October 21, 2014 | No Comments
My 19-year old son died of AIDS back in the early days of the AIDS pandemic. The hysteria surrounding the Ebola crisis reminds me somewhat of the hysteria in the early days of the AIDS crisis. There was a plethora of misinformation, risky rumors, blaming of the victim, and lots of finger pointing.
October 17, 2014 | No Comments
The Patient Protection Act and the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) seems to be working. Admittedly, this is not a universal view. But as of September 18, 2014, 7.3 million are now enrolled. This is quite an achievement considering the computer glitches encountered by consumers along the way.
October 02, 2014 | 2 Comments
If we accept that animals are self-aware beings and have emotions, then this raises the question of whether we should keep animals in captivity (zoos), whether we should allow the cruel confinement and treatment of farm animals, and whether we should use animals for experimentation and research.
October 01, 2014 | No Comments
When confronted with a breast cancer diagnosis, it is important to ask your doctor about treatment efficacy, as well as to understand whether your doctor’s treatment recommendation is motivated by profit.
March 16, 2012 | 1 Comment
Four barbecues are scheduled through mid-April, with the March 17 event from noon to 5 p.m. at Arroyo Viejo Park, 7701 Krause St. in East Oakland near Bancroft and 77th streets. All will include free food, arts and crafts, music, a children’s play area, literature and workshops.
March 15, 2012 | 1 Comment
Calling the Sheriff “a national embarrassment,” Cathy Black, the executive director of Case De Las Madres, a shelter dedicated to victims of domestic violence, told a bevy of reporters gathered on the steps of City Hall, “I think it would be best for everybody involved if he would step aside. If Sheriff Mirkarimi will not do the right thing, then the mayor and the Board of Supervisors must.”
March 14, 2012 | No Comments
The OWS movement, which protests social and economic inequity and predatory practices that benefit the wealthiest 1 percent at the expense of the rest of society, was kicked off by the Canadian group Adbusters and began in September in the heart of New York City’s financial district. Since then, the movement has been adopted and localized in cities across the nation, some focused on specific issues.
March 14, 2012 | 1 Comment
Per the definition of official misconduct under the city charter, “Official misconduct means any wrongful behavior by a public officer in relation to the duties of his or her office, willful in its character, including any failure, refusal or neglect of an officer to perform any duty enjoined on him or her by law, or conduct that falls below the standard of decency, good faith and right action impliedly required of all public officers and including any violation of a specific conflict of interest or governmental ethics law. When any City law provides that a violation of the law constitutes or is deemed official misconduct, the conduct is covered by this definition and may subject the person to discipline and/or removal from office.” (emphasis added).
March 12, 2012 | 6 Comments
In exchange for Mirkrarimi’s plea agreement, the District Attorney George Gascón has dropped three misdemeanor charges of alleged domestic violence, dissuading a witness and child endangerment.
Mirkarimi faces sentencing next Monday that is expected to include up to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, 52 weeks of domestic violence classes, as well as a fine of $590. A stay away order imposed in January remains in effect subject to a Family court order.
March 10, 2012 | 6 Comments
Olague has long ties to the progressive community and was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to the District 5 seat, one of the city’s most progressive, in January after Ross Mirkarimi was elected Sheriff. This week, she joined Sean Elsbernd, Carmen Chu, Scott Wiener, and Malia Cohen – all considered moderate/conservative supervisors – in supporting Sup. Mark Farrell’s proposal to replace RCV with runoff elections for the mayor’s race and other citywide offices.
March 09, 2012 | 1 Comment
Steinunn Guðjónsdóttir was the event’s keynote speaker. Ms. Guðjónsdóttir is Project Manager of Shelter for Trafficked Women and Women Exiting Prostitution, in Iceland. She is in the US as part of an international visitor leadership program organized by the State Department, and researching domestic- and gender-based violence. She stated, “Violence against women is a symptom of gender inequality. We must address this.”
