Politics

In Defense of Ross Mirkarimi

I don't have much love for Rob Anderson (of District 5 Diary fame). He shits on pretty much everything progressive. His whining and lawsuits are the reason the city couldn't move forward with improving bicycle infrastructure for years.  He is, without an ounce of hyperbole or irony, every NIMBY and SF Gate commenter rolled into one smelly, saggy, senior citizen-y bag of festering feces.

However, Robbie Andie has recently become the unlikely defender of one Ross Mirkarimi, the embattled progressive sheriff accused of beating his wife and recipient of constant condemnation from a bored San Francisco media community hellbent on judging a man prior to his trial.  And, as much as I want to kick Robbie down an endless flight of stairs, his defense of Ross is completely spot on.

See, it's in vogue to call for Ross to step down from his position as sheriff, even though he hasn't been convicted of any crime and ex-lovers of his have come out to say Ross raising a hand on someone is completely out of character (“I was shocked when I read about it,” Evelyn Nieves, a journalist and a past partner of Mirkarimi’s, said in an e-mail. “Ross and I were together for the better part of a decade — eight years or so — and never once did he even come close to being physical during an argument. It’s just not his way,” Nieves added. “He was way more prone to proposing that disagreements be talked out.”)  His wife even denies it happened.  But who cares about all that! The centrist gang of thugs that controls the bully pulpit of media and politics in this town want his fucking head, and they want it now.

Back to Robbie.  He, like every other sensible person, knows this media mob justice stinks, and he's (rightfully) taking the “journalists” behind it to task.  Observe:

Carly Schwartz is “editor of Huffington Post San Francisco.” I get their “San Francisco alerts,” like the daily links I get from BeyondChron, Streetsblog, etc., but there's rarely anything of interest or worth a comment.

Until the other day, with Schwartz's dumb, lemming-like piece on Ross Mirkarimi. Schwartz has nothing new or interesting to say on the matter, but she just wanted everyone in SF to know that she too is piling on Mirkarimi.

Schwartz begins by trying to establish her credibility as a San Francisco progressive:

As a longtime resident of the Haight, I've been a fan of Mirkarimi, my progressive former District 5 Supervisor, for ages. The gregarious politico champions causes like marijuana legalization and equal rights for homeless people; issues near and dear to my heart.

If those issues were really “near and dear” to Schwartz, she would know that Mirkarimi has had little to do or even say about homelessness in his years as District 5 Supervisor. Is she referring to his opposition to the sit-lie law? Hard to say, but it's apparently just pro-forma bullshit, a failed attempt to demonstrate some kind of political credibility. And, except for carrying the legislation to regulate the city's pot clubs back in 2005, the pot issue hasn't been particularly important for Mirkarimi or anyone else in San Francisco, where it's not controversial.

Okay, I know you're waiting for the good stuff, and here it is:

And now, sadly, I count myself among the ranks of San Franciscans who believe the time has come for our sheriff to step aside. At least until this whole mess resolves itself…Local and national commentators weren't shy with their opinions, and the chorus of cries for Mirkarimi's resignation grew louder and louder until it completely drowned out his steadfast claims of innocence.

Oh, yes, it's so sad to join the mob. Why not wait until the “mess resolves itself,” that is, until the man has had his day in court? That's not a question political lemmings often ask themselves. Schwartz knows which way the wind is blowing here in Progressive Land, where Mirkarimi is facing stiff headwinds.

And there you go. Why rush the political judgment before the criminal judgment? This “mess” is obviously being highly politicized, quite disingenuously, by cynical people desperate to find a reason to overturn the election.

Of course elected officials should set the best moral and ethical example for our society, and if Ross did in fact beat his wife, he should burn in the hell of political and societal irrelevancy for the rest of his life.  But we should judge the man on the facts and not on the speculation spread by the media, and we won't know the real facts until Carly Schwartz, C.W. Nevius, and their kangaroo court go away and Ross can face a real judge and jury.

So Ross, please don't step down.  You deserve your day in court.

Where to Watch the Iowa Caucus Results

If you, for some reason, should find yourself interested in seeing who becomes the bona fide front-runner for the GOP nomination/care about what a bunch of corn shuckers and heehaws think/want a reason to start drinking at 6pm, here's a quick breakdown of bars that will be airing the Iowa Caucus returns tonight:

  • Shotwell's will be showing it on one of their TVs, but since they don't serve liquor, you won't be able to do celebratory shots when Rick Santorum becomes the first gay male to win a presidential nominating contest.
  • Dr. Teeth will have it on a TV as well, but they'll be doing their usual Tuesday night trivia, so there won't be any sound (not that you wanted to listen to it anyway)
  • Dirty Thieves will put it on if you ask real nice.  Plus, there's something to be said for watching a bunch of dirty thieves scramble for votes in Dirty Thieves.  Also, whiskey.

