News & Features

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.”

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. 

White Supremacy in the Age of Donald Trump

Keri Leigh Merritt

Certainly, there is no apology for the racism of working-class whites, nor any excuse; but we should seek to understand the ways in which white supremacy and power are completely intertwined. Throughout American history, the economic elite have used vile forms of racism to perpetuate the current hierarchy — politically, socially and economically. 

Three Trump Speeches and the Death of a Nation

Michael Winship

Donald Trump is not a president but he plays one on TV. And a terrible one at that. Watching him last week during what were, arguably, the worst of many horrible days of this presidency, was to see pure, rampaging id. Aggressive, needy, without logic or reason, Trump continues to rule with ignorance and incoherence, seemingly oblivious to the havoc he causes or maybe just thoroughly enjoying it. 

Robots Are Paving the Way of Our Aging Future

Elizabeth Payne

Paro, which has been used in Japan and through Europe since 2003, has helped demonstrate that technology can be used and embraced in previously-unheard-of ways for eldercare. The robot seal, which responds to touch and makes eye contact, has been found to reduce patient and caregiver stress, to stimulate interaction between patients and caregivers and to improve the socialization of patients. 

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