Thursday, September 27, 2007


The struggle for possession of Bond’s 756th home run ball occupied only a few seconds of air time but it was as stomach-turning to watch as any of that awful cage-fighting proliferating in cabledom.

There were multiple crimes of violence (probably misdemeanor battery mostly) as well as multiple attempted grand thefts committed in the scramble.

Of course it’s embarrassing. It’s also an instructive metaphor for what we have become.

----- o -----


Mayor Newsom’s ouster of District 4 Supervisor Ed Jew and appointment of “interim” replacement Carmen Chu was a slap at District 4 residents.

At 29 years old and having lived in San Francisco just three years, Chu admitted in her first public statement that she knew little about the district she is now sworn to represent.

Newsom touts her as a policy person, not a political person—she’s fresh to politics.

These two attributes—ignorance about her constituents and political inexperience—do not promise well for District 4, but they’re the sort of thing that make Mayor Newsom lick his chops. Like, soooo innocent.

Despite this admission, Ms Chu was able to cast votes on all issues before the Board meeting just a few hours after her appointment.

I’ve requested that Supervisor Chu tell us how she decided which way to vote on those complicated issues. Maybe she’s a real quick study. Maybe she just voted Gavin’s way.

It’s interesting to note that Ms Chu’s email address as District 4 Supervisor is unchanged from the address she used as an employee of the Mayor’s office. Will she still answer Mayor’s office mail? Will she still work on a few Mayor’s office odds and ends? Or will she be a full time supervisor?

I’m pessimistic. A smart person in Ms Chu’s position would have turned down the offer.

----- o -----

Monday, September 24, 2007


According to the blog Educational Justice, Tuesday evening’s regular SF Board of Education meeting will consider a resolution supporting the stoppage of work at Lennar’s redevelopment site in Bay View Hunters Point.

Educational Justice is written by a team that includes Eric Mar and Kim-Shree Maufas, two Board of Education members who are sponsoring the resolution.

Their blog post, which includes the full text of the Stop-Lennar resolution, includes a link to BVHP commenter and activist, Francisco DaCosta. Mr DaCosta is extremely outspoken in his opposition to Lennar. I’m impressed that elected officials such as Mar and Maufas would align with him.

Here’s the agenda item description:

In Opposition to Lennar Corporation’s Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Development and In Support of the Community’s Demand for a Temporary Stoppage and an Independent Health and Safety Assessment to Protect Our Students and Their Families
- Commissioners Eric Mar and Kim-Shree Maufas
(Per Board Policy 120, Section 9.4, the Board may suspend its Rules in order to consider action to this resolution at First Reading)

The meeting is open to the public.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2007 6:00 P.M.

The meeting will be shown live on cable channel 78, and can also be viewed via live webcast.

----- o -----


Not sfwillie. Mayor Willie.

Remember when Brown ran for mayor and he said he would “fix Muni” in his first 100 days?

Remember how he left office eight years later and Muni was (is) still fucked up?

Here’s my favorite part:

Remember, after it was clear that he had no clue how to fix Muni, he proposed buying the Muni drivers new, snappier uniforms.

Brown hypothesized that their drab brown uniforms were at the root of the drivers’ low morale.

Mayor Brown, a noted clotheshorse, must have “put himself in the drivers’ shoes,” as it were, and found them hideous.

It’s all a big laugh to Willie.

[Note: click on pictures for sources.]

----- o -----

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Business must be slow in the high-end interior design industry. Designers are so available that they’re donating their services to worthy causes.

Back in August we mentioned a high-end re-do of Benefit Magazine offices.

Now the Sentinel covers the “high-end” redecoration, this time of a homeless family shelter.

Raphael House, for 35-years a residential provider to homeless families, celebrated its new ambience with rising San Francisco personality Sophie Azouaou and Executive Director Father David Lowell joining Mayor Gavin Newsom to cut a red ribbon of renewal.

There are lots of great photos. The article says Sophie has some connection to Benefit Magazine.

The writer, Pat Murphy, purveys a very dry irony. He is a master of deadpan, as in his lead:

San Francisco philanthropy shone this week as privately funded Raphael House received a high-end makeover from some of the classiest design mavens in town.

Oops! My fact checkers tell me Sophie IS Sophisticate Interiors, the “high end” design firm that redecorated Benefit Magazine’s offices.

I’ll have to spend more time at SFLUXE.

----- o -----


I can’t stand the way high paid officials plead stupidity when malfeasance is revealed.

-Ken Lay got paid millions a year but had no idea what was happening at Enron.
-Our former Attorney General can’t remember which hand he wipes with.
-No one in Gavin Newsom’s office knew the timesheet policy (there wasn’t one).

