Just got home from work last evening. Turned on my computer and the television in my bedroom, and noticed a progressively louder mix of sirens and helicopters out the window. First I thought it was the tv. When i realized it wasn't I still didn't think what was happening was happening right outside my apartment door on 18th and Castro. But i couldn't be bothered, i was checking my emails, and then mom called. And i still couldn't be bothered after the front door slams open and frantic feet zip up the stairs and throught the apartment, then right back out again. Finally, after many minutes chatting with mum, and few stomach crunches, i head outside on the way to the gym. The step-brother in-law rings and we agree to meet on Market and Castro to check out what happened. I step outside and see this:
...and then i learn there's a dead body. Turns out my roommate ran into the apartment to grab our fire extinguisher and attempted to rescue the victim. He and the others were unsuccessful.
A wacked out driver slammed into another car which subsequently blew up, and the leaking gas dripped down the street, blowing up a number of other parked cars in a southward line. I can't believe more people weren't killed. And I can't believe i didn't hear the explosions! All I could think about was how often i'm just walking up and down that stretch of sidewalk. And how unlucky that bloke was, just on his way to the Castro Theater to take in a film in the SF International Film Festival. Surely he wasn't expecting to be blown up instead.
In a fucked up irony, two sets of massachusetts parents are suing their childrens' school because the teacher read the kids a 'gay fairy tale' to teach them about gay people - who are legally allowed to wed in the state. the parents claim the school violated their civil rights. Slice:
The complaint said the school had "begun a process of intentionally indoctrinating very young children to affirm the notion that homosexuality is right and normal in direct denigration of the plaintiffs' deeply held faith." ...
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston alleges violations of the federal civil rights of the two sets of parents, David and Tonia Parker, and Rob and Robin Wirthlin. The families are devout Judeo-Christians, it said.
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So it's now a civil-right to teach your children to be bigots? That's an interesting twist, though I suppose it may be valid. But what if a parent sued their kid's school because a teacher taught a lesson on the holocaust and the parents claimed a "deeply held faith" that it never happened and insisted the school was indoctrinating their children with jewish conspiracies, violating their "morals."?
When it comes to Christian Conservatives, who label the Democratic Party 'the Party of Death' and then advocate for the death penalty, prohibition on condoms in Africa where AIDS is rampant, and war in the Middle-East, it seems logical they'd claim their civil rights are violated when they can't practice the denial of the civil-rights of others.
Women tennis players have their panties in a twitch over the fact Wimbledon still does not distribute equal prize money to both men and women competitors, in contrast to the Austrialian and US Open grand slam tournaments.
Six-times winner Billie Jean King said: "Wimbledon needs to join the modern world on this issue. " Current champion Venus Williams added: "Wimbledon needs to do the right thing and finally pay the women the same as the men."
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I disagree, and support Wimbledon on this. Women play two out of three sets and men must play three out of five. It is significantly more demanding for men to win the grand slam tournaments, with matches lasting up to four and a half hours, and in my opinion, it is completely unfair that women should be compensated for less work. Granted, I do find the women's game more fun to watch, as they're generally more dramatic - thanks to the top field consisting of drama-queens. Ratings, however, are not what this is about. If ratings are equal, then that should be reflected in the individual players' endorsement deals. The fact is, this isn't about equality, it's about women in tennis exploiting political correctness. Australia and the United States Tennis Associations have capitulated, unfortunately.
I've no guilt in my affection for the greatest power-pop band of all time, Journey. Twenty-five years ago they released ESCAPE, recorded in our own fat college town across the Bay, Berkeley, California.
The album begins with "Don't Stop Believin,' " a song that just may have magical properties within its opening piano signature. Seriously, lock yourself in a room right now and listen to that keyboard part 35 times in a row. Sick of it yet? If you said yes, then you're a filthy liar.
Sully's guest blogger, Walter Kirn, offers a provocative insight into the motivations of attention-seeking killers.
There's something about the world these days that brings out the worst in the lonely and the obscure and feeds their grudges until they grow enormous. And I don't think it's violent video games and movies. I don't think it's access to firearms. I think it's the simple message that you're not anyone until you've done something worthy of media coverage, whatever that thing may be. The star-system has become a kind of moral code with only one commandment: Thou Shalt Not Go Unnoticed.
While Iran gets all the attention, Brazil quietly dumps it's non-proliferation commitment. Of course, Brazil isn't led by a psycho trying to facilitate the End Times, but that does bring up the question:...why?
From almost the day President Bush took office, dialogue even with constructive elements in Iran has been off the table. The administration slammed the brakes on the cautious movement toward discreet post-9/11 cooperation against a common enemy—al Qaeda and its Taliban clients in Afghanistan—when the president branded Iran the fulcrum of his imagined “Axis of Evil.”
Thus did the United States halt the tortuous movement, facilitated by a reformist presidency in Iran, to ratchet down a quarter-century of hostilities—hostilities that grew out of the previous quarter-century of autocracy installed by American-engineered “regime change” in Iran. After a slow minuet between the governments of Bill Clinton and Mohammad Khatami, trying to find convergent interests in places like the United Nations, re-empowered conservatives in the United States were back to talking about . . . regime change in Iran.
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But our own hardliners’ public brandishing of military sticks has already weakened the U.S. case and undermined international willingness to squeeze Iran. Indeed, the apparent determination by conservative policymakers in Washington to threaten Iranians with attack by nuclear weapons is perhaps the biggest boon to the Islamist forces around President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad—and the most potent threat to America’s nonproliferation goals. A threat by a nuclear weapons state to use them legitimizes any other country’s effort to acquire them.
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We've less than three years left of the Bush Administration - is the worst of it still to come?