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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Millennial Problems: Sad Bernie Sanders

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 10:11 AM

  • Marc Nozell/Wikimedia Commons
It’s been a sad week for Bernie Sanders.

A darling of millennials the world over, the onetime presidential candidate first had to stomach the news that powerful people don’t want him in power anywhere. Then he was forced to tell his bros to relax because He’s with Her now. After that, he went up on stage days before you want to go up on stage at a political party convention. And through it all, Bernie has had one of those stiff-upper-lip smiles which make it obvious that the person smiling isn’t really happy.

Poor Bernie Sanders.

Maybe he got screwed, maybe he didn’t. It doesn’t really matter anymore. But at least the senator from Vermont can return to the Northeast knowing his supporters left it all on the convention floor, and probably elsewhere. And by that, we mean streams of salty love and admiration.

“Crying millennials DNC” is a fun word combo with which to search the social medias and wider internet right now. There are stories here, here, and definitely here. If you were watching Bernie’s speech Monday night, then you certainly know the camera operators at CNN found almost every weeping millennial in Convention Hall.

This wasn’t one tear here and there, eyes that were maybe a little misty and trying to hold it back. This crying was like holy-shit-I’m-5-years-old-and-I-just-hugged-my-pet-hamster-so-hard-it’s-not-breathing-anymore.

Except you’re not 5. You’re 20, maybe 24. You might even be 30. You went to college, loaded up on debt, and work some low-paying job with little vacation time or room for growth. You go out when you can, but between working and paying rent and all your other bills you basically only have time and money for Netflix and boiling packets of Top Ramen. You Instagram, but you hate yourself for it because you only post animal photos. You work 60 hours a week, and your employer keeps telling you the world is a place where you have to do more with less.

No wonder you’re crying; Bernie was going to make your life better. This happened instead:

  • George Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

What’s the alternative? Do you want to be a Bernie Bro like the folks Slate called “disappointed, angry, and downright despondent”? You want to chance a Donald Trump presidency? That’s gotta be worse than posting a selfie and getting fewer than 10 likes. Nah, you need to take a measured approach, like the folks The Atlantic found who “saw no particular problem in once loudly criticizing the status quo and now supporting an institutional candidate who very well may preserve it.”

It’s good to cry. It helps the healing process, and you always feel better once the tears dry. So maybe do a few more breakdowns, privately and quietly, until the week is over. But after that, give some serious thought to hashtagging #ImWithHer until November.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Reason to Despise Tech Money: Mortgage Perks

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 12:00 PM

  • MarkMoz12/Flickr
It might be harder to swallow than dry, unbuttered $4 toast, but all those tech elites sucking the soul out of San Francisco are such a coveted workforce that banks and lenders are willing to give them big perks when it comes to homeownership.

Folks in the tech industry whose income looks good on paper but not necessarily in liquidity are nevertheless the kind of workers whom Social Finance and San Francisco Federal Credit Union want to do business with. So much so, Bloomberg reports, that the latter is offering these people zero-down mortgages on homes selling for up to $2 million in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. First Republic Bank has even gone so far as to open branches inside the headquarters of Facebook and Twitter, while Social Finance — or the annoying shorthand SoFi — is allowed to court new hires at Google and other tech giants.

This is certainly going to piss off a lot of people, especially those who were priced out of San Francisco in recent years or who spend half their income on rent or mortgage payments. However, it really should come as no surprise that financial institutions want their customers to be wealthy (which lowers risk) and that tech has created a lot of new wealth in the Bay Area.

But a lot of that wealth is tied up in company shares, which means many people simply don’t have the $100,000 to $200,000 necessary for a down payment in a city where the median home price is more than $1 million, by far the highest in the country.

Tough shit, you might be saying. It’s tech’s fault things got this way to begin with. Well, life doesn’t work that way, especially when the housing market is ebbing and venture capital money is drying up. As Bloomberg pointed out, VC money dropped 20 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the year before. And Paragon Real Estate reports that the median condo price in San Francisco went up less than 1 percent in that same time frame, far lower than the 18 percent gain a year ago. But here are perhaps the most important figures: The number of condos listed for $2 million or higher increased 44 percent while sales dropped 30 percent.

