Friday, February 10, 2006


At 10:45 PM on the night of Wednesday the 9th, a high-speed police chase ended with the fugitive crashing at high speed into another car that was trying to cross the intersection of Franklin and McAllister, directly below my apartment.

The fugitive ran from his car but was tackled by the police at the corner of Van Ness and McAllister a block away.

The accident could easily have been fatal, but providentially that was not the case and the driver whose car was smashed into seemed more stunned than hurt.

The next morning, h. brown sent out a "Watching City Hall" note to friends about the latest shenanigans involving the San Francisco Police Department, Mayor Newsom, and the rich people he works for. Here are a few excerpts:
Newsom surrenders to Cowboy Cop Brass (to offer $100 million today)

In a cynical ploy whose certain failure cannot be measured until he's safely on to the next office purchased for him by Donald Fisher, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is set today to advocate increasing the City's dysfunctional police department by a full third.

The dipshit who convinced the Mayor to call for adding 700 new police officers to a department that refuses to fly helicopters, walk beats, ride buses, man kiosks, civilianize the Office of Citizens Complaints, and keep track of punk-ass rogues needs his own ass kicked by Captain Greg ("You got a problem with my being charged with brutality 80 times?") Corrales."

"It positively strains credulity that any mayor would call for a further empowerment of San Francisco's gangster police force. At last evening's meeting of the Police Commission, Chief Heather ("I demand an apology!") Fong downplayed her department's refusal to fully staff as required by law and brushed off questions as to why it has taken her over 2 years to hire 2 of 72 new civilian positions created by the Board of Supervisors to get more cops back on the street.

People, the cops have no intention of reforming. They not only refuse to keep a public record of their most violent members ... they not only refuse to discipline them ... instead (according to the Chron), they promote them into teaching positions.

Yeah, the head crackers become Training Officers. Talk about a fuckin' upside down world. And, they dominate the OCC staff with 'light-duty' officers whom the department's union steward testifies, bully the civilian staff and gum up investigations."

"They mock the Mayor. Police Officer Association head Gary Delugnuts told Mayor Newsom that he should jog to work a different way if he was tired of seeing drug dealers in the Tenderloin. This is the same prick who carries a loaded gun, bulging off his fat ass, while he insults the person and families of Police Commission members. A clearly frightened Commission President, Louise Renne addressed Delugnut's threats thusly: "Oh, that's just Gary being Gary.".

Gavin, the SFPD needs taken apart and put back together differently. It cannot get worse. The first step is to stop hiring, not increase it. If the Chronicle series proved one thing, it is that the department not only has no intention of reforming their violent ways, but is, in fact, perpetuating them by hiring out-of-town recruits with a strong propensity for violence. The last thing in the world you want to do is to add more knuckle-draggers to this army of barabarians. But, that is exactly what the Mayor will propose 2 hours from now."

h. brown turned out to be correct about Newsom's speech in conjunction with the awful Supervisor Fiona Ma at the Police Academy later that morning. For a link to the Mayor's press release, click here.

h. brown continued his polemical outburst:
Gavin's handlers fear Cindy Sheehan

Now, this is only an educated hunch and since we all know that my educated hunches are only right around 90% of the time ... this '700 new cop solution' from Newsom ... I think, anyway ... is a reaction to the announcement by the Nation's leading Anti-War activist, Cindy Sheehan that she may run against Dianne Feinstein for the U.S. Senate.

"You see, Gavin's people know that Feinstein is retiring. Yeah, Dick Blum's gotten all he can out of the old girl and he's putting her out to pasture at their new 15 million buck digs in Pacific Heights. Although Blum wanted the missus to work until she fell dead in her tracks, he approved the transition to Newsom several months ago. Sources in D.C. say that the senator has been unable to walk into the senate chambers under her own power for nearly 2 years."

"Fisher & Shorenstein know that although a late-entry by the empty-headed Newsom can succeed against Green Party challenger, Todd Chretien and any other Democrat presently on the scene, Gavin cannot beat Cindy Sheehan."

