Pension-Cutting Ballot Initiative Revealed

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Gary Cohn: San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and conservative activists are developing a ballot initiative to empower governments and voters in California to cut state and local public sector workers’ pension guarantees — not just new hires, but those who have been working for years under existing pension agreements.

Another California Knightmare

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Carl Matthes: Steve Knight comes by his prejudice naturally as the youngest son of William “Pete” Knight, the man who, in 2000, successfully brought Proposition 22 to stop same-sex marriage.

Dr. King’s Stance Against the Death Penalty

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David A. Love: Executions in the U.S. are part of a racially-coded system of retribution. Poor people and members of racial minorities are more likely to receive a death sentence, as are those who are charged with murdering a white victim.

The Christian Fascists’ Personhood Campaign

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Ever immune to morality, reason, church-state separation precedents and an understanding of the basic laws of biology, the most flat earth reactionary segment of the pro-death anti-choice movement wants to circumvent constitutional protections for abortion by conferring personhood on fertilized eggs.

Death: And Law & Order

law and order jerry orbach

James Clark: California taxpayers spend $184 million each year to support a dysfunctional death penalty system that operates like an upscale life without parole: more death row inmates die of illness and old age than they do of execution.

Arctic Turkey: My New Year’s Resolution

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Tina Dupuy: 40% of Americans actually make New Year’s resolutions. Sure, I did it once – five years ago this week I reluctantly quit smoking. How did I quit? Arctic turkey. I simply didn’t smoke. People who have never smoked think this is the moment of triumph. I went from heavy smoking to heavy sobbing.

Qualifications of a Black Political Candidate?

Holly Mitchell, Karen Bass

Anthony Samad: The sophistication of the black voter is always called into question lately. The black community gets blamed when somebody’s issue (ballot initiative) doesn’t win or somebody’s candidate takes a fall…it’s the black voter’s fault. Voter turnout wasn’t high enough, or voters didn’t “get in” in time to make a difference. Most of the time, our community does get it.

The Consent of the Governed

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“… to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men [and women], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” — Declaration of Independence “Your people, Mr. Jefferson, are a great beast.” So said Alexander Hamilton, the leader of America’s first conservative party, to the author of the Declaration of Independence and the [...]

Red California Death Watch

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In 2007, right-wing political operatives tried to place a measure on the June 2008 ballot that – if successful – would have awarded California’s electoral votes by Congressional District. Democrats and progressives strongly opposed it, because everyone assumed it would give the G.O.P. presidential nominee an extra 19 votes. California is a deep blue state, [...]

Governor’s Mental Health Proposal Would Cause Irreparable Harm to Clients and Communities

Patricia Ryan

A broad coalition of mental health advocates Tuesday blasted Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to permanently reverse parts of the state’s landmark Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), saying the plan would harm the more than 600,000 individuals who rely on public mental health services, exacerbate the cash crunch counties face during this economic downturn, and seriously set [...]

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