Watching City Hall #366 (4-23-05)
“It’s a free country.
I can go where I want.”
He was explaining why it was OK for him to push his bullet-proof vest in my face in an attempt to provoke me. I was trying to find the identity of the driver of the car numbered 569 that had tried to run me over 10 minutes before (1:16pm) as I crossed Mason at Market. I’d made my way back home and the officer and I were standing in front of my SRO on McAllister. Several witnesses had gathered to see if the cop would attack me. It was yesterday (4-22-05) at around 1:30pm. The black and white that had surged after me was familiar.
Same routine as the car that had almost hit me a week or so before in front of my hotel. … Stomp on the gas, turn on the flashers and see how close you can come to running down the publisher of the Bulldog. Frankly, it pissed me off.
I stopped and stared after him. He turned off his lights and pulled over at the end of the block challenging me to approach him. I went on. Ten minutes later, I heard sirens outside my hotel room. Sitting beneath my window was a fire truck and police car 569.
I picked up the phone and called Matt Gonzalez. It doesn’t do any good to call the cops when it’s the cops who are after you. I gave him the basic outline and went down to confront the asshole who’d tried to kill me. He was gone but I’d picked up Officer Escobar in the hall where he was there with paramedics. He said he wasn’t driving #569 and followed me down the stairs.
He didn’t know who was driving car 569. He couldn’t say if it was a sector car or a command car or a clown car. That’s kind of like a lineman who claims to not know who the quarterback is. I asked him if he’d walked a beat today or ridden the bus (2 things they’re required to do). “I’ve been on the bus 6 times!!” Honest, he said that. And, he’d walked the beat too. That’s when he got pissed and started getting up in my face. I called a couple of tenants over to witness and asked him to back off. I noted that he was inside of the definition of ‘personal space’ and that as a police officer he certainly knew that. Which is when he noted about the country being free and him being able to go wherever he wanted. Now, that’ s true of course, if you have a gun and a badge and a bullet proof vest and no regard for the law. Cause, he was violating the law.
But, hey, who’s gonna split hairs here. I was alive and I could sense that Officer Escobar was anxious to get back to walking his beat and riding those buses. Plus, my friends were here for our lunch date and I decided I’d rather go to Tommy’s Joynt than 850 Bryant.
These fuckers aren’t getting any better. And, they aren’t being challenged by anyone other than me as far as I can see. This bodes badly for the community. If Gonzalez weren’t my friend, I do believe, you’d be hearing nothing.
Two solutions for the cop problem
The most sensible thing to do is to change the culture of the police department by removing the divide between them and the community. This will take a decade if we’re lucky. The needed steps are:
1. All police and fire recruits must be college graduates.
2. All recruits to police and fire academies must be chosen
by a panel from the district in which they live and will serve.
3. Cease rotations. A cop should walk a beat in his or her own neighborhood and only be transferred for reasons of promotions or discipline.
4. The City will guarantee subsidized quality homes in market rate units for police and fire academy graduates. In their neighborhoods! Including their families (cops AND firefighters), this could mean at 15k permanent residents with a vested interest in watching and protecting their neighborhoods.
5. The Police Chief will become an elected position.
Solution two is to recognize the de facto situation in the police department and be honest about it. The public pays the bill and deserves a true bill of goods. So, it makes sense to simply codify the practice. Kind of like paving a worn path across campus. Here’s what cops are actually swearing to (in their own way):
1. I promise to never walk a beat.
2. I promise to never ride in a helicopter.
3. I promise to never ride a bus while on duty.
4. I promise to never man a police kiosk in dangerous territory.
5. I promise to lie under oath until I die to protect my fellow officers.
6. I promise to live at least an hour’s drive from San Francisco among red necks and to bring those red neck values of homophobia and racism and fascism to work with me every single day of my career.
7. I promise to always have an American flag or a flag pin or a flag decal or a flag license plate holder or, best of all, an American flag tattoo on or around me at all times.
Hey, say what you will. It works for them. They ignore the Mayor, the people and even their own chief. They could give a shit about the Police Commission or the Office of Citizen Complaints. It’s easier to get a turtle out of his shell than a cop out of his car. They will do absolutely anything to keep from putting shoe leather to pavement. They might as well be honest about what we’re getting. Hey, what are we gonna do?
The commode of yesterday’s Chronicle had a piece of heavily ‘sugared shit’ floating around under Heather Knight’s ‘School Notes’ byline. It’s another of those pieces that asks Chron readers the ever-rhetorical question: “Just how fucking stupid are you anyway?”
It seems that L.A. billionaire ‘Venture Philanthropist’, Eli Broad who did this same shit in L.A. (the son-of-a-bitch poured $230 million dollars into a school called: ‘Belmont Learning Center’ which he built over a methane pit located over an earthquake fault line) … Broad thinks you’re dumb enough to think that an award given by a predatory plutocrat like him, to one of his bully, racist flunkies will be accepted as legitimate.
Well, of course it’s good enough for the Chronicle. What was that great line? … “Every word they write is a lie, including ‘a’ and ‘the’.” When you only tell half the truth, you’re telling a lie.
Now, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Ms. Knight is simply lazy or stupid and not trying to mislead you by leaving out most of the story of Eli Broad and Warren Hellman and Ron Burkle and Donald Fisher and Richard Goldman and Richard Blum. If she had told you all of the story, she’d tell you that Eli Broad and his friends stand to make many millions of dollars by controlling construction contracts in the state’s largest school districts.
She’d have told you about the debacle of the Belmont Learning Center in L.A.. She’d tell you about how the cabal of ‘philanthropists’ grabbed control of the L.A. school district by recruiting and supporting compliant candidates for the L.A. School Board. She’d tell you how Broad’s people were voted out when the shit hit the fan over the nearly quarter billion dollar Belmont boondoggle.
She’d tell you how insidious the new plutocratic game of ‘Venture Capitalism’ is. She’d explain that the cabal had created a non-profit ‘philanthropic’ entity here for Heather Hiles to head. It gave her credibility when she later ran for the SF School Board. She’d tell you that the people of San Francisco are lots smarter than the people in L.A., saw right through the shit and threw Hiles out of office. And, she’d tell you that the Hellman cabal quickly defunded and closed the shell ‘philanthropic’ company Hiles ‘founded’ all by herself.
She’d tell you how Hellman and Fisher and Goldman and Blum had then pooled some tax-deductible money and ‘donated’ the salaries of David Golden and a couple of other cabal employees (they choose em, they send the contracts your way) … Hellman and company couldn’t win control of the district’s billion plus cash flow in general fund and bond money at the polls, so they bought control by leaning on the superintendent they recruited who agreed to let these new SFSOS employees run the district’s finances all the way from construction of facilities, to choosing school principals.
Why doesn’t the Chronicle report these facts? The story here should be about this new ‘Venture Philanthropy’ the cabal has invented. They don’t mention, for instance that this group already controls Margaret Brodkin through strings attached to donations to Coleman Advocates for Children. Or, that Brodkin’s chief running mate on the School Board is Jill Wynns. Or, that Brodkin’s assistant, Mary Beth somethingorother was sent with a pack of money to run reactionary long-time board member, Dan Kelly’s campaign.
Charity with a string. Warren Hellman & Eli Broad’s message is simple: “It ain’t gonna cost us a dime to give you a billion dollars if we want. It is all tax deductible. However, we will not give you a mother fucking penny unless you do every single thing we want.”
Thus, you get Margaret and Mary Beth and Jill and Dan all testifying at what a great idea it is to close down the hundred year old horse stables in Golden Gate Park and turn control of them over to the cabal. Or, let’s spend 25 million dollars on ‘upgrading’ a golf course with taxpayer dollars so that they can get Tiger Woods’ autograph.
Yeah, Harding was neglected intentionally. Still, it could have been brought up to snuff for a million or so and fees for regular City duffers to play on the most beautiful municipal course in the world could have been kept down.
I call on Tiger Woods to boycott Harding for a couple of years. They spent the toilet money on you, Tiger! The bathroom in the Panhandle has been closed for 6 years, for God’s sake. The toilet at Haight and Stanyan hasn’t worked for the same amount of time. They dumped gardeners so they could get their pictures taken with you. It’s the fucking truth. Boycott these desiccated old white bastards for a couple of years til they croak. Don’t reward this shit.
Arlene Ackerman continues bullying tactics
Someone emailed me about the plight of a teacher from Cobb Elementary School. Seems their scores are way up and the school is 75% black. This ain’t the kind of school you want to close.
So, one of the teachers took Ackerman up on her assertion that teachers still have freedom of speech in the district and this teacher, she like, goes to the school board and speaks on behalf of the parents who want to keep the school open.
Ackerman? She calls this teacher into her office the next week and gives her the ‘my way or the highway’ speech. … People, this woman is a disgusting, greedy bully. And Eli Broad? He’s gonna give her an award.
The Board of supes will follow suit
Yeah, it’s funny in a way. Just to make certain the Board of Supervisors looks like idiots, periodically, SFSOS passes resolutions commending some of their snaggle-toothed, knuckle-dragging thuggish assholes (see Joe, it’s OK to be colorful on line) … like, take Mohammed Nehru. This is the kind of person SFSOS requests the Board of Supervisors to honor.
Mohammed used City money to hire ex-cons to work in gardens, then instead, molded them into a goon squad to support, first Willie Brown, then Gavin Newsom. His gorillas blocked the doors at Gonzalez headquarters. They threatened voters throughout the BayView. The paid for absentee ballots and disrupted Gonzalez rallies.
Then, it is revealed that not only is Nehru a barbarian. He’s also an illegal immigrant!