We’re living in a glut of expensive real estate. Some might say that’s reason enough to not offer these kinds of perks, except the homes are still there ready to be sold and banks still want to make money hand over fist.

“Lenders get so caught up trying to stay competitive and finding a market edge, they basically allow greed to overcome common sense,” Terry Wakefield, a mortgage consultant and online lending pioneer, told Bloomberg. “Easy money does fuel and accelerate the inevitable bubble.”

Of course, San Francisco Federal Credit Union knows what it’s doing, or at least says it does. It only accepts 60 percent of applicants, who must also have great credit scores. Others have similar approaches, which just means there are enough clients to go around.

Glenn Kelman, CEO of brokerage firm Redfin, put it best when he said the area is becoming “a no-fly zone for anyone outside technology,” especially when considering the credit standards imposed after the Great Recession, when we were made to believe that interest-free loans were the straw that broke the camel’s back. These perks “might be good for the borrower and good for the lender,” Kelman said, “but it’s not necessarily good for San Francisco.”
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

People More Open to Cannabis in States With Medical-Use Laws

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 4:40 PM

  • Eggrole/Flickr

In November, many states will have some sort of marijuana-related initiative on their ballots, with California once again attempting to legalize the drug. (Proposition 19 failed in 2010.) So what better time to gauge the nation’s attitude toward cannabis than in the months leading up to Election Day?

Well, in the case of a federal-government study, the data were collected years ago but only released today. The study addresses how marijuana is viewed and consumed in states where it’s legal for medical use, such as California — the results are interesting, if not surprising.

In places like Texas, Utah, and Oklahoma — all non-medical cannabis states — 29 to 36 percent of respondents believed there was a “great risk of harm” from marijuana use. And of the places where the percentage of use in the past month was highest, California had two of the top areas - including San Francisco, where 15.46 percent of respondents reported using cannabis in the last month, one of the highest numbers nationwide.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which compiled the study, is tasked with slowing the nation’s use of drugs like marijuana, so they say the data can “help public health officials and others better gauge the marijuana-related prevention and treatment needs in their communities and fine-tune their programs and services to best address them.”

But what the study probably proves most is that cannabis legalization, whether for adult use or for medical purposes, is likely to happen in more and more states this year. Marijuana is already the most widely used drug in the U.S., even more so than prescription drugs, and now fewer and fewer people view it as harmful, even if it is far from safe.

As the study pointed out, “research indicates that 1 in 11 marijuana users aged 15 or older become dependent on marijuana.” And, “marijuana use has resulted in approximately 4.2 million people meeting the diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence on marijuana, is a major cause for visits to emergency rooms, and is the second leading substance for which people receive drug treatment (behind alcohol).”

That might spell doom for Southern states (where the study found less acceptance for marijuana) like Missouri and Arkansas, which have medical-use initiatives on the November ballot, but probably won’t stop states like California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maine from legalizing cannabis for adult use.
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Monday, July 25, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

SF, Oakland, SJ Police Upset Over Mario Woods Day

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 11:22 AM

Students protesting outside City Hall on Dec. 11, 2015. - MIKE KOOZMIN/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • Students protesting outside City Hall on Dec. 11, 2015.
It stands to reason that San Francisco police are on the defensive right now, perhaps even a little more on edge than is normal for law enforcement.

Twice this week the department has received death threats - the first, for which a suspect was arrested, was against interim Chief Toney Chaplin and made on Twitter, and the second was an anonymous caller saying he would pay for the killing of an officer. There’s nothing OK about either incident, even if they never come to fruition.

However, it’s going to be hard to win sympathy and understanding from the people you’re employed to protect when your union, along with the ones representing Oakland and San Jose police, takes out a full-page ad in the Chronicle that’s basically a giant middle finger.

On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with the ad - especially if you’re unfamiliar with recent San Francisco history. It asks that people acknowledge the difficult and dangerous job public safety workers do every day. But if you look closer, there’s a serious hidden message: honor us, not the people we kill.

