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From the Blogs

From great man to great screw-up: behind the McChrystal uproar

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Norman Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

When the wheels are coming off, it doesn’t do much good to change the driver.

Whatever the name of the commanding general in Afghanistan, the U.S. war effort will continue its carnage and futility.

Between the lines, some news accounts are implying as much. Hours before Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s meeting with President Obama on Wednesday, the New York Times reported that “the firestorm was fueled by increasing doubts -- even in the military -- that Afghanistan can be won and by crumbling public support for the nine-year war as American casualties rise.”

It now does McChrystal little good that news media have trumpeted everything from his Spartan personal habits (scarcely eats or sleeps) to his physical stamina (runs a lot) to his steel-trap alloy of military smarts and scholarship (reads history). Any individual is expendable. Read more »

US takes it! From tears to cheers in Civic Center for World Cup

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Tension hung over the Civic Center Plaza World Cup watchers this morning like Ocean Beach fog.

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Snap Sounds: Kurt Vile

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By Irwin Swirnoff

KURT VILE
Square Shells
(Matador)

Seven songs of drifter daydreams. There is something so beautifully lonely and core-hitting about the way Vile's sprawling songs continue to evolve. He can't be written off to any scene or fad -- he's one of the most poignant, affecting songwriters around. Check out one reason why after the jump. Read more »

SCENE: Shannon and the Clams open up

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A long version of the interview in the current issue of SCENE:

If I'm going to stay up late and go as deep as I can into the night, so far that I'm just about lost and in trouble, I want the sounds of Shannon and the Clams with me. The Oakland group's album I Wanna Go Home (1-2-3-4-Go! Records) is packed with songs that have been there and will shine a light to lead you back into the day, while letting you have a sip or two and an adventure or three along the way. This is rock 'n' roll music, electric-charged by bassist Shannon Shaw's wild wonder of a voice, guitarist Cody Blanchard's flair for classic crooning and crying, and drummer Ian Amberson's fierce reliability. See Shannon and the Clams live. You will believe.

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Environmental groups appeal final EIR on Lennar’s Candlestick/Shipyard plan

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The Sierra Club, the Golden Gate Audubon Society, the California Native Plant Society’ and San Francisco Tomorrow have filed an appeal with the Board of Supervisor’s and the city’s Planning Department over the Planning Commission’s June 3 certification of the city’s controversial final environment report (FEIR) for Lennar’s Candlestick Point/ Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment project. Read more »

Hot sexy events: June 23-29

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After what seems like months of pre parties, Pride has finally strapped on its bedazzled platforms and waltzed into our lives, so y’all are probs up to your ears in sexy this week. (If you’re not, be sure you head over to this week’s SFBG rundown of all things to be Proud of). But – sigh - soldier on we must! Here’s a few choice flakes from the snow storm of flesh that will soon envelope us all. Read more »

Lights out? I think not

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The big bold headline on the front page of the Ex: Lights out for power project. The article actually isn't that bad, although it's framed as a setback for public power.

But that spin is completely wrong. A huge victory for public power -- the defeat of Prop. 16 -- gives the city a little breathing room to get a better contract. That's all that's happening.Read more »

Frameline34: Local drama "The Stranger in Us"

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Local filmmaker Scott Boswell may not have set out to make the film he ended up with, but he stands behind the finished product. The Stranger In Us stars ShortbusRaphael Barker as Anthony, a young man who moves from Virginia to San Francisco in order to live with his boyfriend Stephen (Scott Cox). When the relationship turns violent, Anthony finds solace in his friendship with Gavin (Adam Perez), an underage street huster. I spoke to Boswell and Barker about the film’s origins, its unique content, and what this year’s San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival says about the future of queer cinema.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: What was your inspiration for The Stranger In Us? Where did the story come from?

