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Posted by mistressmax3db9 on 09/10/2016 at 11:57 PM

Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

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Posted by Cassy Jeong on 09/10/2016 at 9:40 PM

Re: “In East Oakland, a Popular Banh Mi Shop and Taqueria Closes

This is really disappointing especially hearing that he is still so passionate about making food. I wonder if he could go through Kiva local to help fund his start up. With so many people who loved his food, his generous heart and charitable intentions I'd be he'd make money in no time. Just a thought... maybe Luke you can pass on the idea to Tony?

Posted by Kai Tokugawa on 09/10/2016 at 6:55 PM

Re: “Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager

Disagree with Eric. Legalizing prostitution, among other benefits, would make it far easier to enforce anti-trafficking laws. Overnight, a large segment of the industry would police itself and cooperate with authorities. They have the contacts and exposure to know about trafficking, and an legitimate incentive to suppress it.

This is true for a large number of the illegal activities that now flourish in the shadows.

Posted by Robert T on 09/10/2016 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Alameda County Prosecutor Can't Charge Seven Cops in East Bay Sex Crime Case Because Victim Sent to Florida by Richmond Police

@Winemiller: Remember how Quan exaggerated the number of highly paid OPD officers by a factor of ten? Remember how she said 95 percent of all violent crime was in five police beats of the city? If anyone is unqualified to chatter about history in these short comments, it is the Jean Quan machine - of which you are a proud part.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 09/10/2016 at 8:26 AM

Re: “Alameda County Prosecutor Can't Charge Seven Cops in East Bay Sex Crime Case Because Victim Sent to Florida by Richmond Police

Let's not rewrite history. The police staffing levels were reduced by vote of the majority of the council after the 2008 economic downturn because the police officers union refused to consider a reduction in pay as other city unions were taking to keep as many of their colleagues employed as possible—even at reduced wages. It was keep staff at reduced wages or cut staff. The goal for everyone—including the mayor—was to bring back as many officers as possible as the economy improved. I'm not seeing a list of how long each accused officer had been working for OPD, and certainly you're not going to blame Jean Quan for all the other officers from other agencies, are you? And are you saying diversity = criminal behavior? That's an ugly accusation.

Posted by Valerie Winemiller on 09/09/2016 at 9:56 PM

Re: “Alameda County Prosecutor Can't Charge Seven Cops in East Bay Sex Crime Case Because Victim Sent to Florida by Richmond Police

It appears that several of the five OPD officers to be charged were hired during former mayor Jean Quan's pre-election rush to add staff to OPD after she had spent years shrinking the force - because the staffing level was an issue in the approaching mayoral election. Quan pushed for "diversity" in recruitment; that was more important for her than qualification to become an officer. Quan lost her re-election bid, but her legacy of throwing public safety under the boat for political purposes takes its toll on us again and again.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 09/09/2016 at 9:35 PM

Re: “'Big Soda' Is Suing Oakland Over Beverage Tax Measure

The purpose of the soda tax-- to reduce obesity and obesity-related health problems, is obviously a laudable one. Unfortunately, like many other attempts at regulation, this policy is misguided and will prove completely ineffective. Why?? How? I must support the soda industry and BIG BUSINESS, you say? Oh no, honey, this is an anti-capitalist right here. Consider this question: what causes obesity? Is it sugar, or fat, or video games or tv or inactivity, or carbs, or simple carbs only, or slow-digesting carbs omg which one is it?? Truth is, it's both all and none of those. Body mass is all about caloric input and expenditure: a surplus results in weight gain whereas a shortage results in weight loss. This is undeniable fact.

