Google Money

If you google “money,” the search engine called Google, from which that verbification is derived, will tell you that there are 1.12 billion results (as of February 27, 2014). That sounds like a lot of anything, but consider this fact: Google Inc. makes $1.12 billion in profit every 33 days. Last year approximately $60 billion […]

San Francisco’s Displacement Crisis

The tech boom has made San Francisco’s real estate the most expensive in the nation. Tech companies, from startups to Fortune 500 firms, are cleaving more and more income for themselves out of the U.S. economy, mainly through advertising, smartphones, and tax shams. As the preferred domicile of the tech workforce, and now even as […]

Google: One Of Our Biggest Tax Dodgers

Yesterday San Francisco’s politicians announced that Google, Apple, and other Silicon Valley companies will be charged for the use of the city’s bus stops. Until yesterday the private buses, untold numbers of them, enter the city each morning to pick up thousands workers headed for corporate campuses in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to […]

The Big Business Lobby Behind BART Management

In July, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers went on strike for four and a half days resisting the concessions demanded by the District’s management. After a 60-day cooling off period implemented by the Governor, it appears another strike is imminent. If it happens a strike will cripple the movement of hundreds of thousands of […]

The Tech Industry & Social Disruption

Disruption was once a theory of social change that inspired the radical Left. In the 1970s scholars like Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward developed a disruptive theory of social movements based in particular on the history of the Welfare Rights Movement. In the 1960s African Americans and students, just to take two obvious examples, […]

CanPowerSF?

In 2004 San Francisco committed itself to a revolutionary economic and environmental rejuvenation project centered on complete overhaul of the city’s energy system. Or did it? The plan back then called for investing over a billion dollars in energy efficiency upgrades and publicly-owned renewable energy assets at thousands of sites within city limits. Voters authorized […]

Detroit’s Pensions

Having gorged unsustainably on the public sector of Michigan’s largest city for decades, having left empty schools, libraries, and office buildings like gnawed bones scattered about a massacre, having erased whole city services leaving only a skeletal repressive police force, and still seeking guaranteed returns on their bonds, now Detroit’s creditors, and the remaining large […]

Monsanto University

Last month the University of California intervened in a high stakes U.S. Supreme Court case on the side of the agribusiness giant Monsanto Company by filing an amicus brief stating that the university would be materially harmed if Monsanto doesn’t prevail. On the receiving end of UC’s legal argument is Vernon Bowman, a 75-year-old grain […]

Finance Titans Face Huge Penalties

San Francisco is a global center of finance, so it’s no coincidence that a major class action lawsuit filed against some of the world’s biggest private equity groups is targeting firms headquartered in the Bay Area. While the case is a long way from being decided, it has already peeled back the curtains on the […]

Mycophilia

The first storm of Winter has passed. Already the forests of Mendocino are greening up after the dry heat of the late Summer. The rich smell of the woodland floor’s humus is everywhere now. The topsoils of the pine woods, oak hills, and the coastal mountains curtained with redwoods and firs are sponging up the […]

Vegetable Porn & Radical Politics

The second annual National Heirloom Exhibition last week in Santa Rosa was much expanded from the inaugural event the prior year. In 2011 organizers managed to fill out the Sonoma County Fairground’s cavernous Grace Pavilion with hundreds of vendors selling everything from worm castings to garden tools, and also to stock an adjacent Hall of […]