Scott Boswell: Ultimately the story ended up being fairly autobiographical. But it started in a different place. Originally — and Raphael knows this because we talked about it — originally, I had intended to do a much more experimental film, kind of a hybrid documentary-narrative, because of my fascination with the Polk Street, Tenderloin area, which I’ve always had since I moved here in the mid ‘90s. I had considered doing a bit of a portrait of the neighborhood, and kind of infusing actors into it, just shooting a lot of footage and seeing what we came up with. There’s a part of me that wishes I had still done that, but in all honesty, I can say that after Raphael expressed some interest in the project, I suddenly felt like it needed to be more narrative in its scope. He didn’t suggest that. It was just my intuition around the project. So I had been talking to him about doing it for months, without even having a complete script, and continued writing it and auditioning actors. Eventually it became much more traditional in terms of its narrative. It became what it is now.

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Endangered Species Act protection sought for Franklin’s bumble bee

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I’ve been obsessed with bees in general, and bumble bees in particular for some time now. I'm fascinated by the bumble bee's thick tundra- adapted pelt that allows it to forage for nectar in way colder temperatures than your average sun-loving Italian honey bee.
And then there’s the bumble bee's relatively hardcore social structure, in which only the young bumble bee queens over winter, emerging alone in the spring to start colonies afresh.Read more »

Why McChrystal had to go

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Respect for civilian control over the military chain of command. That's what Obama talked about in his comments on "accepting the resignation of" (that is, firing) Gen. Stanley McChrystal. And it was the right point to make. The president noted that McChrystal's conduct "doesn't meet the standard of a commanding general," and I think what he was really saying was this:Read more »

Boom boom boom! SF's got a horse in the World Cup song race

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What's your favorite World Cup song? We've covered some smoothies in Gavin Hardkiss' "Mundo Via Afrika," and chatted with Eux Autres about their contribution to the games. Salon.com just poured a cooler of haterade all over Shakira's head for her "Waka Waka," (probably because they don't like Fozzie Bear). But there's tons of delightfully earnest attempts to encapsulate-cash in on the futbol crazy sweeping the globe for the next month. Angelique Kidjo has hit us up with a Curtis Mayfield cover for Africa, and K'Naan... well I love K'naan. His video has a lot of backflips on beaches, which I support. But did you know that SF has a hat-tricking local troubador of our own?

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Appetite: Elizabeth Falkner's fantastic new dessert menu at Bubble Lounge

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Elizabeth Falkner is easily one of the widely acknowledged pastry greats in the US and chef of two SF restaurants, including Citizen Cake, which is moving to Fillmore Street, hopefully open by the beginning of July. Bubbly lover Falkner has created something sweet at Bubble Lounge, eager to take on creating desserts meant to pair with champagne/sparkling wine. Read more »

Bike Plan hearing yields lots of detail but no decision

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The fate of San Francisco's Bicycle Plan and the four-year-old court injunction against implementing its projects remains unclear following a nearly three-hour hearing today that delved deeply into the minutiae of traffic studies, mitigation requirements, and the dictates of the California Environmental Quality Act.Read more »

alt.sex.column: Clip show

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Dear Readers:

Nah, I'm not really going to saddle you with a "clips" column — that would be cheesy. But I do happen to have a bunch of interestingish non-question stuff from my inbox, so bear with me.

First up, an article from The New York Times called "The Perils Of Sexual Roundelays," which is kind of refreshing because, despite the title, it actually pokes some holes in the "ZOMG hooking up and friends with benefits will be the death of love and marriage as we know it" cultural panic usually expressed in articles called "the perils of sexual" whatever. Sort of. The article (www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/fashion/09Studied.html) describes what may be the first major study of non-monogamous behavior among adults). The study sets out to examine whether what the researchers call "non-serious relationships," (a.k.a. "hooking up") lead to "concurrent partnerships" (hooking up with lots of people, a.k.a. being a big old' slut").

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Snap Sounds: H.U.N.X.

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H.U.N.X.
"The Locomotion"/"Can a Man Hear Me"/"I Vant to Suck Your Cock"
(www.myspace.com/gayestmusicever)

Kylie Minogue's take on "The Locomotion" has been a highlight of Hunx's DJ sets. It set the dancefloor afire at a Goldies party a few years back. His version is buoyed by Nick Weiss' Hi-NRG-meets-happy-house production.

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