• Proposition E, San Francisco's effort to curb obesity, failed to pass due to a failure of imagination.
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  • Sen. James Inhofe, who is expected to the chair Environmental and Public Works Committee, denies man-made climate change.
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Protesters use their shoes to hit a defaced poster of Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad during a demonstration to express solidarity with Syria's anti-government protesters in front of the Syrian embassy in Ankara June 10, 2011. The words on the poster read: "Murderer. Go away".  Photo via REUTERS/Umit Bektas.

Rabbi Lerner Calls for Increased International Pressure
to Overthrow Syrian Regime

August 18, 2011 | 3 Comments

Boycotts are more effective when there is a functioning democracy in a given state; but when people have no recourse but demonstrations in the streets, the best we can do is to provide assistance to the demonstrators in any way we can, while simultaneously urging them to provide assurances to the Alawite minority that the regime they seek to set up in place of the current dictator will be one which respects minority rights (a message that the Kurds of northeastern Syria must already believe, else why would they risk their lives, as they have, to join the anti-Assad demonstrations). If Alawites could be assured that the democratic regime aspired to by the protestors would in fact be safe for minorities, they’d be more willing to abandon the dictatorial rule they support in part out of fear of the alternatives.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Avalos, Onek, Mirkarimi Win Democratic Party
First Place Endorsements

August 17, 2011 | 12 Comments

City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Alameda Prosecutor Sharmin Bock each garnered the DCCC’s second-place endorsement in their respective races for mayor and district attorney. No other candidates were endorsed.

Posted in News, Politics

“Civility Lee” Turns Uncivil During Mayoral Debate

August 17, 2011 | 13 Comments

At this point and much to my surprise there was a lot of booing and hissing from the audience. I thought at first that it was because Lee had just been talking about how he’d brought a “new civility” to City Hall, but then I looked around and saw Steve Falk and Jim Lazarus and Kenny Cleveland, and a host of others who work for billionaires, and it cracked me up. The message to Lee was clear: Don’t bad mouth any billionaires in front of us!

Posted in News, Opinion, Politics

Once Upon a Time in Syria

Once Upon a Time in Syria

August 16, 2011 | No Comments

In February 1982, Hafez ordered the Syrian army to bombard the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood. In what became known as the Hama massacre, an estimated 17,000 to 40,000 people were killed, including about 1,000 soldiers. The attack has been described as among the single deadliest acts by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East. The vast majority of the victims were civilians. In the fifth-month of the present-day uprising, Bashar Assad is now bombarding Hama. Like father, like son.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Good Government Measure Qualifies for June 2012 Ballot

Good Government Measure Qualifies for June 2012 Ballot

August 16, 2011 | No Comments

Proponents and volunteers gathered 12,869 signatures in less than five weeks to qualify the initiative, despite operatives from Recology – the holder of the City’s highly lucrative garbage collection monopoly – deploying an expensive media campaign on both network and cable TV and funding a series of allegedly illegal actions to intimidate petition workers, harass petition signers, and buy or steal petition booklets.

Posted in News, Politics

Waves of Protest Pound at BART, Shutting Down Stations

August 16, 2011 | No Comments

What started as a fizzled anti-police brutality protest at BART’s Civic Center station has spiraled into a San Francisco moment with echoes of the Arab Spring and V For Vendetta. Following an unprecedented decision by BART officials to preemptively cut off cell phone service on August 11, in a bid to disrupt a protest that never developed, public outrage led to further protest today and a hacking attack on MyBart.org by the notorious international hacker group Anonymous over the weekend.

Posted in News

iowastrawpollgroup

Dateline Iowa: Republican Party Hoisted on its Own Petard

August 16, 2011 | 1 Comment

Ron Paul (barely) – Paul landed less than a single percentage point behind Bachmann (although your wouldn’t know it from the conservative media’s instant anointment of Bachmann, Romney and Perry as the party’s “Top Tier Candidates”). A perhaps surprising showing in this conservative state since many of his libertarian positions are, well, provocative: legalize marijuana; abolish income tax; allow Iran to have nukes (“everybody else does…”); pull the US out of the United Nations and NATO – and the Middle East; allow states to secede from the union; eliminate the Federal Reserve; eliminate legal tender laws and sales tax on gold and silver – heck, let the free market determine monetary standards. Dr No has voted against virtually every initiative for government spending and new taxes in his 14 years as a Texas Congressman – more no’s than any other office holder. All of which impressed Iowans enough to rank him the second most-desirable Republican candidate. The American People – in Iowa – have spoken! But who’s listening?