Today, July 22, 2016, is supposed to be the first ever Mario Woods Day, which was so decreed by the Board of Supervisors in January. Woods is the man who was supposedly using a knife to threaten a bunch of cops surrounding him with their guns drawn in the Bayview District in December before he was fatally shot by said cops. It stirred a lot of debates about a lot of different things, and those debates - along with an investigation into the incident - are ongoing.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association was mad about the board’s move back in February, and apparently it still is.

Police have every right to stand up for themselves and their peers, just as Woods’ family and supporters have every right to hold a day of remembrance. It’s too bad they can’t be mutually exclusive, as this action from the police unions will only serve to further polarize police-community relations in parts of San Francisco. It’s likely police would say the same thing about Mario Woods Day, so that just leaves everyone angry and on opposite sides.

It’s also a shame that stories like the Wichita barbecue between police and Black Lives Matter are the exception. And it’s too bad that when Oakland police tried to do something similar, the idea was rejected
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Millennial Problems: Anatomy of a Young Trump Voter

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:07 PM

Any one of these youths might be a Trump voter. - JOHN LOCHER/AP
  • John Locher/AP
  • Any one of these youths might be a Trump voter.
Now that Donald Trump is one of TWO major party candidates for president of the United States, it’s worth taking stock of his voter base — particularly the youngsters, who come November could be the difference between Melania being the first lady or just stealing the first lady’s ideas.

By and large, Trump is unpopular among millennial voters. But that doesn’t mean all millennial voters. For instance, in Mississippi, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, he exceeded or neared 50 percent of the youth vote on the GOP side, according to a voter analysis released by Tufts University in late June. And in New Hampshire, he had a larger percentage of the youth vote (38 percent) than the overall vote (35 percent). And now that millennial god Bernie Sanders is gone, could Trump court some of those youths since he’s also an anti-establishment candidate?

If you read this take on Sanders supporters, it will never happen. (There’s also a scary quote in there from a millennial who would have voted for Trump had he not picked Mike Pence as his running mate, and will now go for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. That’s a study in contrasts.)

So who are Trump’s young voters?

“They’re people such as Will Carter, 18, from Savannah, Ga.,” writes the Charlotte Observer. “He got the political bug early. When he was 8, George W. Bush traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, for a Group of Eight economic summit. Carter was so taken with the trip that for his birthday party, he had a G-8 theme, complete with a birthday cake with flags of the participating nations.”

Holy shit, we kinda like this kid. What a weirdo. He probably dresses as Vladimir Putin for Halloween.

But what else makes a young Trump voter? How about a love for reality TV. The Charlotte Observer found at least one millennial who grew up watching The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice, Trump’s two shows, and has been “a fan ever since.” That was apparently enough to make him a Trump voter as well.

Anecdotes aside, the statistic often used to separate conservative and liberal voters, especially among youths, is a college education. That might seem like the dividing line for Trump millennials, but it didn’t really stack up that way in primaries in which the youth vote was tabulated. The Tufts study found that “young GOP primary voters were more likely to have a four-year college degree than the general population.” And the youngest of voters might not have a degree, but that doesn’t mean they’re not in college working toward that degree.

One thing’s for sure: Trump is hugely unpopular among young women and young non-white voters, according to the study.

The meat of Trump’s voter base, not surprisingly, comes from those GOP voters who are the most conservative in their views and most hostile toward immigrants and poor people — what the study called “Steadfast Conservatives.” The problem is that while “Steadfast Conservatives make up one of the two largest segments of Republicans and Republican-leaners over age 30, it is the smallest segment among young conservatives, and second-smallest among youth overall.”

It seems the anatomy of a young Trump voter is still up for debate. Studies and polls have their problems, and primary turnout is always different than general election turnout. The social media ground game might end up being the deciding factor, as it was for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Trump is hugely popular on Twitter. Plus, he has millennials doing some of that bidding as well.
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Yesterday's Crimes: The Shitshow That Was the 1964 GOP Convention

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:34 AM

  • Democracy in Action," Hearst Metrotone News, Inc. via
The 1964 Republican National Convention was nearly a mirror image of what’s going on in Cleveland this week, but in some ways, it was so much worse.

