Letters to the Editor
Letters are selected representative of a viewpoint.
Fog City Journal will publish no more than two point-counter points
on the same issue from the same writers.
Letters may be edited for clarity and brevity.
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Open letter to the Mayor of the City of Berkeley
You and your City Council do not deserve to live
in the United States of America. Millions of good men and women
have fought and died throughout our history so the likes of you
and your city government are free to speak
out against the United States Marine Corps and uninvite them
from your city.
For 233 years the United States Marine Corps has
been the greatest, most effective military organization our country
has ever had and they, along with the other services have protected
and defended the thoughtless, thankless and ungrateful people
in your city.
Since our Declaration of Independence over 42 million
Americans have claimed the honor of having served this nation
in its military forces. Since that time over a million have lost
their lives serving the colors, and millions have been wounded.
Think about that for a moment. Is it right for you
and your city council to try to run the United States Marines
Corps recruiting station from your city? The 10 "wereas's"
and two "be it further resolved" statements in your
city council resolution are the most disrespectful statements
you and your council could have written. They are an absolute
disgrace, you all ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Have you
no pride or respect for those who keep you free?
The United States Marines are not going to leave.
They are our hero's. They have earned the right to be wherever
they like. When their turn comes, the recruiters will once again,
put their life on the line for our country including the low life's
in your city.
I am sending this also to my Senators and requesting
they do all in their power to curtail all federal funding provided
to your city and county for any purpose. And to do it now!.
Warner Robins, Georgia
February 5, 2008
I never knew Linus Black, but I was really touched
by the account
of his life in Fog City. Every detail of this life I'd known so
little about spoke worlds to me.
Though I never knew him personally I'm now taking
a moment to mourn the passing of Linus Black.
January 30, 2008
Re the loss of the UC Extension Annex
I have no idea how much Ross Mirkarimi had to do with this or
whether he could have stopped it, but the loss of the UC Extension
Annex for adult education, mourned angrily by Rob Anderson, is
a tragedy for this city.
I graduated from Stanford, which sounds like a way bigger deal
than it is, but just to make my point here, I graduated from Stanford
and I have benefitted immensely from many courses taken at the
UC Extension Annex, either because I needed to know something
or simply because I wanted to know something. Knowledge is not
just power; knowledge is pleasure.
And what are we getting as $8 billion-endowed UC cashes in on
"its" property, which was our adult educational resource?
More real estate.
Is this town about anything else besides real estate, like maybe
education, including adult education?
January 26, 2008
Mirkarimi and UC/Evans
It was helpful of Sue Vaughn to cram every single
SF progressive political delusion into one article,
but I had to laugh at her estimate of Supervisor Mirkarimi: "Mirkarimi
has taken on the police union, the plastic bag industry, and the
UC Berkeley and a private developer (A.F. Evans)..."
In fact Mirkarimi is leading the city's complete
surrender to UC/Evans at the old extension site on lower Haight
Street. Mirkarimi and the mayor led the negotiations to allow
a greedy UC---which has an endowment of more than $8 billion---to
take that property out of "public use" zoning to allow
a massive, for-profit housing development on the site where it
used to provide working people with college courses.
Mirkarimi likes to talk about "revolution"
when addressing leftist audiences, but how is he going to lead
a revolution when he can't even stand up to a single institution
of the wicked capitalist system?
January 26, 2008
So Kerry talks about truth in the letter
you just published!
One key truth about Barack Obama (and Hillary Clinton, and John
Edwards) is that he subscribes to the option that the use of nuclear
weapons should always be on the table.
Now we learn from yesterday's Guardian
that General John Shalikashvili the former head of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff under Bill Clinton, and an advisor to John Kerry in 2004
is a co-author of a manifesto that promotes the pre-emptive use
of nuclear weapons.
Kerry does not want "small, divisive politics." Loud
But when will people learn that on the biggest issues, such as
insuring American hegemony and rule by brute force, Democrats
and Republicans are virtually united?
I plan to vote for either Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney --
Robert B. Livingston
January 23, 2008
I note you report
that the Mayor says there was an "outpouring of support"
to appoint Carmen Chu the District 4 supervisor. That is my district.
Who are these people who would support a 2-year
resident of San Francisco? Let's see. She moves here two years
ago, works in the budget office and then is appointed a City Supervisor.
What does she know of the City? What does she know of the Sunset?
Well, absolutely nothing, so she is the perfect Gavin, Rose Pak
et al pawn. She is praised because she is naive. Since when do
we want a supervisor who is naive, knows nothing of the City's
history, knows nothing of who runs the City, and has no political
know-how at all? Of course those who will lead her and get her
support because of her lack of knowledge about the City are happy.
I have spoken to many of my neighbors in the Sunset and we are
not happy. Would you move to LA, from where she came, and expect
to be running LA in two years? Well, we in the Sunset should not
have such an unqualified person representing us. Again, she is
just a pawn!!!!
January 15, 2008
Letter in response to h. brown
First of all, FYI, Robert Haaland is my friend, and as such,
we have the freedom to disagree with each other, just so you know
that I don't automatically agree with everything he says, or does.
Just because you were right about your suspicions regarding "medical
cannabis dispensaries"(please call them that from now on
- it lifts things to another level) does not mean you are correct
about Robert. Are you friends with the guy from Columbus Ave.or
something? Things may have gone a lot better for him if he hadn't
done an interview with the New York Times saying that he was clearing
$47,000 per day at his "club."
You didn't "out" Robert for killing "another"
pot club (which was the other?). I guess you just want the Commissioners
from all departments to just rubber stamp these places without
investigating or holding hearings, etc. YOU should do a little
more investigating before you start running your mouth.
And to say to Shona that she "clearly didn't watch the hearing
at the Board of Appeals," shows just how up on things you
are. We were THERE, unlike some others who watched it on their
computerm or on cable without showing up for it and then sit back
and critique it like they are the all knowing one.
And Matt Stewart had no business threatening your grandchildren.
I sure would like to see a copy of that email.
Sometimes you get it right h., but you're dead wrong on this.
January 15, 2008
Bullets fly in
Hayes Valley Lower Haight
did not happen in Hayes Valley. This incident happened in the
Lower Haight. I live in the Lower Haight.
As a matter of fact, one of those bullets came through the wall
of my home, whizzed past my elbow and landed on my floor.
I want people to know whats going on here in the Lower
Haight. I have lived here for 17-years and the amount of violence
in this neighborhood is out of control and under reported.
Thank you for your consideration,
Wendy T. King
San Francisco, Page & Fillmore
January 15, 2008
Different Shades of Green
Thank you for Elaine Santore's great
coverage of the Green Party's presidential debate. Although
I appreciated the questions that clearly distinguished the Green
Party candidates' positions from those of the Democrat and Republican
frontrunners, there were few questions on which the candidates
disagreed with each other. If you have a chance to follow up with
the candidates, please ask:
1) If a Green activist in San Francisco were deciding how to
divide 10 hours of volunteer time and $100 between the campaigns
of Mark Sanchez, Cindy Sheehan, and your campaign, how would you
advise her and why?
2) If Ralph Nader asked you to drop out of the race to support
an independent ticket led by him, would you? Would you ask your
delegates to support an endorsement of Mr. Nader at the nominating
convention rather than running a separate Green Party ticket?
January 14, 2008
Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary
I, too, saw the Board of Appeals hearing
on the North Beach MCD. Absent any expression of community concern,
Board member Albright presumed that there would be a conflict
and Board member Haaland supported her in leveraging those apparently
baseless concerns to delay a decision.
As one who has lived amidst a handful of MCDs within spitting
distance of home, most of which are now closed, I've not seen
measurable impacts on the community from them, especially when
compared to liquor stores and hard-drugs dealing on the streets.
The latter are highly regulated and merely occasionally annoying,
while the former are unregulated, ignored by the cops, and pose
dangers to the community.
Unless this level of scrutiny has been applied by these Board
members to other commercial ventures which have caused conflicts
with neighbors, it follows that special rules are being applied
to MCDs that would not be applied to any other health care use.
Further, by granting more time on this matter in the absence
of the kind of demonstrated community concern as the Castro expressed
for the homeless queer youth center, the Board of Appeals has
opened the door to anti-MCD forces to spark a NIMBY panic to fabricate
If no community concern was cause for delay, than a handful or
more of neighbors who have been rustled up to oppose this might
sink it. It is always desirable to seek unanimity, there are times
when there is 80% support to move forward and you need to take
a vote and have the cards fall where they may.
January 14, 2008
h. brown's attack on Robert Haaland
I watched the Appeals Board Commission meeting
related to 722 Columbus and cannot reconcile h. brown's claim.
What I did see was a reason to not continue the appeals hearing
based on the evidence presented from the planning commission,
thus placing the burden of proof on the club.
I just don't see a basis for h. brown's attack on commissioner
January 13, 2008
Read 'em and weep
I rest my case with the tape
of Haaland maneuvering the Board of Appeals to delay
approval of 722 Columbus. Don't listen to his crap. Tune in and
did. Watch Haaland defer to Albright who clearly hates anything
that smacks of SF values and then make your own decision.
Robert is not your friend. This club will die because he jumped
in to oppose Hallinan.
January 12, 2008
h. brown, dead wrong again
Again, h. brown has it dead wrong. His ongoing hatred/grudge
blinds him and taints his perspective. Since he seems unwilling
to let go of it, I can only correct the record as we go along.
His most recent allegation is that I have asked other people
to attack him for his column in which he wrongly accused me of
opposing a medical marijuana dispensary in North Beach.
Not true. I had no conversation with Matt Stewart or Shona Gochenauer
from the Axis of Love about contacting him on my behalf. I did
seek advice from Shona and from Terrrie Frye about my previous
letter. I have worked closely with both of them over the last
year on a number of policy efforts to support medical marijuana
dispensaries and will continue to do so. I seek Shona's counsel
on this and other issues as she is a leader on safe access to
Frankly, it wouldnt occur to me as a useful strategy to
ask others to speak to him. Some offered, including one of my
fellow Commissioners, Randy Knox, but I didn't think it was worth
the time and energy. Put simply, I dont expect a fair analysis
That said, I will continue to support medical marijuana, but
will also continue to expect that medical marijuana dispensaries
make good faith attempts to be good neighbors so as not to make
it more difficult for future applicants. That is not only good
public policy, it is progressive public policy.
Finally, h. brown challenges me to address him personally. Ironically,
I have no ill feelings towards him nor do I wish to personalize
this policy debate. When someone is so clearly wrong in their
attack, it doesn't really bother me. I do suspect there will be
more allegations, and again, I will simply correct the record
as we move forward.
All my best,
Commissioner, Board of Appeals
January 12, 2008
Reply to Haaland
I stand by my story.
Anyone who watches the hearing
will agree with me. 722 Columbus has been a pot club for 7 years
without a single complaint to the cops. Haaland 'raised the bar'
(his own words) for approval there to play up to commissioner
Albright. Hopefully, the club will be approved in March which
is the delay he caused.
Also, within hours of Robert's reply to Fog City, I had letters
of insult and threats to myself and my grandchildren from Haaland
supporter, Matt Stewart. Hours later I received a long letter
of praise about Haaland from the Axis of Love which I love right
back. Will I be receiving a visit from Harold Darling next? Face
me yourself if you have an argument with me, Robert.
Haaland's attempt to deny trying to kill a pot club doesn't fly.
January 12, 2008
Letter of Correction
To the editor,
Thanks for FCJ's ongoing coverage of local politics. Even when
it is completely wrong, I get a kick out of it. Today was no exception.
h. brown wrongly
suggests that I opposed a medical marijuana club in North
Beach that came before me at the Board of Appeals. The Planning
Commission had rejected the clubs permit, and the case was
before us on appeal.
