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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yesterday's Crimes: The Shitshow That Was the 1964 GOP Convention

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:34 AM

  • Democracy in Action," Hearst Metrotone News, Inc. via
The 1964 Republican National Convention was nearly a mirror image of what’s going on in Cleveland this week, but in some ways, it was so much worse.

It was nearly 10 p.m. on July 14 when Nelson Rockefeller took the podium at the Republican National Convention at the Cow Palace on the suburban edge of San Francisco. The New York governor and scion of one of America’s richest families represented the now entirely extinct liberal wing of the GOP, and the dying-off started that year, if not that very night.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Republican Convention Story You Missed

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 11:39 AM

With all the attention on what Melania said, you might not have realized that on Tuesday, Donald Trump was officially nominated for president of the United States. Let that sink in.

You also probably missed a pretty serious moment for another Republican, a lawyer from San Francisco named Harmeet K. Dhillon, who gave the invocation at Day 2 of the convention in Cleveland. The catch is, she offered a Sikh prayer in Punjabi because, well, she practices Sikhism. It was quite a moment for Dhillon, and the Christ-worshipping GOP.

And over here on the Internet, the prayer — which Dhillon helpfully translated for the majority white, English-speaking audience — went over exactly as you’d expect. But before we get into that part, we want you to get to know Harmeet K. Dhillon.

She’s an attorney who lives in San Francisco. She recently took on a class action lawsuit against the city of San Jose after Trump supporters were attacked during a June 2 rally, claiming police failed to protect the supporters from anti-Trump protesters.

The Los Angeles Times ran a bio of Dhillon on Tuesday after the invocation. She was born in India but raised in England and the U.S. Her parents supported Republicans, and in 2013 she became the first female vice chair of the California Republican Party. But that rise did not come without controversy and hardship.

Before being elected to the position, she encountered heavy racism. Dhillon was called a “Taj Mahal princess” and mislabeled a Muslim (and one who would defend beheadings), and a rumor started claiming she would slaughter a goat at the lectern.

So it can’t be all that surprising to read the reactions to her Sikh prayer posted on the GOP Convention Facebook page with the video of her invocation. They certainly were not all bad, but the ugly ones were rather hideous.

Polly Howard Tottle
If I wanted to pray to the Sikh God, I'd go to India. Could we stop appeasing the MINORITY for a change??? Stupid political correctness is killing us! The U.S. was founded on CHRISTIAN principles...we are the MAJORITY yet we continually have to endure this insanity ...I'm tired of all this about just go with what America was founded on! Maybe we could fear the *real God* and realize we're IN this national fix because of our stupidity and arrogance in not honoring Jesus Christ as a nation! Whaddya say GOP?! This is why the majority hates the GOP Establishment!

Lucy Moberg
Not everyone in this country is a Christian. As a Christian, I can respect a different faith even though I do not agree with it. I am confident enough in my own faith, that listening to someone else is not a threat to me. We have to learn how to be inclusive of all faith practices in the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.... it's in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

Melody Hair Godess Bennett
I am so sorry but did she get lost at the airport??? What country does she believe she is in at that time? AMERICA...YOU ARE IN AMERICA you jerk...ENGLISH! Holy crap I cannot believe what I just saw...oh wait, of course I can, she was from the CLINTVOMIT bad

Rita O'Hara
I am Catholic, of Christian Faith. This prayer was fabulous! Harmeet is an amazing woman! She is a superb representative for San Francisco! Rock solid! Rock⭐️‼️

Felicia Solomita
I shut you off during this. I pray to Jesus not her woojie or whatever!! Good grief!

Annette Gallardo Escalante
We r 1 country with different faiths without having to worry about persecution.

Renata Smith
Never again, PLEASE!!!! This is a Christian nation. Speak English too, PLEASE!!!

Brian Akers
Have some respect people, why do think we have the problems we have in this country

Josh Leeper
Sure it's a religion of peace, that's what all the Muslims say. This is America! A Christian country

Sandy Crocco
I think it's beautiful that everyone can pray in their own religion for the same things that we all want.

Traian Lalescu
what's this ? what country is she from? what language? what the Hell is going on with Americans?

Josh Leeper
Take that crap off your head this is america

Renata Smith
There is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not in the mix, that god is satan himself. I can certainly respect the person but I can not respect the religion.

