Faith and I wrote this. Be her friend here. Watch our video here:
Musings & Miscellaneous
Thoughts, feelings and extra-body experiences.
Today, my FourStory article is on the interaction between police power and the Occupy Los Angeles protest, as it differs from other protest movements. Here is an excerpt:
This calculated LAPD sobriety stands in direct contrast to the daily struggle of those who are deliberately kept below the poverty line and a system that reinforces that struggle with daily displays of police violence. When financial and political powers have become so corrupt that Americans are forced to protest, the only people likely to be arrested are the protestors. Those who structured society to benefit only themselves will be left alone to carry on as usual.
Interesting? I hope so, and you can read the rest here.
He spends most of my day trapped behind a shield. Wind shields. Light shields. Radiation shields. Vision shields. Social shields.
One day, there will only be experiences. But he doesn’t know when that day will arrive and he can’t plan for it.
So instead he remains separate, and I interpret reality the best he can.
This week’s FourStory article is about helping people who are struggling find a way to pay for the cheapest energy possible, and to show you that not only rich people get to use government subsidies:
Doesn’t it seem annoying that countries like Germany are investing tons of money to transfer their entire energy systems to solar, while people in the United States still bicker over whether or not climate change is human-caused? Even if you’re not interested in the environmental cause, it makes sense to make your own energy rather than pay someone else for it. That’s what America is all about: actual independence.
Would you like to know how? Well, I shall show you if you click over to the article. Thanks!
Here ye, here ye! I (Tony Chavira), Josh Dunlap, and Allison Reimold will be in San Francisco, CA this weekend for APE 2011 (Alternative Press Expo)!! Minefield Wonderland will be dishing out comics, t-shirts, artwork, and other similar but related stuff alongside friends of various shapes, sizes and personalities. We’ll be in Space #438 (clearly, the best one) and our banner looks exactly like this:
My article this week is a bit technical, but will show you what it takes to turn a downtown area into an economic engine for any city (using Los Angeles as an example). Here’s an excerpt:
So STEP #1: Parking shouldn’t be too near L.A. Live. Obviously we still need places to park, but the city of Los Angeles should have made sure the spaces were at least three blocks away. As much as you might hate the idea that it’s not convenient, you would still be forced to pass other local businesses in order to get to your Kings vs. Ducks game, and ultimately the neighborhood would win, regardless of the game’s outcome.
The city could even provide incentives. Businesses could be allowed to move right up by the curb to appeal to shoppers. Or restaurants could spill a few feet into the street to attract passersby. Whatever it takes to attract patrons on their way to see Beyoncé at the Nokia Theater or to Lakers vs. Celtics game at Staples; because with parking not right at L.A. Live, people will walk past businesses and the business will make money.
But there are always more steps… click through and check it out!
This week’s article is about the wildly corrupt city of Vernon, CA… quite possibly the most corrupt city in America. Let me give you a glimpse of just how corrupt it is:
In 2010, the city of Vernon was home to fewer than 100 people and more than 1,800 businesses. Being the commerce-friendly city that it is, agenda topics that favored business (including tax breaks and infrastructural improvements) were maintained for years by a guy named Bruce V. Malkenhorst, who served as (1) the city’s finance director, (2) the city manager, (3) the city clerk, (4) the redevelopment director, (5) the city treasurer and (6) the city’s chief of light and power. These jobs required him, and other city officials, to receive next-to-free housing, to conduct fully-paid-for trade missions all over the world, to receive all meals expensed by the city, and to build future business relationships with the occasional golf trip and vacation here and there. And their friends and family deserved that stuff too. Malkenhorst was paid six full-time salaries at the same time. After about 33 years, he finally called it a career and handed most of his titles down to his son, Bruce V. Malkenhorst Jr. He now receives an annual pension of $509,664.60.
But I’m talking about multiple people and generations of corruption at this level. Read up on it here, if you dare.
