Articles Posted in the Opinion Category

  • 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.

  • Mic Check

    This is currently a hot topic

    Mic Check

    We aren’t the folks with the guns. We aren’t criminalizing anyone or taking away their rights. We haven’t put thousands upon thousands of families out of their homes. We don’t evade our responsibility to care for seniors, veterans, disabled and sick people. We’ve never used the vast reaches of mainstream media to fan the flames of fear and hate.

  • Occupy: The Movement We’ve Been Waiting For

    Occupy: The Movement We’ve Been Waiting For

    This movement is larger than a single voice, a single message – or even a single person. It is larger than you or me. The mantra, “We are the 99 percent,” attempts to speak for (almost) everyone. The movement’s largest criticism is that it cannot provide a clear, focused demand. What began as a movement about economic injustice has evolved into a movement of all sorts including police brutality, the right to peaceful assembly, opposition to budget cuts and tuition hikes, labor rights, homelessness, unemployment and even Utopian ideals for a better world.

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    RCV is Electing Winners with Stronger Mandates than December Runoffs

    The ultimate irony is that Sean Elsbernd himself is the poster child for what’s wrong with the old December runoffs and what’s right with RCV. Look at the results above for District 7: Supervisor Elsbernd won in 2004 in an “instant” runoff race with nearly 50% more votes than his predecessor Tony Hall had in 2000 in a delayed December runoff, 13,834 votes versus 9333 (in comparable turnout years). And Elsbernd had 43.7% of the “whole contest” vote total compared to 30.9% for Hall. No matter how you want to count it, more District 7 voters were able to have a say in who their supervisor is because Sup. Elsbernd was elected with ranked choice voting in a much higher turnout November election.