[h. brown's column appears in this space
by h. brown
100 years from now, dear heart,
we'll neither know nor care …
what came of all life's bitterness …
or followed love's despair.
100 years from now dear heart,
the race will all be run. …
The glasses we turn down today,
we’ll be empty then … as they.
So fill the glasses up again …
and kiss me through the rose leaf rain.
We'll build one castle more in Spain …
and dream one more dream there.
– Identify the poet?
City Hall was great this week, and I'll get around to
that. But first there are other far more important matters to share with
you. As I hammer at my fading keys & watch the sun set out my friend's
window overlooking Leavenworth, with my cat CC snuggled atop the monitor
(tail draped down, mid-screen), CC's sister Naomi is curled in the tight
tuck of a sleek diver, frozen in the sleep of contentment in an
adjoining chair & Ariel Sharon is in a jet doing 700 miles per hour
roaring across the Atlantic away from talks of peace, rocketing toward
actions that could destroy us all within hours.
In a prescient moment yesterday, financier Warren Buffet
predicted the inevitable explosion of a nuclear weapon within the
boundaries of the United States. If it were only so simple. Here is the
likelihood of what will actually happen. Here is what you should be
ready to do, if it does. It is called “The Samson Option” and it is more
real then your worst nightmare.
The Samson Option
Syria's Golan Heights are about as far away from
downtown Tel Aviv as the Berkeley Hills are from San Francisco. A lob
for even a very weak rocket. Israel is incredibly small and her
population is concentrated mostly in a few urban areas. Both the
Israelis and the Palestinians have been massacred and driven from this
tiny area many times over the last 4,000 years. This time, the
destruction is likely to escalate to world-wide dimensions.
The Israelis have several dozen nuclear weapons. When
the first weapon destroys Tel Aviv, a great cheer will arise in Arab
capitals from Cairo to Damascus. Hamas, Al Qaeda, the Syrians & a host
of other Muslim armies will begin to gather to complete their cherished
dream of pushing the Israelis into the sea. They won't have time.
Blinding flashes, core temperatures of 100 million
degrees, and winds reaching hundreds of miles an hour will radiate from
the center of dozens of Israeli nuclear weapons. Mecca will be only a
distant memory. Every single major Arab population center will be
Then, it gets worse. You see, Phase Two of this plan
calls for an Israeli attack upon the Soviet Union. Which is no more.
Doesn't matter. Both World War I and World War II were begun with
outmoded plans. Russia will have to do.
Without enough weapons to completely destroy the
Germans, French & British, the plan calls for the Israelis to use
Russian missiles for the job. After the first five or six Israeli
nuclear weapons descend upon Russian population centers, the Russians
will reprogram their rockets and fire. It is all they know how to do.
Like the German army in WWI. When Franz Ferdinand was murdered & the
Germans mobilized, they only had one mobilization plan & it involved
gathering behind a pincer movement headed into Belgium.
The Russian reprogramming will be detected by the
Americans, who will be left with no option but to take out every Russian
missile they can hit. At distances of up to 7,000 miles. (This is all
true) The missiles from the Dakotas will take 45 minutes to reach
Moscow. The giant Trident II submarines operating in the North Atlantic
and the Bering Sea will have short sling-shot “decapitation” throws that
can be completed in fifteen minutes or less. The Indians will destroy
the Pakistanis. The Americans will obliterate North Korea & any
remaining Arab capability will fall to 6th Fleet missiles
within the first two hours. France & England will join in the attack
upon Russia if they can do so before the first SS-25s land in Paris and
upon Trafalgar Square.
It is not recorded exactly how many people the biblical
Samson took with him. This modern Samson will kill from 300 to 500
million people within 90 minutes. Surviving submarines and silos will
deliver death for days more. And it still will not be over. Both the
Russians and Americans have elements of their strategic arsenal who will
not fire. They are called the “Strategic Reserve.” Their job is to
provide the hammer for negotiations when the war finally ends.
Guess who will then be the most powerful nation on
Here's what you should do
You'll need to stay bundled in your house for seven days
(if you are lucky? enough to survive). Do not leave the house at all!
