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]
posted by krautland
on Apr 17, 2010 -
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]
posted by thisperon
on Feb 23, 2010 -
, 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?
posted by Asparagirl
on Feb 3, 2010 -
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.
posted by ocherdraco
on Dec 6, 2009 -
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]
posted by ocherdraco
on Nov 27, 2009 -
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]
posted by Joe Beese
on Nov 9, 2009 -
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
posted by vronsky
on Sep 13, 2009 -
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
asks California residents to contact Schwarzenegger and their state legislators and request that the funding be reinstated.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl
on Aug 1, 2009 -
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]
posted by KokuRyu
on Jul 24, 2009 -
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."
posted by dhruva
on Jun 14, 2009 -
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]
posted by mudpuppie
on May 18, 2009 -