Archive for February, 2016

I doubt any of the shiny, colorful tourist pamphlets of San Francisco will include photos of streets strewn with garbage and feces and impassable sidewalks where homeless camp out.  And, I doubt any of those pamphlets will mention how seemingly dangerous it is for tourists to walk around this city that promotes tourism.  Maybe they should start mentioning it.

Image by Lauraat CCA-SA 3.0

In the news today:

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/British-tourist-stabbed-in-head-during-SF-robbery-6843060.php

 

This is the latest report in a never-ending wave of crime news that has become the norm in San Francisco.

From the sfgate article:

A tourist from the United Kingdom was fighting for his life after he was stabbed in the head during a street robbery in San Francisco, police said.

 

The attack is just the latest in a string of street muggings in which tourists have been victimized.
In December, three French tourists were robbed on a Twin Peaks hill while snapping photos of the vista. An 81-year-old man was shoved to the ground and lost consciousness.
In August, a tourist from Thailand was shot in the shoulder by muggers who attempted to steal his camera as he shot photos near the famed winding stretch of Lombard Street, in one of the city’s most scenic neighborhoods. In the summer of 2014, two Dutch tourists were robbed at gunpoint while taking pictures in the same area.
Officer Carlos Manfredi, a police spokesman, said it’s unlikely that tourists are being targeted for robberies, which he explained tend to be crimes of opportunity.
“It happens to everybody, so every now and then there’s going to be a tourist in the mix,” Manfredi said, “especially in the tourism capital of the world.”

 

Did you notice that remark by a police spokesman?

“It happens to everybody, so every now and then there’s going to be a tourist in the mix,” Manfredi said, “especially in the tourism capital of the world.”

 

It is all summed up by this sfgate comment on the article:

Welcome to SF.
oic800

 

Want to know how the citizens of SF feel about it?  Here are some of the other comments:

 

“It happens to everybody…” I certainly hope not. Maybe only in “Everybody’s favorite city.”
-lockwriter

 

On a recent tour across Europe everyone I met expressed interest in sf but after seeing how clean and well manged their cities are my response was always- why? It’s dirty dangerous and overpriced feels like the elected leaders are failing us all.
-fishead

 

I suggest a tourist strike – Tourists refuse to come to San Francisco until the city institutes some serious anticrime and public safety measures.
-badminton

 

1 question for our fine citizens:

If you got a call from your sweet Aunt Bee and she asked you:

“I want to come to SF and stay at a hotel on Union Square–is it safe?

you would answer: yes or no ?
-butterkins

 

 

San Francisco, you’d better do something about your crime situation, and quick. Between this, the homeless, constant high-end shop heists, and news crews being attacked, you have a serious public image problem. At this point, why anyone would come to visit SF as a tourist is beyond me.
-oakslugger

 

I live 2 blocks from there and there is a Walgreens rights on that corner I frequent. We have heard a dramatic increase in sirens locally and heard commotion again last night, but seriously this city is out of control. I call police at least 1 x a week to report vandalism, homeless camps, drug users …. On and on. The city either does not care or does not listen. This has become a very unsafe place to live. I’m 6’1 200 lbs and I carry mace. I spoke to a cop and she told me to protect myself. So I did.
-Tubenuts

 

 

Bring back the Matrix program.
… city-journal.org/story.php?id=1368
Matrix—a month-long program for enforcing in the downtown area 18 city and state ordinances that had fallen into disuse. Designed to ensure order in public places, they covered offenses such as public drunkenness, public urination and defecation, trespassing, street sales of narcotics, dumping of refuse, graffiti vandalism, camping and lodging in public parks, and obstructing sidewalks. Teams of 12 to 18 officers made regular tours through the Civic Center Plaza, a four-block stretch of Market Street, and Union Square.

The Matrix enforcement effort unfolded like a military campaign, retaking the city block by block. Every ten days or so, Matrix teams would announce a sweep of an additional area, chosen on the basis of citizen complaints. Cleaning up Civic Center Plaza took ten intensive days in January 1994… Forty-six people were arrested for drug or weapons possession.

Homeless advocates have furiously opposed Matrix from the start. But the elimination of a large encampment in Golden Gate Park—a wild green refuge in the center of the city—especially fanned their ire. For years the encampment had rendered one end of the park off limits to normal use. The city concluded that the settlement had to be bulldozed to clear away heaps of hazardous debris.

Jordan refused to apologize for either the means or the timing of the clean-up. “If the encampments are depositories of human feces, rain-soaked garbage and trash, discarded needles, and other disgusting waste, we will not hesitate to use extraordinary measures to clean up the mess. I won’t expose city workers to health risks under any circumstances.”

-Big Squash

 

 

@BigSquash The phrase “homeless advocates” says it all for SF. Let’s advocate solutions for homelessness not advocate homelessness itself. All for bringing back the matrix program. I am confused why anyone would advocate for humans to defeceate and sell drugs openly on the street. A little basic common sense people, civilize societies don’t “advocate” for that behavior.

-katratro

 

 

If that’s not depressing enough, this was in the news today as well:

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Gold-teeth-taken-from-man-in-broad-daylight-SF-6842454.php

A 38-year-old man was punched and knocked to the ground in broad daylight by two muggers who proceeded to steal his gold teeth in San Francisco’s Financial District, police said Friday.

Some commenters on that article think there’s more to the story because this is a busy section of the city at a time when there should be many people around as they leave work.  But, that’s how it’s being reported.

 

On a different note, has anyone sampled The Joe Pags Show?  Every day I am loving him more.  I might have to shove Mark Simone over a bit to make room for Joe Pags at the top of my current favorite radio host list.

I think more people are finding his show and it’s creating some messy calls.  Now people call-in just to get Rickrolled off the line.  It’s funny.  I don’t always hear the entire show because I’m working and things come up, but on Friday I heard at least three Rickrolls in a row.  ha ha!  I love it.  That’s what’s fun about callers and hosts who know how to handle them when they purposely try to disrupt the show.  Mark Simone has that talent.  Joe Pags takes it up a level.  He knows how to have fun with it.  As he says, “I’m gonna Rickroll your a** outta here!”

I think I’ll do the same, get my a** outta here and enjoy the weekend!  I hope you do, too.

 

But, before you go, check him out:

His website:

http://www.joepags.com/

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/JoeTalkShow

iHeart Episodes:

http://www.iheart.com/show/The-Joe-Pags-Show/

 

Plus, here is good ol’ Mark Simone:

His website:

http://www.marksimone.com/

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/MARK-SIMONE-24939307470/

Podcasts:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/

 

 

 

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Anyone who has visited San Francisco in the past year has encountered the trash on the street and the stench of human excrement in the air.  It’s everywhere.  Sure, it was shuttled over a few blocks to clear the way for the big Super Bowl bash, but it doesn’t hide the huge homeless problem that is prevalent now in San Francisco as well as many major cities.

Image by Steven Lek CCA-SA 4.0 Intl

In the past I’ve posted about New York’s overwhelming indigent population and the comments about it on Mark Simone’s show (WOR-710AM in New York) and how the non-enforcement of former broken glass policies seems to have exacerbated the problem.  In the past year, I posted an audio clip from a frequent guest on Simone’s show, trial lawyer and media personality, Lionel, from lionelmedia.com.  His commentary on the homeless problem in New York expressed the same frustration we in the Bay Area have experienced with homeless encampments that increasingly menace the local population with locals having to navigate public streets and sidewalks used as toilets and dumping places for unimaginable trash.  There is also growing danger from the mentally-unstable, the drug-addicted, and felons living on neighborhood streets within these expanding homeless tent camps.

It’s been so bad that a local business owner distributed flyers listing all contact information for San Francisco supervisors and asked the local population to express their discontent with the current situation on the streets.  Here’s how it was reported in the news:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/88291253-story

http://sfist.com/2016/02/10/fitness_sf_owner_homeless_tent_city.php

https://www.reddit.com/r/sanfrancisco/comments/456poo/soma_gym_owner_fed_up_with_tent_city_homeless/

I heard on the news that the supervisors decided NOT to act on the business owner’s request, that it won’t solve the homeless problem.  They have to find housing for them first.  Good luck with that, San Francisco.  Paying residents have a hard time finding housing in the city.  So, the huge homeless encampment stays and the business owner has no option but to live with it.  huh?

The problem is not over exaggerated.  A nationally syndicated talk-radio host on a recent show talked about his San Francisco experience.  Well, I don’t know how many heard it since it was the Glenn Beck show, but he exposed the alarming deterioration of San Francisco on national radio this past week.

How did he describe his experience here?  He called it  sad, tragic and scary.  At times truly frightening.  On the streets he was almost gagging.  The whole place smells like urine.

He said he would not let family members walk down the San Francisco streets alone, even at four in the afternoon.  He saw people sleeping in doorways on streets with million-dollar homes.  Then he’d turn the corner and see four more plopping down in doorways.

If you want to hear what he said, it’s on the audio track STARTING at 1:34 and comments about it run through 1:50.  It’s near the end of the audio.

Unfortunately for me, I had to listen to the entire audio to find it.  I’m unfamiliar with Glenn Beck.  I’ve heard his name but that’s about it.  I happened to hear his San Francisco rant because when I work late his show airs after The Joe Pags Show and I sometimes catch snippets of it.  I usually turn it off, but this time I heard San Francisco and was interested in what he would say about it.

I have to say, that opening music of his is a real turn-off.  I feel like I should be drinking chamomile tea and petting a dolphin while watching a public-access channel from the ’70s.  What is up with that?

Not to mention the show is boring, two or three guys sitting around, probably drinking tea, and yukking it up at their perceived witticisms.  Beck also plays old clips of himself and clips of his name being mentioned in the media.  How pathetic is that?  Just like Rush.

So, if you want to bypass all of that, just go to the 1:34 mark (1 hour, 34 minutes), grab your tea, and start there.

 

 

If you prefer, here’s the link to YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmsKthvFr30

Until we can figure this out, we just might have to change Scott McKenzie’s song lyrics to: If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear air deodorizer in your hair…

Ronald Reagan as radio announcer. Courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library.

On Super Bowl weekend, I turned on old television programming.  One of the retro channels airs Johnny Carson shows.  I thought that would be a nice break … until Johnny announced his guest was a former football player.  My eyes rolled and I walked out of the room.  When I returned, I grabbed the remote to change the channel.  Johnny was talking to the football guy.  This guy was not a prepped-for-tv kind of guy.  The moment he spoke I knew he was a true character and I put down the remote.  I  enjoyed that segment so much I had to look up the guy on Wiki and even went to YouTube to watch the Carson clip again.

Here’s the link if you’d prefer to watch it on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HDRLnoAY9E

Then I watched some of his Letterman appearances.

The YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXC5gAAMuxg

The YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMNvBtQw3os

I haven’t had time to write any posts lately but I probably wouldn’t have had much to say.  I’ve abandoned talk radio in the Bay Area except for KQED radio.  I’ve been forced to tune-in to syndicated conservative talk.  Fortunately, with the upcoming election, it’s been interesting to hear the other side.

It’s not what I’d prefer, but it’s what’s left out there in radio-land.  For years, I’ve listened to radio talk during the day.  I have it on in the background while I work.  I used to try to listen to Gil on occasion, but that wife thing is excruciating and even though I would never listen to his Friday show, he continued to bring her up on his show and I had to keep turning off the radio.  When he brings her up, my stomach brings up a little something of its own.   I’m telling you, that voice of hers is made of nightmares.  I cringe now just writing about it.  And Gil’s show is barely hanging on, his talking and sighing and telling the same stories time after time to guests, wasting their time and ours with little talks about himself.  I gave up on Gil long ago.