The Los Angeles comedian Faith Choyce and I have co-written a series of ten YouTube soliloquies for a first season of her video blog entitled “And One More Thing.” The first one is about eating pets. Give it a watch!
My article this week is about a region of Maryland where the government set a few rules and let private developers go crazy. Most notably, the rules they set affected race and income, which are issue that never seem to go away:
Consider the numbers: there were fewer slaves in 1860 America than black people living in cities with poverty rates above 40 percent in 1990. That kind of census statistic seems almost impossible to believe, unless you’ve seen several generations grow up in one of these poor neighborhoods. Henry Richmond, the founder of 1000 Friends of Oregon, said it best: the fact that poor black neighborhoods still exist means that around 1970 we began another 100 year fight against discrimination. But this fight’s harder to see, since it’s not as explicit as a Jim Crow-style law. Instead, it involves zoning, planning, and housing regulations that have made the suburbs more attractive to developers than the city, thus dropping the price of slum housing to cheap levels. This means that if you moved to the city because it was affordable, your investment never paid off. Your families were working poor fifty years ago and they’re working poor today.
Interested? Read the rest here.
I try to tackle the question of our time, and think I’m on the right path…
But the answer is simple, and starts with a series of studies conducted way back in 1969. Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo chose neighborhoods in the Bronx in New York City and in Palo Alto, California. He placed in each a car with no license plates and with their hoods up, as though they had been abandoned.
Within ten minutes, a young family (mom, dad and a son) showed up in the Bronx and stole the battery and radiator. Within 24 hours, the car was reduced to stripped, dilapidated remains, which became grounds for freeform destruction. The remaining windows were shattered, scrap metal was ripped from all sides, the upholstery was wrecked. Finally, the post-vehicle street sculpture became a filthy playplace for unsupervised neighborhood kids. And surprise! Most of the vandals were white and well-dressed.
But that just scratches the surface. Read on here if you want to see some truth.
My article today is on a slow, but consistently-moving government strategy to maximize our energy systems and people who already oppose the most basic functions of that optimization. Here’s what I mean…
At the consumer level, the federal government requires a certain degree of energy efficiency from your car and household appliances. The very fact that you have to plug your i-devices into an electrical grid is proof that you’re not free from efficiency standards. Otherwise, you’d see a lot more competition: just imagine powering your iPhone with a pocket-sized diesel engine. Or powering your washer and dryer by shoveling coal into a steam engine. Some methods are just more efficient than others. Get over it.
But that’s only the tip of the technological iceberg. Click here to read the whole article, and be amazed at the direction in which we’re moving.
In a piece I’m particularly proud of, this week on FourStory I’m tackling exactly how wage workers are broken down and exploited, and exactly why we need to increase taxes on the wealthy right now. Here’s an excerpt:
Why exactly is it that we’ve seen corporate profits eat away at 88% of the national growth since the recession began while the aggregate wages and salaries of worker bees like you and me have only accounted for a measly 1% of national growth? Is it because corporate bigwigs are actually worth that much more money than us? Is it because we are worth less? Of course, the answer to both of those questions is no. Instead, I will let former Los Angeles crack dealer/drug kingpin/wage-distribution-economist Freeway Rick Ross explain this phenomenon to you…
Care to find out what he says? Click through to my article and read read read!
This was the saddest-to-research article I’ve had to write so far. Let me show you why:
A five city study on violent attacks against women revealed that children were present at three out of four of the households when the police arrived. The majority of the women were low-income and single. How is a child supposed to take in abuse like this without being affected by it? Witnessing violence can be as upsetting as actually being hit. Worse, it teaches children that violence is normal from an early age … an answer to a question, a response to the sense that they are losing control over a situation. Thus begins the spiral of depression, hypertension, anxiety, fear and inhibition, aggressive outbursts and antisocial behavior. Violence becomes accepted and common. It becomes normal.
But it only gets worse. Click here to read, I hope you do.