Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Know Your Betters: Area Man Becomes Supraman Simply by Piloting a Tesla Model S Electric Car

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

You just don’t know how special you are ’til you own and operate a Tesla Model S.

Why, you’re so special that, in some states, you didn’t even have to pay sales tax to get your new ride. And here in California, your wundercar can go all of its 200-something mile range on the freeway in the carpool / HOV lane even though you’re sitting in your car all by your lonesome!

Now check out Dude here on Masonic. He’s got his official CA HOV stickers on all four corners. Plus, he’s also got a license to jibber jabber on his handheld cell phone while driving. I mean, he must – just look at him: 

Click to expand

I didn’t check to see if he has special CHP 11-99 Foundation license plate holders (like this fellow Tesla God), but that would mean that Dude has a license to speed as well.

Oh but Dude, don’t speed too much else the maximum range on your $100,000 car will go down to 100-something miles and then you’ll have to get towed, like this:

(Funny story – in the mind of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the driver of this car drove it in circles specifically to make it run so low on juice that it wouldn’t go no mo. That wasn’t true but oh well. And this Model S wouldn’t even allow its needlessly-complicated doors to open for the tow-truck monkey, that child of a Lesser God, so it could be, you know, put into neutral so, you know, it could get towed. Oh, and here’s another funny one. How many kids should you have with 30-something Elon Musk before he trades you in for a newer, sexier model-type model? Five[!] Five kids, srsly. And then the former Mrs. Elon Musk is like, “At least she’s not a blonde.”)

Anywho, the question of the day is why you’d even want such a long, low, and wide big-on-the-outside-yet-small-on-the-inside vehicle such as a Model S? It’s like an electrified Porsche Panamera four-door, right? And compared to my full-sized. eight-passenger motherfucking Land Cruiser, the Model S is longer[!] and wider[!] (How can that be?) And I’ll tell you, my ride, which isn’t exactly known for high MPG, no not at all, has a real-life range of 400-something miles on the freeway.

Oh, what’s that, your Model S is shiny and it has a lot of chrome and it makes you feel special? Well, then carry on with your super important phone call, by all means.

You have become a Supraman.

Congrats.

As far back as Yossarian could recall, he explained to Clevinger with a patient smile, somebody was always hatching a plot to kill him. There were people who cared for him and people who didn’t, and those who hated him were out to get him. They hated him because he was Assyrian. But they couldn’t touch him, he told Clevinger, because he had a sound mind in a pure body and was as strong as an ox. They couldn’t touch him because he was Tarzan, Mandrake, Flash Gordon. He was Bill Shakespeare. He was Cain, Ulysses, the Flying Dutchman; he was Lot in Sodom, Deirdre of the Sorrows, Sweeney in the nightingales among trees. He was miracle ingredient Z-247. He was…
Crazy!” Clevinger interrupted, shrieking. “That’s what you are! Crazy!”
“…immense. I’m a real slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger. I’m a bona fide Supraman.”
“Superman?” Clevinger cried. “Superman?”
Supraman,” Yossarian corrected.”

Yossarian is transcendent man. He is rising above the living dead all around him to find a way to live. He is basically alone in his quest. A real hero.”

I am, I am Supraman, and I can do anything.”

OMG, the City of Pasadena is Selling Folding Bikes for Just $215? Isn’t This Program Better Than the SFMTA’s Bike Share?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Word comes from the San Francisco Examiner’s Mike Billings of the City of Santa Monica’s new FoldnGo program.

So, Pasadenians will be able to buy a small Dahon folding bike for $214.99?

Isn’t this a lot cheaper, you know, per bike, than the SFMTA’s / BAAQMD’s expensive bike sharing scheme?

Hell yes. Plus, you, Fellow San Franciscan, end up with a bicycle of your own.

Hey, where’s my almost-free Dahon bike, SFMTA? 

You know who’s excited about Pasadena already? Dahon Girl 2009, that’s who:

Click to expand

Oh, what’s that, giving away bicycles ala Santa Monica is NOT a jobs program? Because most of the money would necessarily go into bikes instead of salaries and benefits and pensions?

