In LA, the teachers of America's largest school district are on strike

LA teachers are on strike today, fighting against privatization, standardized tests, giant classes, and clawbacks of in-class teachers' aides. Read the rest

Calexit: a fractured California, where militias and the DHS battle the resistance in Trump's future America

The first time I encountered Matteo Pizzolo, Amancay Nahuelpan and Tyler Boss's comic Calexit, I was skeptical: California separating from the USA is an incredibly stupid idea, predicated on innumerable misconceptions (including the idea that the state that gave us Nixon, Reagan, and Schwarzenegger is uniformly progressive, and also the idea that "the world's sixth largest economy" wouldn't radically contract the instant it lost access to the rest of the country, including the Atlantic Ocean). But when I found the first Calexit collection on the recommended table at the 100% reliable LA comic shop Secret Headquarters, I decided to give it a chance. Read the rest

Citing Brett Kavanaugh appointment, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quit the GOP

In California, the GOP scores below "no party preference" in voter registration, but much of the state's elites -- business leaders, prosecutors, judges -- have remained Republican, even as the party has moved away from overt support of unlimited capitalism supported by quiet racism and misogyny to overt racism and misogyny as a smokescreen for quiet support of unlimited capitalism. Read the rest

White supremacy, minus gerrymandering: California GOP reduced to "third party status"

The only way for the party of old white dudes, rape, forced pregnancies, Islamophobia, homophobia, selfishness, pollution, climate denial, unchecked police violence and murder, xenophobia and hatred of Latinx people can get and keep power is by cheating: voter suppression, gerrymandering, etc. Read the rest

America's super-concentrated telcoms industry unites to sue California over Net Neutrality law

Competition scholar Tim Wu has described how industries over time become more concentrated and less competitive, as executives move sideways from one giant company to another, creating a web of backchannels that lets the companies unite to pursue their industry-wide goals rather than competing with each other to deliver better service at better prices to their customers. Read the rest

California bans all-male corporate boards

As of 2019, publicly traded California corporations will have to have at least one woman board-member or face fines; the minimum number of woman board members climbs to two in 2020 (three for companies with boards of six or more people). Read the rest

California's Net Neutrality bill is now law

Ajit Pai called it "illegal." EFF called it "the strongest Net Neutrality measure in the country." The telecoms companies got their employees to demand that California Governor Jerry Brown veto it. Jerry Brown just signed it. Read the rest

Ajit Pai: California net neutrality law is "illegal"

California's best-in-America Net Neutrality law goes a long way to restoring the protections that Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai destroyed when he unilaterally and illegally repealed the FCC's national Net Neutrality rules. Read the rest

Thanks to a Chinese and Korean fad, California's wild succulents are being poached and smuggled to Asia

Succulents are key to stabilizing the fragile coastal ecosystems of California; they're also extremely popular in China and South Korea, thanks to a fad that's sweeping Asia. Read the rest

Good news: California ends cash bail! Bad news: It's been replaced with a black-box algorithm.

Cash bail has turned American jails into debtors' prisons, where the wealthy can go about their business while awaiting trial, and the poor can languish for months or even years in jail because they can't make bail (in practice, they generally plead guilty, regardless of their innocence). Read the rest

A public bank for LA: instead of sending hundreds of millions to predatory finance, Angelenos' taxes can fund community development

The City of Los Angeles sends the nation-wrecking finance industry more than $100MM/year in the form of fees and penalties for its banking business, supporting the institutions whose racist lending practices, financial engineering and mortgage fraud have wreaked untold harm on the city's residents. Read the rest

California Senate votes to reinstate Net Neutrality, now it goes to the State Assembly

Yesterday, the California Senate passed S.B. 822, voting 23-12 on party lines; the bill restores strong Net Neutrality protections to the state by banning ISPs from providing services to government entities if they engage in throttling, paid prioritization, zero-rating or other discriminatory practices. Read the rest

California joins Montana and New York in creating state Net Neutrality rules

The FCC's order killing Net Neutrality in December 2016 also includes a prohibition on states making their own telcoms rules that restore it (this is a mixed bag -- if states' rights don't permit them to overrule the FCC, then a future FCC that reinstates a Net Neutrality order could stop states whose governments are captured by telcoms lobbyists from subverting it), and states have fought back though a loophole: the governors of Montana and New York have issued executive orders banning non-Neutral ISPs from doing business with the government; but in California, the State Senate just went further. Read the rest

The GOP tax plan was supposed to gouge high tax blue states with massive hikes, but it'll probably end up making them richer

The Republican tax plan -- more than a 1,000 pages covered in last-minute scribbled annotations and pastebombs, passed without any substantial debate or analysis -- is a fucking mess. Read the rest

San Francisco may finally get decent internet access, thanks to municipal fiber

American cities have some of the slowest, most expensive internet access in the world, and the biggest, wealthiest cities are some of the worst-provisioned, including San Francisco, ground zero for the tech revolution and home to a cable/telco duopoly whose underperforming infrastructure is especially galling for the city's techie residents. Read the rest

Companies that help build Trump's wall could lose pension fund investments and California state contracts

It's not just Mexican cement giant Cemex that's refusing to bid on the Great Wall of Trump; many of the firms in the super-concentrated large-scale construction sector are signalling their unwillingness to participate in the wall's construction. Read the rest

Retired California State Senator is using AI to transcribe local government hearings for search and alerts

Sam Blakeslee, a retired Republican California state senator, worked with Cal Poly students to create Digital Democracy, a service that aggregates videos of the interminable, innumerable -- and vital -- local government hearings and meetings and then use machine-learning systems to generate automated transcripts so that activists, journalists and citizens could search and analyze them. Read the rest

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