So, I’ve moved on from the horrible programming on no-Talk 910 and the only alternative is conservative talk.  Not everyone is willing to spend time on conservative talk.  I know people don’t want to even read about it.  It can be enraging.  I swear now more than I ever have, usually during the hour I listen to Rush.  The more this guy spouts off about the problems of others, the less he can identify the same in himself.  It’s very sad.  He talks baby-talk all of the time and every day he plays clips of himself from previous shows.  Or, clips of people mentioning his name.  He nearly pees in his Depends he’s so pleased with himself.

If you listen to him enough, you will recognize the caller ‘plants’ on the show.  It’s so obvious.  One time he was trying to push a book of his and, what a coincidence, the first caller was a young girl who talked about how much she and her friends loved reading it.  It’s all a big orchestrated script to make him feel better about himself.  All first calls support the point he’s trying to make.  The callers stick to the talking points they were paid to make.

I used to be confused listening to his show, some of it didn’t make sense.  He denigrates woman, calling them info-babes and femi-nazis (a term he proudly points out that he created) and then has women callers who claim to be fans of his show and have listened for years.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Now that I’m aware talk shows such as his (according to some sources I’ve posted previously, but other sources claim the Limbaugh show denies it) pay actors to call in and pretend to be a listener, it is very clear to me the show is more like an infomercial than a talk show.

Unfortunately, it’s only one of few options left on the radio.

In the mornings, I still listen to Mark Simone.  I love his show, but even he can be irritating with all of the Hillary bashing and Trump love.  But, he takes calls every hour and it’s such fun to hear.  I love those callers and they love Mark Simone.  He’s a real man about town in the classic sense and that’s what draws people to his show.  Simone would love that clip of Art Donovan on Carson.  He probably already has it posted, but I didn’t see it when I took a quick glance at his show page.

His Show Page:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/

Podcasts:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/

At least Simone has consistent callers.  One callers always tells joke, lame jokes (think of Gil Gross’ attempts at humor), and another guy starts out the call in a calm voice and, Simone calls it every time, the call escalates into a screaming rant about something or other.  Simone lowers the call volume and talks over the call with his own commentary.  Always entertaining.

After Simone’s show I listen to an hour of Rush (I often do errands or step away to do things during that hour) but I hear enough and it’s not pretty.  That guy is losing his grip.

Then it’s on to KQED, but there is no caller interaction.  The shows are content rich but not always engaging to the listener.  It’s low-key and, as the Donald would say, low energy.  If there was another radio option I’d probably try it.

Next is Sean Hannity.  I can tolerate him.  He offers the same talking points that are sent out to all conservative hosts and Hannity dutifully parrots the same thing Rush says in the hours before. But, Sean has some interesting segments on his show.  Many interviews include two people of opposing sides discussing an issue.  Hannity is there but does not insert himself into the conversation (maybe Gil Gross should take notes) and I’ve heard many differing views that I usually don’t hear on any other show.  Hannity is now doing the same with callers.  He finds two callers who disagree and puts them both on the air at the same time to have a conversation about it.  Really interesting.

Speaking of interesting, recently Sean talked about the state of radio and how it’s changed (listen to this (2/4/16,Hour 1) audio starting at 8:00 and it continues with some other things through 16:45):

 

Nobody’s going to do that if you have a conscience and a soul.

 

(Are you still taking notes, Gil?)

Here’s the link if you want to go to the site: http://download.premiereinteractive.com/seanhannity/2016/02/Sean%20Hannity%20-%20Feb%2004%202016%20-%20Hour%201.mp3

And, here’s the show recap page: http://www.hannity.com/articles/shows-472046/radio-show-recap-feb-4-14347284/

I used to listen to Hannity on WOR710-AM, the New York station Mark Simone is on, but there is a sports show following Hannity and I had to find something else.  I tried several states searching for talk programs and found one in Minneapolis.  I can listen to Hannity there and then the program that follows is quickly becoming my favorite show.  Another conservative show, but this is a guy who loves talk radio and he’s been a talk host for years.  There is a passion in him that’s rare to hear in radio now.

