Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The Diocese of San Diego has declared bankruptcy. The express purpose of this move, per Bishop Robert Brom’s letter, is to thwart the efforts of victims to seek restitution of damages suffered from the criminal activity of San Diego’s Catholic clergy.

I thought that this sort of thing was covered in religion class back in grammar school, St Charles, andSt Gabe’s, so I did some research in Baltimore Catechism #2.

First I searched for the words bankrupt and bankruptcy, and didn’t find them. So I’m assuming that the availability or unavailability of civil bankruptcy protection doesn’t affect the right-and-wrong of a particular situation.

Let’s see what BC#2 says.

374. Q. What are we commanded by the seventh Commandment?
A. By the seventh Commandment we are commanded to give to all men what belongs to them and to respect their property.

376. Q. Are we bound to restore ill-gotten goods?
A. We are bound to restore ill-gotten goods, or the value of them, as
far as we are able; otherwise we cannot be forgiven.

377. Q. Are we obliged to repair the damage we have unjustly caused?
A. We are bound to repair the damage we have unjustly caused.

When it comes to priests molesting children and teenagers in their care, it might be difficult to put a dollar figure on the damage done. The Church and the victim, in any given case, could differ on what amount of compensation would be just.

When such a dispute arises, it seems necessary to resort to some third party mechanism, (in the U.S. it’s the civil court system) to come up with some sort of resolution. The Diocese' bankruptcy move derails this process.

The Bishop of San Diego, in his letter regarding the bankruptcy filing, has stated his intent to disregard and violate the seventh commandment as taught in the Baltimore Catechism. In his letter he says (emphases mine):

We are painfully aware of the harm that the victims of abuse have suffered, and we want to treat all of them fairly and equitably. At the same time, good stewardship demands that settlements not cripple the ability of the Church to accomplish its mission and ministries. Consequently, we must consider how best to fairly compensate the victims while at the same time not jeopardizing our overall mission.

So Bishop Brom says he WILL NOT not give victims the compensation that rightly belongs to them if doing so would “cripple the ability of the Church” to do what it feels like doing, what it refers to as “its mission and ministries.”

This is the kind of ends and means argument that grade schoolers can pick apart.

If the Church’s mission does not include justice, then its mission, in fact, should be crippled.

It seems that the Catholic clergy will say or do or pay anything to avoid confronting the role of sexuality in their lives. It’s hugely expensive, it’s painful for everyone, and in this day and age, it’s just silly—as silly as the stupid vestments these strange men insist on wearing.

----- o -----

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley and the Comets

I remember seeing the movie of the same name. Wild stuff in those days. This was around the same time as I was acquiring my first watch. I saw it up the street from the jewelry store at the El Portal theater.

Post war prosperity, at least for many Americans, was blooming. The baby boom must have resulted from a post-war mating boom. Things were looking good. There was an exuberance not seen for the previous thirty years.

----- o -----


I clearly remember, though it’s been decades since I even thought of it, the purchase of my first watch. I was either seven or eight. It was 1956 or ’57.

When I'd ask my parents for something there was no certainty I’d get it. My request had to be doable, reasonable, and desirable. My folks never screwed around with incentives, like get an A and get a toy, or any crap like that. Doable, reasonable, desirable.

During the years in North Hollywood, for instance, I wanted a bicycle and my parents were dead set against it. They felt that traffic in our part of L.A. was just too dangerous. Within a month of our return to S.F., (I was 10) they bought me a shiny new three speed and I rode everywhere, I made up for lost time.

Their approach to kid’s clothing was utilitarian. They saw no reason to spend more than necessary on clothes we kids would quickly outgrow or sooner destroy. They understood my pangs during adolescence of not being as fashionably dressed as my peers, but my folks discouraged keeping-up-with-the-Joneses of any sort. They thought we should aim higher, like, if you’re really smart it doesn’t matter what you wear, or really nice, or really funny, or a really good athlete, or a really good friend.

My dad had two pocketwatches back when I was seven years old, a good one and a spare. I think I started bugging him, on dress-up occasions, to borrow his spare, and there’d be the complicated ritual of hooking up the chain to a belt loop, and deciding which pocket to put the watch in, and exactly how the chain should hang.

In retrospect this must have delighted my dad, his seven year old boy wanting to be just like him.

So, on a rainy Saturday, we went to a jewelry store on Lankershim near the El Portal theater. My dad told the male clerk, “This young man would like to buy a pocketwatch.” The clerk went along with the gag and treated me like an important customer who was making a significant purchase.

It wasn’t the cheapest of the three I could choose from, it was the middle price, $2.00 as I recall (minimum wage had just jumped from $0.75 to 1.00 per hour, a pack of Hostess Twinkies was 0.07), so the watch cost maybe $25.00 in 2007-dollars, not nothing for a seven year old.

My dad knew that I’d lose interest in the watch and would soon start leaving it behind, and forgetting to wind it. I’m sure that for my dad the enjoyment of the purchase ritual, and seeing my thrill of ownership, were well worth the price of the watch. Plus, I stopped borrowing his spare.

My dad needed a spare watch because, in those days, you’d take your watch in for cleaning and re-setting. Sometimes a part would have to be replaced. There was a marked difference in accuracy between watches, all of which were spring-driven. You had to wind them. I think it was during my childhood that the self-winding watch was introduced.

An expensive watch not only looked better than a cheap one, it was supposed to keep better time. Nowadays, cheap battery operated watches are more accurate than the most expensive watches of my childhood.

A gentleman would make an investment in a good watch, and, with maintenance and repair, expect it to last a lifetime. In fact, his good pocketwatch was still ticking in 1973 when my dad died. The cousin I gave it to, who loved my dad very much, still cherishes it.

I just received a watch as a retirement gift from UCSF. Six months after my severance date I received a slim gift catalog in the mail with a 10th generation Xerox of a letter from Chan(cellor) Bishop thanking me for my service, and I could pick a gift from the catalog.

I went online and requested a Wittnaur wristwatch and it arrived a couple weeks later, pennies from heaven. Simple, round, gold-tone case, a black dial with no numbers, only little gold lines to mark 3, 6, 9, and a little diamond at the 12. Not even a second-hand. As simple and elegant as can be. Just my style.

Except it has a leather wristband. I hate leather wristbands. So I went to my local Walgreen’s to buy a Speidel twist-o-flex (another major improvement) expansion band, I was looking for something in black with gold trim.

The lady told me they didn’t carry watchbands, maybe sometime in the future. I was dismayed. They didn’t even have one of those revolving Timex displays. So the market has changed on me again.

I fear my quest for a suitable watchband will become Ahabian/Moby-Dickian. I hate it. I might even have to visit a shopping mall, like Ponce into the swamp. And things were going along so well!

----- o -----

Monday, February 26, 2007


Thunderbirds Are Go - Busted

I was looking for a video of Ray Charles singing Busted, as a shout out to San Francisco Filipinos who are battling Catholic real estate developers.

There wasn’t a good one of the Ray, but I came across a band called Busted, and watched. These guys are just too pretty not to post a link.

These pretty boys frustrate teenage girls terribly, not from desire, but from envy. The girls spend hours in front of the mirror, zillions on makeup and how-to-look-good magazines. The Busted boys wake up in the morning, run casual hands through their hair, and they’re the prettiest creatures on earth.

