This is a personal blog. I talk sense and nonsense.
Install Theme

California Takes a Stand Against Gay and Trans Panic Defenses in Criminal Cases →


Yay :)

(Source: projectqueer)

Here’s some fantastic news for your Friday: On Thursday, the California Senate unanimously approved a new bill that defines sexual consent as a firm “yes” rather than a lack of “no.”


This is a big win for anti-rape activists, many of whom have been touting the necessity of an “affirmative consent” standard for years. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has the next month to sign the bill into law. If he does, schools across the state would be required to define consent before engaging in sexual activity as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” or risk losing state financial aid funding.

(via wretchedoftheearth)

A loss in the Supreme Court could set the gay rights movement back for decades.

— David Cole, writing in February, about the prospects for the Court’s review of California’s Proposition 8. (via nybooks)

(via nybooks)


November 20, 1969: The Occupation of Alcatraz begins.

On this day in 1969, seventy-nine Native Americans, mostly student protesters, set out in a boat to occupy the San Francisco Bay’s famous island prison at Alcatraz (“the Rock”). In this highly-publicized event, occupiers protested the American government’s policy in dealing with Native Americans, particularly its numerous broken treaties with Native American tribes and its policy of Indian termination. The protest was somewhat effective in achieving recognition for the latter issue; in 1970, President Nixon delivered to Congress a message in which he criticized termination and instead recommended self-determination, and throughout the 70s, the federal government passed legislation that attempted to promote the sovereignty of Native American tribes. During this period, President Nixon also more than doubled the budget of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

The principal organizer of the occupation was Adam Fortunate Eagle, a half-Chippewa activist; the spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes organization was part-Sioux, part-Mexican activist John Trudell; another leader was Richard Oakes, a Mohawk Indian who lived with his family on Alcatraz until 1970 and sent this message to the San Francisco Department of the Interior:

We invite the United States to acknowledge the justice of our claim. The choice now lies with the leaders of the American government - to use violence upon us as before to remove us from our Great Spirit’s land, or to institute a real change in its dealing with the American Indian…

We and all other oppressed peoples would welcome spectacle of proof before the world of your title by genocide. Nevertheless, we seek peace.

When the Ohlone and other indigenous peoples inhabited the San Francisco Bay Area, Alcatraz was regarded with suspicion, and it was even used as a place of exile and ostracism. It was abandoned as a federal penitentiary in 1963, and it was subsequently claimed by the 1969 protesters by “right of discovery”, the doctrine used to justify the acquisition of native-held lands by colonial powers (especially in the 19th century). The occupation lasted until 1971, and, for nineteen months, students, married couples, and even children lived on the island, garnering support from even celebrities like Jane Fonda and Marlon Brando. The last protesters left in June of 1971, after electrical power and telephone lines were cut off by the government. The occupation’s stated goal of creating a spiritual and cultural center on the island was never fulfilled, and most of the activists’ demands were never met, but it was influential overall, especially given its direct effect on federal policy toward Native Americans. 

photograph collection

(via mardesalinidad-deactivated20130)

“Let Every Pansy Bloom” banner at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day pride parade, 1978.
“Let Every Pansy Bloom” banner at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day pride parade, 1978.

(Source: horriblebutt, via aclockworkorange)

Victory for abused Filipino caregiver



By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Nov. 9, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nelly Gonzales, 58, still gets emotional when she talks about her ordeal as a caregiver in the U.S.

For 15 years, Gonzales was abused by her Filipino employer, paying her as low as $150 a month, to care for six developmentally-delayed adults 24/7.

She said, “All I wanted was respect. No matter your stature in life, you deserve some respect.”

It took her 15 long, agonizing years but Gonzales finally found the courage to fight back, after she saw Filipino caregiver Victoria Aquino on Balitang America talk about filing a case against her abusive employer.

She pointed out, “If she could do it, I thought, I could do it too. I could fight for my rights.”

Through the help of the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants or PAWIS, Gonzales filed a claim for back wages against her employer in 2010.

Click here to read full article 

If you are an abused caregiver and want to know how you can fight for your rights, call PAWIS at (408) 657-8947.

Domestic workers in Southern California can also reach the Filipino Migrant Center at (310) 421-8362 or Click here for the FMC website

(via hollowpikeman-deactivated201311)



Some ancestry

holy fuck. these are so fucking stunning!

1. La Compañía de Danza Folklórica Tenochtitlán

2. Playas Nation

3. Tezkatlipoka Danza Azteca, a dance group from San Jose, California., performing a traditional fire dance in the Davis Concert Hall during University of Alaska Fairbank’s Festival of Native Arts. Photo by Todd Harris.

4. Can’t find a source, sorry.

(via karnythia)

In 2004, a year in which Wal-Mart reported $9.1 billion in profits, the retailer’s California employees collected $86 million in public assistance, according to researchers at the University of California-Berkeley. Other studies have revealed widespread use of publicly funded health care by Wal-Mart employees in numerous states. In 2004, Democratic staffers of the House education and workforce committee calculated that each 200-employee Wal-Mart store costs taxpayers an average of more than $400,000 a year, based on entitlements ranging from energy-assistance grants to Medicaid to food stamps to WIC—the federal program that provides food to low-income women with children.