I think that’s why Gil’s show is so boring now.  He is there to pay his mortgage and that’s it.  I also get the impression that he feels he’s not being paid top dollar so he won’t perform at his best or even try to do his best.  What he puts out is just enough to get by.  It explains why he would subject his listeners to his wife.  He just doesn’t care.  A normal person cannot listen to that side show.  How can he be passionate about his own show when he is playing the victim and taking it out on the listeners?

It’s his reputation to lose and he lost it.

That’s not the type of show Joe Pags puts on.  This guy wants to interact with listeners and does it with callers and on Facebook and email  He responds to Facebook posts himself, against the advice of his staff.  It’s him on the page and not some intern.  I like that, even though I am not a fan of Facebook or even a member.  I like that he recognizes the audience is an important part of his show and he’s not above getting into it with any one of them.  He calls people out during the show, “Hey, dude, you’ve emailed me sixteen times in the past thirty minutes with fifteen-hundred word essays.  Man, I’m doing a show.  Just stop it.  Do you think I have time to read all of that?  I don’t.  Stop it.  Say what you gotta say in a reasonable, concise format and then I’ll read it.”

Joe Pags used to be a journalist so he loves to debate people about facts.  He allows callers to talk and then asks them questions about what they just said.  If the caller cannot support their own argument, Pags Rickroll’s them off the air.

http://www.eonline.com/news/737509/happy-50th-birthday-to-rick-astley-celebrate-with-some-of-the-best-ever-rickrolls

Pags also plays some kick-a** songs.

Here’s his iHeart page:

Joe Pags Shows:

http://www.iheart.com/show/The-Joe-Pags-Show/

Talkers wrote an article about him recently:

http://www.talkers.com/2016/02/02/spagtacular-success-didnt-occur-overnight/

The article is a bit overdone and hard to read, but if you glance through it you will get the basics of his history.

Joe Pags comes closer than anyone on the radio that I’m aware of to return to the conversation, something Bruce K. discusses in this well-written comment on one of my previous posts:

Comment by Bruce K.:

… Talk radio was never perfect, but there were hosts who would have long discussions with people that did bring out good points, but more importantly they modeled HOW to have a conversation.

The only think I see over and over on the big sites is left-right argument, and I mean use the term argument loosely … it is mostly insults and repeated slogans, and it is biased to the extreme right wing. This is the heart of what I thought our country was about, and it has stopped beating, that is for damn sure.

To think I was happy with the 10 or 20 minutes per hour of radio air that contained a good discussion on an important topic, and now it is completely gone. NPR is great, but there is nothing live. I occasionally catch a live conversation on Pacifica, but it always seems to be something that repulses me to Left wing thought, which I don’t like.

I think of Liberalism as something more than hating science with a passion I thought was reserved for extreme right wing Christians, but the “Progressives” of Pacifica compete very well in illogic. Topics about criminals, prisoners, unending hatred of Israel and by extension the US government, anti-vaccine conversations. I’ve talked a few people who have become right-wing nuts based on the crazy things they heard in places like Pacifica Radio and were so repulsed they ran the other way.

This is a level of censorship, brainwashing and top down corporate control I would never have dreamed of in my life, and here it is, and seemingly getting worse every year.

I think people get so disconnected and fly to the extremes because they never hear an example of a reasonable civil discussion of conversation.

I have to think this is in direct reaction to trends of independent thinking brought about by the Fairness Doctrine, and the demise of Network News in favor of for profit news centers.

I watched the movie “Best Of Enemies” about the debates between Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal in the 70’s, and they happened to mention the most trusted institution in American society at that time was the Network News. What have we lost? Did no one notice? Is that how we lost it all?

There truly is more commenting on the old talk radio than there is talk in the new so-called talk radio. Is it possible to fix this? What is the thinking really by the people who make this policy, and when these decisions are privatized and hidden, does that count as anti-democratic ( small d )?

 

There is really nothing for me to add to that.  Read it, then read it again, and let it sink in.