It was nearly 10 p.m. on July 14 when Nelson Rockefeller took the podium at the Republican National Convention at the Cow Palace on the suburban edge of San Francisco. The New York governor and scion of one of America’s richest families represented the now entirely extinct liberal wing of the GOP, and the dying-off started that year, if not that very night.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Republican Convention Story You Missed

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 11:39 AM

With all the attention on what Melania said, you might not have realized that on Tuesday, Donald Trump was officially nominated for president of the United States. Let that sink in.

You also probably missed a pretty serious moment for another Republican, a lawyer from San Francisco named Harmeet K. Dhillon, who gave the invocation at Day 2 of the convention in Cleveland. The catch is, she offered a Sikh prayer in Punjabi because, well, she practices Sikhism. It was quite a moment for Dhillon, and the Christ-worshipping GOP.

And over here on the Internet, the prayer — which Dhillon helpfully translated for the majority white, English-speaking audience — went over exactly as you’d expect. But before we get into that part, we want you to get to know Harmeet K. Dhillon.

She’s an attorney who lives in San Francisco. She recently took on a class action lawsuit against the city of San Jose after Trump supporters were attacked during a June 2 rally, claiming police failed to protect the supporters from anti-Trump protesters.

The Los Angeles Times ran a bio of Dhillon on Tuesday after the invocation. She was born in India but raised in England and the U.S. Her parents supported Republicans, and in 2013 she became the first female vice chair of the California Republican Party. But that rise did not come without controversy and hardship.

Before being elected to the position, she encountered heavy racism. Dhillon was called a “Taj Mahal princess” and mislabeled a Muslim (and one who would defend beheadings), and a rumor started claiming she would slaughter a goat at the lectern.

So it can’t be all that surprising to read the reactions to her Sikh prayer posted on the GOP Convention Facebook page with the video of her invocation. They certainly were not all bad, but the ugly ones were rather hideous.

Polly Howard Tottle
If I wanted to pray to the Sikh God, I'd go to India. Could we stop appeasing the MINORITY for a change??? Stupid political correctness is killing us! The U.S. was founded on CHRISTIAN principles...we are the MAJORITY yet we continually have to endure this insanity ...I'm tired of all this about just go with what America was founded on! Maybe we could fear the *real God* and realize we're IN this national fix because of our stupidity and arrogance in not honoring Jesus Christ as a nation! Whaddya say GOP?! This is why the majority hates the GOP Establishment!

Lucy Moberg
Not everyone in this country is a Christian. As a Christian, I can respect a different faith even though I do not agree with it. I am confident enough in my own faith, that listening to someone else is not a threat to me. We have to learn how to be inclusive of all faith practices in the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.... it's in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

Melody Hair Godess Bennett
I am so sorry but did she get lost at the airport??? What country does she believe she is in at that time? AMERICA...YOU ARE IN AMERICA you jerk...ENGLISH! Holy crap I cannot believe what I just saw...oh wait, of course I can, she was from the CLINTVOMIT bad

Rita O'Hara
I am Catholic, of Christian Faith. This prayer was fabulous! Harmeet is an amazing woman! She is a superb representative for San Francisco! Rock solid! Rock⭐️‼️

Felicia Solomita
I shut you off during this. I pray to Jesus not her woojie or whatever!! Good grief!

Annette Gallardo Escalante
We r 1 country with different faiths without having to worry about persecution.

Renata Smith
Never again, PLEASE!!!! This is a Christian nation. Speak English too, PLEASE!!!

Brian Akers
Have some respect people, why do think we have the problems we have in this country

Josh Leeper
Sure it's a religion of peace, that's what all the Muslims say. This is America! A Christian country

Sandy Crocco
I think it's beautiful that everyone can pray in their own religion for the same things that we all want.

Traian Lalescu
what's this ? what country is she from? what language? what the Hell is going on with Americans?

Josh Leeper
Take that crap off your head this is america

Renata Smith
There is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not in the mix, that god is satan himself. I can certainly respect the person but I can not respect the religion.