Wait wait-- but some forms of calories are more equal than others, you say? True! Fat breaks down slower than simple carbs, for example. Protein (for the most part) cannot be stored (aka converted to fat), so a surplus is likely to occur on high-protein diet. And simple carbs (sugar is a part of this group) break down quickly; when they're not used for immediate energy purposes, they transform into fat on the body. But... all simple carbs are subject to the same science-- baguettes, crackers, pastas, fruits, some vegetables, etc.-- the list is endless. Of course, we can zoom in even further: isn't there a difference between "artificial" sugar and "natural" sugar (such as that in fruits and veggies)? The answer is yes. It is definitely more taxing on one's body to digest ultra-processed, corn-based sugar than naturally occurring sugars. This, I think-- the targeting of corn-based sugars-- is the thrust of the soda tax. And it's important: the corn industry has perniciously injected their product into a majority of common supermarket processed foods. But see, here's the glaring problem with the SODA tax: it doesn't target corn-based sugars. It hones in on only one of its delivery systems. A large (20 oz.) starbucks mocha contains 45 grams of corn-based sugar; a 12 oz can of coke contains 39. A large (14") cheese pizza contains approximately 34. So we know that solid foods also contain high amounts of corn-based sugars... why not target them as well? And how about the most obvious oversight: all the other sugary drinks stocked right next the sodas in every corner store-- the sports drinks, energy drinks, chocolate milk, bottled coffee, juice "drinks" or "cocktails", etc.

So we know that not all calories are equal, and we've identified the "bad" ones. But we're going to treat these identical calories differently because they're delivered in a different form (--or arguably not even form because these are all beverages aka liquids-- different only in taste, actually). Thus, these similar beverages receive vastly different treatment under the law, assuming the Soda Tax passes. From that perspective, the Soda Tax results in unequal protection of law-- subjecting undeniably substantially similar products to different laws. Can it escape via a strict scrutiny analysis? I don't think so. In short: compelling gov interest? yes; narrowly tailored? sure; least restrictive means? perhaps; BUT, the never-cited but always required "nexus" between policy and effect, aka causation? big fail. As such, the Soda Tax, as written, is a violation of the 14th Amendment and is therefore patently unconstitutional. Legally, it will fail any constitutional challenge. Soda taxes in other parts of the country have been thrown out by courts for other, more procedural reasons, so it hasn't gotten to that level yet. But if it does, mark my words, that will be the ruling and reasoning behind it.

To recap: soda alone does not a Jabba make. Weight gain occurs due to a confluence of factors over time, including diet, exercise, and even emotional state. Soda is but one small component of one factor in the body mass composition algorithm. In the context of total diet, it is not the prime factor, nor is it even a paramount one. This is undeniable fact. On science alone, the policy is pointless. On legal grounds, it is unlawful.

Shall we proceed to consider the ACTUAL economic effect (as opposed to the prospective one)? By this I simply mean let's identify the individuals and/or entities who will be forking over real money. Remember, corporations are sociopaths. Their sole reason for existence is to maximize profit. Empathy is antithetical to their purpose. Do you really think that a billion-dollar company cannot find, and has not found, a way of passing that tax along to others down the chain? I think some people need to take an Econ 101 class, and pay close attention to the micro part. Are sodas going to cost the same to you, the consumer? No; as we've seen in NY, Berkeley, and even Mexico, the retail price increases. So... YOU pay. That's right: us at the bottom of the distribution chain, the consumers, pay the cost of this tax. As it was (and has always been) so shall it be. This is undeniable fact. The grocers pay, too. apply a simple supply and demand analysis. Simply put, when the cost of something goes up, demand for it goes down. And when demand goes down (and prices are constant), revenue and profit margin decrease as well. Thus, grocers will sell less soda (on its face, that is the direct goal of the tax-- to decrease consumption via a decrease in sales via the disincentive of an increase in price) and receive less revenue and less profit from soda sales. This is undeniable fact. So actually, the "grocery tax" ads are not entirely baseless; I think they're just as misleading as the other side's assertion that only the fat cats will pay.

Disagree with me? Find a flaw in my logic? Good luck.

Posted by Colin Fletcher-Schmidt on 09/09/2016 at 6:50 PM

Re: “Should Oakland Even Bother Trying to Keep the Raiders?

Good riddance. We're supposed to go tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in debt so an entitled douchbag can make millions by overcharging us to get into his new stadium? Eight dates a year? Puh-lease. It'd be cheaper to buy every Raider fan in Oakland an NFL Sunday Ticket football package on cable, and let us watch the games from Las Vegas.

Posted by Ken Olofia on 09/09/2016 at 5:47 PM

Re: “'Big Soda' Loses in Court to Oakland

Follow the money. The "No on HH" campaign is paid for entirely by the American Beverage Association which is interested only in selling their addictive sugar water. They have no interest in public health. They have no interest in the welfare of minority communities. They are good at writing scripts that are read verbatim by store owners enticed to collaborate with them, beautifully photographed of course, showing fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, etc (anything other than soda). Vote YES on HH.

Posted by David Cohen on 09/09/2016 at 3:18 PM

Re: “California Legalization Proposition 64 Raises $11.45 Million

Addendum to the Correction: But they *do* have "ties"--500,000 of them, to be exact--to the makers of Fentanyl! [http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-0…]

Posted by Miles Monroe on 09/09/2016 at 2:34 PM

Re: “Agave Uptown Celebrates the Bounty of the Traditional Oaxacan Table

Be sure to verify the items in your check because they appear to have the habit of adding items that you didnt order (happened to me three times!)

Posted by John Lefman on 09/09/2016 at 2:31 PM

Re: “Oakland Disciplines Twelve Cops in Sex Crime Case

I can't imagine O'Malley will ever be electable again if she doesn't charge these perps.

Posted by Christopher Fallis on 09/09/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “In East Oakland, a Popular Banh Mi Shop and Taqueria Closes

Wow. What a loss. I would trade one of the "high end gourmet places" for this any day ... Tony was a true delight and so was his food. One of the high points of the East Bay (Oakland in particular) is being able to spend less than $10 for lunch and getting not just something "good" ... but something truly special and truly unique. Whether it's Mongolian or Viet-Mex fusion doesn't matter ... what matters is great, affordable food made by great people. Let's hope Tony gets his dream ... and hopefully you'll let us know when he does!

Posted by Alan J Miller on 09/09/2016 at 12:30 PM

Re: “DEA Fails To Reschedule Marijuana: Five Things You Need To Know

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Posted by Imtiaz Malik on 09/09/2016 at 9:36 AM

Re: “Femmes to the Front: Portraits of Queer Femme Identity

Being Femme means I am special.

I don't have good job, didn't do well at school, was never noticed by anyone really and have few friends. I was really low down on the life scale. I didn't fit in and really suffered.

But then when I became femme, wore loads of make, cool femme clothes and whilst I still don't have a great job money or buckets of friends I feel special. I get noticed in the street, sometimes negatively, sometimes women come up to me to tell me I'm brave for my dress.

Super empowering.

Posted by Jellie Kay on 09/09/2016 at 5:13 AM

Re: “Marijuana Legalization Proponents Sue Sen. Dianne Feinstein Over Proposition 64

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Posted by drwiztwinkle on 09/09/2016 at 4:07 AM

Re: “BRIX 581

Going to Brix on a Sunday morning for chicken fried steak has become as natural as getting coffee every morning. Now that they have added the bottomless mimosas I'm a happy camper.

Posted by Paul Riley on 09/08/2016 at 10:50 PM

Re: “County Health Director: Oakland's Housing Crisis Is a Prescription for Sicker, Shorter Lives

As I have posted in other forums, the laws of economics are confirmed. Government cannot fill all of the needs of people in life; the homeless have been with us forever, and no amount of government programs will change that fact. Oakland, like all cities, must attract upper income residents that have the resources to pay taxes and contribute to the local economy- not to merely take resources and not contribute. It is a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless. Government services are provided by the taxes of productive members of society, the givers so to speak, not the takers. This is by no means a conviction of the poor, but rather a n uncomfortable statement of cold economic principles.

Posted by Jim Lindley on 09/08/2016 at 10:46 PM
Posted by Allison Bliss on 09/08/2016 at 5:34 PM

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