Now we have disgraced Supervisor Ed Jew claiming naiveté in handling cash bribes, forty large.

The feds finally busted him for shaking down a Tapioca joint.

In the Chron story Ed explains:

The consultant, Jew said, had agreed to take only half the $40,000 fee and leave the other $20,000 with the supervisor as a charitable donation to a Sunset district park development project.

"That was an unorthodox way of paying," Jew told The Chronicle in May. "I don't know if it violates the law. I know now not to venture into these waters."

So, Ed, this constituent agrees—you ARE a dumbfuck. You’re way too stupid to be a Supervisor.

[Photo from ebar.]

----- o -----

Friday, September 14, 2007


During this week’s congressional hearings on General Patreus’ Iraq status report, Senator Robert Bird delivered this zinger (quoted from recollection.)

Speaking to Patreus, Byrd said:

You have told us, General, at one point, that reconciliation in Iraq depends on security. Elsewhere you’ve told us that security in Iraq depends on reconciliation.

This circular dilemma resembles a dog chasing its tail, and any reputable breeder will tell you, “Don’t pick that puppy.”

Long live old coots!
----- o -----


Much tribute was paid at this week’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to the recently deceased Bill Sorro.

Sorro gained local fame and admiration in the I-Hotel fight, a 1960’s-‘70’s anti-displacement effort.

Ross Mirkarimi , when his turn came, suggested changing the name of Justin Herman Plaza to Bill Sorro Plaza.

Redevelopment (negro removal) continues in San Francisco with the same, some would say, rapacious spirit attributed to Justin Herman.

If Ross can get Justin Herman’s name removed, we’ll send Ross to Washington to get J Edgar Hoover’s name removed from the FBI building.

An exhibit, A Serving of Love: the Passion of Bill Sorro, runs through October 6, 2007

----- o -----

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Inauguration of the T-Third light rail line caused a meltdown of the San Francisco’s entire light rail system.

At the time, this blog advocated a return to the status quo anti—essentially reinstating the 15-Third Street diesel bus line, which the light rail T-Third was supposed to replace.

The construction of the T-Third line is another example of capital expenditure boondoggles touted as helping poor folk.

This morning Sophie Maxwell, the supervisor representing southeast SF, requested a hearing before the Transit Authority board on T-Third ridership versus the 15-Third Street diesel bus statistics.

Maxwell said she’s been hearing requests from her constituents to bring back the 15-Third Street busses.

In other words, the new rail line doesn’t work, and can’t be made to work in any reasonable amount of time.

Why did they build the T-Third light rail line?

The only explanation I can think of is the personal benefit of the Mayor and his cronies.

Capital expenditures are a great opportunity for kickbacks. The awarding of contracts is a great way to pay off political debts.

Nowhere in the planning was there a believable statement of benefits to the residents of Maxwell’s district.

San Francisco’s idea of light rail is one set of tracks in each direction.

The googlemap below shows six lanes of traffic on Third Street.

You can easily see the asphalt lanes, two northbound and two southbound. In the middle are two sets of light rail tracks, one heading south, one heading north.

When a diesel bus on Third Street breaks down, or has a medical emergency or is delayed for some reason, the bus coming behind it can get by and continue its route. Even if Third Street is completely blocked, diesel busses can detour on side streets.

With SF’s one track per direction policy, when a streetcar (light rail vehicle) breaks down, or something blocks the tracks, streetcars coming from behind are also blocked.

It’s not unusual to see a broken down streetcar with six or eight streetcars backed up behind it.

This is bad enough on an individual line like the T-Third, but there is a section of the underground where five lines all use one track in each direction. One set of stuck brakes and thousands of people are late.

The T-Third infrastructure—tracks, platforms, control systems have provided no public benefit.

The least City Powers can do for Sophie Maxwell’s folks is give them back their funky but reliable diesel busses.

----- o -----

Thursday, September 06, 2007



This blog was shocked when Tony Hall removed his name from the ballot in the upcoming San Francisco mayoral election.

Historically, former Supervisor Hall was snookered by Mayor Gavin Newsom to give up his elected job for an appointed one, from which Hall was almost immediately fired.

This allowed the mayor to appoint sadsack amateur golfer Sean Elsbernd to fill Hall’s empty seat, and to run for the seat as an incumbent.

Tony has plenty of personal motivation to run against Newsom.

Hall said he had to drop out because Newsom’s crew threatened Tony’s potential moneybags donors with City Hall reprisals.

This explains why Hall can’t mount the kind of campaign that costs money.

But there was no need for Hall to spend money. Hall had a firm hold the secondary position. All he had to do was hang around and wait for an airliner to drop a hunk of frozen shit on the frontrunner.

