Thursday, May 6, 2010

San Francisco Diary--Journal Of An Exile

Look! I can see my house from here! Well, with really good eyes, or a big magnifying glass. This is a view of The City from the Marin Headlands looking over the Golden Gate Bridge. I have to admit the view is spectacular, and San Francisco has one of the most dramatic skylines in the world, combined with a grand entrance from the Pacific Ocean.

NOTE: Well, Mayor Gavin Newsom is at it again. He didn't know how to read the mood of the voters of California, and now he even seems to have lost his ability to read the voters of San Francisco. His latest grandstanding involves his brilliant idea to rename a major San Francisco street after my old nemesis, Willie Brown. We've already been treated to the renaming of historical streets for political figures. Army Street became Cesar Chavez Boulevard. One of the two main drives through Golden Gate Park was renamed Martin Luther King Drive (I don't begrudge that one at all). For pure political pandering, the portion of Polk Street that runs past City Hall was renamed Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (yes, the whole name, title and all), an obscure local black figure. Willie Brown himself was behind that nonsensical change when he was serving as San Francisco mayor.

Newsom assumed that the people would just love the idea of naming one of San Francisco's oldest streets after the former radical Brown, who hijacked Democrat delegates at the 1972 Democratic Convention, demanding "give me my delegates" (meaning his black delegates who hadn't been elected at all). Brown went on to become the Speaker of the California State Assembly, and then, when finally exiting that position because of term-limits, became a two-term mayor of The City.

Expecting widespread support, Newsom sent out an invitation for public input. More than 700 e-mails, letters and phone calls overwhelmed City Hall. Newsom owed his political start to Brown, but others didn't feel so warm and fuzzy about Brown. Of those 300 replies which were identifiable and not subject to obscenity rules, only eleven were favorable to the change. One businessman whose shop is on Third Street said "renaming the street Willie L. Brown Jr. Boulevard is a mistake. The name is long, frustrating to communicate and will require countless businesses and people to change their information, incurring extensive cost and lost productivity.

I guess he hasn't been to Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. At least the proposal would have been for the entire length of the street which runs South of Market, through the Mission District, Mission Bay, Bayview and Hunter's Point. Goodlett, on the other hand is two crummy blocks smack dab in the middle of another street that starts, changes names, then goes back to its original name after passing City Hall. Which proves that Newsom is at least a little smarter than Brown, but not as politically savvy.

NOTE: The Chronicle has finally discovered that spouting peace, love, brotherhood, racial harmony, and moral equivalence simply doesn't change or explain hard facts. The "newspaper of record" has finally admitted that the only major cross-racial problem in The City (and the Bay Area) is black on Asian assaults, batteries, and murders. Last fall, Rong Shi Chen was attacked by two young black males who grabbed him, lifted him over their heads, then threw him to the sidewalk. The 84 year old suffered grievous injuries and has not yet fully recovered physically or emotionally.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been no less than four notorious attacks by young blacks on older and elderly Asians, male and female alike. I wrote about one of those attacks, which resulted in a death, in my Diary last Thursday, April 29. The powers-that-be in both San Francisco and Oakland continue to sidestep the issue. They claim that the problem is not hatred of Asian Americans, but a "hazardous collision between angry young men and a vulnerable population with cash in their pockets." Nice try, but no big banana. In none of the attacks was robbery the motive. In only two of the attacks was anything actually taken from the victims. Nothing was taken from the elderly Chinese man who was beaten half to death then thrown onto the tracks of the Muni Railway. And are there no elderly white or Hispanic people with "cash in their pockets?" In the Muni attack, the station cameras caught the two thugs laughing, smiling and high-fiving each other after the attack.

The widow of Zhi Rui Wang, murdered as I described in last week's Diary, attended a "show of unity" rally of blacks and Asians at the African-American Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland. She is still in shock, and wants nothing more than the death not to have been entirely meaningless. At the rally, the pastor asked all crime victims in the audience to stand. "Dozens of worshipers rose in poignant testimony to the idea that violence is colorblind," says The Chronicle. Hooey. Most of the victims who rose, sad to say, were victims of the even more common black-on-black crime. But how many Chinese would have risen to acknowledge the existence of serious Asian on black crime? Obscuring and denying the one-way racial hatred doesn't accomplish a thing toward fixing the problem, no matter how comforting it might have been to Wang's widow.

NOTE: Speaking of Oakland, our sister city across the Bay, their police have killed Bambi. Residents of East Oakland called police and animal control to report that there was a young deer gamboling through their yards. It finally leaped a fence on 90th Avenue, and found itself in the back yard of Kim McLemore. Police evacuated the area (Huh? Was it a terrorist deer with a bomb strapped to its belly?). In the words of the police, "it was acting disoriented in an urban environment." Did they mean like the majority of the humans who live in Oakland?