At that meeting, I expressed my strong support for medical marijuana
clubs. In the past I have also expressed my concern the new permitting
process makes it virtually impossible for clubs to open outside
of poor neighborhoods, and that we should have clubs in every
neighborhood so that those who need safe access can find it wherever
Brown's assertions about my position also fly in the face of
other positions I have taken on the issue including working on
policy efforts in the past for pot clubs to make available medical
marijuana for those who cannot afford it. Currently, I am co-sponsoring
a resolution at the Democratic County Central Committee to fight
the DEAs efforts to close the pot clubs.
That said, it is important that medical marijuana clubs, like
any business, be good neighbors. Concerns were expressed that
the club in question had not been a good neighbor, but no solid
evidence was presented that supported this allegation. The Board
of Appeals rightly demanded that the Planning Department provide
evidence to support these allegations that provided the basis
for the Planning Commissions decision to deny the appeal.
Our Board continued these items.
San Francisco is creating a national model of how to create safe
access to medical marijuana. This is both a privilege and a responsibility.
We need to do it right, and if that also means being a good neighbor,
then we must do so.
Years ago when I was advocating for a queer youth homeless shelter
in the Castro, we created a community advisory board in order
to have a venue to discuss neighborhood issues for community stakeholders.
I suggested that this might be a better route for resolving problems
between the medical marijuana club and the neighbors, and indicated
I would most likely support the permit if the medical marijuana
club and the neighbors made an effort to find common ground.
SF Commissioner, Board of Appeals
January 11, 2008
Mitt Romney is Our Next President!
I will bet $100 to anyone reading this letter that
Hillary Clinton will secure the nomination for President on the
Democratic ticket. I will bet another $100 that Mitt Romney will
win the Republican ticket.
And finally, I'll bet another $100 that Mitt Romney
will be our next President. I am as serious as a heart attack
and any takers should be, too. The first wager to my bets will
be the only wager.
January 11, 2008
Editor's Note: Mr. Stewart is serious. Email
to request his email address.
Let the Slumbering Giant Sleep
While many of us might rejoice in the prospect of Obama standing
as a bulwark against another breakout of Klintonia (The
Slumbering Giant has Finally Awakened by Jill Chapin),
let us not deceive ourselves that the US empire is pure and good
if only absent George W. Bush, nor that the empire as constituted
(and our standard of living for that matter) is ecologically or
The truth is that consensus Democrat and Republican policies
have brought us to the point where neoconservative greed and hubris
have conspired to undermine the underpinnings of the US empire,
and that is a beneficial development to the rest of the world.
The prestige of the superpower was traded at a premium, resulting
in the alienation of much of the world from the US due to the
consequences of our ruthless extraction of raw materials from
the non-industrial world.
The rest of the world has responded by forming alternative economic
and political blocs which compete against the US for raw materials
and unite in little else than a general resentment of US entitlement.
The Russians, Chinese, Indians, Islamic world and Latin America
have all coalesced into resource rich power centers with goals
not necessarily coincident with those of the US. The EU now stands
as what passes the remnant imperial moral conscience of the modernist
Through greed and hubris, neoconservatives have delivered a more
fatal blow to the empire than any gaggle of ineffective leftists
could have hoped for. The implosion of the FIRE economy, Finance,
Insurance and Real Estate, due to mutual self reliance on baseless
speculative investments weakens the ability of the US to effectively
project the military power required to procure raw materials.
The decline of the dollar is a direct consequence of deficit
spending on profligate military expenditures of diminishing political
Economic development in the global south has led to greater competition
for raw materials, everything from steel to petroleum, and has
driven up commodity prices.
The risk that the domestic economy will contract while the declining
dollar will lead to the replacement of the dollar as the reserve
currency is great. If the dollar is replaced as the reserve currency
by the Euro or the Ruble, then the US can no longer write debt
checks that get covered by magic. The downsizing of the American
dream in this scenario would be significant.
So perhaps we should recognize and celebrate the emergence of
a multipolar world where we don't get to take what we want from
Our talk on how Green we are would take on a whole new dimension
under this probable scenario. The Imperial giant should be given
lethal injection, put to sleep, and we should consider a more
humane, egaltarian posture in relation to the rest of the world.
Given our current weak economic and political predicament, we
might not have much of a choice.
January 10, 2008
Ann Garrison is citing a paragraph from a letter
by the ultra-left Matt Stewart, not me. I'm a middle-of-the-road
extremist, not a lefty like Stewart. Speaking of lefties/progressives:
H. Brown's notion that the city's progressives are the "smartest
hit men in town," if it means anything at all, is dubious.
Can he really be referring to Chris
Daly? Daly is now embracing "change,"
which barely qualifies as a slogan, let alone an idea.
January 9, 2008
Chris Daly's Opinion of Barack Obama vs. Reality
I think that Chris Daly's opinion
of Barack Obama is well-intentioned but, ultimately misguided.
I'm the first to admit that Obama is inspiring sectors of the
public that are eager for change. The same can be said for people
who voted for Mike "Psycho Eyes" Huckabee in Iowa and
John "I Was a P.O.W., You Know" McCain in New Hampshire.
However, Chris seems content to pump up Obama into something
that he is not -- perhaps even dangerously so. The truth of the
matter is that many people are happy to give Obama a free pass
simply because 1) he's not a Republican, 2) he's not Hillary Clinton
and 3), they are ecstatic with the concept that we might get a
black President and, therefore, we should all give ourselves a
hearty pat on the back for our ability to not be racist.
When forced to deal with the annoying chore of focusing on the
issues that Obama supports (the REAL issues and not the vague
but universally appealing rhetoric of "CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE
IN"), people seem less concerned.
Let's give ourselves a brutal slap in the face and an ice-cold
splash of water and realize that the best we can hope for at this
point is to maintain the same passion for change after the election
that we have during. Obama is far from a panacea and we will learn
this soon enough if he gets elected President.
January 8, 2008
Daly's best piece
Progressives have always had the smartest hit men with the lowest
slung guns. Daly is 'Top Gun' now and richly deserves it. Outspent
10 or 15 or 20 times over, we still win 70% of the races for offices
Daly has shown us eloquence in a moving
epistle. Watch the nature of the response this reasoned discourse
will bring from the Newsom people. Dem dere foks just can't write
We don't need to stage a come-back. We just have to stay the
course. We have all the brains, humor and ideals. 2008 looks like
a boner year.
Use it or lose it,
January 8, 2008
Re: "Chris Daly, let's not kid ourselves,
I am more than aggravated by the imprecision and
fascistic emotionalism of the currentAmerican political lexicon
myself. Hence, I have my own reaction to this paragraph in Rob
Anderson's letter to the editor (January 3, 2008) , although I
imagine that, if he and I ever have a chance to talk, we would
most likely agree about many things:
"Chris Daly -- a very intelligent person --
has even fallen for it. He distinguishes himself and six other
Supervisors of the Board as being "progressive". I would
agree with that part. But when he refers to the rest of the Supervisors,
he calls them "moderates". This is a total falsehood.
With the possible exception of Bevan Dufty, let's give these politicians
the disreepect they deserve and call them what they are: "CONSERVATIVE."
First of all, anyone who calls me a liberal is picking a fight,
if I have the energy for it, though I can't say I have much of
that left of late.
Liberalism is a term I associate with the late 18th century philosophy
of economic individualism, which deeply conflicts with the best
definition of my own politics that I've ever been able to come
to: a shared commitment to shared survival, dignity, and purpose.
And, as for the term "conservative," although I believe
I know what Rob Anderson means when he uses it, I have no use
for this term at all. Those he calls conservative, including Gavin
Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, and the Bush dynasty, have no interest in
conserving anything decent, humane, or beautiful that I can see.
These people conserve nothing. Their motive is to destroy, take
the money, and run. As far as I am concerned, these people are
the destructivists, and, sad to say, their approach to life, and
their sole deity, the maximum rate of return on investment capital,
have overwhelmed American "culture," which is difficult
to call "culture" at all, because it cultivates not
life or anything that sustains life, but death and the death of
the planet's ability to sustain life.
January 7, 2008
Will $82million really help the Bayview?
In your recent report
of the City receiving $82million for the Shipyard cleanup, a little
more detail of the facts in the reporting could be very helpful
for new readers to the issue. A statement from the leadership
of the Bayview community is certainly in order since it seems
that all the credit is going to politicians that have been negligent
of the issue for well over a decade. It would also help when the
Mayor makes a wide-sweeping statement about his now 'new' interest
in the health and well-being of the Bayview community, that his
record on the issue be also printed especially when there is obvious
contradiction and hypocrisy apparent.
The Fog City
January 5, 2008
Editor's Note: The big question remains, when
will the BVHP community file a class-action lawsuit against the
federal goverment for criminal negligence? The goverment has been
on notice about the shipyard link to ashtma and cancer rates in
the BVHP community for decades.
The Progressive Agenda
Chris Daly brags about how city progressives "elevate
the issues...above our own political advancement and personal
self-interest" and then tells us that his decision to not
run for mayor "was the right decision for my family and for
Nor is his boast that he and his prog colleagues
passed 93 ordinances while the so-called moderates passed a mere
35 particularly impressive.
What the city needs more than a lot of new legislation
is some sound judgment on public policy. Daly didn't mention some
notable "progressive" fiascos created and in-the-making
by the Board of Supervisors: the Bicycle Plan, the Rincon Hill
highrises and the green light for many more city highrises, the
impending roll-over for UC's rip-off of the old extension property,
and the court defeat for their aggressively pro-development Housing
After eight years in office, it's good that Daly
and his prog colleagues are finally getting around to a serious
initiative on affordable housing, long after they pushed through
thousands of luxury condos on Rincon Hill.
January 3, 2008
Chris Daly, let's not kid ourselves, shall we?
I'm amazed at how over the past 35 years, institutional Democrats
associated with the Democratic Leadership Council have been able
to frame the political debate and introduce powerful Orwellian
terms into our common lexicon.
Chris Daly -- a very intelligent person -- has even fallen for
it. He distinguishes himself and six other Supervisors of the
Board as being "progressive". I would agree with that
part. But when he refers to the rest of the Supervisors, he calls
them "moderates". This is a total falsehood. With the
possible exception of Bevan Dufty, let's give these politicians
the disrepsect they deserve and call them what they are: "CONSERVATIVE".
It will be a cold day in hell before you EVER convince me that
Sean Elsbernd, Michela Alioto-Pier and Gavin Newsom (in spite
of his culturally open-minded gestures) are even close to being
REAL moderates. And the same thing can be said for "San Francisco
Liberals" (a term they despise instead of embrace) Nancy
Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein.
To say that Republicans are the real conservatives is just a
cop out. Afterall, let's not forget that Dianne Feinstein and
Republican, Dan White, were ideological twins when they were both
December 31, 2007
On Zoo's in general
Don't get me wrong, I love animals. I gave one a
get-of-jail-card-free and a loving home, a job to do that he loves
and the ability to be with me 24/7/365.
But, zoo's are not great places for wild animals who are designed
by nature to be roaming in environments designed for them by nature.
Zoo's are unnatural places. While I hear the call for some animals
that cannot be returned to the wild to be held in captivity, there
are better places like preserves that are more conducive for a
more healthier lifestyle and longer, less stressful life. If anything,
animal parks are far better places, though I'd rather see them
returned from whence they came.
My heart goes out to the families and spirits that are affected
by this incident and the incredulous reactions by the zoo and
other officials. If zoo workers were allowed to carry tranquilizer
devices to subdue these events, maybe, just maybe there would
be a life spared here. No animal should be put to death for being
just what they are innately after having been placed in such contrivances
as a zoo for all to gawk at.
