The Bucks Should Stop Here
Banking on integrity: This is a thorough crack to the jaw of our national hypo-crisy ["No Justice," James Lieber, Feature, 10/28]. With so many people locked up and branded criminals during this decades-long tough-on-crime charade, Lieber exposes the true criminals. A wake-up call should echo from coast to coast.
If we are unwilling to address this and restore some integrity to the marketplace and criminal justice system, if we do not demand integrity and fairness, there will be no recovery, economic or otherwise. Our savage and chaotic deterioration will be unimaginably ugly.
You get what you pay for: First, if someone (or several someones) pays to help get an official elected, that official can't very well root them out, can he? Second, I think President Obama means well, but the current political and banking structure is too big for one man and a small cabinet to go up against. He's going with the flow and steering where he can.
Is it what we were promised? No. But when has campaign rhetoric ever matched up to actual performance?
Preserve the Tenderloin
Gimme gritty: Matt Smith's article made me see the deep controversy surrounding this city and made me wonder what exactly is going to happen in the end ["Billboard Bonanza," Column, 10/21].
It was three months after I first moved to the city, three years ago, and I was headed to the Warfield to see an indie band. I had never explored the ins and outs of S.F., and I realized that there was a gigantic difference between the Westfield Centre and one small block over on Sixth and Market. It looked rough.
After living here for a while, I have become very tolerant of the culture in the Tenderloin and its slumminess. It doesn't really bother me that much, as opposed to those who avoid the area, as Smith described in his article. I see it as the reality of the social issues concerning this country and the importance of education. Yet sometimes when I do end up around places like Sixth and Market, I wonder why they aren''t being cleaned up.
Smith's article has more or less answered that for me. After reading his final sentences, it sounds like he is definitely a supporter of gentrification. When he writes, "That [billboard promoter David] Addington has earned contemptible enemies almost tempts me to support Prop. D," part of me understands where these opposition groups are coming from. But my gut feeling is that I would rather preserve the Tenderloin in its current shape and form without the techie billboards. I feel that its condition, although severe and unappealing to many others, is what makes this city its own. Needless to say, major gentrification has already been surfacing throughout the Tenderloin, with trendy bars and restaurants everywhere and crowds of people who seem like Marina types.
But if Sixth and Market does get overtaken by the greedy-seeming David Addington portrayed in Smith's article, that's just something we're going to have to live with. And finally, this really shows that money seriously talks.