Archive for california

Posted in food justice, social movements, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 25, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

Food Justice & Anti-Racism (FJAR)

GMO vs Organic prop 37

things worth noting/ zooming in about are the “natural products” lines on the left which were systematically bought out by corporations (such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, General Mills, and Kellogg) as part of their strategic green-washing campaigns.  Those supporting the organic food industry on the right of the poster include Organic Valley, Dr.Bronners, and Eden Foods.

 

For those of you voting in California, Prop 37 would require GMO labeling and increase transparency about the processes under which food is grown. Vote YES on Prop 37, November 6th.

This little news clip has more info:

 

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California Represent! Geo-cinematic representations in Hollywood circa 1927

Posted in anthropology, film, maps, maps & mapping with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy

This 1927 map by Paramount Pictures was apparently used for financial backers; it indicates shooting locations in California that could stand in for more exotic locales.

First of all, what the hell were they making movies about in 1927 that all you really need is Spain, New England, some rocky West and “Africa”?
😛

anyways, I thought it was an incredibly interesting artifact of americana, industry, and representation.

The source is The American Film Industry by Tino Balio. According to the book, the variety of available geography in southern California is “one of the reasons” Hollywood became the center of the film industry.

I can think of a few others…

Up up and Away,
Sunshine Superboy

Dungeons and Prisons (and crazy Governors gone bananas)

Posted in art & music, humor, politics, racism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy

boy oh boy. you go on one short break and all hell, damnation, and twelve-sided die break loose…

given how prisons, borders, geeks and geography have been frequent themes on the blog, I had to make sure y’all caught wind of (at least) the following two stories.

this gem, from Le New York Times:

Prisons can restrict the rights of inmates to nerd out, a federal appeals court has found.

In an opinion issued on Monday , a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the claims in a lawsuit challenging a ban on the game Dungeons & Dragons by the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.

The suit was brought by a prisoner, Kevin T. Singer, who argued that his First Amendment and 14th Amendment rights were violated by the prison’s decision to ban the game and confiscate his books and other materials, including a 96-page handwritten manuscript he had created for the game.

Mr. Singer, “a D&D enthusiast since childhood,” according to the court’s opinion, was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for bludgeoning and stabbing his sister’s boyfriend to death.

Prison officials said they had banned the game at the recommendation of the prison’s specialist on gangs, who said it could lead to gang behavior and fantasies about escape.

Dungeons & Dragons could “foster an inmate’s obsession with escaping from the real-life correctional environment, fostering hostility, violence and escape behavior,” prison officials said in court. That could make it more difficult to rehabilitate prisoners and could endanger public safety, they said.

The court, which is based in Chicago, acknowledged that there was no evidence of marauding gangs spurred to their acts of destruction by swinging imaginary mauls, but it ruled nonetheless that the prison’s decision was “rationally related” to legitimate goals of prison administration.

Well, and then since we’re all just losing our damn minds, Governor Schwarzenegger figured he’d get in on the crazy

Speaking before the Sacramento Press Club on Monday, the governor suggested that the state’s economic emergency might be offset by shipping prisoners off to Mexico.

Schwarzenegger, who recently announced his intention to privatize California’s dangerously bloated prison system, evidently sees shipping prisoners south of the border as a win-win when it comes to his immigration headaches. Citing the sizable population of undocumented immigrants behind bars in California, the governor briefly described his idea:

“We pay them to build the prisons down in Mexico and then we have those undocumented immigrants be down there in a prison. … And all this, it would be half the cost to build the prisons and half the cost to run the prisons,” Schwarzenegger said, predicting it would save the state $1 billion that could be spent on higher education.

The remarks were met with confusion by state officials, not only because they were, well, confusing, but because it seemed to be the first time anyone had heard about the idea. Apparently, his own spokesman did not know where exactly Schwarzenegger came up with it

Come up with whatever wack-ass schemes need be, but it should be known that, right there with the ex-felons, the geeks shall inherit the earth.

Up Up and Away,
Sunshine Superboy

oh, and PS, any band that says “rise through the pain let the sun rise again” and “for today! the everlasting eternal sun!” and has nothing to do with jesus christ, totally rules. share a posi moment with me please:

(that high note in the last 5 seconds in like the most ridiculous and triumphant moment since destroying the One ring at Mount Doom!)

Bier Here!