It’s just not fair.

----- o -----

Alumni Notes: BAD R/E JUJU

There was a cute guy a couple years behind me at Saint Ignatius High School named Sangiacomo, that’s how the name entered my mind.

In years to come I’d see the name more and more, always associated with real estate somehow. I gradually became aware that Angelo Sangiacomo, (prob the dad of the cute kid at school) was a major developer in San Francisco.

I wasn’t aware how vilified he is among political progressives in San Francisco. Angelo Sangiacomo is sometimes called the “father” of SF’s rent control ordinance. Rent control was sparked in significant part, according to activists, by Sangiacomo’s rapacious landlord practices.

He’s also called a slumlord.

The story this morning is about a step forward in the approval process for a major residential redevelopment of a piece of property that currently houses lower income largly Filipino tenants. Sangiacomo is the developer.

There have been nasty battles between the Filipino tenants and the Sangiacomo family. According to Beyond Chron, the Sangiacomo’s turned off the water heater on their Filipino tenants on a Christmas eve.

To close out 2005, the Sangiacomo family -- and I have deduced it was Susan Sangiacomo who actually gave the order this past year -- shut off the hot water on the afternoon of 12/24 and it was not restored until late Monday, 12/27. One of only two repair persons for the large complex stated on Monday afternoon that "the pilot light accidentally blew out on the boiler" on the afternoon of 12/24 when Trinity Management closed the office for the long three-day weekend...

The article complained, Aren’t the Sangiacomo’s supposed to be Catholics?

Of course they are, as featured in the latest edition of Genesis, St Ignatius High School’s alumi fundraising claypaper quarterly, upper right photo.

There he is with two of his SI-student grandkids. The blond babe on the right is SI’s Assistant Principal for Student Affairs. The goofball on the left is a “motivational speaker” whom old man Sangiacomo paid to speak to SI kids.

The title of the speech was NOT: How to Lose Those Last Twenty Pounds.

The Jesuit tradition is to serve the spiritual needs of all people, rich and poor alike. Presumably a Christmas midnight mass could be attended by Sangiacomo and his family, and by poor Filipinos who wish they could have bathed for the occasion.

The actual piece of property mentioned in the Beyond Chron stories has some questionable juju associated with it. It looks pretty good in the photo.

It was originally built by the notorious Del Webb (wikilink).

Del Webb, like so many private entrepeneurs, made his stake off the U.S. government, notably with the construction of a WWII relocation center where 17,000 Japanese Americans were unlawfully detained.

Along the same line he built the prototype retirement community, Sun City, in Arizona. He built the Flamingo for Bugsy Siegel and later owned two Las Vegas casinos himself. Nuff said.

In the go-go 1960s Webb built a motor-hotel, Del Webb’s TownHouse, in the semi-blighted Civic-Center stretch of San Francisco’s Market Street. It was a gamble that didn’t pay off, and after a few years the project became apartments and gradually deteriorated.

Enter Angelo Sangiacomo.

----- o -----

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Act Naturally – Buck Owens

It’s kind of cliché that Hollywood actors do music on the side. They are attracted to it because musical ability is somewhat measurable, as opposed to acting ability that has much that is not measurable about it. A musical performance seems to deliver value that is more objective than the value delivered by an acting performance

It’s possible that if I were dating someone we’d go to some movies. It’s a way to get out of the house, to be together without having to talk, and to have something in common to talk about later.

But I just haven’t gone to the movies lately. Maybe I should do the math.

Anyway, Buck and his gang show impeccable musicianship and always deliver real value, in my objective view.

SFWILLIE’S BLOG presents the above Buck Owens link as an antidote to the Oscar presentation.

The song is well made, and Honesty must admit that the self-effacing wit of the lyrics is charmingly egalitarian. As I pointed out almost a year ago, before I knew about YouTube, in a little tribute to him, Buck was a Bakersfield guy, by choice.

----- o -----

Saturday, February 24, 2007


I don’t care what color a candidate is. Really. All I care about are policies and procedures. What you gonna do? How you gonna do it?

Barack is good looking, and can talk. But he hasn’t addressed my two questions. Would I tend to vote for someone because they’re black? Hell no!

And Hilary’s in town for fundraising. According to the Fog City Journal story, Hilary doesn’t have a specific plan to improve health care in the U.S., but she has a firm commitment to study blah blah blah.

This woman was put in charge of our nation’s health care improvement project in 1992. Remember, right after the election she told us her name henceforth would be Hillary RODHAM Clinton, and then she totally fucked up the health care initiative.

What! She hasn’t thought about it since? From FCJ:

She said that while she doesn't have a definitive plan on universal health care, she would make it a point to examine the major costs of healthcare and turn the data into a "uniquely American solution."

Would I vote for Hillary because she's a woman and wouldn’t it be groovy to have a woman president? Hell no!

Take Golda Meir (anti Zionists say “please”). When I think of her, it’s not as a woman politician. I think of her a person who will kick ass prior to taking names. She happens to be a woman.

Wikipedia has a nice entry on Golda Meir. In the photo below we a second striking of the bust of piano-comedian Victor Borge. They threw on a strand of pearls and called it Golda Meir.

Has anyone said, “There’s this guy with really exciting policies and innovative ways to achieve them. Oh, and he happens to be black”? (Obama)

Or, “There’s this senator with really exciting policies and innovative ways to achieve them. Oh, and the senator happens to be a woman”? (Clinton)

No, and No.

The person who won the Yom Kippur War just happened to be a woman. (Meir)

----- o -----


In this clip Obama announces his exploratory committee. Hear anything exciting?

While I don’t share the video-maker/poster’s politics, I share his conclusion.

“A new politics.

”Everything starts at the grass roots.

“We need to work together.’

While it might sound like a toss-off, the exact wording he uses to say nothing is carefully crafted to appeal to the voters who’ll make a difference in the primaries.

So it’s not just worthless crap, it’s highly expensive worthless crap.

----- o -----

Friday, February 23, 2007


William Lawes – Suite – Bream/Williams

Here’s a nice duet with some neat sonorities. Julian Bream is joined by John Williams.

William Lawes (wikilink) is a new name to me. His brother Henry (wikilink) was also a composer. According to wikipedia, Henry was a pal of poet John Milton.

----- o -----


The Anna Nicole body-custody trail deserved to be shown live on daytime cable news. It was fascinating television. It’s domination of evening programming is a little harder to justify, what with the Iraq disaster and the run up to nuclear war with Iran.

The judge’s manner received much criticism but I personally have no standard of comparison. The only court action I’ve seen is with only two parties involved in the case. In the just concluded hearing there were multiple parties with multiple lawyers. How the heck do you control them. It’s like a low paid manager trying to control a team full of high paid ballplayers.

Each lawyer is a prima dona and wants to steal the show. Judge Larry Seidlin, showed them, by his weirdness and unpredictability, that HE was the prima dona, HE was the one viewers would remember.

How frustrating for those high priced lawyers. Judge Seidlin demonstrated his dominance by talking about himself. Let’s say one of the lawyers does extensive research overnight on a point of law and tries to present it the next morning. Judge Seidlin cuts the lawyer off in mid-sentence and says the court doesn’t have time for that. Then the judge spends the next fifteen minutes talking about his career as a tennis instructor.

