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With h brown

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Court Jester reviews Newsom's 'beards'
and the price of gas


By h. brown


March 13, 2007

The answer to the deeply buried question in the heading is that the price of gas is much more important than the age, gender, intelligence, religious affiliation or sincerity of whomever is now giving the Mayor blow jobs.

Can you believe that I can write a paragraph like that and have it considered real news? Well, thank you, Bill Clinton!!

Really campers, the Mayor is a political Ken doll whose handlers tell him everything from what to wear, when to use hand gestures and what to say. They design the stage sets upon which he does his puppet dances and even choose the women who adorn his arm.

Gavin Newsom is a political construct who has never had an original idea and merely follows orders.

Mayor Gavin Newsom

The most important thing lost in all of this shallow sexcapade landscape is that real issues and the Mayor's failure to address them. Hey, c'mon, he can't address them because he's not smart enough.

That cruel? It's true though and you know it. Do you really think the Mayor understands the long-range implications of Mello-Roos bonds vis a vis the survival of neighborhood cultural identity?

Do you really believe that the Mayor lays awake at night musing about the municipally owned San Francisco Tidal Power enterprise and its revolutionary power as the springboard that frees the world from a dependence upon the combustion of carbon based fuels and the resultant destruction of our atmosphere and total habitat?

Of course he doesn't. He doesn't have the candlepower. And, the monetary combine that funded the boy's political career likes it that way. They chose him for the same reason they chose each of his 'romantic' partners. Because they can make all of the really important decisions behind the scenes and the Mayor will read the scripts that put a positive spin to their theft of public jewels and the forced migration of the poor, lower, lower-middle and now, middle classes from the City.

Gavin's not going to challenge them. He doesn't have a friggin' clue what they're doing.

Phil Ginsburg is the real Mayor of San Francisco

Newsom administration Chief of Staff Phil Ginsburg

The worst thing all of this sexual scandal has done is to allow the cabal of Downtown and international business interests to remove anyone with a heart from top positions on the Mayor's staff.

Mike Farrah doesn't have a 2 room suite next to Room 200. Nope, that went to Stuart Sunshine who is rumored to be a spy ensconced to protect the political investment of his primary financial backers.

Newsom Deputy Chief of Staff Stuart Sunshine

Farrah? Ginsburg moved him to sit as a useless monitor of the Small Business Commission. Hey, now that's an real insult. Farrah grew up in the Mission, son of a small business owner. They've sent him back to the small time.

Mike "Whiskers" Farrah and son, Finnegan.

The Mayor doesn't decide who he's going to see on a given day. Steve Kawa, who has a big heart doesn't have any input either.

Former Newsom administration Chief of Staff Steve Kawa

He's out and the aforementioned Ginsburg is in. Newsom is left touring schools where he reads childrens' books much like President Bush does.

"I've made a decision. Here's what I want you to do."

(words you'll never hear from Gavin Newsom)

He's not going to say that to his staff, anyway. They tell him what to do and it's all channeled from Downtown, simplified, obfuscated and handed to the Mayor in media bytes for Gavin to present in short presentations.

Bobby Coleman supporting Glover

The latest buzz in the 'phony' mayor's race is that Danny Glover would be the best candidate to represent San Francisco Progressives. Former Matt Gonzalez campaign chauffeur, scribe and adviser, Bob Coleman sent me an email a few days ago promoting Danny Glover for Mayor.

I couldn't' agree more, but it made me wonder. If an inner-circle player like Coleman is jumping ship, does that mean Gonzalez is out of the race? Could just be a fundraising ploy.

Yesterday's Public Safety Committee

Ross Mirkarimi's Public Safety Committee met yesterday and heard 3 hours or so of testimony from organizations that have been set up since the early 70's to fill the gap left by the desertion of the SFPD from the Streets of San Francisco. Groups that primarily organize neighborhood citizens to identify and monitor neighborhood murderers, drug dealers, pimps, thieves and generic punks.

Wait, isn't that the job of the cops?

Used to be. It was the job of hundreds of individual cops who walked single officer foot patrols in the neighborhoods until the POA got strong enough to get them off those mean streets and into comfortable patrol cars.

It was a good start in a series of hearings that will, hopefully, give an overview of the actual condition of the City's defenses. From who looks out for the little old lady making her way for groceries, to the location of potable water available when your faucets go dry in an earthquake. Mirk began by hearing presentations from the various entities that have evolved.

Mau-Mau'ing the MOCJ

The Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice was created to make certain that the 'right' people get money for programs created to make up for police failure in the neighborhoods. These are the 'squeaky wheels' who either really care, or see an opportunity to cash-in by creating some high profile window dressing on behalf of the administration. Keep in mind that all of the organizations sprout up to fill the vacuum left by the extinction of the single-officer foot patrol. Here's the power tree as best I can figure.


Run by a lady named Lenore Anderson who has the warmth of a rattlesnake. She can afford to be nasty because all of the groups under the MOCJ umbrella depend upon her good graces for funding.

MOCJ Director Lenore Anderson

Among those groups:

SF Safety

The POA (Police Officers Association - their union) pretty much killed foot patrols in the early 70's. Within a few years, the institutional memories of the beat cops were gone and Officer Friendly who knew every neighbor and merchant and thug on sight was replaced by robo-cops who only know the thugs and are suspicious of everyone else. SF Safety created programs like Neighborhood Watch which act as unpaid snitches for the cops. Funded 90% by the cops, programs like this give the illusion that the cops and politicians are trying.

