in the igloo. I tipped it and he ran inside. But something was wrong.

His breathing was labored. Petey could not catch his breath. He had breathing attacks before and I had feared the worst, yet Petey always persevered.

An hour or so later when Clara came home, Petey's condition had worsened. When he walked from under a table to lie down in the litter box that was an alarming signal. I picked him up and he let out a cry. Petey went under the bed where Klimey was and continued to make anguished yelps.

We left him alone. Petey soon emerged and we put him in a blanket by the heater.

He wanted to be left alone.

Petey-Weedy barely could walk and stumbled out the bedroom and down a few steps to the cat door. Somehow he pushed himself through. The igloo was two feet from the door.

We let him be.

An hour later Clara checked on Petey.

His fur was gorgeous. His body still warm.

But Petey had passed.

He never made it to the igloo.

Moti has been missing since Sept 2014.  On Jan 23, 2015 while walking in McClaren Park a cat resembling Moti emerged on a tree branch above a thicket of bushes. This brightened our hearts as Clara and I imagine Moti as a feline Tarzan.  Clara wrote the below poem before we confirmed the cat was not Moti.

Moti Sighting
by Clara Hsu

Who sits on a branch
above a field of thorns?
My cat. My cat.

Who listens to his names
and twitches his ears?
My cat. My cat.

His looks have changed since autumn
from living wild and eating mice.
We’re trespassing his kingdom
that can’t be bought
 any price.

Running streams.
Catnip on the hills.

Sunday, July 19
  San Francisco Tangents Party feat

(oud and percussion duo)



Click for party details

Sat. nights, 8-mid, KALW 91.7 FM, S.F.
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also webcast on Berlin's multicult.fm

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2014 Tangents Turkey Music Tour trip summary + photos
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Advertisement on wall of Nardis jazz club in Istanbul where 2014 Tangents Turkey Music Tour saw Turkey's most famous jazz musician, drummer Okay Temiz,  among 11 world class concerts in 16 nights.. 

Songlines Music Travel
(click for details)

Shares the Tangents philosophy that nothing beats experiencing music at its source.

2015 Trips:

Borneo - Rainforest Festival
August 2-11, 2015

Romania - At Home with the Gypsies
August 15-23, 2015

Colombia – NEW TRIP
August 2015*

India – Rajasthan Musical Adventure
October 17-28, 2015

Senegal – Never Mind the Mbalax
November 20-29, 2015

Gaza Facts
Click link above to get facts about Gaza, a collaborative project by Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area (JVP-BA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA).

Gaza Corner
Click above for Archive

Saturdays 11p on Tangents, 91.7 fm SF, webcast at kalw.org

This weekly feature includes news and opinion from the Middle East (and beyond) often ignored by the mainstream media followed by music from the relevant cuountry or culture.

Gaza Corner was originally conceived to focus attention on relieving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza which has been under a severe blockade imposed by Israel since 2006.  Gaza Corner has evolved to include the Middle East, Magreb, Kurdistan and Turkey.

 Click headlines below for full stories.

Survivors Describe Entire Families Being Massacred in Brazen Islamic State Attack on Kobane
(Samuel Oakford, Vice News, 6/27/15)
(excerpt at bottom of pg)

related links:

Peter Clifford Blog:
Syria and Iraq News

Kurds fight Kurds in Syria
(Mahmut Bozarslan; Al Monitor, 6/25/15)

A considerable number of Kurds, most of them from Turkey, have joined the ranks of IS in Syria and Iraq.

The impoverished province of Bingol, home to some 267,000 people, has emerged as a major IS recruitment base in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. Official figures are not available, but locals estimate at least 600 young men have joined the jihadist group, lured through religious indoctrination and various promises, including money and marriage.

Bingol stands out as a strongly conservative region whose population is overwhelmingly Zaza, an ethnic subgroup in the Kurdish fold.

Mehmet Kurt, a Bingol University academic who studied radicalization in Turkey’s southeast  told Al-Monitor that a complex mix of “strong historic and social dynamics” nourish radicalization in Bingol.
Kurt said that the question of whether Zazas are really Kurdish or not — a debate that has intensified in recent years — contributed to an identity crisis among the Zazas, which often resulted in religious affiliation superseding ethnicity.

combined excerpt from above story
and Peter Clifford's blog:

During two days of global terror last week at least 27 worshipers during Ramadan were killed by a suicide bomber in a Shiite mosque in Kuwait,  39 tourists including including 15 were slaughtered at a beach resort in Tunisia. IS claimed responsibility for these atrocities.  Also in Africa Al Shabab murdered 30 people in Somalia. And the severed head of a businessman hung on a factory gate in a quiet corner of the Rhône-Alpes region of France in a killing apparently inspired by the IS-style beheadings in Syria, Libya and Iraq.

The mainstream press focused on the Tunisian and French terrorist attacks because the deaths involved Europeans.

There was another terrorist attack and it was by far the most gruesome and bloodiest.  But because it took place in Syria where death is a daily occurrence, it received far less coverage.

It happened in Kobane where 200+ women, children and elderly were murdered - some in their sleep. Many more are critically wounded.

The attack on Kobane and the nearby village of Brakh Bootan marked the biggest single massacre of civilians by IS in Syria since it killed hundreds of members of the Sunni Sheitaat tribe last year, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Kobane is a Kurdish border town, a stones throw from Turkey. Kobane has become a symbol of Kurdish resistance because the Kurds of Kobane were the first fighting force to successfully stand up to the Islamic State at a time when IS seemed invincible after its conquest of Mosul (Iraq) and Raqqa (Syria).