March 09, 2012 | 1 Comment
According to How Facial Recognition Systems Work by by Kevin Bonsor and Ryan Johnson, facial recognition technology – in a nutshell – is based on the ability to recognize a face and then measure the various features of the face. Every face has numerous, distinguishable facial features, such as the distance between the eyes; width of the nose; depth of the eye sockets; the shape of the cheekbones; and the length of the jaw line. These features create a numerical code, called a two-dimensional faceprint, representing the face in the database. A newly-emerging trend in facial recognition technology uses a three-dimensional model.
March 07, 2012 | 1 Comment
Dozens of people were arrested during Monday’s protest, the culmination of a multi-day march to draw attention to the soaring cost of attending California’s public colleges and universities.
March 03, 2012 | 1 Comment
Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin made a morning visit to St. Mark’s Church, the first overnight stop in the four-day Occupy Education march from the Bay Area to Sacramento. The group plans to reach UC Davis Sunday and board busses to join large demonstrations at the capitol Monday. About 100 people signed up for the march, with some joining at stops along the way, according to march organizers.
March 03, 2012 | No Comments
The meeting, held Tuesday afternoon at Oakland City Hall, was called in an effort to discuss incidents of working reporters and photographers being detained and in some cases arrested by Oakland Police Department officers during several Occupy Oakland protests in recent months.
March 03, 2012 | No Comments
The new study examined the provisions of 729 constitutions adopted by 188 countries from 1946 to 2006, and they considered 237 variables regarding various rights and ways to enforce them. This is what they found: “Among the world’s democracies constitutional similarity to the United States has clearly gone into free fall. Over the 1960s and 1970s, democratic constitutions as a whole became more similar to the U.S. Constitution, only to reverse course in the 1980s and 1990s. … the constitutions of the world’s democracies are, on average, less similar to the U.S. Constitution now than they were at the end of World War II.”
March 02, 2012 | No Comments
The Board of Directors of the California Faculty Association recently authorized an April vote to approve or reject a strike if no agreement is reached. The CFA represents 24,000 employees including coaches, counselors, librarians and professors in one of the state’s highest profile workforces.
March 02, 2012 | 1 Comment
In addition to the three Trilogy books, I also enjoyed the movie versions of each of these mysteries. The Swedish versions starred Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. The American version of The Dragon Tattoo starred Daniel Craig as Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Salander. For this role, Rooney Mara received an Oscar nomination for best actress. Sony plans movie versions of the other two books with the Played With Fire due for release late next year. Both the Swedish versions of the three books and the American version of The Dragon Tattoo are excellent. Although, Noomi Rapace more closely captured my imagined Lisbeth Salander. This is not to slight Mara’s excellent portrayal.
March 02, 2012 | No Comments
In Oakland, after marchers from other schools arrived, demonstrators left the plaza together before splitting into two. A majority went to demonstrate elsewhere, while a few dozen going to Sacramento continued north to Berkeley where the teachers union was holding its own rally outside the school district offices. Passing cars gave honks of approval to the group, which held signs and was led by a large, inverted American flag as the members walked through major streets.
March 01, 2012 | 1 Comment
The Delegates resolution also draws attention to the critical public safety efforts Mayor Quan is leading and highlights her success in building Oakland’s first public safety plan that unites law enforcement and schools to combine community policing efforts and targeted work with youth and families.
February 29, 2012 | 1 Comment
Local organizers declare that public education is a social good, and the cornerstone of a democratic society, a vibrant economy, and the social and intellectual development of every individual. Unwilling to rob Peter to pay Paul, the organizers believe that essential social services provide a crucial safety net for the most vulnerable members of society, and therefore serve as a measure of society’s moral standard. The broad-based coalition of members of the 99% demand that decision-makers in Sacramento tax the rich, pass the Millionaires Tax, pass the Oil Tax to Fund Education, and reject regressive taxes. Additionally, Occupy San Francisco is picking up the rising national call to forgive the student loan debt that threatens this country’s future.