So why did Hall ask to have his name removed from the ballot?

It must be one of the “B’s.” Bribery, blackmail, or buttheadedness.

There are some ethics charges pending against Tony Hall, with a hint of potentially more to come. Could that have scared him off the ballot? Will Newsom’s cronies now go easy on Hall?

No doubt Newsom’s investors have looked at the shit-from-the-sky scenario and have decided that chaos is preferable to a Tony Hall mayoralty. So they got his ass off the ballot.

I’ve been seeing a Hoogasian flowers commercial on cable TV recently urging listeners to patronize a San Francisco family business employing San Franciscans blah blah blah.

Of the challengers remaining on the ballot, Harold Hoogasian probably has the highest name recognition, but of the same quality as Harold Stassen, also a Republican.

It’s like, Harold Hoogasian? –he’s the guy that always runs for office and will never be elected to anything.

On his webpage Hoogasian promises to enforce ALL laws. Does he mean indiscriminately? It looks like Harold should probably stay in the flower business.

The rest of the candidates have close to zero name recognition.

So, there is no new un-Newsom. It’s Newsom or chaos.

Problem is, this is supposed to be a democracy.

Dictatorships and other totalitarian regimes are noted for sham elections, in which there is only one candidate for the top office. The explanation offered is that the dictator is doing such a good job that there’s no reason to consider someone else—there simply are no other candidates.

Such, apparently, is San Francisco.

Newsom will be re-elected, assuming Zeus doesn’t crap on him.

This is terrible! This is no fun!

[End despair.]


sfwillie's blog implores Cindy Sheehan to come to San Francisco and become a write-in candidate for mayor.

Not that she would be elected, but

-It would be good practice for her run against Nancy Pelosi.

-It would give non-Newsom supporters a meaningful voting opportunity.

-It would focus national attention on the disconnect between Pelosi’s positions and those of her constituents.

-A high vote for Cindy Sheehan might nudge Pelosi a little toward the left.

-Even Gavin supporters might be tempted to vote for Sheehan, figuring Gavin has it wrapped up.

-It would be a lot more fun than not.
Fifty thousand people gathered recently in Golden Gate Park for the fortieth anniversary of the Summer of Love.

Please come to San Francisco, Cindy Sheehan. Put some flowers in your hair. We’re ready for some more good lovin’.

[End hope not.]

----- o -----

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Just as the name Ford is associated with automobiles, Carnegie with steel, and Rockefeller with oil, so, at least in the state of Idaho, the surname Craig will forever be associated with furtive mensroom sex.

Senator Larry Craig in recent public appearances has shown himself to be a moron—it’s ill advised to ever say “I’m not gay,” but it’s utterly moronic to say, “I never have been gay.”

Not that we expect much from Idaho. Heck, even the great state of California has sent the likes of Murphy, Hayakawa, and Feinstein to the Senate.

But you’d think that somewhere, even in a state famous for potatoes, a criminal defendant could find a decent lawyer.

This fool Larry Craig actually pleaded guilty!

He couldn’t have been sane!

There are a host of reasons why Larry Craig could be completely innocent.

But when Craig foolishly gave a recorded statement to the Minneapolis policeman who caught him, his options were narrowed.

If Craig had said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” all defenses would have remained on the table, but Craig went with the “wide stance” explanation.

Craig claims he wasn’t signaling for sex when his foot went under the partition into the adjoining stall, he was just wide-stancing.

This is basically an Americans with Disabilities Act defense: the design of the toilet stalls in that airport mensroom discriminates against men who have wide stances.

We’ve seen the pictures of the toilet stall in question. It’s so narrow that any man with a wide stance could get busted for gay sex.

The only question would be one of fact: does Larry Craig really have a wide stance? The guys pictured here definitely have wide stances.

I’d advise all of them to be careful changing planes in Minneapolis.

Eventually the ADA will someday be amended to protect men with wide stances.

Senator Larry (wipe that stuff off your lips) Craig his determined to hang around, drawing a Senate salary for another month. Since his party has stripped him of his committee assignments, maybe he could occupy his time advocating for a wide stance amendment to the ADA.

Discredited now, yes even humiliated, the butt (he’s definitely not into that) of everyone’s jokes, Larry Craig would be revered by future generations of wide-stanced men.

Nixon’s secretary (pictured below), Rosemary Woods, wrenched her back while erasing the worst eighteen minutes of her boss' recorded conspirings. This focused national attention on office ergonomics.

So, too, Larry Craig’s ordeal could spotlight the need for forensically neutral mensroom architecture.

Be a hero, Larry.
----- o -----