San Francisco, my birthplace and home for 24 years, always prided itself on its class, its sophistication, its moral superiority: the Boston of the West Coast, the Paris of America. They look down upon the uncouth Southern Californians, who steal their water. La La Land is despicable and the Orange Curtain is unmentionable.
San Francisco voters have placed on the November ballot a referendum to rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the “George W. Bush Sewage Plant.” As one local wit stated: “Since he favors the affluent, let’s name the effluent for him.”
We should expect better from this great City than an act of sophomoric humor.
But San Francisco is not what it once was.
Mayor Gavin Newsom won reelection last year by running against such worthy opponents as Kenny the Clown, Chicken John, and Captain Democracy. Newsom admitted during the campaign that he was an alcoholic and had an affair with his campaign manager’s wife.
For as educated a city as educated as San Francisco, it can’t do basic measurements. Last Christmas Day a tiger jumped out of its cage at San Francisco Zoo, and mauled three patrons, killing one. The Zoo Director said he couldn’t understand how it happened because the wall was 18 feet tall. Actual measurements showed it to be 12 ½ feet high, substantially below the professional standard of 16 feet. The tigress was a recidivist; Tatiana had mauled a zookeeper months earlier.
Geography can also be a challenge for the small city on a peninsula. Ed Jew was elected to the Board of Supervisors and took office in 2007, only to be subsequently indicted on felony charges for residing outside his district, as well as for corruption.
Respecting the law of the land is not an imperative for San Francisco.
San Francisco is a sanctuary city. City employees are barred from assisting federal authorities with immigration investigations or arrests. Other cities are sanctuary cities, but only San Francisco advertises the fact with taxpayer money. Indeed, last April it paid $83,000 in ads to remind residents of its sanctuary status. The ads were in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russian.
The middle class and African American residents are fleeing the sanctity of the city.
Its solution for illegal immigrants committing crimes was to either fly them back to their home country with officials accompany them, or send them to unsecured halfway homes in San Bernardino County (Remember San Francisco looks down upon Southern California). In short, San Berdo became a dumping ground for San Francisco’s human trash while San Bruno receives its solid waste.
The City has a problem. Both options are now off the table. On a flight back to Honduras through Texas, ICE officials at Houston Airport last May detained the Junior Probation Officer accompanying two illegal minors, threatening to arrest him.
On June 22, 2008 a father and his two sons were driving home, when they accidentally blocked the path of a Chrysler 300. Edwin Ramos, the driver of the 300 pulled up alongside and started shooting. All three died. Ramos had twice been convicted as a minor of violent felonies, but was released from jail three months earlier, and not turned over to ICE pursuant to the sanctuary policy. Ramos is a member of Mara Salvatrucha.
San Bernardino discovered San Francisco’s practice when eight of the juvenile offenders at the San Bernardino facility escaped.
The Streets of San Francisco are not safe – even from the San Francisco District Attorney. On November 20, 2002 three off-duty, rookie police officers engaged in a street brawl with two civilians over a bag of fajitas. One of the three was the son of the Assistant Chief of Police, hence the sobriquet, “Fajitagate.”
District Attorney Terence Hallinan took Fajitagate to the Grand Jury, which indicted on on February 27, 2003 the Chief of Police, the Assistant Chief of Police and five other top police officials for conspiracy to obstruct justice. They allegedly attempted to interfere with an investigation of the alleged police transgressions. The DA referred to Fajitagate as a cover up of Watergate proportions.
The Police Chief was arraigned, and booked on March 4, 2003. A judge dismissed the charges against the Chief and Assistant Chief on March 11, 2003 for lack of evidence. The cases against the three rookie officers resulted in jury acquittals.
Police Chief Sanders was unable to resume his position because of medical problems, a history of heart problems, high blood pressure and a stroke suffered after the indictment.
The DA showed great judgment on another occasion in firing many of the lawyers in his office by leaving pink slips on their chairs when they were out to lunch. As a young boxer, Hallinan earned the nickname “Kayo.” Kayo had to successfully appeal to the California Supreme Court for his license to practice law. The Comittee of Bar Examiners held Kayo failed the character and fitness standard for admission to the Bar. Kayo's son carried on the tradition by being arrested in 2001 for a drunken assault on the victim. Hallinan was defeated for reelection by the voters.
The low point for San Francisco’s finest came in 2005 when the public learned of a series of unofficial “training” videos, which can be described as racist, sexist, and homophobic. Over 20 officers were suspended for the “parodies” of traffic stops, drug busts, and patrols.
The Supervisors earlier refused to let the U.S.S. Iowa become a floating museum in the City. The Board of Education voted 4:2 in 2006 to end Junior ROTC in the city’s high schools, and more recently the City barred the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team from filming a commercial on the City’s streets.
Since the City doesn’t honor the military, why should it honor the Commander in Chief?