Glass Beach

During the early 20th century residents of Fort Bragg, California chose to dispose of their waste by hurling it off the cliffs above a beach. No object was too toxic or too large as household appliances, automobiles, and all matter of trash were tossed into the crashing waves below, eventually earning it the name The Dumps. In 1967 the North Coast Water Quality Board closed the area completely and initiated a series of cleanups to slowly reverse decades of pollution and environmental damage. But there was one thing too costly (or perhaps impossible) to tackle: the millions of tiny glass shards churning in the surf. Over time the unrelenting ocean waves have, in a sense, cleansed the beach, turning the sand into a sparkling, multicolored bed of smooth glass stones now known as Glass Beach. The beach is now an unofficial tourist attraction and the California State Park System has gone so far as purchasing the property and incorporating it into surrounding MacKerricher State Park. (images courtesy digggsmatthew highmeganprulee rentz)


The industrialized North hopes to offset carbon emissions by paying the global South to preserve forests (which store carbon). […] The program has grown popular among international agencies and governments interested in funding rural development […but] to indigenous peasants in the Lacandon jungle, the pending agreement has all the hallmarks of a land grab.

The Future of the White Man's Party →

An interesting article that examines national demographic and political trends by focusing on California. Some highlights:

1. Making it easier for people to register to vote seems to shrink the Republican pool of voters:

…[T]his year the Democratic legislature and Governor Brown enacted online voter registration…1.4 million Californians, disproportionately young and Latino, registered to vote, more than half of them online. By the time registration was completed…the Republicans’ share of the state’s voters, which had been declining steadily for years, fell beneath 30 percent for the first time since the state started measuring.

2. People in power (who are mostly whites) rig things so they stay in power. Taking redistricting out of the hands of the legislature helps ensure that the conservative white vote isn’t being given disproportionate weight:

The new districts in which congressional representatives and legislators competed this week weren’t designed to ensure their survival. And with the Latino and Asian share of the electorate continuing to rise, they all but guaranteed that the Democrats would enlarge their delegations at Republicans’ expense.

3. Xenophobia/racism during the mid-1990s (e.g. Prop. 187) won the Republicans some elections, but it laid the building blocks for future defeat by not only causing Latin@s to abandon the GOP, but politically mobilizing them:

One week before the 1994 election, the spontaneous anti-187 demonstrations of Latino youngsters came together in a massive planned march in downtown Los Angeles, which a number of not-quite-so-young Latino labor leaders coordinated. Two of those leaders, Miguel Contreras, then the political director…of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor…and Eliseo Medina, then a local official of the Service Employees International Union…saw the potential to build an alliance between the newly Latino-ized Southern California labor movement and the politically aroused Latino immigrant community….By 1998, they had flipped the long-Republican congressional and legislative districts…into the Democratic column. The efforts of both the AFL-CIO and SEIU have continued…turning a once-purple state steadily bluer.

4. The steady movement of the Asian vote toward the Democratic Party suggests that the GOP’s failure to capture the Latin@ vote runs much deeper than their shitty stance on undocumented immigrants:

Obama won 73 percent of the Asian vote nationally…It…demonstrates that the Republicans’ problem runs deeper than mere opposition to immigration, since the number of undocumented Asian immigrants is small. It suggests that for Asians, no less than for Latinos and blacks, the Republicans are viewed as a white man’s party. It also suggests that Republican opposition to education spending, increasing Pell grants and the like, may not be the best way to win a growing voting bloc that places such a high premium on education.

I agree with this. I don’t think Latin@s are automatically going to flock to the GOP if the party suddenly reverses its stance on undocumented immigration. They can’t win back voters they so recently demonized and bullied. I also don’t think the conservative stance on welfare programs, taxes, and education are all that appealing to Latin@s or Asians. Being anti-government no matter what seems to be (mostly) a white thing.

California: Rejection of Proposition 34 Bucks National Trend


(Los Angeles) – California voters’ failure to abolish the death penalty perpetuates a barbaric practice and places the state out of step with national trends. Had it passed on November 6, 2012, Proposition 34, the SAFE (Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for) California Act, would have closed down the nation’s largest death row.

“California was poised to become the sixth state in five years to abolish the death penalty; instead, today’s vote has left a costly and cruel system in place,” said Alba Morales, United States criminal justice researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is now time for others, including the governor and legislature, to put an end to capital punishment in the state.”

The 724 people on California’s death row are more than 20 percent of the death row inmates in the United States. Under the SAFE Act, their death sentences would have been vacated and they would have been resentenced to life without parole. The proposition failed by approximately 5 percentage points.

Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all cases. Government-sponsored execution is inherently cruel, and its application has been plagued with prejudice and error. In the US, 141 people have been released from death row after presenting evidence of their innocence, three of them in California. African Americans are more likely to be sentenced to death than whites, and defendants are much more likely to be sentenced to death when the victim is white.

Many of the arguments surrounding the SAFE Act revolved around the costs of the death penalty – California has executed 13 people since 1992 at a cost of approximately $4 billion. The act would have set aside $30 million of the money saved by doing away with the need for costly death penalty appeals and death row housing and devoted those funds to investigating serious unsolved crimes. Almost half of California’s homicides go unsolved, as do a majority of the rapes reported in the state.

The death penalty globally, how the United States stacks up » 





this is how the election’s gonna go down



Don’t worry - we a comin’!





this is how the election’s gonna go down



Don’t worry - we a comin’!