The breaking news about 23-year-old Prince Harry secretly being deployed in Afghanistan as a battlefield air controller created a public sensation in Britain. It also resulted in the quick return home of the prince - third in line to the British throne - for security reasons.
The episode pointed to the British tradition of expecting the sons of British kings and queens to enter military service when their country is at war. Read more »
OPINION Be nice, wait your turn, pay your dues, your time will come.
This is the "guidance" given to women in politics, and many of us have bided our time and paid our share of dues. But what happens when our time comes, and we speak out for what we believe in? We are called pushy, mean, controlling, or cold. And worse — we are stripped of our positions.
In the last month, four of the most respected women in city government have been removed from their posts:Read more »
OPINION It seems that everyone, from current politicians to former friends and lovers of Harvey Milk, is scrambling to serve as a spokesperson for the new Hollywood movie about the life of Milk, the first openly gay elected official in a major United States city.
Milk joined the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, only to be assassinated (along with then-mayor George Moscone) one year later by Dan White, another member of the board.
Cleve Jones, who worked as a student intern in Milk's City Hall office (and later started the AIDS Memorial Quilt), is now serving as a con Read more »
OPINION In the late 1980s, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Charles Trabant warned that "the only thing that we have to fear is FERC itself." He was speaking about his agency's aggressive policy of preempting state regulatory powers and undermining the rights of consumers to encourage utility competition. Read more »
OPINION Nearly 10 years ago Matthew Shepard was crucified on a fence in Wyoming because he was gay. Recently a bill bearing his name failed to pass the United States Senate.
S 1105, the Matthew Shepard Act, would "provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes." Its supporters are still pushing for its passage, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants to see it approved early this year. Read more »
OPINION After repeated media attention to the myriad problems at the San Francisco Housing Authority, Mayor Gavin Newsom asked the agency's director, Gregg Fortner, to resign. An interim director, Mirian Saez, was appointed to fill his shoes until a national search is conducted to find a permanent replacement. Read more »
OPINION If you think the mortgage foreclosure crisis is big, imagine what would happen to San Francisco if rent control were repealed.
With 180,000 rent-controlled apartments currently housing more than 350,000 San Franciscans, the end of rent control would be disastrous. Literally hundreds of thousands would be forced from their homes and forced to leave the city.
The pain and suffering people would face as they lost their homes would be immense, making the foreclosure problem seem insignificant by comparison. Read more »
OPINION In San Francisco's June 1997 special election, the swells convinced the voters to float $48 million in bonds to build a "world-class" zoo, which would entail largely privatizing a public institution, leaving the city on the hook for liabilities while giving a private nonprofit the benefits.
The initiative passed you can't get warmer or fuzzier than a tiger or a koala and the San Francisco Zoo, relinquished to the tutelage of corporate fixer Jim Lazarus, was largely gifted as another privatized party space for the rich.
OPINION A major difference between Rep. Nancy Pelosi's values and my values surfaced last month.
On Friday, Dec. 14, I learned that since 2002, Pelosi has been a silent partner in the George W. Bush regime's torture policy. As a Bay Area resident for the past 15 years, I can say with confidence that the use of torture is not a San Francisco value.
According to a Dec. 9 Washington Post article, Pelosi was one of four members of Congress to witness a "virtual tour" of secret CIA detention sites. Read more »