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  • Data source:  The Commonwealth Fund 
Affordable Care Act Tracking Surveys.
  • Tommy is the subject of a NonHuman Rights Project lawsuit. Photo via crypticphilosopher.com.
  • When confronted with a breast cancer diagnosis, it is important to ask your doctor about treatment efficacies as well as to understand whether your doctor's treatment recommendation is motivated by profit.  Photo via Wikipedia.
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Occupy Oakland to Host
Saturday Neighborhood Barbeques

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.

Posted in Events, News

Domestic Violence Groups Demand Mirkarimi’s Removal from Office

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.”

Posted in News, Politics


Religious Leaders Show Faith in Occupy Movement

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.

Posted in News, Politics

Overheard in Fog City: Is Mirkarimi Guilty
of Official Misconduct?

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).

Posted in News, Politics

Sheriff Mirkarimi Pleads Guilty to False Imprisonment

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.

Posted in News, Politics

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.”


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


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


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