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AS ALWAYS LIFE IMITATES THE EARLIER, FUNNIER EPISODES OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE:

Shot: Official: Cruise ship could house 1,000 Oakland homeless.

A San Francisco Bay Area city official wants to explore the possibility of using a cruise ship to house up to 1,000 homeless people in the region with a high cost of living and a shortage of affordable housing.

Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan told a council meeting Tuesday that the ship would be brought to the Port of Oakland, but port officials said Wednesday the move would be “untenable.”

“We respect President Kaplan’s desire to address homelessness but Port of Oakland docks are designed to work cargo ships, there isn’t the infrastructure to berth a cruise ship,” port spokesman Mike Zampa said.

—AP, yesterday.

Chaser:

Michael Dukakis: There’s my friend Leroy Neiman. Let’s go see what Leroy’s doing. [ approaches Leroy, who’s painting a mural ] Hello, Leroy. That’s great. It’s great. What do you call it?

Leroy Neiman: Governor, I call this “What Might Have Been”. It shows the nuclear aircraft carrier Niemitz after its conversion into a floating shelter for the homeless.

Michael Dukakis: Well, it’s beautiful, Leroy.

Leroy Neiman: Thank you.

“Dukakis After Dark,” Saturday Night Live, November 5th, 1988.

NOBODY LIKES A SHITHOLE CITY: Oracle Is Moving Its Massive Conference Out of San Francisco. Are Dirty Streets to Blame? My question is, why are leftist activists obsessed with making it easy for people to piss and shit in the streets?

DOG INGESTS MIX OF DRUGS DURING WALK AT CRISSY FIELD BEACH IN SAN FRANCISCO:

It was a regular walk at the park that almost ended in tragedy for three-year-old Lido.

“His temperature peaked to 108 degrees. He was shaking and drooling and was out of control and we were concerned that he was going to have a heart attack or that we were going to lose him,” described Lido’s guardian Jennifer McHugh.

McHugh says Lido began to spin minutes after ingesting a substance during their morning walk at Crissy Field Beach.

“Clearly the drug use in San Francisco has hit epidemic levels if we are concerned about walking our dogs and them interacting or coming in contact with drug paraphernalia,” said McHugh.

The drugs found inside Lido’s system were methamphetamine and oxycodone.

The use of the phrase pet “guardian” in the article is an appropriately Orwellian Bay Area touch. I’m only surprised that the ABC affiliate didn’t refer to Lido as being one of the area’s “fur children.”

UPDATE: Bay Area blogger Bookworm emailed me:

Re the story about the poor dog that almost died on the streets of SF, the “guardian” language comes right out of the San Francisco Municipal Code:

The Code now refers to guardian or owner, but I have a vague memory that the word “owner” was fiercely contested at one time.
Well, that jibes with the 2004 Slate article on the G-word I linked to above.

I SUPPOSE IT’S BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE. BUT SOMEONE SHOULD TELL THEM ABOUT THESE NEW AND INCREDIBLE STUDIES. IT APPEARS GIVEN THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF INCENTIVE AND DETERRENT HUMANS CAN OCCASIONALLY BECOME HOUSEBROKEN, AND USE THESE THINGS CALLED BATHROOMS. OF COURSE, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO PUNISH OUT-OF-PLACE ELIMINATION: San Francisco plans to power-wash the poop out of the Tenderloin.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: The Rise Of Restaurants With No Diners As Apps Take Orders. “Inside a bright red building in Redwood City, just south of San Francisco, cooks plunge baskets of french fries into hot oil, make chicken sandwiches and wrap falafel in pita bread. If you’ve been in a restaurant kitchen, it’s a familiar scene. But what’s missing here are waiters and customers. Every dish is placed in a to-go box or bag. Delivery drivers line up in a waiting area ready for the name on their order to be called. Behind the counter, racks of metal shelves hold bags of food. Each bag sports a round, red sticker with the logo of DoorDash, America’s biggest food delivery app. DoorDash manages this building, the drivers, the counter staff — everything but the food, which is made by five restaurants that are renting kitchens here.”

What do you call a restaurant with no diners? A factory.

BRR: San Francisco ties record-breaking cold temps set in 1896. Remember, this is weather, not climate.

“POOPING IN THE STREET HAS CONSEQUENCES:” Schwab Inc. leaving San Francisco for Texas.

“ACTIVISTS” ARE LIARS: Salvation Army commander: Yes, we are faith-based charity. But we serve and love everyone.

The Salvation Army is the world’s largest nongovernmental provider of poverty relief, serving more than 23 million in need each year in America alone. Our doors are, and always have been, open to all. We don’t ask anyone their orientation, identity or beliefs, to help ensure that they feel welcome and safe. So while we can’t claim an exact number, we believe by sheer size and access that we are the largest provider of poverty relief for people in the LGBTQ community.

Across our 7,686 centers of operation, you’ll find Salvation Army employees who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. You’ll find social workers who understand, advocate for and implement tailored services. You’ll find dedicated initiatives and resources designed for unique support. And you’ll find volunteers who embody our mission to serve all.

Yet because our organization is rooted in faith, a chorus repeatedly rises that insists we are anti-LGBTQ. And that refrain is dangerous to the very community we are wrongly accused of rejecting. At minimum, perpetuating rhetoric that vilifies an organization with the reach, housing, programming and resources that we have in place to lift them up is counterintuitive and inefficient. But when that organization depends on the generosity of donors to provide much-needed assistance to so many across all walks of life, it’s devastating.

We have a dorm in Las Vegas exclusively for transgender individuals. In Minneapolis, an estimated 20% of the 550 or so individuals who seek rest in our Harbor Light shelter each night are members of the LGBTQ community. In San Francisco, we operate a detoxification facility that caters to those infected with HIV/AIDS. Our Young Adult Resource Center provides day shelter to homeless youth in Houston, many of whom identify as LGBTQ. We work with the City of Baltimore to combat trafficking among transgender individuals, a growing need there. And every other Salvation Army program, shelter or center nationwide is open to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Those are verifiable facts, and though we have much more to do as we try to address unique needs of all kinds, Salvation Army programs like these are ready to help vulnerable LGBTQ people at this very minute.

But “activists” are liars. Remember, they aren’t good people who got carried away by a passion for justice. They’re awful, horrible, garbage people motivated by a desire to harm.

By the way, if you want to donate to the Salvation Army, their page is here.

IF YOU’RE IN COLORADO, PAY ATTENTION. THEY WILL PULL ALL THE STOPS TO DEPRIVE YOU OF YOUR RIGHT TO A REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC. CALIFORNIA CAN MANUFACTURE ENOUGH VOTES TO STEAL THOSE OF EVERY OTHER STATE. TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT SAN FRANCISCO. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT: California Dems Flood Colorado With Cash Ahead of National Popular Vote Referendum.

OUT ON A LIMB: San Francisco And NYC Begin To See The Ugly Side Of Socialism.

LAWRENCE PERSON: Austin Half-Asses Its Homeless Problem. “So transients camping on business sidewalks are right out, but open public spaces next to ordinary citizens are evidently A-OK to camp and shoot-up on.”

Still, better than San Francisco where they’re fully-assing the problem.

WITH DNC IN MIND, CITY BANS CARRYING URINE, FECES: San Francisco’s New DA: Public Urination ‘Will Not Be Prosecuted.’

Earlier: San Francisco’s New Socialist, Soft On Crime D.A. Is The Last Thing The City Needs.

(Classical reference in headline.)

SAN FRANCISCO’S RETURN TO THE DARK AGES CONTINUES: World’s first airport therapy pig hogs the limelight at San Francisco airport.

The five-year-old Juliana pig and her owner, Tatyana Danilova, are part of San Francisco International Airport’s “Wag Brigade” — a program that brings therapy animals to the airport to cheer passengers up and help ease travel anxieties.

Dressed in a pilot’s cap and with toenails painted bright red, LiLou breezes through the metal detector at airport security and trots to the departure gates. She raises a hoof in greeting, poses for selfies and entertains departing passengers with a tune on her toy piano.

“People are very happy to get distracted from the travel, from their routines, whether they’re flying on their journey for vacation or work,” said Danilova. “Everybody is usually very happy and it makes them pause for a second and smile and be like, ‘oh, it’s great.’”

When she’s not delighting passengers at the airport, LiLou lives with Danilova in her downtown San Francisco apartment, where she enjoys a diet of organic vegetables and protein pellets, sleeps in her own bed and goes for daily walks around the neighborhood.

Danilova says LiLou loves interacting with people, but, as a prey animal, doesn’t like having anyone approach her from behind.

To paraphrase Reuters’ remarks on Mohamed Atta, one man’s emotional support pig is another man’s woke nightmare, and the comments to this Reuters article at Yahoo are much more grounded in reality than the reporter who wrote the above copy.

NOT THE ONION: San Francisco’s New Socialist, Soft On Crime D.A. Is The Last Thing The City Needs.

[Chesa] Boudin’s political leanings are fairly unsurprising. San Francisco’s newest DA and self-proclaimed socialist is the son of former members of the violent revolutionary far-left group Weather Underground, an organization that rose to infamy in the 1970s and carried out as many as two dozen bombings of government properties. Both of Boudin’s parents were imprisoned for murders related to a robbery they conducted as Weathermen, and Boudin’s father David Gilbert is still serving time.

In his parents’ stead, two other militant Weathermen, known as leaders within the organization, raised Boudin. Indeed, in an interview with Jacobin (yes, that Jacobin), Boudin spoke positively of how his four parents’ “activism” has inspired his own work, despite the “mistakes” they all made—a supposedly “charming” detail that is fundamentally grotesque.

As a Yale-trained lawyer, Boudin eventually left the United States to work as a translator for Venzuela’s now-deceased socialist dictator Hugo Chavez, an outrageous resume data point that ought to get someone laughed out of political office (for those unfamiliar, Chavez’s socialism eventually transformed Venezuela into a failed state). But predictably not so in San Francisco, where behemoth, yet ineffective government is fetishized to the point of allowing piles of human feces in the streets.

Why doesn’t San Francisco make it official and simply elect Bane to be their D.A.?

HOW DARE YOU! San Francisco’s Greta Thunberg Mural Equipped With Laser Eyes That Shoot At SUVs.

When the lasers were first activated, they immediately targeted the carbon-emitting hydraulic cranes and aerosol paint sprayers used to create the mural. The glitch has since been fixed.

Sources confirm the lasers will be suspended when Al Gore and other climate activist celebrities visit San Francisco and drive through town with their fleet of Suburbans and Escalades.

From the Babylon Bee, America’s Paper of Record. If Big Sister’s lasers could be reprogrammed to eradicate poop on the sidewalk below the mural, SF could really be onto something!

FOREIGN INFLUENCE: Hugo Chavez’s trusted advisor gets ready to run the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.

HOW DARE YOU! “The leftist geniuses in San Francisco have decided to send a message about climate change by creating a 6 story mural of Greta Thunberg using 700 gallons of aerosol spray paint.”

The Curbed San Francisco Website reports that “35 percent of San Franciscans consider leaving for good, according to city survey,” thus leaving the remaining Outer Party true believers living on Poopstrip One to be scolded Big Sister style by the giant image of Thunberg.

SOCIALISM: IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL LEAVE. 35 percent of San Franciscans consider leaving for good, according to city survey.

Somebody really needs to fund Glenn’s Welcome Wagon idea.

VIDEO: I talk about my book, The Social Media Upheaval, with the folks from the San Francisco Review of Books.

YOU KNOW WHAT’S PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS: Apple wants affordable housing in California—but laws stand in the way.

Apple has pledged $2.5 billion to help address California’s affordable-housing crisis, the company announced on Monday. In recent years, the San Francisco Bay Area has become the most expensive housing market in America. Los Angeles also suffers from housing costs far above the national average.

Apple’s $2.5 billion package includes several different initiatives. Apple will offer a $1 billion line of credit to organizations building housing for low-income people.

These efforts to promote affordable housing are laudable, but corporate initiatives alone are unlikely to solve California’s housing crisis. The Golden State’s fundamental housing problem is that state and local laws simply don’t allow developers to build enough housing to accommodate rising demand.

Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have all announced billion-dollar-or-more housing plans, but they’d get better results spending a fraction of that amount helping to elect local Republicans on a deregulation platform.

But it seems that Big Tech, just like Big Government, would rather throw around large sums of money to little effect.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The left seeks to “normalize” crime. At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff writes:

The Washington Post has a Sunday magazine. This week, the entire magazine, an unusually thick edition, is devoted to the topic of prison. All of the articles are written by people who are incarcerated now or were incarcerated in the past. The illustrations and photographs are also exclusively by this cohort.

The lead article is by Piper Kerman. She served 13 months in federal prison for money laundering and drug trafficking. Thirteen months seems like a lenient sentence for these offenses.

The illustration accompanying Kerman’s article is by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his mother and brother, but had that sentence commuted. Whitaker is serving life in prison. That sentence too seems lenient.

The title of Kerman’s article is “We’ve Normalized Prison.” But if incarceration is frequent enough to have been “normalized,” this isn’t the work of “we.” It’s the work of criminals. If they committed less crime or abstained altogether, incarceration wouldn’t be normal.

Meanwhile, back in saner times, the Atlantic magazine put the “Broken Windows” theory of crime prevention on the map with their 1982 article by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson. The techniques outlined in the article were used brilliantly by Rudy Giuliani and police commissioner William Bratton to turn New York around in 1990 after the city hit rock bottom during the Dinkins era. Whatever Giuliani’s successor Michael Bloomberg’s obsessions with “green” energy, banning Big Gulps, and turning Manhattan into one giant bicycle lane, he was smart enough to leave Giuliani’s crime prevention techniques largely in place.

Today though, the Atlantic has an article headlined “The Porch Pirate of [San Francisco’s] Potrero Hill Can’t Believe It Came to This: When a longtime resident started stealing her neighbors’ Amazon packages, she entered a vortex of smart cameras, Nextdoor rants, and cellphone surveillance.” The article attempts to make a serial thief of Amazon packages the victim of her neighbors’ high-tech efforts to keep their neighborhood safe, and have their property safely delivered:

Yet around that time, Fairley relapsed on drugs, and the deliveries that were dropped daily on her neighbors’ porches caught her attention. At that point, she didn’t know about the cameras or Nextdoor. In the months that followed, the police would find a cache of the neighbors’ belongings and mail in her possession. Her sister told me that Fairley generally sold the packages “for a little bit of nothing, just to get high,” or ate any deliveries that contained food. (Police say thieves generally sell their pickings on eBay, Craigslist, or to middlemen, who may hawk them at flea markets.) Fairley insisted to me that she stole only a small number of items—“I did it maybe once or twice, three times at the most; it wasn’t like a new job I went into”—and that she sold just one of them, a set of storage bins, for about $20. (She also told me she stole mostly in order to buy necessities, not drugs.) She thought the packages would be replaced by Amazon and other senders, so her gain wouldn’t be her neighbors’ loss. “That’s what eased my conscience taking someone’s property, because I’m not a bad person, it was just a bad choice,” she told me. “I was in a desperate state.”

As Fairley started hitting the stoops, her neighbors took to Nextdoor to discuss what to do. One group thought it was naive to expect a package to sit undisturbed for hours on a city stoop. Another camp felt the residents deserved the same rights to deliveries as in any other town. A third group was the solutions crowd: They advised having the boxes delivered to workplaces, or to Amazon Hub Locker, or with Amazon Key, a smart-lock system that allows couriers to drop packages directly inside a home or car. It turns out that while delivering packages is big business, so is thwarting their theft.

* * * * * * * *

While porch cams have been used to investigate cases as serious as homicides, the surveillance and neighborhood social networking typically make a particular type of crime especially visible: those lower-level ones happening out in public, committed by the poorest. Despite the much higher cost of white-collar crime, it seems to cause less societal hand-wringing than what might be caught on a Ring camera, said W. David Ball, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. “Did people really feel that crime was ‘out of control’ after Theranos?” he said. “People lost hundreds of millions of dollars. You would have to break into every single car in San Francisco for the next ten years to amount to the amount stolen under Theranos.”

That perspective was little comfort to San Franciscans in late 2017, when the city was the nation’s leader in property crime. In Potrero, Fairley had been captured on camera enough times, snatching packages or walking down the street with bundles of mail, that many in the neighborhood had a face and a name to attach to their generalized anger about ongoing nuisances. Fairley was correct in thinking that, in many cases, Amazon will replace pilfered packages. Her major miscalculation was in thinking that her neighbors would, therefore, just shrug and move on.

Funny that — even in far left San Francisco.

GROUND ZERO OF THE HOMELESS CRISIS: Stanford professor who changed America with just one study was also a liar.

This may explain [Stanford psychology and law professor David Rosenhan]. He saw real problems in society: The country was warehousing very sick people in horror houses pretending to be hospitals, our diagnostic systems were flawed and psychiatrists in many ways had too much power — and very little substance. He saw how psychiatric labels degraded people and how doctors see patients through the prism of their mental illness. All of this was true. In many ways, it is still true.

But the problem is that scientific research needs to be sound. We cannot build progress on a rotten foundation.

In disregarding Lando’s data and inventing other facts, Rosenhan missed an opportunity to create something three-dimensional, something a bit messier but more honest. Instead, he helped perpetuate a dangerous half-truth.

And today, what we have is a mental-health crisis of epic proportions. Over 100,000 people with serious mental illnesses live on the streets, while we are chronically short of safe housing and hospital beds for the sickest among us.

Had Rosenhan been more measured in his treatment of the hospitals, had he included Lando’s data, there’s a chance a different dialogue, less extreme in its certainty, would have emerged from his study and maybe, just maybe, we’d be in a better place.

Read the whole thing.

Flash-forward to today: San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless.

ONE-PARTY DEMOCRATIC DOMINATION TAKES ITS TOLL: As Homelessness Surges in California, So Does a Backlash: Tent encampments across California are testing residents’ tolerance and compassion as street conditions deteriorate.

Insults like “financial parasites” and “bums” have been directed at them, not to mention rocks and pepper spray. Fences, potted plants and other barriers have been erected to keep them off sidewalks. Citizen patrols have been organized, vigilante style, to walk the streets and push them out.

California may pride itself on its commitment to tolerance and liberal values, but across the state, record levels of homelessness have spurred a backlash against those who live on the streets.

Gene Gorelik, a property developer in Oakland and an aggressive critic of the homeless, recently suggested luring the thousands of homeless people in the San Francisco Bay Area onto party buses stocked with alcohol and sending them on a one-way trip to Mexico. “Refugee camps in Syria are cleaner than this,” he said in an interview at a fast-food restaurant in Oakland that overlooks a homeless encampment.

Homelessness is an expanding crisis that comes amid skyrocketing housing prices, a widening gap between the rich and poor and the persistent presence on city streets of the mentally ill and drug-dependent despite billions of dollars spent to help them.

The point of the billions isn’t to help them. You know, I’m beginning to think Trump might be able to, er, “pounce” on this backlash and carry California. At the very least a lot more people will vote for him there than will admit it.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: Victor Davis Hanson asks: Is California Becoming Premodern?

Residents carefully plan long highway trips as if they were ancient explorers charting dangerous routes. Tourists warily enter downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco as if visiting a politically unstable nation.

Insatiable state tax collectors and agencies are viewed by the public as if they were corrupt officials of Third World countries seeking bribes. Californians flip their switches unsure of whether the lights will go on. Many are careful about what they say, terrified of progressive thought police who seem more worried about critics than criminals.

Our resolute ancestors took a century to turn a wilderness into California. Our irresolute generation in just a decade or two has been turning California into a wilderness.

Earlier: The rolling blackouts in California is not a climate change story. It’s a perfect storm of bad management decisions and rent-seeking green energy contractors.

TEXAS LURING JOBS AWAY FROM CALIFORNIA WITH PROMISES OF ELECTRICITY.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still satire, before morphing into America’s Newspaper of Record. Speaking of which, when CBS’s San Francisco affiliate is running a headline like, “Silicon Valley Businesses Consider Relocating Due To Unreliable Power System,” Gov. Abbott should adopt the “MOVE TO TEXAS. We have electricity!” billboard atop the Bee’s article as a part of an advertising campaign, in an update to Rick Perry’s earlier “come check out Texas” campaign aimed at California businesses.

(As long as he reminds them, “Don’t California my Texas.”)

CALIFORNIA AT THE CROSSROADS: “California power lines spark wildfires and prompt blackouts. Why not just bury them?”, asked a headline in USA Today earlier this month:

It costs about $3 million per mile to convert underground electric distribution lines from overhead, while the cost to build a mile of new overhead line is less than a third of that, at approximately $800,000 per mile, according to a section on PG&E’s website called Facts About Undergrounding Power Lines.

