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28 Feb 2012 14:36


Politics: Newt Gingrich explains what he means by “San Francisco values”

  • I’m here in 1983, and I’m part of a truth squad… for the convention. And we’re having a great time. It’s a great city, as you know, there’s a reason it’s one of the great tourist cities in the country. We’re down at Union Square, and CBS is interviewing me… literally, at that moment, a six-foot-two transvestite comes up to me and hands me an invitation to an exorcism of Jerry Falwell.
  • Newt Gingrich • Explaining, when pressed by San Francisco Chronicle reporters Joe Garofoli and Carla Marinucci, what precisely he means when he decries “San Francisco values.” His response, as you can see, is not one that will go over well with LGBT advocates, or people who believe a personal anecdote is shaky grounds for a broad-based political narrative. It does bear mentioning that Gingrich had some compliments for the city as, well, a city, and he also had some unexpected praise on California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. source

12 Dec 2011 23:31


U.S.: San Francisco’s new minimum wage sets the double-digit standard

  • $10.24 San Francisco’s new minimum wage source
  • » Happy New Year, indeed. Starting Jan. 1, San Francisco’s minimum hourly wage will jump above the $10 mark for the first time. That’s about $3 higher than the federal minimum wage and higher than anywhere else in the country, due to the fact that the progressive city ties its minimum wage to inflation and the quite-high cost of living in the area. But with wage hikes, various fees and the sagging economy, employers might have to start laying off workers again to keep up.

01 Dec 2011 10:17


Biz: McDonald’s, Burger King turn on a dime to beat Happy Meal law

  • problem In San Francisco, it’s now illegal to include free toys in fast-food meals that don’t meet certain standards for nutrition. This is a problem for McDonald’s, which sells a lot of Happy Meals for this reason.
  • workaround So … rather than just get rid of the toys altogether, at least two fast-food outlets — McDonald’s and Burger King — plan to simply charge a tiny nominal fee for the toys. One dime. Boom. source

25 Oct 2011 20:07


Politics: SF + M.C. Hammer + Brian Wilson + + Ed Lee = Insane ad

  • San Francisco’s mayor gets uh, diverse support: M.C. Hammer’s music isn’t exactly setting the charts ablaze anymore (he’s moved on to search engines), but it works well in political ads, apparently, as this bizarre concoction above proves. Ed Lee, the current mayor of the city, was appointed after Gavin Newsom took over as California’s lieutenant governor, but the tech-friendly Lee hopes to get a full term. So do all the folks in this clip, ranging from top brass at Google to Twitter co-founders to insane pitcher Brian Wilson to M.C. FREAKING HAMMER, donning the parachute pants again to offer his support to the mayor. Gotta give the funders of this ad (tech entrepreneurs Ron Conway and Justin Timberlake Sean Parker) credit — it’s 2 Legit 2 Quit. source

14 Aug 2011 22:20


U.S.: Anonymous BART hack: Thousands of users hit in retaliatory attack

  • 2,000+ people affected by MyBART hack source
  • » Were the right people affected? While members of the group Anonymous claimed that the hack was intended to draw attention to a recent attempt by BART to quell a planned protest by blocking cell-phone signals, users affected by the hack felt that the attack hit the wrong target. One MyBART user on the list, Owen Rubin, put it like so: “I understand the reason why they’re protesting, but they’re hurting the wrong people. They’re hurting the commuters, and they’re hurting the consumers like me who have nothing to do with BART other than having to ride it as a way to get to and from work.” For what it’s worth, those who leaked the data claim that the site was very insecure — “Any 8 year old with a internet connection could have done what we did to find it,” the note accompanying the data breach says — but the frustration is something that users affected by many recent hacks will understand. These victims suffer indirectly, exploited as something of a third party to the real target in question, be it Sony, BART, or the federal government.

06 Jul 2011 00:21


Culture: Picasso drawing nabbed from gallery

  • HEIST! A 1965 Pablo Picasso drawing valued at over $200,000 was successfully stolen earlier today from a San Francisco art gallery. It was a sophisticated heist that included eleven individuals, a remote-controlled car, a decoy video feed and several impostor cops. Hah, just kidding, that was “Ocean’s Eleven.” This heist was much less glamorous; apparently, a guy just walked into the gallery, picked up the drawing, and walked out. Clever! The police say that they might recover the piece if someone spots the thief “walking around with it or trying to sell it.” In other words, they won’t recover the piece. source

27 Jun 2011 11:07


U.S.: San Francisco wants to ban pet sales. Good idea or terrible one?

  • A case of local government overreach? In San Francisco, officials are pushing a bill that bans the sale of pets. Say whaaaaaaaaaaa? See, The Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal merely started out as a bill banning the sale of dogs and cats produced in puppy mills or kitten factories — as part of a push to improve adoption numbers. (Which is actually a pretty good idea, if you think about it.) But suddenly, the bill’s scope broadened dramatically, and now includes pretty much any type of pet you can buy in a store — from goldfish to gerbils, bunnies to birds. However, the bill has a pretty big loophole: If you plan to buy a live animal for the purposes of eating, a law already on the books allows that. So, just claim that it’s rabbit season and that you plan to eat Bugs Bunny, and you should be fine. (photo via flickr user blmurch) source

10 May 2011 10:27


Biz: Arizona ensures the Happy Meal stays unregulated, unhealthy

  • It’s not that we’re trying to make kids fat — clearly we’re not; it’s about how much government intrusion is really necessary.
  • Arizona Restaurant Association president Steve Chucri • Using the small-government argument to fight for one of his group’s major interests: Keeping Happy Meals unregulated. The group helped push forth an Arizona law that bars local governments from doing what San Francisco did — that is, forcing fast-food places to sell healthier food with their toy-laden meals. Yale’s Kelly Brownell, who leads the university’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, offers a pretty good explanation why the food industry is fighting so hard against the policy: “The companies are fearful these laws will impede their opportunity to recruit new customers,” he notes. source

22 Apr 2011 18:12


Tech: Twitter’s new building almost too big to describe in 140 characters

  • Twitter’s new home: Today, Twitter crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on the lease for this, the San Francisco Mart building in the city’s Central Market district. The deal came after Twitter made a deal with the city to avoid a 1.5 percent city payroll tax for the next six years. Which means Twitter can bulk up without having to pay any extra taxes. Sweet — for them. source

30 Mar 2011 13:55


U.S.: PETA wants to rename “The Tenderloin”

  • [San Francisco] deserves a neighborhood named after a delicious cruelty-free food instead of the flesh of an abused animal.
  • PETA’s Tracy Reiman • Regarding the city’s notorious Tenderloin district. The TL, as some call it, is a notoriously rough area near San Francisco’s financial district; according to local lore, it’s named after the preferred cut of meat for neighborhood cops overflowing with bribe money. PETA is offended at this carnivore-centric nomenclature, and wants to rename the neighborhood “The Tempeh,” after the soy product. Once again, PETA really ought to consider picking their battles more carefully. Besides, renaming it “The Tempeh” might imply that the corrupt cops preferred cruelty-free food. And we don’t want to glorify corrupt cops, do we? source