OPINION In today's failing economy, with double-digit unemployment and huge government deficits, progressives have a strong interest in ensuring that San Francisco's pension system remains viable.Read more »
OPINION California voters will see a ballot measure in June 2010 seeking approval for a "Top-two Open Primary" system. The measure would make it far more difficult for Californians to vote for any candidates other than incumbents and their best-funded challengers. It would also make it even easier for incumbents to get reelected.
Under the measure, all candidates for Congress and state office would run on a single primary ballot in June. Read more »
OPINION "Am I illegal mama?" My mixed-race, Mexican, Chinese, Puerto Rican, and Irish six-year-old son gazed up at me with the largest of puppy eyes after we watched a corporate media television report on Mayor Gavin Newsom's rejection of the legislation by David Campos that would give due process to migrant youth caught up in the criminal in-justice system.
After recovering from my sorrow at my son's logical interpretation of our criminalizing, dehumanizing society, I went on to explain that as far as I was concerned no human is illegal or an alien, for that matt Read more »
OPINION Proposition D is a classic developer's scam. It was written by a mid-Market Street property owner who is spending more than $250,000 million to push hollow propaganda pieces preaching the wonders of his bill. When you strip away the glossy photos and misleading language, Prop. D is an attempt by private real estate owners to put up huge, flashing billboards and keep virtually all the money for themselves.
There is all kinds of misleading information in this thing. Read more »
OPINION Don't miss the struggle underway over the future of the University of California.
Some see it as just another chapter in the unfolding story of the state's economic decline. That's partly true. But what's really interesting is what it could become.
If it's played right, the showdown over university fees and salaries could inspire a revival of sorts of the California tax revolt. Except this time, the rebels wouldn't be tax-haters, like we saw in 1978 with Prop. 13. Read more »
OPINION This year marks the 30th anniversary of rent control in San Francisco. On June 13, 1979, the Board of Supervisors passed a law that was seen by tenant activists as a fairly weak version of rent control. The supervisors were acting under pressure from landlords, who were lobbying them to hurry up and pass a law before the November election, when landlords feared San Francisco voters would enact a stricter version.
So the supervisors went with a middle-of-the-road measure, but its passage was still a milestone. Read more »
OPINION The "too big to fail" rationale is a mystery to citizens forced to fund these billion-dollar ventures.
Suppose an entity is not too big but "too vital to fail"? Which power broker bestows standing to even ask for a bailout? I started thinking about "too vital to fail" when two seemingly unrelated incidents intersected in my consciousness, one a tragedy, the other simply heart-breaking.
The first incident happened in Oakland, eight blocks from where I teach journalism. A local editor was gunned down in a brazen daytime assassination. Read more »
OPINION I took my first acid trip in 1965 at Tim Leary's LSD research center in Millbrook, N.Y. He was supposed to be my guide, but he had gone off to India. Ram Dass (then Richard Alpert) was supposed to take his place, but he was involved in preparing to open at the Village Vanguard as a psychedelic comedian-philosopher. Read more »