Tag Archives | Civil Liberties

Taking the High Road

high road

It’s 11:30am on Thursday and I’m cruising the Haight for flags, $24 into the green…

I’ve been good about not drinking or abusing nighttime cough syrup over the last week to get to sleep at night. This is due to a jaunt to go see my mom “back east” in D.C., to get help finishing up Book 2 – San Francisco TAXI: Life in the Merge Lane… (Stay tuned y’all!) Anyway, Ma and my older brother gave me crap about my belly while I was there; which is, um, “respectably pronounced”. Aside from my sedentary vocation, this is due in good measure to drinking at night. And the subsequent tipsy feast just prior to bed. Needless to say, my family’s brand of Jewish/Irish-Catholic guilt is VERY potent! Hence, the abstinence.

So, I was clearing out my Facebook notifications last night and smoking a bowl before going down. As I was perusing the San Francisco Taxi Drivers Group, I came across a report from Barry Korengold, one of the leaders of the SFTWA – the pseudo San Francisco taxi drivers union.… Read the rest

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‘It’s Like I Forget I’m in Prison’: Simple idea that could change solitary confinement

Prisoners Growing Sagebrush
Terrence McCoy via Washington Post:

It began with a painting, a biologist and an idea to disprove the widely-held axiom that trees are static. The biologist first affixed a paintbrush to a tree branch, set it to a canvas and watched it sketch. She then multiplied the length of that tree’s stroke by every branch in its crown. In the course of a year, the biologist learned, the tree would move 187,000 miles — or seven times across the globe. This seemingly immobile thing was actually in constant motion.

The drawing and its implications would ultimately spark a program that has infiltrated some of the most impenetrable prisons in the nation, attracted international attention, and earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s list of best inventions. Called the Nature Imagery Project, it transports the soothing elements of nature into supermax prisons to help ease the psychological stress of solitary confinement.

The project is rooted in an idea that even the most static entities — like trees, like inmates in solitary confinement — have the capacity for change.

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No one should ever work. Workers of the world… *relax*!


Bob Black, “The Abolition of Work” via Primitivism:


No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a *ludic* conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

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How Hacktivists Will Break Corporate Control of Information Within a Decade


Jake Anderson via Activist Post:

Sci-fi author and information rights activist Cory Doctorow appeared out of the dusty heat of the 2015 Burning Man in a gray jumpsuit and a pair of Adbusters Black Spot sneakers. In his hand he held a small black moleskin, which he glanced at intermittently while delivering an electrifying, albeit head-spinning talk on the future of the Internet of Things.

Doctorow, who recently re-joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), contextualized theInternet of Things as an information rights struggle that requires an end to patent laws that forbid jailbreaking digital locks. Concordantly, he and the EFF have an ambitious plan: To dismantle the draconian Digital Rights Management (DRM) laws currently protected by the DMCA Section 1201. Doctorow and the EFF seek to counter this oppressive legislation with the Apollo 1201 initiative, by which they will strategically pick cases that can clearly demonstrate Congress violated the Constitution when it passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998.

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Driving Ms. Parks

first world homeless

1st world def

I took some days off, for the soul… to “think”.

Each time my kid came home from school to find me on the couch staring into space, he gave me crap, “Dad! You didn’t work, again?!”

I told him, “Son, I’ve been thinking. I’ve been thinking a lot. And you know what? Nothing is wrong right now. Absolutely NOTHING.”

So, it’s Friday morning. And I am now going into work, to drive a cab… in complete peace, come what may. (OM, baby.)


Heading out of the lot of ‘ol Citizen’s Cab in 137 – my trusty Prius, the headlights catch that feral, orange tabby lot cat frozen, er… like a deer. It would seem she is now spoiled after gorging on all the late night BBQ pitched from the recurring congregations of chatty drivers, and the likes of me occasionally tossing her half my lunch. Well not today, Sheba!… Read the rest

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If Women Ruled the World – Is a Matriarchal Society the Solution?

woman to woman
Steve Taylor, Ph.D, via Waking Times:

Is a matriarchal society the solution to our problems?

I’ve just returned from Crete, where I visited the ancient palace of Knossos, and the archaeological museum in Heraklion, where thousands of the artifacts and artworks of ancient Crete are displayed.

The most striking thing about the culture of ancient Crete (or Minoan culture, as it is often called) is how prominent women are. They are everywhere in Minoan artwork, on pottery, frescoes and figurines (small stone statues). They are shown as priestesses, goddesses, dancing and talking at social occasions, in beautiful dresses with their breasts on show. There is a striking fresco of a beautifully dressed woman surrounded by a group of half-naked dancing men.

It is clear that – as many archaeologists have agreed – this was a society in which women had very high status; at least as high as men.

Some archaeologists believe that the Minoans worshiped a goddess, and that women were the main religious leaders.

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Chocolate Nam

Sometimes, a ride just speaks for itself. Meet Chocolate Nam…

Choc Nam

It’s mid-day and I’m cruisin’ Haight-Ashbury. The sun is high and it is yet another perfect, beautiful San Francisco day. (Yawn.) The street is bustling with thrift store shoppers, retail workers and mid-western tourists congregating for snaps of themselves flashing peace signs below the famous intersecting street signage that marks this infamous corner. Post-selfie, it’s on to gawk at all the 60’s memorabilia glowing in black lights, as bongs and tie-dye emanate psychedelic from a multitude of head shops. And with leashed cats on their shoulders and unleashed pit-bulls at their sides, dirty-colorful neo-hippie runaways hawk pot vivacious to all that pass.

I drive past… and am immediately struck by the vision of an older black man at the peak of fashion, as he hobbles into the street to flag me with his black and silver-gilt cane on high.… Read the rest

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Psy-Op: Executive Order Creates an Orwellian Policy of Enlightenment and Propaganda


This article originally appeared on Activist Post.

By Daisy Luther

The ink is still wet on a brand new executive order that reads like a cross between the Reich’s Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda and George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

Of course, in true propagandist form, President Obama isn’t calling it anything related to Nazi Germany or a dystopian novel.   He’s calling it “Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People.”

To-may-to. To-mah-to.

Whatever you want to call it, prepare to be the subject of manipulation and behavioral experiments. This is a giant, official national psy-op and they’re announcing to us that they’re doing it.

What’s a Psy-Op?

Psychological Operations or PSYOP are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of organizations, groups, and individuals. (source)

(You can learn more about the use of Psy-Ops in this US Army procedural manual.)

The beginning of the Executive Order explains:

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights — research findings from fields such as behavioral economics and psychology about how people make decisions and act on them — can be used to design government policies to better serve the American people.

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Burners & Redemption

cable car

It’s a groggy morning coming back to big city cab driving from a Labor Day weekend camping with my kid and his Boy Scout troop. The scene of the crime was a few hours north of San Francisco at the border of the redwood-abundant Mendocino National Forest, on the outskirts of a rustic western hippie-redneck town named Willits. I kept busy with my guitar and some illicit booze (This WAS a Christian endeavor, people!) as the boys all ran around honing their various skills in sailing and canoeing on the lake, and at dispersed stations set up for archery, BB guns, shotguns and rifles.Driving in my van way too early into work this morning, there’s that smell in the air. You know the one; where no one wants to be back at their desk, where the town ever so slowly creeps back to life and productivity as every khaki pant and navy skirt stands ready to blow off their first day of work clearing out emails and shooting the shit over at the water cooler via exchanging familial tales from their time off.

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