FEMA Rejects Applications for Aid by Wine Country Wildfire Victims

By Emily Turner : cbslocal – excerpt

SANTA ROSA (KPIX) — Many of the Wine Country wildfire survivors made it through that tragedy to now find themselves as victims for a second time. They say now their problem is the government agency meant to help them.

In Sonoma County alone, thousands of houses were destroyed and even more lives turned upside-down in the disaster.Legal Aid of Sonoma County accuses FEMA of rejection for aid without a clear reason, repeatedly losing client’s documents, and a lack of clarity when it comes to their policy.

Legal Aid of Sonoma County accuses FEMA of rejection for aid without a clear reason, repeatedly losing client’s documents, and a lack of clarity when it comes to their policy…(more)

Santa Rosa fire survivors are denied insurance and FEMA aide.


Former Google and Facebook executives are sounding the alarm about the pervasive power of tech. Will we listen?

By John Harris : theguardian – excerpt

Former Google and Facebook executives are sounding the alarm about the pervasive power of tech. Will we listen?

One source of angst came close to being 2017’s signature subject: how the internet and the tiny handful of companies that dominate it are affecting both individual minds and the present and future of the planet. The old idea of the online world as a burgeoning utopia looks to have peaked around the time of the Arab spring, and is in retreat.

If you want a sense of how much has changed, picture the president of the US tweeting his latest provocation in the small hours, and consider an array of words and phrases now freighted with meaning: Russia, bots, troll farms, online abuse, fake news, dark money.

Another sign of how much things have shifted is a volte-face by Silicon Valley’s most powerful man. Barely more than a year ago the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, seemed still to be rejoicing in his company’s imperial phase, blithely dismissing the idea that fabricated news carried by his platform had affected the outcome of the 2016 US election as a “pretty crazy idea”. Now scarcely a week goes by without some Facebook pronouncement or other, either updating the wider world about its latest quest to put its operations beyond criticism or assuring us that its belief in an eternally upbeat, fuzzily liberal ethos is as fervent as ever…(more)

Now that the traditional media has been replaced by online content, online entrepreneurs are the news gatekeepers, and they could be more dangerous than the traditional media lords were as they have a broader reach. All media follows the same stories. There is very little difference between the channels

Younger minds more impressionable minds are being targeted in the race to spread influence, as very young children are given smart phones and are encouraged to “start learning” by playing games. How young is too young for impressionable minds? Are humans at risk for developing strange maladies from over-dosing on wireless technology?

As we write the new history of our creative society will our voices be heard or are we pushing our thoughts into a mirror in order to content ourselves that we tried to warn the world? Can our creative efforts make a difference?

Recent developments and stories like this on “mainstream” media sources like the guardian give us hope, as do stories by youthful journalists as they uncover the truth about how governments manipulate them. Here is the latest from the SF Bay View News. You may recognize a similar plan in your city that needs to be exposed. Transportation gentrification:  How Bus Rapid Transit is displacing East-Oakland/

Hacks review: Donna Brazile lifts lid on Hillary and the Democrats disaster

By Lloyd Green : theguardian – excerpt

Twice in the past five presidential elections, the Democrats won the popular vote only to meet defeat in the electoral college. In 2000, a mere 537-vote deficit in Florida and the US supreme court stood between Al Gore and the White House. Sixteen years later, Hillary Clinton garnered a 2.86 million vote plurality, only to see her ambitions dashed in the Rust Belt….

The former DNC chair’s memoir of election defeat has it all: Russian hackers, campaign drama and a reigniting of bitter internal feuds…(more)

When Silicon Valley Took Over Journalism


By Franklin Foer : theatlantic –  excerpt

The pursuit of digital readership broke the New Republic—and an entire industry.

Chris Hughes was a mythical savior—boyishly innocent, fantastically rich, intellectually curious, unexpectedly humble, and proudly idealistic.

