Tuesday, March 01, 2005

February 28, 2005 - A Weekend in San Francisco

Hello Thinkers,

As you know, it has been a while since I've composed a rant. Between Tuff Jr's christening, preparing my taxes, a busy work schedule and another business trip to Than Franthisco (where I'm writing this from now), my opportunities for blogging have been a bit limited. However, on the night before my flight back home, which is now a race with a winter storm heading up the east coast, I have some moments to opine.

Than Franthisco is a nice city. The architecture is neat, the trolley cars are nostalgic and a decent cup of coffee is never far away. In fact if it wasn't for the people (most of them anyway), I'd actually consider living out here. However, I found myself particularly homesick when I walked past a crazy taking his Sunday shower at a drinking fountain on Market and Powell streets at eight in the morning. The streets were otherwise a ghost town.

And while being away from my usual internet connections has kept me a bit out of the loop for the past few days, it has also afforded me the opportunity to peruse the San Franciso Cronicle. The Saturday, Feb 26th edition had two stories I found to be of particular interest.

First, an Oakland man named Patrick McCullough was recently arrested. His crime? He shot a 17-year old who was part of a gang of approximately 15 'disadvantaged youths' who surrounded and attacked McCullough as he walked from his front door to his driveway. This crowd of young high achievers apparently was disenchanted with McCullough for disrupting their drug deals in front of his property. McCullough was punched, hit with sticks and saw the 17-year old in question reach for a gun when he discharged his own weapon, ending the attack. Bullets will do that, you know.

So somebody 'splain to me how this works. You legally own a gun. You are attacked by over a dozen drug dealers on your own property. They punch you, threaten you, one of them pulls a gun. By the grace of God, you get off the first shot, ending the encounter. Next thing you know, you are cuffed, jailed and released on $15K bail - and the deputy DA in Oakland is unsure whether or not he will press felony charges.

In a recent editorial (Gun Ban in San Francisco - How Gay is That?!), I told you that the single most effective deterrent to violent crime is to allow trained, law abiding citizens the right to carry concealed weapons. Now I will also tell you that gun control laws hurt the law abiding poor and minorities the most - despite what Babs Streisand, Ted Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey, et al, would tell you.


Partick McCullough is 49 years old, worked his way through college, is a navy veteran, and -oh yea- he's black. He and his wife cannot afford to move since they bought their home under a first-time buyers program to provide "neighborhood stability" to North Oakland and would lose any equity if they sell before 2014.

I wonder where the NAALCP stands on this issue?


The second rivetting story from Saturday's SF Chronicle is about Iris Rivera from Redwood City. She is apparently the third person to sue the bay area Gorilla Foundation, home of Koko the "talking" ape, and its president, Francine "Penny" Patterson. Koko cannot talk, but apparently she can perform some rudimentary sign language. What fascinating messages are we getting from a non-human who has been trained to communicate with us across the Darwinian chasm? Koko wants to see Iris' breasts. And apparently Iris disagreeably obliged Koko half a dozen times in a two month period last summer. Now, Iris is claiming pressure from her employer to appease Koko's mammalian requests.

Of the three women suing the Foundation, only Iris went to the extreme of exposing herself to her captive audience. Iris apparently reached her limits when Koko indicated that she wanted to spend some quality time with Iris. Koko's salacious message included "Let down your hair. Lie down on the floor. Show your breasts again, Close your eyes" This was apparently followed by (Koko's) heavy breathing. It is unknown if Koko was peeling off singles as enticement.

One of the other women suing Patterson and her foundation, Kendra Keller, specifies some interesting exchanges in her suit - which includes wrongful termination. One incident states "On at least two incidents in mid-to-late June 2004, Patterson intensely pressured Keller to expose herself to Koko while they were working outside where other employees could potentially view Keller's naked body. ... On one such occasion, Patterson said, 'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples.' "

Thank God for the progressive left, huh?


Funny, I don't remember this part of the PBS special on Koko the gorilla who pets kittens and has a 1,000 word vocabulary in sign language. Can Koko be sued herself for this harassment? Has she ever signed hate-speech? Did Koko request a trip to MA with Iris for the purpose of marriage? Surely those who want to assign Constitutional 'rights' to animals or who want to sue on their behalf to stop things like sonar tests by the US Navy would want to know this before they open a can of litigious worms.


Just what *is* my neighbor's dog thinking when he craps on my yard?

Ironically, Koko the gorilla and Ted Kennedy have NEVER been seen together. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olson are getting suspicious.

Too much time on the left coast must be spiraling my mind to new depths. Maybe I'll take a shower before bed to clear my brain. I wonder if that drinking fountain is open on Market and Powell?


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