California has 25,526 miles of higher voltage transmission lines, and 239,557 miles of distribution lines, two-thirds of which are overhead, according to CPUC. Less than 100 miles per year are transitioned underground, meaning it would take more than 1,000 years to underground all the lines at the current rate.

Or, California could practice responsible forestry solutions to reduce the chance of fires.  But then, that would lead to this headline from back in August at the San Francisco Chronicle: “‘Radical’ tree trimming: Critics say PG&E’s rush to stop fires may hurt California forests.”

As Rich Lowry writes today at NRO, “Decades of misgovernance and misplaced priorities have left the state fighting fire with . . . blackouts:”

California governor Gavin Newsom, who has to try to evade responsibility for this debacle while presiding over it, blames “dog-eat-dog capitalism” for the state’s current crisis. It sounds like he’s referring to robber barons who have descended on the state to suck it dry of profits while burning it to the ground. But Newsom is talking about one of the most regulated industries in the state — namely California’s energy utilities, which answer to the state’s public utilities commission.

This is not exactly an Ayn Rand operation. The state could have, if it wanted, pushed the utilities to focus on the resilience and safety of its current infrastructure — implicated in some of the state’s most fearsome recent fires — as a top priority. Instead, the commission forced costly renewable-energy initiatives on the utilities. Who cares about something as mundane as properly maintained power lines if something as supposedly epically important — and politically fashionable — as saving the planet is at stake?

Meanwhile, California has had a decades-long aversion to properly clearing forests. The state’s leaders have long been in thrall to the belief that cutting down trees is somehow an offense against nature, even though thinning helps create healthier forests. Biomass has been allowed to build up, and it becomes the kindling for catastrophic fires.

As Chuck DeVore of the Texas Public Policy Foundation points out, a report of the Western Governors’ Association warned of this effect more than a decade ago, noting that “over time the fire-prone forests that were not thinned, burn in uncharacteristically destructive wildfires.”

In 2016, then-governor Jerry Brown actually vetoed a bill that had unanimously passed the state legislature to promote the clearing of trees dangerously close to power lines. Brown’s team says this legislation was no big deal, but one progressive watchdog called the bill “neither insignificant or small.”

On top of all this, more people live in remote areas susceptible to fires, in part because of the high cost of housing in more built-up areas.

Fortunately, as Jazz Shaw writes at Hot Air, Gov. Newsom has stumbled into the perfect solution to all of his problems: “What to do with such a prickly situation? The answer is obvious. He’ll just get rid of PG&E. And the person to take care of that little chore would obviously be Warren Buffet because he could easily purchase the company that’s now in bankruptcy and facing hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in fines and lawsuits:”

I’m not sure who should break this news to Governor Newsom. Perhaps one of our readers could volunteer. But the fact is that Warren Buffet is incredibly wealthy for a reason. He doesn’t pour his money down ratholes with no chance of showing a profit. It’s not his job to save California from its own folly. He’s probably already regretting the fact that his energy company is heavily invested in PG&E and taking massive hits on their shares as it is.

While Buffett has long been a lefty politically, his presumed forthcoming refusal to Newsom’s kind offer is a reminder of the late historian Robert Conquest’s First Law of Politics: “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.”

Thus, California’s woes continue. Or as Lowry concludes, “California’s overriding goal should have been safe, cheap, and reliable power, a public good so basic that it’s easy to take for granted. The state’s focus on ideological fantasies has instead ensured it has none of the above.”

DEMOCRAT-DOMINATED STATES SEEM TO HAVE INFRASTRUCTURE PROBLEMS: How San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center went from the Grand Central of the West to a $2.2 billion construction debacle.

EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED: In Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley, “Some 522 tons of rocks and boulders have put a stop — for now at least — to a longstanding problem: Squatters camping under the Pacific Boulevard viaduct in Albany where Jackson Street and Seventh Avenue meet.”

Someone pictured the rocks on Facebook, and a bike ride this afternoon took me past the place to see for myself.

This used to be a frequent hangout for apparently homeless people who couldn’t or wouldn’t go to the nearby shelters, Helping Hands just around the corner and Signs of Victory a couple blocks down Jackson Street.

The headline though, in the Hasso Hering, is a great moment in gaslighting: “Rocks in a hard place: No more camping.” As one of the commenters notes:

It is NOT “camping”. It is criminal trespass, littering and other criminal violations. Camping is when you pitch a tent or RV for recreational-vacation purposes. Some want to say this is a housing problem…while repeated studies show it is a mental health and addiction problem. In the meantime, our cities should not be places where people can pitch a tent and destroy the city scape.

Earlier: San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless.

IT’S COME TO THIS: “Several members of the Golden State Warriors said they are still going through sticker shock while making the transition from Oracle Arena in Oakland to the new Chase Center in San Francisco:”

Connor Letourneau of San Francisco Chronicle provided details from the experiences of guard Jacob Evans ($1.9 million salary this season, per Spotrac) and center Kevon Looney ($4.5 million), as well as forward Alfonzo McKinnie ($1.6 million), who was recently waived by the Dubs and signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“You hear about the crazy prices out here,” Evans said after calculating he’ll pay around $7,900 in monthly housing costs. “But until you actually see those numbers add up on paper, it doesn’t feel real.”

The housing price of liberalism” doesn’t come cheap.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Rich Libs in Silicon Valley to Host ‘Poverty Simulation’ — will be held in Cupertino, site of Apple headquarters.

The event will take place on Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cupertino Senior Center. During the two-hour simulation, participants will “work to overcome barriers to social services, live off insufficient income, and encounter unforeseen economic obstacles along the way,” according to the City of Cupertino website.

The poverty simulation will be hosted by the city and two local nonprofits, West Valley Community Services and Step Up Silicon Valley. The latter group describes itself as a “social innovation network focused on reducing poverty.”

Cupertino, site of Apple headquarters, has a median household income of more than $150,000—well above the national median of $60,000. Users of the popular social-networking website Twitter, which is headquartered about an hour’s drive away in San Francisco, have noted the absurdity of rich, tech-industry liberals who have turned a once-great city into an unlivable hellscape in turn having little to offer in terms of actual solutions beyond a “simulation” designed to allow its rich, liberal attendees to publicly express their opposition to poverty. Good for them.

Curiously though, there seems to be little effort to roll back what Thomas Sowell dubbed “the housing price of liberalism” in the Bay Area. As Sowell writes, “Much as many liberals like to put guilt trips on other people, they seldom seek out, much less acknowledge and take responsibility for, the bad consequences of their own actions.”

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: LA ranked 2nd most rat-infested city in US. “Chicago took the number one spot, with New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco-Oakland rounding out the top five Rattiest Cities.”

NEVER LET A MANUFACTURED CRISIS GO TO WASTE: Attorney blasts California Gov. Newsom for using homeless crisis to overturn will of voters.

Attorney Jim Breslo said Wednesday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom overturned the will of California voters by using the homeless crisis as an excuse to impose statewide rent control in an attempt to address a housing shortage.

“He’s [Newsom is] trying to use a crisis to do things that he wasn’t otherwise able to do,” Breslo told “Fox & Friends.”

“They couldn’t get statewide rent control approved by the voters.”

Although Newsom previously opposed the initiative, the former lieutenant governor and mayor of San Francisco changed his position and plans to sign a statewide rent-control law.

One more time, the Housing Gnomes’ three-step plan works like this:

1. Make construction more costly, and also cap rents.

2. ???

3. Housing for everyone!

Fortunately, I have a huge supply Unexpectedlys for use as the steps play out.

PUSHING BACK AGAINST LEFTY PRIVILEGE: Extinction Rebellion Has A Rough Weekend As People Fight Back Against Climate Protests.

Later reports from Extinction Rebellion San Francisco’s Facebook page indicate that the protesters tried to get police involved and  that the group filed an official complaint against the unnamed man who stole their banner. But, the activists said sadly, police officials told demonstrators that they probably wouldn’t investigate the incident.

Further down the California coast, in Long Beach, Extinction Rebellion ran into another set of “intolerant” Americans after the tried to invade an In ‘N Out burger and were summarily ejected by several non-plussed restaurant workers.

At least Marx and the first batch of “Progressives” tried to pose as champions of the working class. A lefty screaming into a bullhorn at a low-wage fast food clerk isn’t a good look — and one that we’ve seen before:

Related: Found via Ace’s sidebar, Extinction Rebellion isn’t about the Climate. It’s about Heteronormativity.

DOG DAY AFTERNOON: San Francisco 49ers become first NFL team to adopt a “‘specifically designated’ emotional support animal, a 49ers spokesperson told CNN.”

Somewhere, the late Bill Walsh, who was a boxer in college, in addition to playing multiple football positions, must be shaking his head and wondering what’s going on with the current incarnation of the team he built.

NO FALAFEL FOR YOU! San Francisco Falafel Shop Owner Says Neighborhood Has Enough Falafel, Asks City to Block Rival Falafel Shop Next Door. San Francisco gives its Planning Commission nearly unlimited discretion to deny or condition permits, making life hell for business owners.

Kafka’s The Trial – a warning for the rest of us, a how-to guide for leftist bureaucrats.

AS ALWAYS, LIFE IMITATES THE BABYLON BEE:

Shot: All The Other States Beg California To Add Them To Travel Ban.

—Headline, the (satiric) Babylon Bee, September 17th.

Chaser: San Francisco Expands Travel Ban to 22 Pro-Life States.

—Headline, American Greatness, today.

PREDICTION: SF developer joins California high-speed rail board to get it ‘back on track.’

Not sure if congratulations or condolences are in order, but longtime Bay Area housing developer Jim Ghielmetti of San Francisco, has been appointed to the California High-Speed Rail Authority board of directors.

Ghielmetti is the founder Signature Homes, which since 1983 and has been a major player Bay Area housing market. Ghielmetti was a member of the California Transportation Commission until last week.

As for why he took the job, Ghielmetti said, “I’d like to see the train get back on track.”

Prediction: It won’t be.

Yogi Berra was wrong: Some predictions are easy, even about the future.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot:

All around the world, young people are having less sex than previous generations. At the forefront of the so-called global “sex recession” is Japan, which has one of the lowest fertility rates on Earth, and it could serve as a cautionary tale for the U.S. and other industrialized countries.

Shota Suzuki works as a building custodian in Tokyo. After work, he likes to hang out in an area known for anime and manga with his friends. But at 28, Suzuki has never had a romantic relationship, and he’s pessimistic that he ever will.

“Yes, I’m a virgin,” he told CBS News. “I would like to get married, but I can’t find a partner.”

Suzuki is far from a rare case. It’s not difficult to find other young adults, like 27-year-old Kakeru Nakamura, who are surprisingly candid about their sexual inexperience.

“My parents want me to hurry up and get married,” he said. “I tell them I’m too busy.”

A review of Japan’s National Fertility Survey reveals virginity is on the rise; one out of every 10 Japanese men in their 30s is still a virgin. That puts Japan’s virginity rate well ahead of that of other industrialized nations.

“The cautionary tale of Japan’s ‘sex recession,’” CBS News, September 27th.

● Chaser:

In the decade leading up to the publication of The Population Bomb and the creation of ZPG in 1968, a range of non-fiction films and television broadcasts engaged with population. Millions had viewed CBS Reports’ Emmy-award winning “The Population Explosion,” a television documentary about India, in 1959. Canada’s National Film Board produced People by the Billions (1960) and Population Explosion (1967), while the Ford Foundation’s National Educational Television (NET, later replaced by PBS) broadcast a six-part series on The Population Problem in 1965. The Squeeze (1964), a short experimental film about overpopulation by time-lapse pioneer Hilary Harris, won a Golden Gate Award for best fiction at the San Francisco Film Festival. And most famously, the Population Council commissioned Walt Disney’s Family Planning (1967). Translated into over twenty languages, the ten-minute cartoon starring Donald Duck cost $300,000 to produce and was accompanied by supplementary filmstrips, slides, leaflets, comics, posters, and other materials.

In roughly the same period, fictionalized narratives about overpopulation and population control also flourished. A thriving subgenre of science fiction, subsequently dubbed demographic-dystopian, or “demodystopian,” was not only published in paperback, but also broadcast on radio and television. Following Malthusian episodes of radio’s Exploring Tomorrow (1958) and television’s ABC Stage 67 (1966) and Star Trek (1969), ABC Movie of the Week aired “The Last Child” on October 5, 1971, just three months before Z.P.G. opened nationwide. Set in New York “sometime in the not too distant future”, the made-for-TV movie follows a young couple’s attempt to save their unborn child from state-administered abortion by fleeing the overpopulated police state America has become to Canada, where population control laws are more lenient. The narrative structure of defiantly reproductive heroes on the run from draconian authorities as well as the conservative (pro-family, anti-abortion) subtext of “The Last Child” was soon echoed in Z.P.G., the first demodystopian film to be seen not on television, in the privacy of homes, but in cinemas across the nation. The name of the film, identical to that of Ehrlich’s organization, brought ZPG into direct conflict with Z.P.G. 

—“Malthus at the Movies: Science, Cinema, and Activism around Z.P.G. and Soylent Green,” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, October 18, 2018.

Similarly, as lefty historian Douglas Brinkley noted in his 2012 biography of CBS’s longtime anchorman Walter Cronkite, Cronkite became obsessed with radical environmentalism right after the first manned moon landing in 1969 — which, curiously enough, was precisely when the Democratic Party became obsessed with radical environmentalism. As Brinkley wrote:

[N]ow that Neil Armstrong had walked on the Moon, Cronkite sensed that ecology would soon replace space exploration as the national obsession. CBS News producer Ron Bonn recalled precisely when Cronkite put the network on the front line of the fight. “It was New Year’s Day, 1970, and Walter walked into the Broadcast Center and said, ‘God damn it, we’ve got to get on this environmental story,’ ” Bonn recalled. “When Walter said ‘God damn it,’ things happened.” Cronkite pulled Bonn from nearly all other CBS duties for eight weeks so he could investigate environmental degradation. He wanted a whole new regular series on the CBS Evening News— inspired by Silent Spring, the philosophy of René Dubos, and those amazing photos of Earth taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts. The CBS Evening News segments were to be called “Can the World Be Saved?” “We wanted to grapple first with air pollution, the unbreathable air,” Bonn recalled. “But then we wanted to deal with the primary underlying problem, which was overpopulation.”

Finally, as Jazz Shaw writes at Hot Air on “the Sex Recession,” “There may well be other factors, too. We have teenagers running around the world convinced that the Earth is melting down and they’ll all be dead in 12 years. What are we doing in response to this mass paranoid hysteria? We’re handing out awards for best performance, that’s what. That’s not exactly an incentive to invest in the future, is it?”

THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE: No Power? Then Say Goodbye To Security, NorCal CRE Says.

In the throes of PG&E’s unprecedented Public Safety Power Shut-Off, office and multifamily experts say security was their primary concern until power could be restored.

The silver lining of this kind of outage, which commercial real estate fears may be the region’s new normal, compared to a natural disaster is the modicum of forewarning the bankrupt company can provide a few days ahead of time, but constantly changing weather forecasts rendered part of that seeming advantage useless.

“It seems really haphazard,” Transwestern Northern California Vice President of Asset Services Blake Peterson said of PG&E’s notifications and plans.

Indeed, PG&E CEO Bill Johnson admitted as much Thursday night during a press conference.

“Our website crashed several times. Our maps are inconsistent and maybe incorrect. Our call centers were overloaded,” Johnson said. “To put it simply, we were not adequately prepared to support the operational event.”

The result, according to multiple property management sources, was a scramble to provide darkened buildings the bare-essential services, like security and elevator power.

What could go wrong? Pretty much everything.

BUYING FENTANYL ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO—An Interview with Heather Mac Donald:

Quillette: What’s a nice lady like you doing buying fentanyl from drug dealers on the streets of San Francisco?

Heather Mac Donald: I wanted to test how easy it would be. Very easy, it turns out.

You weren’t worried about being hurt?

It’s a possibility. But I figure that my value-added as a writer is on the ground reporting.

It cracked me up that you offered just $8 for fentanyl. Was that because you were worried they would think you were a cop?

I really didn’t want to overpay! Literally, I had no idea what the going rate was for fentanyl. I’ve never used drugs in my life. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be outed. I just didn’t want to be a patsy.

* * * * * * * *

What is your basic argument?

On homelessness my argument is simple: You just don’t allow this behavior. That’s the starting point. It’s not compatible with the long-term life of cities. Once you establish that — something that was uncontroversial 50 years ago when the police would move people along, and there was unanimity that if you were in public you would have to meet basic norms of public behavior — then you don’t let people colonize the sidewalks.

Why is any given city where someone ends up on the street morally obligated to provide housing to that person? Nobody’s ever explained why that is. Say somebody comes from Seattle or Iowa to be homeless in San Francisco. When did San Francisco taxpayers become obligated to provide housing for him?

So is this just about enforcing norms?

Once you establish that this behavior is not acceptable, then you have to answer the question of where to put people. And so for the sake of argument, let’s assume that cities are obligated to provide housing for everyone who ends up on their streets.

If that’s the case, there is still no entitlement to be housed in the most expensive housing market in the country. Politicians should be far more careful stewards of taxpayer dollars. We can get far more addiction and mental health services from building clean and sober facilities in abandoned industrial or rural areas than spending $800,000 for a single unit in San Francisco.

Read the whole thing.

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO, HOSTAGE TO THE HOMELESS:

For the last three decades, San Francisco has conducted a real-life experiment in what happens when a society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior. The city has done so in the name of compassion toward the homeless. The results have been the opposite: street squalor and misery have increased, even as government expenditures have ballooned. Yet the principles that have guided the city’s homelessness policy remain inviolate: homelessness is a housing problem; it is involuntary; and its persistence is the result of inadequate public spending. These propositions are readily disproved by talking to people living on the streets.

It’s Heather Mac Donald, so read the whole thing.

 

WHY IS SAN FRANCISCO STATE SUCH A CESSPIT OF RACISM AND SEXISM? California Appeals Court Upholds Jury Verdict That University Denied Tenure To Professor Who Complained About Hostile Environment For Women Of Color.

THE JAZZ SINGER PREMIERED ON THIS DAY IN 1927: It is usually regarded as the first feature-length “talkie” (though it contained only a bit of actual talking).

Starring Al Jolson, who performs several scenes in blackface, the film is the story of a Jewish boy, Jakie Rabinowitz, who longs to be a jazz singer. His father, on the other hand, wants him to follow the family tradition and become a synagogue cantor. Jakie eventually runs away to follow his dream of show business stardom.

Alas, just as he is about to make it big, he finds out that his father is on his deathbed. Young Jakie is thus needed to sing the Kol Nidre for Yom Kippur in his father’s stead. If he fails to show up for the premiere of his big show, his fledgling career will likely be ruined.   But who will sing at the Yom Kippur service?  (Yes, I know … it’s probably a bit too melodramatic for the 21st century, but whatever ….)

With Justin Trudeau and all, blackface has been a big news item lately.  Here is an aspect of the issue that I did not realize until recently (though it doesn’t surprise me): Al Jolson and The Jazz Singer were both very popular with African Americans. When the film played in Harlem, Harlem’s newspaper, the Amsterdam News, called it “one of the greatest pictures ever produced.” About Jolson, it wrote: “Every colored performer is proud of him.”

I also did not realize that Jolson had been such a champion of African American performers. Here is what Wikipedia says:

While growing up, Jolson had many black friends, including Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, who became a prominent tap dancer. As early as 1911, at the age of 25, Jolson was noted for fighting discrimination on Broadway and later in his movies. He promoted a play by Garland Anderson, which became the first production with an all-black cast produced on Broadway. He brought a black dance team from San Francisco that he tried to put in a Broadway show. He demanded equal treatment for Cab Calloway, with whom he performed duets in the movie The Singing Kid.

Jolson read in the newspaper that songwriters Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, neither of whom he had ever heard of, were refused service at a Connecticut restaurant because of their race. He tracked them down and took them out to dinner, “insisting he’d punch anyone in the nose who tried to kick us out!” According to biographer Al Rose, Jolson and Blake became friends and went to boxing matches together.  …

Jeni LeGon, a black female tap dance star, recalls her life as a film dancer: “But of course, in those times it was a ‘black-and-white world.’ You didn’t associate too much socially with any of the stars. You saw them at the studio, you know, nice—but they didn’t invite. The only ones that ever invited us home for a visit was Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler.”  …

Jolson’s physical expressiveness also affected the music styles of some black performers. Music historian Bob Gulla writes that “the most critical influence in Jackie Wilson’s young life was Al Jolson.” He points out that Wilson’s ideas of what a stage performer could do to keep their act an “exciting” and “thrilling performance” was shaped by Jolson’s acts, “full of wild writhing and excessive theatrics”. Wilson felt that Jolson “should be considered the stylistic [forefather] of rock and roll.”

Interesting.

DECLINE IS A CHOICE: In the Wall Street Journal, Heather Mac Donald maps the Streets of San Francisco.

This city has been conducting a three-decade experiment in what happens when society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior. It has done so in the name of compassion for the homeless. The result: Street squalor and misery have increased, while government expenditures have ballooned. Yet the principles guiding city policy remain inviolate: Homelessness is a housing problem, it is involuntary, and it persists because of inadequate public spending. These propositions are readily disproved by talking to people living on the streets.

“Everyone’s on drugs here . . . and stealing,” an ex-convict named Shaku explains from an encampment of tents, trash and bicycles across from Glide Memorial Church in the heart of the Tenderloin district. A formerly homeless woman living in a city-subsidized hotel, asked if she does drugs, replies: “Is that a trick question?” Jeff, 50, slumps over his coffee cup at 7:30 a.m. A half-eaten muffin sits next to him on a filthy blanket. “I use drugs, alcohol, all of it,” he tells me, his eyes closed. “The whole Tenderloin is for drugs.”

* * * * * * * * *

The stories the homeless tell about their lives reveal that something far more complex than a housing shortage is at work. The tales veer from one confused and improbable situation to the next, against a backdrop of drug use, petty crime and chaotic child rearing. There are few policy levers to change this crisis of meaning in American culture. What is certain is that the continuing crusade to normalize drug use, along with the absence of any public encouragement of temperance, will further handicap this unmoored population.

Carving out a zone of immunity from the law and bourgeois norms for a perceived victim class destroys the quality of life in a city. As important, that immunity consigns its alleged beneficiaries to lives of self-abasement and marginality. Tolerating street vagrancy is a choice that cities make. For the public good, in San Francisco and elsewhere, that choice should be unmade.

Read the whole thing.

The entire city, whose last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1964, is a monument to the Fox Butterfield effect, which the SF Weekly publication stumbled into a decade ago: “Despite its spending more money per capita on homelessness than any comparable city, [San Francisco’s] homeless problem is worse than any comparable city’s.”

The city is just waiting to be used as backdrop for a Trump 2020 campaign commercial. And Trump’s cabinet has already started teeing off on it, finally.

VIRGINIA POSTREL: Homelessness Isn’t Just a Humanitarian Problem — California activists are undermining their cause by ignoring and stigmatizing legitimate concerns about social disorder.

The compassionate view overwhelmingly dominates press coverage and official statements. It defines the problem and the acceptable ways of discussing it. Consider a New York Times report on President Donald Trump’s trip to the Bay Area last month in which economics reporter Conor Dougherty editorialized:

In that light, local leaders have some real and reasonable doubts about how serious the president is about trying to solve homelessness. And Mr. Trump’s own comments on homelessness did not offer much in the way of reassurance because he seemed less focused on the homeless than their apparent victims, like California’s police officers — “They’re actually sick; they’re going to the hospital” — and property owners: “We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves.”

Most Californians in cities beset by homelessness would never vote for Trump, but he’s voicing their disgust and unease. People who pay their taxes, keep up their homes and consider themselves law-abiding feel besieged and unheard. Whatever empathy they may have had melts away.

California’s self-made woes should be a major theme in Trump’s reelection commercials next year.

SOCIALISM: IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL LEAVE: This 57-year-old said ‘screw this’ to San Francisco — and retired to ‘delightful’ Albuquerque, where she slashed her expenses by 70%.

Billionaire libertarian and GOP supporters should get going on Glenn’s Welcome Wagon idea, pronto.

VIRGINIA POSTREL: Homelessness Isn’t Just a Humanitarian Problem: California activists are undermining their cause by ignoring and stigmatizing legitimate concerns about social disorder.

California has a homelessness crisis, but Californians don’t agree about what it is.

To homeless advocates, social service providers, many politicians and most journalists, it’s a humanitarian problem — a social tragedy of rapidly increasing numbers of men, women and families living without shelter, vulnerable to crime, disease and degradation. This state of affairs, they believe, is a “moral disaster.”

For pedestrians pushed into the street by blocked sidewalks, women afraid of unruly men screaming obscenities, patio diners beset by panhandlers and homeowners discovering human feces in their yards, it’s an environmental catastrophe — the neighborhood equivalent of an oil spill. They want someone to clean it up and prevent it from happening again.

Both are correct. Any serious attempt to address the crisis must take both problems seriously. Activists who ignore, downplay or stigmatize the threat to public order are hurting their own cause.

The compassionate view overwhelmingly dominates press coverage and official statements. It defines the problem and the acceptable ways of discussing it.

Perhaps we should stop deferring to “activists,” who are neither morally nor intellectually serious and are often self-interested.

Most Californians in cities beset by homelessness would never vote for Trump, but he’s voicing their disgust and unease. People who pay their taxes, keep up their homes and consider themselves law-abiding feel besieged and unheard. Whatever empathy they may have had melts away.

“This is about people yelling and screaming at three in the morning and openly flashing weapons,” a woman told the San Francisco Chronicle after neighbors pooled money for large boulders to keep homeless settlements off their sidewalks. “I’m not rich. I’m having a hard enough time making it myself.”

Placed in the “furniture zone” next to the street, the boulders left room for pedestrians and complied with local codes. The public works department said they could stay. But pressure from enraged activists, who began rolling them into the streets at night, led residents to ask the city to haul the boulders away. “We traded criminals for activists and the media,” one told the Chronicle. “We don’t want to feel the fire anymore.”

Ignoring the public-order side of the issue has an ironic side effect. The chaos associated with homeless encampments appears to be fortifying a growing opposition to new housing intended to get people off the streets.

And hey, maybe some of these people will wind up voting for Trump after all. As Trump said to black voters last time, what have the Democrats done for you?

GROSS: EPA Issues Violation Notice to San Francisco.

Last month, President Trump warned of a potential violation notice, saying the city was allowing needles and human waste to go through storm drains to the ocean — an allegation denied by city officials.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler also sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a letter last week alleging waste left by the homeless in San Francisco and other cities was being improperly handled.

Mayor London Breed says the violation notice contains “mischaracterizations, inaccuracies and falsehoods” and says the city’s sewer system is one of the most effective in the country.

Having lived in San Francisco back when it was far cleaner than it is today — and it was gross even then — I’m calling BS on Breed.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: NRA 1, San Francisco Board of Supervisors 0.

AS A LEGENDARY COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES, GET IN THEIR FACES AND PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: NRA and San Francisco: City Backs Down in Face of Lawsuit.

GRAY LADY PROFILES RACHEL MADDOW. It’s a glowing profile of Maddow herself of course, but these are quite the tangents:

Recently, I went to dinner at the home of Rebecca Kee, a preschool principal in San Francisco who turned to Maddow in her depression and confusion over the 2016 election. I brought a bottle of rosé, and she poured it into glasses decorated with charms that featured Russia-investigation figures on one side and characters from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” on the other. I sipped from the Hope Hicks/Beverly Crusher glass, and we watched Maddow’s show over veggie enchiladas. “I think of her as a news doula: You know the news is going to be painful no matter what, so we might as well have someone who helps us survive it,” Kee told me. Last year, Kee had a Maddow-themed birthday party, at which her friends and her two young sons put on big black glasses and slicked their hair to the side. Also in attendance was a life-size cardboard cutout of Maddow, which is now in storage so as not to startle guests.

* * * * * * * *

After Rebecca Kee bought her Maddow cardboard cutout, she got a Robert Mueller one, too. For a time she would sit him in her front window, posing him near speech bubbles that she wrote herself. But after the real Mueller filed his report and failed to step into the role she had imagined for him, she tucked him away in the closet with Maddow. Now her car is decorated with Elizabeth Warren bumper stickers.

If this is what “real life” looks like in America’s blue regions, the Babylon Bee is really going to have to up its satire game to compete.

UNEXPECTEDLY: String of San Francisco restaurants closing their doors.

BACK WHEN SAN FRANCISCO LOVED STRAWS: On this day in 1937, a patent was issued to Joseph Friedman for the “Bendy Straw.” Friedman watched his little daughter struggling to use a straight straw at a soda fountain in San Francisco, so he decided to help her out. He inserted a screw and then used dental floss to create corrugations into the straw. He then removed the screw and floss and voilà—a flexible straw. The straws were first marketed to hospitals for bedridden patients, but eventually became popular with children and … well … everyone.

Little did he realize that the plastic version of his cute little invention would eventually be blamed (along with other plastic straws) for destroying the planet.

THESE HEADLINES ARE GETTING TO BE A WEEKLY OCCURRENCE AT THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: A knife, a threat and one more frightened SF woman left dismayed by city inaction.

San Francisco’s last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1964.

TODAY I HAD SOMEONE ON FACEBOOK TELL ME I’D BE SORRY WHEN THE OCEANS BOILED. ALSO THAT THE EARTH IS ANGRY. THIS IS THE TYPE OF MIND THAT BELIEVES THE SWEDISH TEENAGE MUTANT WAKESCOLD:  A Line-By-Line Response to Greta Thunberg’s UN Speech.

Oh, and the woman who yelled at me is a college professor.  Ladies and gentlemen, there is a massive, unacknowledged mental health crisis in this country. And not all of the mad people are pooping it up in the streets of San Francisco. Some are sh*tting all over higher education.

MONORAIL! California High-Speed Rail board votes to bring trains to San Francisco.

Out of four route proposals, board members favored a Merced-to-San Jose connection designated Alternative Four, one that “blended configuration between San Jose and Gilroy in the existing Caltrain and Union Pacific Railroad corridors before continuing to a dedicated high-speed rail alignment through Pacheco Pass” through a tunnel.

For the future San Jose-to-San Francisco route, board members also picked a “blended configuration between…within the existing Caltrain corridor.”

As Caltrain explains it, “blended” means that future bullet trains will use a combination of existing rail infrastructure from regional transit agencies along with newly built trackways laid down specifically for high-speed rail, potentially shaving billions off the final price.

And three figures off the top speed on the unimproved sections.

ANOTHER SAN FRANCISCO DAY. ANOTHER ASSAULT BY A DERANGED MAN ON OUR STREETS:

The attack of a woman in the doorway of the Watermark condominium building allegedly by a homeless man who said he was trying to save her from robots has sparked outrage, largely because the crime was captured on video. But it wasn’t an isolated incident — not by any stretch.

“We’re hearing it more and more,” said Supervisor Matt Haney, whose district includes the Watermark and the modern art museum. “When people walk outside, they’ve been accosted, assaulted, yelled at. A lot of that falls on my constituents — they’re angry and frustrated about it, and I’m angry and frustrated too.”

Gilles DeSaulniers, owner of Harvest Urban Market in the South of Market, reported being bitten this month by a violent homeless man he was trying to subdue. He told various TV outlets the man said, “Why are you even calling the police? They’re not going to do anything.”

San Francisco’s last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1964.

Related: The California Left Decide They Are Against Environmentalism Because Orange Man Bad.

SAUL ALINSKY SMILES: “The Trump administration plans to deliver a notice of environmental violation to San Francisco over its homelessness problem:”

President Trump said late Wednesday the notice would come from the Environmental Protection Agency. He said waste, specifically used needles, in storm sewers is contributing to ocean pollution.

“It’s a terrible situation that’s in Los Angeles and in San Francisco,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Air Force One on his flight from California to Washington. “And we’re going to be giving San Francisco, they’re in total violation, we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon.”

He added: “They have to clean it up. We can’t have our cities going to hell.”

L.A. and San Francisco are the perfect backdrops for Trump’s re-election campaign commercials, and this ad writes itself.

RICH LOWRY: The Ridiculous Campaign Against Vaping.

In announcing his flavored vaping ban, Cuomo said that “many of these other products have no control on them whatsoever,” which is by definition true because they are black-market products. We could make the risky products involved illegal, if they weren’t already illegal.

The problem with the flavor bans — and especially a San Francisco-style outright ban — is its effect on adult e-cigarette users.

About 11 million adults vape, and some percentage of them are former smokers or would be smoking in the absence of e-cigarettes. A robust study in the United Kingdom found that vaping is twice as effective as other common nicotine replacements in getting smokers to quit. The flavors, according to surveys of users, are a big draw for smokers quitting traditional cigarettes.

Anything that pushes e-cigarette users back into conventional smoking (now at a new low of 14 percent of adults) is bad for public health. It’s manifestly absurd to ban vaping products and leave cigarettes, including flavored cigarettes, on the market.

Read the whole thing.

#FIGHTFORFIFTEEN: San Francisco Restaurant Leaders Meet with City Hall to Discuss Industry Crisis.

THE 21st CENTURY IS NOT TURNING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: San Francisco man may close store after being bitten by homeless person twice in four months. 

Trump really needs to shoot campaign commercials in Los Angeles and San Francisco, describe them as Detroit and Baltimore with palm trees, and warn that such conditions are inevitable whenever Democrats are in power.

TO BE FAIR, IT’S MEANT TO BE: San Francisco’s Assault on the NRA Is Dangerous to Our Democracy.

YES: When We Argue About Dave Chappelle, We Should Recognize That Super-Wokeness Is Mostly An Elite Phenomenon.

Two moments in “Sticks & Stones” capture Chappelle’s qualms with cancel culture, which are a bit more nuanced than the cartoon being drawn by some critics. In the first, Chappelle relates, with frustration, an incident in which a standards and practices employee at Comedy Central told him that while it was okay to use the N-word, the word ‘faggot’ was off-limits. In the second, he talks about getting a drink with a trans fan of his after a set in San Francisco. She points out that it doesn’t really make sense to claim, as some have, that his infamous (and hilarious) R-Kelly bit normalized the singer’s behavior or somehow insulated him from criticism, and to then turn around and claim that jokes about trans people harm rather than ‘normalize’ them.

Whatever you think of these particular arguments, or the amount of time Chappelle spends complaining about being criticized (not how I would use such a perch!), he is simply pointing out that these rules about what he can get away with saying can sometimes seem arbitrary and inconsistent. And this is an argument that appears to have a great deal of resonance among Americans, blue and red alike. Chappelle’s would-be cancellers ignore it at their own peril.

Those who view any critique of cancel culture or political correctness as inherently bankrupt often derail conversations about it by claiming that PC is simply a synonym for “Being a decent person” — if you’re a decent person, in other words, you won’t get in trouble, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. But this isn’t how most of the country sees things, and it doesn’t accurately capture how the rules over who can get away with saying what are made, revised, and enforced.

Arbitrary rules are never instituted for the benefit of those who must follow them.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: NRA sues San Francisco for declaring it a domestic terrorist organization.

SFSU HAS BEEN A CESSPIT OF ANTISEMITISM FOR DECADES: San Francisco State refuses to disaffiliate from Facebook page spewing anti-Semitism, groups say.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Let’s Swap San Francisco for Greenland.

Look, I have never liked the Bay Area. While California’s politics may have chased me away, I have always loved everything else about the state, except San Francisco and its environs.

The weather is always awful. The Giants play there. They have a problem with human feces on the sidewalks. The Giants play there. The city launched the public career of Kamala Harris.

The Giants play there.

Now they’ve decided that some friends of mine are domestic terrorists.

The city has become a festering boil on America. It needs to go.

That seems about right.

WE HEREBY DECLARE SAN FRANCISCO DOMESTIC TOILET:  San Francisco Declares NRA “Domestic Terrorists”.

THIS IS HOW DEMOCRATS DEAL WITH POLITICAL OPPONENTS: Defending ‘Reasoned Debate About Public Safety,’ San Francisco Supervisors Declare the NRA a ‘Domestic Terrorist Organization.’

SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MAKES SURPRISE IN-KIND CONTRIBUTION TO TRUMP 2020 REELECTION CAMPAIGN: San Francisco Labels NRA a ‘Domestic Terrorism Organization.’

Related: San Francisco counts 4,000 homeless, addicted and mentally ill, but timeline for help still unclear.

WILLIE BROWN: San Francisco streets are a tragedy waiting to happen. Do we have the will to head it off?

Willie didn’t — and this is an awesome bit of both buck passing and gaslighting to pretend that things were all that much better in San Francisco under his watch.

WHO CARES, BIGOT? SHUT UP. “I’m angry at white people most of the time.”

LIONEL SHRIVER: The abject stupidity of the San Francisco George Washington murals debacle.

So what’s the problem with these images? I fear I will bore you. ‘Don’t tell us,’ you say. ‘Pictures of slaves and dead Indians make students feel “unsafe”. The murals are “offensive” to certain “communities”. Did we get that right?’ Of course you did. But to be fair, when 49 freshmen at George Washington High were asked to write about the murals, only four wanted the works erased; the rest would preserve them intact, visible, and in place. Aside from a handful of noisy activists, this isn’t a snowflake story. It’s the grown-ups who are the idiots, and who assume that their city’s children are idiots — since if there are any kids who repeatedly pass these murals on the way to class and fail to get their message (and that’s hard to imagine), these children are already in a school where at least in theory one learns things.

It’s progressives of the sort who sit on the San Francisco School Board who are always banging on about the importance of teaching students the sordid aspects of American history. They’re the ones who would happily set aside lessons on the ingenious civic architecture of the Constitution in preference for concentrating solely on the document’s initial hypocrisy over slavery, and who denigrate George Washington as a slaveholder. They’re the ones who love nothing better than to induce a burning sense of hereditary shame in upcoming generations over how the West was won. So they’re the ones who, we presume, had they the talent, would paint the very murals they now want to obscure. ‘Bewildering’ doesn’t begin to say it.

Would that I could reassure my British readers that this urge to artistic vandalism is an American affliction, perhaps one specific to whackadoodle California. But campaigns to take down monuments and ban art that doesn’t pass an ever-stricter political purity test is not constrained to the US.

Read the whole thing, as the left’s cancel culture airbrushes down the memory hole the work of a communist painter hired by the FDR administration, in the name of what Rod Dreher dubbed “moralistic therapeutic barbarism.”

THIS CASE MIGHT BE THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR SANCTUARY POLICIES: Judicial Watch has filed suit in California Superior Court seeking a permanent injunction against Santa Clara County’s version of sanctuary policy.

The litigation was prompted by the murder of a 59-year-old resident, allegedly by an illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal record in the U.S. Six times the feds asked the locals to hold the guy until they could take him into custody, but county officials refused. Keep an eye on this one and a similar suit Judicial Watch is pursuing in San Francisco in the wake of the Kate Steinle murder.

“FRIENDS OF THE WORKERS” ARE ALWAYS DICKS TO ACTUAL WORKERS: ‘Cranky’ Bernie Sanders blasted by restaurant owner for being ‘rude to his staff and refusing to take pictures or shake their hands and not leaving a tip’ during campaign stop in San Francisco.

UPDATE: Compare Bernie with Donald Trump: “The 70-year-old Republican nominee took his time walking from the green room toward the stage. He stopped to chat with the waiters, service workers, police officers, and other convention staffers facilitating the event. There were no selfies, no glad-handing for votes, no trailing television cameras. Out of view of the press, Trump warmly greets everyone he sees, asks how they are, and, when he can, asks for their names and what they do. ‘I am blown away!’ said one worker, an African American man who asked for anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the press. ‘The man I just saw there talking to people is nothing like what I’ve seen, day in and day out, in the news.'”

IT’S SEMANTIC INSANITY ALL THE WAY DOWN:  The Left Bastardizes Language: San Fran Criminals Must Now Be Called ‘Justice-Involved Persons’.

UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY, COMRADE: San Francisco Fights Crime with Euphemisms: Convicted Felons Are Now ‘Justice-Involved Persons.’

THE GHOST OF JOHN C. CALHOUN HAUNTS TODAY’S AMERICAN LEFT: The irony of the New York Times’ 1619 Project is that it embraces the critique of the American Founding espoused by the leading defender of Southern slavery, Sen. John C. Calhoun.

As Victor Davis Hanson has written, that’s also true of the left’s see-no-evil view of illegal immigration:

The apparent principle of sanctuary cities is akin to roulette. The odds suggest that most illegal aliens detained by officials are not career felons and thus supposedly need not be turned over to ICE for deportation. On the chance that some of their 10,000 released criminals will go on to commit further crimes in the manner of Juan Lopez-Sanchez, officials then shrug that the public outcry will be episodic and quickly die down, or will at least not pose political problems as great as would come from deporting aliens.

Yet the idea of a sanctuary city is Confederate to the core, reminiscent of antebellum Southern states picking and choosing which federal statutes they would abide by or reject. Even before the Civil War, the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33 pitted South Carolina against a fellow southerner, President Andrew Jackson, as the state declared that federal tariff laws were not applicable within its confines. Jackson understood the threat to the union, and promised to send in federal troops before South Carolina backed down.

Why are coastal Democrats partying like it’s 1859?

KURT SCHLICHTER: Ignorant Liberals Need To Go Visit America. “My recent travels through parts of the country that aren’t populated and controlled almost exclusively by liberal nimrods gave me some hope for the future. America as a whole does not appear eager to become Scat Francisco. The problem is the people who want to transform our entire country into a socialist open sewer know nothing of this country outside their reeking pinko enclaves. It’s a very different country when you get between I-5 and I-95. People are generally nice. They smile and attempt to assist you, even when you display the insanity inherent in your blue homeland. If you go to a restaurant and ask if they have a vegan, gluten-free keto alternative, they try to help you and bring you a glass of water.”

EVERGREEN QUESTION: What Will California Ban Next?

Starting Tuesday, the sale of plastic water bottles will be banned at San Francisco International Airport, one of the few places they actually make sense. California has many dumb laws and statutes and bans, but this one is especially brainless—spurred by futile self-righteousness.

After running late for your flight after a 30-minute security line only to have TSA confiscate your Fiji water bottle, you’ll now have to stop at a crowded water fountain to fill your own metal flask. Or buy an overpriced glass or aluminum bottle at the concession stand, paying another 10 cents for a bag. And your teeth will chatter if you drink through a paper straw. Of course you could risk dehydration instead: Men lose up to a half-gallon of water during a 10-hour flight. Oddly, you can still buy sugary drinks in plastic bottles at SFO; only healthy, calorie-free water is banned in plastic. You can’t make this stuff up.

In California, you never have to.

THIS REALLY DOESN’T FIT THE NARRATIVE: California: ‘resistance’ state has donated more to Trump than to most Democrats in 2020 race. President has raised $3.2m in California this year, analysis finds – more than Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Although affluent donors in Beverly Hills, Orange county and San Diego contributed significant sums – and together constituted a majority of California funds in Trump’s campaign war chest – 92.8% of donations came from small donors contributing less than $100. Many of these small donations came from the central region of the state, which tends to skew more conservative.

Trump really needs to shoot campaign commercials in Los Angeles and San Francisco, describe them as Detroit and Baltimore with palm trees, and warn that such conditions are inevitable whenever Democrats are in power.

 

FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING AND REDUCE SAN FRANCISCO’S WOES BY 50 PERCENT! Brazilian President’s Environmental Plan: ‘Poop Every Other Day.’

Add that to the Green Nude Eeel’s ban on “farting cows and airplanes,” and it’s problem solved.

IT’S A RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY INSIDE AN ENIGMA: Why is everything late, over-budget, and broken in San Francisco?

San Francisco’s last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1964.

GOOD LUCK: I Tried Hiding From Silicon Valley in a Pile of Privacy Gadgets.

I had decades of digital exhaust to clean up. “Your data across different companies is being pulled together by data brokers and ad companies. If the government asked for it and spent some time correlating, it probably wouldn’t be that far off from what the Chinese government has,” says Rob Shavell, the co-founder of Abine Inc., a company in Cambridge, Mass. I signed up for Abine’s DeleteMe service, paying $129 a year for it to opt me out from databases run by brokers that sell my personally identifiable information. I gave DeleteMe all my current and previous home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, and it removed me from 33 public-records crawlers—database services with names like Intelius and Spokeo, plus a whole lot of yellow pages.

Pierre Valade, a French graduate of Stanford’s design school living in New York, designed the Jumbo app for the iPhone in April. I gave it permission to access my Twitter, Google, and Alexa accounts, and a cute cartoon elephant (he’s got a bad memory, unlike Big Tech) got to work scrubbing away my past. In 10 minutes, all my tweets older than a month vanished, as did all my Google searches and Alexa requests. Jumbo also adjusted more than 40 Facebook settings to protect my privacy, something I would’ve had to spend several hours figuring out. “Even me, on Facebook to design that feature, I got bored. It’s too much work,” Valade says. He’s trying to get Facebook Inc. to allow Jumbo users to erase their timelines all at once, but the company won’t give him the API to do that. “Do they have two PR strategies? One where they say to Congress and the Washington Post, ‘We’re good guys,’ and another where they’re not helping us build what we want?” he asks me. I don’t have an answer, because I’m avoiding Facebook. Also, because it didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Before I asked people which gadgets to buy, I had to make sure my digital trail was private and secure. I switched to the ad-blocking, non-data-recording Brave browser (headquartered, unfortunately, in San Francisco and, worse yet, run by Palo Alto native Brendan Eich, who co-founded Mozilla Corp. and created the JavaScript coding language). I abandoned Google, using the DuckDuckGo search engine from outside of Philadelphia because it doesn’t track me or customize my search results. I also started communicating via Signal, a free app that encrypts both ends of text and voice messages. I was surprised by how many messages I was glad to hide from posterity: one about a former co-worker who’s a drunk; another from someone who wanted to be expunged from my upcoming book. Then I realized that Signal is located in Mountain View, Calif.

So much more at the link, it’s disturbing.

FLASHBACK: Hotel Googlefornia. “Hill did literally everything an internet-connected human being can do to disconnect themselves from Google. But you don’t have to be a Google customer in order to have the company garner 100,000 little bits of data about you every single week. Or as Hill herself says, ‘Google, like Amazon, is woven deeply into the infrastructure of online services and other companies’ offerings, which is frustrating to all the connected devices in my house’.”

WE’RE SAVED: The Latest Foolish Idea From San Francisco — Banning Plastic Water Bottles At The Airport.

JOEL KOTKIN: The regression of America’s big progressive cities.

If there’s anything productive to come from his recent Twitter storm, President Trump’s recent crude attacks on Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings have succeeded in bring necessary attention to the increasingly tragic state of our cities. Baltimore’s continued woes, after numerous attempts to position itself as a “comeback city,” illustrates all too poignantly the deep-seated decay in many of our great urban areas.

Baltimore represents an extreme case, but sadly it is not alone. Last year our three largest urban centers — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — lost people while millennial migration accelerated both to the suburbs and smaller, generally less dense cities. These demographic trends, as well as growing blight, poor schools, decaying infrastructure and, worst of all, expanding homelessness are not merely the result of “racism” or Donald Trump, but have all been exacerbated by policy agendas that are turning many great cities into loony towns.

Take tech rich San Francisco, where decades of tolerance for even extreme deviant behavior has helped create a city with more drug addicts than high school students, and so much feces on the street that one website has created a “poop map.” In Southern California’s far more proletarian city of Los Angeles, we have a downtown filled with overbuilt, overpriced apartments and is, like Baltimore, being overrun with rats. A UN official last year compared conditions on the city’s Skid Row to those of Syrian refugee camps.

One would think such nasty problems would spark something of a political rebellion, as seen in previous decades with the rise of successful, pragmatic mayors — Bob Lanier and Bill White in Houston, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg in New York, and Richard Riordan in Los Angeles. But so far, at least, many of today’s big city mayors seem more interested in bolstering their “resistance” bona fides than governing effectively. . . .

The new urban politics threatens the future of family neighborhoods, local entrepreneurial ventures as well as an apolitical, exuberant diversity. Immigrants and aspiring minorities want good schools, safe streets and less onerous regulation. Resolutions on sanctuary cities, condemnations of Trump tweets, social justice demands and boasts about combating climate change do little to improve tangibly reality that cities like Baltimore or even superstars like San Francisco, Washington, and New York.

Only when grassroots people and concerned businesses decide to challenge the urban status quo and the virtue-signaling political class can decay and the relentless bifurcation of our cities be reversed.

The problem is that our cities, like many of our institutions, are run by people who care more about their standing with their peers than about the state of the institutions they’re in charge of.

ROGER SIMON: From El Paso to Antifa to LA: America the Insane.

Predictably, Beto O’Rourke fairly sprinted down to his hometown of El Paso to blame Donald Trump for the city’s mass murders in the hope of reigniting the Texan’s failing presidential campaign. But if you read the gunman’s manifesto, you would find the murderer as much in agreement, possibly more so, with Elizabeth Warren and O’Rourke himself than with Trump. The shooter wants universal healthcare and a guaranteed income. He also wants to kill Mexicans and to partition the country into equal race-based sections, a kind of identity politics taken to the nth power, not that any of this matters. The man is clearly insane, as was the now-deceased Dayton killer who was reportedly a Democrat and a Satanist, planning on voting for Warren, as well as, of course, being mentally ill. . . .

This is obviously not politics in any rational sense, although we are hearing endless political statements from pols anxious to exploit the tragedy. It’s about craziness. An epidemic is sweeping the country and has been for some time. Mass shootings are only one manifestation, although arguably the most horrible and extreme one.

It may not immediately seem to be so, but the expanding homeless populations all over the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle are another salient example. These people are hugely disturbed, unwilling to live in shelters, some quite well-equipped, that have been built for them. They prefer to live in tents more hospitable to their lifestyle that frequently involves drugs and to be left alone with their delusions while defecating on the sidewalks. Neighborhoods are being destroyed as a result.

And then there’s Antifa. Is running around in masked costumes smashing windows and beating people in the name of fighting “fascism” an example of sanity or derangement? Obviously the latter. Antifa is yet another tragedy waiting to happen. Their mirror images, white supremacist groups, are similar manifestations of severe emotional disturbance with obvious violent implications.

All these people and groups are connected by their high level of psychological disturbance. Their number is small, even tiny, compared to the total population, but our population is approaching a giant 330 million. If only one-tenth of one percent of that number is seriously disturbed, that’s 330,000 dangerous nut cases.

Yes, as I’ve said, society doesn’t just seem to be growing crazier — it actually is growing crazier. But then, these are the Crazy Years.

SURE. THAT IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN GETTING THEM OFF THE STREETS:  San Francisco curbs waste with $200,000 public toilets.

INDEED: Trump’s Attack on Baltimore Doesn’t Go Far Enough.

Take a look at the eight other cities that beat Baltimore on Orkin’s rattiest cities list. What do they all have in common? We’ll, let’s see:

Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1931. Philadelphia last saw a Republican mayor in 1952, Detroit in 1962. San Francisco has been Democrat-controlled since 1964. Washington, D.C., has never had a Republican mayor.

In Los Angeles, Democrats have run the city in all but eight of the past 58 years, in New York, it’s eight in the past 74 (not counting John Lindsay, who switched parties while in office). Cleveland’s been run by Democrats in all but 16 of the past 78 years.

Indeed, if you want to see what liberal Democratic policies tend to produce, go to any one of those cities, or other Democratic strongholds. Democrats promise to help the poor and downtrodden, grow the middle class, make life more fair. But their policies consistently produce the opposite.

These cities are rife with crime. Baltimore ranks No. 1 for robberies and No. 2 for murders. Many of the other rat-infested cities also rank high for violent crimes. Their infrastructure is crumbling. The middle class has largely abandoned them.

Much more at the link.

JOEL KOTKIN: The Tech Oligarchs Are Going to Destroy Democracy — Unless We Stop Them: Once, the big tech firms embodied American exceptionalism and aspiration. Today, they are strangling these ideals. Government: do something. “Whom do the oligarchs’ wish to destroy? Of course, Donald Trump, whom they find understandably offensive, but who also owes little or nothing to them.”

Plus:

John D. Rockefeller tried to control energy distribution through his Standard Oil. Later, the Big Three ran the automobile businesses. These were powerful firms, but they could not, like Google, create algorithms that determined what people see, tilted not only toward their own commercial interest but their political predilections as well. In this way, what the techies are doing is oddly reminiscent of China’s efforts to control and monitor thoughts, sometimes assisted by these same U.S. tech firms.

Indeed. Also:

Our past generation of old industrialists may have been far more openly racist and sexist, created pollution and pockets of poverty, but they also built middle- and working-class opportunity; the oligarchs do neither. The Valley was once an exemplar of the American dreamscape but is now an increasingly narrow plutocracy dependent on non-citizen foreign labor, which constitutes upwards of 40 percent of their workforce as well as a cadre of young, largely temporary workers.

In its earlier iteration, Silicon Valley was a uniquely egalitarian place where outsiders made success and working people had decent incomes. Today, Wired magazine’s Antonio Garcia Martinez has labeled Silicon Valley as ‘feudalism with better marketing.” Despite enormous wealth, tech-driven cities like San Francisco and increasingly Seattle have become dysfunctional places, with massive homeless populations and a shrinking middle class.

Bad enough in place, worse if it spreads. “Once, the tech moguls legitimately could be sold as exemplars of American exceptionalism. But now, if unrestrained, the moguls are likely to be its assassins.”

IF YOU’VE EVER TRIED TO PARK IN SAN FRANCISCO, YOU KNOW WHAT MADNESS THIS IS: San Francisco plans to reserve parking lot for homeless living out of vehicles.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Pelosi’s House of Pain — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turns the 116th Congress into Thunderdome.

She’s something, Ocasio-Cortez. At 29 years old, she perfectly embodies her generation’s uniquely irritating combo of self-righteousness and cluelessness. Passionate and charming at first blush, her appeal quickly wears off. In a March Quinnipiac poll her favorability was underwater by 13 points.

What Ocasio-Cortez understands is that, in the culture of social media celebrity, the worst possible thing to do is back down. So, when Pelosi stated the obvious to Maureen Dowd—that for all the attention The Squad receives from the media it is, in the end, four votes—Ocasio-Cortez insinuated the speaker is a racist. And they say liberals oppose nuclear war.

If Pelosi’s racist, then America is in serious trouble. The absurdity of the claim was best expressed by Congressman Lacy-Clay, who is black. “You’re getting push back so you resort to using the race card?” he asked. “Unbelievable.”

Wait, you spelled “entirely predictable” wrong. Identity politics has driven the left for decades — including Pelosi herself:

Throughout her career, Pelosi has made it a point to bring her San Francisco, west-coast elitist politics to the mainstream, and it would be wrong to say that she hasn’t had something of a successful run of it. She’s always pushed the proverbial Overton window further and further to the left, making positions considered extreme seem perfectly acceptable to Democrats and Democrat voters.

Pelosi is the same person who once called illegal immigrants her “constituency” and applauded the idea of illegal immigrants bringing their children into the United States, and pushed hard for amnesty. She pushed for socialized healthcare with the media and activist groups cheering her on and successfully got Obamacare passed. She pushes for higher taxes and sensationalizes everything Republicans do to the point where any victory they have is a precursor to mass amounts of death.

The members of the Congressional Black Caucus (the name itself is another facet of the left’s identity politics) were happy to go along with Pelosi’s racialism when it involved attacking Republicans. They’re simply angry that like Pelosi before here, AOC is now attacking someone to her right — who happens to have a (D) after her name.

And it gets better: “Apparently, an unnamed senior Dem aide is texting around a photo of a Goomba puppet from the video game Mario Bros. to slam Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a ‘puppet’ of ‘elitist white liberals:’”

Not surprisingly, Trump has joined in the fun as well: “Trump: Pelosi’s not a racist and AOC is being ‘very disrespectful’ to her.” “Good luck to House Dems in trying to figure out whom they should side with now that the most hated Republican in the country has joined Team Nancy.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: Wealthy opponents of new San Francisco shelter claim homeless are bad for environment.

The wealthy San Francisco residents who launched a crowdfunding campaign to block construction of a new homeless shelter in their waterfront neighborhood are employing a new tactic: arguing that homeless people are bad for the environment.

In a lawsuit filed against the city of San Francisco and the California State Lands Commission, the residents called for the project to undergo an environmental review before breaking ground.

“This project will have a significant effect on the environment due to these unusual circumstances, including by attracting additional homeless persons, open drug and alcohol use, crime, daily emergency calls, public urination and defecation, and other nuisances,” the lawsuit states.

Under those standards, obviously it’s time to ban San Francisco itself as having a significantly negative impact on the environment.

RESTORING ORDER ON BART: In its transit system, at least, San Francisco may be rediscovering what New York City learned a generation ago.

Three months ago, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system that serves San Francisco and surrounding counties began a “blitz” to deter morning rush-hour fare evasion at four downtown stations. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the first month’s results were startling: proof-of-payment citations rose 13 percent, new ticket sales rose 10 percent, add-value transactions to existing tickets rose 29 percent, and—most significantly—average weekly calls to police dropped a remarkable 45 percent. This rapid turnaround in behavior was achieved simply by staffing the stations with extra police officers, fare inspectors, and BART managers wearing bright yellow vests so that anyone trying to jump a fare gate or use a bypass door saw their way blocked by an official.

These results should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the Broken Windows theory of policing developed by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling. The theory’s simple premise: responding proactively to minor crime (vandalism, disorderly behavior, and fare evasion) also reduces serious crime, including violent crime. Before he made New York City the safest large city in the country as commissioner of its police department, William Bratton put Broken Windows into effect as the head of the New York Transit Police, directing his officers to focus on fare evasion. The effect of the policy—first in the subway tunnels and then on the streets of New York—is now legendary.

San Francisco’s BART “blitz” demonstrates the effectiveness of Broken Windows. Just by putting people at the gates who looked to be in charge—neither the fare inspectors nor the yellow-vested managers were badged police officers—BART was able to cut crime in those stations almost in half. Exactly as Broken Windows predicts, those willing to commit serious crime often start by committing minor crimes, like fare evasion. Keeping such people out of the transit system means that everyone paying the fare is safer.

Huh. All the best people told me that San Francisco merely needed to paint over George Washington murals and banish the Betsy Ross flag to achieve utopia.

Related: Down the coast, the L.A. Times has a third world-sounding headline this week, “Desperate to get rid of homeless people, some are using prickly plants, fences, barriers.”

BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER? Betsy Ross Flag Has Flown Outside San Francisco City Hall Since 1964.

ROBERT GOLDBERG: Vaper Madness.

E-cigarettes, while not a cure for nicotine dependence, can help reduce the death and disease caused by combustible tobacco. Public Health England (PHE), the United States equivalent of the CDC, concluded best estimates show e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes, and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether. The most recent studies show that e-cigarettes are more effective in reducing smoking than any other device or approach., and yet almost two thirds of Americans believe vaping is deadlier than cigarette smoking. This is no accident. Just as the anti-vaccine zealots have turned vaccine hesitancy into one of the World Health Organization’s top global health challenges, anti-vaping groups such as the Truth Initiative and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids have spread warnings about the hidden dangers of e-cigarettes to reduce consumption and spread uncertainty.

The two movements are alike in many other ways. Anti-vaxxers want to reduce use of vaccines because they claim it benefits the public health and yet have no problem holding measles or chicken pox parties to provide their kids “natural immunity.” Anti-vapers want to ban e-cigarettes while leaving cigarettes and other tobacco products on the market.

The fact San Francisco’s Herrera wants to prohibit both retail and on-line sales of e-cigarettes while doing nothing about tobacco is an artifact of the anti-vaping movement’s application of the precautionary principle: the belief that no new technology should be used and, in fact, should be considered deadly unless every possible safety risk, no matter how unfounded, is addressed.

Neo-Puritans with a body count.

WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE. ‘CAUSE GIRL, THERE’S A BETTER LIFE, FOR ME AND YOU. The Grauniad: ‘We all suffer’: why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed.” Though based on the first three paragraphs, there doesn’t appear to be much transformation going on here, except for the addition of e-scooters and Uber:

It was a beautiful winter day in San Francisco, and Zoe was grooving to the soundtrack of the roller-skating musical Xanadu as she rode an e-scooter to work. The 29-year-old tech worker had just passed the Uber building when, without warning, a homeless man jumped into the bike lane with his dog, blocking her path.

She slammed on the brakes, flew four feet into the air and landed on the pavement, bleeding. “It was one of those hardening moments where I was like, ‘Even I am being affected,’” she recalled.

It should be noted that Zoe, who asked not to be identified by her real name because she was not authorized by her employer to speak to the press, is not the stereotypical tech bro who moves to San Francisco for a job and immediately starts complaining about the city’s dire homelessness crisis. She arrived in 2007 to study at San Francisco State University and had a career in the arts before attending a coding bootcamp and landing a job at a major tech company.

* * * * * * * *

For Zoe, the newfound financial security from working in tech does not counterbalance a constant sense of being unsafe in the city. She now earns three to four times more than when she was a “starving artist”, but she says she is terrified to walk at night. She no longer rides scooters and says she feels “triggered” when she sees them around the city. She takes Ubers everywhere after dark and asks drivers to watch to make sure she gets inside her apartment building.

“Mark Zuckerberg lives nearby, but our corner is the main prostitution corner in the city,” she said of the Mission District apartment she shares with her boyfriend. “There’s condoms and syringes. It’s absolutely crazy with how much we pay for rent … It’s tough, because we work in tech, but we ask ourselves every day if we should move.”

Expect more of the same if you’re planning a move to Austin: “Starting today, so long as they are not presenting a hazard or danger, people will be able to sleep, lie and set up tents on city-owned sidewalks,” the Austin Statesman reports.

As Iowahawk tweets, “I’m guessing the sidewalks in front of city council members’ houses aren’t included in this.”

(San Francisco’s last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1964.)