Monday, February 08, 2016

Hedge School Teaching

One of the bloggers who promoted my writing ten years ago said my blog was like a hedge school--the illegal, clandestine gatherings of Irish students and teachers behind hedges along the back roads of British-occupied Ireland.

He eventually succumbed to the demands of paying child support, and took a job with a Soros funded organization. One of several of my students to fall by the wayside, despite their superb talents and skills and good hearts.

Harry Britt, Harvey Milk's special advisor, and my friend, once told me that as a teacher, you start from where each student is, and take them as far as they can go. As a prospective faculty member at New College in 2003 -- Harry called me their "new star" -- I took that to heart.

Only now, looking back, do I realize that even though some drop by the wayside on their personal journeys, for a moment in time, they rose to the occasion, doing what had to be done, and in whatever situation they find themselves later, they will always remember that.

The lessons they learned in hedge school, in all likelihood, made them better citizens, and even if they don't become revolutionaries, they will probably contribute to their communities in ways that help make a better world.

And that, in the end, is about all we, as teachers, can expect.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Keith Jackson Saga

Former San Francisco School Board president, Keith Jackson, in 2014 pleaded guilty to federal charges of racketeering and corruption, gun-running, and conspiracy to commit murder for hire. Yesterday, Jackson was additionally hit with four counts of bribery, money-laundering, and grand theft of public money.

In 2007, Jackson -- a consultant hired by New College of California president Martin Hamilton -- threatened former San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt, when Britt called for a criminal investigation of the New College board of trustees. As editor of the New College independent alumni association website, I immediately phoned the San Francisco District Attorney's office.

Soon after, I published an account of the incident, and sent word to Jackson he was being watched.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Make SFBG History

Help digitize the San Francisco Bay Guardian archives. Together we can make SFBG history!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Schooner Zaca

Schooner Zaca on San Francisco Bay.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Bailout and Speculation

Seven years down the road from the 2008-2009 Wall Street bailout -- that in real dollars totaled more than the New Deal programs, World War II and the Marshall Plan combined -- this massive transfer of public wealth to the private finance sector is now putting another wave of people out of their homes due to real estate speculation.

The problem is that there are not enough alternatives for investing that much money, which explains why rents are spiraling out of control in San Francisco, Portland and Seattle--compelling the governors of Oregon and Washington to declare a homeless state of emergency.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Orthodox Radicals

With all the COP21 hype from politicians, professional ‘activists’  and the financial elite, I thought I’d see what the so-called radicals are thinking. Toward that end, I attempted to engage with two pertinent discussions. Here’s what I discovered.

I left the following comment on a Popular Resistance article, along with a link.
The choreography of climate drama by Wall Street-funded NGOs has resulted in lots of moral theatrics, but little else. The failure of 21 years worth of lobbying and protesting suggests something more serious is needed. How about organizing for political power, rather than organizing for photo-ops?
And while we’re talking about organizing, ‘civil society’ is not equivalent to NGO; civil society is what belongs to citizens, not Wall Street-funded fronts. Taking power back from Wall Street requires taking over government, from the ground up, not whining at staged events.
Perpetuating misperceptions about the ‘clean energy’ chimera only delays taking our responsibilities as citizens back from Wall Street.
They did not publish it.

I likewise left the following comment and link on a KPFA Bay Area community radio article about Naomi Klein, which they did not publish.
I find it amusing that the KPFA homepage features Klein and Heist, but you might want to combine them, seeing how Klein and 350 are part of the Wall Street heist at COP21. Read more about the privatization strategy here.
My conclusion? The orthodox radicals appear intolerant of dissent, or even discussion. They’ll get along fine with the fascists.

Friday, December 11, 2015


The history of Pagodas and Dragon Gates.