And the  SFMTA is really an employment agency instead of the (very slow, slowest in America) transit agency it claims to be?

Oh, so I guess, for that reason, we won’t be getting a Pasadena-style program up here in the 415.

‘Cause I’ll tell you, SF’s new bikeshare program is of zero interest to me, as a supposed user. And I’ll tell you, most of the money for San Francisco’s bike share program will end up paying the employees instead of paying for the large, heavy, expensive, undesirable equipment for the program.

Last time I checked. the San Francisco Fire Department spends 91% of its budget on salaries / related expenses and just 9% on equipment. Will our bike share program end up with that kind of percentage  after it ends? We’ll see.

Of course, when you’re giving away or heavily subsidizing  a bike program as Pasadena  is doing, you’re going to run into corruption and fraud type of problems.

But guess what, we going to have these issues* with Alta Bicycle Share in our taxpayer-funded program as well.

So what’s the diff?**

Oh well.

*And vandalism. Don’t forget about theft and vandalism. Oh, you have the GPS to fight theft? Guess what, it’s sending out its signal from, say, underneath Pier 2. Who’s going to fish it out? We’ll see.

**One big diff will be that any issues anyone has about the bike share program will be met with a pitch for more money. More and more and more money.  

Un Petit Corruption: Dropping the GF Off at the JC Using a White SFGov Pickup Truck – But Remember, Transit First!

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Transit First for Thou but not for Thee, that is.

Taxpayer-paid pickup fueled with taxpayer-paid gasoline:

Click to expand

Why not use your sweet SFGov ride to run errands to make your life easier?

Legend: 

GF: Girlfriend. Or sister I guess.

JC: Junior College. You know, the troubled one. 

 

A Sure-Fire Sign That You’re in the Corrupt Twitterloin is the Sign for a Business Called “the loin”

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

As seen in The Loin:

Click to expand

Hey, who knows, maybe someday Twitter will pay the taxes it owes to the City and County of San Francisco, maybe Twitter will pay it’s fair share of the “Gavin Newsom Tax” signed into law in 2004.

Until that time, the corrupt Twitterloin will continue to be known as the corrupt Twitterloin…

Oh well.

Perhaps Twitter can’t afford to pay its fair share of taxes, the poor devils.

Finally, Corruption in Chinatown that Rose Pak has Nothing to Do With – 1885 Map: “White Prostitution, Chinese Prostitution”

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It’s Farwell’s Map of Chinatown in San Francisco (1885) by way of The BIGMAPBLOG.

Here’s Grant Avenue and Pacific, which then, as now, is just to the west of Columbus, which you can see in the lower right corner:

Click to expand

Here’s your legend:

        CREAM: “General Chinese Occupancy” 
        SALMON: “Chinese Gambling Houses” 
        GREEN: “Chinese Prostitution” 
        YELLOW: “Chinese Opium Resorts” 
        RED: “Chinese Joss Houses” 
        BLUE: “White Prostitution” 

People were very direct back in the day, non? 

Oh, hey, speaking of 1880′s San Francisco, here’s what happens when you let “downtown” take over San Francisco municipal government, when you try to help legacy businesses fight back against “unfair” competition:

In the 1880s, Chinese immigrants to California faced many legal and economic hurdles, including discriminatory provisions in the California Constitution. As a result, they were excluded, either by law or by bias, from many professions. Many turned to the laundry business and in San Francisco about 89% of the laundry workers were of Chinese descent.

In 1880, the city of San Francisco passed an ordinance that persons could not operate a laundry in a wooden building without a permit from the Board of Supervisors. The ordinance conferred upon the Board of Supervisors the discretion to grant or withhold the permits. At the time, about 95% of the city’s 320 laundries were operated in wooden buildings. Approximately two-thirds of those laundries were owned by Chinese persons. Although most of the city’s wooden building laundry owners applied for a permit, none were granted to any Chinese owner, while only one out of approximately eighty non-Chinese applicants was denied a permit.

Yick Wo (益和, Pinyin: Yì Hé, Americanization: Lee Yick), who had lived in California and had operated a laundry in the same wooden building for many years and held a valid license to operate his laundry issued by the Board of Fire-Wardens, continued to operate his laundry and was convicted and fined $10.00 for violating the ordinance. He sued for a writ of habeas corpus after he was imprisoned in default for having refused to pay the fine.

The state argued that the ordinance was strictly one out of concern for safety, as laundries of the day often needed very hot stoves to boil water for laundry, and indeed laundry fires were not unknown and often resulted in the destruction of adjoining buildings as well. However, the petitioner pointed out that prior to the new ordinance, the inspection and approval of laundries in wooden buildings had been left up to fire wardens. Yick Wo’s laundry had never failed an inspection for fire safety. Moreover, the application of the prior law focused only on laundries in crowded areas of the city, while the new law was being enforced on isolated wooden buildings as well. The law also ignored other wooden buildings where fires were common—even cooking stoves posed the same risk as those used for laundries.

The Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Matthews, found that the administration of the statute in question was discriminatory and that there was therefore no need to even consider whether the ordinance itself was lawful. Even though the Chinese laundry owners were usually not American citizens, the court ruled they were still entitled to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Matthews also noted that the court had previously ruled that it was acceptable to hold administrators of the law liable when they abused their authority. He denounced the law as a blatant attempt to exclude Chinese from the laundry trade in San Francisco, and the court struck down the law, ordering dismissal of all charges against other laundry owners who had been jailed.

Yick Wo totally pwned corrupt San Francisco government back in the day. (Shortly after, we went in a different direction. “Separate but equal” came along and kind of messed things up, but anyway.)

Thanks for the map, Big Map Blog!

Mayoral Candidates Stand United in Their Opposition to Ed Lee Campaign Money-Laundering – A Call for Election Monitors

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Well, here they are this morning, on the steps of City Hall.

It’s Jeff Adachi, Michela Alioto-Pier, Dennis Herrera, Joanna Rees, and Leland Yee.

Let’s begin:

“We stand united in our outrage and opposition to he illegal activities that have been going on in the Ed Lee campaign. Recently, there was another revelation about money-laundering…”

I don’t know, click here to see the whole story these past several months.

Le mise-en-scene a l’Hotel de Ville:

Click to expand

Selected highlights:

Michela: “Any strong leader would have stopped this from happening.”

Joanna: “Ed Lee saying he can’t stop this from happening is totally ludicrous.”

Jeff: “Ed Lee gave a large pay raise to city management, and weeks later received their endorsement.”

On It Goes…

Breaking: Rose Pak and Linton Johnson Found! Secretly Held in Chinatown Basement Until After Election Day

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

You ever wonder why you never hear from “Chinatown power broker” Rose Pak or BART spokesmodel Linton Johnson these days?

It’s ’cause certain people want you to forget about them, for now anyway.

Ed Lee’s crew are providing the venue and the BART Police are handling security. Linton is generally compliant but Rose had to get muzzled Silence of the Lambs-style after a few biting incidents. The Powers That Be sent in a nurse to tend to Rose’s injured leg but now the nurse has become a kind of hostage herself.

See? Rose has become very protective of the nurse, apparently. And Linton has a few microphones to play with, so, you know, they’re making do, they’re keeping busy:

The Powers That Be feel that Rose is a threat to the possible fifth term of the Willie Brown administration. You know, for shooting her mouth off, acting like this:

Holding court at the party for the opening of the new airport terminal, Rose was seated at the table with interim Mayor Ed Lee and his wife, Anita, and a host of other local officials.

“I want every one of you to call his office and tell him he should run for mayor,” Rose told the table. “And do it right away so that there’s no misunderstanding.”

Then she turned to the architect David Gensler.

“Didn’t you do this terminal?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Didn’t you remodel this terminal before?”

“Yes,” he said.

‘Then your firm should raise a million dollars for his election campaign.’

Poor Gensler, he didn’t know what hit him.”