Posted in maps & mapping with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

So, I’m in the midwest for a board meeting this weekend. Not so much internet, but beaucoup beer! (sorry no post in a few days)

gabf_medal_map

Top 10 medal-winning states are:
1. California – 474
2. Colorado – 322
3. Wisconsin – 232
4. Oregon – 170
5. Pennsylvania – 162
6. Texas – 133
7. Washington – 114
8. New York – 98
9. Missouri -90
10. Massachusetts – 76

Of course, this does not take into account the population size of the states listed here. The top 10, reshuffled to reflect the number of medals per million of inhabitants, looks quite different, reflecting a dominance by states with a strong micro-brewing tradition:

1. Colorado – 64.4
2. Oregon – 42.5
3. Wisconsin – 38.6
4. Washington – 16.2
5. Missouri – 15
6. Pennsylvania – 13.5
7. Massachusetts – 12.6
8. California – 12.8
9. Texas – 5.6
10. New York – 5.1

What else is there to say but PENNSYVANIA PRIDE!
Wooot!

The World is for alla yous,
Fiestaban Sunshine Superboy

“I choo choo choose you!”

Posted in maps & mapping, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

choo

Why so glum? Am I like the only person who was not expecting a glorious new age of social and economic justice to roll in with the crowning inauguration of President Obama? I mean, with the way everyone from classmates of mine to neighbors on the trolley/subway, all the way up to God’s own precious gift to American Activist-Intelligensia (oops, we don’t have one, so we borrowed from Canada) known as Naomi Klein (dot com or some shit), everyone’s got like irritable bowel syndrome over how underwhelming/ corporate/ betraying/ neoliberal Captain Obama has turned out to be. The love fest is over I suppose. I guess, short of a few WTFuck cabinet appointments, I haven’t really felt surprised by the guy. He was, after all, the outcome of a punch-hole questionnaire that looked more or less like this:

electiontrains

Which is why this also doesn’t surprise me. Its no cause for celebration, but maybe its a glimmer of hope. Ugh, nah, that concept went bankrupt along with the AIG bailout… Anyway, I’ll paste it in along with… a map!

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday outlined plans for a high-speed rail network he said would change the way Americans travel, drawing comparisons to the 1950s creation of the interstate highway system.

Obama was careful to point out that his plan was only a down payment on an ambitious plan that, if realized, could connect Chicago and St. Louis, Orlando and Miami, Portland and Seattle and dozens of other metropolitan areas around the country with high-speed trains.

There’s no guarantee that the nation has the political will _ Congress has often tried to reduce support for Amtrak _ or the hundreds of billions of dollars and decades it would take to build a comprehensive fast rail system.

“This is not some fanciful, pie-in-the-sky vision of the future,” Obama said during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is adjacent to the White House. “It is happening right now. It’s been happening for decades. The problem is it’s been happening elsewhere, not here.”

The United States trails other developed countries in developing high-speed rail. [duh.] The Spanish can travel the 386 miles from Madrid to Barcelona at speeds averaging almost 150 miles per hour. Japan’s Shinkansen links its major cities at speeds averaging 180 mph and France’s TGV train averages about 133 mph in carrying passengers from Paris to Lyon.

The only U.S. rail service that meets the Federal Railroad Administration’s 110 mph threshold to qualify as high-speed rail is Amtrak’s 9-year-old Acela Express route connecting Boston to Washington, D.C.

original-2

Initially, regional transportation offices will compete for the $8 billion included in the $787 billion economic stimulus spending package for high-speed rail, bolstered by $1 billion a year for five years requested in the federal budget.

The $8 billion is part of $64 billion in the stimulus package for roads, bridges, rail and transit, what Obama called “the most sweeping investment in our infrastructure since President Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s.”

Obama said the first round of money would go to upgrading and increasing speeds on existing lines where people could quickly be put to work. The second and third phases would focus on high-speed rail planning and money to jump-start corridors not yet ready for construction. The Transportation Department is to announce first-round grants before the end of the summer.

Obama said a mature high-speed rail system would reduce demand for foreign oil and eliminate more than 6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year _ equivalent to removing 1 million cars from the roads.

Any region could present a long-range plan, he said, although the stimulus money can go only to the 10 major corridors designated by the Federal Railroad Administration and covering lines in Texas, California, Florida, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, the Gulf Coast, the Southeast, northern New England, Pennsylvania and New York.

acelaexpress

The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, joining Chicago and 11 other metropolitan areas within 400 miles, is a front-runner. The governors of eight Midwest states wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood this week appealing for money for the region, one of the hardest hit by the recession.

Howard Learner, president of the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center, a group promoting the rail network, said that with about $2 billion of the stimulus money they could complete or upgrade lines linking Chicago with St. Louis, Detroit and Milwaukee-Madison.

“It’s a way of solving our global warming problems that also creates jobs and provides a boost to the economy,” he said.

But the competition will be fierce. [hey-y!]

“We are very jazzed about it,” said Karen Parsons, executive director of the Southern High-Speed Rail Commission. She said preliminary numbers showed that they could increase capacity and speed on the existing New Orleans-Baton Rouge line for about $150 million to $200 million, and for $500 million they could expand service from New Orleans to Mobile, Ala.

