Articles Posted in the Opinion Category

  • Getting the Blues Flying the Blue Skies

    What prompted this sentimental journey back in time when all of these freedoms were taken for granted was a twenty-something guy standing in line behind me who appeared to be taking all of these indignities in stride. At first I admired his good-natured acquiescence to all that we have lost in our precipitous slide into a quasi police state.

    But it also made me sad that he has no idea, no memories, and no chance of ever knowing all the freedoms he and his generation have lost.

  • Is Water Fluoridation Safe?

    Fluoride can prevent and even reverse tooth decay by enhancing remineralization, the process by which fluoride “rebuilds” tooth enamel that is beginning to decay. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, adjusted the fluoride content of its water supply to 1 ppm and thus became the first city to implement community water fluoridation in a public water system.

  • Wall Street of the Waterfront

    Wall Street of the Waterfront

    This type of community picket action for political purposes has a long and venerable place in ILWU history. Back in 1939 longshoremen honored a picket line set up at the Port of San Francisco by the local Chinese community to stop a load of steel being sent to then-fascist Japan for its war effort, at that time focused on mainland China, but soon crossing the Pacific. Again it was used in 1977 against a South African ship in protest of that country’s apartheid policies, in 1997 against a ship loaded by scab labor in support of the dockers in Liverpool, England, in 2003 to stop a ship being loaded with war materiel bound for the just-declared war on Iraq, and most recently just a couple of years ago against an Israeli ship in protest of the Israeli military attack on the Turkish ship bringing medical and construction supplies to Gaza.

  • Abolish the Death Penalty,
    Replace With Life Without Parole

    Thirty-four states impose the death penalty, including California and there are 41 Federal capital crimes for which the death penalty can be applied. Each state has its own list of capital crimes. For example, in 1977 California reinstated the death penalty for first degree murder under special circumstances, including murder for financial gain, murder by a person previously convicted of murder, murder of multiple victims, murder with torture, murder of a peace officer, and murder of a witness to prevent testimony.

  • Pulling Back the Curtain on the Wall Street Money Machine

    The Fed, it seems, was doing only what banks and the money market do for each other every day: making “liquidity” available at very low interest rates. In 2008, bank liquidity dried up after Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the banks could not get the cheap, ready credit on which their lending scheme depends. The Fed then stepped in as “lender of last resort,” doing what it had to do to keep the banking scheme going.

  • OccupySF: The Week That Was, Or Wasn’t

    OccupySF: The Week That Was, Or Wasn’t

    It is in moments like these, and probably ONLY in moments like these, that experience with police riots comes in handy. The secret is to focus on small goals and try not to get hurt. I somehow inserted myself to the center of the struggling knot of humanity at the barrier, and I positioned myself at Hacker-Camper’s ear: “You can’t get arrested until you return my phone!” Hacker-Camper releases the barricade, hands me the phone, we trade the briefest of warm smiles, and he then dives headfirst back into the fray. I look down at my phone… he had somehow installed Ustream and I was recording live!

  • This is currently a hot topic

    Is the American Psychiatric Association
    in Bed with Big Pharma?

    While I am sure research in mental disorders account for some of this increase, I cannot help but believe that there is a certain amount of disease-peddling going on. That is, instead of promoting drugs to treat diseases, diseases are promoted to fit the drugs. For example, shyness as a psychiatric illness made its debut as “social phobia” in DSM-III in 1980, but was said to be rare. By 1994, when DSM-IV was published, it had become “social anxiety disorder,” now said to be extremely common, thus, boosting sales of antidepressants. Now, social anxiety disorder is “a severe medical condition.” In 1999, the FDA approved a drug for social anxiety disorder. After a successful marketing campaign, the sales of Paxil soared.