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Put out to pasture in a bombing range

Slab City, CA "is not so sinister as it is a strange, forlorn quarter of America. It is a town that is not really a town, a former training grounds with nothing left but the concrete slabs where the barracks stood. [...] The land belongs to the state, but the state, like the law, does not bother, and so the Slabs have become a place to park free. More than 3,000 elderly people settle in for the winter, in a pattern that dates back at least 20 years." [NYT Reg Req]
posted by LondonYank on Dec 17, 2004 - 23 comments

 

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School? WTF? That's what I thought when I first read it. I read more and again I said: WTF? This can't be right! So, I looked around a bit and I realised some people had already a different perspective on this.
posted by acrobat on Nov 25, 2004 - 38 comments

Promoting a candidate could get you thrown in jail

David Dreier doesn't like free speech. The California Congressman and the Republican Party have filed a felony federal complaint against one of their own, which could possibly lead to jail time, all for opposing the incumbent. Apparently, spending a million dollars wasn't enough. More coverage of Dreier here and here.
posted by calwatch on Oct 30, 2004 - 12 comments

Won't Someone Think of the Poor Criminals?

Arnold Signs Prison Smoking Ban
By July 1, 2005, there will be no more cigarette smoking in California's prison system.
Makes sense, no smoking in our bars, no smoking behind our bars.
posted by fenriq on Sep 28, 2004 - 118 comments

Honey, did you feel the plane move?

This is an odd way to find out about an earthquake in California.
posted by eriko on Sep 28, 2004 - 23 comments

Life imitates Art

Pageant of the Masters : if the tableaux vivants presentation in the Olympics opening ceremony leaves you wanting for more, it's not too late to find your way to southern California this month. This is the 71st season of this famous and unique event in Laguna Beach. (More behind-the-scene stories here and here.)
posted by of strange foe on Aug 19, 2004 - 8 comments

California bill to ease move aways by custodial parents pulled.

California bill to ease "move aways" by custodial parents pulled. Until a recent CA Supreme Court decision, it was easy for custodial parents to move themselves and their children far from their ex-spouse. The Court reversed the old rule and held that the move could be blocked if the non-custodial parent could show that it would interfere with his/her relationship with the kids. Legislation to reimpose the old permissive standard passed through the State Senate, but has now been pulled off the legislative calendar after an outcry by father's rights groups.
posted by MattD on Aug 18, 2004 - 17 comments

Licenses Revoked

California Supreme Court voids all San Francisco same-sex marriages. Said the mayor overstepped his authority and that the city violated the state law.
posted by kokogiak on Aug 12, 2004 - 65 comments

California has banned large SUVs.

California has banned large SUVs.
posted by NortonDC on Aug 4, 2004 - 29 comments

Take a vacation from your car

Having just returned to Paradise for a little visit, I am reminded just how cool this little place is (not that I needed much reminding *whimper*), and am looking for touristy things to do here without a car. While I was on my way up on the Pacific Surfliner train, a fellow rider told me about Santa Barbara Car Free. Awesome! Also props to CalTrans' alliance with Amtrak in California. The trains and service and overall quality of the passenger rail system is quite a bit different from what I've experienced thus far of the stuff handled by Amtrak alone.
posted by WolfDaddy on Aug 2, 2004 - 12 comments

Voices from the past

Getting back into the groove : In the corner of a California university laboratory, two men are battling against time to perfect a machine that will read old recordings - using special microscopes to scan the grooves - and software that can convert those shapes into sound. Their work could bring history to life.
posted by starscream on Jul 26, 2004 - 15 comments

More, more, still not satisfied.....

The Great American 'Garage Mahal' - cars, houses and garages of the American super-sized new affluent class grow ever larger : "three separate two-car garages attached to his $750,000 brick abode: one for his son Brandon, one for his wife, Janice, and one for him. His garages' many amenities include carpeting, cable TV, speakers wired to the home stereo system and a bathroom. "I've always liked garages and I don't think you can have enough of them," " Mr. Bernard said."
posted by troutfishing on Jul 21, 2004 - 25 comments

Total Rekall of the Scharzenegger doll

CNN reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to sue Bosley Bobbers seeking to stop production of a charity bobblehead doll. The doll shows the former action-actor turned Governor of California posing in a business suit, ammo belt and assault rifle. Arnold is arguing that he owns the marketing rights to his likeness. The creators argue that he lost those rights when he became a political figure. However, this seems to be a repeat of Hustler v. Falwell. And courts lately have been skeptical of trademark rights trumping satire. On the other hand, there seems to be a fine line between editorial use and commercial exploitation.
posted by KirkJobSluder on May 1, 2004 - 11 comments

