Saturday, September 11, 2004


Fireman John Darminin has charged into burning buildings, but said his hottest assignment was serving in union leadership as a Republican. The Redwood City resident and former director of the San Francisco Firefighters Union Local 798 said the union ordered him to remove a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker from his car in 2000 and to take down his Web site that was critical of liberal San Francisco politicians. And those were just some of the many attacks on his conservative political beliefs that have left him bitter. "I thought I was back in the Soviet Union," Darminin said.

The Bay Area prides itself on its openness and acceptance, but many local Republicans said they have been met with intense hostility for their political beliefs. They said they've endured everything from rude remarks to threats and physical violence. Some said the McCarthy-era paranoia about Communists aptly describes how they often feel. "There's a lot of teachers out there that are closet Republicans because they are so afraid if they say anything in their workplace, they will be retaliated against," said Karen King, the chair of the County's Republican Party. "That's the ugliness that I would like to get rid of.....

Harold Hoogasian, a Republican who owns a chain of flower stores in San Francisco, recalled the chilly reception he got when he ran for the city's Board of Supervisors in the early '90s. The office is non-partisan. He said he appeared before San Francisco's Democratic Central Committee to try to get their endorsement, but he was interrupted midway through his presentation by a committee member. "Mr. Hoogasian, are you a Republican?" he remembers being asked. When Hoogasian answered yes, the committee member replied: "We don't need to hear any more from you."

More here


Even if ideas of good diet are always changing

A boxful of fat, salt and sugar! Sure sounds yukky: "Parents are sending their children to school with lunch boxes that are packed with fat, salt and sugar. Three out of four of the 5m lunches prepared at home each day fail to meet government guidelines on healthy school meals, a survey by the Food Standards Agency has found. ... The FSA survey looked at packed lunches in 688 schools around the country. The agency has drawn up tips for parents on how to make lunch boxes healthier by including more fruit and vegetables, nuts and fish, and swapping chocolate bars for currant buns."

They recommend nuts, fish etc. and condemn candy bars but don't they know that many schools ban nuts (and peanut butter) because of allergies, that fish quickly goes bad, and that baked goods often have more fat than candy bars? You can't win with food fads!

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