Mehdi Morshed, executive director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said his state has a plan to build 800 miles of track for trains running 220 mph, at a cost of about $45 billion. He said the state may ask for about $4 billion from the federal government to work on lines between San Francisco and San Jose and Los Angeles and Anaheim.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement that his state leads others because they’re as self-centered and elitist as he is voters last November approved nearly $10 billion in state bonds for high-speed rail. “With a boost from our federal partners, nearly 40 million Californians and millions of travelers from around the world will be able to experience the reality of America’s first high-speed rail system.”

the Acela Train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia

the Acela Train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia

Chris Lippincott, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, said his office was excited about advancing plans to build high-speed lines from San Antonio to Dallas and then up to Little Rock and Tulsa. But he added that the “nation’s rail needs will exceed a single injection of money,” citing estimates that just staying even with current level of congestion in his state will cost $313 billion over the next 20 years.

Some say the investment is too small, Obama acknowledged. “But this is just a first step. We know this is going to be a long-term project,” he said.

I love that we live in a world where enough of you will get the reference for the title of this post. Rather than cross my arms in unsympathetic pity for the rest of you, I’ll let you in on the joke. Just click the magic embedded tube below my signout- and don’t say I never did anything nice for ya. Besides, I almost titled the post “Training for Change” which would have been a pun to top them all, but only like 87 people in a particular zip code or two of West Philadelphia (and a few scattered radical quakers in other parts of the continent) would have gotten that reference.

Godhighspeedyoublackpresident!

Sunshine Superboy

Love & Marriage Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Spaghetti

Posted in maps & mapping, politics with tags , , , , , on February 14, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Happy Valumtimes Dayz!!!

I’m gonna go have a ridiculous date with my special-special and a bunch of friends who are even more ridiculous than we are (I mean, limo car-share, fancy dinner, and gay bingo?! None of them are even gay!), but all this love stuff reminded me of a thing I’d like to keep circulating fresh in people’s minds.

Ol’ St.Valentine was infamous for defying the church and marrying all sorts of people who weren’t “allowed” to be married. Well and good, I suppose, but remember this awesome perspective brilliantly articulated by Dean Spade and Craig Willse back in the post Nov 8th blues of prop 8’s outcome in California?

I Still Think Marriage is the Wrong Goal

Dean Spade and Craig Willse

A lot of stories are circulating right now claiming that Black and Latino voters are to blame for Prop 8 passing. Beneath this claim is an uninterrogated idea that people of color are “more homophobic” than white people. Such an idea equates gayness with whiteness and erases the lives of LGBT people of color. It also erases and marginalizes the enduring radical work of LGBT people of color organizing that has prioritized the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Current conversations about Prop 8 hide how the same-sex marriage battle has been part of a conservative gay politics that de-prioritizes people of color, poor people, trans people, women, immigrants, prisoners and people with disabilities. Why isn’t Prop 8’s passage framed as evidence of the mainstream gay agenda’s failure to ally with people of color on issues that are central to racial and economic justice in the US?

Let’s remember the politics of marriage itself. The simplistic formula that claims “you’re either pro-marriage or against equality” makes us forget that all forms of marriage perpetuate gender, racial and economic inequality. It mistakenly assumes that support for marriage is the only good measure of support for LGBT communities. This political moment calls for anti-homophobic politics that centralize anti-racism and anti-poverty. Marriage is a coercive state structure that perpetuates racism and sexism through forced gender and family norms. Right wing pro-marriage rhetoric has targeted families of color and poor families, supported a violent welfare and child protection system, vilified single parents and women, and marginalized queer families of all kinds. Expanding marriage to include a narrow band of same-sex couples only strengthens that system of marginalization and supports the idea that the state should pick which types of families to reward and recognize and which to punish and endanger.

We still demand a queer political agenda that centralizes the experiences of prisoners, poor people, immigrants, trans people, and people with disabilities. We reject a gay agenda that pours millions of dollars into campaigns for access to oppressive institutions for a few that stand to benefit.

We are being told marriage is the way to solve gay people’s problems with health care access, immigration, child custody, and symbolic equality. It does not solve these problems, and there are real campaigns and struggles that would and could approach these problems for everyone, not just for a privileged few. Let’s take the energy and money being put into gay marriage and put it toward real change: opposing the War on Terror and all forms of endless war; supporting queer prisoners and building a movement to end imprisonment; organizing against police profiling and brutality in our communities; fighting attacks on welfare, public housing and Medicaid; fighting for universal health care that is trans and reproductive healthcare inclusive; fighting to tax wealth not workers; fighting for a world in which no one is illegal.

The World, and all the love therein, is Yours. Truly,
Sunshine Superboy

ps- oh yeah. maps! check this out:
http://maps.webfoot.com/RaceOverlays.php

oh and take this, Michigan!
handy-map-with-oakland