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Insanity: Female inmates of California prisons coerced into tubal ligations
04:29 pm

Class War


Female Prisoner
Between 2006 and 2010, at least 148 female inmates were sterilized by doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, according to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Though there was no official state approval for the tubal ligations—commonly known as having ones “tubes tied,” a procedure in which the fallopian tubes are blocked or cut, permanently sterilizing the individual—the state is recorded as having paid doctors $147,460 to perform ligations between 1997 and 2010.

According to inmates and prisoner advocates, women who underwent the surgery (while incarcerated at the California Institution for Women in Corona or the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla) were coerced into agreeing to tubal ligation. The women were signed up for the procedure while they were pregnant—inmates who had served multiple prison sentences or had several children were suggested for the operations.

Though state funds for tubal ligations have been restricted since 1994—requiring approval from a health care committee and investigation into each individual case—doctors continued to perform the ligations under the assumption that they didn’t need permission. Officials claimed that the operations were performed to benefit the health of women who had undergone multiple C-sections; women were told that the ligations would be empowering, putting them on equal footing as women on the outside.

However, women who underwent the ligations stated that they had only had one C-section, were repeatedly pressured into agreeing to surgery and were not told why the surgeries were considered necessary. One inmate was pushed by a doctor to agree to ligation while sedated and strapped to a surgical table. Though in an altered state of consciousness, she successfully resisted—records show that doctors had tried talking her into ligation twice previously, without providing any reason or justification. Other ligations were pressured for while women were undergoing labor—which would be illegal in a federal prison, and has been ruled coercive, as the trauma of labor can impair a woman’s decision-making process.

Corey G. Johnson—the reporter who broke the ligations story for the Center for Investigative Reporting—told me that interviewing the women who had undergone the ligations was an at-times grueling process due to the suffering they had withstood.

“The women have expressed sadness, mostly, with dashes of anger and reluctance,” he explained. “Prison is not a happy place, and many of the women I spoke with experienced various traumas while on the inside. It hasn’t been easy reliving those moments.”

Questioned about the ligations by Johnson, officials claimed that the $147,460 the state spent on the procedures was minimal “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children—as they procreated more.”

Johnson relayed that the public and governmental reaction to the story has been massive:

“The public’s response has been overwhelming. Strong outrage for the most part—with some counter voices of support for the doctors involved. The interest has crossed gender, religious, political and geographic lines… Reaction from governmental actors has been what I expected. Lawmakers called for investigations. The federal office in charge of prison healthcare told me they thought the story was fair. They’re now responding to legislative questioning. And the state correction department—where these surgeries sprung from—has been quiet and virtually non-responsive.”

Forced sterilizations of prisoners, the poor and the mentally ill were only officially banned in California in 1979. From 1909 to 1964, California was the United States’ top sterilizer, forcing surgery on over 20,000 men and women under a statewide eugenics program so successful that even the Nazis asked for California’s advice in the 1930s.

Much like the justifications given by the Valley State officials above, the reasoning behind California’s early eugenics program was to save the state money by reducing welfare and relief. But California was by no means the only state running a eugenics program on its citizens—32 states in the US passed laws allowing forcible sterilization in the early part of the 20th century, beginning with Indiana in 1907; by 1979 over 60,000 Americans had been sterilized.

The dark history of America’s eugenics programs is only now being publicly re-assessed. 2003 saw California’s then-Governor Gray Davis issue a formal apology for the program. Some states, like North Carolina, are considering reparations.

With the old wounds of California’s history freshly re-opened, the state is calling for an open investigation of what happened at the California Institution for Women and Valley State. But for the women who underwent ligation, the damage is already permanent.

Get Jason Louv’s new free ebook, “The Apocalypse is Cancelled,” here.

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
California Dreaming: an exclusive interview with Brit-hop weirdo Aleister X
10:05 am


Aleister X
Steev Mike

Aleister X is strange. Not like your Nicki Minajs and Katy Perrys who think that throwing on a blue wig with matching contacts is a radical departure from the norm. No, Aleister X is genuinely strange.