But she’ll be back, shooting her mouth off, but only after November 8th, 2011. Just wait and see.

And Linton, well it looked like he was running BART for a while there. But is he the only one to pay the price for BART’s recent behavior? It sure seems that way. That’s a little funny, huh?

I mean, somebody must have pressured him to go off the deep end, right? A supervisor?

And whose idea was it to hire news readers to become the face of BART? Was that a good idea?

Is BART perfect now, is that the story?

Mmmm.

Anyway, these two are keeping each other company for the while. The BART Police will lose the location November 8th and then they’ll let Linton out the same time as Rose. Who knows what he’ll do after that.

Courage.

Uh Oh: Adachi, Alioto-Pier, Avalos, Chiu, Herrera, Rees, and Yee Call for Election Monitors – Improper Votes for Ed Lee

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

[UPDATE: Word on the street this Election Eve 2011 is that Secretary of State Debra Bowen is sending election monitors to town for Our Big Day tomorrow.]

Candidates Bevan Dufty, Tony Hall, Phil Ting, and Ed Lee took a pass on signing this particular letter, but everybody else is on-board, looks like.

(Sure is odd having the City Attorney calling in the Feds, non?)

Anyway, check it, below.

Open-air voting booth tent, Chinatown, San Francisco, USA – Ed Lee Gets It Done:

Adithya Sambamurthy, The Bay Citizen

Here it is: USDOJ-CASOS-LETTER

“October 23, 2011

The Honorable Thomas E. Perez
Assistant Attorney General
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Attn: Civil Rights Division, Voting Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Transmitted by fax: (202) 514-0293

The Honorable Debra Bowen
CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE
Attn: Election Fraud Investigation Unit
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Transmitted by fax: (916) 653-3214

Re: Request for federal observers and election monitors in San Francisco

Dear Assistant Attorney General Perez and Secretary of State Bowen:

We write to bring to your attention news reports and accompanying videos that may indicate violations of federal and state laws intended to protect voting rights and to assure the integrity of our electoral process.

In light of published accounts in the San Francisco Chronicle* and Bay Citizen** about electioneering activities by the SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011, we request that your respective offices immediately detail federal observers and state election monitors for San Francisco’s mayoral election, which is currently underway.

According to these published accounts, these electioneering activities target Cantonese speaking voters in San Francisco, and may potentially impinge on their federally protected voting rights, and also violate provisions of the California Elections Code and other laws.

These suspect activities include the following:

• Testimony by independent witnesses that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff were completing ballots for voters.

• Testimony and video evidence that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff employed plastic stencils and handled absentee ballots in such a manner as to prevent voters from marking their ballots for other mayoral candidates.

• Testimony that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff, as apparently ineligible third parties, received and collected into plastic bags voted ballots from voters, taking ballots into their possession.

• Testimony and video evidence that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff interfered with the secrecy of voting. If true, these allegations and other conduct may violate the U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965, and California Election Code provisions pertaining to electioneering, corruption of voting, the Voter Bill of Rights, and other laws.

Given their gravity, the importance of protecting voting rights, and assuring voter confidence in our electoral processes, we believe federal observers and election monitors are immediately warranted, and that further investigation by your respective offices would be well advised.

Sincerely,

Jeff Adachi, Public Defender

Michela Alioto-Pier, Small Businesswoman and Mother

John Avalos, Supervisor, District 11

David Chiu, President, Board of Supervisors

Dennis Herrera, City Attorney

Joanna Rees, Entrepreneur/Educator

Leland Yee, State Senator

cc: U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón

*“Witnesses: Ed Lee supporters mark others’ ballots” by John Coté, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 21, 2011, http://bit.ly/o3rB9C; and “Ed Lee backers said to fill in ballots for others” by John Coté, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 22, 2011, http://bit.ly/mPvarB

**“More Fraud Accusations for Lee Supporters” by Gerry Shih, Bay Citizen, Oct. 22, 2011, http://www.baycitizen.org/sf-mayoral-race/story/mayor-ed-lees-campaign-supporters-1/”

5-7-2 on Front Street: America’s Cup 2013 Starting Early? – A “Windfall” for Some, But Not For All

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Get used to seeing boats coming and going around town over the next year or two.

