Tag: San Francisco

Making a new plan, Stan

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has a new plan.

Under a new policy announced yesterday Sheriff Mirkarimi intends to house all inmates in San Francisco County’s jails by their gender identity.

He hopes to have transgender inmates living with their preferred population before 2016.

But transgender inmates who choose to remain in segregated housing or to continue living with other inmates who share the their birth sex can do so, according to Kenya Briggs, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

I carry the perspective forward that the transgender population is marginalized on the streets of America.  Consider how magnified that treatment is inside prisons and jails.


Saturday is the day to take action against the wars

If you want to help end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, challenge the military industrial complex, fight for jobs not wars, or anything along those lines, SATURDAY IS YOUR DAY OF ACTION!  There will be a massive peace march in DC – some say they are expecting hundreds of thousands to show up – and events all over the nation.  On Sunday there will also be an event in Seattle, for those of you near there.

Please join me in DC – if you’re looking for me, I’ll be with the “We Are Not Your Soldiers” contingent (carrying a peace flag and with my brother, who will be videotaping) and for part of the day I’ll be marching with former US Senator and presidential candidate Mike Gravel.

SF-Oakland Bay Bridge: Unprecedented Construction Feat

Over Labor Day weekend the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Bay Bridge, for short) was closed for a seismic retrofit project featuring an unprecedented construction feat. A football field length, double-deck section,  weighing 3,200 tons was excised and a new section slid into place to form an S-shaped detour.  The huge pieces moved verrrrry slowly on specially built rails. A distance of 100 feet took several hours not including delays when the rails needed to be adjusted.  All of this took place 150 feet above ground.  

Here is a picture from a few weeks ago in preparation for the detour.  The scene is looking west where the East Span of the bridge meets Yerba Buena Island.  The detour is on the left and the old bridge on the right. The connecting piece that was installed this weekend is shown below.

from baybridgeinfo.org

You should go to Socialism 2009!

Wow!  What a weekend.  I just go back from Socialism 2009 in Chicago!!!

There was a point last night where there were 1,000 people chanting “Obama, don’t lie to us!”  It filled my heart with such joy to hear that.  The whole conference was like that.

You still have a chance to attend! 🙂

A Train Station Grows At Transbay … (pt. 1)

… Hopefully its not a Bonsai

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

I was able to get an interesting look into the proposed future of Intercity Travel in the Bay at the Transbay Terminal (TBT) in San Francisco.

Senate Info Heairing on High Speed Rail in California

Note that I am not trying to give “objective reporting” on this issue but rather to give vent to my reaction to watching the hearing online … see The Troubling Discord Between Transbay and High Speed Rail Authorities for a less hot under the collar reaction.

One piece of information is that in California, when one public authority has the funding for sufficient staff and another doesn’t, and it comes to a fight, it is considered fair game for the staffed up authority to toss up spin and red herrings and biased analyses, confident that the other authority does not have the capacity to answer promptly.

Help Cindy Sheehan defeat Nancy Pelosi!


Pelosi has been a disaster as speaker of the House, and a traitor to the Constitution.  She has removed impeachment from the table, enabled Bush’s warrantless and illegal surveillance of American citizens, continued to fund the occupation of Iraq, and supported the nearly one trillion dollar blank check to bail out Wall Street.  Whatever your party affiliation, whatever other feelings you might have about the candidates, if you care about your country and the direction in which it is headed, now is the time to make genuine change for the better.  Unseat Nancy Pelosi, vote in Cindy Sheehan, and send a message to the rest of Congress: NO MORE!

Organized crime style harassment levelled against Cindy Sheehan

Original post here:

The past few weeks have been a little strange at Cindy for Congress and, I guess the things that have been happening could just be coincidences, or a run of bad luck, but the climate for the possibility of campaign hanky-panky certainly exists.

Campaigns have been compromised since the beginning of campaign history, but these days with legal warrantless wiretapping and political party conventions sponsored by AT&T and the constant call of “all hail to my political party” and obeisance to the banksters above what’s good for our nation, maybe what’s been happening on my campaign isn’t coincidental or “Mercury retrograde,” or whatever.

Starting with the necessity of “changing a light bulb” (bugging my phone) in my hotel phone at the DNC (brought to you by AT&T) while I was out of the room, Cindy for Congress has had an increasing number of attacks. Two weeks ago, we were begged by organizers of a “radical” music festival called “We the People(Sheeple)” forbade me from speaking after having begged me to be there. An article in LA Beat said that the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigoso was involved in the decision to silence my voice. Not only did we go down to L.A. at our own expense, but also we took an entire day of valuable campaign time to do so.

The past week, though, has been incredibly trying. First of all we had to file a restraining order against a former volunteer whom, with hindsight, we now know was probably spying on us for the Pelosi camp. After we let this person go, his emails to us became increasingly hostile and threatening. After that happened, the tail lights in our campaign-mobile were busted out (the campaign mobile that has Cindy for Congress signs all over it and pictures of it were in an AP story.

Towards the end of the week, four young men walked into our office and they were acting quite suspiciously as they pretended to be registering to vote. One of our interns was helping them when I heard her yell: “No! Stop!” I heard an awful noise and ran out of my office to see the young men run off. They had grabbed one of our computers (leaving a jar of donations on the front desk) and beat our intern over the head when she tried to stop them. Our front windows are almost totally covered with signs and posters and it would be hard to see what we have from the street…we did, thankfully, recover the computer which has sensitive material on it and we are even more thankful that Somer is okay. (She’s tough like her boss).

After several days of harassment, I got home late one night to discover a jury summons in my mailbox. I have been summoned to jury duty the week of, you guessed it, the elections!

The final (and in my opinion worse) weird thing happened on Saturday night. We had scheduled a group of “robo” calls to go out today (Monday, Oct 13). At 10:30 Saturday night, we started getting phone calls and emails blasting us for sending out the calls at 10:30 on a Saturday night, which is not only illegal, but extremely annoying. The company had approached us to donate 10,000 calls to us and then was charging us a small fee for the rest of the calls. 38,000 early/absentee voters received this call and my office has been overwhelmed with angry voters who won’t be voting for me now and some of the good will that we have been building here in San Francisco for the last year went down the drain in just a few minutes. Was it just a “glitch” in the system, as the owner of the robo-call company claims, or overt sabotage of the campaign? Isn’t it sad that we have to be paranoid about all of this? To be sure, our office is in a rough part of town, but the frequency of the harassment is certainly intensifying.

The stakes are high and I have a feeling “they” won’t stop at anything to assure that the tyranny of incumbency continues.

Ironing boards for peace

San Francisco organizers are taking it to the streets — their ironing board, that is.

Here’s what they’re suggesting as an Iraq Moratorium activity on Friday, the ninth monthly Moratorium action:

Make a difference – join us in neighborhood outreach! Stand at an ironing board at a busy location with a partner to help you and speak to that frustrated, angry person who doesn’t know what to do. Get them to write a message on a postcard to their congressperson or presidential candidate. It’s fun, people are so appreciative and eager to speak out! In an hour or two you will reach 50+ people. Please help, choose a time and location of your choice, we have materials! Locations: Golden Gate Park, City Hall, Farmer’s market, 9th and Irving, City College, Tenderloin and more.

One woman who’s tried it out lately says that is an effective way to engage people and get them to do something.  Why an ironing board?  They’re portable, quick and easy to set up, and allow people to write standing up.

Progressive organizers have spent many hours over the years sitting behind tables filled with literature, signs, petitions, and buttons — so many that the act of sitting at such a table has developed into a verb.  They call it “tabling.”

One of these days, will we be at a meeting where we hear talk of “ironing boarding?”

The ironing boards are but one facet of plans for Iraq Moratorium #9 on Friday, as evidenced by more than 100 events listed at the Moratorium website.

Cincinnati’s Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center will sponsor half a dozen neighborhood vigils in different parts of the city on Friday night.  

In Manitou Springs CO, Iraq Veterans Against the War will sponsor “Words of Resistance,” an evening of poetry and spoken word from Iraq veterans, and a chance to share your own as well.

In Naples FL, a group of military veterans and spouses from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and parentswho have sons in Iraq will hold a roadside vigil.

In Chicago, it’s Art Against war, with a night of music and poetry at the Heartland Cafe.

And in Laramie WY, there will be a vigil on the corner where there has been a vigil every Friday since January 2003.  In Lansing MI there’s been a Friday vigil at the State Capitol since September, 2001.  Oak Park IL has more than five years of vigils as well.

There’s a full list on the website, along with some ideas about what you can do as an individual if you can’t find or attend an action where you live.

The whole idea is to do something — anything — to show your opposition to the war, whether it’s wearing an armband or writing your members of Congress or donating to a peace group working to end the war and occupation.  Or get out your own ironing board and do some outreach.  All it takes to have an action is two people and a sign.  Or maybe one person and an ironing board.

Friday’s the day.  Please do something.


Olympic Torch in San Francisco

Screen Cap from SFGate

Former mayor Willie Brown, football player Hershel Walker, and swimmer Natalie Coughlin, carry the torch on the final leg of the ‘surprise’ route.  Surrounded by a phalanx of Chinese security, police with batons,  and a motorcycle motorcade….with nary a protester in sight.   Yep – this is how San Francisco shows its Olympic spirit!

On April 9th the Olympic torch came to San Francisco – the only North American city on its route.  This was preceded by weeks of controversy over China’s human rights record, the situation in Tibet, and how this most liberal american city would  handle the event and the surrounding protests.   My parents (from Illinois) were in town that week so I took the opportunity to schedule a day off and go see the Olympic torch.  

Lots more pics below the fold.

Updated (3x): Protests Begin In San Francisco, Dalai Lama Issues Statement to Tibetans

“I think this is just a preview. I think there will be a lot more than this city is prepared for.”

link: http://www.reuters.com/article…

This was one San Fransican’s reaction to yesterday’s breath-taking protest by proponents of a free Tibet who scaled the Golden Gate Bridge:

When Animals Attack

Overcovered in a shameless play to the cheap seats for at least the past three days has been the fatal attack Christmas Day on 17-year-old Carlos Susa and two others who were injured by Tatiana, a Siberian tiger at the San Francisco zoo.

Not to discount Carlos’ family’s tragedy, just pointing out how this has gotten to be a real media circus with media whores coming out of the woodwork to use it as a way to get their Warholian 15 minutes of fame.