Blistering attack on PBS

"Other channels do what PBS [does], with the added bonus of doing it better." On the 50th anniversary of San Francisco's KQED, the SF Chronicle's TV critic Tim Goodman levels a blistering attack on the station and on PBS, calling it "one of the worst-run, thoroughly backward media entities in the country."
posted by twsf on Apr 29, 2004 - 26 comments

Hubert Selby, Jr (1928-2004)

"Hubert Selby died often. But he always came back, smiling that beautiful smile of his, and those blue eyes of his... This time he will not be back. My saints have always come from hell, and now, with his passing, there are no more saints". Selby is the author of Last Exit to Brooklyn, (tried for obscenity in England and supported by, among many others, Samuel Beckett and Anthony Burgess), Requiem For a Dream, Song of the Silent Snow. He is being eulogized in the USA and UK, but also, massively (I've just watched a fantastic TV special) in France, where he is much more popular than in his native land (Selby's death was the cover story -- plus pages 2, 3 and 4 -- in the daily Libération today -- .pdf file): Dernière sortie vers la rédemption, L'extase de la dévastation. What makes all this kind of ironic -- in a very Selbyesque way -- is that Selby himself used to say, "I started to die 36 hours before I was born..." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Apr 28, 2004 - 16 comments

beat-generation photos

Still romanticizin' the beat generation? Lovely shots from the Venice West Picture Essay - a photo chronicle of the beat generation in venice west, california circa 1958….from the out-of-print "the holy barbarians" by lawrence lipton
posted by lilboo on Apr 20, 2004 - 21 comments

Russian Roulette on DVD?

Two HIV Cases Put a Scare Into P9rn (LATimes) Several major adult movie companies — including the industry's largest, Vivid — have decided to stop filming for 60 days after two stars tested positive for HIV. But other companies dismissed the plea for a moratorium, calling it "paranoid" and "knee-jerk," and vowed to keep their cameras rolling. The industry, they said, was perfectly safe."I'm against any stop in production," said a producer "It will put a lot of people out of business. You'll have people who will start losing their apartments. It's just not fair." When do adult movies (a hugely profitable business where unprotected sex is often performed) end being sexy and start being "Russian Roulette on dvd" scary? The two actors who have tested positive for the HIV virus are identified as Darren James and Lara Roxx. Roxx (who's 18 or 19) had only been in the adult industry for three months. 45 actors and actresses who subsequently either worked with James or the women he had sex with after contracting the virus, which is believed to have occurred in Brazil (where, incidentally, star and director John Stagliano -- not completely work-safe link -- says he caught AIDS in 1997), have been identified, too. warning: except the Stagliano link, all the others are work-safe. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Apr 16, 2004 - 72 comments

Pro-active pro-evolution resources

Just found this one. The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a Berkeley website for supporting science teachers teaching evolution. The project was built with a grant from the National Science Foundation and has received an additional grant to expand the site to develop content for students and adults. More coverage from The Daily Bruin at UCLA and a brief clip from Science News.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Apr 15, 2004 - 5 comments

from 60 to 0 in 6 seconds

The Fast and the Frustrated. The city of Pleasanton, CA is about to install specially calibrated traffic lights which sense whether or not you are speeding. When speeding is detected, these traffic lights will change from green to yellow to red immediately, and will stay red for 10 to 30 seconds, all in an effort to stymie speeders.
posted by mosspink on Apr 7, 2004 - 36 comments

the family economy

In California, a middle-class family with two earners each making $50,000 a year now owns, on average, an $830,000 home. "It is a dangerous situation indeed when neither home buyers nor the institutions that finance them are concerned with the ultimate price being paid for the housing asset."
posted by the fire you left me on Apr 4, 2004 - 48 comments

California Doesn't Even Have To Fall Into The Ocean To Get In Trouble

California's Tsunami Risk. " In the open ocean, tsunami waves travel at speeds of up to 600 miles per hour... As the waves enter shallow water, they may rise rapidly. Typical peak wave heights from large tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean over the last 80 years have been between 21 and 45 feet at the shoreline... If a large earthquake displaces the sea floor near the coast, the first waves may reach the shore minutes after the ground stops shaking. There is no time for authorities to issue a warning." 40 years ago this weekend the Alaskan Prince William Sound earthquake and its ensuing tsunami killed over 120 people -- 12 as far South as California. Nothing compared to the thousands hit in the 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami disaster, but still it's worth keeping an eye on California's tsunami risks. Or the entire West Coast's activity.
posted by namespan on Mar 28, 2004 - 20 comments

Show me the money?

