Your dreams of rapping superstardom are stymied by your Scottish sound, so what do you do? Simple: reinvent yourself as a West Coast wild boy, with American accent and history to match. Keeping it real might be murder, but even when it all falls apart, at least you got to tour with Eminem and D12 – and you can salvage something by writing a book about it all.
You may have heard about Romeo Agents, the male employees of the East German Ministry for State Security (also known as MfS or Stasi). They were unleashed on female federal employees in West Germany, with whom they began long-term relations and then began using as sources. That tactic has apparently been used in the United States as well; David Cay Johnston writes about the real legacy of Daryl Gates, the former chief of the LAPD. Gates died Friday. [more inside]
Combination Chinese restaurants-doughnut shops are common sights in California strip malls... But how did they get to be that way? The Atlantic investigates. Strangely enough, most are owned by Cambodians.
After being caught drunk driving on his way back from a gay night club, consistently anti-gay California State Senator Roy Ashburn has publicly come out as being gay.
Jerry Brown announces his candidacy for governor of California. Jerry Brown was derided as "Governor Moonbeam" during his two-term tenure as California's governor in the mid-70s and early 80s. He even had a famous fling with Linda Ronstadt. Later he became a radio-show host and mayor of Oakland, and he's currently California's Democratic attorney general. Brown contrasts his experience with current governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Republican candidiate Meg Whitman, saying: [more inside]
Yummy avocados. So delicious...so contentious...and at times...so expensive. Why have prices in the U.S., particularly California, been so high? And why have they dropped? Weather and a bad crop? Or are the causes often more insidious? A one act play sums up one perspective on the situation. [more inside]
In its January 13, 2010 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the public broadcast of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a U.S. District Court case challenging the constitutional validity of California's Proposition 8, despite the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker. Working directly from court transcripts and first-hand accounts from bloggers who have been present at the trial, marriagetrial.com is re-enacting the trial, to provide a "non-biased, objective presentation" of the case for public benefit.
Carly Fiorina, perhaps best known as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is attempting to become the Republican candidate for Barbara Boxer's long-time Senate seat. But her nomination isn't sewed up yet; her potential GOP challenger is former Congressman and Stanford Law professor Tom Campbell. So earlier today, Fiorina's campaign released this political attack ad against Campbell. It features her newly-minted acronym "FCINO", it's about six times longer than most political ads, it makes copious use of stock photography, and it stars demon sheep with red glowing eyes. Wait, what?
From The Wild Hunt:
A case coming before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could end up having major legal ramifications for all religious minorities in the United States. Wiccan chaplain Patrick McCollum has been fighting for years to overturn the State of California’s “five faiths policy”, which limits the hiring of paid chaplains to Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Native American adherents. While McCollum has suffered setbacks in his quest, with a California federal district court ruling in early 2009 that he had no standing to bring his suit, he recently gained support on appeal from several civil and religious rights groups who argue that his case should be heard.[more inside]
Frederic, Prinz von Anhalt is running for Governor of California Zsa Zsa Gabor's 9th husband, Frederic, Prinz von Anhalt wants your vote as governor of California. Originally Hans Robert Lichtenberg, the son of a German police officer, he was adopted by the octegenarian Princess Marie von Anhalt. Now he's running for governor, promising to return the good life to California by promoting its world-class "avocados, wine, weather beaches and marijuana." [more inside]
Vernon, California, a tiny city in Los Angeles county, was the personal fiefdom of one family for over 100 years. That all came to an end with the conviction of the town's long-serving mayor, and his wife, for voter fraud. [more inside]
Marin County Oral History "From 1974 to 1984, Carla Ehat, with partner Anne Kent, and later Genevieve Martinelli, traveled from one end of Marin County [California] to the other, interviewing a broad spectrum of Marin's long-time residents, ranging from ranchers to politicians and including descendents of early pioneer families." Each link on the list includes a photo, bio, full text of the interview, and, the best part, short audio excerpts from the interviews. Many of the folks interviewed were born in the 1880s or 1890s.
