Wednesday, November 28, 2007


A recent survey of her constituents conducted by District 4 Supervisor Carmen Chu turned up some surprising results.

First: The residents of District 4 are pretty darn happy about city government and its treatment of their fogbelt neighborhood.

Second (and this is the surprise): The most important concern of D4 residents is that restaurateurs citywide are paying too much in fees to put tables on their sidewalks.

This shows the outward-looking, empathetic character of District 4. We have it so good out here in the fog that we are concerned with others who are less fortunate, such as restaurant owners.

Responding to the survey results, Supervisor Chu, a Newsom flunky he appointed to fill the temporarily vacant seat of Ed Jew, has introduced legislation to lighten the burden on those wishing to extend their private business space into the public right of way.

According to the Examiner story:

The public works code currently requires businesses to pay more than $134 to buy or renew a permit. The new ordinance would cut the initial cost to $104 and the annual renewal cost to $52.

Besides, the city doesn’t need the revenue, we have plenty of that!

By the way, the Examiner story begins:

The sidewalk cafĂ© has long been part of San Francisco’s joie de vivre.

Long term residents will join me in throwing up.

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Monday, November 26, 2007


I wanted to rant about the plastic bag law, but so far it hasn’t pained me at all. I used to ask for paper bags, now I don’t have to ask—paper’s all my local Lucky offers.

I love the handles.

The test will come with our next big rain.

People who try to walk or Muni home with paper bags full of groceries in the middle of a downpour may find the bottom falling out. Hell awaits.

Jared Blumenthal, head of the burgeoning Department of Environment was one of three who spoke at the signing of the Anti-plastic Bag Ordinance, along with Mayor Newsom and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

Blumenthal impressed twice. At one point he corrected the mayor’s claim about the benefits of the plastic bag ban—the mayor had exaggerated by an order of magnitude.

Later Jared revealed his secret goal for the plastics ban. He, and many, assumed that the plastic bags would be replaced with similar looking bags made out of corn stalks or some such material.

The new, non-plastic bags, Jared told us, would be compostable, which would help San Franciscans conquer the “ick” factor when separating table scraps for the “green” compostables garbage bins.

So it was about composting! And may well become. I was hoping I’d be dead by the time composting becomes mandatory.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007


I can’t think of a TV commercial more unsettling than the recent “Viva Viagra” effort--a bunch of middle aged men strumming guitars and singing the praise of the little pill that could. And how they’ll be departing (soon) to go home and screw.

You know, they don’t give a shit about elections, they’re all gonna get erections!!!

Anyway, the election results from Nov 6, presumably official now, are depressing enough.

It was the first test of this blog’s ability to influence voters. My consultants gave it a positive spin. SFWILLIE’S BLOG, they tell me, had zero influence on the outcomes of any races. Which, they say, establishes a “good baseline.”

I suspect worse. Judging from the results, many voters could have taken sfwillie’s recommendations and voted the opposite.

That’s the way I used to vote when I didn’t have time to study the propositions—I’d clip out the Chronicle’s recommendations and vote the opposite.


Mayor’s Race: It’s better to have a constituency than not.

Propositions: People who turn out to vote for an unopposed mayor will probably vote with the mayor on the propositions.

D.A.: There is hope! One thousand seven hundred fifty-six people voted write-in. We are not alone.

Not on the ballot was a raise for Muni-head Nathanial Ford. According to the Chron, Ford is now the highest paid city employee.

Remember, Ford gave us the T-Third meltdown, which brought unnecessary real-life pain to thousands of San Franciscans.

Either Ford was unaware that the T-Third rollout wouldn’t work, in which case he’s incompetent. Or, he knew it wouldn’t work, but he rolled it out anyway, for “political” reasons, in which case he’s malicious.

Either way, the fact that bogus Muni-reform Prop A passed, and that Ford was given a big raise AFTER the election, tells us that San Francisco’s de-facto Transit-Last policy will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

Woe is me.

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Monday, November 19, 2007


Sometimes I’ll look at the sad assemblage of human beings which is our San Francisco Board of Supervisors and ask myself, “How did this nincompoop, or that moron, ever get elected in the first place?"

Simple answer: many of them didn’t.

Three of our current board members were appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom: “whiney brat” Angela Alioto Pier, sad-eyed golfer Sean Elsbernd, and neophyte Carmen Chu who has three or four short leashes around her neck.

Even Newsom’s first elected office was gotten by appointment. Newsom’s incumbency is the lasting gift of Kamala’s ex-boyfriend, whatisname, oh yeah, Willie Brown.