How We Got Homeland Security Wrong -- If all the federal homeland-security grants from last year are added together, Wyoming received $61 a person while California got just $14, according to data gathered at TIME's request by the Public Policy Institute of California, an independent, nonprofit research organization. Alaska received an impressive $58 a resident, while New York got less than $25. On and on goes the upside-down math of the new homeland-security funding. The TIME article uses AIR Worldwide Corp.'s Terrorism Loss Estimation Model.
posted by amberglow on Mar 22, 2004 - 20 comments

youth vote

Should 14 year olds have the right to vote? A new amendment is in the works in California: The measure, introduced Monday, would give 14- and 15-year-olds a quarter-vote and 16- and 17-year-olds a half-vote beginning in 2006.
posted by badstone on Mar 10, 2004 - 95 comments

California is literally going to hell in a handbasket.

Libraries? Sports? Music Programs? Guidance Counselors? Not on my bill, buddy! That crap is for nerds and jocks. It's all good here in sunny California.
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Mar 10, 2004 - 19 comments

"Call my wife and tell her that I've decided to get arrested"

Four California activists were arrested Tuesday while protesting the case of Kevin Cooper, set to be executed in less than a week. Gov. Schwarzenegger denied a clemency hearing for Cooper (the first time such a hearing was denied since California re-instituted the death penalty in 1978), despite ample evidence shedding doubt not only on the fairness of Cooper's trial, but also his alleged guilt. Kevin Cooper is asking people to protest for his life.
posted by sudama on Feb 5, 2004 - 71 comments

Mars-Time Apps

You may be familiar with the story, reported here, about the southern California watch maker who supplied wrist watches for Mars scientists to get to work on time. You may not have seen these time applications that make the time story equally as compelling for the rest of us. What is interesting from a graphics standpoint is the different qualities expressed with these versions, as a table of exact times for specific locations (this site has a lot of great detail about the mission), or as an approximate time with shadows projected on the Mars map (for Mac OS X). Any other Mars time graphics that you know about?
posted by xtian on Jan 23, 2004 - 5 comments

Quake in CA

6.5 Quake Hits Central California. Felt for over a minute in San Jose, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Interesting time to discover the oft-defunded USGS's instant earthquake news page. Talk about dynamically generating your pages your pages from the ground up...
posted by effugas on Dec 22, 2003 - 68 comments

Politically correct hardware terminology:

LA County, leading the charge: Equipment vendors who do business with Los Angeles County received a message in November 2003 from the county's Internal Services Department (ISD) informing them that "based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County," labeling or describing equipment with the term 'master/slave' is no longer acceptable. (via snopes.com)
the slashdot comments on this...
posted by sixtwenty3dc on Nov 25, 2003 - 145 comments

More Diebold problems.

Anthony Argyriou uncovers what seems to be a serious problem either with California voting machines or the vote tallying system: The Secretary of State's summary of votes on the Davis recall shows three counties--Alameda, Kern, and Plumas--that apparently had zero voters who didn't vote on the recall. Not one. All three counties used Diebold machines. Other counties ranged from 0.5% to 10.3% of voters not voting on the recall. More from Rick Hasen, a top election law scholar. [Via Volokh.]
posted by monju_bosatsu on Nov 16, 2003 - 41 comments

The Kumeyaay Nation.

The Kumeyaay Nation of southern California. 'This Web site is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Kumeyaay culture. Kumeyaay.com tells the story from the Kumeyaay perspective, and is the premiere source for Kumeyaay Indian information.' With an interesting history, language and culture section.
posted by plep on Nov 12, 2003 - 6 comments

Firestorm 2003

Santa Ana Speeds the Spread of So Cal Fires
Five separate fires are burning in San Diego County, including several densely populated suburban areas. Dozens of homes have been burned. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar has been affected, including an FAA air traffic control installation. 16,000 people in the South Bay lost electricity when a major distribution line went down. Many San Diego firefighters went up to Camp Pendelton yesterday. (1, 2)
posted by rschram on Oct 26, 2003 - 42 comments

Folks, that's the news, and I am outta here

Sen. Dennis Miller, R-California
posted by Espoo2 on Oct 21, 2003 - 83 comments

Strikes

Labor Unions in a free market. Southern California is being gripped by crippling strikes by transit workers and grocery clerks -- both over health care -- that has stranded thousands of mostly poor commuters across Los Angeles and is expected to sap millions from the local economy.