Well, they closed down Mohammed’s little ‘cons are us’ election service to be sure. This insured that the few workers who blew the whistle on Nehru and the Democratic Machine tactics lost their jobs. And then? … And then, they gave Nehru a raise and a promotion over to the Port Authority. Senator Diana Fienberg went to work on his immigration problems and … and …SFSOS sponsored a resolution before the same Board of Supervisors whom Nehru was attacking, to honor him.
Oh yeah! You can get by with this shit. This is the same Board that gave Airport Director John Martin a pat on the back for losing hundreds of millions of dollars to construction projects owned by Richard Blum and his boys. Martin poured another hundred million into useless consultant services pushing the runway expansion farce. It was kind of cute to see the long and lanky Martin being led into Board Budget hearings down on his hands and knees, with a ring through his nose, being led by Consultant, Karen Skelton .
So, the asshole lost hundreds of millions, got involved in international intrigue and the Association of Airport Directors (or, some such shit probably funded by Eli Broad) gives him this award. And, the Board goes along with this shit!
Just as they honored Gerald Green before him after Gerald played point man in Willie’s 8 year war to drive poor blacks out of San Francisco.
How do they do this?
Downtown puppets, Sean Elsbernd (for philosophical reasons), Fiona Ma (‘all my bags are packed, I’m ready to go’), and Michela Alioto-Pier will always introduce a resolution putting lipstick and nylons on the ugliest Hellman pigs. Dufty will go along. But, to make the idiotic resolutions really fly, you need them to be introduced by a member of the Progressive wing who is scared to death to offend anyone black.
That would be Jake McGoldrick
So, look for McGoldrick to introduce a resolution praising Arelene Ackerman sometime soon. Look for testimony from a handful of Cabal-dependent non-profit heads like Brodkin and her satellites, Wynns and Kelly. Look for Mirkarimi and Daly to grit their teeth and stare down at their desks as they make it unanimous.
KPOO fired Diamond Dave Whitaker and I have no idea what to do about it. Seems that after 35 years (he was the first dj to play Bob Dylan on the radio) … after 35 years of the most provocative lineup of guests and conversation in the Bay area, Dave returned from his annual pilgrimage to the Rainbow Gathering and found he no longer had a job. Help me out here folks. Media types, Dave does tv as well as radio. He speaks in rhymes and makes people smile. He’s mellow and a uniter. He is the very emblem on the soul of Hippie San Francisco.
Muni bus drivers aren’t as bad as cops but they’re close. Have you ever noticed there are no bus schedules attached at the stops and none available on the bus? That’s because the drivers don’t always do all of their runs and they don’t want you to know it. Their ‘inspectors’ are lying scum who cover for them. If you had a schedule and a list of bus numbers and drivers supposedly on the road each shift, you could verify who was skipping runs and who wasn’t. The problem is massive.
Still got a death trap for pedestrians at 6th & Market. Sent a letter to Bond Yee at the Department of Parking & Traffic about the mission ‘STOP HERE ON RED’ sign missing at this intersection. That old boy? … He didn’t answer. Didn’t thank me for informing them of the problem. Didn’t say he’d get right on it. I told Bond that I’d get back to him when someone is killed or maimed at that spot in the road and be sure to provide copies of my notices to him and to the cops about the missing sign. I promised to take the witness stand to verify Yee’s arrogant negligence in the matter. Bond? He doesn’t give a shit. This is the same guy I watched 5 years ago jerking new Board members Aaron Peskin and Jake McGoldrick around in their early Land Use Committee hearings so’s Bond could provide more free parking around projects run by Babs Kaufman’s hubby SOMA. Maybe I should have stuck a Lincoln in with the notice?
The cops got off their motorbikes and bicycles since my last piece on their refusal to walk beats. Sadly, they didn’t get on the pavement. They just got back into their cars. San Francisco is the worst protected city in America when you figure in the fact that our police force is larger, better equipped and paid more highly than at anytime in their history. And, they also do less. The bastards should be required to back up to receive their checks. Don’t look for any improvement.
Say something nice
OK. I can’t think of a single officer involved shooting in the 25 years I’ve been in San Francisco that I believe to have been unjustified. The most recent incident in which cops were exonerated was the Cameron Boyd shooting. I could not agree more.
I would have shot the bastard til I ran out of bullets, then reloaded and emptied another couple of clips into the guy. … No, I wouldn’t make a very good cop.
Point is, with all my criticism of the cops, I don’t think this is a ‘hair-trigger’ group. Boyd’s problem wasn’t bad cops. His problem was a mother who plays ‘victim’ for a living and who taught him to play it too. If I take a weapon and attack an armed peace officer, I’d expect them to use it. I know I would.
That’s enough. Probably too much but it’s Sunday and Ross Mirkarimi has another hearing scheduled on pot clubs tomorrow.
I gotta get my head right. Know what I mean?
What’s the weather in Atlanta?