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May 28, 2010

Rand Paul wants to end birthright citizenship, patrol our borders with helicopters and satellites

Think Progress -- Rand Paul Endorses Obviously Unconstitutional Plan To End Birthright Citizenship
Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul is best known for radical anti-government views that lead him to oppose the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters, while claiming that governmental criticism of BP is “un-American.” Yet Paul’s hatred of all things government appears to end at the border. In an interview with a Russian television station, Paul calls for expansive levels of surveillance and unconstitutional attacks on Americans’ citizenship: I recently have been talking more about satellite observation. They say you can sit in front of the store here and a satellite can read the headline on your newspaper. So I think you could also monitor your border with satellites, and then you just have to have some means of intercepting people who come in illegally. You could have helicopters stations positioned every couple of hundred miles. . . We’re the only country I know of that allows people to come in illegally have a baby and then that baby becomes a citizen. And I think that should stop also.

SF mayor asks transit drivers for cost-saving concessions

I really hope the drivers wise up and take these cuts. MUNI has become unusable because of reduced service. If the drivers took cuts and made their system saner, we could have a working transit system again. Newsom: Muni operators key to restoring cuts
More than half the Muni service cuts enacted earlier this month could be restored if the city's transit operators agree to cost-saving concessions that their union leaders have tentatively agreed to, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday. The rank and file, however, still needs to ratify the proposed deal. Operators rejected a different concessions package in February. The announcement of a new agreement came less than three weeks after Muni cut service 10 percent - the deepest in agency history - to save an estimated $29 million a year. Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, with about 2,000 members, is the last city employees union to agree to requested givebacks to help Muni close its deficit.

Medicinal marijuana workers beginning to unionize in California

San Jose union begins organizing pot workers
The 26,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 in San Jose is believed to be the first union in the country to organize workers in a marijuana-related business. It is considering new job classifications including "bud tender" - a sommelier of sorts who helps medical marijuana users choose the right strain for their ailment. "Union bud tender," said Carl Anderson, executive director of AMCD, an Oakland nonprofit medical cannabis dispensary that is going through the city's permitting process. The dispensary has 15 freshly minted union employees as it readies for an expected opening in December. "With full union health benefits and a pension," Anderson said. With roughly 100 cannabis industry workers in Oakland now in the process of unionizing, the move is mutually beneficial for labor and marijuana advocates. The union, whose membership is dominated by commercial grocery store workers, retail clerks and some agricultural workers, gets to establish a toehold in a growing new pool of cannabis workers.

May 26, 2010

Sponsor dumps Bay-to-Breakers race over bad publicity

I'm on the record as mostly hating on this race. I lived in its path for eight years and I saw the homeowners come out to survey the damage done. The pools of urine and vomit. The human excrement left in every half-private corner. I understand that a costumed race/frat party is really fun for a lot of people, but it got out of control. More needed to be done--needs to be done--to keep the party from messing up people's homes. Sponsor ING drops Bay to Breakers
"All I can say officially is, they were a wonderful sponsor and chose not to renew for the 100th anniversary next year," said Sam Singer, a spokesman for the race, which is run by Anschutz Entertainment Group. Unofficially, however, word is ING is fed up with all the bad publicity that the race has generated in recent years, especially the complaints of residents around the Panhandle and Alamo Square about revelers and runners urinating, defecating and generally behaving rudely. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi says the problem isn't the race itself - it's control of the floating costume party that accompanies it. "The fact that there are 60,000 participants, and over half didn't register - including the mayor - just illustrates that they need a more modernized way of managing the most unique race of its kind in the United States," he said.