Friday, October 19, 2007


**Dear Mayor, my need to write this note is greater than your need to read it. I can't begin to tell you how I affirm you for stepping up to the plate concerning recent events. Life happens and you did what you had to do: fessed up.

I don't know why anyone would want to be in politics but that being said, you're doing a good job. I voted for you last time and like most San Franciscans will the next time around. The only American Mayor that I think is anywhere close as good is the fictional mayor in The Wire, Cargehetti of Baltimore. Both of you are not afraid of risks, trying to do the right thing for your City, eyes on what you've promised. For most of us voters, we understand the difficulties of governing our town, close to impossible. Most of our ills can be laid at the Board of Supervisors, from my perspective and the constant challenge of working with their various personalities and agendas is like herding cats. If I were you, I'd not speak of the event again and not read the newspapers about it.

Having been somewhat where you are, my suggestion is that if down the road, you get a chance to reconcile with your friends, do it. Time is an enormous healer but if not, you've done your best.

There is no need to respond to this note. God bless you. I'm sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

**This letter was written after the Mayor's confession about an affair with the wife of one of his staff members. Since I wrote the letter, I'm not quite in the same place. The Mayor looks like a shoo in for his second term with no real opposition. There are about eleven running against him but there's no name recognition, no money for campaigning: combined these facts with the apathy and brain dead electorate and he's in for sure.

I think I'll probably vote for him. He deserves a second term as he's attempted some creative things in governing an almost impossible town. What I object too in our mayor is the same thing I object too in every politician. They become politics. Their lives reflect basically the question of how is my view going to look. Never what is the right or best thing to do. Who is this going to help/hurt. And, a willingness to take unpopular stands and positions. Mostly, I'm dreaming because it ain't going to happen in our mayor or politicians in general.

To me, the political arena is somewhat of a mystery. A person runs for a political office and in the process, he/she prostitutes themselves in various ways and then they are elected and once securely in office don't give the public the time of day. We make them into celebrities as if what they have to say is so much more important than anyone. Go figure!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The City That Knows How

San Francisco, of course. But, a new moniker has recently been added: the city that knows how to make enemies. The basic story is like so many when only partial facts get out. The first one had to do with the City refusing the Marines permission to use one of the main thoroughfares downtown to film a commercial for recruiting. The real truth was a scheduling problem. The second one was a big flap at the Oakland Airport with a plane of Marines coming back from Iraq. More or less, it was miscommunication between the pilot and the airport. Regardless, with all the misinformation, the City that knows how became the City that knows how to screw up a two car funeral possession. And, of course, what they did was give those like right wing zealots, Bill O'Reilly and Fox News, fuel for their bigoted ways. Such snafus foster the idea of the "left coast" and living in La La land.

To me, it's kind of humorous and reinforces the constant view that would do well for all Americans to grasped, the government is not the people. They should be but they are not. I can't tell you the numbers of times people have said to me--many who have just come back from overseas--the people loved America and Americans but they hate the government. I don't know how this happens but feel that we the people have to take a big part of the heat as we put the politicians into office and they become our face.


Not for me but many simply ignore the fact that San Francisco was founded by the Spanish military and for years had a good abundance of military in its back yard at the Presidio. And, the Presidio was always such a good deal for San Francisco. It was like they had their own Park and didn't have to pay for it. And, just like in 1906, the last big earthquake, 7.2, utilized the military to deal with much of the emergency. The politicos are fond of forgetting those sorts of contributions.

During WW ll, San Fran was the "ship out" place for those heading to the Pacific. Many a young soldier and sailor had a last "good" time before heading "over." One of my best stories on the way to Vietnam took place in The City. Unfortunately, on the way back, it was not so pleasant. The rule was that as soon as you hit the ground, you got out of your uniform so you didn't have to deal with the nut cases that were blaming vets for the Vietnam war. Thankfully, even in San Francisco, those who care realize that the soldier is just doing his job. One recruiter in San Francisco said that in his 17 years of service he has never had so many thank him for his service.

But, let's face it, the politics have brought us to this point and I don't see it changing. The City has been stupid about some things--the worst was the banning of ROTC in High Schools. They took the most successful program of many schools and one that parents and students wanted and did away with it. How smart is that?

All this being said, however, voters have to take some responsibilities, we put the people in office and the military is just one example. Most of the politicians have never served and hearing them talk makes me realize why--draft dodging material.