And he demonstrated, by over-sharing his own humanness with us, that all the messy human exigencies of all the contesting parties would be taken into account.

Judge Seidlin turned what could have been a mosh of carrion critters into a family gathering. We’ll see if his efforts have any positive effect.

Speaking of carrion critters, the Catholic Church is already picking at Anna Nicole’s corpse. Some bishop-prick named Morlino, operating out of Madison, is saying that Anna Nicole’s tragic life and death demonstrate the need to strengthen our marriage laws.

Basically what he’s saying is stronger laws would have kept Anna Nicole from being such a slut, and being a slut is what done her in.

Pud says that the bishop isn’t sincere. “He’s just following the Vatican directive that American clergy should try harder to associate themselves publicly with heterosexuality.

“The bishop wants us to think that he, too, noticed the size of her boobs, nudge nudge.”

So the shameless Catholic Church is using Anna Nicole to attack gay marriage, and any other form of sexual interaction that doesn’t jibe with Catholic teachings.

I wrote the following email to Whispers in the Loggia, which quoted Bishop Robert Morlino extensively.

Anna Nicole’s problems came from lack of love, not from lack of strong marriage laws. Her life was tragic because people exploited her for their own ends--just as you do in your 2/23/07 post.

Despicable. Shame on you.
----- o -----

Thursday, February 22, 2007


In local San Francisco politics, the use of public space is increasingly contentious. Area population is growing and total public space is diminishing.

Two groups that are vocal and organized are bicyclists and dog lovers. Bicyclists ultimately want cars banned from the city (Green), and dog lovers want their animals to be able to run free and shit all over the place (Brown).

Dog lovers have their eyes on Ocean Beach, and bicyclists want to close a busy roadway in Golden Gate Park to cars on Saturdays and Sundays. I don’t have a dog and I don’t like dogshit. I don’t have a bike, and my doctor recommends against urban bicycling (for health reasons). So I’m opposed.

To the dismay of my lefty friends, I have voted against previous park road closures and promise to do the same in future.

And I vote against dogs whenever I can (teehee).

Part of the problem is that each individual group thinks its own demands aren’t that onerous. But when all the demands of all the groups are combined, the general unaffiliated public gets shut out.

So here’s my modest proposal. I’ll vote yes on the roadway closing if the closed JFK Drive area is designated an off-leash dog play area also. The interaction of the two groups could create new paradigms of interest-group cooperation.

Dogs, bikes, kids, trees, sounds great.

Besides, on the many rainy weekends, dogs and their owners would have the whole area to themselves. That way in wet weather, with cars banned and bicyclists rained-out, the area would get some sort of use.

----- o -----


There’s a good, simple, functional definition of “an alcoholic.”

An alcoholic is a person who should never have another drink, not even one, for the rest of his or her life.

In yesterday’s TV interview, Hank Plante asked Mayor Newsom, who recently went into “sort-of rehab,” if he, the Mayor, is an alcoholic.

Our Mayor said, “I don’t know.”

This means that Mayor Newsom still holds out the possibility that he will re-introduce booze into his life at some point. Our Mayor has officially entered the rehab-relapse ping-pong game and he’s going to lose, poor guy.

The image of William Powell and Myrna Loy drinking day and night but remaining witty, sexy and vertical, and solving crimes to boot, is a lofty ideal.

We have to remind ourselves that movies don’t necessarily represent real life.

The raw footage (view it here) of the Mayor’s interview is painful to watch. The glibness, the everything’s-great-except-for-some-mistakes spiel, the shoulder shrugs, the way he talks about himself too much, the Ted-Bundyesque composure and sincerity—Gavin is white-knuckling it, poor guy, through life.

Not a word about Muni (public transit), nor about SFPD, but we heard some details about his rehab. According to Newsom, he used to look forward to some wine when his workday ended, around nine or ten at night. Now, instead of drinking, he goes to Delancey Street for rehab, and stays for several hours, every night with maybe a few exceptions.

It’s all pretend.

There wasn’t a single follow-up question, a poor performance from Hank Plante, who proves once again that gay people can be every bit as mediocre as straight people.

----- o -----

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Pergolesi - Stabat Mater First Movement

I’m pretty dumb about Pergolesi. This piece is news to me. The music, the performance, the people and the setting are all very pretty. It’s almost like Lent ain’t that bad.

This being Ash Wednesday I had to come up with something to give up for Lent. Somehow I lit on sarcasm. I’d give up sarcasm for Lent. (Except for Jesuit Watch.)

I was doing pretty well until I tried to get into a check out line at the supermarket, around 3:30pm. As I wheeled my cart into place I got whacked in the ankle and thigh by the cart of a 50-something Asian woman who felt the space in line was hers.

I stopped and she continued and aced me out. There were at least ten people within earshot.

“Oh, you first, don’t mind me,” I said in a voice that commanded attention. The woman turned slightly toward me and I saw a smudge on her forehead.

“Oh, the ashes,” I said loudly. “So you’re a Catholic woman. Of course it’s ok for Christian’s to run you over with their carts.”

“Those Christians,” I said, “they always ask themselves ‘What would Jesus do?’”

Nobody had the guts to look at me. I stood there and glowered at her. I had moved to the next line and I eventually got out before the ash lady.

So my give-up-for-Lent lasted only eight or nine hours. I shouldn’t be too mad at the Catholic lady. I wasn’t going to be sarcasm free for forty whole days, so better to get it over with sooner rather than later.

You know what I do when I fail to live up to a resolution like this? I tell myself that when Lent comes around next year I’ll try to do better. So much for this year, though.

----- o -----


This LA Times story tells of presidential candidate Barack Obama’s visits to three Los Angeles area venues yesterday.

Obama’s trip was a combination of campaigning and fundraising. Noteworthy were the movie stars and celebrities attending the two fundraisers. People in all three venues were excited just to be around the attractive candidate.

Pud has analyzed how much it cost that day to “be around” Obama.

The numbers in the below chart come from the Times story, plus Pud has introduced the following assumptions.

- Obama spent two hours (7200 seconds) at each of the three events.
- What if Obama spent the entire time at each event talking to the attendees individually.

With the numbers and assumptions we can calculate how much it costs for individual face-time with Obama, plus other interesting calcs.

At the mansion you can get three full minutes with Obama for $46,000. If elected president his rate would go up, but still there are plenty of corporations and individuals only too willing to pay.

----- o -----


My best friend, Pudinhand Wilson, is outraged that our District 4 Supervisor, Ed Jew, is under attack for not being Chinese enough.

“This at a time when the press is asking if Barrack Obama is black enough. Is that asshole Ward Connerly black enough?”

There was an innocuous resolution passed by the Board last week that Ed Jew voted against. A local company that employs Chinese immigrants has laid them off and sent the jobs to Mexico. Here's the SF Bay Guardian story.

The laid off workers don’t like being laid off and are trying to take some action including asking the SF Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution (non-binding, no legal effect) asking the company, Monster Cable, to treat the workers better, at least give them some severance and stuff.

This was a typical bullshit resolution that makes some constituents feel better and gives the Board an agenda item that requires no effort.

My guy Ed Jew voted against it. The fact that he joined rightwing Newsom appointees Alioto-Pier and Elsbernd in voting No raises a little red flag, but the non-pc-ness of Ed’s vote doesn’t bother me or Pud.