"So, they want to pad Gavin's resume in a hurry and throwing money at the gangster police department, while stupid, can be spun as a bold new move. See if I'm not right."

Actually, h. turned out to be only partially correct, because Cindy Sheehan called a press conference in the Civic Center Plaza to announce that she had decided not to run for the Senate.

The event started with the arrival of a Code Pink contingent...

...and a brief introduction from the annoying Medea Benjamin.

For an added bit of surrealism, there was a group of in-line skaters...

...circling the plaza in a promotional stunt for the Winter Olympics on NBC.

Leading the group was one of my favorite people in San Francisco, the Sk8 Godfather, pictured above.

Cindy Sheehan came to the podium and started off uncertainly, remarking how beautiful the day was and how her dead son Casey wasn't around to appreciate it.

She talked about how Senator Feinstein, while declaring she was opposed to the war in Iraq, kept voting for every piece of legislation funding the invasion and occupation.

"That's like telling a friend you're unhappy about them being a drug addict and then giving them a pile of money to buy drugs. It makes no sense at all."

Sheehan related her quandary about whether she would be more effective in getting the troops out of Iraq as an "outsider" or as somebody trying to work within the political system in a senatorial campaign, and announced that she has decided to remain an Outsider.

This came as a huge relief to the professional Democratic politicos. The gentleman who was being interviewed above told me that it was a wise decision because "Sheehan would have made the Democrats look like a laughing stock," which struck me as ridiculous.

They're already a "laughing stock," and it's not because of Ms. Sheehan.


photoguy said...

Excellent post, Michael. Much more vivid and well-written than anything Atrios, Americablog, amd Huffington have offered today. You should take a field trip to DC for a couple of weeks and give us a show and tell like this one.

Anonymous said...

GEE, we used to be almost neighbors-- me living a block from you on McCallister. The only exciting things I got to see were people constantly urinating behind the library back doorway. And you get wrecked cars to see. I don't think we should be that hard on the police since I lived in the bowels of the Tenderloin many years and some of the most violent sub-humanoids to ever exist sponged there You wouldn't feel too good either working around that clientel.... GREAT POST AGAIN!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

I agree with you about Medea Benjamin. I find her extremely annoying. I was wondering why you find her annoying, too?

tobymarx said...

hi, mike,
stopped by to thank you for coming to the opening last night. it was nice to finally meet you. sorry i didn't have more time to really talk with you, but my attention was being pulled in different directions and i was only able to have fragmentary conversations with people.
i'll be regularly visiting your site -- it's one of a handful of sites that i think are truly worth visiting. i hope i remembered to give you a card last night. please feel free to give me a call or drop a line at my email address anytime. i look forward to talking with you more in the future.
by the way, if you see david barnard, please tell him i said "hi" and would love to hear from him. i know him from years ago when we lived in the old goodman building on geary street.
talk to you soon, i hope.

Anonymous said...

car chase, salty language ("prick who carries a loaded gun, bulging off his fat ass"), breaking political news, wow. who needs tv.

sassy and provocative people are not infrequently annoying. doesn't detract from the value of their work and aren't we glad we don't need to live with them.

the stripes and diagonals in those first four pics, along with the colors, are magnificent.

might need to get an identity... to distinguish from some of the anonymi with v. different worldviews.

many x's,

Kimo C said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kimo C said...


i stumbled onto this conference with the big tv trucks.

first thing i thought - where's michael? not sure how i missed you. I was disappointed to not see any San Francisco politicians speaking for her.

shame on them.

Kimo C said...

surreal coverage of LA car chase culture in a recent New Yorker

janinsanfran said...

Nice post. Having watched the SFPD (sometimes too closely) for years, I think the Chron did very well -- and will probably suffer for it. Delagnes was the guy who grabbed the papers out of the boxes for Dick Hongisto, you know. Apparently it doesn't hurt your career to try to suppress jokes about your police chief. Now Delagnes probably jokes that he owns the current police chief.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! (And I, too, am glad to see I'm not the only one who can't stand Medea Benjamin...) Leslie Bary

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