San Francisco Tea Party on April 15

Here are the latest details on the San Francisco Tea Party, from Tea Party organizer Sally Zelikovsky.  Unfortunately, I’ll be out of town (I always am when these roll around, and it’s truly not on purpose), but I urge any of you within reasonable distance to attend.  After all, San Francisco is Nancy Pelosi’s home turf:

1. LOCATION AND TIME

  • The San Francisco Tea Party will take place at Union Square (NOT Justin Herman Plaza) on April 15th from 4 pm until 7 pm. We changed the location as a favor to the City of SF, building good will and providing them w/ an opportunity to make a considerable amount of the money for a weeklong event at JHP.
  • I suggest arriving before 4:00…from around 3:00 on. Some folks are even making a day of it with shopping and lunch, followed by TEA, of course.
  • There are nice bathrooms in Macy’s and Sak’s–exact location details will follow closer to the date.
  • If anyone has any doubt as to the significance of a Tea Party in San Francisco, just remind them that Speaker Pelosi “represents” this district. Given the close ties between socialism and San Fran, the more we have, the more noise we make, the stronger our message. Spread the word and bring your friends. Make an effort to stop by after work–we arranged the time this year to accommodate working tea partiers. Don’t ever think YOU won’t make a difference. EVERY BODY COUNTS!

If you cannot make it to SF, there are other tea parties in Sacramento, San Mateo, Pleasanton and San Jose.

2. SPEAKERS

  • Political Satirist, Eric Golub, will entertain us w/ his keen sense of humor and believe you me, we could all use some humor right now. That doesn’t take away from the seriousness of this event–just enhances it!
  • Someone from KSFO will join us as well and I am working on one other.
  • Of course, the people will have time to speak and participate.
  • Lukas Hansen will sing the Star Spangled Banner and Celestial City, from the GroupaPalooza, will also entertain us with their sublime voices.

3. THEME

  • One Year Later…Are you better off?
  • All of the usual: limited govt, lower taxes, individual liberty, free markets, fiscal responsibility and NO to ObamaCare!
  • No inappropriate signage–stick to the message. No matter how much you personally might want to focus on O’s birth certificate or his fascist tendencies, this is not the event for that and, as experience has shown, the press will only focus on the one or two signs like that and miss the point of the protest completely. We will ask you to leave or put down your sign if you show up off topic or with inappropriate signage.

4. TRANSPORTATION

From North Bay: Drive and Park (details to come) or take the Ferry and walk (about 10 minutes).

From East Bay: Drive and Park or take the BART.

From South Bay: Drive and Park.

The politics of City budgets in liberal cities *UPDATED*

I’ve noted before that San Francisco (consistent with Democratic-run cities and states everywhere) is terribly cash-strapped.  But politics will always trump practicality.  Exactly one month ago, despite the fact that the school district is pretty much broke, the Board of Education voted, not just to cut education programs quite drastically, but also to put into place a brand-new, expensive gay rights program.

Now, despite trembling on the verge of fiscal bankruptcy (I think it’s already crossed the verge into moral bankruptcy), the city is planning on sending good money after bad by keeping afloat a LGBT community center that has been a money loser since the day it opened:

Eight years after opening with great fanfare, San Francisco’s city-subsidized, $12.3 million Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center is on the verge of foreclosure – and is asking the cash-strapped city for a $1 million line of credit to help bail it out.

And from the looks of things, the center will probably get it.

The thinking: The city has already spent about $5.7 million on the building at Market and Octavia streets and needs to “make sure it doesn’t go under,” said Supervisor David Campos, who along with fellow gay Supervisor Bevan Dufty is seeking approval of a $1 million “mortgage relief” fund.

Even that, however, might not be enough to save the center.

According to a new report by the Board of Supervisors budget analyst, the center could need even more public funds to cover the nearly $3 million that it still owes on its mortgage.

“Clearly, it’s unprecedented,” Campos said of the bailout proposal. “But I do believe there is something unique about the role the LGBT Center plays – not only in the life of the community, but the entire city.”

Located at the gateway to the Castro district, the LGBT Center and its staff of 24 offers everything from counseling and job training to HIV prevention and arts programs. Of its $1.8 million budget, $777,000 consists of city contracts.

But the center has never made the money it expected from renting out rooms to community groups, and with the recession there has been a drop-off in contracts and in contributions from foundations and individuals.

This is the difference, of course, between the real world and the tax payer supported political world.  In the real world, if something doesn’t work, even something beloved and symbolic, the person in charge of finances (whether household or business) bids that something, whatever that “something” is, a reluctant farewell.  In the world of politics — or, at least, the world of liberal politics, which sees every taxpayer as an endless money spigot — finance-draining programs just keep going on going.

We see the same thing in the protests regarding cuts at the University of California.  Unlike the protests in the 1960s, which were at least draped in vaguely altruistic colors (never mind that the college boys were mostly trying to avoid the draft as they opposed the “imperialist” Vietnam War), the current round of protests has simply seen a lot of spoiled kids whining that less government money will flow to them.  They seem unperturbed that there is, simply, less government money to flow anywhere.  These kids have been raised with their mouths firmly latched on to the government teat, and they’re going to be damned before they stop demanding an unending flow.  That the animal attached to the teat is dying from being over-milked is a petty inconvenience.

UPDATE:  Per the Wall Street Journal, we learn that those college kids would have done better to picket union headquarters.

San Francisco School Board cuts academic programs to fund gay rights at school

Two days ago, I brought to your attention the fact that the San Francisco School Board — despite facing a $113 million dollar budget shortfall over the next two years, despite its admission that it will be cutting summer school and academic programs, and despite the fact that there has not been a sudden outbreak of extreme prejudice against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) students in San Francisco’s public schools — was seriously contemplating putting into place a whole new program aimed at tracking discrimination against the GLBT crowd and at educating the San Francisco student population to drop words such as “dyke,” “fag” and “queer” from its insult lexicon (although I’ll just note here that all those words are very “in” with the Queer activist crowd).

I was careful to point out that this program was simply the subject of debate at the Board meeting.  To be honest, I thought it would die on the vine, because even San Francisco politicians can’t be so crazy that they’ll openly undermine academic programs during a budget shortfall while simultaneously creating a whole new layer of costly victim class bureaucracy.  But as Mencken should have said, “No one ever went broke underestimating Progressives’ pathological need to tax the public to obtain reparations for self-defined PC victim groups.”  And so, in a turn of events that appears to have surprised even the SF Chronicle‘s reporter, the San Francisco School Board turned its back on the academic needs of the majority of the students trapped in San Francisco’s mediocre public schools, and pandered:

The San Francisco school board added to the district’s massive $113 million shortfall over the next two years by voting Tuesday night to fund a substantial increase in instruction and services related to gay and lesbian issues.

Though the district is facing layoffs and significant program cuts, board members unanimously agreed that the estimated $120,000 annual price tag was worth it to support gay and lesbian students – children who are more likely to experience bullying and skip school because they are afraid.

The resolution calls for adding a district position to manage “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning” youth issues. It also requires the district to keep tabs on harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and distribute educational packets every year to parents encouraging them to discuss sexuality, gender identity and safety with their children.

The measure, sponsored by the city’s Youth Commission and Human Rights Commission and the district’s Student Advisory Council, requires district staff to seek outside funding to cover the costs, but guarantees at least a half-time position and other services regardless.

About 13 percent of San Francisco’s middle school students and 11 percent of high school students self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, according to a district survey.

Read the rest here.

(As an aside, the last paragraph I quoted has a very high level of self-identification compared to national numbers.  One reason there might be such a high level of self-identification is that GLBT kids in SF do feel fairly safe, despite the fact that they are bullied more than their peers — or, at least, safe enough to explore and recognize their sexuality.  It could also be that gay parents raise gay children, something that does not answer the nature/nature debate about gayness, but that seems to happen fairly often to the extent I’ve observed gay parents.  San Francisco, of course, has a lot of gay — and, I might add, loving and wonderful — parents.  It could also be because the constant focus on gay sex in San Francisco’s schools and streets affects youngsters’ sexuality, pushing them in experimental directions they might sublimate, happily or not, in a slightly more repressive environment. )

But even with a high 13% GLBT self-identification, and even accepting that these kids are less happy than your average teenager (who is often plenty unhappy), and even accepting that GLBT youth are the subject of greater bullying, it strikes me as unconscionable to for a School Board, which is tasked with the well-being of all students in the district, to engage in this type of touchy-feelie programing when the district as a whole is going broke. The fact is that bullying should be unacceptable regardless of the nature of victim.  Heck, I got bullied unmercifully at some rough schools because I was short and wore glasses.  The solution is to de-rough the schools, many of which are worn out and gang-ridden, rather than to focus on a specifically identified victim group.  This is a weird version of the Left’s obsession with equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity.  Rather than making a better, safer environment for all, the Progressives are trying to ensure that GLBT students are picked on at precisely the same statistical rate as their non-GLBT peers.

As I pointed out the other day, San Francisco isn’t alone in this desire to appease minority sensibilities at the expense of the majority.  Berkeley, right across the Bay, garnered significant headlines when its school district proposed cutting science programs (that is, solidly academic programs) because not enough minorities were signing up for them.  After an uproar from parents who care more about their children’s education than parading them as sacrificial lambs to Progressive politics, the school district has backed off the plan, at least for now.

Fundamentally, this isn’t about GLBT safety, no matter how the School Board dresses it up.  This is simply the Progressive mindset at work:  minorities are victims; victims need reparations; within the context of public education, reparations come in the form of denying academic opp0rtunities to all students (including, of course, the victims themselves).

Giving the Democrats more power in California — is that what we really want?

A friend emailed me with a question about an initiative poised for California’s November ballot, called the “Simple Majority” initiative.  I’ll let the Wall Street Journal explain:

Two groups are pushing ballot initiatives they say would purge that chaos from Sacramento’s budget process. A bipartisan group, California Forward, is pushing a reform to let legislators pass budgets by a simple majority instead of the current two-thirds threshold. Repair California, which is affiliated with a pro-business group, is gathering support to hold a constitutional convention to rewrite state laws. Such a convention could alter the budget process and other facets of governance in California.

The recession has pinched state budgets across the nation, prompting legislatures to enact tax increases and spending cuts. California has an especially tough time solving its fiscal woes because it is one of only three states that require at least two-thirds of its state legislators to approve a spending plan. That means budget negotiations usually stall as Democrats, who make up 64% of California’s legislature, struggle to win Republican votes.

[snip]

California Forward hopes to place a measure on the November ballot that would alter the budget process both for the state and local governments. It would let state legislators pass budgets by a simple majority, while maintaining the two-thirds vote requirement to raise taxes. The measure would also institute what is known as a pay-as-you-go system, in which lawmakers must identify funding sources for any new programs.

“We just have to stop the madness of these IOUs being issued and these horrible budget delays,” said Bob Hertzberg, a former Democratic speaker of the California Assembly who is co-chair of California Forward. “It sends a message…that California is dysfunctional.”

The local-government part of the proposal would make it easier for municipalities to raise sales taxes, by one percentage point, to fund education and other services. It would also prohibit the state from tapping the coffers of local governments during budget emergencies, as it did last year.

My response to my friend was that, because the Democrats are the majority in the California legislature, anything that gives them a simple majority gives them powers that have the potential to be imminently destructive to our economy. While the initiative, on its face, looks as if it would force Democrats to keep their budgets in line because they wouldn’t have concurrent taxing power (with tax increases still requiring a 2/3 majority), I’m suspicious.

Think about what’s happening in San Francisco.  As I blogged yesterday, San Francisco’s school district, which is facing a huge shortfall and is considering cutting all sorts of academic programs, is simultaneously seriously considering a significant budget increase in the form of a program that would collect statistics on gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual students, as well as helping education discrimination. The current level of discrimination is not from assaults from other students, or insults or discriminatory treatment from teachers. It’s verbal taunts, especially from the elementary school crowd – ungracious, hurtful and mean-spirited to be certain, but hard to use to justify this kind of expensive government intervention during a time of financial crisis.

It’s this fantasy PC rule-making that makes me loath to make it even easier for the pro-government crowd to pass more insane budgets. Even if they have less money, they’ll still spend it foolishly.

I’m not the only one suspicious that this is a Trojan horse that will redirect public spending away from infrastructure and towards politically favored victim groups. Republicans are also worried:

Statehouse Republicans will fight California Forward’s initiatives, said Tony Strickland, the state Senate’s Republican assistant minority leader. If the budget-approval threshold is lowered, then Republicans would lose their outsized influence in the statehouse because Democrats could pass budgets without GOP votes. The California “Central valley, the farmers, agriculture”—constituencies typically represented by Republicans—”will lose their voices,” Mr. Strickland said.

The antitax Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association will oppose any effort that would ease local governments’ ability to raise taxes, said Jon Coupal, the group’s president. He and Mr. Strickland said they will also oppose Repair California’s constitutional convention because it could result in a repeal of Proposition 13, a 32-year-old law that caps property-tax rates.

If you’re a Californian, I’d urge you to think very seriously before voting yes on this initiating, assuming that it makes it onto the ballot. The only thing that’s truly going to save California is for voters to throw the Democrats out (along with any spend, spend, spend Republicans). Unless California brings down its spending, most of which goes for government employee pensions and politically correct funding, nothing will save us.

San Francisco mulls expanding gay rights program at expense of academic programs *UPDATED*

[UPDATE:  The school board stopped mulling and decided to act.]

Last week, I wrote a long, ruminative post questioning how far a democracy must go to protect its minorities.  Stepping in, right on cue, the San Francisco School District, which is facing a disastrous budget shortfall, is considering a huge expansion in a program aimed and supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth within the school district.  Put simply, the City is seriously contemplating further destroying academic opportunities for the many in order to engage in statistics and psychobabble for the few:

With everything from art classes, summer school and jobs on the chopping block this year, the San Francisco school board will decide this week whether to greatly expand school services, support and instruction on issues of sexual orientation.

The decision could cost the school district, which is facing a $113 million budget shortfall over the next two years, at least $120,000 a year – enough cash to cover the salaries of two classroom teachers.

The school board is expected to vote Tuesday on the fiscally controversial resolution calling for San Francisco Unified to add a new full-time staffer to manage “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning” youth issues in the district’s Student Support Services Department.

It also would require the district to track harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and distribute an educational packet to parents, encouraging them to discuss “the issues of sexuality, gender identity and safety” with their children.

That commitment probably would cost about $90,000 a year for the staffer and maybe another $30,000 for the rest.

Read the rest here.  It is worth remembering at this point that, even by generous estimates, those gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students constitute only a very small portion of the San Francisco student population:

Various estimates of percentage of US population that is gay:

Average guess by polled Americans: 21% of men, 22% of women

Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male: 10%

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: 3% to 8%

The Family Research Report: 2% to 3% of men, 2% of women

The 2000 US Census Bureau: less than 1%

It’s also worth thinking about how San Francisco’s school system currently ranks (and this ranking is before the projected cuts to academics have gone into effect).  Out of 752 school districts in California, San Francisco comes in at 382 — a little over halfway to the bottom. It could certainly be worse, but considering San Francisco’s prestige and sophistication, that’s a pretty pathetic showing.

Of course, San Francisco isn’t alone in this desire to appease minority sensibilities at the expense of the majority.  Berkeley, right across the Bay, garnered significant headlines when its school district proposed cutting science programs (that is, solidly academic programs) because not enough minorities were signing up for them.  After an uproar from parents who care more about their children’s education than parading them as sacrificial lambs to Progressive politics, the school district has backed off the plan, at least for now.

What’s so fascinating about these Progressive initiatives is that they are not being put in place to address manifest wrongs.  That is, I don’t see any argument that black and Hispanic students are being discouraged from taking science classes in Berkeley, or that they are the subjects of rank discrimination.  Likewise, the San Francisco school district isn’t using an epidemic of anti-gay violence to justify redirecting funds from academics to a designated victim group.  Instead, this is simply the Progressive mindset at work:  minorities are victims; victims need reparations; within the context of public education, reparations come in the form of denying academic opp0rtunities to all students (including, of course, the victims themselves).

I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but I’m beginning to think that, provided Obama doesn’t bankrupt us or Iran bomb us, Obama’s election may be a blessing in disguise.  Progressives outside of power managed to convince vast swathes of America that Progressives were interested only in the good of all, while inherently evil conservatives were dedicated to the destruction of everyone but white males (plus a few pro-Life pseudo-females).

The election, however, has gone to the Progressives’ heads.  They are revealing themselves in all their ugliness.  When it comes to education, their goal isn’t to educate children, but to indoctrinate them in an anti-American, anti-Israel curriculum that elevates victim status over academics.  On abortion, they’re not pro-Choice, but pro-Death.  On national security, their anti-Bush diatribes proved to be rooted in an affinity with the terrorists over the interests and security of Americans.  Their ostensible concern about the economy is merely an umbrella to transfer all wealth to the government.

You can add to this list, ’cause you know where I’m going.  Before the election, we saw the eternally pure and youthful Dorian Gray; now we see the picture in which reposes all the actual ugliness and evil.

Americans cool on abortion, appropriately given the societal damage it both causes and reflects

My views on abortion have changed mightily over the years.  The selfish, immature side of me still longs for a pro-choice label, but the mature, moral side of me has concluded that, subject to a few exceptions, pro-Life is the way to go.  I won’t expand on that right now, but you can see more on my views here.

On the subject of abortion, I want to draw your attention to three things:

First, if you somehow managed to miss this headline story, let me be the one to tell you that the Superbowl, of all things, is at the center of an abortion controversy.  Tim Tebow, super-duper college quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, is going to be in a television commercial that is slated to air during the Superbowl.  In it, he and his mother talk about the fact that she elected to go ahead with a difficult pregnancy, even though the medical establishment assured her that the baby was likely to be dead or damaged at birth.  Tebow, of course, was neither.  Women’s groups are outraged (h/t Soccer Dad), although they sound more foolish than persuasive in their anger:

A national coalition of women’s groups called on CBS on Monday to scrap its plan to broadcast an ad during the Super Bowl featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Americans together,” said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center.

[snip]

The protest letter from the Women’s Media Center suggested that CBS should have turned down the ad in part because it was conceived by Focus on the Family.

“By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers,” the letter said.

Hmm.  While I know that large sectors of the American public watch the Superbowl (I guess that’s the coming together part), I always considered it a rather divisive thing, considering that half the audience is devoutly hoping that the other half turns off the television set in deep despair.

But more to the point, I found interesting the fact that the women’s groups state, with no authority, that celebrating a successful life that resulted because the baby’s mother made a choice, is something that will “damage [CBS's] reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers.”  I think the women’s groups are backing the wrong horse.

Which brings me to my second point about abortion.

The invaluable Zombie was out on the streets of San Francisco this past weekend, documenting the annual pro-Life rally held in that bastion of radical liberalism.  What you’d except from a photojournalist is a series of photos showing a few cowering pro-Lifers, surrounded by screaming pro-Choicers, all carrying “keep your hands off my uterus” signs and wearing kuffiyahs (because who doesn’t go to a feminist rally wearing the clothing symbol of the most repressive, misogynist culture on earth?).  But there you’d be wrong.  In a stunning combination of photos and text, Zombie reveals that the rally was a blow-out for the pro-Life crowd.  As Zombie says:

[W]hen the anti-abortion group Walk for Life staged a march in San Francisco last Saturday, January 23, they turned out an overwhelming and jaw-dropping 40,000 pro-life activists, who were met by a well-advertised counter-protest which managed to draw no more than 80 (that’s eighty, eight-zero) pro-choice advocates. 40,000 vs. 80 is a 500-to-1 pro-life advantage, something that seems inconceivable in the sex-positive liberal stronghold of San Francisco. How did this happen?

Talk about must-read journalism.

And the third and last thing I want to discuss about abortion isn’t really about abortion at all, it’s about the culture that supports unfettered, unlimited abortion.  As you probably read somewhere the other day, the teen pregnancy numbers rose a bit higher in 2006.  Robert Rector tells us that (a) those numbers are not what they seem and that (b) more seriously, those numbers reveal, not about a problem that can be corrected with ever more birth control and abortions, but a fundamental societal breakdown amongst young Americans.

As for me, with one pre-teen  and one very observant 10 year old, I spend a lot of my time talking about values and self-respect.  I’ve learned that, in a wired world, I cannot protect my kids from exposure to our sex saturated culture.  All I can do, over and over, is talk about the value they should place on themselves, the respect they owe others, the moral forces in favor of marriage and abstinence, and the risks associated with disease and young, out-of-wedlock pregnancy.  I hope, devoutly, that my kids take these messages to heart, because I really don’t have much else in my armament.

My parents always complained that, raising children in the late 1960s and 1970s, they had a hard time parenting against societal trends.  They couldn’t have imagined how much worse it would become.  Yes, they had to deal with hippies and self-actualization, but pop culture was still reasonably traditional.  The Brady kid actors may have been getting into trouble behind the scenes, but the message to the viewing audience was still one of traditional values.  Who would have imagined then MTV, YouTube, Lady GaGa, Adam Baldwin Lambert (isn’t that the crotch-grabber from American Idol?), and the whole parade of degradation that oozes out of every pore of American society?  Looking around, it’s clear that abortion is both a cause and a symptom of a society that has lost its sexual bearings, bearings that should be grounded in respect for the opposite sex and reverence for human life.

Illegal immigrants, gay rights, gun safety, and other stuff *UPDATED*

This is a portmanteau post, filled with interesting things I read today, some of which come in neatly matched sets.

Opening today’s San Francisco Moronicle, the first thing I saw was that an illegal teen’s arrest is causing a stir in San Francisco’s halls of power.  You see, San Francisco is a sanctuary city, and its official policy is to refuse to allow police to notify the federal government when arrestees prove to be illegal immigrants.  As has happened before, one of those nice legal illegal immigrants is, in fact, a cold-blooded murderer.  This particular 15 year old is accused of having held the two victims in place so that his compadres c0uld execute them.  The hoo-ha is happening because someone in City government, disgusted by the legal travesty that encourages people like this to make themselves free of our cities and our country, reported the kid to the INS, which is now on the case.  The liberals in the City ask “How dare a San Francisco employee help enforce federal immigration law?” My question, of course, is a little different:  “Why doesn’t the fed withdraw every single penny of funding from sanctuary cities?”  After all, I was raised to believe that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

As you’re thinking about the above travesty of law and justice (and the two dead kids executed in San Francisco), take a few minutes to read this American Thinker article about California’s self-immolation, a Democratic autodestruct sequence driven, in part, by the state’s embrace of illegal immigrants.  Illegal immigrants place a huge economic burden on California’s already over-taxed individuals and businesses.

The next Moronicle article that drew my eye was about the ongoing Prop. 8 trial taking place in San Francisco.  As you recall, Prop. 8 reflected the will of California voters, who wanted to affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.  Prop. 8′s opponents are trying to prove that voters had impure thoughts when they cast their ballots, making the entire proposition an illegal exercise of unconstitutional prejudice.  Prop. 8 backers are arguing that you can support traditional marriage (as President Obama has claimed to do), without harboring bad thoughts about the GLBT community.

As you think about the ramifications of that lawsuit, I’d like to introduce you to Chai R. Feldblum, who is President Obama’s nominee to the EEOC.  She has a law professor at Georgetown, who really thinks that people’s brains should be purged of evil thoughts, especially evil religious thoughts:

Chai Feldblum, the Georgetown University law professor nominated by President Obama to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has written that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, that may negatively affect homosexual “equality.”

[snip]

“Just as we do not tolerate private racial beliefs that adversely affect African-Americans in the commercial arena, even if such beliefs are based on religious views, we should similarly not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity that adversely affect LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] people,” the Georgetown law professor argued.

Feldblum’s admittedly “radical” view is based on what she sees as a “zero-sum game” between religious freedom and the homosexual agenda, where “a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side.”

“For those who believe that a homosexual or bisexual orientation is not morally neutral, and that an individual who acts on his or her homosexual orientation is acting in a sinful or harmful manner (to himself or herself and to others), it is problematic when the government passes a law that gives such individuals equal access to all societal institutions,” Feldblum wrote.

“Conversely, for those who believe that any sexual orientation, including a homosexual or bisexual orientation, is morally neutral, and that an individual who acts on his or her homosexual or bisexual orientation acts in an honest and good manner, it is problematic when the government fails to pass laws providing equality to such individuals.”

Feldblum argues that in order for “gay rights” to triumph in this “zero-sum game,” the constitutional rights of all Americans should be placed on a “spectrum” so they can be balanced against legitimate government duties.

All beliefs should be equal, regardless of their source, Feldblum says. “A belief derived from a religious faith should be accorded no more weight—and no less weight—than a belief derived from a non-religious source.” According to Feldman, the source of a person’s belief – be it God, spiritual energy, or the five senses – “has no relevance.”

[snip]

Feldblum does recognize that elements of the homosexual agenda may infringe on Americans’ religious liberties. However, Feldblum argues that society should “come down on the side” of homosexual equality at the expense of religious liberty. Because the conflict between the two is “irreconcilable,” religious liberty — which she also calls “belief liberty” — must be placed second to the “identity liberty” of homosexuals.

“And, in making the decision in this zero sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people,” she wrote.

I don’t think Harry Truman would have understood or appreciated Feldblum’s effort to quash religious freedom in the U.S.  He was someone who was able to separate his acts from his prejudices in all the right ways.  As I like to tell my children, he was a racist who integrated the American military; and an anti-Semite who helped create the State of Israel.

I believe all people should be treated equally under the law.  I do not believe, though, that this means that religions should be wiped out, or that Americans should be subject to the thought-police so that their impure ideology is brought in line with the identity politics of the left.  I believe most Americans are capable of being Harry Truman:  that is, they can recognize that their own personal prejudices against a lifestyle, a skin color or a religion, cannot be elevated to legal doctrine.  One of my problems with Islamists is that they’re no Harry Trumans.  They want to do away with the rule of law and, instead, substitute their 6th Century desert theocratic code.

Moving on, at this weekend’s soccer games, the other moms and I were speaking about a gal who is quite possibly the worst teacher in middle school.  She’s a lousy teacher, which is bad enough, but one can layer over that the fact that she is vindictive, mean-spirited and lazy.  Everyone I know has vociferously complained about her to the school administration.  And yet there is is.  She’s too young to have tenure, so I asked, rhetorically, why don’t they just fire her?  One mom’s answer told everything we need to know:  “The union makes it impossible to fire people.”

At least one union leader, at least, is trying to make it so that the American Federation of Teachers is less of a tyrannical dictatorship holding children as hostage, and more of an institution aimed at helping to educate children.  I don’t think Randi Weingarten is going to turn unions around, nor will she much change my opinion of unions.  Historically, I think unions were necessary and important.  In certain low-wage, low-skill, low-education fields (meat packing springs to mind), I still think they’re potentially useful.  Overall, though, I have a deep dislike for unions that goes back to my dad’s years as a member of the various teachers’ unions controlling California public schools.  The unions did minimal work helping to raise my Dad’s wage (he earned $21,000 annually in 1987, the year he retired), but were excellent at (1) kick-backs to administrators, who got great wages; (2) beginning what became the profound devaluation in the quality of California’s education; and (3) making sure that bad, insane and malevolent teachers were impossible fire.

Other unionized businesses are just as bad.  Hospital worker unions make a certain amount of sense.  The 24 hour a day nature of a hospital makes it easy to abuse nurses and other care givers.  However, when I was a young college student who got a summer job in the virology lab (an interesting time, since AIDS was first appearing on the radar as a series of bizarre diseases in gay men), I took over for a secretary who was leaving on maternity leave.  Although a secretary, she was unionized too, which explained why, despite disposing of old sandwiches in her file cabinet, and being incapable of getting her researcher bosses to the medical publishers (a primary part of her job description), she could not be fired.  This was not for want of trying.  It was simply that the unions had made it impossible to fire people like her.  They’d also made it impossible to fire people like the nurse I had many years later who, the first night after I’d had major abdominal surgery, refused to give me any painkillers and isolated me from any other caregivers.  Apparently I had said something that offended her.  Sadly, this was not her first time playing this kind of sadistic game.  But there she was, thanks to the unions.

On a more cheerful note, guns don’t kill people, guns rescue people from sinking cars.

And lastly, Steve Schippert highly recommends today’s Daily Briefing at Threats Watch, so I do too.

UPDATE:  Please visit A Conservative Lesbian for a thoughtful take on the nexus between religious belief and gay rights.  No knee jerk liberalism here; instead, a good analysis about religious freedom and minority rights.

Helping Haiti *UPDATED*

I am distrustful of television, since it often creates a false reality.  When the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989, I was out of town.  The images shown on CNN made it look as if the whole city was in ruins.  I was terrified about what had happened to my family and friends.  It was only when I carefully watched the endlessly looped images of destruction that I realized that only three areas had been hit, albeit hit horribly badly:  the Marina District, the Oakland freeway, and a one block area in downtown.  Yes, a section of the Bay Bridge had collapsed; and, yes, houses in the Sunset District had sustained some damages; and yes, people were without power and incredibly frightened and had things broken in their homes and offices, but it was not the 1906 style conflagration the media tried to present.

I resented the media hysteria, but understood it.  TV is a purely visual animal, and you need good visuals.  The buildings that didn’t fall down make for bad TV.

All of which gets me to Haiti.  I’ve been sitting a little bit on the sidelines with this one.  Yesterday’s print stories were rather vague in terms of casualties and, as always, I doubted the visuals.  It’s becoming clear, though, that the earthquake was one of devastating proportions.  In a city with expensive building codes, it might have been bad; in a city built in as haphazard a manner as 17th Century Lisbon, it’s proving to be every bit as disastrous as that fabled quake.

If you would like to help out the Haitians, the Anchoress has complied a long list of charitable organizations.  Also, a friend whom I greatly respect has been urging contributions to a Haitian based organization called Beyond Borders.  Given Haiti’s long-standing structural problems, I have no doubt that vast amounts of the relief money will simply vanish, never to be seen again.  Nevertheless, in a country that poor and damaged, anything that gets through to the people is going to be a good thing.

UPDATE:  It turns out that this quake wasn’t unexpected, at least if one was paying attention.

UPDATE IIPictures from the scene.  And, rickety special effects not withstanding, this scene from the 1936 movie San Francisco is as good an imagining of a big earthquake as any I’ve seen (starting about 1 minute in):

It’s very obvious to those familiar with pictures taken immediately after the earthquake that the film’s special effects people relied upon them closely as a guide.

Here’s original footage of San Francisco after some of the clean-up had already begun:

Progressives and their poopy mouths

Years ago, when I first became aware of the blogosphere, I noticed a single huge dividing line between Progressive and conservative political writers:  the former have dirty mouths.  Their blogs are filled with references to human waste and human sexual acts, all spelled out in the crudest terms.  Interestingly enough, I see that at home too, although it may just be the difference between boys and girls.  I, a conservative, never swear (except when some idiot driver almost t-bones me), whereas my husband, a liberal, swears with increasing fervor as he ages.

Now, for the first time, in San Francisco, swearing has become the official public policy for at least one Progressive stupidvisor.  This would be the execrable Chris Daly, who has announced that, henceforth, he will make sure to drop the F-bomb at every single Stupidvisor meeting in 2010.  The really sad thing is that, on the list of political transgressions Daly routinely commits, this is probably the least harmful.  It may offend the refined, but it won’t have an actual impact on poor, battered San Francisco.

San Francisco: America’s homegrown anarchic totalitarianism

A quick, and personal, history of San Francisco’s decline from the 1960s to the present

I was born and grew up in San Francisco.  My very earliest memories of the City just predate the advent of the hippies.  At that time, the City was a solid amalgam of working class people, middle class people, and a nice handful of the very, very rich.  Barring the inevitable slums (and all cities have them), San Francisco was a well-maintained, fairly safe place.  Trips downtown (usually triggered by a visit to the doctor in the medical building at 450 Sutter) always ended with a visit to the beautiful City of Paris department store to admire the rotunda (which you can still see in the new Nieman Marcus on the same site), a stop at the marble bathrooms in I. Magnin’s (where Macy’s stands now), and treats at Blum’s Restaurant.  Women and men still wore hats in public places, and the women usually wore gloves too.  The sidewalks were clean, and there were no beggars.

I remember, too, when the hippies came along.  Initially, at least from a child’s point of view, it was kind of fun.  During the Summer of Love in 1967, colorfully dressed young people would be dancing in Golden Gate Park, waving banners, blowing bubbles and handing out flowers to all who passed by.  Of course, when they left the Park at the end of these pretty love-ins, the grass was torn to shreds, the flower beds were destroyed, and a few overdosed teens always lay scattered in the detritus left behind.  Soon, though, the magic (such as it was) vanished, and all that was left behind was the miserable slum that was the Haight Ashbury.

Because San Francisco was notorious for her hippies, whenever out-of-town friends came to visit, they’d insist on a tour of the Haight.  As a child, therefore, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, I often found myself in that blighted neighborhood.  The streets were filthy, covered with a disgusting mixture of garbage, urine and feces.  Collapsed on the sidewalks, holding up the walls, were the drug addicts — stringy-haired, bleary eyed and smelly.  Because sidewalks are hard and cold, a lot of the druggies would migrate to the green strip of the Panhandle or into Golden Gate Park itself.  While the Panhandle quickly became off limits for us children, we still went to the Park quite often — but were always carefully warned about needles in the grass and bums in the bushes.

The hippies weren’t just an aberration.  They were the beginning of a deep rot that set into the City.  Some of them remained as anchors for the homeless who still pepper San Francisco’s streets, making those streets unsafe or just very, very unpleasant for ordinary people.  Others reformed their lifestyles, but kept their Leftist, SDS influenced politics.  They grew up, got jobs, bought homes, and became people of influence in the City.  Their influence wasn’t immediately obvious.  During the 1970s, the City just drifted along.  Self-realization and self-actualization and general self-involvement hit the middle class with a bang, with the result that everyone was running around seeking his bliss, pausing only periodically to do some navel gazing.

The City’s gays, contrary to the film Milk, weren’t in a perpetual state of political activism during the 1970s.  Instead, they were glorying in the hedonism that was part-and-parcel of escaping the dark closet in which they’d lived for so many years.  I can’t say that I blame them — it was a giddy feeling to be free to express a long-hidden sexuality — but the results were deleterious.  It’s not healthy for a City to have a neighborhood that’s dedicated to sex, a rather obvious principle that is entirely separate from the fact that the Castro and its myriad bathhouses proved to be perfect Petri dishes for a burgeoning fatal disease that would soon sweep the world.

I was gone from San Francisco during much of the early and mid-1980s, returning to the City only in the late 1980s.  Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was living a wonderfully self-absorbed yuppie lifestyle, but I still managed to figure out that several things had changed since I’d last lived in San Francisco.  The most obvious change was the presence of homeless people, not just in the Haight and in Golden Gate Park, but everywhere.  The City was no longer making any effort whatsoever to control the homeless problem.

A walk down Montgomery Street, the main artery in San Francisco’s business district, meant one was perpetually under siege from panhandlers, most of them odoriferous and many of them crawling with lice and fleas.  Many, if not all, were obviously mentally ill or deeply in thrall to drugs or alcohol.  I couldn’t blame them for being where they were.  The City’s temperate climate and unenforced vagrancy laws made San Francisco a natural environment for such people.

As for me, I’ve always thought it’s the hallmark of a civilized society that it doesn’t leave its sick and deranged people begging on sidewalks and sleeping in doorways.  The ACLU, however, begs to differ.  And yes, I know that in the 1950s and 1960s, when the idea first came to de-institutionalize the inebriate homes and insane asylums that were once part of the American landscape, it was an unholy alliance of both the Left and the Right that led the charge.  In the years since, however, as the damage to urban areas from de-institutionalization has become clear, the ACLU has come to own the issue, and has routinely insisted that America must allow the helpless insane to live in the street and grub in the garbage.  Apparently Leftist civil rights include ensuring that those least able to care for themselves get no help from the rest of us.

The City had also lost what limited control it once had over the worst neighborhoods in town.  Nowhere was this more apparent to me than in the area surrounding the venerable Cow Palace.  Admittedly, that area was never a very nice one, but I remember as a child going frequently to events at the Cow Palace, going to gymnastic meets at the neighborhood schools, dining on delicious Middle Eastern food at a family-owned restaurant, and visiting people’s houses in the area.  Although I didn’t have the vocabulary at the time, looking back I would characterize the neighborhood as lower working class.  By the late 1980s, it was just plain scary, with the housing projects dominating and blighting the area.  (The worst of those housing projects, incidentally, became so unsustainable that the City eventually destroyed them in an effort at urban renewal.  Those that remain are still appalling.)

By the late 1990s, I had left San Francisco for the Marin suburbs, and I’ve never looked back.  Marin is ridiculously overpriced, but it’s also beautiful, exquisitely well-maintained and very safe. Although separated from the City by only 12 miles and one bridge, it is another world.  The people here may be politically liberal (voting overwhelmingly Democratic), but they’re hardheaded, NIMBY-esque pragmatists when it comes to preserving their own expensive lifestyles.

For the first decade of my Marin life, my visits to the City were very targeted because of the children:  I pretty much went only to Golden Gate Park and the Marina District.  The Marina District has always been lovely, remaining peculiarly untouched by the City’s ongoing turmoil (perhaps because large parts of it have been under Federal control).  There are few things nicer than walking from the Marina waterfront to Fort Point.  Also during those years, Golden Gate Park, while unpleasant around the fringes, underwent a renaissance at its center that begin with a completely rebuilt De Young Museum, and ended with a completely rebuilt Academy of Sciences.  At times, the City, as Herb Caen would say, still knows how.

San Francisco establishes itself as the cutting edge city of America’s homegrown anarchic totalitarianism

As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, I find myself in the City more and more often.  I don’t visit the well-maintained spots that still charm tourists, though.  Instead, my children’s activities take me to parts of town other than the little Potemkin neighborhoods, neatly preserved for the tourists or the affluent liberals concerned with preserving lovely enclaves for themselves.  On these journeys, consistently, I am appalled by what I see.  The City has morphed into a crazy combination of anarchy and Leftist totalitarianism, all neatly wrapped into a package called “political correctness.”  This matters, not just because we’re witnessing the death of what used to be one of the most beautiful, desirable cities in the world, but because it perfectly represents the American Leftist paradigm.  In other words, San Francisco is the future of American Leftism, and it’s a very scary future indeed.

Before I go further, it’s useful to define some of the terms I’ll use here, particularly as they apply to San Francisco.  San Francisco would characterize itself as a “liberal” city.  “Liberal,” of course, is a misnomer.  Modern liberalism completely rejects the notion of individual freedom that is inherent in the linguistic root of the term (from the Latin līberālis, from līber, free).  Instead, today’s liberalism is a socialist movement that is predicated on placing all power in government.  And when all power resides in the government, you end up with totalitarianism or, as some people call it, fascism.

People who aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in the U.S. today think of totalitarianism solely in terms of Nazi Europe, Fascist Italy or, if they’re being honest, Soviet Eastern Europe.   If you play a word association game with most Americans, especially American liberals, and feed them the words totalitarian or fascist, they’ll come back with references to concentration camps, gulags, Gestapo and KGB agents.

Jonah Goldberg, however, in his splendid book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, figured out that modern western totalitarianism, of the kind practiced by Western European and American progressives/liberals has a more maternal cast than that practiced in Germany, the Soviet Union, China, or other non-Western countries cursed by all-powerful governments.

Unlike their Asian, Latin American or Eastern European counterparts, modern Western socialist governments aren’t going to round us up and shoot us.  Instead, they’re going to love us to death.  They’ll control what we buy, what we eat, how we get our health care, how we educate our children, what we watch on TV, what light bulbs we screw in, what cars we drive, what phones we use, what shopping bags we use, etc., all with the most beneficent of intentions.  We won’t be murdered by gun toting government-funded thugs in concentration camps.  Instead, we’ll just be infantilized to the point where we’re incapable of functioning without a Nanny state at our backs — and our fronts and our sides, and wherever else the State can insert itself into a citizen’s life.  (By the way, if you want to know what that will look like, just cast your mind back to images of Hurricane Katrina.  The self-reliant middle class sat on their porches with shotguns, protecting their families and homes.  The welfare classes, destroyed not by their race but by their decades-long dependence on government handouts, were incapable of even moving off the side of the road.)

The one thing that Jonah Goldberg’s book misses is the fact that the New Age, crystal-gazing American socialist utopia does not allow itself to control all people within its political borders.  Instead, in the name of political correctness, American socialist cities have a two-tiered system:  law-abiding citizens are on the receiving end of heavy-handed government control, while politically correct protected victim classes are removed from any controls whatsoever.  The result is the worst of all possible worlds, with law abiding citizens beaten down both by their own government and by those whom the government allows to roam free.  San Francisco provides a perfect example of this Western socialist dynamic.

San Francisco’s intense hostility to capitalism

Some of the contrasts between intense government control versus anarchy are very obvious in San Francisco.  On the control side, the City’s mandates pry into every area of business and even personal life.  At a macro level, the City is very, very hostile to business.  It has its own minimum wage law (SF Admin. Code, Secs. 12P, 12R, & Appx. 68), which controls anyone doing business in or with the City of San Francisco.  The City apparently feels it’s not a big enough burden on businesses to have the feds set wages too.  The minimum wage laws are great for those who can get jobs; but lousy for those who discover that, as a result of the hostile environment, there are fewer businesses around to provide jobs.

San Francisco has long had stringent rent control laws (SF Admin. Code, Sec. 37.1).  This is one of those things that benefits renters in the short term, by forcing below market rates for rental property, but that is a disaster in the long term.  Because it means that landlords cannot make reasonable money on property, cannot alienate property, and cannot evict tenants, there is no incentive to be a landlord or, if one is a landlord, to maintain the property beyond the bare minimum.  By interfering in the marketplace, San Francisco has ensured that there are fewer properties available, and that those available are minimally maintained.  It’s therefore lousy to be either a landlord or a tenant in the City.

San Francisco doesn’t just stick its liberal nose into the real estate market.  In the name of political correctness, it also makes doing business in and with the City very, very expensive.  For example, in its endless effort to promote business that are owned by women and minorities, the City mandates that women and minority owned businesses, when bidding for City work, get the benefit of a special discount in the bidding process (SF Admin. Code, Sec. 12D.A.)  While this might have made sense as a short term incentive to allow new businesses to break into a field that had become limited to a few permanent, old-time contractors, it’s now become a permanent and costly boondoggle, funding politically protected businesses on the San Francisco taxpayers’ collective backs.

San Francisco’s need to control its law-abiding citizens

The City also likes to make sure that its residents are environmentally pure.  In 2007, the City banned plastic shopping bags, a sop to environmentalists, but a burden to ordinary people:

“We need to get rid of a hell of a lot of this stuff,” Ora Gosey, 56, said outside an Albertsons in the Western Addition. As the retiree spoke, she inched away from a case of grape soda she had placed on the ground as if it didn’t belong to her. It was double-bagged in plastic.

“I needed something,” she admitted, “because it’s so heavy.”

Plastic checkout bags are pretty convenient, Gosey and others said. You can carry them easily down the sidewalk or on a bus, and they’re less prone to ripping than paper. At home, they come in handy for packing trash. And in the park, they’re good to have when you walk the dog.

According to the Film and Bag Federation, a plastics industry group, the bags can also be used to keep things dry in a canoe, make Christmas wreaths and kites, and assist in the nearly impossible task of putting on a wetsuit.

I know that I, personally, never, never throw away those plastic bags.  They have more uses in my household than I can count.  If I stop getting them free from stores, I’ll just have to go out and buy heavier, less environmentally-friendly plastic bags to use for the same purpose.  And sadly, that may be my future too, since Marin is planning on banning both plastic and paper bags.  I’ll soon have to become one of those crazy Marin bag ladies who marches into a grocery store carrying an armful of mismatched, costly, inconvenient bags of my own, all of which I have to remember to return to my car once I unload my groceries.  Feh!  I don’t mind it when serious-minded conservationists, whether liberal or conservative, do this because they want to.  I just don’t want to be forced to do so.

The City reserves special animus for smokers.  Now, I have to confess here that I loath the smell of cigarette smoke.  I don’t have a problem with a person making the decision to smoke, although I think it’s a foolish decision, both in terms of expense and health, but I’m still enough of a libertarian to allow people to make their own bad decisions.  The problem with cigarettes, though, is that the smoke doesn’t stay near the smoker.  If I’m in a room with you, and you’re smoking, I suddenly find myself enveloped in that foul smelling stuff, which makes me crazy.  Even when you leave the room, I can’t get rid of the smell, which has permeated my clothes, my hair and my skin.  I therefore don’t have a problem with San Francisco’s original smoking ban, which banned smoking in the workplace.  (SF Admin. Code, Appx. 8.)  The problem is that the Nanny City, not content with protecting me from your smoke (which I find reasonable), is now intent on protecting you from your smoke, which I find unreasonably intrusive.  Thus, a proposed new law would shut down smoking in the great outdoors too (among other venues within the City’s borders):

San Franciscans would see a bevy of more “no smoking” signs in The City if legislation introduced Tuesday is approved.

As The Examiner reported in November, Supervisor Eric Mar reignited the stalled legislation that would forbid smoking in a slew of new settings, adding to existing bans in bars, restaurants, parks, transit stops and taxis.

The bill would expand no-smoking zones to include farmers’ markets, outdoor seating areas of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops, and common areas of multiunit housing complexes.

Smokers would have to light up farther away from entrances, exits, windows and vents of all buildings. And smoking would only be allowed at the curb of sidewalks, streets and alleys. If there is no curb, smoking would be prohibited within 15 feet of entrances or exits, according to the bill.

Smokers also would have to be at least 20 feet from transit shelters, boarding areas and ticket lines, including those for cable cars.

The legislation would ban smoking while waiting in lines at ATMs, theaters, athletic events, concert venues and cab stands.

Another way in which the City makes life difficult for the law abiding is parking.  It costs two dollars an hour to park at a downtown meter, which means carrying around a lot of quarters.  The high cost is necessitated, in part, by the fact that the City has handed out so many handicapped parking waivers, many meters make no money at all.

As it happens, the insanely expensive meters are the least of the parking problem.  The City is also hell on wheels for parking because of all the signs.  I’ve driven down blocks that have six or seven different parking control signs per block.  Clipping along at 25 or 30 miles per hour, trying to read all the signs, it’s impossible to tell whether you’re going to be barred from parking by the sign limiting parking to residents, the sign limiting parking to businesses, the sign limiting parking to certain hours of the day or night, or the sign limiting parking to certain days of the week because of street cleaning.  Decoding the signs might eventually tell you that it’s okay to park on the northern end of the block, but woe betide you if, at the wrong hour of the day, you park at the southern end.  And all this doesn’t even count the signs hidden in untrimmed trees, so that you have to guess as to what they say.

As part of its relentless drive to purify itself into a “liberal” paradise, the City also keeps trying to outlaw guns (SF Admin. Code, Appx. 73), ban the Blue Angels, bar the military from San Francisco schools (SF Admin. Code, Appx. 74), shut down JROTC (although a few stalwarts have managed to hold the line), impeach Republican administrations (SF Admin. Code, Appx. 76), and generally work to shut down avenues of protection or expression for any but the most liberal residents.

San Francisco extends special protections to law-breakers

While piling law after law after law onto the already law-abiding, San Francisco goes out of its way to protect the law breaking.  It refuses to enforce laws against marijuana (SF Admin. Code sec. 12X), a bit of civil disobedience by the city that ensures that every drug dealer within miles views San Francisco as a sort of commercial Mecca.  Whether one believes anti-drug laws are a good thing or a bad thing, I think all reasonable people recognize that, when a single city carves itself out as a dealer’s paradise, it’s setting itself up for drug usage problems of a more serious kind.  The same guy who comes here peddling pot isn’t going to leave his harder drugs far behind, since he knows that the wise police officer will ignore everything rather than get into a politically correct wrangle.

More seriously, San Francisco refuses to enforce federal immigration laws.  It has classed itself as an official “City and County of Refuge.”  (SF Admin. Code, sec. 12H.)  The practical effect of this is that, in the City’s own words,

No department, agency, commission, officer or employee of the City and County of San Francisco shall use any City funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law or to gather or disseminate information regarding the immigration status of individuals in the City and County of San Francisco unless such assistance is required by federal or State statute, regulation or court decision.  (Sec. 12H.2.)

The City has effectively announced to the world that anyone whose first act upon entering America is to break American law is welcome in San Francisco.  As with the City’s refusal to enforce drug laws, people whose crimes go beyond “merely” entering the country illegally know that they are also welcome in San Francisco.  Anyone with half a brain (meaning no one on the SF Board of Stupidvisors) could have figured out that this sanctuary policy would end in tragedy.  The latest, and most horrible example, of the inevitable tragedy occurred when Edwin Ramos, who came to San Francisco illegally from El Salvador, committed a gangland murder against a father and his two sons, Anthony Bologna, 48, Michael Bologna, 20, and Matthew Bologna, 16, all three of whom were unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at Ramos’ time.  The real horror wasn’t even Ramos’ illegal status.  It was that the City knew about his illegal status and his criminal propensities, but did nothing because of the Sanctuary Law:

The case prompted public outcry after it emerged that Ramos was convicted of two gang-related felonies when he was 17, but local officials did not contact federal agencies to determine his immigration status.

The Bologna family — or, I should say, what’s left of it after Ramos’ massacre — is suing.  I wish them luck, but even a lawsuit won’t change the City’s progressive mindset, one that, as a matter of political ideology, elevates lawbreakers over the law-abiding.

When San Francisco does have laws aimed at making life better for the ordinary citizen, it ignores them.  Although it has an official ban against aggressive solicitation (SF Admin. Code, Appx. 25, 69, which the voters forced on the City), that ban is seldom enforced, and the failure to enforce occurs entirely for PC reasons.  For example, on an annual basis the local paper reports about the Hell that is Haight Ashbury, a miserable situation that results, in large part, because of the aggressive homeless:

Haight-Ashbury may be its own worst enemy. The neighborhood that hosted the Summer of Love 40 years ago has developed a nasty edge. Sleepy stoner panhandlers have given way to aggressive street punks who stand in the path of pedestrians and demand payment. Park Station police Capt. Teresa Barrett suggests watching “Haight Street” on YouTube to see the mind-set. One kid says if you have the money to shop on Haight, you’d damn well better kick in $20.

The problem with the Haight isn’t lack of funds, or lack of laws.  Instead, the neighborhood is besieged because of the “liberals” who have bought into the whole root cause ideology when it comes to crime.  These anarchic nanny staters are certain that the bad behaviors that distress the Haight’s residents and visitors alike are a result of the malefactors’ victim status, and have nothing to do with the fact that the City puts no brakes on crime and brutality:

But the city – particularly Haight-Ashbury – has clung to its image as understanding and tolerant. Attempts to install a sit/lie law that would prohibit camping on the sidewalk for hours at a time have gone nowhere. Too mean, too restrictive, critics say.

This kind of urban horror story isn’t limited to the Haight.  Golden Gate Park, which also never recovered from the Summer of Love, is periodically in the papers too, again because the Liberals in the City, unable to break away from the theory that the homeless are all victims who just need to be left alone,  just can’t bear to get tough on vagrancy, begging, and out-and-out crime.  Sure, there are the periodic crackdowns when things become too terrible to contemplate, but then the liberal cycle of letting “victim classes” run the show begins all over again.

Because the City relentlessly defines the drug addicts, alcoholics, and crazy people as victims who can’t be touched, these people live on the streets in filth, eating out of garbage cans, terrorizing ordinary citizens.  Whether riding BART, walking down Montgomery Street, trying to catch a show at the Orpheum on Market Street, visiting the public library, going to City Hall, or going to Costco, the law-abiding, taxpaying Average Joe is assaulted by smells, disease, aggressive begging and, sometimes, actual assaults.  Still, in liberal eyes, it’s the perpetrators, not the solid citizens, who are defined as victim.

San Francisco ignores existing decency laws to protect sexual “victim classes”

The last thing in my litany of complaints about San Francisco’s reverence for law breakers and burdens on law abiders is the special status it accords licentious behavior.  In theory, the City has an obligation to enforce laws supporting public decency.  These are the laws that ban public nudity and public sex acts.  In fact, because the violations of these laws are routinely committed by gay men, the City turns a blind eye to them.  In the City, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals are a protected class, and that means that they get to break laws with impunity.  Incidentally, what follows is not meant to be a tirade against homosexuality.  The fact is that most of San Francisco’s gays are not running around naked, peeing in the streets (and on each other), or having sex in public.  Only a small percentage are doing so — but the kicker is that they do so because the City lets them!  This is, therefore, a tirade against a City that refuses to enforce public decency laws because of political correctness.

I’m not going to pollute this post with pictures of the truly appalling orgies that routinely take place in San Francisco’s streets.  Zombie has created long photo essays showing the Folsom Street Fair, and the Dore Up Your Alley Fair, both of which involve, not just nudity, but some perverse sexual practices I bet some of you haven’t even heard of — and all of them take place out in the open, on public streets.  The police are present (Zombie documents them), but it is obvious that they are under orders not to interfere.

It is possible (although difficult) to argue that two street fairs, which take place in a limited number of blocks in a carefully defined neighborhood should be ignored.  It’s much more difficult to ignore public licentiousness that takes over a long-standing San Francisco tradition, and that drags nudity and bizarre sexual practices right into Golden Gate Park.  Last year, my family went to see the crowd at the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race — a race that was started 96 years ago to commemorate the San Francisco Earthquake and that, for many years, was a fairly straightforward race, starting at the Bay, traversing the City (including Golden Gate Park), and ending at the Pacific.  About a decade ago, it became an occasion at which San Franciscans celebrate their joie de vivre, with many of them turning the event into a giant costume party.  Having heard about the fun costumes, my husband and I thought it would be fun to take the kids.  Boy, were we wrong!

What’s interesting about San Franciscans is that, when they get into costume, so many of them opt, not for charm or cleverness, but for perversion. Of course that doesn’t go for 100% of the race’s participants. It probably applies to only about 3% of them — but 3% of 100,000 is still about 3,000 people parading through San Francisco’s streets and parks celebrating their peculiar sexual fantasies.

That’s why, within seconds of entering Golden Gate Park, my children were confronted with the fascinating spectacle of an aged gentleman who had wrapped rings around himself, hugely inflating his scrotum, which he then proceeded to shake at the crowd. In a normal environment, he would have been arrested. Here, he was just part of the scenery.

This man wasn’t the only naked one. There were lots of naked people. Probably 90% of them had embarrassingly ugly bodies. Why is it always those with the most avoirdupois, the most pendulous breasts, the most bizarrely tufted body hair, the most mottled skin, and the smallest penises who feel this peculiar compulsion to parade around well-attended public spots in the altogether?

Was it any surprise then, that it was these exhibitionists, despite the vast array of porta-potties, who also felt the irresistible compulsion to pee in the bushes?

There was also a lot of drinking, lots and lots.

So, in the space of a few very painful minutes, we were confronted with public nudity, public urination, and public drunkenness — and the cops did nothing.

I don’t blame the San Francisco police officers for doing nothing.  Most of them, I know, are family people who probably find the spectacle of public nakedness, drunkenness and urination as off-putting as you and I do.  The fact is that they do nothing because they are instructed to stand aside and let politically correct classes — in this case, people who get a kick out of deviant exhibitionism — do their own thing without fear of civil retribution.  The fact that ordinary people are assaulted by the sights and the filth is irrelevant because, in the New Age, crystal gazing, politically correct Progressive world of American Leftism, ordinary people count for nothing.  They exist to be taxed and controlled, so that the others can live free.

Conclusion

This has been a really long post — the longest, I think, that I have ever written.  I write it as a tocsin, warning Americans that there is nothing benign about American Leftism, and that it is even more dangerous than the nanny state some people seem willing to accept as the price of living in the modern world.  Because American leftists are as committed to elevating the rights of the criminals, the crazies and the perverts as they are to taxing, quashing and directing the middle and working classes, we can anticipate the worst of all possible worlds:  an America in which ordinary people live under totalitarian control and socialist taxation, while the worst elements in every society are allowed to run rampant.

Keep this in mind as you head to the polling place in 2010.

The law of unintended consequences

I don’t know if it’s a local, state or federal tax, but when I go into a restaurant that provides both eat-in and take-out services, I always order take-out, regardless of whether I plan to sit at one of their tables or hit the road.  Why?  Because the government imposes a tax on food that’s eaten on the premises.  I don’t know why.  But there you have it; that’s what the government does.  It’s common nowadays to sit at a restaurant and see people hunched over their foam containers at one table, while the unwary, paying a significant premium, sit at the next table eating off a plate.

What’s doubly funny about this stupid system is the fact that it ought to enrage the greenies.  You see, it creates vastly greater amounts of trash.  My plate doesn’t get rinsed and reused.  Instead, it goes straight into the garbage, expanding landfill use and requiring the constant creation of new disposable cups and plates.

My weekend, much of which was spent in San Francisco, has me thinking more than ever about government interference in day to day life, and all the costs, both obvious and hidden.  I’ve got a post slowly growing in my mind, but I don’t know how much I’ll be able to do with it.  I know I’m going to borrow heavily from the comments many of you left in my earlier post about the insanity that is San Francisco.

Open Thread

You know how, every holiday season, there’s that one weekend that is the busiest weekend of the whole year?  That’s my weekend.  We attended a show last night in the City, my son has a concert today in the City, we have a business dinner tonight on the Peninsula, tomorrow my son has another performance in the East Bay, and in the afternoon we have the pleasure of attending a friend’s open house (in Marin, thankfully).  Since about 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon, I haven’t had a minute to string a thought together.  All of these activities are nice — some, indeed, are very nice — but they stifle coherent thought.

The one thing that I can tell you have spending more time than I want in San Francisco (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), is that it has gone from being a nice, mostly working class city, to a City that is half anarchic, and half overregulated.  It is also a perfect example of liberal fascism at work:  law abiding citizens are regulated to death, to the point where one City block may have 8 or 10 parking signs, all spelling out different — and sometimes conflicting — information.  Meanwhile, the City supervisors refuse to allow police to pick up illegal aliens (some of whom are killers), contemplates “public sex tents” in the street, and generally allows complete license to the homeless and debauched.  I grew up in a liveable City.  It is now the worst of both worlds, thanks to the lust for governance that guides liberals, along with their passionate leniency for behaviors that are destructive and morally reprehensible.

Some liberals admit the $1.8 trillion health care takeover will not provide universal insurance

Liberals are very gung-ho for a health care bill that will see the government take over 1/6 of the American economy, that will dramatically raise taxes, that will (if all goes according to plan) destroy private sector insurance, that will force Americans to “buy” insurance or pay a penalty, that will force all Americans to fund abortions whether they believe abortions are murder or not,* that will not exclude illegal immigrants, and that will cost an estimated $1.8 trillion dollars over the next decade.  The justification for this economically back-breaking, totalitarian approach to health care is that the care will be universal.  Everyone in America will finally, at long last, be covered.  Except that they won’t.

You see, even liberals are admitting that this draconian, unbelievably expensive, revolutionary step towards socialism and away from the liberty that has long characterized America will not accomplish its stated goal, or at least it won’t at any time in the near future:

Health experts say it would be great if national health reform legislation would render San Francisco’s groundbreaking health program unnecessary – but they don’t see that happening anytime soon.

None of the bills under consideration in Congress promises to cover everyone living in the United States, leaving some people without coverage. Those include new immigrants who can’t afford coverage but are not yet eligible for public programs, low-income people who wouldn’t qualify for subsidies, and illegal immigrants.

These are among the groups of people who have health coverage under Healthy San Francisco.

[snip]

With Healthy San Francisco, which began in July 2007, San Francisco became the first city in the country to guarantee basic health services for its uninsured residents. Eligibility is not based on immigration, employment or health status.

Now covering some 43,000 San Franciscans, it is paid for by a combination of state and city money, patient co-payments and fees from employers who don’t provide health insurance for their workers.

[snip]

The proposals in the House and Senate include expansions to the Medicaid program, particularly for low-income childless adults who currently don’t qualify for Medicaid.

But “depending on which proposal gets passed, there are still going to be a significant number of people who won’t be insured,” said Jean Fraser, former chief executive officer of the San Francisco Health Plan who is now in charge of the San Mateo County Health System.

Even if a federal law requires people to have health care, illegal immigrants won’t be included and some people will choose not to purchase it or won’t be able to afford coverage.

These include people who may find it cheaper to pay a fee or fine than buy health insurance, said Lucien Wulsin Jr., director of the Insure the Uninsured Project in Santa Monica. He added that some may seek and receive hardship waivers, exempting them from the mandate.

Read the rest here.

In other words, no matter which $1.8 trillion plan is passed, and no matter how much our taxes are raised, and no matter how many working Americans are forced at gunpoint to buy a product they don’t want, there still won’t be universal insurance.  Even worse, if I read the above correctly, the Progressives in San Francisco are planning on making sure that gainfully employed San Francisco residents get stuck with a treble socialized medicine burden:  they will have to pay for it at the federal, state and local level.  Which leaves one wondering how many gainfully employed San Francisco residents will still exist in the hear future.

____________________________

*I have to add here that my understanding is that the House bill removed the abortion funding provision, while the Senate bill has it prominantly displayed.  I believe that, if both houses of Congress finally pass a health care bill, abortion will be included, either directly or indirectly.

Protest on Nancy Pelosi’s home turf, San Francisco, November 15, noon ’til 4 *UPDATED*

To protest against the Healthcare Bill, instead of a 60s sit-in, Bay Area Patriots will be having a

“SICK-IN”

We are sick to death of being ignored;

We are sick to death over what the Health Care bill will do to us and our children;

We are sick to death having this govt intrude on our G-d given liberties;

This Health Care Bill sickens us all;

This Health Care Bill is Gonna Kill Us!

When: Sunday, November 15th

Time: 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm

Note: We will be setting up, chatting, meeting one another and selling merchandise from 12:00 until 1:00 when the SICK- IN will officially start. Amplified sound needs to stop by 3:00. We can hang around until 4:00 but without amplified sound.

Place: Adjacent to Justin Herman Plaza, the Embarcadero, San Francisco. Technically, at the South Lawn Music Concourse (between Steuert and the Embarcadero/Mission and Market).

When you face the Ferry Building and are standing at Justin Herman Plaza, it is directly to your right…a rectangular patch of grass! If you Google Justin Herman Plaza, click on satellite image and move the cursor to the right, you can see it clear as day.

You can take the Ferry or BART or drive and park.

What to bring:

· Signs

· BAP shirts if you have them…otherwise red…

· Crutches, slings, walkers, wheelchairs, bandages for around your head…whatever you can bring that is simple and easy to make you look sick…we will do some filming so we can prepare a video called “Killer” to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. Be ready to line up and look like a sick ghoul or zombie…masks are discretionary…looking like regular sick folk is just fine.

· We will use quiet time to work: Be prepared to send and write letters to senators, thanking the reps who voted against the bill, and letting the reps who voted for the bill know how we feel about that. We’ll try to have some computers set up so you can BLAST FAX them as well.

· Bring your sense of humor, determination and patriotism.

RSVP: to Sally at sallyzel@comcast.net

Please spread the word…and bring friends…as the weather gets more challenging it will be more difficult to have these outdoor tea parties.

We will be selling T-shirts ($15-$20), tote bags ($5), bumper stickers ($3) and wrist bands ($2). All proceeds help defray the costs associated with the tea parties. Thanks for your support during these very difficult economic and emotional times.

UPDATE:  The above text comes directly from Bay Area Patriots.  This is me, Bookworm, speaking:  We all had a lot of adrenalin going in August.  People all over the country were attending Tea Parties, and it was tremendously exciting to be part of a mass movement.  Now, the days are shorter, the air is colder, and Nancy ignored us completely.  It’s as if the air got sucked out of our protest balloon.  That’s a significant problem because we conservatives and independents, unlike liberals, are not practiced or professional protesters.  We don’t roll out of bed every morning and grab the Marxist signs that live perpetually in the back of our closets.  Instead, we need to be fired up and now  we’re not only not fired up, we’re demoralized.

All of which makes it that much more important for us to dig within ourselves and find the energy to holler out “NO!” to a bill that will bankrupt our economy, insert the government in every area of our lives, destroy our medical system, criminalize us for not purchasing a product and, for those pro-Lifers amongst you, inevitably mean that you bankroll abortions.

As for me, I love the idea of the first resounding NO taking place on Nancy Pelosi’s home turf.  I live with the Pelosis of this world and I understand how they feel about a rally in Wichita — they don’t care, because fly-over country is made up of hicks.  (If you doubt me, just cast your mind back to Obama’s insulting speech about Pennsylvanians, whom he includes within the fly-over country category.)  A rally at home, a massive, charged up, in your face rally at home, shakes the liberal politicians, because it upsets their world view.

One more thing:  Please, please, please, if you show up, keep your signs and your slogans focused tightly on the health care bill.  A reality in our world is a hostile mainstream media, and one “Hitleresque” sign will occupy 100% of the media’s focus.  No one outside of the protesters themselves will see the hundreds of straightforward, or brilliant, or witty signs directed at the insanity that is the Pelosi/Obama health care bill.  I viscerally appreciate that it might feel good for you, personally, to vent your spleen, but it’s a short lived pleasure, with long term negative consequences for a very, very important issue.

Conservatives in San Francisco protest Barack Obama

The news coverage about protests against Barack Obama during his visit to October 15 San Francisco visit was a bit lethargic.  It’s just not as much fun, I guess, when the protesters aren’t bad-mouthing Bush or pretending to be waterboarded.  However, I can offer you two offsets to that colorless coverage:  A great article from Sally Zelikovsky, one of the lead organizers in the Bay Area, and this video:

Remember, even in wacky San Francisco, people are quickly become fed-up.

San Francisco media pretty much ignores conservative anti-Obama protesters and focuses on his discontented base *UPDATED*

I happen to know, because I gave notice here at this blog and because I’m in touch with the organizers, that large numbers of conservatives and independents were planning on protesting Barack Obama’s appearance in San Francisco.  I also know, again because I noted it here, that Obama was afraid to show his face in San Francisco, not because of conservatives, but because of his own base’s disappointment with his policies.

While Charles Krauthammar points out that Obama’s base is largely irrelevant politically, because they have nowhere else to go, and it’s unlikely that we’ll again see a hardcore Leftist in the White House (barring a coup), Obama knows that community organizers enjoy protest for protest’s sake, and are likely to savage him for the fun of it.  In other words, having a Leftist base is like holding a tiger by the tail.  Even if it’s your pet tiger, if you let go, it will turn on you and savage you.

The result of the Left’s feral disposition is that you end up with exactly what Obama feared — a president being vigorously protested by his own base.  And that’s precisely what happened in San Francisco, creating a man bites dog story that led on the local media.  (See here too.)

That conservatives and independents were there protesting, possibly in the tens of thousands, was completely irrelevant.  The only thing that fascinated the media was that the same hysterics who dogged the arch-enemy, George Bush, were also there complaining about the Obamessiah.

Of course, the media’s obsession with the whiny Left means that Bay Area dwellers have been left completely ignorant of the fact that enormous numbers of conservatives belied their staid reputation and took to the streets in protest.

UPDATEToday’s SF Chronicle coverage does the same:  downplays the protests, and focuses all its energy on the Code Pink stuff.

Peaceful, polite, focused protest against President Obama in San Francisco

If you’re ticked off about the Senate Committee vote on health care on Tuesday, and worried about what’s coming up next,

TELL THAT TO PRESIDENT OBAMA!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Powell across from Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
Around 5:00 pm

Bring signs but, please, keep them focused on the issue, which is that the health care plan is a double-whammy that has the potential to destroy both our economy and a health care program that provides excellent care to the vast majority of legal Americans.

Do not bring inflammatory signs that personally attack Obama, because you just know that, while regular Americans are interested in the issues, the media cares only about sliming anyone who opposes Obama.  What this means is that the nasty signs will appear on TV sets, and in magazines and newspapers, obscuring an important message and cheapening the TEA Party brand.

(If the plans for the protest change, I’ll provide updates at this post, so feel free to check in again.)

Two murders, two prosecutors, two proposed outcomes

Earlier this year, San Joaquin County was horribly shaken when 8-year old Sandra Cantu was kidnapped and murdered.  It was even more shaken when it turned out that the murdering rapist was a woman.  The San Joaquin County prosecutor’s office today announced that it would seek the death penalty against Melissa Huckaby, the woman charged with the murder:

San Joaquin County prosecutors will ask for the death penalty for the Sunday school teacher accused of raping and murdering an 8-year-old playmate of her daughter in Tracy, authorities said Thursday.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was indicted in July on a murder charge and three special circumstances in the death of Sandra Cantu – including that she killed during the commission of a rape – that make her eligible for execution if convicted. Huckaby was also accused of sexually assaulting a child younger than 10.

The decision to seek lethal execution was made by District Attorney James Willett, who consulted with attorneys in his office as well as Sandra’s family, authorities said.

Last year, in San Francisco, a gang member allegedly shot to death a father and his two sons.  The killing was a cold-blooded hit, that was meant to target rival gang members and instead destroyed a family.  Edwin Ramos, the man charged with the killings, goes on trial soon.  The San Francisco County prosector’s office today announced that it would not seek the death penalty against Ramos:

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris will not seek the death penalty for an alleged gang member accused of murdering a father and two of his sons, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The announcement in San Francisco Superior Court means that Edwin Ramos will at most serve life in prison without parole if convicted of the June 22, 2008, slayings of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16.

The decision is in keeping with Harris’ campaign promise never to seek the death penalty. There had been speculation, however, that with Harris running for state attorney general next year, she might shift direction in an especially notorious crime.

Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman put an end to that speculation in court Thursday. “We will not seek the death penalty in this case,” he told Judge Charles Haines.

I was in San Francisco yesterday.  It felt like being in a third world country.  The citizens dress in rags (although I think it’s a fashion statement), the streets are filthy and pot-holed, the lights at 30% of the intersections were broken, and the traffic was as chaotic as it is in Algiers or Tijuana.  Will the citizens ever wise up and elect conservative politicians or is it in an irremediable death spiral?

When liberals don’t like the courts

Conservatives have spent years railing at the liberal propensity to by-pass the legislative process and head straight for the courts.  It turns out, though, that there are situations in which liberals prefer to avoid the court all together — and will take legislative action to try to avoid it.  Those situations arise when a decades old murder trial might implicate some of the President’s friends.

The background here is a bit complicated, so stick with me.  In 1970, a bomb exploded at the Park Police Station in Francisco, wounding several people and killing one police officer, Brian McDonnell.  The most likely suspects were members of the Weather Underground.  If that name seems familiar to you, it should.  The Weather Underground was, of course, Bill Ayers’ and Bernadine Dohrn’s domestic terrorism creation.

In 1971, another police officer, Sgt. John Young, got killed in an attack on the Ingleside Police station.  That murder remained unsolved until 2007.  In that year, things suddenly changed:

Interest in the incident was reignited in 2007 after federal prosecutors charged a group of alleged former Black Liberation Army members in the 1971 murder of San Francisco police Sgt. John Young at the Ingleside Station in San Francisco.

The grand jury that investigated the Ingleside case also looked at the Park Station bombing. But the results of the probe were not released. No one has ever been charged with McDonnell’s death.

Although Ayers denied any connection between the two bombings, an informant claims that there is indeed a connection:

But Larry Grathwohl, a former FBI informant, who infiltrated the Weather Underground in the 1970s rejected Mr. Ayers characterization of nonlethal bombings of buildings and police stations.

“That’s simply not true,” he said during Thursday’s press conference. He claimed that the [1970] bombing was allegedly done by Bill Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn.

Mr. Ayers has repeatedly denied any involvement in the bombing. He has called Mr. Grathwohl a “paid dishonest person” in a newspaper interview.

But Mr. Gratwohl insists that Ms. Dorn was involved and said he has testified under oath to this. He said in early 1970, Mr. Ayers visited him and other operatives in Buffalo, N.Y., and said Mr. Dohrn had been forced to plant the bomb at Park Station because others were not active enough in committing violence. Mr. Ayers also knew the composition of the bomb and where it had been set.

The possible connection between the two cases — two Left wing groups bombing two police stations in two consecutive years — means there is a chance that, during a trial against the BLA members for the 1971 murder, something might come out implicating the Weather Underground and Bill Ayers in the 1970 murder.  And it’s a really, really bad thing when the President’s good buddy, the man in whose living room he started his political career, turns out to be at the center of a cop killing.

All of which gets us to today’s story.  This coming Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Stupidvisors is going to vote on a resolution calling for the Feds to drop the case against the seven members of the “San Francisco 8″ for the 1971 murder of Sgt. John Young:

The full Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on a controversial resolution calling on the state to drop charges against seven men accused of murder in the death of a San Francisco police sergeant in 1971 — a measure that has angered current and former police officers to no end.

The resolution, authored by Supervisor Eric Mar and co-sponsored by supervisors Ross Mirkarimi, Sophie Maxwell and Chris Daly, urges Attorney General Jerry Brown questions how evidence was obtained and urges Brown too drop the case entirely.  [Sic]  The resolution contends that the only evidence in Sgt. John Young’s murder case was obtained through torture, and that “the case was reopened based on questionable claims of ‘new’ evidence.”

As you can imagine, San Francisco’s police department is very upset about the Stupidvisor’s proposal. Some San Franciscan’s are upset too.  Here are excerpts from just a few of the reader comments:

Hey…BOS [Board of Stupidvisors] and Mar, Mirkarimi, Maxwell and Daly in particular…WHAT do you think you are doing? If there is any “wrong doing” or “ill-gotten” evidence in this case, it WILL come out in a court of law.

***

It is not the job of the BoS to acquit someone of murder charges or to make public proclamations that they should be acquitted based on ignorance of the evidence. If my supervisor comes to my house and I throw him in my trash, will I get fined because he’s compostable?

***

It is not the job of the BoS to acquit someone of murder charges or to make public proclamations that they should be acquitted based on ignorance of the evidence. If my supervisor comes to my house and I throw him in my trash, will I get fined because he’s compostable?

Most of the 29 comments left (so far) are in the same vein.

Many of the comments attribute the Stupidvisor’s attitude to the kneejerk Progressive hatred for cops and its passion for politically motivated cop killers.  (Does the name Mumia Abu-Jamal ring any bells?) As I said at the beginning of this post, though, I think this one goes deeper.  While liberals generally kind of fancy politically Left murderers (“Tookie” Williams, anyone?), I don’t recall the Board of Stupidvisors ever before getting between a defendant and someone charged with murdering a police officer.

The difference here is that the trial has dangerous implications for President Obama.  Much as liberals adore having the courts make public policy, they fear the fallout when criminal courts are charged with finding facts.  And so you have the unedifying spectacle of a local legislative body trying to short circuit a criminal trial against men against of murdering a police officer, just because there is the faint possibility that the trial could prove embarrassing to the President of the United States.

Nature: agile and aggressive

I was down at San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf the other day, waiting for a ferry.  While there, I admired the sea lions sunning themselves on the wooden rafts off of Pier 39.  They’re a great local and tourist attraction.  Very smelly, but very amusing. I had my iPhone so I took an indistinct picture.  The blurry brown things are the sea lions:

These wooden rafts, of course, weren’t built for sea lions.  They were built for boats and, in fact, there are some operative slips a few feet away from the ones that the sea lions coopted.  Here’s a picture, which shows the area just to the left of the Sea Lion hangout, with boats:

The point, of course, is that, environmentalists to the contrary, nature is adaptive and resilient.  Yes, humans can push too hard and destroy things entirely (think wooly mammoths), but the fact is that nature, for the most part, is willing, anxious and able to take over.  Our task, most (although certainly not all) of the time, isn’t to stop ourselves from destroying nature.  It’s to stop nature from destroying us.

And if you don’t believe me, check out Laer’s post for more on raw nature’s ability to adapt and survive.

Good news for San Francisco’s JROTC

Despite the fact that it is a voluntary organization, that the costs to the school system are minimal, and that the kids who join it do well in school and are exemplary citizens, San Francisco’s hostility to the JROTC knows no bounds, and the school system has done its best to destroy the organization.  One brave San Francisco assembly person, however, is taking a stand against this very City-style lunacy, and things are going well so far:

A proposal to force the San Francisco Unified School District to keep the Junior Reserves Officers’ Training Corps program cleared its first hurdle Wednesday as it passed through an Assembly committee.

The legislation, authored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, would specifically require San Francisco public schools to offer JROTC to students in grades nine through 12 and would overturn the decision of the school board to eliminate the program.

“We acknowledge that, in the general course of events, state government should not dictate programs to local districts, but we have plenty of case law that tells us the state is legally responsible for our schools and that the locally elected school board members are caretakers,” Ma told the Assembly Education Committee.

She placed significant emphasis on the passage of Proposition V in November, a resolution urging the school board to retain JROTC that passed with 55 percent of the vote.

Ma said the school board members who will not reconsider are “refusing to uphold the will of the voters.”

“Three renegade school board members are playing games with the lives of our students,” she said at the hearing, where scores of students from San Francisco high schools testified in support of the measure.

Fiona Ma definitely gets kudos for the day.

A surprising moment of sanity from San Francisco

Last year, I blogged repeatedly about the gross debauchery that characterized San Francisco’s Bay to Breaker’s race, a race run through public streets and ending up in ostensibly family-friendly Golden Gate Park.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who was shocked and disgusted.  This year, both the City and the race’s sponsors are banning beer and nudity, which should go a long way to stemming the X-rated revelry that permeated this event.  Unsurprisingly, the social anarchists, those who live to lower societal standards, are outraged.

Incidentally, this is the kind of trickle-down effect you get when society lets down its guard, and allows people to engage in behavior that is demeaning or debauched:

Low-cut dresses and wild, explicit “freak dancing” at a recent formal has prompted Sir Francis Drake High School to ban school-sponsored dances.”After our experiences at the Winter Formal É it has become evident that we can no longer guarantee the ‘safe and healthy’ aspects of our school dances for all students,” Principal Don Drake wrote in a Feb. 2 letter to parents.

[snip]

At the Jan. 30 event, held at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Club, chaperones found students “performing lap dances,” a stall door ripped from its hinges in the boys’ bathroom and a used condom on the dance floor. The 16 adult chaperones also heard rumors that some of the students had attended the dance high on ecstasy and prescription drugs.

It’s no surprise to learn, too, that some of the students are complaining — although I bet there is a significant number of students, mainly girls, who are secretly happy that the administration has acted to protect them from uncomfortable situations.  What is a surprise, though, is the fact that some parents are complaining too.  What in the world kind of parents think it’s okay for their children to simulate sex on a dance floor?