Like this:

Click to expand

Forgive me for not jumping on the bandwagon, for not joining in with the mindless cheerleading.

The fact is that our America’s Cup deal was negotiated poorly. Can anybody deny that? O.K. then.

Now, do you want to say that all this rigmarole is a net positive for the 415 anyway? Well, that’s up in the air.

If you personally get a gig for a number of months, you know, setting up and maintaining port-a-potties and whatnot, then somebody could call that an exercise in “creating jobs,” I suppose. So good for you.

But to compare the famously corrupt Salt Lake City Olympics, or any Olympics, with our AC13, well, that’s not a good thing, is it?

Maybe Larry’s Boat Race will be just like an especially small Olympiad?

Although the accounting methods of Olympic organizing committees are often murky, the evidence further suggests that all of the last six Winter Olympics ended up losing money. The organizers of the Turin Games in 2006 admitted to a $32 million deficit. And while organizers of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics boasted an operating profit of $110 million, the U.S. General Accounting Office determined that the federal government contributed $1.3 billion toward the event. Plagued by cost overruns, the 1998 Nagano Olympics also lost huge piles of dough, though no one knows exactly how much because the organizers burned the accounting books, leaving the financial impact a mystery.”

So, do I have an inventory of all the land mines what are hidden in the agreement that was negotiated? Not yet, but brace yourselves for them…

In the meantime, study up on all the Eurotrash what are racing the boats. Which collection of Euros are you going to be rooting for?

And dig up your old NCAA uniform. It still fits!

And then bone up on your two-legs-good, four-legs-bad style chanting:

natural amphitheater

world-class 

Go, Eurotrash, go!

Larry Ellison is NOT the biggest fucking douchebag on the entire planet

Hurray!

Squaw Valley USA Announces Details for $50 Million Capital Plan – New Base Lodge and Two New High-Speed Chairlifts

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Don’t get me started on scandal-plagued Winter Olympiads and whatnot.

Instead, let’s focus on $50,000,000 – that’s a lotta money, non?

All the deets, below.

But first, let me bore you with a Kodak Carousel of the last time I was up at the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Looking down:

And looking up:

Way up high:

Squaw Valley is a Winter Wonderland:

All the deets:

Squaw Announces Details for $50 Million Capital Plan

SQUAW VALLEY USA’S RENAISSANCE
Squaw Valley USA announces details for a $50 million capital plan
New base lodge, expanded restaurants and two new high-speed chairlifts planned

[Squaw Valley USA] July 26, 2011 – Squaw Valley USA announces the details of a five-year, $50 million capital improvement plan that will add dramatic improvements to the on-mountain and base village guest experience. Plans include everything from new food and hospitality offerings to new beginner and advanced high-speed chairlifts, trail improvements and a state of the art mountain information system. All enhancements are designed to better enable guests to embrace their desire for adventure, exploration and immersive experiences, whether solo or with families and friends. Whether it’s discovering new terrain or socializing at the end of the day, improvements to amenities and customer service will allow skiers, riders and guests to explore Squaw Valley’s 4,000 acres and vibrant alpine village like never before.

“Squaw Valley is an incredible and diverse mountain, and we are committed to honoring every aspect of the mountain’s history, legacy and legend,” said Andy Wirth, Squaw Valley’s president and chief executive officer. “We’ve talked to guests, skiers and riders regionally and around the country and learned that the very caliber of this mountain may have kept some visitors away, and we are dedicated to creating an approachable and friendly experience for our guests of every ability level. This philosophy is present in every aspect of our mountain and base area improvement plans—and will remain a theme as we continue to change.”

YEAR ONE: Winter 2011-12 / $15 Million

Squaw Valley USA will be investing approximately $15 million in base area and on-mountain improvements for the 2011-12 winter season to improve the guest experience in the following:

Ever more deets, after the jump.

(more…)