It’s hard to get a handle on this mysterious performer/recording artist. Even after interviewing him, the easiest way I can find of summing him up is to say he’s like a hip-hop Lux Interior, from England. Even that doesn’t do him or his work justice. While on paper it reads as being self-consciously “out there”, through whatever artistic alchemy he possesses, Aleister X reigns in a whole world of disparate influences and really makes them work.

X has just released a new album titled Half-Speed Mastered on the Steev Mike label, and it’s a belter. Hack your way through the dense undergrowth of noise, stream-of-consciousness lyrics and hyperactive beats and you will be rewarded with deep pools of warm harmonies and gorgeous textures that befit an album influenced hugely by living in southern California.

It seemed only right that this occult-influenced English rapper living in LA would be featured on Dangerous Minds, and so here he is, answering questions exclusively for us.

Dangerous Minds: You are a man shrouded in mystery. Can you explain to the readers of Dangerous Minds who Aleister X is? 

Aleister X: Yes I can.  What most people don’t realize is I’m actually Lou Barlow (Dinosaur, Sebadoh, Folk Implosion).

DM: If you could sum up your aesthetic in 140 characters or less, what would it be?

AX: Without the character counter this will be difficult, but okay, sure: Post-Bitchin’ and

DM: Where does the album name Half-Speed Mastered come from? 

AX: Back in The Davis, now defunct CBS Records made these special remastered “Audiophile Pressings” of certain albums.  Known as Half-Speed Mastered from the process of allegedly mastering at half-speed, giving the albums an extended range, bigger sound.  But I think they just put that logo on the album jackets and doubled the price, which is a very cool move.

DM: Half-Speed Mastered is like a mixture of experimental hip-hop, J-Pop restlessness and Californian psychedelia. Those seem like strange bedfellows but you’ve made it work. Musically, what were the main influences for the album? 

AX: The Association, The Mammas And The Pappas, Kool Keith, Bruce Langhorne’s Soundtrack to The Hired Hand, Manny Fresh, KISS, Schoolly D, (early) Cornershop, DJ Screw, ZZ Top, Bad Company, AC/DC, CSN&Y, AWK, PTV “Godstar,” Blowfly, Foreigner, the real Van Halen, soundtrack to Pusher I, II, III, just to name a few.

DM: You’ve also mentioned California itself being an influence on the album, and the lyrics certainly suggest that. What are your favourite parts of Cali, and what in particular about that culture has had an impact on you?

AX: I just love the whole LA/Southland vibe.  All The Industry history, the way locations have been used in films and TV so much they become meta-experiential, existing in the collective imaginations of the world, and my personal relationship to that.  I love the Cheeseburger Culture, Fun Hog Culture, Rad Culture, Porn Culture, Creep Culture, Cult Culture, Home Invasion Culture, Cop Show Culture, Laid Back Culture, Awesome Weather Culture, all that cool shit California is known for. And the darkness surrounding and connecting it all. But it’s all SoCal to me. 

DM: And what are the things you don’t like about it?

AX: Carl’s Jr, Silicon Valley, Wine Country, The Beach Boys, and Northern California.

DM: Robert Anton Wilson is one of the major influences for practically everyone at Dangerous Minds, and I see that you are also a fan of Discordianism. What is it about this “ideology” (term used loosely) that you like? 

AX: RAW is a major influence on me as well.  I love the blurry lines between fact and fiction.  The mysterious secret origins of the original manuscripts surrounding The Principia Discordia is the most powerful thing about it.  A lot of shit started with that. 
However, the timeline for shit starting looks like this: Lovecraft - Cubism – Surrealism – Crowley – Himmler – Hoffman - Welles – Discordia – Illuminatus!  Of course this is a Western–centric timeline, but that’s where the Mis/Disinformation Arts were perfected.  Discordianism “liked” me first!     