As a person who can't drive due to a visual disability, I am personally effected by the MTA transit strike (that is rumored may last several months). State employees are not allowed to strike. Shouldn't that also be the case for essential services, such as public transit?
posted by lola on Oct 14, 2003 - 80 comments

"I will hire an outside independent auditor, free of political influence..."

"I will hire an outside independent auditor, free of political influence..." Schwarzenegger breaks promise to Californians, hires Donna Arduin to head the 60-day audit of California. Arduin is "on loan" from Florida, where she is Jeb Bush's Budget director. Arduin has been criticized by economists and even prominent Florida republicans for "surreal",misleading, unrealistic, and risky accounting procedures. During her stint as Budget Director, Ms. Arduin oversaw numerous tax cuts aimed at the wealthiest Floridians, while most Floridians saw no significant decrease in taxes. Infact, today Florida has the second most regressive taxes in the nation.The effects of these tax cuts? Unprecidented shortfalls in state tax revenues, with massive budget cuts for public schools, universities, child welfare, vision services for uninsured children, etc.
Class warfare, anyone?!
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 9, 2003 - 65 comments

Escher in 2003!

The results are in! the MeFi guesses weren't too far off, and Escher wins the domokun, while ook wins the booby prize.
posted by mathowie on Oct 8, 2003 - 18 comments

Arnie wins in california

Arnie wins in california, a victory for Mr schwarzenegger. For a man whose acting ability was described as going all the way from A to B, lets hope for the sake of californians that he is somewhat more adept at politics.
posted by johnnyboy on Oct 8, 2003 - 190 comments

Silicon Valley strikes again

The Computer History Museum is hosting this years Vintage Computer Festival in Mountain View, California. Featuring live demonstatrions of a Xerox Alto as well as an auction for a Commodore 64 prototype, this year promises to be fun for geeks of all ages. (via Wired)
posted by starscream on Oct 7, 2003 - 5 comments

California recall prediction contest

California voters recall Gov. Gray Davis 55-45 percent and elect Arnold Schwarzenegger with 45 percent of the replacement vote. That's where the money is in the Iowa Political Markets for tomorrow's recall election. To see how well MetaFilter's pundits fare in predicting the results, I'm offering a bribe ...
posted by rcade on Oct 6, 2003 - 117 comments

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Energy Enron

If Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected California can say HASTA LA VISTA BABY to 9 billion according to this article by investigative reporter Greg Palast. According to Palast it turns out that Schwarzenegger knowingly joined the hush-hush encounter with Ken (Enron) Lay and Michael Milken as part of a campaign to sabotage a Davis-Bustamante plan to make Enron and other power pirates then ravaging California pay back the $9 billion in illicit profits they carried off. For memories sake here are a few of the the details behind the California energy scam in this report. Arnold has previously said that he does not remember such a meeting with Ken Lay.
posted by thedailygrowl on Oct 4, 2003 - 62 comments

The Cali candidates: Adam to Zellhoefer

The Cali candidates, Adam to Zellhoefer, are all listed at California-Recall.com...and each gets their own page to tell you about themselves. Interesting lesser-known candidates include: Angelyne ("I'm EXTRA large on top, I have a TINY waist, and my hips are JUST RIGHT!"), Joel Britton, "retired meat packer," Art Brown - "I started for publicity, but now that I'm running, I kind of want to run" (such enthusiasm!), William Chambers, "railroad switchman/brakeman," Mary Cook, an "adult film actress" who wants to tax breast implants and wire the Governor’s Mansion with live web cams ("We've had Brown, we've tried Gray, now it's time for some blonde").

Then there's Michael Jackson (no, not that one; this guy's a Satellite Payload Project Manager), Trek Thunder Kelly, "Business Executive/Artist," Paul "Chip" Mailander, "Golf Professional," and Paul Mariano - "I am the only candidate who will appoint Davis as Chief of Staff in charge of the day-to-day governance of California, the job he was duly elected to do." And many more...
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Oct 1, 2003 - 11 comments

But I thought... But he said... But doesn't that mean... ???

