Larry Hosken: New: Tag: politics

Book Report: We'll Show the World A surprisingly-relevant book about World Expo '88. Why should I, a San Franciscan, care about a world exposition that took place 30 years ago in Brisbane, Australia? I didn't especially want to read ...

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Book Report: Personal History It's the autobiography of Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post during Watergate times (and other times) (and other roles at the paper at other times) (and other roles not at the paper)....

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I volunteered to pick up trash today. Lately, San Francisco's been in the news for outlawing plastic straws but having streets littered with needles and human poop. So I kept count of some things as ...

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With Scott Pruitt's resignation from the EPA, Trump must find a replacement. Did we ever figure out who's still pumping CFCs into the atmosphere? Seems like that person would be the consistent choice...

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Book Report: Confessions of a Political Hitman Autobiography of a guy who did political opposition research back when that meant travelling to county seats and looking at old voting records on microfilm or somesuch. He mostly worked for right-win...

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Book Report: Beautiful Trouble It's a bag of tricks, principles, theories, and case studies for political action: rallies, hoaxes, sit-ins, etc. It's interesting, and might inspire someone to expand their repertoire by pointing ou...

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Puzzzle Hunts are Everywhere thanks to USPS There was a puzzlehunt-by-mail recently, the Hunt for Justice. It was mostly done by other folks, but I did some things. I designed one of its puzzles, collaborating with other GC folks. I helped ou...

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Book Report: The Great A&P A surprisingly interesting story about selling food in the USA, featuring lots of government regulation. I said "surprisingly", right? The story of the USA's first big chain store, the food merchant...

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Book Report: Cop in the Hood A sociologist became a cop in Baltimore's Eastern District and lived to write about it. It's a good book, whether you're looking for some background on The Wire or just want some reminders about why ...

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Book Report: Russians: The People behind the Power I went into this book thinking If Russians are so smart, why do they keep voting for the corrupt Putin? This book answered that question nicely. If I'd lived through what the typical Russian had, why...

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Something to do in Austin: You can, of course, bring your own desk with you to the Oval Office, as did Lyndon Johnson. The Johnson desk is now in the replica Oval Office at the LBJ museum in Austin...

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Book Report: The Peripheral Ages ago, probably back when I was a teenager, my dad told me some reasons why "time machine" stories in sci-fi movies/books/etc. don't work so well—that time machine also has to be a teleporte...

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Book Report: The Impossible State It's a book about North Korea taught me how far to go when running a kleptocracy. Can you starve your population, as long as you keep your army fed? Yep, you totally can. It doesn't backfire. Is ad...

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Who is Max Alper Astroturfing For? Max Alper tried to fool San Francisco yesterday. He posed as a Google employee and screamed condescending crap at people protesting high San Francisco rents. Apparently, the folks staging the protest...

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Book Report: Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China Deng Xiaoping steered China out of the disaster of the Cultural Revolution; he seemed pretty enlightened until June 4, 1989 when the military cleared Tiananmen Square of protesters. How did it go so ...

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Book Report: Subversives (The FBI's war on Student Radicals and Reagan's Rise To Power) This book about Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement was pretty amazing. It was also a slow read. Usually you say "So good I couldn't put it down," but in this case I might say "So good that I pu...

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I read that the California High Speed Rail Authority filed a lawsuit "v. All Persons Interested," which as near as I can tell is litigation-talk for "Come at me, bro." ...

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This tech talk about election software http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBSiuVGQECs shows politicians can't cooperate. In theory, it's a UX programmer talking about how he and other geeks worked with t...

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A day late, I figured out my Hallowe'en costume. On me, it's pretty scary. On someone of your sterling judgement, dear reader, it would be less so. ...

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Why are you reading this instead of staring at http://xkcd.com/1127/? ...

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Book Report: Broken Ballots A few people want to steal elections. A few billion people want fair elections. How do you make an election un-stealable? It's not easy. Elections do't run themselves; we need election officials. Fol...

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Book Report: All the President's Men I didn't think I'd learn anything from this book, but I was wrong. I thought everybody knows the story of All the President's Men: Plucky reporters Woodward and Bernstein investigate Watergate; they ...

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Book Report: Republic, Lost When Solyndra was falling apart, Republicans were screaming: these green companies were just boondoggles, false fronts to scoop up government money. It's easy to dismiss their complaints as a bunch o...

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I'm Jill Stein! Which 2012 USA Presidential Candidate are you? Take this personality quiz and find out! This quiz also says that my opinions are closer to those of Democrats than Greens. Since Stein is the Green Pa...

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Mechanics' Institute Library Remember a while back I screamed that USA legislators wanted to make a local censorship service a la China's Great Firewall? They're still at it. Lots of folks are protesting it today. You can, too. ...

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Link: Chess Story Dave Hill writes about playing chess for money in Zucotti Park. Right, that Zucotti Park. ...

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Happy American Censorship Day If you use the internet, you probably want to visit http://americancensorship.org/. USA legislators want to set up China's Great Firewall in the USA, urged on by copyright holders screaming about pir...

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Link: Why Did The Elite Extend The Suffrage? Maybe I should try a warped Churchill quote on my Libertarian friends: Big Government is the worst form of government in the world except all the others that have been tried. It's not 100% pure flipp...

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Book Report: Getting Sued and other Tales of the Engineering Life It's by a civil engineer from a few decades back, so you might think that a software developer wouldn't learn anything from this memoir. But there's wisdom in here—figuring out how to get along...

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Book Report: The Collapse of Complex Societies This book looks at the collapse of the Roman empire, the Mayan civilization, and those Chaco folks you heard about from the X-Files. Why do civilizations collapse? There's a bunch of theories runni...

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Lowell vs Reality You may recall that in the most recent California gubernatorial primary, I voted for Lowell Darling. He had the best plan for fixing California's revenue situation: if elected governor, he'd do nothi...

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Lowell Darling: coherent correspondent It's election season—not just in the UK. There's an election coming up in California. I'm looking over the voting materials, and one name stands out: Lowell Darling. He is, as you no doubt ...

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Link: California Secretary of State on Voting Systems I'm doing taxes today. In my California tax booklet, there's a form asking me if I'm registered to vote. That's great. We citizens are supposed to get angry about taxation without representation. ...

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Comic Report: Trotsky It's the morning after the GC Summit, and I'm still feeling inspired. One of the things I'm inspired to do is download a file with all of the Wikipedia article titles. That would sure be handy for ...

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