The City Charter grants the mayor the power to fill vacancies on the Board of Supervisors. This allows these hacks to then run from a position of incumbency.

This provision gives considerable power to the Mayor. Downtown interests favor it. Neighborhoods should oppose it.

How to stop it?

Change the City Charter to prohibit an appointed supervisor from running for his or her seat in the next subsequent election, i.e. “no appointed incumbency.”

It looks like Gavin wants Carmen Chu to stay on as MY supervisor. This is hell.

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In recent years top level pro tennis has introduced computer systems to resolve disputed line calls. “Shotspot,” and “Hawkeye,” are two of the brand names we’ve heard.

It’s a form of instant replay, which produces a graphical representation of where the computer calculates the ball actually landed in relation to the line.

The processing time required for any particular bounce is enough that it can’t be used in real time. It takes maybe fifteen seconds from challenge to outcome.

Because of this processing time, the use of shotspotting systems must be limited. If each player could challenge any shot the natural flow of the game would be disrupted. A player might challenge a line call just to gain a few extra seconds of recovery time after a strenuous point, or just to throw off the opponent’s rythmn.

So the rule is: Each player has only two unsuccessful challenges per set. In other words, each player can challenge any call, but after a player makes two wrong challenges (as determined by the computer), his or her right to make challenges is suspended for the rest of the set.

This system punishes wrong challenges but doesn’t reward correct challenges.

When Hawkeye determines a challenge to be correct, the reversal of the adverse call is not a reward, it is simple justice.

When a player makes a correct challenge, he or she should be awarded an additional (incorrect) challenge for that set. Otherwise, a player could, conceivably, have a high average of successful challenges but still lose the right to challenge, (e.g. ten correct challenges followed by two incorrect).

This rule change would place greater pressure on the judges, and could even get the chair umpire back in the business of overruling the calls of line judges.

While no system is perfect (I once saw Cyclops, which is devoted to service line calls, and Hawkeye disagree),but anyone who’s watched much tennis has seen egregious bad line calls at the highest level of the game. It’s good that some errors are being corrected.

Someday I’ll learn what could motivate someone to be a line judge. I think Major League Baseball still forbids ballparks from showing big-screen replays of close calls, the umpires wouldn’t stand for it. In tennis, a lineguy or gal must be able to have a clear mistake shown to a packed stadium plus millions of TV viewers, and not cry.

One commenter said that dealing with bad line calls (and not going berserk and totally losing it) is an important psychological element of the game, and he hates to see it go. This seems cruel to me.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007


I abhor gossip. I abhor myself when I do it.

My parents were both outsiders. I’m sure my family was much gossiped about by the insiders on our block. For balance, I was assured that the good opinion of born-and-raised hicks had only limited value.

My folks enjoyed it when little Willie whined, “Why can’t we be like normal people?”

They’d laugh, and tease me, “Because we’re NOT normal people. We’re the Morrisseys.” Then they'd laugh at the frustration their answer elicited from me.

Anyway, a piece of gossip about our mayor has been reported in a supposedly progressive journal. The purpose of the not very “blind” item was to impugn the character of the mayor, and, basically, tell on him.

The unnamed mayor’s supposed sin? He got drunk and woke up the next morning in the bed of a young female who was not his official girlfriend.

Well tsk fucking tsk!

Progressives? Criticizing someone for having sex?

I think maybe we need to break this down.

If a mayor goes to a meeting where he signs a deal to build a big new Safeway in Bay View Hunters Point, then he gets drunk and goes home with a new girl to have sex—that's a GOOD MAYOR.

If a mayor goes to a meeting and signs a deal transferring millions of dollars in public assets to the Don Fisher Ego Foundation, then he gets drunk and goes home with a new girl to have sex—that's a BAD MAYOR.

Applying algebra, the drunk/sex part cancels out.


[Above, notorious drunk, Winston Churchill. Do we know enough about his sex life?]

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My next boyfriend doesn’t have to be a genius. Speaking of which…

It doesn’t take a genius to understanding the value of having a supermarket in your neighborhood.

The supermarket, overflowing with every kind of food choice, in quantities that seem inexhaustable, is possibly THE strongest symbol of the American dream.

Choice, variety, freshness, and price, price, price. Oh, and did I mention… price.

It’s been understood, since I was a kid, that ghettos are underserved by the kinds of businesses that white middleclass people take for granted.

Without an accessible supermarket, mom and pop corner stores, with nothing fresh and sky high prices, or fast food, also expensive, are the only alternatives. Most nutritionists agree such diets tax not only the pocketbook, but reduce longevity and diminish actual quality of life.

So, the only surprise, to me at least, about a recent study reported in Fog City Journal, is that it was necessary in the first place. Read FCJ’s piece by Caitlin Cassady.

It starts:

A study released today shows that residents in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood think access to fresh and health food is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed.

According to the study:

Over half of the residents surveyed say that they shop at Safeway stores in other neighborhoods.

What more do we need to know?

The rest of the report sounds like the biases of the Mayor’s office group that wrote the report, claiming the residents are willing to pay more for pesticide free food, or that they want some sort of neighborhood co-op market (or that they want a Birkenstock outlet?).

What they want is a goddamn Safeway. Pardon my gdmf French.

But it’s not either-or. BVHP needs a big old supermarket PLUS other food options, just like everybody else. While the report emphasizes dietary health, it’s an obvious issue of economic justice as well.

If Safeway can have all the indicated locations in San Francisco, why the heck can’t they have one in BVHP?

So, Mayor Newsom and Supervisor Maxwell, here is your assignment: get a Safeway opened in BVHP open by Jan 1, 2009. Also, as part of the deal, build a strip mall for alternative food stores (organic, specialty ethnic, etc.).

The benefit to the people of BVHP is obvious. So what’s in it for Newsom and Maxwell? How about the experience of a sense of decency?

If that’s not enough, Sophie, you need something, anything, to redeem the utter mediocrity that has been your tenure on the Board of Supervisors.

And Gavin, if you can get a Safeway built in BVHP, I’ll vote for your sorry white ass for governor.

Don’t wait. Get to work.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007


At age 19 or 20 when I finally figured out that I was gay I was gripped by a fear that created a strong motivation. My fear was that I would die without experiencing truly satisfying sex.

This was the mid-1960s, pre-Stonewall, the thought of healthy, satisfying gay relationships was almost non-existent in American culture.

My dad’s reaction when I told him I was gay wasn’t really judgmental. He was a devout Roman Catholic and fairly moralistic, but his reaction had nothing to do with sin or impropriety. He was afraid that I would have a less happy life than if I were straight.

My mom’s main concern was how I was going to support myself—we both knew what the answer would be: Not very well.

So my goal, pretty much in life, was to experience:

Mutual fulfillment of sexual object and act cathexes (MFOAC).

Object cathexis: The sex object is physically close enough to one’s ideal that he or she is way good enough and one feels lucky to have found a person with such physical attractiveness.

Act cathexis: The sex object engages in all of one’s favorite sex acts. All desired sex behaviors are mutually indulged.

Mutuality: Both people feel lucky to have found the other.

I achieved my goal.

But the relationship we tried to build around this MFOAC was problematic. A listing of my inadequacies would rival the Iliad’s “catalog of ships.” As for me I felt a lack of affection and a lack of emotional support.

It should have ended many years ago, but the tether, the connectedness created by MFOAC is hard to give up.

I ended it last week.

After thirty-four years, with diminishing sexual returns, I realized, sort of like realizing I was gay way back when, that I have a new “relationship” goal:

Mutual affection and emotional support that includes sex (MAESIS).

This is completely pathetic for a 59-year old. But it’s a lot better than waking up at my age desperate to experience MFOAC.

It’s sort of a belated mid-life crisis. I feel almost alive. But, as my mom knew would be the case, I can’t afford a little red sports car, not even a used one.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007


This afternoon flipping channels I saw some live coverage of the Las Vegas preliminary hearing to determine if OJ Simpson should be tried for kajillion felonies

It was strange how un-strange it was to see OJ sitting at the defense table.

How long does an NFL running play take, from snap to whistle? Ten seconds? Twenty seconds?

I’m thinking OJ has spent more time at defense tables than he spent actually carrying the ball in the NFL.

He’s a pro.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007


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This shameful election morning Nevius column supports h. brown’s paranoia: that Chicken John is on the Newsom team.

Wannabe-eccentric John Rinaldi is being used by Newsom and his downtown backers to typify, and thus trivialize, the opposition to Newsom and his feed-the-rich regime.

Rinaldi’s platform IS his anti-conventional fashion statements. So amusing.

h. brown early in the race pegged Rinaldi as a Newsom “plant” and predicted that Rinaldi would be the recipient of Newsom-directed public funding of some sort—jobs, grants—as soon as the election is over.

Basically Nevius’ column says:

- Newsom is a shoo-in,
- His main opponent is a guy named “Chicken John.”
- Wouldn’t it be “so San Francisco” if Chicken John got a lot of votes!

Meanwhile, candidates such as brown, Sumchai, and Mecke who have raised serious questions which the Mayor refuses to address in open discussion, aren’t even named in the article.

The only other Newsom opponents Nevius mentions are “Grasshopper and the nude guy.”

Nevius refers to, or quotes others referring to, the field of opposition mayoral candidates as:

- offbeat
- midget
- fringes
- freaks
- ridiculous

At the downsizing Chronicle, Nevius must feel that it’s better to be a shill than to be unemployed. The janitor who empties C.W.’s wastebasket has, at least, an honest job.

The results of this Mayoral vote won’t make national news, UNLESS Chicken John comes in second. If this happens, right wing pundits will use the Chicken-vote to further trivialize and vilify San Francisco.

If you like Newsom, vote for Newsom.

If you dislike San Francisco, vote for Chicken John Rinaldi.

Elsewise, any other candidate will do.

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Monday, November 05, 2007


I’m voting for h. brown for mayor because I want to encourage him to keep doing what he’s doing.

On a purely volunteer basis, h. brown works full time to monitor the policy-effluent from City Hall, and to alert us timely about the worst of its toxic discharges.

No other candidate provides such an essential service to the entire population of San Francisco.

Even if you’ve never heard of h. brown, everyone at City Hall knows him and fears him. Because h. is mostly disconnected from personal power/wealth mechanisms, he is likely to say damn near anything.

City Hall folks tolerate h. because his hard analytical work produces some really good ideas that the Mayor and Supervisors can rip off and call their own.

And h. doesn’t care if his ideas are ripped off as long as public policy is improved. He’s in it for us.

That’s why I’m voting for h. brown for Mayor of San Francisco. First Choice. No fucking around.

[Above pictures courtesy of sfmike’s Civic Center Blog. In the second photo, h. trades jibes with Newsom spokesperson, Nathan Ballard. Their exchange is recorded (at least h.’s side of it) in the first few minutes of this video of the 11th Candidates Collaborative Debate. Candidate h. presents as strong and confident.]

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Saturday, November 03, 2007


He’s only a former city commissioner and prominent realtor in Daytona Beach but news of his arrest in a Sears mensroom is spreading worldwide.

According this story in the Daytona Beach News Journal Online, poor Mike Shallow was dissed thus by the chief of police:

"It's scumbags like this that erode the quality of life that we have here," Chitwood said. "What scares me is that these are people that we trust to be political leaders, these are people that we trust with our children."

Note: the News Journal article includes mug shots of Shallow and eight other men including a school teacher arrested in the police sting operation. They take these things seriously in Florida. Chitwood sounds like he wants to cut the guy’s balls off.

Shallow is caught between two worlds: the heteros reject him because of the bathroom blowjob thing, fashion forward gays will reject him for associating homosexuality with the Sears brand.

Bloomingdales, Sax maybe. But Sears!

[PageOneQ, a news aggregator, included the above photo with its story/link. The file name is craig_terlet.jpg. Someone thought it appropriate for this story. Why not?]

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Friday, November 02, 2007


I just heard the Friday-evening flash that Senator Diane Feinstein from supposedly liberal San Francisco will support Bush’s new torture apologist, Mukasey-something, for Attorney General.

This shows that Feinstein (who lives in a nice house) approves Alberto Gonzales’ policies and sees Mukasey as a pro who can implement them without scaring the horses.

At issue, Mukasey says that waterboarding is ok, maybe, sometimes.

If waterboarding is not torture, Ms Feinstein should have a go at it—there would be a doctor nearby, there would be no permanent damage.

Come to think of it, the willingness of legislators to undergo a particular “interrogation technique” is one way to judge if it’s torture. Electric shock to the genitals, for instance–most lawmakers would just agree to put that on the torture list without experiencing it themselves. If they have a question about waterboarding, they should try it.

Anyway, it has fallen to SFWILLIE’S BLOG to enunciate a consistent moral stance about waterboarding and other torture techniques:

Torture is always immoral. It may never be employed under any circumstances.

Regarding the what-if scenarios (nuke about to explode, etc,):

It is better that the entire planet explode than for one human to intentionally torture another. One moment of kindness is preferable to an eternity of torture.

Our current administration considers it ok to start a war, under the“do unto them before they do unto us” principle.

The Bush administration considers torture to be one of many legitimate weapons in its war against "enemies." The above photo shows an aggressive interrogation technique called “stress position.”

It seems that the majority of the government and punditry agree: aggression is ok, torture is ok.

This blog does not agree.

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