As elsewhere, here in San Francisco hundreds of programs obliviously forge ahead, clash with one another, and contribute to the City’s eye-popping $9.6 billion budget. We offer some observations which you might find of interest:
o Back in January 2016, Major Ed Lee ordered all City departments to cut spending by 1.5% because a $100 million budget deficit was looming. In May Mayor Lee announced that the budget grew by $700 million to $9.6 billion with no cuts, thanks to growing property values (and property taxes) and a sales tax increase of .75% in the November 2016 ballot – yes, the budget is balanced with revenues that may or may not materialize.
o “Venture capitalists tightening their purse strings, startups shedding jobs and the continuing dearth of IPOs could be taking their toll on the Bay Area's housing market. By almost any measure, the Bay Area's roaring economy is cooling. The region's housing market is fueled by wealth creation and new jobs that have been hallmarks of the regional economy.” So says The San Francisco Business Times. No, we do not expect any programs to go away or any cuts to the City's mega budget that relies on growing property values. Luxury Housing Market Cools as Economy Slows.
o Screening of "Class Dismissed" with filmmaker Jeremy Stuart Saturday, July 16, 2016, 11:00 am Michele Brown's House, 2060 36th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601. This is an event presented by Full Circle Family, a new homeschooling group that's getting organized in Oakland. The film opens eyes to the need to find the right fit in education for our children. Event is free. RSVP is required. http://www.meetup.com/FullCircleOakland/
o A meeting with Dr. Helen Caldicott to discuss the question “Can Nuclear Weapons be Abolished?” August 13, 2016, 2:00 pm Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.
The event was organized and is presented by members of the War and Law League, to call attention to the dangers of U.S.’s undeclared wars. Event is free. RSVP appreciated. https://www.facebook.com/WarandLaw/
o The growth of regionalism in the Bay Area, whereby planning and taxing decisions are made by regional agencies, has energized some Bay Area residents to organize and proselytize! Members are attending public meetings, writing about the issue on their websites and Facebook pages, and meeting as a group to strategize. Events might be coming up in the near future. http://nine-county-coalition.squarespace.com/
o San Francisco’s Westside residents are tired of having their cars broken into. “They figuratively shook their fists and let it be known they’re ‘mad as hell and not going to take it anymore;’” that according to Joel Engardio in his S.F. Examiner Op-ED of July 10. So, Westsiders formed the Criminal Justice Accountability Coalition. Read about it, http://www.sfexaminer.com/accountability-in-criminal-justice-sought-on-the-westside/
o Ordinary people, who go to work every day, take care of their kids, and generally mind their own business at times do get “mad as hell,” and good things can come out of that.
For fun, here are some quotes from our Founding Fathers and from the people interviewed in Brexit:
"That these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states." Richard Henry Lee
"We’re being asked to give up the right to govern ourselves. What are we being offered in return that could possibly be worth it?" Narrator of Brexit
"I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states." John Adams
"If I were told I would be stewing grass to feed my family because we left the E.U., I would still do it." Simon Heffer
"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." Patrick Henry
"Democracy only works if you know who your representatives are." Narrator of Brexit
"There is something very unnatural and odious in a government a thousand leagues off. John Adams
"You should have the power to remove the people who govern you." Claire Fox
"Taxation without representation is tyranny." James Otis
"If I am to pay taxes, I want to be told where the money goes and who spends it, so that if he spends it stupidly, I can throw him out of office." Simon Heffer
Good Independence Day quotes from both sides of the Pond.
Well, another Pride has come and gone, and I’m glad we were there again. This year we added our Spinning Wheel of Crazy San Francisco Laws, and I’m glad we included the ordinance and government code numbers because most folks were astounded at how crazy most of the laws are. They have such faith in government in this city—perhaps our spinning wheel helped a tiny bit to create a speck of doubt about the wisdom of our elitist leaders. If not, it was good fun anyway. Of course, we also had the world-famous World's Smallest Political Quiz. I just compared the results of the last 4 years of our WSPQ (I save the charts for the record), and as usual the Left Liberal and Libertarian quadrants were fairly evenly matched. The Centrist quadrant was especially heavy this year. One man felt the quiz needed nuancing, so he scored his results as 52 and 48—that was a first!
This year, as expected we had a lot of questions and interest in Gary Johnson, and also quite a few inquiries about Brexit and gun control. I didn’t see any reason to pussyfoot around about gun control, so I let them know we generally favor no restrictions at all on guns and the Second Amendment—and no registration too because the criminals and crazies aren’t going to bother with all that. Surprisingly, when folks landed on one of the 2 winning slots (things that are still legal, for now) of our spinning wheel and chose to pick a button, quite a few picked one of the leftover buttons from one of the gun shows: “I’m not a Gun Free Zone.” Definitely not politically correct for San Francisco, and good to know that some folks are not afraid to run against the tide. Also another thing I noticed that I hadn’t seen before was folks coming up to our booth and asking what is a Libertarian and what is Libertarianism. There does seem to be more interest in the topic these days—even in a leftist city. Also, the Chelsea Manning contingent marched again this year, and a few folks inquired about the status of Chelsea (they may have noticed her poster at the back of our booth). All in all, everyone seemed to be in good spirits, and most of those who stopped by seemed to be at least moderately interested in our ideas. If there was any Libertarian within a few miles of our booth, they definitely found their way to us and were grateful to have us there!
We are trying, Marc. We will keep trying to be what you described in your epic "I am that Libertarian" speech in Orlando.
What you want to be Libertarians
Anarchist no apologies success freedom Ninjas world class bad-ass Libertarians
No pain no gain get those petitions signed in the rain Libertarians
Sorry I’m not sorry Libertarians
No excuse Libertarians
Rest in peace, our friend.