Rob Harless
And ppl think us Republicans are racist
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hate Speech Throws Fuel on Fire of Recall Ed Lee Campaign

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall  on July 15. - JOEL ANGEL JUÁREZ/SPECIAL TO S.F. EXAMINER
  • Joel Angel Juárez/Special to S.F. Examiner
  • Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall on July 15.

Something went down at last Friday’s rally to recall Mayor Ed Lee, but what exactly happened is up for debate - unless, of course, you’re allied with the mayor himself.

In that case, the Recall Ed Lee group has a bigoted and racist member among it. Proof of this can allegedly be found in a video posted to YouTube by Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition, formed, in their own words, “to oppose an extremist effort to foist a $3.5 million, taxpayer-funded recall election on the City of San Francisco.”

The video shows supporters of the ambitious, if not misguided, recall effort chanting their intentions outside City Hall on Friday when an unidentified woman appears and silences the crowd by twice saying, “Go back to China.” She later makes a few more disparaging remarks, including, “You take your Chinese asses back where you came from.”

The woman’s statements can be heard clearly enough in the 29-second clip. And there’s no denying that her words are the antithesis of constructive criticism. However, what’s unclear, and somewhat baffling, is why supporters of the mayor are now claiming this woman is part of the group pushing for a recall. Watch the video and it seems quite apparent the recall folks, and everyone else present, are as shocked as anyone to hear such hateful speech.

Nevertheless, the Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition issued a news release Monday condemning the Recall Ed Lee group, complete with reactions from prominent city figures:

"It is shocking and deeply offensive to hear such openly hateful language used against Chinese Americans - and on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, of all places," Assemblyman David Chiu is quoted as saying. "I urge every San Franciscan to join me in opposing this divisive recall effort."

“San Franciscans now finally see the hate that stands behind the proposed recall of Mayor Ed Lee: anti-Chinese sentiment that has no place in the City’s political debate. I call on every San Franciscan to oppose this wasteful recall and denounce these racist comments,” Fiona Ma, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, is quoted as saying.

The Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition held its own rally at 12:30 p.m. today outside City Hall to address the woman’s statements.

There’s no denying her words were offensive, but condemning the entire group based solely on the video is a reach. However, it does paint the Recall Ed Lee folks in the worst light possible, which might be enough to quash their intentions. We smell political maneuvering at work here.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

John McAfee Brings Guns to Bitcoin Fight in SF

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 12:15 PM

In Scott McKenzie’s famous song about this famous city, he tells visitors they’re “gonna meet some gentle people” in San Francisco. Apparently John McAfee doesn’t believe him - and if he’d written the song, he probably would’ve sang something like, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to pack a few glocks in your suitcase”

In case you’re wondering, yes, we’re talking about that John McAfee. He’s the same John McAfee who lives this life and is going to do this starting tomorrow. And if you breeze through a few of those stories, you will come to find out that John McAfee doesn’t give a fuck, is still filthy rich, probably lost his marbles years ago despite still being quite brilliant, and prefers the company of firearms to blondes.

And when he’s going to San Francisco, he doesn’t mess around:

Tweeted this morning (he also pinned the tweet, showing he means business), presumably at an airport awaiting takeoff to SFO, McAfee captioned the photo thusly: “Heading to d10e in San Francisco. Bitcoin techies are dangerous folks. Can't be too safe.”

Hahaha, that John McAfee! He’s such a card, that one. Bringing guns on an airplane, to a tech conference, in San Francisco. Surely you jest. (Don’t forget which John McAfee we’re talking about.)

For those who don’t know, d10e takes place tomorrow and Wednesday. This is the fifth time it’s happened, and the conference is meant to “showcase the latest in fintech and disruptive, decentralizing technology,” like bitcoin, according to a press release. Sounds pretty boring.

So, perhaps to liven it up a bit, organizers went the extra mile. The conference will be streamed in virtual reality, which makes no sense to us, but oh well. And they got a brand name (literally!) in McAfee to speak, or shoot bullets at people. Or maybe in the air. We don’t know, they don’t know, only McAfee knows. Be warned. 
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Friday, July 15, 2016

Another Report Points Out Dire Mental Health Care Situation in SF County Jail

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 12:15 PM

  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner
For the second time in a month, a report on the state of inmate mental health in San Francisco has been released - which means for the second time in a month, we can wonder if anyone at City Hall is still paying attention to the crisis happening in the County Jail system and, in turn, on city streets.