DM: Because I’ve only received the promo version, I can’t see who did the sleeve for Half-Speed Mastered, but I like it. What can you tell me about it? And is that Donny Osmond in the middle? 

AX: I’m really glad you like it. You’re the first to even mention it.  It’s actually a painting of the photo on the back of the KISS ALIVE album, done by American artist, Space Boss Corp, in 2005.  The rumor was one of the kids in the photo was Tesco Vee, but that’s not true.  I read in KISS Unmasked bio it was just some random nobody.  But he was the first kid to ever make a banner for a band and hold it up at a rock concert.

DM: Tenuous link alert: the use of a “white square” on your sleeve makes me think of the “controversial” sleeve for David Bowie’s new album. What do you think of it? I think it’s lazy but I love Bowie’s current fuck-off attitude to press and promotion, and the industry in general, especially compared to his contemporaries like Lou Reed. 

AX: David Bowie is a true master and has influenced everyone and everything.  I’m happy to hear of his “fuck-off” attitude to press and promotion. He’s smart. He sees what’s going on. The artist has to do everybody’s fucking job now.  Every single artist is working around the clock for free trying to get on Starbucks’ label. Why should David Bowie work for nothing? Lou Reed took a lot of shit for that album he did with Metallica. He ate crow. He’s Lou fucking Reed!  He should’ve told those troll bitches to fuck-off too. And everybody thought Bowie made Lou soft! I like what I’ve heard of the new Bowie album. Great videos too. 

DM: Beyond music itself, who are your main influences as an artist?

AX: Orson Welles (especially “F” For Fake”), Ray Johnson, Howard Hughes, Penn & Teller, Chris Burden, Christo, RAW (the man AND the WWE event), Steve Martin, Cheech And Chong, Tony Clifton, Eddie Murphy, Sacha Baron Cohen, Bela Lugosi, to name a few.

DM: Have you got any more videos/tours/releases planned for 2013?

AX: I’m musical guest on “The Chris Gethard Show” March 20. I’m releasing a massive double follow up to my 2011 release “Black Skull Music Mixtape Vol I” and “Half-Speed Mastered,” over 23 tracks. Just in time for summer. Possibly a limited US summer tour with Belgian breakcore artist, Sickboy. Possibly other shows. I don’t know how to book tours. I need some fucking booking agents with guts to realize the potential. I put on a great show. I’m a true entertainer, not just another bearded indie band of clichés. I’ve got fans all over the US and world begging for me to play. HELLO! (If yr in a bearded band of clichés, no hard feelings). 

Alesiter X “LAX”



You can buy Half-Speed Mastered here. For (a little) more info on Aleister X visit his website, though I would recommend you subscribe to his entertaining Twitter feed for more regular updates, and check out the many videos on his YouTube channel.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
California’s Katrina: Apocalypse when?
01:50 pm

Current Events


As a longtime resident of Southern California, I was blissfully unaware of the apocalyptic dangers posed to the entire state should something go amiss with the levees in Sacramento, until my best friend moved northwards and he told me about it.

This interactive map from Bloomberg’s Paul Tullis and Evan Applegate really makes the point hit home. It’s frightening:

The scenario is known as “California’s Katrina.” An earthquake or superstorm causes Gold Rush-era earthen levees to collapse. Saltwater from San Francisco Bay floods the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, displacing half a million lowland Californians, poisoning the water supply for as many as 28 million more who live in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Silicon Valley, and ruining farmland that produces 11 percent of the nation’s agricultural value. The eighth-largest economy in the world could be sunk for months, even years.

There are two competing proposals to avert all this. The first is to bypass the delta with tunnels carrying fresh water to Southern California. The second is to upgrade the existing levees. A bill that would have required an official cost-benefit analysis of these approaches got shot down in the state legislature. Civil engineers at University of California at Davis don’t think the levees can be earthquake-proofed. Delta landowners, fearful the levees will no longer be maintained if the tunnels were built, have refused surveyors access to their land.