Other bars of note:

  • While I have no idea if Bender's will be showing the election returns, it is Tequila Terror Tuesday, in which they sell shots of tequila pairs with Tecate for $6 and play horror movies all night.  Horror movies, GOP nomination… you get the joke.
  • If you ask the bartenders at Mission Bar to change the channel to the news, you'll most likely learn some fantastic new curse word you never dreamed possible for a human being to even conceptualize.
  • I've seen the TVs at Clooney's playing news before (albeit, it was SportsCenter), and I'm sure the old men will be offering up some of the best political punditry you'll ever hear.

Democracy!

OccupySF REJECTS Mayor Lee's Attempts to Move the Camp to Fenced-in 16th & Mission Ghetto

Back in last Wednesday's otherwise forgettable pre-Thanksgiving edition of the Chronicle, columnists Matier & Ross spread word about the city's plan to relocate the downtown camp to an abandoned trailer park on Mission at 16th.

The plan was simple: appease downtown businesses and building owners—whose patience with the protest is growing increasingly thin—by relocating the encampment to the 'already blighted' Mission District.  The City offered up the old Phoenix Continuation High School site, which looks and smells a lot more like a concentration camp than the West Coast stomping ground of American's premiere financial institutions, free-of-rent for the next 7 months.  In the politician's minds, the offer was a goldmine for the protest, ludicrously thinking the 16th and Mission location would better help the movement deal with the homeless and opportunistic drug users who “are detracting from their message.”

Of course, OccupySF wasn't too thrilled with the offer:

Getting the self-proclaimed leaderless group to agree, however, may be impossible.

Plus, says Occupy member Richard Kreidler - who has been in on the talks at the mayor's office - activists suspect that the city is “looking for a place that will be out of sight, out of mind.”

Well, last night OccupySF officially rejected the ploy, as reports Mission Local:

The general assembly, attended by about 75 members, was called after Mohammed Nuru, interim director of the Department of Public Works, handed the group a “facility license agreement” earlier on Tuesday for the site at 1950 Mission St. The agreement, which is good until June 30, 2012, includes a list of 17 provisions, including no pets, no minors and no cooking.

Some members declined to relocate to the Mission District site because they did not like some of the provisions; others did not want to be told what to do by the city, and some objected because of hygiene issues associated with the proposed site.

“We are not going to take the crumbs the city is giving us,” said occupier Meagan Malony, adding that they done that for too long. “We want the five-course meal.”

It remains to be seen if the city will just employ violence to get their way.  But in the meantime, it appears some have gone ahead and just claimed the site for the movement:

Blame The Government

I came across this pile of rotting Cafe La Taza trash next to Mission Mini's earlier today.  It smelled awful—I couldn't help but think someone should clean that filth up.  So I snapped this photo and went about my morning.

About half an hour later, I walked past the same pile and three latinos from nearby businesses were standing around it.

“¿Quién crees que hizo esto?”

“¡Obama! ¡Obama!”

Beware: Folsom Street Polling Place Not Where Advertised

If you live in the Inner Mission and are supposed to vote at Cesar Chavez Elementary at 22nd and Folsom, you're going to have to do a little hunting to find your polling place.  The Voter Information Pamphlet mailed out a few weeks back says voters in precinct 3907 are supposed to “enter off Folsom btw 22nd and 23rd sts,” the signage outside indicates the same thing, but the fences surrounding the school are all shut and padlocked.  As of half an hour ago, there was no signage or person posted up outside directing people where to go.  There were, however, a half dozen would-be voters looking very lost and confused—many of whom just turned around and left.

After a little searching, it turns out you are supposed to go vote on Shotwell between 22nd and 23rd (none of this information is posted anywhere and there is no official signage out front).  I told the people who handed me my ballot that this was a problem, and they seemed concerned, but a couple entered five minutes later complaining about the same thing.

Perhaps this explains why the electronic vote counter only registered 78 ballots (which is only 39 individual voters) being cast in the first 3+ hours of voting?

Danny Glover Posts Up Outside of 24th Mission BART to Stump for Ross

SF Appeal reports:

Sure, Ed Lee might have Brian Wilson and a host of tech moguls stumping for him, but so far only one SF candidate appears to have an endorsement from a guy who successfully fought fought the Predator AND the South African government. (On film.)

Yes, that's SF native, D5 resident (that makes him an SF voter, unlike some celeb endorsers), and Predator 2 and Lethal Weapon franchise (among others) star Danny Glover in those photos getting the (final) word out for SF Sheriff's candidate Ross Mirkarimi on Sunday.

Read on.

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