The Donald Sterling Rule "Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lives by his own rules. And the only one that matters, apparently, is this: all bad deeds go unpunished. Over the last six years, nearly two dozen L.A. residents have sued Sterling for engaging in racist housing practices and Jim Crow-style bigotry. In a 2003 deposition, the 76-year-old real estate mogul admitted to paying a former employee to have sex with him in an elevator. Three years ago, the U.S. government charged him with "willful" mistreatment of African-American and Latino tenants, and earlier this month, he agreed to pay the Dept. of Justice nearly $3 million to settle a federal racial-discrimination housing lawsuit, the largest award ever for a case of its kind." So why, asks California's Tenants Together, has the NBA said nothing about Sterling's less than sterling behavior? [more inside]
California City is the 3rd largest city in California (geographically), home to California's largest open-pit boron mine, a privately-run Federal Prison, and only 8,835 residents. Originally planned as a "large master-planned leisure community" of up to 1 million people, such growth never materialized, and the remains of the undeveloped streets and cul-de-sacs presage images of the current housing crisis, and are a modern, uniquely American version of the Nazca Lines.
40 years ago today, The Rolling Stones played two concerts at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. In the darkness of the audience was a man known to history only as "Dub"... [audio auto-plays] [more inside]
She's a public mystery, craving attention but shying away from private interviews. She is a human being Andy Warhol would have created, a painter (of) herself. She ran for Hollywood City Council in 2002, joined the much-parodied 2003 California gubernatorial recall election (previously), and most recently tried to become Mayor of Hollywood (archive of her Mayoral site). She is still loved by snark-mongers. She is Angelyne. She is ... [more inside]
Veto is a four-letter word (google quickview, here's the PDF):.Governor Schwarzenegger of California, at odds with the state legislature but ever the poet, vetoes Assembly Bill 1176 with a nice little acrostic.
"My answer is, I don't know. I don't know." US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker asked Prop 8 supporters to define the nature and extent of damage done by same-sex couples to the institution of marriage, and being unable to get any definitive answer, denied the request from supporters of Prop 8 to throw out Perry v. Schwarzenegger and ordered the case to trial in January 2010.
A newly identified species of Chimaera is patrolling the waters off of California and Baja California.
California has a new star, the Eastern Pacific black ghostshark. But the newly identified species prefers to stay out of the sun—and the spotlight. And with a club-like sex organ on its forehead, the male ghostshark isn't likely to get any leading man roles.The Florida Museum of Natural History has better photos of its Australian relative.
Thousands of students, faculty, and staff have walked out today in protest of the University of California's budget cuts. [more inside]
Maynard L. Parker was an architectural photographer whose work appeared for much of the 20th century in House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Sunset Magazine and many covers for the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine, which was then called Home. He photographed many well-known architectural homes, including the work of Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright. Over 58,000 of those photographs are now available through the Huntington Library. Here are some examples.
Conservative Republican California State Assemblyman Michael Duvall (Orange County) didn't realize his mic was live, moments before the start of a legislative hearing this past July. So when the 54-year-old married father of two began describing his ongoing affairs with two different women in very graphic detail for the benefit of a colleague seated next to him, he had no idea that he was being recorded. The story was picked up by KCAL, who cited unnamed sources that said Duvall was describing affairs with two married lobbyists. [more inside]
Eichler homes! Most Eichlers are located in northern California, but you can find a few developments in the southland. People restore and renovate their Eichlers, write magazine articles about them, and take lots of photos of them. Even Mr. Incredible owned an Eichler. But owning an Eichler is not for everyone. Want to buy an Eichler? Join the Eichler Network or tour an open house.
Inside America's most dangerous national forest.
Time-lapse video of the Southern California wildfires. Another image of the fires, as seen from space. Google Map.
On Tuesday, July 28, Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated 100% of California domestic violence shelters' state funding. Ninety-four shelters will be affected, and the cut may lead to domestic violence victims being turned away because of a decrease in the number of staff available, a cut in programs, or shelter closure. StopFamilyViolence.org asks California residents to contact Schwarzenegger and their state legislators and request that the funding be reinstated.
