Oakland

The Rise of Femicide
December 29, 2010

During the last decade, Guatemala has experienced an epidemic of woman-killing. The bodies are everywhere: turning up in ditches on the side of the road, on the curbs of city streets, and in wooded ravines, often with signs of mutilation and rape.

Brown Knows
October 18, 2010

It was mid-September, and I was driving around downtown Oakland, trying to find the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown. Some weeks earlier, I had decided to cover the close-fought California governor’s race, and, after contacting both campaigns, I promptly began getting several e-mails a day from the efficient operation of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. But Brown’s outfit was a different story. His press guy, Sterling Clifford, promised to put me on a list, but I never received anything. I called and e-mailed Clifford several times, but he didn’t respond.

Are Cops and Firefighters Paid Too Much?
August 27, 2010

How much would somebody have to pay you to run into a chemical inferno? To stand down a gun-wielding criminal? To infiltrate a drug gang? If I was going to write an article about the compensation for firefighters and police officers, I might ask those questions and dwell on them for a while.

Mugged By Reality
July 13, 2010

Jack Dunphy, a pseudonymous police officer who writes for National Review, complains: Facing a budget shortfall, the city of Oakland is about to lay off 80 police officers.  This is hardly a wallop they can shrug off in a city where the murder rate is more than three times the national average.  So, in the event that last-minute negotiations fail to avert these layoffs, citizens in Oakland are being informed that if they should suffer any of the misfortunes on a list of 44 situations that once brought a police response, no officer will come to their door to take a report, much less tr

Governor Moonbeam vs. eMeg
April 02, 2010

It's obvious that the Golden State isn’t golden anymore. As a new transplant here, the first state political event I watched up close was a May 2009 special election, featuring six ballot initiatives designed to avert a titanic budget crisis. California’s voters responded with what can best be described as snarling apathy. Turnout was 20 percent, which beat the previous California record for low turnout in a statewide election. The five initiatives that dealt with spending and revenue—which needed to pass in order to implement a major fiscal comprom ise—all went down, hard.

Governor Moonbeam vs. eMeg
March 27, 2010

It's obvious that the Golden State isn’t golden anymore. As a new transplant here, the first state political event I watched up close was a May 2009 special election, featuring six ballot initiatives designed to avert a titanic budget crisis. California’s voters responded with what can best be described as snarling apathy. Turnout was 20 percent, which beat the previous California record for low turnout in a statewide election. The five initiatives that dealt with spending and revenue—which needed to pass in order to implement a major fiscal comprom ise—all went down, hard.

Reid's Three Little Words: The Log In Our Own Eye
January 09, 2010

To rake Harry Reid over the coals about his “no Negro dialect” comment will bring to mind the Biblical passage about trying to take a speck out of someone’s eye when you’ve got a log in your own. Pretty much all of America black and white feels exactly the way Harry Reid does about the way black people talk – and aren’t even worried about saying it out loud. First of all, we need not pretend that by “Negro dialect” Reid meant the cartoon minstrel talk of Amos n Andy.

What *Can't* You Do With Leftover Food?
November 17, 2009

A new recycling idea is slowly catching on in restaurants and cities around the United States—the "zero waste" movement. The concept's simple enough: Produce less, avoid plastics and packaging that aren't biodegradable, recycle and compost what you can. With food waste making up some 13 percent of the junk that gets tossed in landfills, composting especially is becoming popular: Seattle has been offering residents separate that can be picked up for compost, and San Francisco has just made sorting mandatory.

Against 'Moneyball'
October 17, 2009

Whatever happens in the National League and American League Championship series unfolding over the next week or so, one outcome has already been decided--the effective end of the theories of Moneyball as a viable way to build a playoff-caliber baseball team when you don't have the money. That no doubt sounds like heresy to the millions who embraced Michael Lewis's 2003 book, but all you need to do is keep in mind one number this postseason: 528,620,438.

Locked Up for Life
August 20, 2009

In his column today, Nicholas Kristof argues that the United States wastes massive amounts of money on its prison system. Why? Because we unnecessarily imprison some nonviolent offenders, namely drug users and dealers. The result, Kristof says, is that the government is investing vast sums in keeping people who aren't necessarily dangerous under lock and key--while our education and health care systems suffer from underfunding. "California spends $216,000 annually on each inmate in the juvenile justice system," he writes.

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