In this fight, if someone doesn’t win, everyone will lose.

It’s worth noting how many naysayers there are in the comments, but if California’s farmlands and fresh water supply is even the slightest bit in danger, that’s unacceptable. The accusations that this is “alarmist” are ridiculous.

How the hell could you be too alarmist about something like this smack in the heart of earthquake country?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
California Republicans going extinct?

I’ve been harping on this point for some time here on this blog, but what’s been long predicted about the demographic shift that would ultimately doom the Republican Party as the percentage of Latino-American voters rises, is already pretty much a done deal here in California. The Republican challenger to Obama will hardly campaign here, mark my words, it’s simply a waste of time and money. Even with as weak of a Democratic ticket topper as Obama, the GOP nominee would be waging a Quixotic battle in the most populous state.

Republican meanies, this is your future. From the Sacramento Bee:

A new analysis by the Field Poll shows that even as California’s total voter registration grew by more than 2 million voters over the past 20 years, Republican registration declined by 285,944 voters, to 5.3 million.

The party’s share of statewide registration declined eight percentage points, to 31 percent.

Meanwhile, the proportion of registered voters who are Latino grew by about 2.3 million, from 10 percent of the state’s registered voters in 1992 to 22 percent today, according to the poll. In the 2008 presidential election, those Latinos provided Democrats an advantage of more than nine percentage points.

“No one’s talking about the sleeping giant anymore,” said Jaime Regalado, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. “The giant is here now, and Republicans aren’t recruiting it.”

California gains two million new voters over the past two decades, but the Republican Party loses over 250,000 registered voters? How I love California!

Still more bad news for the GOP:

The proportion of Republicans who are 50 or older has increased from 40 percent in 1992 to 54 percent today, according to the Field Poll.

The proportion of Republicans younger than 40 has dropped to 25 percent from 41 percent in 1992.

That’s right, they are quite literally dying off…

Not trying to be morbid, but this fact cannot be denied or refuted. The demographic shift in the Golden State is a taste of things to come for the Republican Party: permanent minority party status. How can they possibly fight the demographic changes of the next two decades?

Answer: They can’t.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Christian hate group protests ‘Harvey Milk Day’ in California

This is, of course, appalling but entirely predictable: Conservative Christian hate group “Save California” is starting to make waves with an online advertisement titled “Protect Your Children from Harvey Milk Day in California.”

I’d far rather see children protected from tiresome, ignorant religious fanatics than the memory of a slain civil rights leader…

Three quotes from Harvey Milk:

Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all the sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant’s and John Briggs’ are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says “Homosexual elected in San Francisco” and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said “Thanks”. And you’ve got to elect gay people, so that thousand upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s: without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope.

All over the country, they’re reading about me, and the story doesn’t center on me being gay. It’s just about a gay person who is doing his job.

We must destroy the myths once and for all. We must continue to speak out and most importantly every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your family, you must tell your relatives, you must tell your friends, you must tell your neighbors, you must tell the people you work with, you must tell the people in the stores you shop in, and once they realize that we are indeed their children and that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all. And once you do you will feel so much better.

Why does it bug these people so much to see this man honored? Not only that, Harvey Milk Day, each May 22, falls on the weekend this year. So much for protecting the kids!

I’m always of two minds when it comes to embedding idiotic videos like this, although I do tend to side with the “point and laugh” approach every time! I doubt that many—if any—DM readers would be swayed by what they see in this clip. The thing is, “Save California” can see where their traffic is coming from, so they will see a link to this post in their YouTube user stats and they’ll read it and see themselves as the object of scorn and ridicule. I encourage everyone to let them have it in the comments, because rest assured they will read it. If you want to flag their YouTube clip as “hate speech” you can do it here, where it says “Flag” just above the title.

Harvey Milk is a man who will never be forgotten. No matter what these ultimately impotent hate groups like “Save California” think or what they may say or do, nothing is ever going to change that. It’s called American History and it’s not on their side.

I’d be remiss in my duties as a liberal scold if I didn’t ask the members of “Save California” how they will feel in the future when their own children and grandchildren—who they tried so, uh, valiantly to “protect” from the legacy of a heroic man like Harvey Milk—come to realize what monstrous, hateful, small-minded assholes their parents really are?

The trailer for Rob Epstein’s Academy Award-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk. You can watch the entire film on YouTube here.

Via Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Is 8 years old too young to get Botox injections?

Not according to Kerry Campbell and her daughter Britney. who regularly has Botox injections and also gets “virgin” waxes even though she has not yet hit puberty. You know, ‘cos being 8 can be rough on your skin! From the UK’s Daily Mail:

California mum Kerry Campbell has come under fire after admitting she injects her young daughter Britney with Botox to get rid of ‘wrinkles’ that appear on the girl’s face when she smiles.


Kerry also admitted to waxing her daughter in the name of pageant success.

‘They call it little fluffy hair,’ she said. ‘They get judged on all that stuff. It’s a tough world, the pageant world, I’m telling you. The kids are harsh.’
Eight-year-old Britney added: ‘I just don’t think it’s ladylike to have hair on your legs. I did that one time. It was super, super hard. It hurts.”

Thanks to Samantha Veal for the link, who would like to make it known that she is NOT a regular reader of the Daily Mail.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Theater of Hate: How YOU can contact California’s anti-Muslim politicians

By now, we’ve all probably seen the video of the anti-Muslim hate rally in Orange County, CA. These REPUBLICAN idiots should be ashamed of themselves, but chances are of course, that they feel completely self-satisfied about their actions. Why allow them this pleasure?

Each of these REPUBLICAN politicians who spoke at the anti-Muslim hate rally should resign, effective immediately, so as not to bring any more shame on the great state of California. Why not exercise YOUR right of free speech and let these folks know exactly how you feel about their disgusting behavior? Last time I checked, this was still America and these folks DESERVE SOME FREE SPEECH, don’t ya think?
You can reach REPUBLICAN Congressman Ed Royce here (I just called both offices, it was fun!)

1110 E. Chapman Ave, Suite 207
Orange, CA 92866
T (714) 744-4130 F (714) 744-4056

2185 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
T (202) 225-4111 F (202) 226-03
Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, also a REPUBLICAN, said this at the hate rally: “I know quite a few marines who would be happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.” Was she implying that our marines should be put in service of killing the people who were attending the charity event???

Vile Teabagger Deborah Pauly can be reached here:

Here is her Twitter account:

Email address:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Facebook profile:

How I wish I had a phone number for her, but so far, no luck… Deborah Pauly is also the first pol in the OC to call for CA following Arizona’s plans for illegal immigrants!

You can contact her fellow members of the Villa Park city council here. Why not cc them on anything you send? Can’t hurt!
Ethically-challenged wingnut asshat REPUBLICAN Representative Gary Miller has three offices, two in CA and one in Washington, DC.

Send your love to Rep. Miller at one (or all three) of the following addresses:

2349 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Phone: 202-225-3201
Fax: 202-226-6962

1800 E. Lambert Road
Suite 150
Brea, CA 92821

Phone: 714-257-1142
Fax: 714-257-9242

200 Civic Center
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Phone: 949-470-8484

Go get ‘em. They NEED to hear from you!
Also among the non-elected protesters were Rabbi Dov Fischer of Young Israel of Orange County, Irvine Jewish activist Dee Sterling and Chapman University adjunct professor of law Karen Lugo. It was Karen Lugo (a pal of Michele Bachmann) who said “This is not about hate [...] We are not hatemongers. The word ‘Islamophobia’ is an effort to chill us. The Constitution was never meant to allow a tyranny of a minority.”