San Francisco officials last year wanted the city to invest in alternatives to incarceration instead of a new jail, and that includes much more robust mental health care services. But since the Board of Supervisors rejected funding for a new jail in December, not much has happened save for a concept paper released in mid-June and now a grand jury report on the mental health crisis among inmates.

The concept paper and report are similar, pointing out that County Jail is the top provider of mental health care services in San Francisco (in case you’re curious, that’s not a title it should hold). And despite the inmate population declining over the years, one of the concept paper authors told SF Weekly earlier this month that the number of inmates needing mental health care has not dropped. And when those inmates are finally released, many end up homeless, living on the streets.

The heart of the concept paper is a four-tiered approach to mental health care that includes a place police can take suspects for evaluation before they’re locked up, in hopes that they can receive the proper care instead of a damaging and dangerous stint behind bars. In the grand jury report, recommendations include operating Jail Behavioral Health Services 24 hours a day, along with crisis and suicide prevention training for staff who work with inmates. Suicide is, according to the report, the top cause of death among inmates across the country.

Bay City News pointed out that the city is being sued by the family of Alberto Carlos Petrolino, a 50-year-old man who died by suicide while in County Jail. Family members and defense attorneys had warned that Petrolino was suicidal, but authorities did not provide the proper care and supervision. And Petrolino was not a violent offender, having been locked up because he violated a stay-away order that prevented him from going to the Golden Gate Bridge after threatening to jump off the span.

Officials with the Sheriff’s Department, which operates County Jail, said they will review the grand jury report. They are coordinating with the jail replacement working group to come up with plans for a new project, which are expected by the end of the year.
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Millennial Problems: Scary-Good

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 11:14 AM

Gotta fool 'em all - CARTELPRESS.COM
  • Gotta fool 'em all

As the saying goes: Fool the New York Post, shame on you, but fool The Atlantic, and now you’re famous.

The world’s scariest - or scary awesomest - millennial is a 26-year-old guy named Pablo Reyes who played the best trick of the week on a bunch of grownup children and journalists. We think his name is Pablo Reyes, but at this point the entire thing is open for debate.

It all started when some company released some video game for smartphones called Pokemon Go (we’d never heard of it either). Apparently it’s popular everywhere, including San Francisco. Eh, maybe popular isn’t the right word. It seems to be the biggest thing since sliced bread (that’s baby boomer humor). Think popular like the Super Bowl, early American Idol, or the pope. Pope popular. So the game is so popular that apparently people will believe anything having to do with the game.

“Pokemon Go: Major Highway Accident After Man Stops In Middle Of Highway To Catch Pikachu!”

“Pokemon GO: Teen Kills Younger Brother Because He Thought He Deleted His Pokemon”

“ISIS Is Taking Responsibility For “Pokemon Go”s Login Problems; Server Issues”

Those are some of the headlines on a fake news site called Cartel Press that apparently fit the narrative of Pokemon Go’s reception that reputable news organizations like the New York Post (hehehe) and Atlantic decided to run with them as if they were accurate. Pablo Reyes is the guy behind the guy who came up with them, according to this story from another reputable news source. (We’re so confused, we don’t know who to believe; maybe Pokemon isn’t even real?!)

Weirdly enough, Reyes claims the stories went viral by accident after he was testing some new platform for Cartel Press that pushed them to the top of the page. Whatever. The point is, many people just ate them up without the slightest pause, it seems. Just look at the photo of the “major highway accident.” It was clearly taken during winter.

“A lot of people go off the headline. They read the article. They find it funny. This is why it works. There are people who are very gullible out there,” Reyes told The Daily Beast. “I mean, if you actually read the article, you can tell the article is bogus.”

But no one seemed to care, which is nothing new. This story, for instance, does a good job of screwing with people, but it’s supposed to, like other social experiments.

Reyes is no stranger to screwing with gullible people. He’s also the guy who can predict the future with a few simple Facebook tricks.

