Tag Archives | san francisco

Welcome to Paradise

Jodorowsky?

If you follow my posts and podcasts here at Disinformation and elsewhere, you probably know that I’m also a musician in Nashville, TN. Here is the new video for my song “Paradise.” The song and the video both point back to the kind of counter-cultural posts you’re familiar with.

Conceived, directed and edited from public domain footage found at Archive.org, “Paradise” combines images of San Francisco in 1941 with shots from the city captured in 1968 during that era’s counter-cultural revolution. The video takes the song’s declarative chorus as a jumping-off point to celebrate the Utopian impulse that has defined that city.

Welcome to “Paradise”

“Paradise” appears on my CD BLUE TURNS BLACK.

Stay Awake!

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The Forgotten Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, Norton I

emperor-norton-bicycle-340x565

Emperor Norton Making His Daily Rounds Inspecting the City

An  odd tale about an eccentric old timee entrepreneur.

via Today I Found Out

Today I found out about the largely forgotten colorful benevolent dictator of the United States and protector of Mexico, Emperor Norton I.

His Imperial Majesty Joshua Abraham Norton I was born between 1811 and 1818 in England. Records of his birth date vary considerably, but it’s likely that the latter date is the correct one. His family immigrated to South Africa when he was quite young, where his father headed a small Jewish community. As a young man, he initially attempted to run his own business in Cape Town but quickly went bankrupt and started working at his father’s ship chandlery instead.

By 1848, Emperor Norton had suffered some severe losses: his mother, father, and both of his brothers had died. With no other family, Norton inherited all $40,000 of his father’s estate and was eager to search for a new beginning.

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San Francisco Loses Legal Battle Over Warning Public About Cell Phone Radiation

cell phone radiation

Major phone companies appear to be winning the battle to suppress information about possible cancer risks from mobile phone usage, Reuters reports:

San Francisco city leaders, after losing a key round in court against the cell phone industry, have agreed to revoke an ordinance that would have been the first in the United States to require retailers to warn consumers about potentially dangerous radiation levels.

“This is just a terrible blow to public health,” Ellen Marks, an advocate for the measure, said outside the supervisors’ chambers. She said her husband suffers from a brain tumor on the same side of his head to which he most often held his mobile phone.

The 2011 ordinance mandated warnings that cellular phones emit potentially cancer-causing radiation. The statute, which a judge blocked before it took effect, also would have required retailers to post notices stating that World Health Organization cancer experts have deemed mobile phones “possibly carcinogenic.”

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Ken Goldberg’s Seismic Signals

Screenshot of Bloom, 2013, by Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg.

Venue interviews one of the more interesting professors you’ll run into at any university, Ken Goldberg:

The Hayward Fault runs through the center of the UC Berkeley campus, famously splitting the university’s football stadium in half from end to end. It has, according to the 2008 Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, a thirty-one percent probability of rupturing in a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake within the next thirty years, making it the likeliest site for the next big California quake.

Nonetheless, for the majority of East Bay residents, the fault is out of sight and out of mind—for example, five out of six Californian homeowners have no earthquake insurance.

Meanwhile, three-quarters of a mile north of Memorial Stadium, and just a few hundred yards west of the fault trace, is the office of Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Berkeley.

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UFOs Over San Francisco’s Mission District?

Multiple San Franciscans captured footage of mysterious lights flying over the city's Mission District. The local CBS affiliate reports: (Apologies for video quality. The station's own embed code was non-functional.) Via CBS:
In the video, a series of lights fly in formation above the city before appearing to take a diamond shape and eventually disappearing. Several commenters on the Mission Mission blog said that they had also noticed the aircraft. The video, which shows seven lights in a row, was shot by Enrique Barrios with his cellphone. “Looked like flame, you know, fireballs in the sky,” Barrios said in an interview with CBS 5. David Shelley took pictures as the lights hovered over him early Sunday Morning. “Kind of looked like a fiery, floaty thing,” he said. Witnesses said the lights flickered on and off, then took different shapes.
What do you think? Ball lightning? Swamp gas?
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Occupy Protesters Attempt To Crash Wells Fargo Shareholder Meeting in San Francisco

Wells FargoThe police are ready for this. Good luck. Reports the AP via the Washington Post:
Police were guarding the entrance to the annual meeting of Wells Fargo shareholders on Tuesday as protesters associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement geared up to crash the gathering. Dozens of officers were stationed around the Merchant’s Exchange Building in the city’s Financial District in advance of the 1 p.m. meeting. Bank stockholders were asked to show certificates or other proof of ownership before being corralled past gates erected in front of the doors. Many of the early arrivals represented community groups from across the country that purchased Wells Fargo stock so they would have a say in the bank’s practices. Shareholder Mark Richmond, a 59-year-old Portland member of the group We Are Oregon, said he hoped he could voice his concerns specifically about predatory lending and home foreclosures. He said he expected some raucousness inside and outside the meeting.
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How The CIA Doped San Franciscans With LSD

expanded-cinema-data-garden-24Did the CIA accidentally turn San Francisco into America’s grooviest city? SF Weekly on newly uncovered details on Operation Midnight Climax, one of the absolute strangest slices of U.S. history:

Wayne Ritchie may be among the last of the living victims of MK-ULTRA, a Central Intelligence Agency operation that covertly tested LSD on unwitting Americans in San Francisco and New York City from 1953 to 1964.

There were at least three CIA safe houses in the Bay Area where experiments went on. Chief among them was 225 Chestnut on Telegraph Hill, which operated from 1955 to 1965. Inside, prostitutes paid by the government to lure clients to the apartment served up acid-laced cocktails to unsuspecting johns, while martini-swilling secret agents observed their every move from behind a two-way mirror. Recording devices were installed, some disguised as electrical outlets.

To get the guys in the mood, the walls were adorned with photographs of tortured women in bondage and provocative posters from French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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SF Transit System Blocks Cell Phone Service To Thwart Protests

0816-bart-protests-Transit-Phone_full_380Mobile technology may be a powerful tool for grassroots organizing, but the flip side of the coin is that authorities can block such technology when they wish to crack down on dissent — case in point, San Francisco’s public transit system. SF Weekly writes:

This might just be a first in the annals of Bay Area transit agencies’ political suppression (such as those annals are). BART has fessed up to jamming cell-phone signals yesterday at downtown stations in San Francisco in order to disrupt protests over the death of Charles Hill, who was shot by BART police on July 3.

Here is what BART had to say in a statement on its tactics that was released today:

Organizers planning to disrupt BART service on August 11, 2011 stated they would use mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police. A civil disturbance during commute times at busy downtown San Francisco stations could lead to platform overcrowding and unsafe conditions for BART customers, employees and demonstrators.

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San Francisco To Outlaw Pet Stores

sonia_real_puppy Kudos to San Francisco for its decision to crack down on an industry based on animal misery. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

San Francisco’s ever-active Animal Control and Welfare Commission has renewed its push for a pet sale ban in the city – only this time, it even covers goldfish. The idea is to put the squeeze on puppy and kitten mills that supply pet stores, and to discourage “impulse buys” of hamsters and other small pets that often wind up being dumped at shelters.

“Most fish in aquariums are either mass bred” under inhumane conditions “or taken from the wild,” commission member Philip Gerrie said. That leads to “devastation of tropical fish from places like Southeast Asia,” he said.

The proposed ban, which the commission just adopted after a year of study, was expanded to cover animal breeders as well as pet stores.
As you might expect, it has local merchants like Ocean Aquarium owner Justin Hau dumbfounded.

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