My entire career at the New Republic had been spent dreaming of such a benefactor. For years, my colleagues and I had sputtered our way through the internet era, drifting from one ownership group to the next, each eager to save the magazine and its historic mission as the intellectual organ for hard-nosed liberalism. But these investors either lacked the resources to invest in our future or didn’t have quite enough faith to fully commit. The unending search for patronage exhausted me, and in 2010, I resigned as editor…

Over the past generation, journalism has been slowly swallowed. The ascendant media companies of our era don’t think of themselves as heirs to a great ink-stained tradition. Some like to compare themselves to technology firms. This redefinition isn’t just a bit of fashionable branding. As Silicon Valley has infiltrated the profession, journalism has come to unhealthily depend on the big tech companies, which now supply journalism with an enormous percentage of its audience—and, therefore, a big chunk of its revenue… (more)

A completely different view of the world, based on future expectations of where technology will take us, is unveiled as a major funding partner of Facebook pours his wealth into The New Republic. Having been interviewed by The Atlantic, I can speak from experience on how that movement feels. Both extremes, living in the past and living in the future are not getting most of us anywhere other than longing for a clear presence in the presence that is lacking in both.




Summer of Love lost on those living in Summer of Discontent

By Caille Millner : sfchronicle – excerpt

In our Summer of Discontent, what can we learn from the Summer of Love?

Since the Summer took place before I was born, I have no nostalgia, passions or bad memories about anything that happened in San Francisco in 1967.

I can tell that for some people it was a seminal event, judging by the extent of attention I’ve seen around the 50th anniversary. There have been at least 10 Bay Area museum exhibits celebrating some aspect of the Summer of Love this year. There have been endless free concerts, tours and tie-dyed public posters. There’s been even-more-extensive-than-usual glorification of the Grateful Dead.

I appreciate how all of this is an opportunity for a segment of Bay Area Baby Boomers to indulge in youthful memories of the good times. (Have fun, kids!)

But for those of us far too young to have been there, the Summer of Love has never felt as far away as it does in 2017.

On my way to the de Young Museum’s “Summer of Love Experience” exhibit, in Golden Gate Park, I traveled through the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. My misgivings began there.

San Francisco’s advanced state of economic inequality and neighborhood gentrification have led to strange street-level juxtapositions all over town. But the Haight is still a special place; these juxtapositions maintain a hard edge…

Continue reading “Summer of Love lost on those living in Summer of Discontent”

Mayor Ed Lee – Support the 50 year Anniversary of the Summer of Love

Open Letter to the Mayor of San Francisco:


Mayor Ed Lee,

So far this concert has had more interference than Super Bowl and it is coming from City Hall. You wasted no time in supporting big sports events that close down major sections of the city for days at a time and cost the taxpayers and small businesses millions of dollars. Why not support a free concert that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love festival when the world needs Peace and Love now more than ever?

Where are all those liberated people who filled the streets with protest when Trump was elected who marched for women’s rights, LGBT rights, human rights and peace? Where are the protests and support for a free music event that celebrates the movement that started it all? Are we so jaded that we forgot all those who fought for our freedom and sanctuary status? Why are there no new protest songs on the top 40 list?

Does San Francisco only support events that involve millions of dollars and walls and fences in SF while protesting Trump’s wall with Mexico? Get with it Mayor Lee. Dig out your 60’s gear, peace signs and pipes and lead the parade for the Summer of Love, or at least kick it into high gear now.

Concerned Citizen of the world

In tribute to Tom Reese and Rational Radicals Everywhere

I am so understanding the confused state of mind Tom must have had when he, as a Navy Veteran from WWII who was stationed in England during the war and experienced the bombing in London, was confronted by the anti-war hippies that invaded his place during the 1960’s. As an earlier Beat, he probably took a less political stance at first. Gradually he was drawn into the other side.

I am feeling that confusion now, with the new administration we are facing. In many ways I am feeling that confusion as I have been dealing with the excesses of the Democratic Party and their embracing of the development industry that is destroying our cities.

Living in San Francisco my perspective is shattered. How can a benevolent society that takes on the mantel of being so open to freedom and choice, be so connected at the hip to the digital industry that is responsible for the robotization of our society and the surveillance state that we are fast becoming against our will?

I hope that the readers of this site will respond with art and poetry that we may share to express our feelings on these matters. At this strange time in history it feels like we need to rely on art more than ever. Please think of this as an invitation to send your art and your feelings about what feels like a cultural revolution. Go out and make films and write songs and send me your links.


Mari Eliza, A keeper of the Tom Reese tradition of radical rational politics in these troubled times.