Posted in Opinion, Politics

John Avalos Rides No Hands!

John Avalos Rides No Hands!

August 15, 2011 | 4 Comments

A cool as a cucumber Avalos shows he’s no cycling novice, shown fixing punctures and riding his bicycle without using his hands. Not sure if Board Prez and fellow mayoral candidate David Chiu can match Avalos’ skills, but they have at least one thing in common: they’re both vying to impress for the coveted San Francisco Bicycle Club (SFBC) endorsement.

SEIU 1021 Announces Endorsements: Rejects Lee, Dual Endorses Avalos, Yee for Mayor

SEIU 1021 Announces Endorsements:
Rejects Lee, Dual Endorses Avalos, Yee for Mayor

August 15, 2011 | 2 Comments

In a surprising move, the 54,000 member SEIU 1021 union endorsed Mayor Lee’s “consensus/city family” pension and healthcare reform measure over Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s pension reform initiative. Under Lee’s plan, the majority of SEIU 1021 workers will see their pension contributions increase by at least 3 percent. Under Adachi’s plan, which takes a progressive approach to solving The City’s pension costs crisis, a majority of SEIU 1021 workers’ pension contributions will remain unchanged.

Posted in News, Politics

Herrera Slams Lee Over Nuru Appointment

August 15, 2011 | 2 Comments

Nuru, who was first hired by Lee during the administration of former Mayor Willie Brown, was the subject of a series of ethical scandals involving the misappropriation of public funds for personal uses, retaliatory threats against whisteblowers as well as directing city contractors to engage in illegal political activities while they were being paid with public funds, Herrera states.

Posted in News, Politics

Yee Announces Chinatown Revitalization Plan

August 13, 2011 | 3 Comments

The subtext of Yee’s move is viewed as an unsaid challenge to Chinatown powerbroker Rose Pak’s grip on the Chinese-American community in an attempt to weaken her base of support and to garner Asian-American votes for his mayoral bid.

Posted in Culture, News, Politics

Adachi Candidacy Tosses Life Preserver to San Francisco

August 13, 2011 | 29 Comments

San Francisco is poised to accept another 700 prisoners into our jail system. Thanking God that Sheriff Michael Hennessey chose to follow Federal court orders and construct a new jail sufficient to meet the legal mandate to provide adequate housing for the City and County’s jail population.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Adachi Declares Candidacy for Mayor

August 12, 2011 | 5 Comments

Adachi’s candidature, whose pension reform initiative was certified August 2 for the November ballot, is expected to sharpen the focus on the issue of unsustainable city pension costs and the need for increased contributions by city employees.

Posted in News, Politics

Joanna Rees: A Refreshing Alternative
to Politicians as Usual?

August 10, 2011 | 7 Comments

In an interview Monday following a mayoral debate at the Castro Theater in which interim Mayor Ed Lee was booed, hissed and air horned for breaking his promise to not seek a full-term, Rees, who describes herself as a “progressive independent,” told FCJ she was inspired by the late Ann Richards, the former progressive Governor of Texas who admirably became a symbol of pride and accomplishment for the advancement of women in State and National politics.

Posted in News, Politics

Lee Files for Mayor, Candidates Respond,
Protester Calls for Lee to “Step Down”

August 08, 2011 | 10 Comments

If this morning’s announcement of interim Mayor Ed Lee’s official candidacy in the race for mayor, which included a protester calling for Lee to step down and fellow candidates lobbing accusations of dishonesty and lies at Lee, is any indication of what Lee will have to endure on the campaign trail, this year’s mayor’s race has the making of one of the most contentious battles in the history of San Francisco politics.

Posted in News, Opinion, Politics

Explicit Video: Conversation Hour with Ed Lee & Rose Pak

Explicit Video: Conversation Hour with Ed Lee & Rose Pak

August 08, 2011 | 1 Comment

“Get over your fucking self,” Pak responds. “This is about Willie Brown and me. Fuck keeping your word and your fucking promises. This is about me and using you to advance my fucking agenda – and my agenda is me.”

“Lie, Ed, Lie” Video Surfaces

“Lie, Ed, Lie” Video Surfaces

August 08, 2011 | 1 Comment

“I stand before you to announce my candidacy for mayor,” the video, posted by “RunRosePakRun,” begins. “I did not make this decision lightly. After much pressure from Rose Pak, Willie Brown and Recology executives, I have decided that I really am a politician, a short mustached, lying one. My change of mind in seeking this office has everything to do with what’s best for Rose Pak and me. See, I’ve always been a liar, a stooge for Rose Pak and Willie Brown.”

Posted in News, Politics