San Francisco, California – On ‘Spare the Air’ days – which observers say San Francisco has been declaring more frequently in the last couple of months – residents are prohibited from burning wood, even on a cold winter night.
Now, the City by the Bay, considered the most environmentally-conscious in all of the U.S., has imposed new restrictions on these designated days. The new rules prohibit residents and transients alike from bringing certain aromatic foods on board MUNI and BART trains and buses.
Included in the banned items are bagoong, the fermented fish or shrimp paste used in popular Filipino dishes like kare-kare; any kind of curry dishes; kimchee; and even Sriracha, the much-loved hot red chili sauce that almost disappeared from the market lately. Only unopened, sealed bottles of Sriracha will be permitted.
(It will be recalled that last November, a California judge ordered a partial shutdown of Huy Hong Foods, makers of Sriracha, because residents complained of spicy smells the Irwindale factory was producing.)
Pizza was originally included among the banned items but the powerful lobby representing San Francisco Italian restaurants and pizzerias was able to convince city officials to strike it off the list.
Train and bus riders caught violating the new rules will be charged with a misdemeanor and will be stripped of their riding privileges for up to 30 days. Additionally, repeat violators will be fined $19.99.
Private employers are also reportedly considering a similar ban in employee breakrooms.
Salt Lake City, Utah – The U.S. Supreme Court just handed down an order staying a Utah lower court’s decision recognizing that the Constitution forbids marriage discrimination . Though Utah requested that Justice Sonia Sotomayor issue the stay on her own, the Court’s order indicates that she referred the decision to the full Court. No justice indicated a dissent, although that does not necessarily mean that all nine justices would have granted the stay.
Today’s decision which put same-sex marriages in Utah on hold, upset many in the lgbt community and activists in the marriage equality movement, especially because they always thought that Sotomayor, an Obama appointee, was an ally and considered her one of the radical justices on the Supreme Court.
In a statement issued late today, Sotomayor admitted that she is actually a closeted conservative and that she regrets having misled those in the U.S. Senate who voted for her confirmation thinking she was pro-women’s rights, pro-gay rights, pro-abortion, and pro-everything radical.
The presumptive lgbt lead organization, the Human Rights Campaign, is still crafting its response to the Sotomayor announcement. Stay tuned.
New York, New York – If pets can have it, why can’t humans? With this common sense-question before it, a top-level immigration sub-committee of the United Nations is busy drafting an international code that would all but eliminate passports as we know it.
Currently, most countries issue and require machine-readable passports as part of their immigration laws. These passports have greatly facilitated entry procedures worldwide by a simple scan of the travel documents.
The new code will instead require travelers and citizens to have their citizenship and residency information stored in microchips implanted in their forearms. It would be similar to microchips implanted in pets.
The sub-committee members said that this technonogical change would not only reduce long lines at ports of entry at airports, border checkpoints and disembarking piers worldwide, but also reduce the incidence of fake passports which continue to be a big problem.
Visa information, if required, would also be incorporated into the microchips. Any updates or change in personal information and status can be easily changed by logging on to the Internet with a unique password provided by the issuing government agency.
The new rules are expected to be in effect by January 1, 2016. Have a microchip? Will travel!