• Artwork via YouTube.com
  • Ray McDonald, SF 49er defensive end. Photo via Wikipedia.
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  • President Barack Obama. Photo by Luke Thomas.
  • As many as 6,000 marched from Justin Herman Plaza to San Francisco City Hall, 7/20/14, to protest Israel's attacks on Gaza and the West Bank which has resulted in as many as 900 deaths.  Photo by Gloria La Riva.

Olague Explains her Support for RCV Repeal Measure

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.

Posted in News, Politics

Gender Inequality Looms Large
on International Women’s Day

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.”

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The Privacy Implications
of Facial Recognition Technology

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.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Occupy the Capitol: Labor, Students
Unite to Rebalance Education Funding Deficit

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.

Posted in News, Politics

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin greeted marchers on their way to Sacramento to demand funding for education and social services. Photos by Eric Louie, Media Workers Guild.

Richmond Mayor Welcomes Occupy, Education Marchers

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.

Posted in News, Politics

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Mayor Quan Confronts Issues
Raised by Arrests of Journalists

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.

Posted in News, Politics

Losing Constitutional Competition

Losing Constitutional Competition

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.”

Posted in Opinion, Politics

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CSU Faculty Union Calls Strike Vote After Contract Talks Stall

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.

Posted in Education, Labor, News

On Skanegatan in the newly hip SoFo area of Sodermalm, where Stieg Larsson set much of the action of his thrillers. (Photo by Rob Schoenbaum for The New York Times.

Dragon Tattoo Girl Still Going Strong

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.

Demonstrating for social and economic justice, protesters began a 4-day march from Oakland to Sacramento yesterday to demand cuts to education and social services are restored.  Photo by Eric Louie.

Student Protests Boiling Over
as Marchers Head to Sacramento

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.

Posted in News, Politics

Alameda Labor Council Vows to Fight Quan Recall

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.

Posted in News, Politics

OccupySF Prepares for Direct Action Rally
to Restore Education, Social Services Funding

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.

Posted in Events, Politics

I Hate it When I’m Right

I Hate it When I’m Right

February 29, 2012 | 2 Comments

There are times you just hope you are wrong. Several years ago, I warned about parents needing to get more involved in their children’s lives, but it was not heard by enough people, whose voices just might have been able to prevent the recent murders of students at a school in Ohio.

Posted in Culture, Opinion

Corporation Pleads Guilty in Procurement Scam to Defraud City

February 28, 2012 | 4 Comments

According to court documents, Cole Hardware is one of two city vendors and one of ten co-defendants to have engaged in a conspiracy to bilk the city out of at least $100,000 between 2003 and 2007. It is alleged that Donnie Alan Thomas, a former SFPUC supervisor who pled guilty last year for his role in the scam, worked in conjunction with Cole Hardware employee Elizabeth Bradford – who has not pled in the case and awaits a preliminary hearing – knowingly submitted fraudulent invoices to the SFPUC with false descriptions of items purchased. The false descriptions allowed Thomas to conceal that he was purchasing items for personal benefit.

Posted in News, Politics

Golden Gate Bridge Workers
Picket First in Series of Anniversary Celebrations

February 24, 2012 | 1 Comment

That was the takeaway question asked last night when as many as one hundred Golden Gate Bridge union workers picketed the Orchid Gala Benefit at Fort Mason, one of several celebratory events scheduled to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the world famous Golden Gate Bridge.

Posted in News

Sergio Gonzalez.  Photo by Eric Louie, Media Workers Guild.

Occupy Oakland to Join Workers
in Fight at Castlewood Country Club

February 24, 2012 | 1 Comment

Club general manager Jerry Olson said the march is a sign the union is getting desperate. However, he admitted that many clients have canceled since the lockout, although he insisted the club has acquired new members and continues to turn a profit. He did not offer specifics.

Posted in News

Sheriff Mirkarimi Files Motion
to Exclude Hearsay Evidence

February 22, 2012 | 8 Comments

The opposition brief, filed by Mirkarimi defense attorney Lidia Stiglich, argues statements made to police by neighbors, Ivory Madison and Callie Williams, are inadmissible under rules of evidence because they are considered “hearsay” statements.

Posted in News, Politics