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Empowerment or censorship?

Amnesty International targets tech firms doing business in China
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news@sfbg.com
Amnesty International last month launched a campaign demanding that online search companies stop complying with Internet censorship in China. The campaign targets Bay Area search engines Google and Yahoo!, along with Microsoft. With 105 million Chinese citizens plugging into cyberspace, can global search companies resist China's technological marketplace? Read more »

No Pasaran!

The crowds -- huge crowds -- protest a corupt election in Mexico City. But what's the endgame?
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MEXICO CITY, Aug. 24th -- The Congress of the country is ringed by two-meter tall grilled metal barriers soldered together, apparently to thwart a suicide car-bomb attack. Behind this metal wall, 3000 vizored, kevlar-wearing robocops -- the Federal Preventative Police (PFP, a police force drawn from the army) -- and members of the elite Estado Mayor or presidential military command, form a second line of defense. Read more »

Fiber vs. wi-fi

City pursues dual — and dueling — solutions to the digital divide
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steve@sfbg.com
San Francisco's top officials want to get the city more directly involved in creating a better telecommunications infrastructure. Their goal is to overcome the digital divide and pump up the city's overall bandwidth without waiting for the private sector to maybe get around to it.
But Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have focused on distinctly different pathways to the whiz-bang future they both envision. Read more »

Excerpts from freelance journalist Josh Wolf

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What follows are excerpts from an Aug. 14 letter that freelance journalist Josh Wolf wrote to reporter Sarah Phelan from inside Dublin Federal Correctional Institute. Wolf has been held at Dublin FCI since Aug. 1 refusing to give a federal grand jury unpublished footage from a July 8, 2005 anti-G8 protest that turned violent.

Aug. 14, 2006

Dear Sarah,

Thanks for writing to me about my case;

On Judith Miller:

“The issue of Judith Miller is a complicated one. Read more »

Snakes in vain

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annalee@techsploitation.com
TECHSPLOITATION I'm the only geek in San Francisco who didn't go to the drunken flash mob event at 1000 Van Ness where Snakes on a Plane played in dangerous proximity to cartloads of extremely stiff, free drinks. My sources tell me that outrageous costumes were worn; somebody brought a real live snake; and there were many inebriated screams that included the epithet "motherfuckin' snakes on a motherfuckin' plane!" Was it glorious dork anarchy? Read more »

Eye spy

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
I've found myself a femmy boy who's willing — nay, enthusiastically prepared — to wear green eye shadow in public. This is delicious. However, we live in Colorado Springs, which is for its size a wealthy and well-educated town but also is headquarters for Focus on the Family, New Life Church, Will Perkins, Ft. Carson, NORAD, and the Air Force Academy. One of my femmy-boy friends was recently chased down an alley downtown by some of the local military simians for the apparently gender-treacherous crime of wearing a top hat. Read more »

An Unhappy Anniversary for Labor

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It was 25 years ago this month that Ronald Reagan struck the blow that sent the American labor movement tumbling into a decline it’s still struggling mightily to reverse.
Reagan, one of the most antilabor presidents in history, set the decline in motion by firing 11,500 of the overworked and underpaid air traffic controllers whose work was essential to the operation of the world’s most complex aviation system.
Reagan fired them because they dared respond to his administration’s refusal to bargain fairly on a new contract by striking in violation of the law prohibiting strikes by federal employ Read more »

Public power returns

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EDITORIAL Just when it looked like the public power movement had stalled, along comes the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission with a surprise announcement that it will create a public power demonstration project in the most appropriate part of town and reinvigorate efforts to kick Pacific Gas and Electric out of the city.
The agency has tentatively cut a deal to provide power directly to the 1,600 housing units and businesses that Lennar Homes is about to start building on Parcel A of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard — bringing clean, green (it comes from city hydroelectric and solar pro Read more »

Don't call the feds

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EDITORIAL It's bad enough that the federal government is aggressively infringing on the rights of three Bay Area journalists, the sovereignty of California, and the freedom of San Franciscans to choose — through the elections of our district attorney, sheriff, and mayor — how laws should be enforced in this city. Read more »

EDITOR'S NOTES

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steve@sfbg.com
There's an intriguing confluence of anniversaries coming up that together offer an opportunity for societal awakening.
This week I'll be among thousands of Bay Area residents leaving for Burning Man and the 20th birthday of the most significant countercultural event of our times. Five years ago, right after my first Burning Man, the Sept. 11 attacks ushered in radical changes to US foreign policy and political dialogue. Read more »