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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Welcome to the nightmare

Can the man who stole the election actually govern Mexico?
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MEXICO CITY (Sept. 14th) - In an epiphany of how he might have to govern Mexico if, in fact, an aggrieved left opposition allows him to assume the presidency December 1st, right-winger Felipe Calderon had to be helicoptered to the bunker in the deep south of this conflictive capital, where the nation's top electoral tribunal doing business as the TRIFE was to hand him the certificate attesting that he had, in the judges' less-than-august opinions, won the hotly-contested July 2nd election from leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO.). Read more »

An explosive issue

The city considers requiring valves that would shut off the gas after an earthquake, but who should pay for it?
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amanda@sfbg.com
Do you know where your natural gas shutoff valve is? Are you going to need a wrench to turn it off? If the ground starts shaking and the ceiling is coming down on your head, are you going to be thinking about your pipes cracking and spewing high-pressure, flammable natural gas into your home?
Probably not, which is why automatic shutoff valves were developed. Read more »

Terrorizing the peace marches

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gwschulz@sfbg.com
If any questions remain today as to how the law enforcement establishment views antiwar activists in the post–Sept. 11 world, just follow the money for answers.
The San Francisco Police Department was paid $3.3 million from the US Department of Homeland Security to cover overtime costs for officers who patrolled the major antiwar demonstrations of early 2003.
After months of haggling, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security finally turned key records over to the Guardian. Read more »

Bad cops walk into the shadows

A state Supreme Court ruling keeps the public from accessing records of police misconduct
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gwschulz@sfbg.com
In late June, two San Francisco police officers were accused of giving beer and vodka to three teenage girls and making sexual advances toward them. One of the young women was just 16 years old, and the two others were 17. The alleged conduct of the officers occurred both in and out of uniform, and they even reportedly offered the girls confiscated fireworks from the trunk of their patrol car.
In February, an off-duty San Francisco Police Department officer was arrested for threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and their 5-year-old daughter during a domestic quarrel. Read more »

Weaponizing data

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annalee@techsploitation.com
TECHSPLOITATION I was in front of a computer when the Twin Towers went down. The morning light flooded Charlie's tiny studio apartment kitchen, where she'd parked her computer desk in a spot that another person would have used for a breakfast nook.
"Holy shit," she said. "Look at the Washington Post!" I stared blearily at the monitor, coffee mug in my hand, and saw pictures of smoke. Charlie continued clicking and clicking on news. It was everywhere: live streams and up-to-the-second photographs of the towers as they burned.
One had fallen. Read more »

Ghost story

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
I was on antidepressants for a year and just came off them recently. It was situational; I have no other psych history. I've always fantasized about being submissive but never seriously acted on it. But since I've been off the medication, I've experienced an intense surge of sexual interest. I've developed an online relationship with someone in which I am his sex slave–toy. I've just sent him some pictures of me. I'm a professional and my friends and family have no idea.
I feel I'm about to go out of control with this desire. Read more »

Veto the cable giveaway

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Editor's note: This editorial has been corrected. An earlier version mischaracterized the effect of the cable bill on municipal finances.

EDITORIAL A terrible bill masquerading as a proconsumer law cleared both houses of the state legislature last week and is now on the governor's desk. Read more »

The cost of harassing the homeless

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EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has always talked about treating homeless people with compassion, is allowing the cops to do just the opposite — and it's costing the city millions. As Amanda Witherell reports on page 11, the San Francisco Police Department under the Newsom administration has issued 31,230 citations for so-called quality of life offenses like sleeping on the streets, sleeping in the parks, and panhandling. Read more »

EDITOR'S NOTES

Why some stories never make the front page
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tredmond@sfbg.com
There are people at the daily newspapers around here who bristle when I accuse them of ignoring important local stories, particularly ones involving powerful political, business, or social figures (and most particularly, involving the newspapers themselves). No representative of the Hearst Corp. stands in the newsroom door announcing that stories about management will be sent to New York for prior censorship. Nobody tells the Chronicle's reporters that they can't cover a pressing story.
And I believe all that. I really do. Read more »

CENSORED!

The 10 big stories the nation's major news media refused to cover last year
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sarah@sfbg.com
Last month, two news stories broke the same day, one meaty, one junky. In Detroit, US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled that the Bush administration's warrantless National Security Agency surveillance program was unconstitutional and must end. Read more »