The police did their duty to protect the public from a disoriented young deer, and blew the four legged visitor away after receiving authorization from command to "dispatch the deer." The police said that neither the Oakland Police Department nor animal control is trained to "use tranquilizers on animals." Does that mean they are trained to use them on humans? One Chronicle reader summed up my feelings about the whole thing quite nicely. "Ahh, if only OPD was as good at hunting down criminals as they are with animals, Oakland would be a much safer place." Another was even more succinct: "I hope they burn in hell for this."

NOTE: As if San Francisco didn't have enough problems with the recent revelation that hundreds of drug cases are likely to be dismissed because one of the crime lab's workers was falsifying reports and siphoning cocaine off for her own personal use and sales. But now even more cases are endangered by the revelation of criminal records and misconduct records of the arresting and investigating police officers which were not revealed, as required by California law, to the defense attorneys.

Commenting on San Francisco law-enforcement's latest woes, Lael Rubin in the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said "we are not potentially talking about possession of cocaine cases--we are potentially talking about very serious felonies." Rubin leads training seminars on the subject for prosecutors in California. Apparently, the San Francisco District Attorney and her deputies were absent without leave from the seminars. No surprise for us locals. Kamala Harris, the SF D.A. is a lousy lawyer and a terrible administrator, and now wants to be California's Attorney General. That's what we need. Another incompetent political hack in Sacramento who thinks that cop-killers should go free because the death penalty is racist.

NOTE: The second and final debate between the Republican candidates for Governor of California took place in San Jose this week. The battle of the billionaires got lively. Meg Whitman has spent millions of dollars of her own money to paint Steve Poizner as a closet liberal, in league with Senator Barbara Boxer and former Governor Gray Davis. Poizner came out swinging. He pounded Whitman for her ties to Goldman-Sachs, and actual financial support of Barbara Boxer in past elections. Whitman countered that Poizner was a flip-flopper who "will say and do anything to get elected." But Poizner seemed to have the momentum and the zeal overall.

Poizner is down in numbers against Whitman by a large margin, so he must have figured that his gentlemanly demeanor at the earlier debate wasn't accomplishing anything. His increasingly strong attacks on Whitman have actually cut the original margin in half. So he had little to lose and much to gain by being a tiger this time. He even touted his martial arts skills. Poizner declared that he is nothing like the RINO governor he plans to replace, and added "I do have a black belt. I think I could take him if I had to." Poizner then went back to his attacks on Whitman for her allegedly suspicious stock deals put together by Goldman-Sachs while Whitman was the CEO of eBay.

When Whitman tried to defend those deals by saying "it was a very standard and legal practice to use the now-outlawed stock-sale practice known as 'spinning' (getting IPO shares in advance of the public and selling them for a quick profit)," she floundered. "I did not see a conflict of interest here, but the truth is, leaders have to be above reproach. With 20-20 hindsight, would I do it again? No."

Poizner honed his attack. "Wow," he said. "You really don't get this, Meg. Goldman-Sachs started to feed you these sweetheart deals. Congress investigated what you did. They called it corrupt." Well, Congress calling a deal corrupt is like the warthog calling the cane toad ugly, but he struck home with the reference. Whitman seemed to wither under the attack. Whitman had better improve her ability to handle these issues if, as seems likely, she becomes the Republican candidate. Her likely opponent in the general election is former Governor Jerry Brown, who is a master of the political stiletto and the snide remark.

After the debate, and having regained some of her composure, Whitman asked a reporter: "Didn't he seem a little bit combustible to you? He seemed angry." Shortly thereafter, the reporter repeated the conversation to Poizner. He wryly replied: "Gosh, that's mean of her to say."


AndrewPrice said...

You know, I find it hilarious that in bad economic times, places like San Francisco just can't stop doing stupid things that cost a lot of money. . . for no reason. Renaming a street costs a lot of money, and doing it for no apparent reason is evidence of a city government that is out of touch with reality.

As for the faked results, I've seen that in several parts of the country, but never so the lab tech could pad their own stash. I have to say that while this is a disaster, it is also somewhat funny. What a world!

Tennessee Jed said...

Morning, Hawk - there may not be enough pixels in S.F. to actually picture your house from that view . . but I digress.

How about we rename third street, George W. Bush Highway (I'm just sayin')

Willie Brown reminds me of Milton Street, Jr.

I say, let's bring in Harry Callaghan regarding the Black on Asian violence.

May those that murdered Bambi find a special place in hell.

patti said...

"Poizner declared that he is nothing like the RINO governor he plans to replace, and added "I do have a black belt. I think I could take him if I had to."

almost made me spit my coffee on the screen. high-YA! lol!

Anonymous said...