Safety Net

As things got worse, another bandage was added to cover police indifference. Not to say that the people who work for Safety Net don't care, but their mission of bringing together cops and the public is hamstrung by little things like the cops being unwilling (8 of 10 districts) to meet with neighborhood people anywhere but in their precinct stations.

Community Response Network

These entities are made up of figureheads who get money from the City for a variety of programs. Again, they're there because the cops don't do their job. Among their programs are a couple that set up street shrines for murder victims and hold candlelight processions for them. While they're useless as tits on a boar hog, it keeps their leaders in place and gives the Mayor's office the pretense of having responded to the growing public safety crisis.

There are study groups and commissions that are the same bullshit. All of them responding to problems caused by the disengagement of the the SFPD from the neighborhoods.

SFPD's continuing disconnect

The cops are the City's worst investment. They cost more every year and do less. Wealthy merchants are getting past the dysfunctional PD by creating BID's (Business Improvement Districts) that are basically formed to protect their storefronts and protect their customers. Because, the cops won't do it.

Huge irony here is that lots of the private security money spent by the BID's goes to off-duty cops who will agree to walk a business district for a private security company, but refuse to do it while they're on-duty.

Watching bulls ice skate

(police foot patrols)

The weather's been great, huh? Even the cops think so. Yesterday I was coming back from Safeway through the lower Haight and came upon 4 cops doing a foot patrol!! I mean, have you ever seen such a thing?

There were no cop cars in the vicinity. They were clearly assigned to be walking a beat instead of driving one and they didn't have the faintest friggin' idea how to walk a beat.

What was the reality at 3pm at Waller and Fillmore was 4 fat cops standing on a corner next to a coffee house talking to only each other and ogling passing women.

Clueless. This force is clueless. I shook my head in disgust and moved on wondering how many people these clowns could meet on such a beautiful day if they set off individually in opposite directions for their patrols.

They could make a difference if they only gave a shit. Granted, none of the cops have any people skills, but the neighborhood residents can more than make up for that. But, who the hell's going to walk up to 4 cops talking to each other and drinking coffee? For that matter, who's gonna walk up to 2 cops walking a beat and introduce themselves?

Virtually no one will. And those who do, will soon find out that they (as San Franciscans) are viewed with distrust and even hate by the men in blue wearing badges and carrying guns.

That was 20% of the City's foot patrols

That's why I'm pissed. There are 10 police districts and according to the Mirkarimi legislation (vetoed by the Mayor) requiring 2 foot patrol cops per district, those 4 cops comprised 20% of the on-duty foot patrols in the City at that time and they were all talking to each other on one corner drinking coffee!

And, they were on the corner of Waller and Fillmore in front of a little yuppie coffee shop. That meant that there was no foot patrol in the upper Haight or Golden Gate Park (Parkside) or in the Civic Center (Northern) where the 4 cops came on duty that morning. They were all out of the action, bullshitting with each other on a quiet corner.

Let's toss in a few facts and bottom-line this

The streets of San Francisco have been getting more dangerous since the early 70's when the POA traded the danger of the street to the safety of their patrol cars as a viable exchange to some mayor. Some say it was the Zebra killers who drove them into their patrol cars and I'm not going to doubt that. I do know that that period was the last time anyone had a neighborhood beat cop

Oddly, this scenario has played itself out in San Francisco before, so I can predict how it will end. In the end game (when the POA gains total control and there is no police protection at all) … when we reach end-game, Neighborhood Watch becomes the core for Vigilante justice. That, or martial law. Don't laugh too quickly. It's happened several time in San Francisco. When the cops don't do their jobs here or when you can't tell them from the thugs (who do you fear most?), the local populace has moved in to police the streets themselves.

Neighborhood Watch and the other SF Safe programs weren't nearly enough as cops didn't stop with cutting out foot patrols. The police cobans in high crime areas went next ("people shot at those things" a PD captain told me). Then, the helicopters were junked.

So, the Board of supes under pressure from the community set up the SF Safety Net in 1990. That's the outfit (13 workers) that Quentin Mecke coordinates setting up meetings between the cops and the neighborhoods. That's tough too because for the most part, the cops, as I said, refuse to come into the neighborhoods to meet with the people and lots of folks don't want to go to police stations to demand things because they fear the cops for damned good reasons.

Well, guess what? That didn't work either as the cops once off the streets and out of helicopters and cobans, got off buses and took up steroids like the Steelers. So, more band aids were added. A new Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice created a couple of new bureaucracies to dispense money to local squeaky wheels who were generally more interested in the City's cash than they were/are in criminal justice.

When that didn't work, the richer merchants began to form the Business Improvement Districts and hiring their own security while, all the time, also paying for the local cops who refused to do their jobs.

We've reached the point of what Tom Wolf called: 'mau-mau'ing'. All because the cops won't do their jobs. While what you need is single cops on neighborhood beats, that's the last thing that will happen. With the present Mayor and police administration.

Let's bottom line this and go get another beer. The police department can be reformed but it will take a mayor who doesn't fear them. Until we get a truly Progressive mayor, we're just going to watch band aid after band aid placed over the compound fracture that is SF law enforcement.

What mayor?

h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email h at h@ludd.net.


Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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