Reyes’ stories were supposed to make people laugh, and instead the joke is wholly on them. He wins all the medals. 
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

SFPD Thinks Cop in Recent Killing Will Be Key Department Reformer

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 12:36 PM

click image After the fatal shooting of Luis Gongora, Sgt. Nate Steger has been tasked with figuring out how to stop cops from killing civilians. - VIA JUSTICE FOR LUIS GÓNGORA PAT/YOUTUBE
  • via Justice for Luis Góngora Pat/Youtube
  • After the fatal shooting of Luis Gongora, Sgt. Nate Steger has been tasked with figuring out how to stop cops from killing civilians.
The San Francisco Police Department is currently in what you might call a predicament.

The bad PR has been piling up for months now, as have the bodies of citizens killed by officers. An ad hoc panel’s review just dropped, revealing a police force rife with racial profiling problems that’s backed up by a divisive, dangerous, and utterly tone deaf union. The cops’ cop of a chief is gone, and if you really want to lose all faith in the people who are supposed to protect and serve the public, then just go back over the last year-plus of stories about the text messages.

When things are this bad, it’s easy for the media to just shoot fish in a barrel. Which brings us to the latest WTF moment in recent SFPD history: One of the two officers responsible for the shooting death of Luis Gongora in the Mission District on April 7 is working for the new SFPD bureau tasked with figuring out how to stop cops from killing civilians.

Sgt. Nate Steger is one of only four officers working on these reforms for the Professional Standards and Principled Policing Bureau, the Examiner reports. (Toney Chaplin was directing the bureau before his promotion to interim chief.) The bureau is supposed to be integral in crafting new policies that would reduce police shootings, among other responsibilities.

Folks who spoke with the Examiner were pissed.

“It is shocking to hear that given that the Gongora case is still under investigation, that one of the officers involved, and thus may have been involved in misconduct, is working in a department unit heading reforms,” said Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission District. “It sends a horrible message to the Gongora family and the community at large. It is further proof that the department doesn’t get it and needs reform.”

“It seems very strange that they would put him in that position,” said Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who appeared before the District Attorney’s Office’s panel reviewing SFPD. “It appears that he’s been put in a position of preventing people from doing exactly what he did. I would wonder what kinds of training he has received.”

“Wow. That’s insane,” said Ilych Sato, aka Equipto, a vocal opponent of SFPD and one of the Frisco 5 who went on a hunger strike after Gongora’s death.

It seems woefully contradictory for Steger to hold any position within this bureau, but that’s just civilian talk. We’re not experts like the Police Officers Association union, which comes up with gems like “[t]he reality for every San Francisco police officer is that you have become a political football for nearly every San Francisco politician, police commissioner, and self-promoting politico in this city” in its riveting monthly journal. Or threatens elected officials who dare disagree or challenge police conduct in this city. The union seems to control SFPD, and that’s not a good thing.

Maybe it’s time to stop doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rents Falling in SF, But Sky Remains Overhead

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 1:45 PM

  • Wikimedia Commons
It can’t be this bad forever, they said. The rents will fall, they said. San Francisco will return, they said.

If you’re not bringing in startup-unicorn level cash and hope to live in the city one day, or at least in a cheaper apartment, we have some good news to report: San Francisco rents dropped 5 percent between June and July. That’s according to a national report released today by the apartment listings site ABODO. And while that might not be a game-changer for many folks, ABODO sees it as a trend that could carry on for months.

"While a large portion of the country is running significantly short on apartment rental supply, our research team is seeing a larger supply than ever before in San Francisco,” Sam Radbil, an ABODO spokesman, tells SF Weekly. “The huge amount of building in this metro area is providing more options for renters. The supply is finally catching up with the demand, causing a decline in price. We believe that this is a trend that may continue in San Francisco throughout the rest of 2016."

It’s true that housing construction has increased in recent years — just take a gander at the city’s dense Pipeline Report — and some people say more homes means lower prices, eventually. So have we entered this new phase of affordability? (You didn’t actually think we were serious.)

Maybe, maybe not. It’s hard to say. Stories like this one could just be an outlier, but if demand is so high then why would a developer abandon an already approved project?

Regardless, as Curbed pointed out, two approved projects put up for sale does not make a trend. One month of rent price declines probably doesn’t either, but it’s still significant for San Francisco.

"We anticipate that the rent growth might begin to slow in cities like San Francisco — cities that have experienced rapid recent growth — because of the huge boom in multifamily construction,” Radbil says. “The development and construction of new rentals will ultimately bring more units to market for local renters and limit the demand for individual units, while minimizing leverage that landlords currently hold.”

