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From the Blogs

The prop. 8 hearing

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Watching the hearing was a couple of hours well spent; it's not often that you get to see an actual live oral argument before a federal appeals court. And it's not often that you get to see three judges, not all of them liberals by any stretch, take apart the fundamental claims of the anti-gay-marriage folks.

There's a nice live-blog and analysis here.Read more »

Thrown under the bus, Arc sues Redevelopment

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Arc Ecology filed suit today in federal court against the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, citing First Amendment issues and the Commission’s alleged retaliation for Arc’s criticism of the Agency’s Candlestick Point/ Hunters Point Shipyard project Read more »

Can the U.S. be great again?

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I know I'm getting a little obsessed with the NY Times and it's sometimes amazing, sometimes utterly clueless analysis of what's happening with tax policy and the American economy. But I had to comment on Matt Bai's piece in the Sunday Times about the debt-reduction commission, also known as the cat-food commission. Read more »

Killing Casiotone: Owen Ashworth says goodbye -- and looks ahead

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Owen Ashworth is on the phone with me, explaining his decision to retire Casiotone for the Painfully Alone:

“Definitely something has changed in me the last six or seven months where I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the things about making music the way I had. I feel like I haven’t been as nice of a person as I’m used to being. For the sake of my sanity I need to stop for a while. It’s been an insane couple of months doing these last tours, emotionally draining in ways that I didn’t anticipate. So I’m just really looking forward to being done for a while and coming back to it when I’m excited to come back to it.” Read more »

"Greed is an issue we've got to deal with"

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As President Barack Obama and other top Democrats cravenly negotiate a surrender to Republican extortion and class warfare on behalf of the greedy rich, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to give a full-throated denunciation of the effort and the “war being waged by some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in this country against the working families of the United States of America.”

It's an extraordinary speech that everyone should watch:

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Appetite: Delicious giving

For the foodie and drink hounds on your list, here are a few recent book releases to delight and enlighten

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FOR THE WINO Secrets of the Sommeliers by Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay -- Secrets of the Sommeliers, a new book from local SF treasures (sommelier extraordinaire Rajat Parr and drink writer Jordan Mackay is the best wine book to come across my desk in awhile. Read more »

Rec & Park trashes HANC Recycling Center

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At yesterday's Recreation & Park Commission meeting on Dec. 2, hundreds of San Francisco residents turned out to urge commissioners not to replace the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) Recycling Center with a community garden. Their pleas fell on deaf ears. Read more »

Amazing data: How taxes used to be

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The New York Times has a truly amazing graphic presentation of how the rich used to pay taxes. Check out the image here. The data comes from old IRS filings, made public through the National Archives. Read more »

SFBG Radio: From Wikileaks to class warfare

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In today's episode, we talk about Wikileaks, why there's more outrage about embarassing leaks than about really dangerous leaks -- and why everybody's so afraid of talking about class warfare. Cuz we aren't. Listen up after the jump.Read more »

Saint Gravy

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There is a certain faction of society -- I think it's pretty large, if you judge by NorCal standards -- that regards Wavy Gravy as some sort of mystical deity from their parents' generation. We're not sure what he did, but you should probably address him as Mr. Gravy 'til he tells you not to.

This is a perception that is left unquibbled-with by director Michelle Esrick's ten year labor of docu-love, Saint Misbehavin': The Wavy Gravy Movie (opening Fri/3 in Bay Area theaters), and further untouched by my interview with Esrick and the man himself. Read more »

SF Weekly gets it all wrong

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This is a few days late, but still worth noting. After the Supreme Court ruled in our favor and shot down SF's Weekly's final appeal in our predatory pricing lawsuit, the Weekly's Andy Van De Voorde launched another of his notorious screeds aimed at dismissing all of the proven, factual assertions in our case. Read more »

Tax breaks we can't afford

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The big front-page headline on today's Examiner: "Workers we can't afford." It's a classic story of the Ex genre, a look at how much labor costs are increasing and eating a hole in the city budget. But what gets me is thal it's not just the Ex; the Chron takes this line, too, and so do news outlets all over the state (and all over the country). The problem is always labor.Read more »

Party Radar: Tiara Sensation Pageant will be Some Thing special

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Right out of the glitter-strewn gate, when it launched a year ago, I knew that Some Thing was "special." The weekly Friday drag night (with crafts table!) at the Stud not only filled the city's missing weekly alternative drag hole left behind by Trannyshack, but it managed to bring something unique, channeling a new sensibility rising in the children that respected traditional performance as well as punk-rock theatrics, and loved to play with the expectations that had arisen around both. The club, headed by VivvyAnne ForeverMore, Glamamore, and DJ Downey, grew out of their ambitiously arty Monday weekly Tiara Sensation, also at the Stud. The threesome -- who emanate a intellectual grace as well as a healthy appreciation of improvisatory surrealism and wry humor -- have made Some Thing not just the Friday night home base for altqueers, but also a showcase of the diversity of queer dance music styles, with ear-opening DJs guesting every week.  

It's time for the annual, incredibly creative Miss Tiara Sensation Pageant, Sun/5, and the popular Some Thing crew is moving it from the Stud to Temple to accomodate their larger dreams for the contest. (You can read the particulars in my Super Ego column this week). This year, the pageant will be a star-studded fundraiser for awesome local fringe theater The Offcenter.  I spoke with philosophy-clad cyber-showgirl Vivvy about Some Thing's anniversary, the big Tiara to-do, and some of her favorite glamour looks.

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Live Shots: The Books, Palace of Fine Arts, 11/30/2010

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How do I describe the music of The Books? When I'm listening to it, there seems to be no beginning or end, I'm just immersed in it, floating in some exotic place and it's hard to know how I even got there. Seriously, sometimes I wonder, "What is going on?" (Even they sometimes feel that way.)

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One latte, art therapy on the side

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What will your art look like when you have trouble remembering your last painting -- or offspring? On the week of next, you'll be able to sip your Cafe International espresso and ponder the answer. In the cafe's new art installation, one-third of the pieces on the walls will be by Alzheimer patients (Tues/7). 

What you can look forward to: “The pointillist and – let's call it aboriginal flavor of some of the work can be seen as a common trait," says Patricia Ris, co-curator of the exhibit. "Some artists will bend their vertical lines, and there seems to be a tendency toward some aspects of surrealism and superimposition. But I'm being very unscientific here." 

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