Orwelling Our Way out of Oakland’s Homelessness Crisis

September 13, 2018

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One year ago, Oakland’s City Council approved a shelter emergency ordinance . This legislation–along with a state level version of the shelter crisis legislation passed around the same time in late 2017–gave the city extraordinary powers to suspend the normal health and safety, building code and zoning laws that govern habitations to build emergency transitional […]

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The Curious Case of the Backchannel Notebook: An Oakland City Council Mystery

July 20, 2018

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A funny thing happened on the way to the Oakland City Council Community and Economic Development Committee meeting on July 17th. Let me back up a bit. I usually sit on the second floor balcony at city council meetings and its not just because I’m a misanthrope. It lets me better focus on events. From […]

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Public Lands for Corporate Good: the Derby Street Parcel Sale Proves Oakland Needs a Public Lands Policy

July 1, 2018

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Like many public land sales that come before the Oakland City Council, the Derby Street parcel sale was set to glide beneath public notice when it began its final journey of council approval in May, 2018–a perfunctory committee nod and a quick set of ayes at an unnoticed city council meeting seemed assured. But there […]

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The United Front Against Desley Brooks

May 17, 2018

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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf launched her current assault against District 6 Council Person Desley Brooks, in April–ironically, in the midst of “honoring” the work of fellow council person Annie Campbell Washington. Washington announced she was retiring, setting the stage for Schaaf’s attack with a subsoundbite against “the corruption” at city council. Schaaf picked up the […]

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The Killmonger Compromise: How a CIA Agent and a Black Revolutionary Combine Forces to Preserve the Status Quo in Marvel’s Black Panther

February 22, 2018

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Like many viewers with a general awareness of recent African history, I was shocked quite early on in Black Panther by an inscrutable bit of dialogue. T’chala tells his escort that he has “spotted an old friend who works for the CIA”. The agent, Everett Ross, played by legendary second-fiddle Martin Freeman, turns out to […]

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Source File Corrupt: The Left’s Faustian Bargain with the ADL and the SPLC

February 18, 2018

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The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center were two ancient orgs slumping into the horizon with barnacled hulls and weather-beaten jackets, when antifascist¬†fever took off around 2015. ADL’s rep as a right-wing organization that had spied on left of center organizations and Black political groups for years was common knowledge. Most of the […]

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Re: Your Bad Hot Take on Charles Manson

November 28, 2017

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Many years ago, when people still read whatever was lying around to fight downtime boredom, I picked up and read a discarded copy of the biography of Charles Manson, Manson in His Own Words, by Nuel Emmons. Like almost everyone under 60 today, my knowledge of Manson up to that point came from cultural inheritance […]

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