Rob Harless
And ppl think us Republicans are racist
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hate Speech Throws Fuel on Fire of Recall Ed Lee Campaign

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall  on July 15. - JOEL ANGEL JUÁREZ/SPECIAL TO S.F. EXAMINER
  • Joel Angel Juárez/Special to S.F. Examiner
  • Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall on July 15.

Something went down at last Friday’s rally to recall Mayor Ed Lee, but what exactly happened is up for debate - unless, of course, you’re allied with the mayor himself.

In that case, the Recall Ed Lee group has a bigoted and racist member among it. Proof of this can allegedly be found in a video posted to YouTube by Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition, formed, in their own words, “to oppose an extremist effort to foist a $3.5 million, taxpayer-funded recall election on the City of San Francisco.”

The video shows supporters of the ambitious, if not misguided, recall effort chanting their intentions outside City Hall on Friday when an unidentified woman appears and silences the crowd by twice saying, “Go back to China.” She later makes a few more disparaging remarks, including, “You take your Chinese asses back where you came from.”

The woman’s statements can be heard clearly enough in the 29-second clip. And there’s no denying that her words are the antithesis of constructive criticism. However, what’s unclear, and somewhat baffling, is why supporters of the mayor are now claiming this woman is part of the group pushing for a recall. Watch the video and it seems quite apparent the recall folks, and everyone else present, are as shocked as anyone to hear such hateful speech.

Nevertheless, the Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition issued a news release Monday condemning the Recall Ed Lee group, complete with reactions from prominent city figures:

"It is shocking and deeply offensive to hear such openly hateful language used against Chinese Americans - and on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, of all places," Assemblyman David Chiu is quoted as saying. "I urge every San Franciscan to join me in opposing this divisive recall effort."

“San Franciscans now finally see the hate that stands behind the proposed recall of Mayor Ed Lee: anti-Chinese sentiment that has no place in the City’s political debate. I call on every San Franciscan to oppose this wasteful recall and denounce these racist comments,” Fiona Ma, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, is quoted as saying.

The Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition held its own rally at 12:30 p.m. today outside City Hall to address the woman’s statements.

There’s no denying her words were offensive, but condemning the entire group based solely on the video is a reach. However, it does paint the Recall Ed Lee folks in the worst light possible, which might be enough to quash their intentions. We smell political maneuvering at work here.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

John McAfee Brings Guns to Bitcoin Fight in SF

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 12:15 PM

In Scott McKenzie’s famous song about this famous city, he tells visitors they’re “gonna meet some gentle people” in San Francisco. Apparently John McAfee doesn’t believe him - and if he’d written the song, he probably would’ve sang something like, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to pack a few glocks in your suitcase”

In case you’re wondering, yes, we’re talking about that John McAfee. He’s the same John McAfee who lives this life and is going to do this starting tomorrow. And if you breeze through a few of those stories, you will come to find out that John McAfee doesn’t give a fuck, is still filthy rich, probably lost his marbles years ago despite still being quite brilliant, and prefers the company of firearms to blondes.

And when he’s going to San Francisco, he doesn’t mess around:

Tweeted this morning (he also pinned the tweet, showing he means business), presumably at an airport awaiting takeoff to SFO, McAfee captioned the photo thusly: “Heading to d10e in San Francisco. Bitcoin techies are dangerous folks. Can't be too safe.”

Hahaha, that John McAfee! He’s such a card, that one. Bringing guns on an airplane, to a tech conference, in San Francisco. Surely you jest. (Don’t forget which John McAfee we’re talking about.)

For those who don’t know, d10e takes place tomorrow and Wednesday. This is the fifth time it’s happened, and the conference is meant to “showcase the latest in fintech and disruptive, decentralizing technology,” like bitcoin, according to a press release. Sounds pretty boring.

So, perhaps to liven it up a bit, organizers went the extra mile. The conference will be streamed in virtual reality, which makes no sense to us, but oh well. And they got a brand name (literally!) in McAfee to speak, or shoot bullets at people. Or maybe in the air. We don’t know, they don’t know, only McAfee knows. Be warned. 
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