Andrew: The thing that makes the re-naming contentious is that unlike most such memorials, this proposed honoree is very much alive and well. Brown has no significant standing in the world or the nation other than his political clout in the past. Cesar Chavez (curse his memory) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (may his legacy live forever) had great national significance. And still, no street name until after their deaths. Name one single significant accomplishment of Willie Brown's (and no, I can't either). He won the mayor's job twice, by healthy margins. But those who voted against him really hated him.

After I wrote the Diary, there was a late announcement. For the foreseeable future, The City will be closing its crime lab entirely, and out-sourcing all lab work. That's kind of a shame, and a bit of an overreaction. Though I think that's wise as to drug cases for the time being, our DNA lab is generally recognized in the scientific community as one of the best in the world.

Anonymous said...

Tennessee: I'm starting a move to re-name Market Street "Ronald Reagan Boulevard." How do ya think they'll like them apples? And while we're at it, I think Mission Street should be re-named "Dirty Harry Boulevard."

Anonymous said...

Patti: I have to admit, the "black belt" crack was at least funny. That was the most lively California political debate I've seen from either party in about thirty years.

Anonymous said...

I remember a local joke that was going around back when I was still a fresh-faced youth just moving into town for the first time.

The movie and musical star Jeannette McDonald retired to Houston. Her death there was actually not as reported. The truth is she was sitting in her parlor one day when a large, fast jet went overhead, causing a loud and rattling sonic boom. She thought it was an earthquake, ran out into the street singing "San Francisco," and the locals stoned her to death.

Joel Farnham said...


Don't try to sell the antics of San Francisco to Hollywood in a script. First they would say it is too cliched and then they would say it is unbelievable, then they would intone that Cameron and Spielberg are working on scripts about San Francisco values. Your script while colorful is just too out there. :-)

StanH said...

SNAFU in the Bay area…wow!

Anonymous said...

Joel: And that's why locals and visitors alike agree on the expression "only in San Francisco." Alternate form: "You can't make this s--t up."

Anonymous said...

StanH: And FUBARed, too. LOL

Anonymous said...

FANTASTIC NEWS: After brief deliberation, the jury found Petty Officer Matthew McCabe NOT GUILTY of any wrongdoing whatsoever in the terrorist "mistreatment" case. All three of the SEALs who stood up for their rights and their personal honor have been completely vindicated.

The prosecution was in trouble from the very beginning. Not only was the only "witness" to the alleged punch the terrorist himself, but the prosecution's main witness against McCabe, the master-at-arms, was forced to admit on cross-examination that he didn't see a damned thing, and had a vested interest in upholding the terrorist's tale. Contrary to standing orders and military rules, the witness had actually left the terrorist unattended, TWICE, during the time that the alleged punch was thrown. Subsequent witnesses testified that all of the terrorist's "injuries" were likely phony or self-inflicted.

JUSTICE HAS PREVAILED, again. Now that the persecution of these genuine heroes has ended, when will the government get around to putting the mass-murdering lowlife behind these phony charges on trial? We're waiting, Judge Advocate General, President Obama and Atty General Holder. Time to prosecute murdering scumbags and stop persecuting patriots!

StanH said...

Amen Lawhawk...that's great news!

Anonymous said...

StanH: It's one thing for the lefties and the political generals to bring these charges, but obviously quite a different thing when it gets into the hands of the real military.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--The whole political correctness thing and the moral equivalency stink. No problem is ever solved if the solution is based on the wrong premise.

Anonymous said...

HamiltonsGhost: The problem is that public figures rush to declare the innocence of a given racial/ethnic/relgious group in advance to appear enlightened, then find it hard to back off their initial foolishness when all the evidence points the other way. They do it with jihadists on a daily basis (the NYC wannabe bomber, the Christmas bomber, the Ft. Hood mass murderer).

They won't look carefully enough to reach the correct analysis, which includes race, but doesn't have to condemn an entire race. Not all blacks harbor racial hatred for Asians. And even fewer ever act on it. But to deny that all the recent attacks have been young, black men attacking elderly Asians is simply to deny reality, leaving no solution available.

Unknown said...

LawHawk. I noticed that Sarah Palin endorsed Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race. Then the Patriot Post published an ad from the Fiorina camp that Carly is a "commonsense conservative." I'm afraid Palin didn't do her homework, and believed that kind of propaganda coming from the Fiorina camp. Fiorina is no conservative. There are two conservatives in the race, and Fiorina isn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

CalFed: As you may or may not know, we have the good sense not to endorse candidates in primaries, and I think that would be a good rule for any Republican politician outside California. Except for the candidates and their staffs, who obviously have a vested interest in winning, this kind of thing only causes hard feelings that linger after the primaries are over. I hope Mrs. Palin and others not from California will refrain from doing the same thing in the governor's race that we just discussed.

I will admit that unlike her endorsement of McCain in Arizona, which is a fair political debt repaid, I am mystified by this particular endorsement. Maybe we'll discuss it after the primaries are over next month.

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