Leon Chow, chair of the CPA [Chinese Progressive Association], was very disappointed that Jew, being the only Chinese American on the board, opposed the measure. He and others said Monster appears to be financially healthy and the outsourcing was based simply on greed.

“So Ed Jew gets criticized for not supporting the Chinese workers,” Pud says. So the assumption is that because Ed is Chinese he should vote differently than he might if he weren’t Chinese.

“As a white guy living in Ed’s district I want him making decisions based on what’s good for everybody, not on what’s good for his fellow Chinese.”

SFWILLIE’S BLOG salutes Supervisor Ed Jew for standing up to this overt racism.

----- o -----

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues

One benefit of growing old is that the possibility of a life sentence gets less and less threatening.

Pity the subjest of the best first line ever written in a country and western song : I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole. Does that scan, or what?

This was recorded live at Folsom Prison. You can tell from the audience’s cheers and applause for the line: I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. That’s harsh.

Gleegaters: you may be tough, but you don’t want to go there.

----- o -----


We were pleased to receive the following comment to one of our posts regarding the New Year’s Eve attack by local youth on members of a visiting Yale Choir.

The Commenter displays a level of intellectual honesty that SFWILLIE’S BLOG must strive to emulate.

could it be the simple fact that if you go to the wrong place at the wrong time, get drunk and pick a fight with a bunch of marines, then try and get out of it by standing in a circle, holding hands and singing the star spangled banner, that you're just going to get your ass kicked and people are not likely to have any meaningful sympathy for you?

freedom, it ain't free.

i get the outrage over yet another incident of the sfpd dragging its dirty heels in the course of administering due process to people who regardless of how one feels about the subject, have an undeniable (one would hope) right to it, but i don't get the outrage over a bunch of sheltered ivy league snots from yale coming here and getting their asses duly kicked after picking a drunken fight with a bunch of marines and sons of sfpd brass.

if you're that stupid, there are going to be consequences. apply the law, okay -- but no tea and sympathy

Commenter has two main points, which we discuss in reverse order.

Commenter’s second point is something that by now most people (who care at all) agree on—that due process should be pursued because we all deserve access to due process, and that maybe due process wasn’t pursued too well right after the incident.

Commenter’s first point, which is more controversial, is that we shouldn’t be too quick to judge the characters of the people involved, the Yale choirboys or the local youth.

Commenter is saying that probably the police and DA should be involved, but that the Yale guys are a bunch of rich punks who disrespected less privileged kids on their own turf, and paid the price by getting knocked around a little.

Rules We Live By
R1) Kids’ subculture rules.
R2) Common sense/street rules
R3) The Golden Rule
R4) Civil code
R5) Penal code

In the discussion of the incident, the SF local kids (the attackers) emphasize R1 and R2. Like, what did the Yale kids expect?
The Yale kids are emphasizing R5. Who knows if the Yale parents even want to bother with R4.

SFWILLIE'S BLOG tries to always emphasize R3. And for all the supposed Catholics involved, we want to aver that Jesus was not a beater-upper.

Time Periods
T1) The history of the world up until the “Gleegate” fight was picked.
T2) The time between when the “Gleegate” fight was picked and when the police arrived on the scene.
T3) Everything since the police rolled onto the Gleegate scene.

T1 Before the Incident
accusers A group of local Catholic High School graduates, who probably have a history of street-fighting, are looking to get rowdy on a New Year’s Eve. They haven’t been invited to any parties and no girls are interested in them, so they are out looking to spoil other people’s fun.

defense Some local kids are chillin’ on New Year’s Eve. Their prospects aren’t all that bright. In fact some of them have enlisted in the Marines. These are good, robust boys.

sfwillie: This confrontation comes from the mixing of classes that happens in high school. By their mid-twenties these classes will be completely segregated from each other.

In San Francisco, St Ignatius sends kids to Yale and to the Naval Academy. Sacred Heart sends kids to City College and into the Marines. In general, as grown ups, SH kids will be taking orders from SI kids. There’s no reason why SH kids shouldn’t see injustice here and resent it. The local kids were looking for a fight, and they didn’t know exactly why.

T2 The Incident
accusers The local kids' search patrol (party crasher) draws fire from the enemy (Yale students verbal interaction) and calls in massive fire power (a van full of marines), to wipe out the enemy. The squad of locals waits outside and gangs up on the unsuspecting Yale kids who leave the party one by one or in small groups.

defense The Yale kids voluntarily came out of the house to engage in a fight with the local kids. The Yale kids lose the fight and suffer minor injuries. No one dies, no one suffers permanent disabilities. A broken jaw, a couple of black eyes, a little concussion, this is all pretty tame stuff for SF General’s ER on a New Years Eve.

sfwillie There could be some mixture of the two above versions, but there is little doubt that any “mutual combat” soon turned into a beating. As a newsman put it—when someone is on the ground and has ceased fighting, kicking that person in the head is usually considered a felony. I think there were probably multiple felonies committed that night, most if not all by the SF locals.

T3 After Police Arrive
accusers When the police arrived on the scene they recognized the local kids as people they shouldn’t arrest. Maybe the cops on the scene favored the local kids, maybe the cops knew that the SFPD brass would punish them for arresting these particular kids. The cops on the scene conducted the “investigation” and wrote their reports in such a way that would justify their decision to make no arrests. A harsher way to say this is that the cops lied and purposely ignored proper procedure.

defense When the police arrived they confirmed no fatalities, no life-threatening injuries, all subjects ambulatory, teenage/young adults drinking and fighting on a New Years Eve. The Yale kids, who were losing the fight, see the cops as a way of getting back at the local kids. Instead of admitting to “mutual combat” they claim an unprovoked attack.

Maybe this will teach the Yale kids to show some respect for the lower classes, who in this case are Marines, sworn to sacrifice their own lives to protect the Yale kids’ candy asses from real attack. The Yale parents should congratulate the local kids for possibly knocking some sense into their spoiled brats.

sfwillie The unexpected wrinkle is that the victims were from Yale, which belongs to the national and international ruling class. As far as Yale is concerned, our turf is their turf. The entire world is their turf.

So the SF local kids thought that their connections gave them impunity for street-brawling. Then they came up against kids with even better connections. The lesson is familiar: no matter how tough you are, you’ll find someone who’s tougher.

I sympathize with the police on the scene, who will probably draw the blame, but who were doing exactly what they’re superiors expected.

We simply cannot allow kids to go around beating people up. There should be prosecutions of at least some of the kids. The SF local kids need help in finding alternatives to violence. We all need this help.

More importantly, there must be an investigation into the handling of the incident by the police and district attorney. Their performance stinks to high heaven.

It’s time to professionalize SFPD.

----- o -----

Monday, February 19, 2007


As in our recent post, The Case of Erica K, it seems we’re always dumping on Germany for the Hitler-Nazi-Holocaust thingie. That was like, so last century, and it’s totally rude of us to keep bringing it up.

Bygones are bygones and should be.

So, as our way of saying No hard feelings for World War II, we present this American tribute to German culture.

----- o -----

Levels of injustice: THE CASE OF ERICA K.

This case took place years ago in Country X.

01. Erica K, an attractive young woman gets a job in a government office.
02. Erica supports both herself and her widowed mother with her salary.
03. Erica is competent at her job.
04. Erica’s male boss is attracted to her.
05. The boss asks Erica for a date.
06. Erica goes out on the date.
07. The boss tells Erica she can have a pay raise if she sleeps with him once.
08. Erica reluctantly sleeps with him, only once, because she needs the money for her mother’s medicine. She gets her raise.
09. The boss continues to pursue Erica.
10. The boss tells Erica that if she doesn’t continue to sleep with him she’ll be fired.
11. Erica refuses to sleep with him, and she’s fired.
12. Erica can’t find another job.
13. Erica’s replacement is much less competent and the overall output of the office has greatly suffered.
14. Erica comes to a meeting of your Good Government group and asks for financial assistance in filing a legal action. She has plenty of documented evidence. All she needs is a couple hundred dollars for court filing fees, and of course the moral support of your group.

No brainer, hunh? The woman clearly should get her job back. The firing was unfair not only to Erica but to taxpayers in general since they’re getting less bang for their tax dollar from Erica’s replacement.

Before we write the check, let’s consider some additional facts.

15. Erica’s job was with the National Transport Ministry.
16. The country is Germany.
17. The year is 1942.
18. Erica’s job was in scheduling and routing.
19. Erica’s mission was to expedite the passage of certain types of trains.
20. The trains she was expediting were heading to death camps.

Is Erica the victim of an injustice? Without a doubt.

Are we going to lift a finger to help Erica get her job back? Hell no!

----- o -----

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Brooklyn Dodgers


Babe Ruth, still the most recognized name in the history of baseball, was a great pitcher before he ever gained fame as a homerun hitter.

I’m sure he threw like a girl.

The strongest throwing arms in baseball are in right field. In my lifetime, Roberto Clemente was the most feared right fielder. He threw like a girl.

Everyone who ever made a dime playing baseball threw like a girl, not all the time, but during the development of their overhand throwing motions, they all passed through a stage we call “throwing like a girl.”

This was the message of two M.D. visitors to the Today (morning TV) show I just happened to be watching because I’m a lazy bum. (This was twenty years ago, lazy bumness was a developmental stage.)

These two nice men were pushing their new general-readership book on child development. Their overall message to parents was “relax, it’s only a phase.”

To illustrate their point in the 4.5 minutes allotted. They talked about the phenomenon “throws like a girl.” Apparantly many dads get all upset when they see their sons “throwing like a girl.”

These nice doctors explained that there are developmental stages in throwing a ball that all kids must go through before they can throw like a competent baseball player. This is why we are so confident that Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Cy Young all through like a girl at some point.

My researchers are letting me down. I’m not finding illustrations. Here is my recollection of the stages.

1. Pushes the ball away.
2. Two handed underhand push.
3. Underhand throw with knee flex.
4. (A bunch of stages I can’t remember)
5. Overhand feet stationary.
6. Overhand, throwing-hand-side foot steps forward. (This is “throws like a girl.”)
7. Overhand, opposite foot steps forward. (This is “throws like a boy.”)
8. (Additional developments are enhancements of number 7.)

The soldier in the poster above is actually throwing like a boy.
The doctors point out that “throws like a girl” is the stage immediately before “throws like a boy.”

So many boys are ridiculed when they “throw like a girl,” that they avoid throwing altogether, and for the rest of their lives, if they were ever called upon to throw a ball, would throw it like a girl.

Even now I’m impressed that these two grown men would be concerned about the feelings of young boys who are ridiculed for the way they throw a ball.

This pain, and for some men lifelong embarrassment, is totally unnecessary.

According to the doctors, when a dad sees his little boy “throwing like a girl,” instead of worrying, the dad should tell the kid, “You throw just like Roger Clemons did at your age.”

Richard Rodgerson, could have been one of the men on the show. He's a researcher in the field of developmental kinesiology. Here's his bio.

----- o -----


The first pro baseball I saw was in the Pacific Coast League. My memories begin in North Hollywood, when my brother and I rooted for the Hollywood Stars against the hated LA Angels.

The PCL was the highest level of the minor leagues. There were only 16 major league teams in those days. Anyone good enough to play in the PCL then, would be playing in the majors now.

When it came to the big leagues, my family was National Leaguers and Brooklyn Dodger fans.

By being a kid in my family I was automatically a Catholic, a Democrat, and a Brooklyn Dodger fan, not necessarily in that order. My mom used to say that there were only two men who could get her to leave my dad, Adlai Stevenson, and Gil Hodges.

In case you were wondering, SFWILLIE’S BLOG can confirm that the victory of Brooklyn Dodgers over the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series was THE GREATEST EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

I’m no longer a Catholic, or a Democrat, or even a baseball fan anymore. But there’s still the familiarity. I still prefer Catholics to Protestants. I still see Democrats as slightly less evil than Republicans. And I’d still root for Hitler if he were pitching against the gdmf Yankees.

----- o -----

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Harry Houdini was a man’s man. He died of peritonitis, possibly caused by a stupid demonstration of his own butchness.

As wikipedia explains, the causal connection is not that clear, but the stupid demonstration actually took place:
Houdini was reclining on his couch after his performance, having an art student sketch him. When Whitehead came in and asked if it was true that Houdini could take any blow to the stomach, Houdini replied in the affirmative. In this instance, he was struck several times, before Houdini protested. Whitehead reportedly continued hitting Houdini several times afterwards, and Houdini acted as though he were in some pain.

I guess most people would call that a “manly” interaction. It’s true that many women are attracted to dominant, physically powerful men.

Teenage boys worry that they aren’t or won’t be big enough or strong enough to attract the girls. There’s good news, you don’t have to be Hercules to attract women, not if you have a voice like Jaoa Gilberto.

I had a boyfriend once who would sometimes since softly right into my ear. There was something very intimate about it.

----- o -----


Jesuit priest refuses to pay child support. Pleads poverty.

Joke, right? Nope. Look at the sordid mess in the latest post, FATHER DEADBEAT, S.J., on the scintillating new blog Jesuit Watch.

It’s pretty humorous actually—an organization that vows solemn celibacy having to deal with child support issues.

----- o -----


A recent report on the industrialized nations ranks Britain and the United States as the worst countries for children growing up. The Netherlands was the best. This video demonstrates:

The position of the Catholic Church is that it’s better for a kid to be raised by his or her drunken abusive birth-parents, than to be raised by a loving, nurturing same-sex couple.

This attitude clearly puts ideology above humanity. According to the Pope the kid in this video is a spokesperson for Satan.

Of course, the Church believes that stranger rape is less malicious (as long as it’s penis in vagina), than felatio between a married couple, because rape is natural and felatio is an unnatural act. Whee!

According to this article, bullying is a major concern. In Holland, the grownups see their responsibility as defending kids from harm. In England and the U.S., bullying is seen as a normal challenge of growing up, and kids have to defend themselves, or suffer.

My friend Jim sent me the link to this video. Check out his fecund mentality at Blue Elephant.

----- o -----

Friday, February 16, 2007


When in session Burning Man is the third or fourth biggest city in Nevada. It’s supposed to be anarchic (free) but civil (non-violent).

Through fate I got to know one of the founders of Burning Man. The store where I worked on Haight Street was owned by a Burning Man/Cacophony Society guy, and Michael Mikel’s girlfriend did seamstress work in the same back loft where my desk was located.

Michael Mikel (the second name is pronounced the same as the first) would come around to visit his “old lady” and to do odd repair jobs around the store.

[The above picture came from this excellent website.]
I always heard that Michael was one of the three founders of Burning Man. That was confirmed for me just recently by news about a lawsuit regarding the ownership of the name Burning Man. Yep, Michael Mikel is one of the three disputants. Laughing Squid has the story, and a really neat picture of the b-man.

Maybe it’s sad that lawsuits are happening, or maybe it’s great accomplishment that Burning Man lasted so long and grew so big to even be lawsuit-worthy.

Anyway, I’m writing about cops, again. Michael Mikel, at Black Rock, is Danger Ranger, the head of the security and public safety patrol. Michael is omni-competent and infinitely patient and understanding and I couldn’t think of anyone I’d prefer to head a security force.

The issue is, does Burning Man need a security force? Pud says, “Hell yes!”

Are Michael Mikel and his deputies a bunch of fucking pigs? “Hell no!”

Is everyone satisfied with the performance of Michael’s patrol? “Probably not.”

I bet the Danger Rangers pass the acid test—they’re ok to have around when you’re tripping on LSD—for most people.

So let’s see, where does that leave us? Dump Heather Fong. Appoint Michael Mikel chief of police.

The first mayoral candidate to make that commitment, gets my vote.
----- o -----


In the midst of the final unraveling of Tourkgate, ABC7’s excellent crew fronted by Dan Noyes has released a copy of Ms Ruby-Tourk’s resignation letter. Here's the Chronicle story.

There are many ways to examine this letter: for truthfulness, for evidence of conspiracy, for genuineness, for back dating.

Full size pdf of letter here.

Pud views the letter as a sample of Ms Rippey-Tourk's English composition skills.

Pud asks, “Is this the quality of writing we expect from an office worker making $81,000 per year?”

Pud’s short answer is “No.”

“There are classes full of kids at Lowell who can write better than this!” Pud exclaimed.

“What the heck are we getting for our money!”

----- o -----


Foolin’ Around – Buck Owens

Happy Friday, Buckeroos!

This has a very simple steel guitar break, but it still gives me full body tingle.

It’s almost like being in Bakersfield.
----- o -----

Thursday, February 15, 2007


There’s been criticism, including from this blog, of the San Francisco Police Department, mostly the management, regarding the still un-charged Yale choir beating case. Recent revelations show issues that involve careers.

According to local ABC7, some of the alleged assailants who were let go were new Marines. For them, an arrest that night might have seriously damaged their careers at inception. Probably others of the assailants were known to the police, and they were let go because they were rich kids.

So the police, maybe not knowing the extent of the injuries, decided to let the assailants go. It was a judgment call. I’m sure cops get dumped on by their superiors all the time when they arrest the wrong people. The cops made the wrong judgment regarding the Yale choirboys and now the officers’ careers are in jeopardy.

The cops were doing the job their superiors expect them to do. And their superiors were backing them up in their lies of convenience. So we have ascending layers of lies up through the mayor. The unfortunate cops on the beat didn’t create this culture.

We demand that our police officers, especially on the street and vehicle patrol exercise a lot of judgment in what laws they enforce. For instance, in this town, making an arrest for non-commercial amounts of marijuana would get the cop in trouble.

The criteria used by the lowest ranking officers are received from their superiors, both officially and unofficially. As in any human endeavor, particular human interactions don’t necessarily fit neatly into pre-established sets of criteria. So the cop on the beat has to do a lot of guessing, and hoping. And, in this town, they do their jobs under intense suspicion and scrutiny.

Then we see a story like this in the Chron: a man speeds away from police officers and crashes into a big rig and dies.

The story is brief, and it emphasizes the contention that the police were not chasing the car at the time of the crash.

They got a call about erratic driving and found the person stopped in his SUV. When the cops got out and went to the driver’s door he sped away. And before the police could start to give chase, the man crashed two blocks away, and later died.

I bet that liability situation is the main concern in reporting that the officers were not giving chase at the time of the crash.

The article briefly notes the time and location:

A police dispatcher said [the driver]Banks was contacted by officers about two blocks away from Division and Bryant streets after someone called the police to complain about his driving around 2:30 a.m.

Division and Bryant is some dark mean streets, especially, at 2:30 in the morning. The elevated Central Freeway overhead adds echoes and dust to the shadowed air. The area is warehouses, small workshops, and poor-people housing. In the photo below, under the freeway we see darkness at noon.

When the police pulled up behind the SUV they probably expected to find a passed out drunk. But in such a stop they could easily encounter an armed fugitive, or armed lunatic, or woman having a baby. The drunk might be a socialite or other VIP who’ll “have their badges” if not treated properly.

It’s not easy.

It’s why our police need professional management. And their compensation should be enough to create waiting lists of qualified applicants, not hiring shortfalls.

The current plan is to bump along from disaster to disaster, scandal to scandal, keep our fingers crossed, and not expect too much. This is not a happy situation for anyone.

Civilization, Freud tells us, creates discontent, in all of us. We deeply resent the limits to our freedom, and experience these limits as physical discomfort.

When someone can’t handle their discontent, we call the police, whose job is to enforce the border where civilization meets the jungle.

We have a hate/love relationship with civilization. We have a hate/love relationship with the police. We love them and need them as long as they’re not bothering us, or the people we identify with.

----- o -----


This award winning video stars San Francisco’s finest. What a job they have to do!

In a previous post, No Stinking Badges, we discussed the change from anonymous riot gear to the inclusion of badge-patches and big numbers on helmets as we see here.

The San Francisco Police Department is one of the last vestiges, along with the Cable Cars and Coit Tower, of 19th century San Francisco. They will be modernizing eventually. I predict that some day we’ll feel slight twinges of nostalgia for their brazen Fuck You attitude.

----- o -----

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


SFWILLIE’S BLOG sort of passed an anniversary the other day. Pud says don’t look back. “Don’t even think about a Best-of,” he said.

We don’t care. To mark the milestone we are reprising a visitors’ favorite. Of all the YouTube videos we linked to this year, Dazo and Cammy received overwhelming response.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Even if your main squeeze ain’t around to squeeze, still, it’s good to know you have a friend.
----- o -----


Our mayor decided to hold a neighborhood “townhall” on his own terms, in lieu of attending a voter-requested Question and Answer session with the Board of Supervisors, our city’s legislative body.

Some who supported the policy initiative are miffed that the mayor ignored the will of the people and they accuse him of cowardice, they call him a chicken. They say he’s afraid to defend his policies and performance in any forum that’s not under his own tight control.

To show their displeasure, a few of them attended the mayor's townhall wearing bright yellow head-to-toe chicken costumes. This was their way to emphasize the word chicken in a visually compelling way.

Conceptually it sounds ho-hum so I didn’t pay much attention. There was some TV coverage but the chickens didn’t get into frame too much.

Then one day, waiting for my call from the Nobel Committee, I clicked on a link and saw a series of stunning photos, one shown above. Click here to see the rest of the pictures. The Chronicle story is here.

The chickens were an enormous presence and I’m sure the mayor and the panelists were at least a little unnerved.

So what began as a kind of sophomoric idea made a powerful public statement that the mayor could not ignore.

It seems like the folks at SF Party Party are the poultry pushers here.

Good for them!
----- o -----


In San Francisco many straight women complain about the shortage of straight men. Imagine the plight of women who are attracted to Catholic priests!

It’s difficult to get a straight man to be a priest. Hell, it’s hard to get a straight man to play one on TV.

Ever wonder why so many Catholic priests are creepy?

Sfwillie breaks it down for you in Celibacy Math, his latest post in the sensational new blog, Jesuit Watch. Check it out.

----- o -----

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


News has been so bad for our mayor that he is celebrating a previous success, oops, no, make that a previous failure.

If publicity was the goal, Gavin Newsom’s fraudulent marriage license scam was a huge success. Wikipedia consulters will always be told about Newsom’s gay marriage putsch.

Pud looks at the money aspects in the post below.

The marriage licenses were routinely and predictably overturned by the courts, and the city was ordered to refund the license and ceremony fees.

Pud looks at the money aspects in the post below.

Were celebrating (Chron Story) the third anniversary of this failure as one of Gavin’s great accomplishments as Mayor. This is supposed to divert our attention away from the mayor’s accumulating difficulties.

Mayor Newsom’s recent problems include the revelation of his adulterous affair with the wife of his close friend and devoted campaign manager.

As RPMmini put it on SF Junto:

I thought what bullshit it is to get up their and take bows and praise for his involvement with gay marriages, when he can't respect the institution of marriage, (gay or straight), in the first place.

So, nearly 8,000 gays and lesbians got to pretend for a precious few days that they were really and truly married, with an official license and everything.

Sort of sad, like a not-so-good drag show.

Sort of like, golly gee willikers!

----- o -----


We were wondering what kind of dollars were involved in Gavin Newsom's gay marriage fiasco, the third anniversary of which we are commemorating.

Pud came up with some sketchy numbers based on Chronicle reports.

We've assumed that all couples obtaining licenses also paid for a City Hall ceremony.

We think the estimates of costs for the original processing and ceremonies as well as for the processing of refunds are very low.

We have not included court costs. We believe that the costs of testing the law are an acceptable expenditure of SF tax dollars. However, this could have been done with one or two same sex couples as test cases.

Also, we have not included opportunity costs. The same dollars and energies could have been used in other ways that might have provided more benefit to the residents of San Francisco.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, author of the stunt, is the only clear beneficiary.

----- o -----


Chapel of Love – The Crystals

This is another guilty pleasure song that might be difficult to remove from your head. This is the best sound quality of this song on YouTube, and the people in the slideshow are mui simpatico.

I’ve asked Pud to investigate the financial aspects of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Gay Marriage Fiasco, the third anniversary of which is being celebrated today.

Were marriage license fees collected? Were they refunded? What was the net cost to the taxpayers of SF for this stunt?

Meanwhile, I’m going to look for a way to describe my view of it. “World’s largest dry hump,” isn’t quite right.

----- o -----

Monday, February 12, 2007


Some say let’s show Gavin the gate. It looks like he’ll get lost if he tries to find his own way out.

Monday morning has dawned in San Francisco. We’ve all had a full week to recover from the Super Bowl (Pud’s minority report: “Stupid Bowl”).

I think of the week after the Super Bowl as a national post-coital nap. It’s good timing that Anna Nicole died during a week when no one was going to cover serious news anyway.

So, what ever happened to the thorough investigation conducted by SFPD into the New Years Eve attack by local toughs on visiting choristers from Yale?

On the table is the proposition that the Gleegate attackers, and the Fajitagate attackers, and cops who rough up gay people are acting as agents of the “true San Francisco.” You know, like, we’re a brawlin’, sissies-beware kind of gold rush town.

We San Franciscans insist on balsamic vinaigrette, then we kick you in the balls, or shoot you between the eyes, like Palladin. We’re manly men, like Richard Boone, we just happen to have good taste.

I should remember that many think danger is an attraction.

Heck, it’s common for young men visiting SF for the first time have fantasies of being Shanghaied. Of course, to them “being Shanghaied” includes lots of opium and sex with Chinese women.

So, Gavin, if you want these Yale pussies to fuck off, just say so.

Or, now I get it, that’s what you’ve been saying all along. Stupid me.

That's why Robert Frost left when he could. Fucking pansy!

----- o ----


San Francisco's St Ignatius High School (SI), now called a college prep, is part of a not so secret plan to rule the world.

Conceived in the renaissance as a way to increase and perpetuate the power of the infamous Borgia family, this plan is code named Society of Jesus, or Jesuits for short.

This, and other themes Loyolan will be explored in the new blog Jesuit Watch, a second offspring of the sfwillie/Pudinhand Wilson mosh.

SI certainly has it’s hooks into San Francisco’s power structure. We SF political junkies should remember that we’re only a small part of the overall (Jesuit) scheme of things.

Visitors to Jesuit Watch will learn that the Company (the Society’s original, more ominous name) is also educating the offpring of Wheeling, West Virginia’s ruling class. And many bright kids in between.

We’ve had two more SI alumni in the news:

Lt Governor Leo McCarthy, died recently. He was an SI grad, 1942. Mr McCarthy is pictured below in the most recent issue of SI’s Alumni Mag, Genesis.

Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, her husband, Paul Pelosi is an SI grad, 1958. According to wikipedia, Paul supplied the money.

BTW: Mr Pelosi graduated the same year as Jerry Brown, formerly a two term California governor, presidential candidate, mayor of Oakland, and now State Attorney General.

----- o -----


Andrews Sister - You Got a Lot of Living to Do - Bye Bye Birdie

Drag queens usually go way over the top and become parodies of real women. At least that’s my not-unusual stereotype.

Then we see a clip like this and I have to re-think. Who could overtop these gals?

Anyway, Mayor Newsom, it’s Monday morning, time to get motivated (in motion).

You can start with some arrests in Gleegate. Then, this afternoon you can work on the murder rate. (Gee, rate rhymes with –gate. Have to remember that.)

Have a great week, Mr Mayor.
----- o -----

Sunday, February 11, 2007


The mayor’s alcohol rehab is sfgate-described. The non-programmatic, special treatment, sort of belies the theme that he’s down there at Delancey with the regular folks.

His townhall meeting in SF’s poorest, most dangerous district is sfgate-described.

The difference is that the mayor might get better

I’m a middle class middle age white guy and I’m afraid to go to or even through Bayview Hunters Point Sunnydale in broad daylight.

This has not changed in my liftetime. I felt the same way forty-five years ago.

The map below (wikilink) shows the distribution of black people in San Francisco. Red and maroon are denser and densest.

My mom talked about her commute to work during World War II, changing streetcars in the middle of LA’s southcentral negro ghetto. She said she felt perfectly safe. Because of the war, everyone who wanted a job had one, and people were busy.

The problems faced by the mostly black residents of southeastern SF will not go away, but the residents will, through gentrification. It would already have happened except the home ownership rate is so high. The land will have to get even more valuable before it’s worth the eminent domain fight.

Meanwhile, nothing changes.

----- o -----

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Rain - Beatles

I love this song. It’s so acid-y. Researchers described LSD as “psychotomimetic.” It creates a state that mimics psychosis.

Even young people, on acid, can leave the everyday world of moon, June, screw’n, and it’s like,




----- o -----


I have a new tennis partner, and, after weeks of practicing, today was to be our first official tournament. Marty is a nice guy and a better player than I. I was curious to see how we'd interact in the crucible of competition.

But the downpour roaring on the roof, combined with satellite imagery, tells me it ain’t gonna happen. So I’m stuck indoors with Pud again.

Yesterday he was too much. He was so pissed off about this restaurant calorie law he was saying things, like a drunk Mel Gibson, that he would later regret. Pud actually said it’s a lesbian plot.

“Look at her,” Pud said, turning his laptop so I could see it, “this gal obviously doesn’t care about her appearance. Or if she does, she’s been getting some very bad advice.

“She’s skinny, but it’s totally ok to be fat if you’re a lesbian. Lesbians laugh at straight women and gay men who try to be thin.

“So why is Carole Migden, of all people, hassling the restaurant industry about calorie disclosure?

“She claims it’s a public health issue. But you know that’s bullshit. The diet industry itself is a serious public health menace.

“Weight loss is an eating versus not eating issue. To lose weight, one must give up the pleasure of a full stomach.

“If you want to lose weight, while at the same time enjoying the pleasure of a full stomach, which is what the diet industry promises, you are doomed to failure.

“Successful weight-losers come to associate the dull gnawing in their gut (hunger) with the pleasure they derive from being slimmer—visually in the mirror, tactilly inside one’s clothes, even aerodynamically. So the feeling of hunger turns into a good thing, but it takes a while.

“Is it better for dieters to go to restaurants that disclose the calorie content of their menu items? No. It’s better for dieters simply not to eat. The daily amountof food that a dieter needs to maintain basic health can be consumed in about ninety seconds. There’s no good reason for a dieter to voluntarily hang out in a food milieu.

“And when you have to go to a restaurant, you don’t need a fucking calculator to stay on your diet, green salad with no dressing and a diet coke will always do the trick.

“It’s like alcohol. How about bars being required to disclose the amount of alcohol in each of their drinks. This would help problem drinkers stay within ‘their limit,’ right?”

“But, Pud,” I said, “you can’t go around dissing all lesbians. It’s not fair, plus you’ll get your ass kicked.”

“Ok,” he said, “there are good lesbians and bad lesbians, and Carole Migden is a bad lesbian. Better?

“It’s the kind of do-gooder meddling that gives liberals a bad name. It’s easier to pretend to attack the big bad chain restaurant industry than to address real problems, like what is it about our society that makes Americans want to eat themselves into oblivion.

“Or turning around the thuggish SFPD.

“Or getting rampaging white youth off our streets.

“Or finding out who killed Lester Garnier.”

----- o -----

Friday, February 09, 2007


Pud arrived for work (actually for coffee and bagels) this morning in a foul mood.

After two solid days of rain he was downright rantious.

“Elie Wiesel gets attacked in a San Francisco Hotel,” Pud said. “It’s like anyone can get attacked around here.

“When word got out that it’s ok for San Franciscan’s to beat up visiting choirboys, some people got the notion that any soft-target tourists were fair game.

“So when Elie Wiesel, the world’s foremost holocaust asserter, came to…

“Wait a second,” I shouted, “ what did you call Elie Wiesel?”

“A holocaust asserter,” Pud said. “You got a problem with that? Look, you can’t have holocaust deniers unless you first have holocaust asserters. Right?”

“But the guy completely misunderstood. In San Francisco only certain people get to attack tourists with impunity. White kids with money or juice can get away with a lot.

“But this guy was some jerkoff neo-nazi going after a world famous victim/survivor who has lots of rich friends.

“That’s what cops are for, to separate the authorized beater-uppers from the unauthorized.”

“There’s another group that gets to beat up people with impunity,” I said, “the cops themselves.”

Here’s a truly disgusting account of what looks like a serious felony, assault under color of authority, in which policemen in uniform decided to do some gay bashing.

The city’s going to pay $83,000 to settle civilly, but, get this, for some puling reason or other, the perp-cops are receiving no disciplinary action at all.

“What about the Yale choir beatings?” Pud asked.

----- o -----


A generation without anarchists
is a dull group indeed.

P. Wilson

Here’s something the Mayor could do to get his mind off his own problems: Free Josh Wolf.

[A young San Francisco video-journalist is in Federal Prison for failing to turn over raw mpg’s of a stupid local demonstration. The way J. Edgar Hoover’s Fascist Bureau of Intimidation weaseled into the case is really back-alley. No journalist in the history of the United States has done a longer Federal stretch for this sort of thing. The facts of the case are piddling. The intrusion on press freedom is monumental. Josh Wolf is a hero for refusing.]

It’s shameful that our “liberal” city hasn’t done more to resist this jackboot attack on one of our youth. We count on our local officials to help shield us from the thuggery of Bush, Cheney, and ilk.

Newsom should do a camp-out and hunger-strike at the gates of the Dublin facility where Josh Wolf is imprisoned. Not forever, but for a full weekend, Friday sundown to Monday sunrise.

Invited celebrities would flock.

There’d be lots of non-scandal press coverage and it’s very low risk, Newsom would be supporting the First Amendment and opposing the least popular administration since Nixon’s. Since his chances for higher office have suddenly become non-existent there’s no harm can be done there.

And, who knows, it might hasten the release of Josh Wolf.

Of course, Mayor Newsom doesn’t give a shit about Josh Wolf. But he needs to do something that isn’t about himself, something to get his head out of his own butt. And it’s entirely symbolic, it’s not like he’d have to do any real work.

Free Josh Wolf.

----- o -----


Birthday - Beatles

Happy birthday to all you Feb 9 kids. Happy re-birth day to the rest of us.

Time to party!

Happy Friday
Time to party
Anna Nicole
She’d want us to party
Don’t have to get blotty
Just get off the potty
Don’t be haughty or farty
Don’t be tardy
Be a smarty
It’s your birthday
It’s your re-birth day
It’s time to party
Not tomorrow
Not next week
It’s time to party
Right now
Say hey
Say party

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


“Most news isn’t,” Pud always says, “and that’s a good thing.”

A politician paying anything out of their own pocket qualifies as real news.

Newsom’s offer (Chron story) to pay Alex Tourk $15,000 per month until Tourk finds a new job was the minimally decent thing to do. And continuing to pay him out of campaign funds made sense as a kind of severance package.
Then questions arose about the propriety of using campaign donations to paper over the candidate’s sexual indiscretions.

Newsom’s decision to pay Tourk out of Newsom’s own pocket looked like an easy solution at first glance, but it has two negatives.

First the math. By my calc Newsom will be turning over his entire mayoral paycheck to Mr Tourk, every month. The below math assumes that Newsom pays Tourk with after-tax dollars (payoffs to betrayed husbands are not deductible), and that Newsom has at least 25% of his net pay withheld for taxes and social security etc.

It turns out Newsom will lose a couple hundred a month until Tourk gets a job. What if Mr Tourk gets all depressed and spends the next five years in his bathrobe and slippers?

Second the precedent. Newsom’s action sets a highly undesirable precedent for other politicians. For a politician to pay the damages of their own misbehavior is a betrayal of the profession. It’s like omerta. Wise guys don’t talk. Politicians don’t pay.

This gal, Mimi, can’t she talk to him?

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