I want to throw up

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I've gotten a pretty strong stomach after 25 years of political reporting, but when I read stuff like this, I reall want to throw up. It's not just pandering or corruption or sleaze -- that shit's common enough, and I can deal. It's this utter, blatant, mind-boggling lack of reality that makes me start to lose my lunch.Read more »

The coffee shop-dollar store king of Divco

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One questions the need for another coffeehouse on Divisadero – seems like every time I turn around there's another corner store churning out lattes and biscotti. But clearly I lack the vision of Haile Taddesse, owner of the 99¢ Divis Variety Discount at Divisadero and McAllister. “I am a coffee addicted person,” the Eritrean business owner tells me. “I grew up in a coffee country.” And no offense to the other establishments on his street, but he thought their coffee was mediocre. Read more »

Magnetic folk

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will convert you to their sound

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The video for "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros plays like a Super 8 summer memory you wish you had. The happy, whistling back-and-forth duet between front man Alex Ebert and real-life girlfriend Jade Castrinos is illustrated with scenes from a 21st-century Merry Prankster stopover in Marfa, Texas. Everyone's playing guitars, running through fields, and prancing about holding hands in a way that suggests the 11-piece folk band's bond goes beyond the ecstatic sing-alongs that have been the toast of festival crowds from here to Coachella.Read more »

May the tastiest critter-friendly cupcake win

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Your chops sink into the rich, sweet fluff and your lips are left with a coat of luscious frosting; cupcakes are the things dreams are made of and especially the dozens that will be up for tasting this weekend at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective's 2nd Annual Vegan Cupcake Bake-off. No butter, no eggs people-- all that delicious and they're animal friendly...pretty sure that will be my excuse for chomping well over five cups. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Kimberly, SF State

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The Daily Blurgh: Straight talk and space calcium

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Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond

Local, totally awesome new media experiment 48 H -- a print magazine produced, as its title suggests, in just two days using online social networking and publishing resources -- was sent a cease and desist letter by old media dinosaur CBS, which owns the television news magazine 48 Hours. Come on folks. We're all journalists here. Can't we all just get along?

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Progressives, labor, grassroots win in May 18 primaries

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Forget all the talk of anti-incumbent (and by implication, anti-Democrat and anti-Obama) sentiment in the electorate. The primaries May 18, which I talk about here, actually sent a much more interesting message.Read more »

The Governor and the condemned man

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Dick Meister, a San Francisco-based columnist, covered the Caryl Chessman case as a reporter for The Associated Press, correspondent for The Nation
magazine, and commentator for Pacifica Radio, which won a Peabody Award for its coverage. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com.

It's February 19, 1960. Caryl Chessman, tall, broad-shouldered, hawk nosed, sits on the edge of a hard, narrow bed. Clenching his fists and biting his lips, he stares at the bare walls of Cell 2455, Death Row, then out through a small, barred window and across the dark waters of San Francisco Bay – from San Quentin Prison to the lights of the city.

One-hundred miles north, Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, the pudgy, owlish 32nd governor of California, also sits alone, perched on the edge of an overstuffed arm chair. Puffing incessantly on a cigar, he studies the ornate design in the pale green wallpaper that covers the walls of the Victorian parlor of the governor's mansion in Sacramento, as he agonizes over whether to spare Caryl Chessman from execution the next morning.  Outside, I and a half-dozen other reporters, chilling in the harsh night air, anxiously await his decision.

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SFBG.COM Radio: Tim and Johnny on yesterday's primaries

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Today we talk about last night's primaries, what they meant -- and what they didn't mean. In fact, the conventional wisdom in the MSM is all wrong about what happened. Listen after the jump Read more »

Immigration 101: Out of the mouth of babes

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The Internet is abuzz with the news that a second-grader asked Michelle Obama about immigration during a visit to a Washington-area school--and in the process revealed that her mother is here without paperwork.

"My mom said, I think that she says that, Barack Obama is going to take away everybody that doesn't have papers," Margarita Zavala said.

"Yeah well that's something that we have to work on, right?” the first lady replied. “To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That's exactly right." Read more »

Hot sexy events May 19-25

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Original Plumbing is the new thing on the ‘zine scene -- a local publication dedicated to exploring the panorama of beauty in the transexual male, which we first covered back in March (the magazine, not the beauty, we've been liking that for awhile now). They highlight all kinds of models; whatever your weight, hair placement, surgery status, it's all gravy to Rocco Kayiatos and Amos Mac, the editors of OP. In addition, they’re tackling the political issues of the day, and their first issue included info on “how to be a man for free.“ Affordable, always sexy! Join up with Original Plumbing in the showers and spas of Eros this week at the release party for the the third issue of its glossy pages. Read more »

May 20: Take Back the Mic

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Tomorrow evening’s kickoff event to Take Back the Mic marks the start of a nationwide community media campaign with music, storytelling, and interactive new media at the Ashkenaz in Berkeley. Read more »

Global movement

San Francisco International Arts Festival: dance highlights

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Albert Einstein said that "dancers are the athletes of God." He didn't say which god he had in mind, nor has the quote made all that much sense. What's so hot about being in sports? Martha Graham tried to explain it by saying dancers achieved that exalted status through the practice and discipline of their daily work. But couldn't that be said for any artist? Still, looking at the lineup of dancers at this year's San Francisco International Arts Festival makes me think Einstein had a point after all.Read more »

DTS voters must re-register to cast DCCC ballots

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Like nearly 30 percent of San Franciscans, I'm not registered with a political party, but when I got a letter from the Department of Elections a few weeks ago letting me know that I had the option of choosing either a Democratic or Republican ballot, I thought that I was all set to be able to vote for my favorite Democrats in the June 8 primarily election.Read more »

Butoh, and beyond

San Francisco International Arts Festival: theater highlights

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I was just in Baltimore for a conference on the New Drama movement in Russia — not so much a movement, as it turns out, as a new and diverse post-Soviet generation of theater artists carrying forward, reassessing and reinventing the form. The work on display over an eventful weekend was quite varied and, on the whole, an intriguing sampling of the restive theatrical activity being generated under the New Drama label. The take-home point: Russia is a hotbed of serious work to which attention should be paid.Read more »