Opinion

The guns have won

The toll of Bush's Iraq war on health care
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With President George W. Bush proposing to push the price tag for the Iraq War up to nearly $600 billion — more than was spent on the Vietnam War — while seeking new cuts in our health care safety net, it would appear the debate over guns and butter is over. The guns have won.

Polls before the last election found that the two issues foremost in voters' minds were the war and our ever-worsening health care crisis. More than ever, the two issues seem linked. Read more »

The straight story on the armory

What makes the Kink.com case different
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The sale of the former National Guard armory on Mission Street has caused a flurry of concern about the plans for the site of the new owner and developer, Kink.com. Most of the columns and editorials in the San Francisco Chronicle, Examiner, and BeyondChron.com have been reactionary and politically opportunistic. It has given the cheerleaders of runaway market-rate development a new reason to knock affordable housing advocates in general and the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition in particular.Read more »

Where's the beef on LGBT issues?

After same-sex marriage, Gavin's buns are empty
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OPINION Common wisdom says that Mayor Gavin Newsom has forever endeared himself to the LGBT community by issuing marriage licenses to queer couples shortly after coming into office in 2004. Even though a state court later declared those licenses invalid (the city is appealing), Newsom's popularity among queers doesn't appear to have diminished. Read more »

Make housing, not war!

Creating a breeding ground for terror
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OPINION As President George W. Bush requests more money to fight the war overseas, a stealth war is being fought here on domestic soil: the war on housing for the poor. Since the Bush administration took power, the public housing program has suffered $1 billion in cutbacks.

As a result, conditions have rapidly deteriorated in public housing developments throughout the country. Maintenance, security, and services have been slashed annually as budgets are drained with each appropriations bill. Read more »

Why insurers love the new health plan

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OPINION If you're one of the 6.5 million Californians without health coverage, get ready to find a lot of hands in your pocket.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's much-trumpeted health plan is the most ambitious overhaul of the state's health care system since ... well, since SB 840, the far simpler, more universal, more comprehensive, single-payer health plan sponsored by Sen. Read more »

Tears and Happyness

Homeless reality and Hollywood's bootstrap myth
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OPINION I'm not sure why the new movie The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith, based on the life of previously homeless Chris Gardner's rise to millionaire, is so hard to write about. I am rarely at a loss for words, especially about poverty, homelessness, and racism. Perhaps it's because this movie made me so sad that even as I try for the 40th time to write this, my eyes well up with broken tears. Read more »

The P-U-litzer prizes

Presenting the stinkiest news coverage of 2006
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Competition has been fierce for the fifteenth annual P.U.-litzer Prizes. Many can plausibly lay claim to stinky media performances, but only a few can win a P.U.-litzer. As the judges for this un-coveted award, Jeff Cohen and I have deliberated with due care. Read more »

City College's latest abomination

Our very own City College is now proposing a 17-story, 238-foot glass monstrosity at the corner of Kearny and Washington streets.
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OPINION Battles to preserve the unique character of San Francisco's neighborhoods are nothing new. Read more »

Impeachment is now the only option

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EDITORIAL We can all stop hoping and pretending now: the facts are in. No matter what anyone right, left, or center says, no matter what the truth is on the ground, no matter how clear and powerful public opinion has become, President George W. Bush isn't going to change anything about the war in Iraq.
That's what we saw from the president's press conference with British prime minister Tony Blair on Dec. 7 and from his statements since. He's not going to start withdrawing troops, and he's not going to negotiate with other regional powers.
The Iraq Study Group report has its flaws. Read more »

Be nice to pigeons!

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OPINION Until two years ago I didn't give a rat's ass about pigeons. But then I began researching my book, and I was stunned by what I didn't know. I quickly grew to admire the birds — and this coming from a guy who still prefers playing fetch with a dog to running about with a pair of binoculars chasing pretty tail.
San Francisco, it seems, is of two minds about pigeons. The city was ahead of the curve (as usual) when it banned avicides, which are used to target pigeons but indiscriminately punish all birds. That's a great thing. Read more »