How green was my valley: California's economic meltdown The fields of wheat, cotton and cantaloupe that sustained his family for three generations are gone. The land is a mess of fallow fields, cracked earth and swirling dust. (PDF - By some estimates, 12.8% of the United States' agricultural production (as measured by dollar value) comes from California, and the majority of that is in the Central Valley). However, his particular scene of devastation, Mr. Allen argues, has nothing to do with the credit crisis, the housing crash or the downturn that has California in a vice grip. It has to do with a seven-centimetre-long, semi-translucent, steel blue fish known as the Delta smelt. [more inside]
It's important to remember that everybody in our great republic has an equally important voice. [via Reddit]
The current federal and state budget woes have lead many to create their ideal budgets to keep it all in balance, and now you can try your hand at the push and pull of budgets large and larger. You can be a nation-wide budget hero (toggle-able music) at Marketplace for American Media. The LA Times makes the California budget into buttons, where you can add and subtract whole segments of the budget in a quick-and-dirty attempt at making things even out. Next 10 have created a more detailed budgeting system in their California budget simulator and localized Oakland variation. Too much information to handle? Stockton's budget balancing options cover police, fire community service and public works, with sliding scales of money to spend on each.
Hope withers on the vine. A look at daily life among the produce workers in Mecca, California.
Getting up to speed : "If it can get started, the California high-speed train would almost certainly be the most expensive single infrastructure project in United States history. Judging by the experiences of Japan and France, both of which have mature high-speed rail systems, it would end the expansion of regional airline traffic as in-state travelers increasingly ride the fast trains. And it would surely slow the growth of highway traffic."
Proposition 8 Upheld by CA Supreme Court. In crushing blow to marriage equality, the California Supreme Court has affirmed the validity of Proposition 8 today's ruling (PDF). [more inside]
A 28-acre plot of unspoiled Sierra foothill forest is bequeathed to the Auburn (CA) Recreation District. The bequeath came with one condition: That the park be named "Nobel Laureate William B. Shockley And His Wife Emmy L. Shockley Memorial Park." [more inside]
We've covered hobo culture before, both historic and modern, but as the story of Smashley and Stogie reveals, the lifestyle of the railway traveler still exists not only for weekend adventurers but as a means of escape for troubled souls. (via)
The Wave Motors of California. "Still embedded somewhere in the shores of California, buried by more than a century of sand, are lost hydroelectric machines." Further reading.
In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda In Southern California 1933 - 1945, a digital exhibition from the Oviatt Library at Cal State Northridge. "The Nazi Propaganda period, 1933 to 1945, chronicles a crucial twelve years in American history. This exhibit's story about the local threat to American ideals demonstrates how European events reached across the ocean and affected people in Southern California -- in our own backyard." Magazines, pamphlets, newspapers, stickers and more. [more inside]
Four hours after his start against Oakland, his first time beginning the year with a major league team, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a hit and run by a van speeding through a red light.
Tree of Bees? Hills that move? A reflective humorous post about living in Southern California via mockable.org
Coincidental to the publishing of her memoir, Candy Spelling - the widow of legendary television producer Aaron Spelling - is selling her Beverly Hills mansion for $150 million. (Daughter Tori Spelling is not expected to share in the proceeds.)
NPR article and slide show of the works of Julius Shulman. If you've seen anything by Shulman, you've seen this one. Gas station buffs probably favor this. And, if this one wasn't in Playboy, it should have been! And, bunches more though a google image search. And, at 98, he's still capturing images!
Photographer Pirkle Jones, best known for his images of California's migrant workers and changing landscape (including a collaboration with Dorothea Lange) and his iconic Black Panther pictures, has died at 95.
A new California proposition attempts to neutralize Prop 8 by substituting "domestic partnership" for "marriage" in state laws, thus leaving marriage to the Mormons and other interested parties. Getting the government out of marriage entirely has been proposed countless times before. (Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is signalling that marijuana policy will now be considered a matter of state jurisdiction. For obvious reasons, medical marijuana champions are celebrating the administration's committment to depart from the Bush and Clinton eras' previous policies of conducting frequent DEA Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. But with recent signs of a U.S. economy in even more rapid decline than anyone anticipated, and with California being particularly hard hit, some California politicians are suggesting the time has finally arrived to end the prohibition and put full legalization of marijuana on the table, pointing to potential windfalls in the range of a billion dollars in new tax revenue annually. [more inside]
With its $41 billion deficit spiraling out of control and federal judges ordering its prisoners released to relieve overcrowding, can legal marijuana save California?
If you were a fan of late-nite horror movies in Northern California during the 1970's, you likely spent Saturday nights watching Bob Wilkins, the droll, cigar-smoking host of Creature Features. An unlikely horror-show host, Wilkins' deadpan delivery and apparent disdain for the show's films (he reguarly suggested his audience change the channel) made Creature Features a show not to be missed. Bob Wilkins passed away today after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.