Last October it appeared a genocidal massacre of horrific proportion was imminent in Kobane. 200,000 civilians fled into Turkey.  But backed by determined and skilled fighters and US air support  IS was expelled from Kobane after a 4four month siege. The date was Jan 27 2015 and since then until last Thursday, the Kurds had recaptured 200+ villages from IS and not ceded any of the territory.

The success of the Kurds against IS is the only example thus far of the US working with a capable partner on the ground.

Just last week, IS was driven from the strategic border town of Tal Abyad, cutting off vital northern supply lines to IS Syrian headquarters in Raqqa. The Kurdish YPG with help from the FSA and US airstrikes are only 30 miles from Raqqa, the capital of the IS Caiphate.

Perhaps as retribution for these defeats Islamic State (IS) fighters staged a surprise attack on Kobane.  The militants targeted civilians with drive-by killings and massacred entire families during a brazen suicide mission.

Concurrent with the primary attack on Kobane early on Thursday morning, the IS Jihadists attacked the village of Berxbatan (Barkh Butan) on Kobane Canton’s southern frontier.

The death toll there is now reported as 33 villagers, many of them having been beheaded, and at least 15 wounded.
The Kobane surprise attack began when IS fighters detonated a series of car bombs in Kobane. Questions are being asked if the attackers made it in from the Turkish side, and if so, why Turkey didn't stop them.

The reason that this IS force was able to penetrate into the heart of Kobane is that they had shaved off their beards and were wearing Kurdish People's Protection Units  (YPG) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) uniforms. Their vehicles were also decked out with Burkhat Al-Firat, YPG and FSA flags. Burkhat Al-Firat (“Euphrates Volcano”) is the combined force fighting the Islamic State.

A second objective of the IS fighters disguising themselves to gain entry to Kobani is to instill paranoia in the population.

Following the primary suicide bomb attack at the frontier gate, the IS Jihadists then attempted to take control of the Kaniya Kurda neighborhood including the Doctors without Borders Hospital.

With the Jihadist group were many snipers who proceeded to shoot randomly at anybody on the street and who also broke into a number of homes wiping out entire families.

Dozens of IS fighters entered the town. Some speculate there were IS sleeper cells in Kobane.  Kobane locals confirm most of the IS fighters  were speaking Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic.

Kobane is miles from current front lines giving many residents a sense of security. Many people who ventured out of their homes out of curiosity after hearing the suicide bomb explosions were gunned down. In some incidents, Kurdish-speaking IS fighters knocked on the doors of houses, beckoning families outside and into a hail of bullets.

By Saturday, the remaining IS forces in Kobane had either been killed or fled the town. The number of civilians killed since bands of IS fighters infiltrated the town early Thursday has exceeded 200 and is likely to rise as the search for bodies continues the majority are women, children and elderly. At least 54 IS fighters were reported killed.

VICE News obtained testimony collected by a local NGO worker who interviewed victims at a hospital in Turkey. International human rights workers corroborated the accounts as legitimate.

Ibrahim Jasim, the manager of a bakery in Kobane, said Thursday morning began as usual, but quickly descended into bloodshed.

"I left my house to go to the baker, as usual, unaware of what was going on," he said. "When I arrived to the bakery I saw the bodies of my three workers outside of the bakery. They had most likely been targeted by snipers from the MSF building, as the baker is visible from there," he added, referring to a Doctors Without Borders hospital captured by IS.

"When I was standing there, a sniper fired at me and wounded me in the chest," he said.

A 30-year-old woman named Fatma, also speaking from a hospital just across the Turkish border, said she was on her way to Amel hospital in Kobane early Thursday to retrieve the body of her father, who had passed away hours earlier of natural causes. As she entered the town's center in a car with her husband and one of his friends, IS gunmen pulled up alongside and began firing wildly into the vehicle. The militants, she said, yelled "Kouffars! We have come for you," as they shot, referring to them as infidels.

"They shot my husband in the head, his brains splattered in front of my eyes on the car," Fatma said. Her husband's friend was also killed by gunfire. Fatma, who is more than eight months pregnant, said she threw herself out of the car and was rescued by Kurdish YPG soldiers. Taken to Turkey, doctors were able to deliver her baby in an emergency procedure, and both survived. Her other children remained in Kobane, and she was not sure of their fate.

Another woman, 19, said that her entire family was shot to death outside of their home in Kobane. The woman was herself wounded, and she wept uncontrollably as she spoke from a hospital inside Turkey. She was unable to count the number of family members who perished.

A woman in her mid-50s, who did not give her name, said IS fighters captured her from her house and held her hostage. "I was taken by ISIS to the field hospital — there outside the hospital they shot me in the leg and told me to call my children to come and take me away," she said, using another common abbreviation for IS. "I called my children but could not reach them.

"Thank God, later I learned that this was a tactic they used to get people out so they could kill them," the woman said, explaining that she was able to escape and crawl to the Turkish border, where she was recovering in a hospital. The fate of her family was unclear.

Locals also reported that IS snipers set up around Kobane to pick off civilians who ventured outside.

Given the strong Kurdish grip on the area, the IS mission appeared to be suicidal and intended to kill civilians.  Many are now seeing the IS attack as revenge for the capture of by Kurdish forces of Tal Abyad and for getting far too close (30 mi) to their “Syrian capital” of Raqqa.