Lay in enough bottled water for that period. Buy six or eight rolls of
duct tape to seal your windows & doors in the room you choose as a
bunker. Stock it with flashlights (plenty of batteries), portable radios
(there will be plenty of surviving stations), lots of matches, lighters
& a couple of cartons of cigarettes. All of these items will be worth
more than gold when you emerge. Make arrangements to, as the Turks say,
"play with your shit" for a week.
Your chances after a week are slim but you can survive.
You'll only be able to stay out of doors for an hour and your ONLY
mission that week will be to find water. Send one person at a time &
have them direct others when they return. Gather water from the backs of
toilet tanks & any cans or bottles that are INDOORS. Standing water can
be harvested in an emergency by covering a cup with your hand and
plunging it BELOW the surface of the pool. Oddly, radiation pretty much
floats. Remain inside a second week. During that week, you'll have seven
safe hours outdoors. This time, gather water & seek weapons. The third
week … you'll have a day to clear the blast area. And test yourself … in
the “brave new world.”
On a lighter note
San Francisco Board of Supervisors president Tom Ammiano
has gone so far to the right that I'm expecting him to start dating some
of Da Mayor's old girls. This week he voted to continue allowing Sprint
& its cohorts to continue radiating your children ("Can you hear me?").
He also voted to stamp out this newspaper (hey, we're still a newspaper,
even if we are having a temporary “out of pulp” experience – we're 150
years old!). He did this by voting to give control of the distribution
of newsracks within the downtown area (l-o-o-s-e-l-y defined –
“downtown” is everything from the bay to Berry and from the bay to Polk
or maybe Van Ness) to a right-wing media giant called Clear Channel,
which gobbles & censors media outlets like a putrid melanoma. That's
cool with Tom. Hey, I didn't expect this guy to ever become GI Joe (or
even desire to be) but he used to fight for things. I guess the more
power these guys get, the blander they get. He's starting to act a lot
like Gray Davis.
Tom not alone
Before Monday's Board meeting, there was a rally on the
front stairs of Willie's palace. Jeff Perlstein, who runs Media
Alliance, sent out a call (as in SF Call!) to all of the small
publications that are likely to be shut out of distribution in the core
population areas. Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the SF Bay View, spoke
of having his City Hall reporter, Marie Harrison, evicted from the press
room at City Hall by the major publications who suck corporate butt.
Publication after publication stepped forward and called for support.
Surprising to me, by his presence, was Guardian publisher Bruce Brugmann,
who spoke powerfully to the gathered about-to-be-exiled, agreeing to
renegotiate a distribution system that actually favored his publication.
Maybe I misjudged the guy.
No nevermind. I managed to insult him & compliment him
anyway. Hey, it's my style. Call publisher Betsey Culp did not speak but
stopped me from getting my ass kicked by a big black cop who came to
support Tammy Haygood. (I may be poor, but I'm far from bored.)
Only supervisors Chris Daly and Matt Gonzalez of the
supposedly “progressive” board bothered to come speak for free speech. 3rd
District supervisor Aaron Peskin hurried by the gathering with a smirk.
Corporate shill Nate Nayman stood scowling beyond the edge of the crowd.
Freedom of speech lost 8-3 because Ammiano, Peskin,
Maxwell, Leno & McGoldrick again backed away from a lawsuit as they did
when threatened by the Shorenstein et al 85 million dollar extortion of
last year, the Muni Cayman Islands rich man's tax shelter (you take the
risk) & numerous other items of the past months.
McGoldrick first spoke glowingly of the independent
press, saying, "The old box mounts represent the unencumbered democratic
process." Then he voted against free press. Mark Leno – who later made
(in my opinion) the most eloquent comments of his board tenure in
defending every gay person on earth against the horrid insults the
Catholic church has lately heaped upon them – Leno had no trouble voting
to keep the Call out of the downtown area. Only Daly, Gonzalez &
Sandoval supported free press. It's odd. The Fang and Hearst press calls
this board “progressive” but these are the only three members who
consistently vote against developers and corporate interests & Sandoval,
too, often forgets who brought him to the dance.
Hey, you didn't lose completely. You get 450 new
billboards out of the deal. Lighted ones! Just what you wanted, huh?
Apologies to Victor Hwang
You don't wanna get in the face of someone with the
strength & temper of Rules chair Tony Hall. Gerardo Sandoval has done it
a number of times and it cost the city a potentially great Ethics
commissioner. 10 years as a public-interest attorney. Award winner from
the Asian-American Bar Association. Stalwart of the Asian Law Caucus.
Candidate for a five-member commission that has no Asians in a town that
is over 30 percent Asian.
We lost the guy because Sandoval first tried to ram his
own candidate through. "I knew him" was Sandoval's explanation as to why
the only initial candidate (his) should have been appointed with no
opposition. Failing that, Sandoval spent a month smearing the Latino (I
guess, named Garcia!) independent candidate finally recommended to the
board by the committee. When the nomination was returned to committee, 1st
District supe Jake McGoldrick beat the bushes and came up with a real
winner. Victor Hwang.
Too bad Sandoval had already kicked Hall in the ass.
Always a bad move. In the end, Sandoval jumped on Garcia's winning float
& left Hwang standing alone with McGoldrick.
We will see Victor Hwang again. He was the best
candidate by far.
EVERONE is a racist
Ousted Department of Elections Director Tammy Haygood
sent some more goons down to try & help her get back the keys to the
ballot boxes & secret chambers (what they got hid there?). A sad lot.
Most notable were Fred (kiss of death) Hobson & some black guy who said,
"I belong to 40 organizations!" He must work less than me. The brother
didn't even wait to get to his speech for Haygood to play the race card.
He thundered that making him wait in line to speak was "racist!"
Maybe so. Maybe so. Whatryagonnadooo??
for nothin' & the chicks are free:
Watching City Hall
by h. brown
A heart—how shall I say?— too soon made glad.
Too easily impressed: she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
– Robert Browning
John Bovio is one hell of a painter. He has a small
gallery at 547 Valencia chucked full of an amazing collection of
canvases. His style reminds me of the Max Beckman oils I used to stare
at long ago in the St. Louis Art Museum. Intensely revealing
portrait/caricatures that run to the full size of the subject and
KPOO's Diamond Dave stood before his own likeness at
Bovio's new show at City Hall in 5th District supe Matt
Gonzalez's office and gazed. And gazed. I stood across the crowded room
and watched Dave watch Dave.
There was a fairly good sized bird sitting on Dave's
shoulder. In the picture. "What do you think he's thinking?" ventured a
friend. "That's easy," I countered. "He's seeing himself 6' tall for the
first time." (Dave's about my size, which is closer to 5'.)
Lotsa birds in the show too. John said it came from an
incident in his childhood when a bird flew in the house & his
grandfather chased it around with a broom & he chased after his
grandfather. Ask him to tell it to you. It was a hell of an opening.
Supervisor Matt does his bit to make up for disappearing
gallery & performance space by showing city artists' labors upon the
walls of the
fabulously redecorated City Hall. Thanks Willie, for
keeping the light wells. There were flamenco dancers performing before a
large crowd of mostly Hispanics in one as we left. It was enchanting.
Gonzalez also hosts poetry readings in his office.
Mixing poets & artists and their friends with the bass-playing politico
and his compadres creates a mix that can reach reception Nirvana.
These are not just the “lefties” you might expect. I
always look above the crowd to locate 7th District supe Tony
Hall. There he is! Over by 8th District supe Mark Leno. We
clasp hands in genuine good will despite the fact that I've done a dozen
negative satirical pieces about him. Rugged Hollywood looks and the
hard-bodied grip of the former world-class athlete and coach that he is.
The man could be mayor easily.
We chat briefly. He is sponsor for the HOPE initiative
promoting tenant purchase of their units, which I oppose for its details
but not concept. Gonzalez has sponsored the Community Land Trust
approach to achieve tenant unit purchases, which I support for its
details. I've watched these two guys spend hundreds of hours in the
Rules Committee, crafting and compromising to bring us winning election
day propositions. I kibitzed with a City Hall insider. He agreed: "I
think anything the two of them could support together couldn't lose in
The party flowed around us as Hall took his leave to go
speak before some seniors at On Lok. The political hack in me watched
him work his way to the door. Hmmmm. Friday night & not only is he still
working but he's working the right demographic and he's sincere. He's
just the kind of guy you want in the foxhole next to you & the last you
want to oppose. The flow of the party erased the tall supervisor’s trail
as he disappeared.
Little bunches of the most beautiful women on earth
thread their way through the crowd, sprinkling awe without trying. There
is an appropriate gaggle of male (& female) admirers around an amazingly
provocative petite blonde standing in the corner. I clasp the elbow of
Phil Benziger, the lean & lanky pirate radio spore out of Berkeley & use
our conversation as an excuse to get closer to the radiating little fox.
She has a small tattoo in Chinese characters perched upon a lithe
shoulder blade like one of Bovio's birds. "Whatcha think it says?"
speculates Phil. "I hope it says 'Yes!' in Esperanto," I reply.
It gets better. She has another tattoo just visible in a
semi-circle atop the cleavage of her perfect derriere. The hip huggers
she's wearing have everyone dying to decipher the mystery. Never one to
beat around the bush, I inquire innocently: "What's it say on your
butt?" Every straight, gay & bi within a radius of 20' leaned to hear
the answer. "It says: 'Follow your dream,'" she replied. Two guys and a
butch chick fainted.
To flee or pee?
I'm often not very nice in my columns to politicos and
their minions. No, not nice at all. Now, sooner or later, if you even
partially do your job as a City Hall reporter, you have to go to City
Hall. There it is. No way around it. I always wonder if one of these
people I've been trying to render to metaphorical soap is going to pull
a dagger out of their toga & go for my aging ass. Surprisingly (with the
exception of Aaron Peskin), they've proven to have more than adequate
self-esteem & humor to not only weather my slashes but even … laugh!
I spotted 1st District supe Jake McGoldrick
holding court before a double panel of Bovio's craft (if you need a
centerpiece of art to re-decorate a room around, grab a Bovio – they're
all at least 6' high & the multiple panel pieces run out to 4' or more,
a powerful effect). There was McGoldrick, whom I've lampooned like a
school boy doing graffiti. Like the rest of them, I've seen him under
pressure. Verbose. Funny. Self-effacing. But with an occasional flare of
the old country temper. I was a little askairt.
I started to head the other way but he was standing by
the table where a friend of Tamara (the 7th) Ribas had gathered a
bottled array of the best wine in town. I slunk low to the floor like a
free-range (I prefer that to the term “homeless“) journalist/jackal
darting to & fro around a ripe carcass & took my chances that Professor
McGoldrick didn't know h. brown from da man in da moon. I recalled what
my best friend's roommate said (Melisa Howard – broke her foot in last
week's column doing a Russian dance). Melisa said she knew Jake's
daughter's (Lauren) who knew her best friend Vicki who was a best friend
of hers. Anyway, she said he was real, real nice. I took my chances.
They were all correct. Thank you, Lord.
It's kind of like talking to Santa Claus without the
beard. "I don't go online," noted big Jake. He immediately started being
nice to ME! Whatryagonnadoo? He said he caught occasional pieces I'd
done & related to the others enjoying his wit the jest of a two-part
column in which I mimicked the theme of a popular TV show & imagined the
outcome of a contest between the supervisors & mayor competing in an
urban “Survivors” contest to see who'd get voted out each week. (Hmmmm,
might be time for an update on that one.) That kind of flattery & good
humor will get you everywhere with me.
I searched for Leno. He'd gone. I huddled back with
Gonzalez to yap about an idea Green Party wonk Kimberley Knox had come
up with. How's about extending the mayor's Poet Laureate program to
include visual artists (like John Bovio – 547 Valencia gallery) & maybe
(using no public funds but lotsa city building space where there is
heavy foot traffic) get corporate or individual sponsorship for stipends
& shows and … on … and … on. Gonzalez liked it. Loved it! Hell, he was
already doing it. We were standing upon the site of just such an effort.
He promised to bring the idea to the board. Imagine that … Willie & the
Board working together to support, honor & perpetuate painters &
sculptors … Maybe … maybe … maybe …
I have a Master's in Special Ed. I've worked with some
seriously troubled individuals. I like them anyway. Frederick Hobson is
Hobson & I have so much in common it is embarrassing. We
both work around powerful people. Occasionally blasting them.
Let me get to the point. Hobson likes to play up to
powerful people, then stab them in the back just to get attention for
himself. He is a meticulous manipulator and he often hurts innocent
people whom he sets up as unknowing shills. In my short time on the SF
political scene, I've watched the guy repeat the routine several times.
He's blind-sided Ammiano & Chris Daly. He ceaselessly harassed 6th
District activist Michael Nulty.
It is to the point that ANYONE seen in this guy's
company gets marked immediately. True. True. I've seen Hobson sort
through complex notification requirements involving appointment to
public commissions. To try and invalidate an appointment to whatever
commission. Even when the appointee was the ONLY applicant. No matter.
It gets Frederick what he wants. Attention. I don't want to begin to
speculate on what happens within his psyche when he succeeds.
His latest target is Tony Hall. … Hang in there Tony!
The issue was an appointment to the Animal Welfare
Commission. Leno (as last board's chair of Rules) had warmly welcomed
Hobson to that commission a couple of years ago when it came to light
that Frederick had run afoul of animal control for feeding song birds or
something in his back yard in the Tenderloin. I mean, who the hell could
know that Hobson was USING the song birds as helpless shields to winnow
his way into the halls of power? Where he immediately began to sow
dissension. And continues to.
Anyway, the appointment was for a vet who seemed to me
to have excellent credentials. She'd sued the city for the group trying
to keep the horses in Golden Gate Stables during renovation. That was
one of the projects Hall championed & I opposed but it was all with
genuine conviction & no hidden agenda. With Hobson, it is never that
simple. Hey, these commissions are pretty much advisory & the
appointments are honorary & totally at the will of the board, which
normally takes the Rules Committee's recommendations without question.
This isn't nuclear physics. You don't want to create trouble with an
appointment that's really not a biggie.
Hall had collided with the vet (again, she & her friends
seemed like marvelous people & that's why Hobson pushed his vile agenda
behind them – they were clueless). Hall had collided with the vet in the
lawsuit and wasn't disposed to appoint her. Nuff said. Vice Chair
Gonzalez & committee member Gerardo (the shape-shifter) Sandoval could
have voted Tony down & they've done it before as he's done it to them.
Then Hobson goes & sits in the audience next to the
applicant & drapes his arm across the back of her chair. End of story.
I told Hobson to his face at another political watering
hole last week that he had to know that's why the vet had been rejected.
He didn't comment. Which is rare. He used the woman, her friends & lots
of Channel 26 time to be seen in the middle of controversy because …
because … I don't know.
I'm still thinking of the chick with the tattoo circling
the most intimate cleavage. … God, I love this town.
Watching City Hall
by h. brown
Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco received the
diplomatic equivalent of the raspberry when China's visiting vice
president refused to accept four letters she tried to hand him
seeking action on alleged human rights abuses.
– Ed Epstein, in the Chronicle
The evening news reported that when Pelosi passed a
stack of papers presenting the American request that China quit beating
the crap out of Tibetan Monks & Falun Gong, the Chinese heir-apparent
"snubbed" her, by simply passing the documents back acrossthe table.
Anti-Falun Gong San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin thinks it's none
of our business. He agrees with Hu Jintao.
Peskin had several other interesting things to say … and
NOT say … during the board's Wednesday Finance Committee meeting. Which
What's going on around here is …we're trying
to do less with more.
– Peskin's bid for the Economics Nobel
Hey, he said it … or I wouldn't quote him. He misspoke,
of course. He meant to say they were trying to trim the city's bloated
budget of Da Mayor's mistresses, ward-heelers & inflated single-source
contracts & move the money to housing and social services. What he said
though, was one of those “slips” that reveal the true nature of things.
He soon backed up the “slip” with a few solid
confirmations that he has absolutely no intention whatsoever to use his
positions as chair of Finance & vice-chair/dominator of the Budget
Committee as bases from which to reclaim the board's legal budgetary
powers. That would mean throwing the entire pile of political fat out
the window (as ONLY supes Daly & Gonzalez had the fur to do last year),
tossing the pile of pay-off contracts, lies, and outright stashing of
sex partners into high-paying jobs.
Damn! I love the mayor’s style. I mean, do you stash
ladies in civil service? No! Not in civil service. They'd have to take a
test to prove their basic sanity. Willie simply expanded the old
“special assistant” position (y'all gotta define “special” for yourself,
this bein' a family column).
Let me back off. The ladies, while definitely the high
visual point of Willie Brown's two terms as our mayor, were barely a
blip in the 5 billion dollar budget.
Returning to point, I want to say that the biggest
failure of the new board has been its collective failure to retake the
purse strings. Things haven't changed. 8th District supe Mark
Leno once quoted the TRULY fabulous Sue Bierman as saying: "We really
don't do anything around here." They still don't.
Wait till you see the knockers on the new deputy
Willie Brown has managed with the help of Aaron Peskin,
to embed 600 of his political cronies into the permanent San Francisco
Civil Service at the highest rankings possible. Think department heads
in every key department for starts – there are around 60 departments. No
tests for these Willie clones.
The position I just mentioned is just an assistant (a
"special assistant" in Willie's terminology) in the Mayor's Office of
Community Development, who has a salary of 120 thousand clams. A year.
The single assistant will make about the same as the combined salaries
of any supervisor, their chief legislate aide & the second aide.
This, is no accident. The supes, who are Da Mayor's
natural enemies, have virtually nil in the way of money. Willie spends
around 50 million a year to surround himself with over 600 people he can
fire in a heartbeat if they stop … uh … uh … uh … doing what they were
hired to do. All 11 supes combined get a little over a million, which
factors out to 33 bodies & minds representing the individual districts
and citizens therein against 600 Rhonen. "Brutal, Juice!" some actor
once commented in a commercial.
Outnumbered around fifty to one & outspent a hundred to
one, it is no surprise that they often end up with blank stares on their
faces when it comes to votes on issues costing billions. It doesn't help
that all of the supes except for Hall, Gonzalez, and Daly are total
political cowards. Vote against the mayor!? Let's close down the item on
the special assistant in Community Development.
Get this straight. Do not deviate. Peskin played really
dumb on this and he ain't. Just ask the folks at the Savoy Tivoli. Just
ask the neighbors of “Ferry” Park. Ole Aaron, he like playfully
chastises the department head (I see all this stuff on Channel 26, by
the way - fourteen hours a day) … Peskin says to the guy: "I would have
hired someone by now” – the position had been open for the last four
months – "Bet you regret that now."
Uh huh. That's what he said. … You smiling? … You see,
Aaron was playing the game. He's a “PLAYAH“! He was pretending that it
was actually up to the director to choose his new “special” assistant.
This guy is waiting for his god, Willie Brown, to send him someone whose
boobs will probably poke your eyes out in a crowded room. If you think
the guy Willie just appointed to run this outfit actually runs it …
well, you're dumber than you look.
6th District supervisor Chris Daly refused to
approve the totally superfluous appendage. Ammiano (still busy trying to
woo Sunset rednecks by moving to the “middle” in a town of 75 percent
leftists) just tried to act like he was looking out the window. But
alas, there are no windows. Peskin muttered & tried to hide behind the
city attorney: "Can I put a POSITION on reserve?"
Of course, cowardly little cowboy, a thousand years of
lawyers have left you plenty of places to hide. Put it off.
The other matter was more far-reaching.
Deja vu all over again
– Yogi Berra
Keep the number 5 in your mind. As in 5 BILLION dollars.
That's what the mayor spends yearly.
Uh huh. Him personally. Not the supes. They (except for
Daly & Gonzalez) refuse to challenge the mayor's right to make every
single expenditure. Right now (no kidding) the mayor's budget is
accepted 99.7 percent of the time. Yep. If you ain't in the mayor's
budget, the only way you're going to get any money is to be extremely
The thing with the assistant listed above was a tree in
the forest. What happened next was a grove of trees came into view up
The item running past Finance yesterday was 30 million
bucks. Hell, I can see that's not a lot. When you're talking 5,000
million, it barely lifts the needle on anyone's political power meter.
But there are a bunch of organizations claiming little pieces of the
pie. At around a quarter million apiece, around a hundred of them. But
since the money is spent in community development, the actual human
impact of these expenditures is all out of whack. It mattered!
