Despotism Watch: The Sonic Cannon, the Pain Ray and the Irony of the American Revolution

The disproportionately nonwhite city of Oakland, California has more than its share of poverty and unemployment. According to the 2010 Census, 17 percent of the city’s population, including more than a quarter of Oakland’s children, live beneath the federal government’s notoriously inadequate poverty level. Eight percent of Oakland’s residents live in what researchers call “deep poverty” – at less than half that stingy misery measure.[1]  The city’s unemployment rate is four points higher than the national average and its black joblessness measure (20%) was twice the national rate.[2]


If you had $675,000 to spend on the improvement of life in Oakland, how would you invest it? In community gardens for disadvantaged neighborhoods? After- school programs for minority youth? Drug treatment and/or shelter and/or health care services for the poor? Training and hiring unemployed workers in the ecological retro-fitting of local residences? All of the above?

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