She’s a freakin’ LAW PROFESSOR and she makes a statement like that in this context! Lugo must have a severe irony deficiency, eh? (Or else she’s just a flaming idiot). Best of all? Lugo is a member on the California Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission!!!

Unfortunately, here’s that vile video again if you want to psych yourself up for the task:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cartoon Beatles perform The Dead Kennedys ‘California Über Alles’
12:30 am


The Dead Kennedys

(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Arnold: Fail
02:59 pm




Right on the back of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s brilliant plan to outsource California’s inmates to Mexico comes this field poll demonstrating that California’s citizens consider him a failure as a governor. Don’t worry, Arnold, history will remember you for your film work. Like that star turn as Mr. Freeze.

Nearly six in ten statewide voters believes Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will leave the state in worse shape than when he first took office in 2003, according to the latest Field Poll. Given the Golden State’s robust unemployment and intractable budget politics, the results aren’t all that surprising.

But taken in light of Schwarzenegger’s brash, braggart campaign against then Gov. Gray Davis, the numbers comprise a huge “fail” for a man who once said he would settle the state’s debt and stop it’s deficit spending. In his first “state of the state” address, Schwarzenegger said, “Never again will government be allowed to spend money it doesn’t have. Never again will the state be allowed to borrow money to pay for its operating expenses.”

After six successive years of deficit spending much greater than that under Davis’ watch, California is facing another $20 billion budget gap for 2010, with $72 billion in debt that has has inspired the lowest credit rating of any state.

Of course, it’s not all Schwarzenegger’s fault. A Democratically controlled legislature with more sacred-cows than exist in India hasn’t really helped much. But more than that, California’s initiative process has tied the hands of leadership when it comes to huge chunks of state spending while limiting property taxes via Prop. 13. The housing crash has exacerbated the state’s cash flow problems.

At the same time, while once calling state Democrats “girly men” and pointing to the ineffectiveness of Davis, Schwarzenegger has repeatedly promised to change all that—and he has repeatedly failed.

And so, the Field Poll revealed over the weekend that the governor is enjoying a 27 percent approval rating, a tie with his previous low. At the same time, 72 percent of voters disapprove of the legislature’s performance, too.

(LA Weekly: The Schwarzenegger Experience)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
California Greenlights Space Solar
04:19 pm


Solar Power


California just got something right?

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
UCLA Students Almost-Riot Over Tuition Increase
04:16 pm

Current Events

Tuition Hike


UCLA students are near-rioting over a 32% tuition increase. The unrest has resulted in 14 reported arrests and one tazering so far. Quick, deploy Apple Store discount vouchers to pacify them!

As a graduate of the UC system, I can’t say I’m surprised, but 32% is beyond the pale of previous tuition hikes. How in hell do they expect students or their families to pay that in this economy? How in hell do they expect to be able to fund that in financial aid? Why is California crippling its own workforce for the coming decades? Education is the backbone of any democracy, and by pricing it out of the range of those who need it, California is only hurting itself in the long run.

The Associated Press reports, from this morning:

About 200 demonstrators are chanting and marching around a UCLA building where University of California regents are scheduled to vote on a 32 percent fee increase for next year.

Protesters from several UC campuses stayed overnight at a campus tent city to take part in a second day of demonstrations on Thursday.

UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton says 30 to 50 students also have staged a sit-in at an ethnic studies building and have chained shut the doors. They’re peaceful and are being allowed to stay.

Fourteen people were arrested Wednesday for failure to disperse or disturbing the peace.

Protests are also reported at other UC campuses but no further arrests have been reported.

The regents say cuts in state aid leave are forcing the tuition hike.

You can shout at the UCLA Chancellor here, as this will likely affect the long-term quality of life of all Californians.

(LA Times: UC raising student fees)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Schwarzenegger: Is This What It’s Come To?
04:20 pm




California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new plan to bail out California? Signing some of his old crap and selling it on eBay?

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment