News & Features

Remembrances and Reverberations of a Mexican September

Kent Paterson

As of publication, the death toll in Mexico City and several adjacent states was put at more than 200. It was expected to rise as rescue efforts continued. If Tuesday’s afternoon quake had struck in the early morning as in 1985, the death count would surely be much higher. Worse yet, this week’s earth whammy comes less than two weeks after a shattering quake of magnitude 8.2 killed about 100 people in southern Mexico, mostly in the poor, indigenous state of Oaxaca. 

U.S. Should Exercise Magnanimity Over North Korea

George Koo

As the imbroglio deepens, world opinion is shifting toward caution and moderation, not so much in sympathy for the puny underdog taking on the hegemon but out of concern that the confrontation, without a course correction, could lead to catastrophic consequences exceeding any rational imagination. The people of South Korea are relatively blasé about the actions of their neighbor to the north because they believe they understand the North Koreans. They fear instead US President Donald Trump because of his unpredictability and the seeming opacity hiding his real intentions.

Betty Ong – The Angel of September 11

Steven Knipp

 For San Francisco’s Ong family, that tragedy was dreadfully personal. The “her” referred to by American Airlines employee Nydia Gonzalez was flight attendant Betty Ann Ong—their beloved sister and daughter.Ong was a victim of the terrorists. But she was also the first hero of that fateful day. Many people have heard of Todd Beamer’s courage (“Let’s roll”). But relatively few know about Betty Ong’s.​

When Hate Hits Home

Peter Schurmann

As the presidential race heated up, Ho says his friend (whose name Ho asked be withheld for privacy reasons) began to echo some of the more toxic rhetoric coming out of the Trump campaign. It began with comments about undocumented immigrants, or about women. Over time, their meetings grew more tense, their differences more stark. “At some point there was no logical basis to our conversations – they just became a clash of values,” says Ho. “They never ended well.” 

The Art World Takes a Stand Against Trump

Adele M. Stan

On August 3, long before the conflagration at Charlottesville marked a turning point in Donald J. Trump’s presidential career, Norman Lear threw down a gauntlet. Though Lear would accept the Kennedy Center honor to be awarded to him in December for his unique role in American society as the pioneering creator of politically charged situation comedies, he announced that he would not attend the White House reception preceding the event, a decision Lear said he made in protest of Trump’s denial of funding to the arts. 

The Trump Effect: The Continuous Rise of Hate Groups

Della Hasselle

Just days after Heather Heyer was killed protesting a rally of white nationalists held in Charlottesville, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus announced fellow lawmakers would be discussing the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., the caucus chairman, told reporters that lawmakers were outraged by the president’s remarks after the deadly Aug. 12 protest in Charlottesville, when Trump insisted there was evidence of hatred, bigotry and violence “on many sides” during the event.

The Arpaio Pardon and the Coming Constitutional Crisis

Charles Kaiser

Trump started tweeting trial balloons about this a month ago — “all agree the US president has the complete power to pardon” — and he has even asserted the unlitigated idea that he can pardon himself. But what he did yesterday puts his presidency on a whole new plane: a Category 5 political hurricane. By pardoning a man convicted of criminal contempt for direct violation of a federal order, Trump is now flaunting his eagerness to overturn the rule of law in America.

Media Hype and the Myth of Ageless Baby Boomers

Paul Kleyman

At the same time, the media’s appeal to older Americans too often translates into marketable nostalgia for the Sixties (cue PBS pledge break here!) and with fiftieth anniversaries, some of them truly historic (the Selma march, the moon landing, three shattering assassinations), and some of more questionable gravity (Woodstock, Altamont, and, yes, the Summer of Love). My view, from more than a half-century in the countercultural epicenter of San Francisco, is that the headlines have largely missed the essential stories of (cue The Who) “M-m-my Generation.”

Comedian/Activist Dick Gregory Dies at 84

Monée Fields-White

In the 1970s, after moving to Massachusetts, Gregory became very interested in vegetarianism, nutrition and overall fitness, eventually advocating a diet of raw fruits and vegetables (this from a man who once weighed 350 pounds, drank heavily and smoked several packs of cigarettes a day). He was particularly opposed to the typical soul food diet, attributing to it much of African Americans’ disproportionate health challenges. 

Warriors’ Move to San Francisco Highlights City’s Racist Past

Allen Jones

Warriors’ history in fact starts in Philadelphia. A maverick of a man, Mieuli – a flamboyant radio and television producer known for his full beard and preference for motorcycles – got together with some investors who together bought and brought the team west to San Francisco in 1962. Technically, the team’s home arena at the time was the “Cow Palace” in Daly City, a one-time venue for livestock expos built in 1941 just beyond the southern borders of San Francisco. 

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