It's not democracy if Republicans don't win! After spending $1.6 million to save California, Darrell Issa tells Republicans to vote No on recall if it means a Democrat will win.
posted by badstone on Sep 24, 2003 - 25 comments

Candidate Camera

Not quite moblogging. Though basically a publicity ploy by the cowbox folks, Candidate Camera is still worth a browse. A digital camera has been offered to every single one of the candidates in the California recall election — from Adam to Zellhoefer — and they're sending in shots from the campaign trail. Clearly some are having fun with the project, from the unknown to the infamous. And while others are going for the mom and apple pie constituency, at least a couple are aiming at the Maxim mindset. Having David Hume Kennerly at the helm adds some credibility, and while his featured photo picks are always good, you can always — in true blogger style — just jump to the latest entries.
posted by pzarquon on Sep 22, 2003 - 6 comments

Behind the scenes with an Election Officer

Behind the scenes with an Election Officer - "Congratulations! You have been appointed to serve as an INSPECTOR for the Statewide Special (Recall) Election." Also good: F'd State.
posted by elvissinatra on Sep 22, 2003 - 3 comments

Language Removal Services

Language Removal Services is a service that electronically removes that which is uneccessary in human speech. The laboratory has come to the aid of California voters by processing recorded speech samples of the candidates in order to "better understand their true positions."
posted by mert on Sep 22, 2003 - 28 comments

Garret Hardin and wife die, possible suicide

Garret Hardin and his wife Jane were found dead last Thursday in their house of Santa Barbara (California), presumably a double suicide. His 1968 essay Tragedy of the Commons (a critique of both communism and laissez-faire capitalism in the light of natural resources constrains) was one of the most widely known works of this expert in population and ecology. Garret was 88 and Jane was 81 and both were in poor health. Last week celebrated their 62nd anniversary. They were members of the Hemlock Society (now know as End-of-Life Choices).
posted by samelborp on Sep 20, 2003 - 11 comments

Californians driving against terrorism

I don't know about you guys, but I can't think of any better way for Californians to express their outrage at terrorism than to put a gaudy, flag-draped licence plate on their cars. (And if it includes a bear who just ate the huge head of an eagle, or maybe a group of eagles imitating the Village People, all the better!)
posted by delfuego on Sep 17, 2003 - 55 comments

Federal Appeals Court Delays California Recall

The Gropenator will have to spin his wheels for awhile: California's Vote Delayed by Court Over Punch Cards. And here's the kicker--it's deja vu all over again, Bizarro stylee: Bush v. Gore Outlives Its Limited Warranty for Use in California

The Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore was meant to be a ticket good for one ride. "Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances," the justices said in their unsigned opinion in 2000, "for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities." Three judges on the federal appeals court in San Francisco, all appointed by Democratic presidents, decided yesterday to use it for another ride anyway.
posted by y2karl on Sep 15, 2003 - 8 comments

California Recall

9th Circuit Court blocks California Recall Election because six counties would be using outdated punch-card ballots. Perhaps the court should have paid a visit to the Black Box Voting web site to look at all the problems surfacing with the Electronic Voting machines.
posted by thedailygrowl on Sep 15, 2003 - 42 comments

50 Reasons to Not Vote for Arnold

Metro Santa Cruz's 50 Reasons to Not Vote for Arnold for Governor

And no, none of the reasons are because of awful movies like Jingle All the Way or Junior. Real reasons like the fact that he's a chauvinist, his father was a Nazi, he used to run the President's Council on Fitness and now admits to using steroids to win bodybuilding competitions, he has no plan on how to fix the state's budget issues just that he's gonna clean house. Or the fact that he made up the story about gang raping a black woman for the Oui interview back in 77' (think about that, he lied about participating in a gang rape, that's pretty demented behaviour). Interesting reading and damned scary if this is the next governor of the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world.
posted by fenriq on Sep 10, 2003 - 41 comments

Why Gas in California Spiked So Sharply

What Made Gas Prices Spike So Sharply in California? One hint, it has something to do with greed and the ability to arbitrarily raise one's profit margin.

The oil refineries decided that they weren't making quite enough money so they decided to gouge California by nearly tripling their profit margin to $.69 a gallon.

My response is to say I'll vote for which gubernatorial candidate that's going to go after the corporate greedheads who seem to think its perfectly acceptable behaviour to bleed people because they can.

Are you listening Arnold, Gary or Georgy?
posted by fenriq on Sep 9, 2003 - 21 comments

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