Opinion

The Martin Luther King you don't see on TV

After civil rights achievements, calling for an end to war
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It's become a TV ritual: Every year on April 4, as Americans commemorate Martin Luther King's death, we get perfunctory network news reports about "the slain civil rights leader." The remarkable thing about these reviews of King's life is that several years - his last years - are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole. Read more »

Stand up for immigrants, Mr. Newsom

It's time for the mayor to once again stand up for justice
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OPINION President George W. Bush's war on immigration is wreaking havoc on San Francisco's immigrant community. Across the Bay Area and in San Francisco, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have been carrying out raids at homes and workplaces, near schools, and, in broad daylight, on the streets. Read more »

While McCain Walks in McNamara’s Footsteps

The senator’s “very cautious optimism” is in fact a ghastly reprisal
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The media spectacle that John McCain made of himself in Baghdad on April 1 was yet another reprise of a ghastly ritual. Senator McCain expressed “very cautious optimism” and told reporters that the latest version of the U.S. war effort in Iraq is “making progress.”

Three years ago, in early April 2004, when an insurrection exploded in numerous Iraqi cities, U.S. occupation spokesman Dan Senor informed journalists: “We have isolated pockets where we are encountering problems.” Nine days later, President Bush declared: “It's not a popular uprising. Read more »

Will Newsom have a legacy?

Ramming it through until the election
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Over the past four years Mayor Gavin Newsom has enjoyed high poll ratings, but he has been unable to deliver any signature piece of legislation. His most celebrated actions were symbolic: marrying same-sex couples and walking the picket line with the striking hotel workers.

With only months to go before he is up for reelection, Newsom is hoping free wi-fi will be that signature bill. But unless he quickly changes his tactics, his legislation will go up in flames.

From the moment Newsom announced his wi-fi vision, the supervisors have been asking for input into the deal. Read more »

Don't fight the new media

A new organization agitates for journalists' rights
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OPINION When I first found myself incarcerated, there were six other journalists in the United States under the threat of imprisonment for practicing their profession. They have since all been spared the unfortunate fate of incarceration, but at the time it seemed that the press was under a full-scale attack, and it was necessary to develop a united front to defend against the growing tide of corporate and government repression.

As a result, Free the Media was born. Read more »

What's the matter with the De Young?

Is the museum operating in good faith?
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All around the world, popular museums are situated in public parks with wonderful results for both the museums and the parks.

But here in San Francisco, the venerable de Young Museum is waging an intense and irrational battle to prevent more San Francisco families and visitors from enjoying Golden Gate Park — even at the expense of its own reputation and financial well-being. Read more »

Abolish PG&E Corp.

The creation of Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. constitutes a legal money-laundering strategy.
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OPINION Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. is a holding company whose only property is Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a regulated utility. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) exercises little regulatory oversight over PG&E Corp. Oversight by federal authorities has been curbed by recent legislation, which abolished most of the consumer protections of the New Deal's Public Utilities Holding Company Act. To protect ratepayers and stockholders, PG&E Corp. Read more »

Law enforcement's real battles

Precious resources should be focused on addressing violence, gun crime, and major white-collar crime
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OPINION In order to be smart on crime, law enforcement needs to make important choices about where to focus our resources. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has been making poor choices, and those choices are hitting home in San Francisco.

Recently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted raids in San Francisco and around the Bay Area, rounding up immigrants at their jobs and schools, in some instances with ICE agents announcing themselves as police. Read more »

San Francisco's erupting skyline

Why erect higher barricades?
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San Francisco has always been a city defined by its hills and the bay. Our city has an image and character in its urban pattern that depend especially on views, topography, streets, building form, and major landscaping.

The bay is a focus of major views. Hills allow the city to be seen and, more than any other feature, produce a variety that is characteristic of San Francisco. Read more »

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 »