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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Mall of the metaverse

Rock shows, retail, and rebellion — Second Life brings virtual gaming down to the everyday level
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culture@sfbg.com
Suzanne Vega is waddling across the screen. Well, not the real Suzanne Vega but the quiet folk singer's digital avatar on SecondLife.com. On Aug. 3, she — or it — claimed the proud position of being the first digital representation of a major-label pop star to give a concert in cyberspace. Read more »

Mural as magnet

Lower Haight artwork has become a target for vandals and a hassle for its keepers
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gwschulz@sfbg.com
Stretched across the west wall of the New Santa Clara Market in the Lower Haight is a full 15 by 45 feet of political controversy, in both its intended content and the fact that it has become a magnet for graffiti.
Located on the southeast corner of Haight and Scott streets, Positive Visibility, as the mural there is titled, shows women suffering from the symptoms of HIV-AIDS. Read more »

Discovering the formula

Is San Francisco's local charm really safe?
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amanda@sfbg.com
San Francisco has a thing for local businesses. From Chinatown to Hayes Valley, the dozens of distinctive neighborhoods that constitute this city have for the most part maintained their individuality with one-of-a-kind, locally owned places to shop, snack, and seek services.
While many cities and small towns across the country have succumbed to the sprawl and homogeneity of chain stores, some have resisted, even in the face of lawsuits and wily campaigning from megaretailers. Read more »

Redefining radicalism

Ella Baker Center director Van Jones preaches hope on the group's 10th anniversary
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news@sfbg.com The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights has a 10-year history — which it marked Sept. 14 with an anniversary gala in Oakland — of aggressive opposition to police abuse, racism, economic injustice, and the get-tough policies that have created record-high incarceration rates. Those problems have only gotten worse over the last decade, despite some significant successes by the group in both Oakland and San Francisco. But these days, founder and director Van Jones sounds more like a hopeful optimist than an angry radical. Read more »

Death by satire

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annalee@techsploitation.com
TECHSPLOITATION In honor of George W. Bush's efforts to stop torture by setting up secret CIA prisons and promote freedom by expanding government surveillance powers, I think we should spend a few days contemputf8g another great thing this administration has done for the world: it has reinvigorated political satire.
What was The Daily Show before the USA PATRIOT Act? And where would international pranksters the Yes Men be today without this administration's asshattish policies?
Thanks to the Internet, satire can be instant and lethal. Read more »

If once, then always

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
I started dating this guy (I am a girl) about six months ago. I knew he had a girlfriend in another country. I knew it was wrong, but he was only going to be in town for a few months. We ended up really falling for each other.
So the time came for him to leave, and I thought that would be it. But then he told me that he broke up with his girlfriend as soon as he got home. He flew back to visit, and we started talking about the long term.
Then it all crashed. Read more »

California's secret police

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EDITORIAL If a doctor does something really terrible and is suspended from the practice of medicine, the record is public: anyone — a potential future patient, for example — can check with the medical licensing board and find out what happened. Same goes for lawyers — discipline cases are not only public, but the legal papers routinely publish the details of the charges and the state bar association's decisions. Judges? Same deal. Read more »

Five years after

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EDITORIAL Here's the painful but undeniable truth: five years after a pair of airplanes flew into the Twin Towers in New York, killing almost 3,000 people, the world — and the United States — is a decidedly less secure place.
Sure, would-be terrorists can't carry box cutters (or toothpaste) onto planes anymore. It's harder to open cockpit doors. Some flights have fully armed undercover air marshals on board. Read more »

EDITOR'S NOTES

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tredmond@sfbg.com
I was six when they assassinated John F. Kennedy. It was warm and sunny in Dallas, but I remember the cold and snow in Rochester, NY. We were visiting my grandparents; I was walking with my mother to the grocery store when a guy driving by shouted the news out of his car window: "Did ya hear about the president? He was just shot." We turned around and raced back to listen to the radio.
For the next few hours, the grown-ups in the big, roomy apartment were distracted, sort of shell-shocked. Read more »

The age of 9/11

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OPINION We all remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001. The event rocked the world as the last remaining superpower was attacked in full view of its citizens. The images entered our collective consciousness, and we began a new era of global unrest. The gloves came off, diplomacy was mocked, and the United States blasted onto the world stage, weapons drawn.
Let's not relive the events of Sept. 11. We have been reminded of that morning over and over as it has become the sole source of George W. Bush's foreign policy. Read more »