Thursday, October 30, 2003


One of the things most vexing about living in the Bay Area is you never know when, where or how you're going to be politically assaulted. The birthday party mentioned below is a case in point.

One memorable altercation took place on opening day of the 2002 baseball season at Pac Bell Park. Immediately following the National anthem and just prior to the start of the game the fans were directed to the large screen scoreboard in centerfield. "Ladies and gentleman, a message from the President of the United States". Remember, this is only a few months after September 11th and people were still waiting for the other shoe to drop. The extra security served to remind everyone of potential trouble. There was definitely a tension present that was separate from the game.

The President's face appeared and he began to speak. After one or two seconds the sound of booing could be heard. By the end of his 15 or 30 second talk, the boos filled the stadium.

Not San Francisco's finest moment.

One thing people forget about 9/11 is that estimates of the dead were 30,000 to 50,000. Each week the estimates dropped, however several months later the number 10,000 was still being thrown around.

The point is, in San Francisco you never know when you're going to get blindsided like that. One moment singing the Star Spangled Banner, the next moment booing the Commander in Chief.

However, if you're a centrist and ever plan on attending an art show around here, its a pretty safe bet you will be assaulted in some way. I'm to the point where I'd almost be disappointed if I don't see anything that lowers the bar of taste and skill, to say nothing of historical perspective, morality or enlightenment.

Che Guevara, Salvadore Allende and Malcolm X depicted as angels with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft shown as demons is common. Lots of pro-Palestinian "art" to complete this journey into the moral swamp. At an "Open Studios" event two weeks ago, I started out upset by what I was witnessing, but by the end of my lap I was quite amused by it all. They are all such sheep. Silly, really.

Even with the proper mental preparation, you can still be stunned. Last weekend, at another "Open Studios" featuring scores of artists, I was came across a wall with a dozen or so pieces of children's art. A note in the center from the art teacher indicated that these students were from a public school and the items were for sale for a buck apiece.

What was upsetting was that all but one were of the "No War" variety. Actually, the last one may have been, as well. Hard to tell since they were probably middle schoolers whose talent was only slightly more refined than their politics. Half of the others I would categorize as anti-American.

Kids simply cannot understand these types of issues. Teaching children to hate their country is exploitive. Indeed, radical political indoctrination of children is a form of child-abuse. Yes, radical. Yes, child abuse. Worse still, it is being promulgated in our public schools with public funds.

In hindsight, I wish I'd torn one down and written a note for the "teacher" on the reverse side and slid it under the door...along with my dollar.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Here we go!

How did this come to pass? Being a "passionate centrist" isn't easy when you live in San Francisco. Seems every week some ludicrous story breaks about The City, who runs it and how.

My favorite example is The City not only providing for city employees' sex change operations (if that weren't enough), The City pays for sex change operations for worker's domestic partners. Think about that for a moment - tax payer funds being used to change the sex of one of the partners in predominantly same sex couples.

Just the other day a City Council member, Matt Gonzales was "honorary" Mayor of the Day, while the usual character, the honorable Willie Brown was out of town. Mr. Gonzales wasted little time to appoint two commissioners. The irony that Mr. Gonzales is a vocal champion of "Sunshine" policies (openness in government) was lost on himself.

But it is often the little things that happen daily in this town that assault the common senses and can drive a sane man mad.

Last evening had one of those moments.

At a friend's birthday last night, one of the guests presented a burned CD to the birthday girl. Upon handing over the gift, the gentleman noted the peace sign he'd created on the cover saying "it's a peace sign...for Iraq".

What did that mean? Peace for Iraq? I overheard an earlier conversation of his about Bush lying, yada, yada, I was already a little sensitive to anything he might say or do. Its been bothering me all day. Does he wish the terrorists cease killing American soldiers and allow Iraq to gain independence and thereby a fighting chance at creating the first legitimate Democracy in the Middle East? Highly doubtful. Does he hope American soldiers kill all of the terrorists, Baathists and other criminals who are desperately trying to regain power? No way. Did he think there was peace in Iraq prior to the war, in spite of the torture, oppression, sanctions and no-fly zones? Maybe. Was this wish for peace a plea for those who are murdering U.S. soldiers, Iraqi civilians and international humanitarian workers to stop the killing out of the goodness of their hearts? As silly as that is, it's possible that is what he meant.

Peace for Iraq. Who's against peace but our enemies?

I'm convinced that he meant it as an apology. For what? Liberating 24 million people? No. It was an apology for our success, affluence and power. He feels guilty and for some reason, saying "Peace for Iraq" makes him feel better than getting rid of Saddam.