Archive for San Francisco

Only Today, 2014, Has A Federal Court Ruled To Let LGBT Jurors Hear Trials

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What's next for the right-wing conservatives to try in making this country fair for only white, Christian, and homophobic citizens? Why the justice system, of course. If you can't get a law passed banning anything that prohibits them from excluding balanced, fair or common sense thinking in the jury room, these narrow-minded conservatives may face extinction. And they're not going down without a fight.

Here's the latest from the LA TIMES:

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court became the first in the nation to rule that prospective jurors may not be excluded because of their sexual orientation, a decision that expands juror protections beyond race and gender and provides legal ammunition to challenge laws that limit gay rights.

The sweeping, unanimous decision Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a mixed jury verdict in an antitrust case involving an AIDS drug. The 9th Circuit said the case would have to be retried because an obviously gay juror was unjustifiably excluded from the jury.

Truthfully, I had never heard of the jury system excluding people for sexual orientation, but evidently I was just unaware. Here we are in 2014 and someone's sexual direction could be used against them in a court of law. I know accused criminals have the right to remain silent, but evidently those determining their guilt were supposed to exclude themselves if the crime was federal.

But really there's two issues that I've put in bold print that I find nothing short of amazing. To start with, this case quoted above is the FIRST in the nation to make this discriminatory ruling out of bounds. Really? Only now?

And the second issue is the more important one. "...an obviously gay juror" -- what's an obviously gay juror? Did he/she wear make-up? Did they hit on the same-sex foreman? Did they have a membership card they were flaunting in the RuPaul fan club? What makes someone "obviously gay?"

That's the amazing part of this outrageous but eye-opening story. Until now, if someone looks differently than another person and fits a stereotypical image, they can be excluded from a jury? And according to the article, part of which is quoted below, they still can be.

Lady Justice

I thought justice was blind. Look at Lady Justice balancing her scales. Did you notice something else about her? She's blindfolded. There's a reason for that.

Thankfully the 9th federal circuit court of  appeals court made this first in the nation, unanimous finding. But it only deals with a small portion of this country. It's not national.

Tuesday's landmark ruling extended the restriction to federal courts in California and courts in eight other Western states, lawyers said.

Now let's wake up the rest of the nation. Justice is seriously being challenged.

This particular case had to do with an antitrust lawsuit involving an AIDS drug. For that reason alone, the "obviously gay" juror was dismissed. We allow doctors to sit as jurors on medical trials. We allow lawyers to sit on juries despite perhaps having knowledge not admissible to lay jurors. Why can't we have LGBT jurors sitting in on any case of any origin in any area, AIDS related or not? Aren't they people too?

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Live Streaming Video- President Obama Speaks on Immigration Reform 2:35p EDT

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over

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Healthcare.gov Is Fixed -- In 3 Days By 3, 20-Year Olds, And For Free

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healthcare gov fixit guys

The Affordable Care Act stumbled out of the gate with their website, Healthcare.gov. It was a bust. Face it, there's nothing but bad news involved with the rollout except the number of people who tried to log on initially. That was very encouraging news. But if you can't buy what you're advertising for sale, you're bust. And so went the site and so went the President's credibility.

Fortunately, the fix is in. Oh, not like in a horse race, but as in a fully working site replacement. There's only one catch. It's not the government's site. It's a free site that three computer jockeys designed themselves over a few days and nights. It's healthcare.gov only it works. The site is called HealthSherpa.com and all you have to do is put in your zip code and all the rates and plans come up for you. Since it's inception, they've added on a feature that calculates your tax subsidies as well. So this site is good to go.

It's up and running right now.

And it's simple too. All the federal government needs to do now is take it over. And the three 20 year olds,  Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser who built it are willing to give it up -- to the government -- for free. They did  it as a public service. Of course they should be paid for this, but look at what we can do here as a country with education, advanced technology and some collective brainstorming. MailOnline reports:

The website claims: 'The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We only use carefully vetted, publicly available data.'

The programmers are also adding features to the site, such as a section on tax subsidies. But the three 20-year-olds say they worked on the project as a service rather than to make money.

CBS News made this report:

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Climate Control is a Hoax

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To most people, there is little doubt that the effects of global warming on our planet. The biggest nay-sayers are the GOP morons in congress. To them we're all Chicken-Little and we're yelling that the sky is falling. Sadly, it is. The are already concrete signs - in the last century the average temperature has risen around 1 degree Fahrenheit and sea level has increased nearly 2 inches. The greatest single danger, scientists warn, is that global warming will cause a dramatic rise in sea levels, flooding the world's most powerful cities under a catastrophic deluge.

How devastating will it be? The great folks over at Environmental Graffiti have generated some visual images, forecasting the not-too-distant future.

A global deluge threatens to engulf large sections of the world as a result of unchecked climate change. These effects will be to drown some of the world's most recognizable landmarks:

The Statue of Liberty in New York,

future Statue of liberty

Tower Bridge in London

future London

How about San Francisco:

future San Francisco

And our very own capital, Washington D.C.

future Washington D.C.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has steadily increased over the last century, largely due to large scale consumption of fossil fuels and other pollutants, increasing the amount of heat that is being retained in the atmosphere. This issue is set to dominate the opening sessions of the international climate change conference in Copenhagen this week. The meeting has been organised to set the agenda for this December's international climate talks which will draw up a treaty to replace the current Kyoto protocol for limiting carbon dioxide emissions.

You know, it wouldn't kill you to let your congressmen/women know how you feel about this issue-- though it might kill you if you don't!

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Video Overnight Thread- Time lapse video captures San Francisco fog at sunrise

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Photos of the Day- San Fran's Castro District On DOMA Day

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And the talented and lovely Cat tells me that this weekend is the Pride Parade. Gonna be a doozy.

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San Francisco sues gun companies for selling disassembled high-capacity magazines disguised as gun repair kits

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disguise

Those sly gun companies. They know exactly how to get around California gun legislation... until they get caught.

Via KTVU:

San Francisco is suing three gun accessories companies and one gun show promoter for selling disassembled high-capacity magazines disguised as gun magazine repair kits in violation of California law.

The gun magazines are like the ones that were used to massacre people in Connecticut and Colorado. The disassembled versions were sold online.

How reassuring to know they were looking out for our Second Amendment right to more efficiently mass murder children.

I'm proud to say that home state of California bans the sale of new high-capacity magazines, so this was a big no-no.

The companies being sued are 44Mag Distributing in Oregon, Exile Machine in Texas, and Copes Distributing in Ohio.  Gun show promoter B & L Productions in Utah is also named in the suit.

busted caught red handed 2

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