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The San Francisco Forum
December 1998
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Local stories of interest ...

San Francisco has always held itself in extraordinarily high esteem, contrary facts be damned. In the age of Mayor Willie Brown, however, the gulf between the myth (caring, progressive, open) and the reality (greedy, incompetent, covert) of city government is especially broad and deep. ... [more]
In the past three years San Francisco has lost more than 1,000 low-cost housing units to demolition and hotel conversions, some 2,000 public housing units to demolition, and roughly 1,600 rental apartments to back-door condominium conversions. In all, city figures show, more than 8,000 residents have lost their homes to evictions ... [more]
Stick around local politics long enough and you'll learn to recognize it. I call it the test-pattern speech. A candidate's mouth opens. Lots of words come out. But nothing is actually said ... [more]
WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON HERE? This page keeps track of elections, politics and the art of governance in San Francisco.  ... [more]
Muni Under Fire The press is starting to get serious about the MUNI - What can be done to fix it? ... [more]
more than a dozen Peninsula cities are lining up to talk with a neighbor that holds the key to an unprecedented form of low-priced, cutting-edge competition against TCI. ... [more]
Over Labor Day, the Bay Area's largest advertising conglomerate-SF Chron/Ex -finally noticed what normal people have known for three months: Willie Brown and Jack Davis stole the June 3rd election. ... [more]
It's a lot different being shown around by a friend in San Francisco than navigating the foggy maze on your own. ... [more]
At the pre-emptory request of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last nine years and ten months past of San Fransisco, California, declare and proclaim myself the Emperor of These United States. ... [more]
The principle of a Common Law Jury or Trial by the Country was first established on June 15, 1215 at Runnymede, England when King John signed the Magna Carta, or Great Charter of our Liberties. It created the basis for our Constitutional, system of Justice. ... [more]
Maybe I am missing something here, but what is the justification for not letting anyone who wants to drive a taxi to drive one. Assuming they pay permits, licensing and abide to any city regulations (like any other business) ... [more]
Contrary to press reports, the San Francisco woman who was killed was wearing a helmet and did not "suddenly swerve" in front of the bus. The pattern of distortion is strikingly similar to the one used to falsify the record of the death of bike messenger Casey Moe ... [more]
A recently released study by CalTrans (SF Chronicle, 5/16/97; SF Examiner, 5/15/97) indicated that Bay Area commuters waste 90,000 hours each day stuck in traffic, an increase from 68,500 hours wasted in 1995. ... [more]
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universalis

Throughout the USA people are being injured and even killed by police using excessive force or deliberately brutal treatment. Police officers are punching, kicking, beating and shooting people who pose no threat, or are causing serious injuries, and sometimes death, by misusing restraints, chemical sprays or electro-shock weapons. Most reported incidents take place during arrest, searches, traffic stops or in street incidents. ... [more]
Stephen Carter tells the story of two black women who moved from "involvement in liberal politics to involvement in conservative Christian groups for no other reason than their perception that, among their natural liberal political allies, their desire to talk about their faith -- evangelical Christianity -- made them an object of sport." In the end, they "preferred a place that honored their faith and disdained their politics over a place that honored their politics and disdained their faith." ... [more]
WASHINGTON - As the world's top financial officials wind up an extraordinarily somber and fairly inconclusive week of meetings here, it appears that the doctrine of Western-style free market economics risks becoming one of the key victims of the global economic crisis. ... [more]
Without much public awareness, 29 of the richest countries in the world, including the US, are considering an international investment agreement, known as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). If adopted, the MAI will have adverse environmental impacts around the world.  It will empower foreign corporations with a new weapon to challenge environmental laws, which will cause adverse environmental impacts and thereby restrain sustainable development. ... [more]
Condemn the practice of administrative detention of individuals for reasons that do not pertain to the detainee's specific case, that is, in circumstances where a person is detained solely as leverage for the acts of others ... [more]
"On ethical grounds, do we have the right to use the machinery of government to prevent an individual from becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict? For children, almost everyone would answer at least a qualified yes. But for responsible adults ... [more]
Governments presume that they know better what is good for others than do those people themselves. These rulers seem to think that when other people make choices that they consider unwise, unhealthy, or immoral, those people are misbehaving because they are either uninformed, stupid, or physically, psychologically, or morally diseased. ... [more]
In 1970, about 90% of international capital was used for trade and long-term investment -- more or less productive things -- and 10% for speculation. By 1990, those figures had reversed ... [more]
An article quotes the top terrorologists as explaining (with much approval) that with the bombing of Afghanistan/Sudan, the US is "adopting Israeli tactics." The main illustration given is an interesting one: an Israeli helicopter attack in Lebanon in 1992 targeting and murdering Hizbollah leader Sheikh Abbas Mussawi (along with his wife and their infant child) -- considered a great and heroic blow against terrorism. ... [more]
Religious liberty means that however convinced we are of the spiritual needs of a sinful world, however convinced we are of the truth of the Gospel, neither God nor man has given us the authority to force those beliefs on another human being. ... [more]
And in a letter he wrote to one of his Spanish patrons, Columbus said: They are very simple and honest and exceedingly liberal with all they have, none of them, in the midst of all this, in his journal, Columbus writes: They would make fine servants. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. ... [more]
At the end of the war, the United States, of course, had an overwhelming share of global wealth and power and, perfectly naturally, dominant forces within the state corporate nexus in the United States planned to use that power to organize the world as much as they could in accord with their own conceptions. ... [more]

adventus

There seems to be a strange phenomenon occurring in major metropolitan areas each December where Cacophonist Santas have been taking to streets generating a bit of naughty Noël mayhem. It all began back in 1994 ... [more]
....I have run about alot in life searching for the ultimate party, but The Man blew my sweet stuff APART!!! Every day brought a plethora of rich rewards and surprises, mixed liberally with challenge heat and even danger. ... [more]
Will I trip again? Oh hell yeah. Will I trip that hard? Nope. if I ever trip that hard again, it will be many many many years from now. I didn't expect to lose myself like that. It wasn't a fun experience, just an intense experience. And my life will be changed forever. ... [more]

finalis ...

The facts are that, on average, children watch television almost 40 hours per week. For 9-14 year olds, this is as much time as all their discretionary activities together.1 In one year, the average child is likely to see 40,000 advertisements.2 One half of children between the ages of 6-17 have televisions in thier bedroom.3 The cumulative effects are destructive and pervasive. ... [more]
10 alternative Web sites the mainstream media doesn't want you to see. ... [more]
The media tried to turn the Clinton story into Camelot II. Just the truth would have made life easier for all of us. And a much better tale as well. ... [more]
Of all the migrating peoples of the Völkerwanderung, those who imposed themselves most indelibly on the lands they conquered were, without doubt, the Anglo-Saxons. The Franks and the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths and the Lombards all conquered wide lands and ruled over the native peoples of Gaul, Italy and Spain, but the Anglo-Saxons went a stage further than this - they actually displaced the native Celtic population and changed the ethnic map of the British Isles forever. ... [more]

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