Thursday, July 26, 2012

Honolulu fights ruinous rail project



More information on this project here.

Thanks again to the Antiplanner.

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Comparing Obama and Bush



From David Cole's essay in the New York Review of Books:

President Obama has done many things to distinguish his administration’s policies from his predecessor’s. He ended the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, closed the CIA’s secret prisons, and released the previously secret torture memos. He reformed the military commissions, pledged to close Guantánamo, and increased the substantive and procedural standards for detention in Afghanistan. He introduced pro-transparency reforms with respect to Freedom of Information Act requests and declassification reviews, rejected rendition as a means of outsourcing torture, and substituted a more surgical and precise targeting strategy for Bush’s more sweeping “war on terror.” He refused to rely on the “inherent” and unconstrained commander-in-chief authority that Bush infamously invoked, and insists that his authority is limited by statutes, the Constitution, and international law, including the laws of war...

Bush grudgingly sought authorization from Congress for military commissions only after the Supreme Court declared his unilaterally created commissions unlawful; Obama went to Congress of his own accord in 2009 to make the tribunals more fair (by, for example, prohibiting coerced testimony and restricting hearsay). And when a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that his military detention authority was not limited by the laws of war, President Obama took the extraordinary step of telling the court it had granted him too much power, insisting that his authority to detain is limited by the laws of war. This is not merely “prettier wrapping”; it is the difference between a president who seeks to act within the rule of law and a president who sought to discard it...

President Obama is not the same as President Bush, and has not institutionalized the worst of Bush’s policies. By this time in President Bush’s first term, there were widespread and credible reports of systematic torture and inhumane treatment of detainees, renditions to torture, indiscriminate roundups of Arabs and Muslims within the United States having nothing to do with terrorism, the announcement that the Geneva Conventions would not bind us, and the creation of a military commission system that would permit executions based on coerced confessions and without judicial review. By contrast, few abuses have been reported during President Obama’s first term.

Obama’s opposition to any efforts at accountability for the past, even an independent commission, remains deeply disturbing, as do his insufficient efforts at transparency. Not a single high official has been held legally responsible for a violation of the law barring torture, for example. But surely we are better off under an administration that has ended torture, closed the black sites, sought to reform military commissions, and insisted that all its actions must conform to the laws of war in particular and to the rule of law more generally...

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27 homeless deaths in 2011


According to the Homeless Death Forms from the Department of Public Health, 27 homeless people died in San Francisco in 2011:

Name: John Witkowski 
Date of Death: Jan. 1, 2011 
Place of Death: In front of 2353 Mission
Circumstances of Death: IPV (Intimate Partner Violence)
Birthdate: Dec. 29, 1942 
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name:Carlos De Jesus 
Date of Death: Jan. 8, 2011 
Place of Death: Embankment of 8th St. 
Circumstances of Death: Suicide by hanging 
Birthdate: March 31, 1986 
Sex: Male 
Race/Ethnicity: Asian Filipino

Name: Steven Nollner 
Date of Death: Jan. 21, 2011 
Place of Death: Under Bayshore onramp
Circumstances of Death: Drug-related
Birthdate: Jan 22, 1955
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Luis Hernandez-Olguin 
Date of Death: Jan. 22, 2011 
Place of Death: Outside, 14th and Shotwell
Circumstances of Death: Drug-related
Birthdate: Jan. 11, 1977
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White Hispanic

Name: Charles Morrison
Date of Death: Jan. 28, 2011
Place of Death: Outside, Sixth and Harrison
Circumstances of Death: IPV
Birthdate: March 3, 1965
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: David Ricci
Date of Death: Feb. 22, 2011
Place of Death: 75 Dore 
Circumstances of Death: Drug related
Birthdate: June 6, 1950 
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Lorenzo Sandoval 
Date of Death: March 25, 2011
Place of Death: Calif. Pacific Medical Center
Circumstances of Death: Natural death
Birthdate: June 28, 1957
Sex: Male 
Race/Ethnicity: White Hispanic

Name: Barry Holton
Date of Death: April 11, 2011
Place of Death: SFGH
Circumstances of Death: Accident, bicycle vs pedestrian
Birthdate: April 12, 1966
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Steven Dougherty
Date of Death: April 14, 2011
Place of Death: In front of 479 Tehama
Circumstances of Death: Drug-related
Birthdate: Feb. 2, 1970 
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Michael Smith
Date of Death: April 19, 2011
Place of Death: SFGH
Circumstances of Death: Fall on escalator
Birthdate: July 18, 1963
Sex: Male 
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Jane Doe 
Date of Death: April 22, 2011
Place of Death: 2084 Mission St.
Circumstances of Death: Suicide, firearm 
Birthdate: Unknown
Sex: Female
Race/Ethnicity: White Hispanic

Name: Peter Gianquinto
Date of Death: May 17, 2011 
Place of Death: Parking lot at 2 Laskie
Circumstances of Death: Drug-related
Birthdate: Aug. 27, 1952
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Carlos Martinez
Date of Death: June 18, 2011
Place of Death: SFGH trauma center
Circumstances of Death: Vehicular homicide
Birthdate: Jan. 29, 1972
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White Hispanic

Name: Anthony Jackson
Date of Death: June 23, 2011
Place of Death: In front of 168 Cedar Street 
Circumstances of Death: Drug-related
Birthdate: Sept. 1, 1963 
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Black

Name: Gustavo Ochoa
Date of Death: July 2, 2011
Place of Death: Public sidewalk
Circumstances of Death: Natural Death, IPV?
Birthdate: Sept. 7, 1956
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White Hispanic

Name: Charles Hill
Date of Death: July 3, 2011
Place of Death: SFGH
Circumstances of Death: Firearm homicide
Birthdate: Sept. 18, 1965
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Elwyn Davis
Date of Death: July 8, 2011
Place of Death: 1171 Mission (SF Sobering)
Circumstances of Death: Undetermined 
Birthdate: May 11, 1961 
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Black

Name: Freddie Powell
Date of Death: July 23, 2011
Place of Death: 1333 Gough Street 
Circumstances of Death: Drug-related
Birthdate: Aug. 11, 1963 
Sex: Male 
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Eric Andersen
Date of Death: Aug. 22, 2011 
Place of Death: Allyn Park-Gough Street
Circumstances of Death: IPV?
Birthdate: Feb. 24, 1947
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Gilberto Guiterrez
Date of Death: Sept. 5, 2011
Place of Death: In front of 2886 Mission
Circumstances of Death: Natural death
Birthdate: Jan. 3, 1954
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White Hispanic

Name: Terrance Adale
Date of Death: Sept. 8, 2011
Place of Death: Sidewalk, Drumm
Circumstances of Death:
Birthdate: Oct. 11, 1954
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Patrick Koehler
Date of Death: Sept. 19, 2011
Place of Death: 670 Eddy Street
Circumstances of Death:
Birthdate: Oct. 5, 1969 
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Thomas Brewer
Date of Death: Oct. 4, 2011
Place of Death: Tennis court, 1850 Ches
Circumstances of Death:  
Birthdate: Aug. 24, 1961
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Yancina Rackley
Date of Death: Oct. 7, 2011
Place of Death: 461 27th Street 
Circumstances of Death: Drug vs. Natural
Birthdate: Dec. 17, 1964 
Sex: Female 
Race/Ethnicity: Black

Name: Kevan Komata
Date of Death: Oct. 21, 2011
Place of Death: Fort Mason
Circumstances of Death:  App. hanging
Birthdate: March 28, 1952
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Black

Name: Marshall Drawdy
Date of Death: Oct. 25, 2011
Place of Death: 135 Sixth Street 
Circumstances of Death: Drug-related
Birthdate: May 30, 1970
Sex: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White

Name: Wade Lucas
Date of Death: Nov. 19, 2011
Place of Death: Parking lot of 819 Van Ness
Circumstances of Death:
Birthdate: June 4, 1956 
Sex: Male 
Race/Ethnicity: Black

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