Opinion

Genetically modified mouthpieces

With press releases in hand, journalists repeated genetically modified words as if their DNA depended upon it
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OPINION In 2003, when I was working as an anchor for a San Francisco television station, newscasters and reporters across the country were asked by the White House to refer to the Iraqi invasion as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). We were asked to call the war in Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

With press releases in hand, journalists repeated genetically modified words as if their DNA depended upon it.

Genetically modified language is when propaganda wins, journalism sells out, and the public loses. Read more »

Beyond the budget spin

Don't get angry. Get organized
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OPINION Local government is frozen. The mayor's office and the Board of Supervisors have been engaged in open warfare for months. This week, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that in order to balance San Francisco's budget, city services and community-based organizations will have to undergo draconian cuts.

In a preemptive move against embarrassing protests, the mayor's press office did not reveal the location of the annual budget presentation to the news media until late Friday afternoon. Read more »

San Francisco, meet Joe Nation

Progressives should vote for Leno
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OPINION How would you like to be represented by someone who flacks for the insurance industry, serves real estate developers and landlords with zeal, opposes consumer privacy, and is a role model for corporate Democrats with a firm allegiance to big business?

You wouldn't know it from the vague aura of his slick ads, but Joe Nation is hoping to be that someone in the state Senate. Read more »

The threat of Proposition 98

Gay marriage wins, but so may anti-discrimination protections
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OPINION Just as the California Supreme Court finally recognizes queers as full and equal citizens by ruling in favor of gay marriage, a June 3 ballot measure threatens to kill anti-discrimination protections for queers. But that's not the half of it: Proposition 98 is in fact a savage attack on protections of all kinds for all Californians.

A fraud wrapped within a fraud, Prop. 98 masquerades as eminent domain reform while only semi-covertly legisutf8g the death of rent control. But just as rent control is about far more than price alone, Prop. Read more »

JROTC must go now

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OPINION In November 2006, San Francisco made history when the school board made this the first big city in the nation to ban JROTC [Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps]. The board's resolution, which called for phasing out JROTC from high schools this June, stated that "JROTC is a program wholly created and administrated by the United States Department of Defense, whose documents and memoranda clearly identify JROTC as an important recruiting arm."Read more »

We stand with Carole Migden

Few politicians who have risen as high in the establishment food chain as Carole Migden have done so retaining a willingness to fight for the underdog.

OPINION As longtime fans of the Guardian and as allies in almost every fight, including the struggles for public power, affordable housing, people-focused land use policy, and clean and open government, we do not like finding ourselves on the opposite side of an issue as important as this year's state Senate race. Read more »

No peace, no work

The ILWU hopes the dramatic act of shutting down West Coast ports will inspire Americans everywhere to oppose the war
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OPINION Organized labor is set to mark May Day — International Workers' Day — with what could be the loudest and most forceful demand yet for rapid withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will lead the way by refusing to work their eight-hour morning shifts at ports in California, Oregon, and Washington. Read more »

Newsom's missing trees

Spinning out the Urban Forest
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OPINION During his 2003 mayoral campaign, Gavin Newsom circulated a beautifully presented eight-page "policy brief" for "A Green and Clean San Francisco." The first four pages were devoted to a pledge to "grow our urban canopy" — a subject near and dear to my heart.

Newsom announced: "As mayor of San Francisco, I will lead the city government and community organizations to make San Francisco a city we can take pride in — a city with green [emphasis mine], clean, and livable neighborhoods." As his first action, he said, &quot Read more »

What union democracy means

Nobody has more at stake in SEIU than the members who pay the bills and whose wages, benefits, and working conditions are being negotiated
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OPINION The troubles in the Service Employees International Union, and within SEIU Local 1021 in San Francisco, share a similar theme. How much do individual locals direct their work in the face of the international's set agenda? And more important, how do union members themselves direct the vision, use of resources, and work of both their local and international union? What is union democracy and how is it made real?Read more »

Play, don't spray

LBAM aerial spraying is expensive, outdated, unsustainable, and -- ultimately -- likely to be unsuccessful.
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OPINION On Aug. 1, 2008, the California Department of Food and Agriculture plans to spray the San Francisco Bay Area from the air with a time-released pesticide in an effort to wipe out the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). There will be continuous spraying every 30 to 90 days for the next two to 10 years. We can't leave town for the weekend and come back when it's clear; there will be no "all-clear" to come home to. Read more »