We can garner far better insight by folks who do far less harm
to animals on film in the wild, in their own habitats than we
can through the bars of a cage. Also, are these animals really
getting the exercise they need to stay in optimum health? I know
on days that Charlie (my dog) doesn't get to go and play with
his friends, it affects his health and well being. While we all
spend gobs of dollars at gyms and health clubs, too, a little
exercise each day at maximum ability for any animal goes a long
way at preserving their health, happiness and longevity.
We have enough jails in this world. While we get to walk around
aimlessly through a contrived park, animals are caged in less
than ample quarters relieved or muted of their natural instincts
until they snap back like a rubber band. Think about that on myriad,
mezzo and micro levels in all corners of life.
This tiger was acting as it should, like a tiger, like any animal
caged and prohibited of its natural habitat and instincts. Do
you think this tiger's innate being likes SF weather? I doubt
it unless he/she came from the Himalayas. Why should we force
a wild animal to live in an unnatural place with a concrete walls
and bars among a few shrubberies?
So, instead of us spending time gawking at animals behind bars,
let's help them live and be free in the wild, and work to preserve
their species and natural habitats by *closing this zoo* and returning
these animals to places more conducive to their natual existeence,
where they may live their lives in peace and tranquility with
proper protection so they are not used as trophies or food.
There are so few left.
December 30, 2007
Bhutto vs. the SF Zoo
Though very tragic and deplorable, I think that
the fact that a zoo's negligence is receiving about as much press
coverage as the assasination of Benazir Bhutto, suggests that
some peoples' priorities are out of whack.
December 30, 2007
Carlos Sousa Jr.
No, a "rotting dead tiger" is not what
this story is all about. It is about the tragic, untimely death
of a 17-year-old on Christmas Day. I do not think FCJ or any other
media outlet is covering the story to an unwarranted excess.
As a parent, I cannot stop thinking about this tragedy
and how outrageous it is that the zoo did not take effective measures
to prevent this attack from occurring.
My deepest sympathies are with the Sousa family
and I think this is an important story!
Thank you for your coverage. For San Francisco families,
who want to take their children to a zoo, this is an important
December 30, 2007
A Rotting Dead Tiger is Still News?
ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! ENOUGH WITH THE DEAD TIGER STORIES ALREADY!!!
The mainstream press has pretty much got this sensationalist non-issue
saturated and that is to be expected from trash like them. But
COME ON, Luke, the recycled BCN news releases on this topic are
getting pretty old right about now.
December 29, 2007
Fog City's cheesecake photos
Fog City's daily cheesecake photos
of Elaine Santore just keep getting better and better. Keep 'em
She's hot stuff. I enjoy them myself.
December 24, 2007
Health insurance companies are getting away with
I noticed the Chronicle forgot this story maybe because it happened
too far away to cover it. Maybe, shopping was more important for
Nataline Sarkiysan was a 17 year-old young woman who had leukemia
in Los Angeles. Having worked at UCSF on the 11Th floor of a cancer
ward that did bone marrow transplants, I can tell you how minutes,
not hours nor weeks, can mean a patient's life if a doctor or
a nurse doesn't do their job. Between the lack of platelets that
control bleeding, red blood cells that give nourishing oxygen
and finally, the white cells that prevent infection, patient's
and their families go through hell to survive and win over this
nasty, god-awful disease. A bone-marrow transplant saved Nataline's
life before, now it was her liver that was failing. She had a
good chance of surviving with a new liver.
Last week, I got an e-mail to call CIGNA, the health insurance
giant. Her doctors wrote a letter to CIGNA on December 11th and
a week later, had denied it as "experimental". That's
a common excuse used by insurers to not give you care. Not taking
no for an answer, her nurses of CNA/NNOC organized a protest.
The community and Nataline's family did these protests on line,
on the phone and as a last resort, outside UCLA last Thursday
to pressure CIGNA to change its mind on the denial. You can see
the You-tube video on line on the CNA website.
It worked and CIGNA reversed course and authorized the transplant.
But for Nataline, it was a little too late and she passed in her
sleep at 6 pm the same day.
I am not trying to ruin people's holiday season with this sad
story. Nataline could have been save, but not by our current system
that allows health insurance companies to get away with murder.
If Nataline's death has any meaning it will be that bills, like
the one hastily passed by our so-called leaders in the Assembly
on Monday, never see the light of day. The Nunez-Schwarzenegger
bill isn't Medicare for all, single-payer. It forces people who
have no money to buy health insurance like CIGNA and will be paid
for by taxes including at least 1 billion dollars from the public
sector. It's a gift to the health insurance industry who will
see their profits rise and our lives put on the line like Nataline.
Next year, I am told, will be the year of health care reform
in California and our nation. I hope for the next Nataline, they
will be right. Maybe,
we can finally have a system that allows doctors, nurses and
above all patient's and their families the ability to make their
own medical decisions without insurance companies eying their
bottom lines first. Anything less is unacceptable, ethically challenged
and down right wrong.
Nancy Lewis, RN FNP
December 23, 2007
Holiday Treat Throwdown
Thanks so much for including our little
soiree in FCJ. The pictures are fantastic and the captions
Thanks for coming!
Legislative Aide, Office of Supervisor Sean Elsbernd
December 20, 2007
Pat Guintos passed away after last stand in support
of HR 676
My name is James Keys and I am the new Health Program Director
for Senior Action
Network. The rally
held at the Federal Building, on December 13, 2007, was organized
by me and the SAN Health Committee.
Your comprehensive coverage
of our event and the full amount of information printed regarding
House Resolution Bill 676 provides a clear and concise
snapshot of what millions of people are crying out
for, less expensive and quality healthcare.
We invited a representative from Congresswoman Nancy Peolsis
office to listen to our speakers, yet the cool response
I received on the phone did not assure me anyone from that office
would be in attendance.
Many people, seniors, disabled, healthy, young, etcetera have
worked and fought very hard for a single-payer universal
healthcare plan. Too much of the money spent on healthcare goes
to administrative costs. People are paying 31 cents of every dollar
to have an administrative person shuffle papers around. That money
could be put to better use. Single-payer would eliminate the excess
steps and direct monies to providing better healthcare. Yet that
would make a lot of insurance companies angry.
And finally, if you look at the photograph of Kay McVay, President
Emeritus of the California Nurses Association, you will see Barbara
Blong, Executive Director of Senior Action Network and behind
her is Ms. Pat Guintos. Ms. Guintos told Barbara that she was
cold, yet she would stay with her at the rally because healthcare
was so important.
Ms. Guintos passed away Saturday night. She will always be remembered
and loved. She left us standing up for what she believed in.
Thank you for the article
Health Program Director
Senior Action Network
December 18, 2007
Editor's Note: We are sorry to read your news
of Ms. Guintos' passing. Ms. Guintos' memory will now be inextricably
linked to the final stand she took in support of the very health
care legislation that may have saved her life, and the lives of
millions of Americans who cannot wait until January 2009 to receive
the health care they need today.
The Bicycle Plan
The reason the environmental impact report on the
Bicycle Plan is
being delayed is that those responsible for actually writing
the report understand what we have been saying for almost three
years: The 460-page Bicycle Plan is a huge project that affects
hundreds of city streets, which means the EIR must also be a comprehensive
document that does justice to the scope of the Plan. If, as we
urged at the time, the city had done an EIR in the first place,
the city's bike people wouldn't be facing this problem. On the
other hand, if the city had done an EIR in the beginning---instead
of trying to sneak it through the process---the people of the
city would have learned even sooner what the cycling community
and its many enablers in City Hall planned to do to their neighborhoods:
take away street parking and traffic lanes to make bike lanes.
The bike people like to cite the David Binder survey,
but he should also have asked city residents this question: Do
you want the city to take away street parking and traffic lanes
in your neighborhood to make bike lanes? I bet the positive response
would have been a lot smaller than 75%.
December 12, 2007
Harassing CNA/NNOC Nurses for our Advocacy:
Why We Strike Part II
It was no accident, nor a concern for patient safety,that
a memo from the Chief Nursing Executive, Ms. Vicki Ardito to management
staff, surfaced last month. Unit by Unit, Sutter nurses are being
targeted for those with the "worst attitudes" by supervisors
for disciplinary action. From simple write ups to termination,
nurses are being targeted throughout the Sutter system. Everything,
from not answering the phone in a timely manner to not saying
a scripted message to their patients every shift is being documented.
But the real reason, the Sutter RN's are being targeted
for their attitudes is their dogged determination to fight for
their profession, a decent contract and most importatly, their
patient's right to a safely staffed hospital by the RN's who over-see
Last week, these determined nurses had the audacity,to
vote for another strike, beginning next Thursday at 7am until
Saturday at 7am at "all" 13 Sutter facilities in Northern
California. Once again, nurses,from Sutter Delta near Sac town,to
Alta Bates in Berkeley, to Peninsula in Burlingame and lastly,
CPMC and old St. Luke's in San Francisco, will be walking the
picket line for two days. In addition, despite their every effort
to fore-stall the closure of St. Luke's at the Board of Supervisors,
Health Commission and multiple community rallies, Sutter is threatening
a wall to wall lock out of all nurses who walk the picket line
next week and close the adult Medical-Surgical units in the new
I hope as many people can join the CNA/NNOC nurses on the picket
line next week. I will be there to help the nurses win this fight
for themselves and their patients. As a nurse for over 17 years,
a member of CNA/NNOC for the same length of time, I can tell you
how important the bedside nurse is to keeping patients alive and
well during a hospital stay. They are fighting as though a life
depends on them. I think it does.
It is not the nurses who are expressing the "worst"
attitude and need an attitude re adjustment, it is Sutter management.
Nancy E. Lewis, RN FNP
December 6, 2007
What exactly are the progressive "gains"
Christina Olague is referring to? What does Sue Vaughn think the
political difference is between the city's progressive men and
progressive women in the city? Don't all male and female prog
leaders in SF support the Bicycle Plan, Critical Mass, and the
ongoing city jihad against the wicked automobile? And don't all
male and female prog leaders in SF support the Rincon Hill highrises,
the Market/Octavia Plan, and UC's land-grab on lower Haight Street?
And didn't all male and female prog leaders in SF support Josh
Wolf, ignoring the fact that city cop Peter Shields had his head
fractured by Wolf's comrades during that demo? And, by the way,
when is the SF Green Party going to take the anti-American tirade
by convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal off of its website? What
makes anyone think the Green Party's Ross Mirkarimi, who supported
Josh Wolf and likes to prattle about revolution, could ever be
elected mayor of SF? And when are city progs going to step up
with a sensible approach to homelessness in SF instead of knee-jerk
opposition to whatever Mayor Newsom is doing?
December 6, 2007
Sitting in on a conversation with Matt Gonzalez
and Ross Mirkarimi as they discuss furniture is hardly my idea
of empowering women in local politics. I walked by Matt's office
a couple of times that evening as he engaged in meetings with
Jazzie Collins and Jane Kim, so it seems that many meetings and
conversations were taking place in his office that evening. And
honestly for all the grief Matt has taken over the years, he has
encouraged leadership among women locally. It is common knowledge
that Gonzalez encouraged Sarah Lipson and Jane Kim to run for
School Board. He was one of the first electeds to support Renee
Saucedo in her District 9 Supervisors race and the list goes on.
When he was President of the Board of Supervisors he didn't hesitate
to appoint some of us to key commissions ranging from planning
to immigrant rights and he continues to work with the Mayor of
Richmond and other women who are in key decision making roles
in a support capacity.
There is a time and a place and sometimes at these
events people want private time to talk about any number of issues
and we should respect that. That Mirkarimi and Gonzalez are talking
is a good thing as we are all going to have to come together in
November of 2008 to preserve the gains we have made as progressives.
Preserving and increasing those gains is a conversation we should
all be engaged in regardless of gender.
Still, Sue makes many valid points but from my standpoint
and at the risk of coming off as too "60's" I still
feel more empowered as a women activist after sitting around in
room talking with other women like Alix Rosenthal, Renee Saucedo
or Misha Irizarry or Sue Vaughan or Susan King. Progressives have
alot of work to do in this area this fall we are still absent
progressive women in many races but where we can support progressive
women we should like Sonya Mehta's run for Community College Board.
There are many ways to empower ourselves as women activists but
if a private conversation is taking place let's respect it, there
are many avenues and places we can continue to engage in that
have a greater reach than this.
Christina Olague, San Francisco Planning Commissioner
December 5, 2007
Mark Sanchez, etc.
I think that the first and most fitting pieces of
legislation that Mark Sanchez can introduce if he becomes a Supervisor
is to make the position of School Board member a full-time, full
pay, job so that the rich (i.e. Heather Hiles), old (i.e. Dan
Kelly), and/or well connected/conflicted interest (i.e. Hydra
Mendoza and Heather Hiles) aren't the only ones who have a better
chance at winning a seat. Who knows? Sarah Lipson might still
be on the School Board if such basic necessities were a part of
In addition, he might want to further level the playing field
in that sector by making School Board positions elected by district
instead of city-wide, as well as instituting campaign matching
funds for the honest and well-intentioned candidates.
As a semi-non-sequitor, the District 9 (and 3) race for Supervisor
is just screaming for reform with regard to IRV. As things stand,
the IRV, exclusively 1-2-3 process is entirely un democratic,
as the voter can only rate 3 out of God knows how many candidates
that are running. This is especially important for the next mayoral
election since at least 20 people will be vying for that Brass
Ring. I say that voters should be able to rate as many candidates
as they want. This is especially important now that The City is
in the process of getting their new voting machines.
November 5, 2007
A revolution in gender and politics, please
Perhaps some context is necessary to understand the events
of Friday night. Perhaps it's true that three men behind the
glass walls of an office at a fundraiser being hosted by one of
them could have been talking about anything, and I would have
none of it -- even if they had been talking about furniture, as
an informant later told me they were. In fact, most likely it
IS true, as I believe there are few things in the world that are
more important than (and excuse me, Ross, for appropriating one
of your favorite words) a "revolution" in gender and
politics. Certainly, a discussion about the revolution in gender
and politics -- with women in the mix -- takes precedence over
a discussion of furniture, and at a political event, no less.
That revolution is not happening quickly enough in San Francisco.
Besides the fact that women are underrepresented in elected office
in San Francisco, over the past year there have been numerous
supposedly progressive events in which women have not been included
as speakers, in which women invitees have not been listed on the
promotional literature, or in which women have not been acknowledged
in the news coverage of those events. While I can list the specific
events during this past year, the frustration with the failure
of our male colleagues to include women in "their" events
goes back many years.
And yet women have been on the ground, central to the campaigns
of ballot measures and our male colleagues. As we are all responsible
for mitigating global climate change and resisting natural resource
wars, we are also all responsible for participating in that revolution
in gender and politics. To be silent when we witness the perpetuation
of the old paradigm of male political hegemony is to be a participant
in that perpetuation.
So I rocked the boat the other night. Not the first time and
you can wager big bucks that it will not be the last time. Luke,
have your camera ever at the ready, Elaine your pen. It was a
great party and a great evening, and we'll all survive our seasickness
and get over this -- and hopefully move forward with a greater
sensitivity to the issues of gender and ethnic diversity in our
all too white, all too male progressive community. And hey, I
like and appreciate all of our male colleagues and allies.
San Francisco Green Party
December 4, 2007
"Out" in the fog in the middle of the
I have a Google Harvey Milk alert and your "Mayor
of Castro" Memorial edition popped up and it made me
think of hopping on the reversible light-year train, to take me
back to what "Chuck" Dickens called "The best of
times, the worst of times," but in San Francisco in the 60's
I'm now here in Chicago, the city I left in the early 60's because
then it was taboo to know anyone or be "queer"!
I went west, a young man and discovered Utopia in the making.
Most people think San Francisco has always been a liberal city.
However when I arrived, there were laws still on the books, that
if you wanted to dress in drag (not my forte), you had to wear
a name like tag saying "I am a boy" or you could be
arrested, even on Halloween! However, it was courageous drag queens
who helped to change anti-gay laws by being arrested many times.
I was lucky to have seen José Sarria at the fabled Black
Cat bar, and when he ran for City Supervisor and received over
6,000 votes that begat gay politics, over a decade before Harvey
Milk. The city was a great small city back then and you did not
have to file for bankruptcy just to pay your rent, or rent a small
storefront in most parts of the city. A lid of pot cost $7 and
Zig Zag papers sold for a nickel!
The gay area was mostly on Polk Street and muni cost 15 cents.
Aquatic Park had a gay beach and the smell of chocolate filled
the air from Ghiardelli Square before it was turned into a shopping
center. Most of the wharf area were still warehouses. I also discovered,
like myself, many people migrated from their hometowns to San
Francisco just to be ourselves. I bought a cheap Kodak Instamatic
camera to send tourist like images back to friends and family
in Chicago, but images of leftover beatniks, hippies, flower children,
Golden Gate Park, "summer of love", peace mongers and
war protesters, found their way into my lens by the end of the
I began the 70's by moving on a small street called Alpine Terrace,
located between the Haight-Ashbury and Castro-Eureka neighborhoods.
I rented a 2 bedroom house with a front and back yard, an in-law
apartment with two parking garage spaces for $250 a month. I bought
a better camera and became a freelance photographer and publicist.
I specialized in gay clients, bars and businesses, at a time when
it was not yet fashionable to be openly gay, and by osmosis became
involved in early San Francisco gay politics, sports and media.
I used to display my photographs in a Castro Street storefront
window of Georgeanna's Bakery, just a few steps from today's Harvey
Milk Plaza. I made lots of friends including Harvey, Mayor Moscone,
Dr.Tom Waddell and lots of enemies as well, including many I did
not even know! President Eisenhour said "taking a political
stance in the middle of the road will open you up to the extremes
of both sides of a political issue" and it did for me, especially
when I supported Terry Hallinan when he ran against Harvey Milk
for Supervisor in the 5th District. The gay rag Bay
Area Reporter labeled me "Gays for Homophobia!"
Hey, I didn't mean to rant and rave when I started this letter...
I really just wanted to congratulate you on your fine site. I
keep in touch and once in a while contribute some tales to BeyondChron.com
and a few of my images can be found at Uncle
Don's, but from now on I'll add your site to stay in touch,
Like I said I was lucky to have been in San Francisco at a time
when the fog horn sounded like a real fog horn, to know people
before they discovered themselves and others, and to have a treasure
trove of memories, one of a kind memorabilia and thousands of
images to remind me just how lucky I was.
Thanks for being there and for your site.
December 2, 2007
Responding to Alex Dollery...
You must be a liberal to even suggest that the USCG
was responsible for the oil spill that was caused by an outbound
ship. Research the subject before spouting off about people that
serve and protect this wonderful country of ours. You are probably
just as much to blame for the oil spill.
I enjoyed the article
very much, and yes I am proud of all military personnel serving
our country. Also Jessica's last name is spelled Shafer, she is
my daughter and I am proud of her too!
November 20, 2007
Editor's Note: Thank you for your letter
of correction. Jessica's last name now corrected.
What's with the puff piece on the Coast Guard?
Hadn't you noticed that the Coast Guard is responsible
for one of the worst oil spills in the history of the San Francisco
Bay? Or did you think they should be given an award for their
Given the suck-up tone of that "article,"
I'm surprised you didn't suggest that the 58,000 gallons of bunker
fuel was an environmental friendly additive that would restore
wildlife health and act as a soothing emollient for swimmers and
November 19, 2007
Editor's Note: The Coast Guard
feature story was undertaken in mid-October, weeks before the
oil spill travesty occured on Novemer 7. Despite the somewhat
awkward timing of the story, it was scheduled for publishing today.
The Gulf War vets in your article
are to be commended for their efforts to publicize the fact that
the technique cutely named "waterboarding" by the media
(isn't it fun - its like snowboarding!) is in fact a form of torture.
Some clarification is in order, though. Unlike the
mere simulation enacted by these activitists, the technique used
by US forces does not include a barrier to keep water from entering
the lungs of its victims. The whole point of the technique is
to give the victim the experience of drowning until they break,
hopefully short of death. Thus, even referring to this torture
as "simulated drowning" is not accurate. It IS drowning.
If someone fell into a pond and was drowning, but was saved before
death, we would not call that "simulated drowning."
And that term should never be used in connection with this torture
method, as it makes it sound less horrible than it is.
Knowing this, and knowing that our government signed treaties
declaring this technique to be torture, how can ANY person support
an Attorney General nominee who refuses to say this technique
is torture? Such a nominee is declaring up front that they will
NOT uphold the law.
Senator Feinstein, who broke ranks and announced her early support
of Mukaskey, should be ASHAMED. But of course it has become clear
that she is without shame and does not deserve to serve the people
November 15, 2007
Latest CrackBerry Chronicle
I have this to say about the latest
installment of the CrackBerry Chronicles:
Supervisor Aaron Peskin waiting to take a bus from the Yes on
A/ No on H party, was the best thing I saw all night (and I saw
I'd like to see more supervisors taking the bus or streetcar
more often. Didn't we ask them to take transit at least once a
week at some point (if possible), or is that just the Municipal
Transportation Agency board?
For those supervisors, other electeds, city staff, commissioners,
etc. wanting to take transit but concerned they might miss a meeting
because of a late bus or streetcar, I have this advice: always
always wear flats.
November 12, 2007
Editor's Note: Good ole Pesker's, he knows how
to walk the walk, especially after a few jars at the local watering
Eric Quezada is the best progressive candidate
for District 9 Supervisor
Our district system provides the opportunity for
genuine neighborhood leaders to win Supervisor elections, making
endorsements, citywide stature, and even fundraising much less
important. So while Mark Sanchez has done yeoman's work for progressives
at the School Board and David Campos has earned my respect as
Police Commissioner, Eric Quezada is by far the best choice for
District 9 Supervisor.
Eric Quezada has spent the better part of 2 decades
working on District 9 neighborhood issues with PODER, Mission
Housing, the Mission Anti-displacement Coalition, the Mission
Economic Development Association and now Dolores Street Community
Services. He's also a long-time board member with the Bernal Heights
Eric took the lead on challenging live/work development
in the Mission in the 90's and has worked since on stopping the
gentrification of the neighborhood. Eric's been at the forefront
of the District's most pressing issues -- affordable housing,
immigrant rights, family services, economic development, and environmental
Eric Quezada is not only a good progressive, he's
a neighborhood leader with deep grounding in the issues of San
Francisco's most progressive district. He may not be the best-known
candidate and he probably won't have the biggest endorsements
and war chest, but Eric Quezada is the best progressive candidate
for District 9.
Supervisor Chris Daly
November 11, 2007
When is Progressive voter apathy ever justified?
I'm a bit curious. If four years ago, 119,323 San Franciscans
came out on a rainy day in December," to quote
Supervisor Chris Daly from his blog, and voted for Supervisor
Matt Gonzalez in his run-off against Supervisor Gavin Newsom,
what happened to these people Tuesday?
An anticipated low turn-out would have been an excellent opportunity
to unseat an incumbent mayor. Plus, this was the first year we
had rank-choice voting for Mayor that the Green Party fought tooth-and-nail
for. Rank-choice voting was supposed to increase voter turnout
and give the little guy a chance.
Add up the just number of people who voted for Supervisors Tom
Ammiano, Chris Daly and Ross Mirkarimi the last time they ran
and ask yourself where that number appears in the election result
tables. Why didnt these same, exact Progressives vote for
Quintin Mecke? Was his platform all that different? Regardless
of how much money Newsoms campaign spent, these voters were
well aware of Quintin Mecke. His name was on the ballot along
with all the others.
Besides rank-choice voting, you can now sign up for permanent
absentee voting in which the ballot is sent right to your home.
So all you have to do is take out a black-ink pen, connect the
arrow feathers to the arrowhead and mail in your vote. How difficult
is that? Are pens now too heavy to lift?
When is Progressive voter apathy ever justified?
November 7, 2007
Thanks very much for covering
this important story.
Many people in the Bay Area still don't know where Burma is and
thanks to your coverage, some are beginning to realize the horror
that is happening over there.
October 27, 2007
I cannot believe that in the short time since I
last read FCJ, as in yesterday, as I had just read the inspiring
on Peter Lauterborn, Eric Mar and Chris Jackson running for office,
there has been such a rush of heated exchanges involving David
I think I have solid progressive credentials and
will not support anyone that I do not consider solidly progressive,
and I have, at least in my heart, if not yet publicly, declared
my support and endorsement for David Campos in District 9 and
I have to take exception with Marc Salomon's characterization
of progressives supporting David just because he is a "nice
I think Michael Goldstein did a fine job with the
facts surrounding David Campos' politics and credentials, so I
do not need to go there.
I first came into contact with David when he was
SFUSD counsel and I was an SFUSD parent compelled to attend SFUSD
board meetings to stand up for the children that kept getting
a raw deal from certain BoE members. And I was the parent plaintiff
to oppose the contract Dan Kelly crafted for Arlene Ackerman.
It would be fair to say that initially I did not
have a favorable opinion of an attorney for the SFUSD that I was
always at odds with. But as I realized who David was and what
his values were, I also knew that even if I disagreed with his
legal opinions at times, that was his job, to represent the SFUSD.Just
because I disagreed with some of his legal opinions, that did
not make him, as a person, any less progressive. I work for the
State of California, just because Arnie is my boss, doesn't mean
I like or agree with him. As for David being an attorney for the
SUSD, I certainly do not have a law degree and I have no reason
to think David ever interpreted the law incorrectly just because
I disagreed with his opinion. Simply because something may be
legal, does not make it politically right in my world view but
it is also no reflection on David's personal values or politics.
I am sure for every time I disagreed with an opinion he rendered,
there was a time that he gave legal expertise that was a victory
for the children and employees of the SFUSD. David could have
went into private practice and earned a lot more money, instead,
he was counsel to a public school district.
The reasons I am supporting David Campos are many:
Because I know my district supervisor, Ross Mirkarimi
needs a good ally on the Board when Tom Ammiano is termed out..
No, I am not currently a resident of the Mission, but I have lived
in the Mission and Bernal Heights growing up. I also worked in
the Mission doing interviews for the Census Bureau, and one of
the most pressing issues of injustice facing my district and the
Mission, is the odious gang injunction. And the issues I care
- Black and Latino children and the achievement
gap in the SFUSD
- Jobs and opportunities for these youth, ex-offenders, etc.
- Immigrant rights, stopping the ICE raids
- Affordable Housing
- Police Accountability
- Responsible and responsive government
- Crime prevention from a humane and social justice perspective
These are all issues I trust David with.
I think for someone to immigrate to this country,
from a humble background and go on to attend some of the finest
universities and become an attorney, is a remarkable asset to
Do you realize what a role model he is for the community
he is running to represent? How many Latino, immigrant youth will
be inspired by him?
David will bring the unique perspective of growing
up a working-class immigrant in a racist, xenophobic culture,
where he had to learn a new language; achieving a law degree which
gives him crucial skills and knowledge to work in city government,
but has the background to fight for the rights of those who been
This is why, as a die-hard progressive, I am proud
to support David Campos. And given what an outspoken critic I
have been of the politicians in San Francisco, he would not want
me associated with him if he was not truly a progressive.
October 26, 2007
This Progressive sets the record straight
I just read Mark Salomon's response to my letter and it's clear
from it that given Salomon's obsession with attacking David Campos,
facts are no longer important to him. Since that is the case,
it would be futile for me to engage Salomon at this point. I will
simply say that progressives are behind Campos not because he's
our friend and he's a nice guy, but because of his solid progressive
record, including his work on the Democratic County Central Committee
and the Police Commission. Finally, in light of Salomon's many
inaccuracies, let me set the record straight about the following:
- It wasn't Louise Renne or Arlene Ackerman that actually hired
Campos, ultimately, it was the Board of Education - Mark Sanchez
included - that unanimously hired Campos as the School District's
- As far as Ackerman's contract is concerned, Campos was not
even the attorney present at the meeting in question. What Campos
did say is that while he would never have given Ackerman the golden
parachute she received, unfortunately, the law allowed the lame
duck Board to do what it did.
- As far as Campos and open government is concerned, I don't
know what Salomon is talking about. Salomon should ask Sanchez
about the fact that it was Campos who helped the Board of Education
pass their version of the Sunshine Ordinance. It was also Campos
who said that the Bay Guardian was entitled to get copies of Ackerman's
expense reports even though Ackerman tried to block their release.
- And as far as Campos and public power is concerned, Salomon's
attack totally missed the mark. Campos actually spent more than
two years of his life fighting PG&E in court, including successfully
fighting PG&E's efforts to keep the City from providing public
power to City facilities like the Ferry Building. And Campos was
the City's lead counsel in the lawsuit against PG&E's parent
company over money stolen from ratepayers during the Energy Crisis.
Finally, last Tuesday's Milk Club meeting is evidence that "Malice"
no longer exists.
30 year San Francisco renter
October 25, 2007
Some of my best friends are Progressives..
The point of my editorial
was to reflect on the Leno/Migden contest as one where races based
on friendships and personalities distract scarce progressive resources
from pressing tasks at hand. This is critical because the challenges
facing residents of D9 are anything but academic and progressive
leadership is required to make real changes that make real people's
But Michael Goldstein makes my case and then some with his letter.
Michael states that since David Campos and Mark Sanchez are friends,
that any concerns over Campos' lack of progressive record and
credentials are dismissable. I believe that the only way that
one might consider Campos to be a progressive, by Michael's measure,
is if he were one's friend and one considered themselves to be
a progressive; call it Michael's Law of Inverse Cooties.
My comments were not on the substance of the D9 race, rather
on the pattern of squandering scarce resources and opportunities
that occurs when political campaigns are run based on friendship
networks and cliques rather than on what moves the progressive
agenda forward most expeditiously.
As things stand now, the clock is running down on the progressive
project--how many Mission residents will be displaced by the march
of the luxury condos between now and when the next D9 supervisor
is sworn in--and few would wind that clock to buy some more time.
On the substance, however, I find it difficult to construe a
"solid progressive record" from recent history as observed:
- Campos was Louise Renne and Arlene Ackerman's choice to counsel
the SFUSD. Louise Renne was PG&E's City Attorney and Arlene
Ackerman found common cause with corporate attack dogs like Wade
Randlett and Republican homophobes like Donald Fisher,
- Campos was the SFUSD attorney who okayed a special meeting
with a 22 hour (not 24 per law) notice on a federal holiday which
allowed a lame duck, defeated incumbent Heather Hiles to provide
the swing vote approving a contract that gave Ackerman $375K that
came straight out of the beleagured classroom.
- Campos obstructed the provision of access as required under
state law to Statements of Economic Interest that were allegedly
filed under threat of perjury by his boss, disgraced superintendent
Ackerman, but never produced on demand as required by state law.
- Campos gave money to to downtown user-friendly Susan Leal,
who has blocked public power as General Manager of the PUC, instead
of acknowledged progressives Ammiano or Gonzalez, but this was
before David decided to reposition himself as a progressive running
in the most progressive district in San Francisco.
- Campos has no grassroots experience on the issues of the day
of import to the Mission, including housing, land use and planning,
education, healthcare, or the environment and transportation.
David Campos is a nice guy and I can see why he has friends who
will bend their political principles to support him, but he is
only progressive under the logical framework of Michael's Law
of Inverse Cooties, where since David is Michael's friend, and
Michael is a progressive, therefore David is a progressive.
There are two candidates in D9 with long records of grassroots
progressive activism, and for Malice to insert a moderate like
Campos in the race, to masquerade him as a progressive, while
progressives are defending and working to upgrade in D1, 3 and
11, smacks of valuing cliques over moving a progressive agenda
and does a great deal of downtown's work for them.
Shame on Malice for parachuting their moderate candidate into
D9 over qualified progressives.
Eighteen-year Mission District resident
October 25, 2007
Responding to Marc Salomon's editorial
I just read Marc Salomon's editorial
where, among other things, he refers to David Campos as a "moderate"
running against progressives like Mark Sanchez. While I can understand
that Salomon likes Sanchez and wants to help him get elected,
I cannot understand why he would do so by once again distorting
Campos' solid progressive record.
As Salomon knows, Campos and Sanchez are friends who like and
respect each other. As progressive candidates running for the
same position in District 9, Campos and Sanchez have promised
to each other to run positive campaigns.
All of us would be wise to follow their example.
October 25, 2007
Dennis Kucinich: Emasculated Diva
I'm bewildered as to why liberal Democrats are so
with perenial candidate, Dennis Kucinich. He's a man who is known
to turn his back on his supporters at the last second and tell
them to throw their support to whichever candidate that is most
likely win the primary -- however repugnant that preordained candidate
might be. This just proves that, underneath it all, he swims in
the same water as the Democratic Leadership Council.
He is merely a diva that is running for president to "raise
the level of debate" and "offer people an alternative."
Instead of grandstanding in an impotent fashion, he should push
the powers that be out of their comfort zone by running as an
independent or third-party candidate. He may draw some heat and
offend some people (i.e. his hypocritical liberal Democratic supporters),
but at least he would be doing the right thing by furthering a
growing cause as opposed to diluting it.
October 23, 2007
Editor's Note: You may be pleasantly suprised
to know there's a rumor floating around suggesting Kucinich will
run as an independent should he not win the Democratic Party nomination
Green Party Endorsements
Thank you for your story
on the Mayoral candidates. One correction: the SF Green Party
did not endorse a candidate. Instead, we recommend four candidates
who agree with us on most of the important issues that are key
to running the City. Our complete endorsements and a discussion
of the issues on this November's ballot are given on our web
John-Marc Chandonia, SF Green Party
October 18, 2007
I just wanted to clarify that Jim passed
away from AIDS/Hep C complications. People with AIDS are dying
from liver cancer and heart attacks caused by the virus and our
medications. In fact, people with HIV/AIDS are 22 times as likely
to get cancer. This is only worsened when we have Hep C co-infection.
AIDS is still the #1 cause of premature death of all men in San
Francisco, ages 15-54. It is important that public perception
is accurate. Not reporting AIDS as a cause of death does a disservice.
Especially when San Francisco continues to receives outrageous
cuts to our HIV/AIDS funding. The losses to AIDS housing have
been staggering. Fortunately, AIDS Housing Alliance/SF was able
to help Jim enjoy a more peaceful place for him to die in. Others
are not so lucky.
Director, AIDS Housing Alliance/SF
October 17, 2007
Editor's Note: Thank you for your letter of
Jim Rivaldo will be remembered for his friendship,
generosity and humor
I have never made a secret of the fact that I wouldn't
have been elected City Attorney were it not for the creativity,
savvy and intellect of Jim Rivaldo. Far more than what he accomplished
politically, however, Jim will be remembered by those of us who
loved him for his friendship, generosity and humor.
It would be impossible to chronicle the political empowerment
of the LGBT community and others over the last three decades without
acknowledging the extent to which Jim's extraordinary talent made
it possible. I think we all hope that the work of our lives will
leave the world a better place. With Jim Rivaldo, we know his
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera
October 17, 2007
The wonderful Jim Rivaldo
Thank you for your tribute
to Jim Rivaldo. Jim was an extraordinary person with a passion
for San Francisco, its governance and its politics. He and his
partner, Dick Pabich, created an amazing and positive political
consulting business in the 1970's which propelled many, often
rather ordinary, individuals into leadership positions in California.
While more than thrilled to work for gay and lesbian candidates,
Jim and Dick helped a broad spectrum of candidates. Both men were
charming and funny guys who loved mixing it up for a good cause.
My first campaign manager, Jack Davis, often used their talents
to create campaign literature, signs and buttons. I still cherish
my first campaign button, designed by Jim, finalized only after
heated debates about which colors could be seen most clearly across
a crowded room. Jim's color schemes ruled the day.
Jim worked on my current campaign right up until a couple of
weeks ago, correcting copy from his computer and warning me about
everything from hubris to the use of capital letters. He was a
constant friend and trusted adviser to many, both during campaigns
and during those long stretches in between.
Jim Rivaldo: A great guy who gave so much.
San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey
October 17, 2007
Thank you for publishing the stories that the "mainstream"
media constantly ignores. I work a full time day job so I frequently
have to miss the protests and rallies for issues that I consider
But thanks to your web site, there are photos and
information about what I've missed. I really appreciate the coverage
of the rally
to support the janitors from my sister local, SEIU 87. I think
ICE, all the way up the chain to George Bush, are the real terrorists
and intimidating janitors, who work very hard, is unconscionable.
I stand in solidarity with the janitors and their
righteous struggle to get their jobs back! San Francisco is a
It is our federal policy that causes the conditions
of poverty and hopelessness, that propels people to immigrate
to the U.S. in the first place. NAFTA, CAFTA. We exploit the people
of their nations and support/instill their corrupt governments,
and then self-righteously persecute them when they come here to
make an honest living and take care of their families.
They deserve their jobs back so they can support
I am appalled at the Feds' actions, including violating
San Francisco law. Was Newsom there to demand their reinstatement?
I certainly hope so.
San Francisco, SEIU 1000
October 13, 2007
Thank you for your coverage
of what is turning out to be the largest strike of RN's in over
a decade. The SF Chronicle thought it was more important to place
concerns over "Halloween" and "pets puttin on the
ritz" on this morning's edition than the walk out all over
northern California of over 5500 RN's of CNA/NNOC. They chose
to put it in the "Business section" which I guess is
where I guess they think healthcare should be. I can't believe
the shallowness of our major media outlets and applaud the Fog
City Journal for covering this strike.
I attended the press conference on Monday in Oakland and was
appalled at the un-safe staffing levels in Sutter St. Lukes' and
their master plan to turn the hospital into clinics rather than
acute care beds that this city badly needs. I am all for clinics
but San Francisco has seen more than its share of hospitals close
their ER and lose acute care beds, like, Mt. Zion hospital did,
after a disastrous but predictably bad merger with Stanford Hospital.
SFGH will be the last refuge of SF's neediest if Sutter Health
gets away doing what they are planning to do and are doing with
regard to patient care issues at St. Luke's.
The picket line began this morning at 7am and it was spirited
and well attended by Sutter St. Luke's RN's who seem determined
to hold Sutter's feet to the fire for the next 48 hours, and beyond
Nancy Lewis, RN FNP, CNA/NNOC.
October 10, 2007
Quakes and Highrises
BOMA honcho Ken Cleaveland unwittingly stipulates to the perils
of our nascent high rise boom, and in so doing, makes the argument
for a moratorium
on high rises in the shaky South of Market until seismic and
fire safety issues can be fully aired, solutions vetted and addressed.
When he says '"How can you trust a piping system in an earthquake?"
he asked. "It's all about scare tactics.",' as he supports
a new kind of wonder-elevator that is supposedly immune to fire,
he admits that any system to provide a safe environment for firefighters
is compromised by seismic issues.
BOMA and developers are scared of having to take eventual responsibility
for the human consequences of their highly profitable megaprojects,
and we are being bullied into entitling projects that are demonstrably
dangerous under conditions historically certain to occur.
Further, the glass skins of these high rises are liable to collapse
during a seismic event. How might we expect firefighters to enter
a building if there is a substantial pile of broken plate glass
blocking the entrances? Whole plate glass sheets can act as an
airfoil and travel for blocks as deadly sharp wings as well.
As developers around the world traditionally do, Ken Cleaveland's
BOMA constituents want to take their entitlement and the profits
they generate and evade responsibility for what happens after
they've been paid, in a disaster that we will have to deal with.
October 4, 2007
No, Julian, h. is the ARCHETYPE of integrity
Julian -- I disagree with you about h. being a liar. I think
that (to him at least) he is preaching the god's honest truth.
However, I do believe that -- like the Chronicle -- his opinions
are lazy, sloppy, and, therefore, grossly misinformed.
In addition, his opinions are influenced and generously-peppered
with cruel vitriol for no other purpose than his own perverted
personal entertainment, which -- more importantly -- allows him
to confirm to himself that he actually exists.
In other words, he's a sadist who feeds off of tormenting others
and, out of a mixture of arbitrariness and necessity, he's temporarily
filling his sense of emptiness with your existence. After he is
done with you, he'll move on to his next hapless victim. It's
kind of like self-mutilation, only, unfortunately, he is inflicting
it on others instead of a well-deserving self.
You can save yourself from excruciating frustration and torment
by knowing that h. is merely the radioactive byproduct of countless
lost and gluttinous years of boozing, reefering (on the public's
dime, mind you) and inner-turmoil -- things that he is unwilling
to resolve maturely. Try to take solace in the fact that he'll
eventually exhaust himself.
October 1, 2007
Thank you for FCJ's beautiful coverage
the heart and soul of the Sheriff's Women's Reentry Center!
Thank you for the beautiful coverage!
All the best,
Program Administrator, Women's Reentry Center
September 29, 2007
h. brown ruffles some feathers
Those familiar with the 'journalism' of h brown
are probably aware of his utter lack of integrity. Readers of
Bulldog column have become more and more aware of his dishonesty
over the years. For those who are not aware, it should be made
abundantly clear that h. brown's column is all too often a fountain
of spurious and libelous drivel.
Though a self-described lefty, h brown has taken to shamelessly
publishing abject lies about members of the progressive community
in San Francisco. Freedom of the press is a right that is no less
abused by h brown's false and aggressive personal attacks than
by the pundits of the Fox News Network.
Though it is broadly understood that h brown's invectives are
based in complete fantasy, thus almost nullifying the need for
this letter, truth-loving people ought not to allow such pathetically
invalid machinations to be disseminated in the name of progressive
Righteous victories have never been won nor just ends ever obtained
by spinning destructive and belligerent lies about those peacefully
advancing honorable causes. This unfortunately has become h brown's
M.O. and pitiful legacy. Those who remember his witty and perceptive
commentary of yesteryear are even more saddened by his fall from
This letter is a call for all those of sound mind and honest
bearing to disregard h brown's published articles and to remove
his slander from your list-serves and inboxes.
P.S. Thank you to Fog City Journal for screening h. brown's articles
before posting them and for refusing to publish articles containing
baseless personal attacks.
September 29, 2007
Great coverage of the Women's Reentry Center grand
Love the Women's Reentry story
in today's edition, although there were not nearly enough pictures
of me. Other than that, it's great!
Thanks for covering the event so well!
San Francisco County Sheriff Mike Hennessey
September 28, 2007
Too bad about Grasshopper
- shows you how stressful taxi driving can be, given double and
triple parked trucks, illegal limos, tourists driving like they
are in Disneyland, bicycles, skateboards, wheelchairs, rollerbladers,
shooting gangbangers, every locomotion a loco has a notion to
motion, and last, but by no means least, our fair taxi commission
with nothing better to waste their eight-hour meetings on than
taking away his livelihood (scheduled for the night he was arrested)
for refusing to give up his right to stick an "Impeach Bush"
sticker on his taxi bumper, instead of focusing their authority
on the fake taxis pervading San Francisco, driven by unlicensed
operators who, for all we know, could be convicted rapists and
worse ( I won't say the t word).
September 21, 2007
Murder and Suicide the American Way
Hurrah to Jill Chapin for her excellent guest editorial
and Suicide the American Way" and hurrah to Luke Thomas
and the Fog City Journal for having the balls to publish it!
See www.cchr.org for more
on how psychiatric drugs alone are taking a devastating toll on
September 16, 2007
Bring on the chicken suits
Mayor Newsom's request that all of his appointees submit their
resignations is not an act of "vision" as he would have
you believe. It's an act of complete cowardice.
As a manager for 20 years I would never ask ALL of my key people
to tender letters of resignation to make me look "better."
It's not a motivational tool to tell all your staff that you're
potentially tired of them. This shows a continued lack of leadership
from Mayor Newsom. He is asking HUNDREDS of employees, most of
whom are are doing remarkable jobs (especially commission appointees
who are nominally paid for an extraordinary amount of work) to
offer letters of resignation so he can pick the few that he really
wants to let go
Why doesn't he have the guts to just fire the people he has
a problem with? He is too much of a coward and thinks it will
get much less scrutiny this way.
But, he is WRONG. His actions will garner much scrutiny as he
has exposed his administration. If he is asking for massive resignations
then he is admitting that his administration is a complete failure,
a rare point on which i agree.
September 12, 2007
Regarding your 9/9
piece titled, "Mayoral candidate arrested for stalking
Supervisor Ed Jew" my only thought is that Grasshopper is
a nut. Total loon. Batshit crazy.
Grasshopper's antics make a great argument for paying
the filing fee not being enough to join the debates.
Yet in spite of Grasshopper, I enjoyed Friday's debate and look
forward to attending another.
September 10, 2007
In the article
(Court Jester reviews third 2007 mayoral debate), you run a series
of pictures capturing what happened during and after the mayoral
debate on Friday, August 31st.
One of the picture's caption reads: "The spies
who love Newsom."
I happen to be in that picture and I resent being
labeled with any candidate, campaign, or affiliation.
This becomes even more disturbing because I will
be hosting a candidate forum on Wednesday, September 5th and have
invited all 13 ballot qualified candidates to attend.
So far in this election cycle I have remained neutral
and have not offered the use of my name for anything on the November
ballot. I want to thank some of your readers for calling this
error to my attention.
Coalition of San Francisco
September 3, 2007
Editor's Note: Thank you for your
letter of correction. We have replaced the photo and look forward
to attending the 4th Mayoral Debate you are hosting.
Tony Hall Bows out of Mayor's race
Though I'm not a big fan of Tony Hall's politics, I have always
respected his honesty.
It is a shame that Hall, as one of two candidates to pre-qualify
for public financing, is dropping
out of the race because of pressure from the Newsom gangsters.
Matt Gonzalez seemed to rise above this. I would have hoped Hall
'Newsom Campaign Manager Eric Jaye told Fog City: 'It's unfortunate
that Supervisor Hall chose to leave the race. He was the last
candidate left that wasn't named after a barnyard animal.'"
This is a disgusting comment and speaks to the low level that
Gavin's campaign always reaches to. Eric Jaye is a disgrace, and
Newsom should be horrified to be affiliated with him.
There are two candidates with serious platforms that address
the myriad problems in San Francisco. They are Ahimsa Sumchai
Porter and Quintin Mecke. We should not be dismissing these less
high-profile candidates during this critical election.
August 30, 2007
Facts Are Not Inconvenient for Me
In response to Barbara Meskunas' response to my email, I apologize
to all for making a typographic mistake in my Letter to the Editor
(8/23/7). I meant to say Supervisor Ed Jew voted for censure against
an Asian journalist who attacked the African American community
and outraged the Asian American community.
Ms. Meskunas' arguments are empty. Hate speech is hate speech
in whatever form. And, yes, that is a progressive value, Barbara.
Yes, Michael Savage has a right as an American citizen to say
whatever he likes, but we, as a civilized citizenry, also have
every right to ask corporations that he not be permitted to spew
such venom on our public airwaves.
Jew's stance shows cowardice not independence.
Ms. Meskunas' also stated in an earlier email that his so-called
independence is why "he [Jew] has been targeted for removal."
Pleeeeze. Jew has been targeted for removal because he has no
respect for the spirit, and perhaps the letter, of San Francisco
elections law that requires candidates to live in the district
It is clear to me, and anyone that reads the basic facts of the
case, that Jew lives in Burlingame, which is in San Mateo County
the last time I checked.
Meskunas' defense of Jew appears to be motivated by fear of losing
her job when Jew is convicted and removed from office.
When you're ready for a "mature" discussion, Barbara,
you may contact me and all of Ed Jew's critics, of which there
August 30, 2007
Open letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi - Petition
Dear Madam Speaker,
The Constitutional violations of this administration have been
so flagrant and so serious that if not checked, some future President
may find on taking office a handy tool box of tyranny in precedent
just waiting to be dusted off and used again.
I very strongly urge and respectfully petition you to task the
House Committee on Rules with serious and open examination of
whether the House Judiciary Committee and Congress should consider
articles of impeachment against President George Walker Bush and
Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney.
I write this letter following discussions with many friends,
some of them Republicans and at least one who voted for George
Bush. My private poll has been mirrored all across this country
in responses to wider and more professionally organized polls.
Americans are already forming a sizeable minority considering
impeachment [33% - 45%, depending on the poll] and the raw numbers
have reached a majority for investigation [51% - 56%]. America
is well ahead of you.
This is not an issue of party; it is not an issue of failures
in Iraq; at issue is not the short remainder of this President's
term. At issue are high crimes, in the sense used by the Founders
and by Blackstone, against the Constitution of the United States.
These include violations of separation of powers, usurping to
the President and Vice President powers expressly forbidden by
the Constitution; and, repeated violations of Amendments I, IV,
V, VI, and XIV of the Bill of Rights.
Most serious of these violations has been Contempt of Congress
and repeated violation of Amendments IV and VI, to the damage
of American freedoms at home and American policy abroad. We have
an increasingly serious Constitutional crisis; the cure for this
crisis is impeachment.
Madam Speaker, you hold the highest legislative office under
the Constitution. All of the threatened rights of this Constitution
reside under your protection. Your oath of office is not to party,
but to preserve, protect, and defend the instrument of these rights.
George Bush and Richard Cheney made the same oath in a much more
public and solemn ceremony. We have seen them violate their vows
and express contempt for Congress examining their violations.
I am writing to you because if I fail to act I become not a free
citizen, but only a subject under an Imperial Presidency that
tramples on the precepts the Framers held so dear, and for which
generations of Americans gave "that last full measure of
devotion" to defend. Madam Speaker, I call upon you to act
now so that future generations will not look back on our collective
Wayne B. Lanier, PhD
August 29, 2007
Code Pink action at Federal Building
Thanks for your comprehensive and interesting report
on the Code Pink action at the SF Federal Building on August 23.
Your words and photos captured the spirit of the action, as well
as showing the unprofessional conduct of the police, who preferred
to push and drag peaceful protestors rather than proceed properly.
Code Pink Local Groups coordinator Rae Abileah was
hurt in the back when an overzealous and incommunicative policewoman
brutally shoved a heavy door against her; Rae had to go to the
emergency room for medical care.
Your journalistic witnessing is an important part
of our (barely functioning) democracy. I have forwarded the link
to your article all over the country.
August 25, 2007
Facts may be inconvenient
Donna Linden condemns Ed Jew's defense of the First
Amendment on the basis of false assumptions perpetuated by censorship
"He voted for censure against an Asian journalist
who attacked the Asian American community, yet voted against censure
of a white man who attacked minority communities."
In reality, he voted for censure of an Asian columnist
who attacked the African-American community with a column entitled
"Why I hate Blacks," contained in an Asian-owned newspaper
that receives city advertising dollars, (a condition that warrants
Board of Supervisors oversight, in Ed Jew's opinion).
In the case of the "white man," Supervisor
Jew voted against government censure of a radio talk show host
who was mocking a behavior, not the race of those who were so
behaving, in an attempt to get him fired. Is media censorship
the goal of "progressive" San Francisco?
Facts may be inconvenient, but they are relevant
to a mature discussion.
Barbara Meskunas, aide to Supervisor Ed Jew
August 24, 2007
Correction - Ed Jew is a Democrat
In response to Barbara Meskunas' email, it is insignificant whether
Ed Jew is
a Republican [his former affiliation] or a Democrat. He is
a hypocrite. He voted for censure against an Asian journalist
who attacked the
Asian African American community, yet
voted against censure of a white man who attacked minority communities.
Ed Jew is a hypocrite, a criminal (as far as I can tell as he
lives in Burlingame), and a joke. For Barbara Meskunas to be defending
him is laughable. He is not an Independent in the best sense of
the word. He is a fraud!
August 23, 2007
Censureship is a load of bullocks
Is Mr. Gramly claiming that if the Board of Supervisors does
not attend to everything then it cannot attend to anything? If
Gramly had empathy for folks worse off or different than him,
then he would realize that such attacks effects us all.
If Gramly truly thought political action should be limited to
policies that effect us all, then he would have called the bicycle
advocates on their unHealthy Saturdays monomania and demanded
that they focus on keeping the other 1,000 miles of city streets
safe, well paved and traffic calmed under a viable bike plan,
for those of us who rely exclusively on bicycles for our transportation
The truth is that amidst some gems, much of progressive policy
is in shambles while our opponents are advancing. Progressives
can only succeed if we work together in coalition and learn from
our mistakes. People may make strategic mistakes but cannot be
allowed to blame the messenger for pointing this out or worse,
to deny them.
There are reasons why Matt Gonzalez could not put together a
campaign this year and there are reasons why Cat Rauschuber is
lashing out at me, and those reasons are related. There are reasons
why the bike plan is in court and why unHealthy Saturdays made
McGoldrick vulnerable, and those reasons are related.
It takes more than healthy middle class white guys on bikes like
Matt Gramly and myself to build a majoritarian progressive coalition.
It takes people who are willing to put their immediate self interests
aside for a time in favor of creating the conditions where those
who are less fortunate and less able then we, as the direct flipside
of our privilege, can speak for themselves and actualize their
political aspirations along with us.
"Stepford husbands, Stepford wives
With longer scissors, sharper knives
So sugar-sweet, they spend their time
As censors, working overtime."
As far as censoring censures because of fears of censorship,
it looks like someone in San Diego just fears free speech with
which he disagrees so he censures us for censuring hate.
August 17, 2007
Counter regarding free speech
It is not illegal nor irresponsible
for Michael Savage to refer to gays as sodomites or to joke about
illegal aliens dying while hunger striking. Free speech is about
the right to say things that others disagree with, especially
when the speech is critical or offensive. This whole idea of "hate-speech"
is silly and quite unamerican. Americans are free to hate whoever,
whatever they want to.
Michal Savage hates illegal alien invasion. Big
deal, so do millions of people, which was made perfectly clear
when the folks angrily demanded that the Senate abandon its amnesty
The real story here is that a government representative,
Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, tried
to censure and economically impede Savage simply because he
disagreed with Savage's comments. That is stunning, although I'm
not surprised that the intolerant PC enforcers would rally against
Savage on this issue.
Don't like Savage? You're free not to listen to
August 17, 2007
Free speech (reprised)
To answer Mr. Salomons letter responding to
mine; where are the weekly resolutions from the Supes condemning
the hate-speech of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill OReilly
and Sean Hannity? Where is the resolution condemning Michelle
Malkins book advocating for the internment of Islamic-Americans
and justifying the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans? Where
is the resolution condemning Alberto Gonzalez assault on
the Constitution? Arent these worthy of being
My point is that government needs to be focused on solutions
to problems that affect us all; to keep Muni running on time,
to make the streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, to bring
murder rates down, to get guns off the streets, etc. Does anyone
really believe that there is anyone in City Hall who heard
the comments of Michael Savage and contemplatively pondered to
themselves, Wow, this guy makes a really good point. These
protestors really SHOULD starve themselves to death!? Do
we really need to use precious resources every time someone utters
such nonsensical and obvious idiocy? There are far too many better
uses of those resources.
Now, on another note, I read Cat Rauschubers letter a few
days ago explaining why she very reluctantly left
the Green Party and I think Mr. Salomons letter demonstrates
these reasons in spades. Going off on a tangent and telling me
that, because I, being a white liberal, like to ride
my bicycle in Golden Gate Park without fear of being run over
by an SUV I am somehow responsible for the deplorable and inequitable
conditions suffered by minorities and imimigrants still to this
day and that I am also responsible for the continued asbestos
poisoning of African Americans is so incredibly patently absurd
that I really dont know what to say. Other than the fact
that statements like those, made in that tone, make it essentially
insurmountably difficult for people who are otherwise decent and
who want to have a positive impact on our society from actually
doing so. And who knew that Jake McGoldrick was my own personal
I expect the next round to include allegations of my complete
responsibility for the lack of a credible challenger to the Mayor
because I occasionally like to go to Ocean Beach and look at the
Matt Gramly, Evil Puppet Master & Bike Lover
August 17, 2007
And the difference is?
Supervisor Ed Jew a hypocrite?", thank you for asking
the question because at first glance and without a logical explanation
on the difference between his position on the AsianWeek
resolution and his vote on the resolution authored by Supervisor
Gerardo Sandoval, seems to be contradictory.
Perhaps miss Barbara Meskunas, as aide to Supervisor Jew, can
explain to us how voting against the resolution condemning hate
speech against Latinos on the airwaves by Michael Savage it is
defending free speech and voting for the resolution condemning
"using stereotypes by race, religion and ethnicity"
in the Asian Week resolution "makes him an Independent
in the best sense of the word"? (Barbara Meskunas, aide
to Supervisor Jew)
"For the record, Supervisor Ed Jew is not a Republican.
He is a Democrat. But his vote in defense of the First Amendment
makes him an Independent in the best sense of the word, and that
is why he has been targeted
(Barbara Meskunas, aide to Supervisor Jew)
Furthermore, is miss Meskunas suggesting that the legal problems
that Supervisor Jew faces it is because he is an independent?
August 17, 2007
Shame on Jew!!
Mr. Thomas on Supervisor Ed Jew's hipocracy against his Hispanic
constituents. Hispanic and Hispanic immigrants are experiencing
a daily 24/7 tsunami of racism, prejudice and xenophobic hate
that has been initiated by talk-radio host like Michael Savage.
This insance racism is spreading like fire thanks to people like
Ed Jew who condones that type of behavior and hateful language
- as long as it is not in his "neigborhood."
August 16, 2007
Just as Michael Savage (nee: Michael Alan Weiner)
has the right to free speech on government owned airwaves, the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors has the right and duty to confront
hate speech against Latinos on behalf of their constituents.
The only reason why this resolution
is taking any measurable amount of time is because Supervisor
Ed Jew, as is his right, called the item on the "adoption
without committee reference" calendar to committee for a
hearing. Of course, Jew did not exercise this right when a Chinese
American writer opined on hating black people.
It is desirable that speech, even hate speech, is exempt from
regulation, because one person's hate speech is another's free
speech. But let's not make the mistake of equating official condemnation
of what our community standards determine to be ethnically offensive
speech via flimsy resolution with an official attempt to regulate
speech by law.
Such condemnations are the only antidote available under the
Perhaps had counselor Gramly's friends over at the San Francisco
Party Party not gone Ahab on Saturday Golden Gate Park road closure,
the supervisor who sponsored that would not be facing a recall,
would not be voting with the conservatives to stave off that recall,
would not have taken money from developers, apparently buying
a vote, and would still be a nominal part of a progressive coalition
capable of sustaining a challenge to the Mayor's worst instincts.
But it is so much easier for white liberals to blame Latinos
demanding equity for distracting from the "greater progressive
project" than for them to admit a massive selfish strategic
blunder in one's own house which has lead to significant consequences,
most notably green lighting a Latino-displacing wave of market
rate housing in the Mission and African Americans being continually
poisoned by asbestos in Hunters Point.
August 16, 2007
Michael Savage and the Supes
Sounds like a band name, huh?
While I profoundly disagree with what other people
tell me Michael Savage says on a daily basis, I'm likewise not
that excited that the Supes spent as much time and resources as
they did on
Michael Savage does indeed have a right under the
First Amendment to say what he wants to say, and we have the right
not to listen to him. I've never personally heard the man's voice
but have heard enough anecdotal information about him and his
views to believe that he is not the kind of person who could really
add to my intellectual development. I left the Midwest for many
reasons, small-minded racist banter being just one of them. Supression
of free speech, by whomever, being another.
But I hear that in SF gun violence is out of control.
I hear that Muni's service record and on-time record are crap.
I hear (and see) that the streets need a lot of work. I hear that
there are problems with some of the police officers patrolling
our streets. I hear that gangs are active throughout the city.
I hear that there are almost as many chronically homeless people
in the city as when The Boy Wonder first became mayor. I hear
there are too many cars in the city and not enough bike lanes.
I hear that not everyone in the city gets a free trip to rehab
when they need it. I hear there's going to be no more Halloween
in the city and that street fairs are all but extinct. I hear
that you can't raise a kid in the city and that you have to move
to the East Bay if you happen to procreate. I've heard about an
intersection at Market and Octavia where pedestrians and bicyclists
routinely get run over by trucks. And I also heard that it's really
fun to do a massive pile of blow in the back of a chauffered Town
Car, cruising around the city, screwing your best friend's wife
in the backseat - I don't know if that's true, but that's what
These are the issues the Supes should be focusing
on. Not Michael Savage. That ain't what I pay taxes for.
I believe in the First Amendment. I believe in the
Constitution (what's left of it). I believe in enforcing the law
equally for and against all. I will fight to the death to protect
Michael Savage's right to call me a pinko commie left-wing liberal
unpatriotic pussy rat bastard traitor Al-Qaeda-sympathizer. And
I will fight even harder against those who want to silence him.
Matthew D. Gramly, Esq.
Mentally Deranged Liberal
San Francisco, CA by way of rural Ohio, land of God, Guns and
Guts (in that order)
August 15, 2007
about the illegal aliens protesting Michael Savage is more proof
that Liberalism is a Mental Disorder.
Michael Savage is 100% right, you are so far out
in left field that you and most in your ridiculous "sanctuary
city" are a lost cause.
The Dream Act is crazy. Deporation of all illegal aliens is the
only legal and right thing to do.
Borders, Language, Culture.
August 15, 2007
Correction - Ed Jew is a Democrat
For the record, Supervisor Ed Jew is not a Republican.
He is a Democrat. But his vote
in defense of the First Amendment makes him an Independent in
the best sense of the word, and that is why he has been targeted
Barbara Meskunas, aide to Supervisor Jew
August 15, 2007
Ed Jew is a racist
Regarding Supervisor Ed Jew's vote,
how is it that a resident of Burlingame is even allowed to vote
on issues that are to be voted on by San Franciscans for San Franciscans?
His vote does not surprise me. He is a racist, a
term that I do not use lightly since when I majored in La Raza
studies, I was taught only institutions are racist. But in this
case, Ed Jew is a racist because he uses his institutional power
to perpetrate oppression against people of color.
I do not agree with Supervisor Sandoval's votes
and views all of the time, but he was right about condemning Michael
Savage's vile and racist comments. Just as one does not have the
right to yell "fire" in a crowded theater when there
is no fire, there is no protection of hate speech that incites
violence against a group of people.
As for writer Brian Wallace's analogy of comparing
the statement that Savage hopes the immigrant activists starve
to death to some cartoon logo of a tenant's fist hitting a landlord
on the head... please! That logo is more analogous to the union
cartoon of a school of small fish devouring one large fish. That
logo obviously is not literal but a figurative representation
of tenants exercising their power.
I think Ed Jew is pathetic, a racist ever since
I watched him at school board meetings.
August 15, 2007
Double Standard for Hate Speech? It's perfectly
okay to bash
San Francisco landlords
Regarding the recent protests against radio talk-show host Michael
about the undocumented workers' hunger strike, I wonder if the
Board of Supervisors aren't guilty of a double standard?
Supervisors Gerardo Sandoval and Tom Ammiano tell us that we
should not be fooled by Savage's cartoonish comments, that even
a "clown" can utter hateful and violent-provoking language.
However, they seem to be painfully silent when it comes to the
San Francisco Tenants Union's logo
which depicts a greedy, top-hatted landlord being struck on the
head by an angry tenant's fist.
August 14, 2007
Justmann does not speak for the medical marijuana
In reference to Savannah Blackwell's article,
"Why Chis Daly Should Run and How We Got Here," Wayne
Justmann does not speak for the medical marijuana community, he
only likes to say that he does. He is a legend in his own mind.
He certainly doesn't speak for me or for any medical cannabis
patients that I know. He does speak for one dispensary owner who
testified twice in federal court against Ed Rosenthal, gaining
immunity after his first testimony and opening a second dispensary
The regulations they tried to stop Ross from enacting had to
do with compassionate care for low-income patients, especially
AIDS patients. The financial viability of the "club"
to which he refers is not in danger by offering compassionate
care, the only thing in danger is the snitch owner's pocketbook.
Just ask any of the number of dispensaries that already offer
compassionate services. They are doing just fine, paying their
bills and employees' salaries, but they are not getting rich,
and that is what worries the unscrupulous dispensary owner(s).
Guess what the dispensary that Mr. Justmann is involved with
offers for compassionate services? Peanut butter sandwiches!!!
And folks with less $$ have come back with reports of being treated
with disdain and contempt.
There are so many others who speak for patients and compassionate
dispensaries in this community, why not interview at least one
of them before quoting Wayne Justmann, who seems to be just pissed
off that they found out Ross could not be bought with their campaign
Ross has done another great thing for SF Medical Cannabis patients
by introducing a "doctor's verifiable recommendation"
into the legislation, as was stated in the original Prop 215.
This will give people in SF a choice. Why should the state be
making money off of poor sick people? Why should they be keeping
a database on us? Why have people been suspiciously evicted from
Public Housing only after obtaining a state card? Thanks to Ross,
if this legislation passes and I don't see why not, many people
who can be harmed in housing, employment, etc., by revealing that
they are medical cannabis patients to the state government will
have the choice of being able to go to a SF dispensary with only
their doctor's recommendation. Since the legislation requires
that all dispensaries become co-ops, this means that the members
verifiable recommendations will only have to be checked on I believe
a yearly basis (this may be 6 months, I'm not sure).
August 13, 2007
Open letter to the San Francisco Chronicle - Re:
'Newsom lacks serious challengers, but lineup is full of characters'
I read the 'news'
article' 'Newsom lacks serious challengers, but lineup is
full of characters' by Cecilia M. Vega in today's Chronicle. From
reading the article it could have been dictated to Ms Vega or
The Chronicle, by Gavin Newsom. The front page article gives the
impression that Newsome has no serious opposition -- just a "lineup
full of characters".
Sometimes an article is important to read for what it excludes
in its black and white pages. It makes no mention of Dr. Ahimsa
Sumchai, the only Black person running for Mayor! She already
has the support of the Peace and Freedom Party and the San Francisco
BayView Newspaper, but according to the articles's purposeful
omission, she is a non-person.
She is one of the leaders of the fight against the gentrification
of the BayView Hunters Point, the last Black Community in San
Francisco. She has led the opposition to Lennar Corporation's
gobbling up San Francisco, with the aid of the Democratic Party
led by Newsom and Pelosi. An issue covered by the San Francisco
Bay Guardian, but not the San Francisco Chronicle.
Currently, the City of San Francisco, is putting school children
at risk, by allowing Lennar to continue to dustify, with dust
containing asbestos, a Nation of Islam school near the construction
and the nearby residents of San Francisco. (The dust will eventually
get spread to other parts of San Francisco.) There have been weekly
community meetings, of over two hundred people, at the Grace Tabernacle
Church on this issue -- another newsworthy event not found in
the papers of the Chronicle.
The Chronicle has been in lock step with this gentrification
(Black and Poor Removal) process in San Francisco. And now with
your mayoral election campaign coverage excluding Ahimsa Sumchai.
She is running to bring these serious issues to the people of
San Francisco and to make them aware of the City's current anti-social
August 11, 2007
Editor's Note: Follow the money. The Chronicle
thousands of dollars in advertising from the Newsom campaign.
One hand washes the other.
I want to clarify that I definitely never said Matt Gonzalez
is leaving the Green Party, although Elaine's column
today states that.
The part about me is true, as I have been considering changing
my party designation for a long time now and have decided to finally
do so. It makes me truly sad because I have been proud to be a
Green for over ten years now, but the pathological meanness and
divisiveness of some individuals in the local party finally tipped
the scales for me. If some people spent half the energy currently
wasted attacking their own on constructive things, progressives
might not be in such disarray.
I will still vote for Green candidates because those are my values,
but I guess I've lost interest in the rest of it.
I am asking if you would please correct the part about Matt,
for whom I certainly do not speak.
August 7, 2007
Editor's Note: Perhaps you were misunderstood. Thank
you for your letter of correction.
Supervisor Alioto-Piers Attendance Record
In a recent blog, Supervisor Chris Daly criticized
Supervisor Michela Alioto-Piers attendance record, especially
as it compares to his. So I sent an email to Alioto-Piers
office and received the following reply from Gene Eplett, a volunteer
in her office.
Turns out, Alioto-Pier has missed a few committee meetings but
(in most cases) this was due to a conflict with another meeting
where her attendance was even more important. In one case, Michela
passed on attending a meeting so that she could witness her eldest
daughters dance performance. Apparently, Supervisor Daly
has missed committee meetings of his own for similar reasons.
Because Michela recently gave birth to her daughter, Valentina,
she has found it necessary to phone herself in to
several of the regular Tuesday Board meetings.
Alioto-Pier attends fewer public events than some of the other
Supervisors as a consequence of her being confined to a wheelchair.
July 31, 2007