Brown goes nonpartisan while Obama stays the course

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Gov. Jerry Brown gave a brilliant State of the State speech this evening, validating those who hoped that he would have the wisdom, courage, and candor to properly frame this difficult political moment. And it was great because he abandoned tired calls for bipartisanship and opted to go straight to the people, even citing Egypt and Tunisia as cautionary examples of the peril and potential of real democracy. Read more »

Medi-Cal and cell phones: The ugly truth

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There's a chilling comment from political consultant Dan Schnur in the Los Angeles Times. In a fascinating story by Tony York, Schnur talks about the difference between image and reality in California's budget wars:

"Cut $1 billion out of Medi-Cal and most voters won't notice. Take away some cellphones and make legislators sit on a picnic bench, and they pay attention," he said.Read more »

SFBG Radio: From Cairo to here

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In today's episode, Johnny points out that the protests in Egypt have been driven by young people -- and that youth unemployment in the United States is at alarmingly high levels. So why aren't young people out in the streets here? Check out the discussion after the jump. Read more »

Free Muni for kids

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Sup. David Campos is talking about offering free Muni rides for some of San Francisco's youth, and he'd like free passes for all school kids next year. That's a great way for the city to work with SFUSD; the school district spends a huge amount of money on buses. In fact, transportation is the second biggest item in the district's budget (after salaries). There ought to be a way for kids (above a certain age; maybe fifth grade) who now take SFUSD buses to get on Muni instead.Read more »

Aerial revolution

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Consider the rise of the extreme athlete: generations of youngsters (and increasingly, brave older folks) competing to see who could pull the sweetest stunts and survive. Ever wonder how is it that a person can make the transition from earthbound and bipedal to gravity-be-damned dare-devilry? When exactly is the moment that a skater, skier, or snowboarder just lets go and trusts their body to take them up, over, around, and (hopefully) gracefully down to the ground?

Last Tuesday, I attended a press event at House of Air – the newest member of Crissy Field’s collection of renovated airplane hangars in San Francisco’s historic Presidio – where I was treated to a glimpse of how such a transformation might become reality. Not to mention a new way that a public sports facility can play with its community. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Nicole, Hill and Valencia

Read more »

Danny Glover, DCCC stand up for HANC

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The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) Recycling Center has gained some powerful allies in its ongoing fight against eviction.

A YouTube video posted over the weekend shows actor Danny Glover, a resident of the Haight, sitting in his car at the recycling center. If it were shut down, "I would be dismayed," Glover tells a staff member. He also says, "It would be a tragedy. It would be a great loss to this city." (Scroll down to watch.) Read more »

Protest in solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia uprising

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As President Barack Obama insists that governments must maintain power "through consent and not coercion" organizers have announced a protest this Saturday, January 29, in San Francisco, in solidarity with people in Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries struggling against 30 years of dictatorship, poverty, unemployment and torture--and are condemning what they call Obama's "refusal to condemn the Mubarak regime."Read more »

Activists and former prisoner call for Obama to close Guantánamo

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The second anniversary of President Obama’s promise to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center was recognized this week at an event about torture and human rights abuse that continue to take place there.

“There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight…as far as we can tell the [Obama] administration has no intention to close it at this point.,” Rini Chakraborty, Western Regional Director of Amnesty International USA, said at a panel discussion about Guantánamo Bay human rights abuses Wednesday at UC Berkeley.Read more »

GOP is wrong: Most Californians want taxes

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The Public Policy Institute of California generally has some of the most reliable polls in the state. It's not a partisan group or part of anyone's campaign, and the questions tend to be framed in a fair manner. So I take the results of the PPIC polls as a decent indicator of where the state is going.Read more »

Can they shut off the Internet?

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Proverbs for paranoids: If they can catch you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.

-- T. Pynchon

Indulge me here while I get a little paranoid and venture into a realm where it's easy to get dismissed as a nutcase. And I'll say this upfront: I really don't know how much I ought to worry about this.Read more »

More John Ross poems

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Thanks to some of the many John Ross fans out there, I've begun to collect a treasure trove of his poetry, much of it either unpublished or published in limited-circulation chapbooks. Even John didn't have all of his work when he died, and there's no central collection. So I'm going to post a couple more of my favorites here -- and at somepoint, we have to figure out a way to publish the whole collection. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Egypt and the Internet

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Protests erupting all over Egypt as democracy comes to life in North Africa -- and the government's response is to shut off the internet. Could that happen here? Johnny thinks Tim is just a delusional conspiracy nut. Check it out after the jump. Read more »

Obama addresses DREAMer Steve Li’s video

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Earlier this week, I posted a video clip that Community College nursing student Steve Li, who narrowly avoided deportation from San Francisco to Peru last year, submitted to the White House in answer to Obama's groundbreaking online State of the Union outreach effort. And yesterday, Obama addressed Li’s video (featured at 33.10 minutes into a Jan. 27 interview that YouTube’s Steve Grove moderated) as he answered questions on a wide range of issues submitted by and voted on by YouTube users. Read more »

Don't nobody give a damn: day 3

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Unemployed construction workers protested outside UC Mission Bay’s Hospital building for the third day straight—but by early afternoon seemed to have got some clarification from UC officials over upcoming job opportunties at the site.Read more »