• P1-BQ418B_REGIO_G_20140612190005
  • Laura's Law
  • sfgreens
  • xxxx
  • Masked fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) executed as many as 50 captured Iraqi soldiers near Mosul earlier this week.
  • Blood for money.

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

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


SWIFT Pressured to Ban Iran Over Nuclear Ambitions

February 22, 2012 | 2 Comments

SWIFT is the financial equivalent of the United Nations. It facilitates the bulk of the world’s cross-border payments. The member-owned cooperative has been described as the ‘glue’ of the global banking system with the value of daily payments using SWIFT estimated at more than $6 trillion. SWIFT is vital to international money flows, exchanging an average 18 million payment messages per day between banks and other financial institutions in 210 countries.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Meet solidarity, the next generation: Communications Wokers of America (Local 9423) secretary-treasuer and Next Generation Bay Area co-founder, Eric Lindberg. Photo via Eric Lindbergh.

Activist Young Workers Refuel Labor Movement

February 21, 2012 | 1 Comment

“Young people are being told that they just have to suck it up and live in a world without jobs. We’re being told that America can’t afford teachers, but we can afford CEO tax cuts. We’re being asked to accept a society that rewards wealth and punishes work. A society that makes it harder for young people to go to college. A society where hate is growing … It’s shameful,” said Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, in her keynote address during the Next Up conference held last fall. “The economic and social problems, the hate and the fear we see around us this day can only be solved by a fresh generation of committed, smart, tireless and creative activists.”

Posted in News, Politics

In Solidarity with the National Occupy for Prisoners Day of Action, several hundred Bay Area Occupy demonstrators gathered Monday outside San Quentin State Prison to protest prison conditions and California's Three-Strikes law. Photos by Eric Louie.

Occupy Groups Converge on San Quentin
in Support of Prisoners, Protest Prison Conditions

February 21, 2012 | 4 Comments

Speakers, including some who have been incarcerated, talked about reform of the California’s three-strikes sentencing law, the mental punishment of solitary confinement and support for prisoners undertaking hunger strikes to protest conditions inside prisons. They included members of the San Quentin Six, prisoners who faced charges after the 1971 shootings that killed Black Panther George Jackson along with guards and other prisoners. Shane Bauer, one of the three Americans captured in Iran in 2009, talked about the hunger strikes and denial of family letters in his time there.

Posted in Events, Politics

Overfishing thousands of pounds of jack mackerel.  Photo courtesy NOAA images.

Depleting the Seas of Fish

February 19, 2012 | 2 Comments

Researchers studied fish populations, catch records, and ocean ecosystems for four years. By 2003, 29% of all species collapsed. It means they’re at least “90% below their historic maximum catch levels.”

Posted in News

Gascón Won’t Seek Death Penalty,
Nor Prosecute Eliana Lopez

February 17, 2012 | 5 Comments

Gascón also stated that he will not seek the death penalty “in any case” when discussing a previously-cold 1983 murder case.

Posted in News, Politics


Time to Protect Kid’s Privacy Online

February 17, 2012 | No Comments

COPPA, effective April 21, 2000, was passed before browser cookies and other tracking technologies were being used, and doesn’t cover teens, who frequently use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. COPPA applies to the online collection of personal information from children under 13. COPPA spells out what a website operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent, and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children’s privacy and safety online. COPPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has promulgated regulations to enforce COPPA. (For more information on COPPA, see the FTC’s Frequently Asked Questions about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule).

Posted in Opinion, Politics