Author: John Loughlin

Molly Crabapple Reminds Us A Different Way of Life is Possible

Molly Crabapple created a series of paintings and drawings about the Occupy movement and the financial crisis. Some of her posters were based on articles written by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone Magazine. She has a new show opening in New York called “Shell Game: A Love Letter to 2011.” Called “a downtown phenomenon” by the New York Times; “equal parts Hieronymus Bosch, William S. Burroughs and Cirque du Soleil,” by The Guardian; and “a brilliant and principled artist” by BoingBoing, Crabapple has also hosted documentaries for France’s ARTE television channel. Check out her wonderful Shell Game images here: Shell Game | The Art of Molly Crabapple. “The Occupy movement may be fading in the minds of some, but this show is a reminder that what happened in 2011 awakened people all around the globe to the possibilities of a different way of life. There was something beautiful about it, just for a moment, and these paintings capture that.”

Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown – Steamin’ And A-Rollin’ on the California Express

Harold Meyerson has sketched a fascinating profile of Jerry Brown in The American Prospect magazine. But even after 6,000 words Meyerson struggles to capture both the complexity and simplicity of the man. “There’s no living person who knows California better than Jerry Brown,” says Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the state AFL-CIO. Brown’s first term as Governor saw the enactment in 1978 of Proposition 13, whereby Howard Jarvis set in slow-motion a train wreck aimed to destroy the California educational system and the state’s standard-setting services. In 1994 Brown could see that Pete Wilson’s Proposition 187 was incredibly short-sighted policy, and that the backlash against it would be strong and have long-lasting consequences for the GOP in California. “Equal treatment for people in unequal conditions isn’t justice,” he tells me. “That’s from Felix Frankfurter, originally from Aristotle.” After witnessing the increasing mockery of the role occupied by Wilson’s bodybuilder puppet, Brown committed and was elected Attorney General in 2006 in preparation for his second stint as Governor. By that time Brown understood there are only …

License-plate Recognition Has Its Eyes On You

Jon Campbell writing for San Diego City Beat has a disturbing article about the growth in the use of License Plate Recognition (LPR) by local police. The article states that the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) currently has over 36 million scans in its database — an average of 14 for every registered vehicle in the county — and the information is shared with the FBI, DEA,  investigators with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and ten other agencies. Unlike other data retention schemes there is no regulation for how long this data is stored and used. The central part of London, UK introduced a traffic charging scheme in 2003, It uses LPR to monitor vehicles within a few square miles of the center of London ostensibly to charge fees and encourage the use of public transport. The ‘incidental’ ability to monitor the movement of all vehicles was widely reported after the 7 July 2005 London bombings. As Campbell reports, talking about red-light traffic cameras Congressman Filner wrote in 2001 “Will we be faced with the government acting as “Big Brother” continuously …

Moderate Republican Mugged By Reality | The Nation

Rick Perlstein writes for the Nation on how the GOP is losing “super-smart, motivated, talented up-and-comer”s to the Democratic Party. LUGs (Libertarian Until Graduation) and MRUGs (Moderate Republican Until Graduation) just can’t take it any more. Moderate Republican Mugged By Reality | The Nation. Related articles Noam Chomsky: Obama would be a ‘moderate Republican’ several decades ago (rawstory.com) Viewpoints: GOP’s problems arrived in California first (sacbee.com) Invisible Moderates (dish.andrewsullivan.com)

Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale

Puerile propaganda or an informative cartoon? Take a look at this 8 minute cartoon and decide for yourself. Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale, is narrated by Ed Asner, with animation by award-winning artist Mike Konopacki, and written and directed by Fred Glass for the California Federation of Teachers.  The 8 minute video shows how we arrived at this moment of poorly funded public services and widening economic inequality. Things go downhill in a happy and prosperous land after the rich decide they don’t want to pay taxes anymore. They tell the people that there is no alternative, but the people aren’t so sure.  This land bears a startling resemblance to our land.  After you watch this video, click here to share with friends, and send an email to your elected officials to let them know they need to restore higher federal tax rates on the wealthy so that we may once more enjoy properly funded public services.