You got that? It determined whether you had someone of
your own color and your own language helping you to get established in
the economy of San Francisco. That's pretty key. Even at a hundred
clients a year average, that's 10,000 of your neighbors a year accessing
Now, how good are the services?
Oddly, since Willie Brown took over, it's hard to say.
The head of the entire Willie team at this hearing was a woman named Pam
David. Ms. David has the warmth of a buzzard working on eyeballs in the
desert if you challenge one of Willie's grants. Viewers quickly learned
Among the ton of programs rushed through (too early to
have numbers on this one … same for that one) & public comment on the
same, came a guy who had the feel of an Asian Moses walking out of the
desert (where he'd been watching Ms. David, no doubt).
Seems his program (Asian Inc.) had put San Francisco
Asians into jobs for some 20 years with a high degree of success. Then
their contract was canceled! Why? No one dared ask.
Wait! Someone did ask. Tall guy from the 6th
District. Wearing an endangered species custom silk necktie featuring a
pair of cheetahs gazing purposely. Chris Daly. He had the nerve to say,
"Why didn't you get the contract?"
Mannnnn. Ya cudda heard a feather hit the surface of a
bubble bath. I thought for a second that Peskin would faint. Ammiano
too. They'd been putting whipped cream on Willie's 30 million in
payoffs. Hell, I would too! You could have set a champagne glass on the
hindsides of the women & the guys were obviously all ex-carnival
barkers. Get your shots afore you wade into that group.
Anyway, guy finally softly answers: "Politics."
No one said a thing. It was a good-sized audience & it
was as silent as I have ever heard at any political meeting ever … in my
There it was! The whole problem in a nutshell. The
challenge to the new “progressive” board. Would they question this guy
further? Would they call the mayor's lady vulture back and ask if Willie
had approved all of these groups personally for purely political
Of course not! Oh, to his credit, Daly tried a little
but he was outgunned and flanked.
They should have thrown the entire budget out the window
& started over as the first volley in the People's Budget War.
Ya know what happened instead? You won't believe it, but
I swear to God it's true.
1st District supervisor Jake McGoldrick (who
is NOT on the committee & thus has NO vote – he gets to vote when the
steaming heap gets to the full board) comes running in and says he was
watching the committee on the tube & he wanted to make certain that
Willie got his $120K special assistant. If this guy didn't ride to
school on the “short” bus, he should have. They just laughed at him.
McGoldrick for mayor
We could do worse. He has a good heart. Wouldn't be the
first clown at the head of the table. The guy is, in fact, the lead
force in pressuring the board to make their meetings more accessible. He
harangues them to define the acronyms they toss around because PEOPLE
ARE WATCHING! Really. He seems the only one who realizes that.
There, I had to say something nice about him. I just
found out from one of my many hostesses that "his daughter is a friend
of mine!" Oh good. Now she's going to
poison me. Oh well. I hope she puts it in my bourbon.
Car 1010, where are you?
I don't know how this works & the cops won't say. I run
around 6 miles a day now & I keep being shadowed by a cop car with the
number 1010. I thought they kept cars in the same district. I mean, it
gets a bit weird when you see the same car at Marina Green that sat
across from your friend's place on Leavenworth. Today, I saw the
occupants for the first time. A tall, white-headed uniformed cop & a
stocky blonde female. They have this little habit of turning on their
yellow flashing lights for a second just to let me know that they're
McGoldrick is indeed the media guru of this new group of
supervisors. He's also the quintessential absent-minded professor, so he
negates much of his own work in seconds, but he alone realizes that this
town is increasingly occupied by the cable generation & you better make
your programs make sense.
The staff at Channel 26 does an overall fantastic job of
covering our duly elected bunch of scatter-brains. They have, however,
made a change or two which detract from the programming & make the supes
look dumber than is necessary. They stopped ringing the “gong” tone when
speakers' times come to term. This makes the committee chair or board
president look like a tyrant. When the speaker's time runs out, whoever
is in charge is forced to call out to them to get the hell back to
wherever they came from. This isn't the best way to end an association.
That, and they've cut down on the close-up shots of the supes when they
respond to questions.
You who read me know why, huh? I don't care if they've
been having botox injections, but I am a tie freak & I like to see what
whomever they're sharing whatever with made them wear that day.
Hu Jintao sucks: