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 »
OPINION Any attempt to organize an official Halloween in the Castro is a terrible idea, maybe even a deadly one. But before I rant, let me give a little history. In the wake of the Oct. 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake, a BBC story reported that "a massive rescue effort is now underway in what experts believe is the second biggest earthquake ever to hit the United States."
More than 3,500 people were injured and 100,000 buildings damaged. Read more »
A freelance documentary filmmaker is in jail in Dublin, CA, for refusing to comply with a subpoena to turn over to federal prosecutors the out-takes of his filming of a 2005 street demonstration that turned violent. Read more »
OPINION Congress's Republican leaders belong in prison. They have openly violated one of our most basic laws, the 68-year-old Fair Labor Standards Act. It requires Congress to set the minimum wage high enough to guarantee a standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and general well-being.
The current rate of $5.15 an hour comes nowhere near to doing that. Even those who manage to work full-time make only $10,700 a year - $206 a week or about $900 a month, minus taxes and other deductions. Read more »
TECHSPLOITATION Last week AOL did another stupid thing, but at least it was in the name of science. The giant Web portal released a data chunk containing three months’ worth of queries to its search engine taken from roughly half a million users. Gathered during the months of March, April, and May, the data shows queries, their date and time, and which Web sites the user ultimately visited. The idea was that this information might be of some use to researchers.
To protect user privacy, AOL replaced the log-in names of searchers with numbers. Read more »
Do you think lactation is sexy? My sister just had a baby, and her husband finds the breast-feeding all very erotic, and I told her there was something wrong with him. I said she should tell him to see a shrink, but she told me it didn't really bother her. I'm worried he is brainwashing her. Do you know of any books I can give her? What should I say to keep her safe? Should I call child services if she doesn't snap out of it?
Yikes! Are you serious? If anyone's going to do any snapping out of anything, it had better be you. Read more »
EDITORIAL Mainstream media reporters and pundits, as well as our cynical colleagues at the SF Weekly and the rest of their corporate alt-weekly chain, love to bash the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the city councils of other Bay Area cities for passing resolutions on big questions like war, human rights, or impeachment.
We don't share that view. Read more »
EDITORIAL Those with power rarely use it to help the powerless: workers, foreigners, or the planet. That's why we're fascinated by the green noises that we're starting to hear from übercorporation Wal-Mart and with its decision to hire our hometown environmental heavy hitter Adam Werbach, a move that reporter Amanda Witherell explores in this week's cover story (see "An Unbelievable Truth," page 15).
We're skeptical of Wal-Mart's motives and commitment to putting the planet before profits, so we truly hope that Werbach hasn't been co-opted into a greenwashing effort. Read more »
OPINION Make no bones about it: the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is a program of the US Department of Defense. Its purpose is clear: to recruit high school students into the military. Two years ago, 59 percent of San Franciscans demonstrated their disapproval of that sort of recruiting by supporting Proposition I. It's time for the Board of Education to follow the wishes of those voters and phase out the JROTC in favor of a nonmilitary program.
On Aug. 22, it's very likely that the San Francisco school board will do just that. Read more »