ABODO also found that rents in Oakland dropped as well, and even more significantly at 11 percent.

That’s promising for Bay Area renters — especially when we have a group from San Francisco that sued a nearby city over its lack of housing construction, then threatened to “sue the suburbs” unless more shovels went in the ground. 
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Should Lyft Drivers Be Excited About New Leasing Option Coming to SF?

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 12:05 PM

  • Mike Koozmin
For as much as the gig economy is vilified in San Francisco and beyond, with earnings promises seemingly never living up to corporate assurances, it’s still an employment option used by thousands and thousands of folks every day. So any incentive for the little guy is worth noting.

Which brings us to Express Drive, a vehicle rental service for aspiring or existing Lyft drivers. Launched earlier this year in Chicago, Baltimore, and a few other cities, it’s been so successful that it’s expanding to more cities, including San Francisco, and it actually looks like a decent option (even if looks can be deceiving).

The partnership between Lyft and General Motors is slated to launch this summer in the city, according to an announcement from GM today. It will also come to Los Angeles and Denver later. GM says in these three cities combined, more than 130,000 people have applied to be Lyft drivers but did not have qualifying cars. (It’s unclear how many were in San Francisco, as there was no city-by-city breakdown.)

Driving for ride-hail apps like Uber and Lyft can be challenging when you don’t actually own a car, or your vehicle is too old to meet company standards or too small. Or maybe you just don’t want to put all that mileage and strain on your precious Prius. Many leasing options already exist, but Express Drive could be the best value. Of course, you have to really drive for that to happen.

The system only benefits the driver/lessee in a meaningful way if they spend a lot of time on the road — as in taking at least 65 fares a week. That’s when all the rental, maintenance, and insurance fees are waived, but the driver still pays for gas. If you take between 40 and 64 fares a week, you’d pay a flat $99 fee for the vehicle. And when it’s under 40 rides per week, the $99 fee is charged along with 20 cents per mile. Other lease options can cost $120 to $200 a week, plus gas and maintenance, so Express Drive is a better deal for frequent drivers. This rideshare blog did a nice analysis of the service back in April.

In smaller markets it might be challenging to achieve those fare numbers, especially with Lyft, which is not as big as rival Uber even though it’s been making headway on that front. But San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area is a top market for ride-hail apps, so Express Drive will probably be huge here. Hopefully people will be able to make a better living than the poor souls driving for Uber in these three markets.
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Friday, July 8, 2016

Police Protest Planned Tonight in SF?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 12:05 PM

Demonstrators block traffic along I-880 in Oakland on Thursday. - JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS VIA AP
  • Jose Carlos Fajardo/San Jose Mercury News via AP
  • Demonstrators block traffic along I-880 in Oakland on Thursday.

Following Thursday night’s highway shutdown in Oakland during a police protest and the shootout that killed 5 police officers in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter march, a rally and march is planned tonight in San Francisco in reaction to the killing of two black men earlier this week by cops in Minnesota and Louisiana.

The San Francisco protest was announced before the incident in Dallas, according to the time stamps on posts at ANSWER Coalition and Occupy Oakland. Organizers are urging people to gather in Justin Herman Plaza across from the Ferry Building at 6 p.m. to “demand justice for all the victims of police brutality and end to racist police terror.” However, in light of the Dallas shootings, the rally is bound to take on a different tone and could have a larger police presence.

Many protests nationwide, such as the one in Oakland, were held Thursday in response to the police shooting deaths of Philando Castile on Wednesday in Minnesota and Alton Sterling on Tuesday in Louisiana. Castile was killed during a traffic stop while he sat in a car with his girlfriend and her daughter — and the aftermath was live streamed by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Sterling was lying on his back pinned down by two officers when he was fatally shot outside a convenience store.

Police around the country are on heightened alert following the Dallas sniper attack. In Oakland and San Jose, officers have been ordered to pair up on patrols to increase safety.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Friday issued a statement addressing the recent spate of violence nationwide, saying local police “showed this week that reforms can take hold and the sanctity of life can be upheld.” He was referring to the Wednesday standoff in the Tenderloin in which officers were able to peacefully end the confrontation with an armed man when they used beanbag rounds to subdue him
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"