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Monday, October 26, 2009

SF Gov InAction: Supes Try To Save Cats, Unify Ireland, and Create Public Power

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 2:30 PM



The moral high ground in San Francisco may be the most valuable real estate of all. Last week Gavin Newsom -- who thumbed his nose at state and federal law on gay marriage -- tried to claim it by saying he couldn't help illegal immigrants because he has too much respect for the law.

The Board of Supervisors also tried to claim the moral high ground by saying that Gavin Newsom -- whom they supported when he thumbed his nose at state and federal law on gay marriage -- has to help immigrants because the city passed a law, damn it, and you must obey the law.

In politics, even the most righteous causes make hypocrites of their crusaders.

It would be hard to top the righteous histrionics of last week, but everyone's going to try: between another round in the argument over how to regulate nightlife, a measure to ban the declawing of cats, reforming lobbying rules, Clean Power SF -- it looks like the supes are going to take the moral high ground and convert the buildings on it into condos so that more of their friends can live there.

By the end of the week, they'll have formed a neighborhood association to keep everyone else out. It's like a Greek tragedy sponsored by ReMax.

Monday, Oct. 26

9:30 a.m. - City Operations & Neighborhood Services Committee

For the record, I support gay marriage, I support protecting immigrant children from laws that force them to fear and loath the police, and I even support Ross Mirkarimi's law to ban the declawing of cats in San Francisco.

But I'm asking him, and his supporters, to please just pass this law and be done with it. If you must, you can remind us -- in 30 seconds or fewer -- how cruel the procedure is.

But, for the love of God, don't get everybody in a line and have them go on for two minutes apiece about animal rights, how meat is murder, that God loves animals, how my cat is as smart as my children, that vegans are healthier, how to adopt a cat, that oppression of animals is the first step towards imperialism, how cats warned us about 9/11, that anyone who declaws a cat should have their fingers cut off, how the CIA is in league with cats, that that studies show that grad students who adopt cats are happier than orphan sweat shop laborers who don't.

Just pass the law, and move on. Just pass it, and move on. Okay? Please?

I have no such hopes for the continued attempts to reform the Entertainment Commission and the way nightlife is handled in SF, which comes before this committee today too. (It's coming up by a special order at 1 p.m., so if this is all you care about, no need to get to the meeting early).

As a number of Snitch articles and an SF Weekly cover story have shown, the Entertainment Commission is in desperate need of reform ... far, far more reform than the proposed legislation will ever provide. Still, it's a nice start. Or at least it would be if we could ever agree to pass anything. But that's okay: Effectiveness isn't required to live on the moral high ground. Just a righteous outrage. Effectiveness is for people whose principles don't fit on a bumper sticker.

1 p.m. - Land Use & Economic Development Committee

This meeting will be entirely devoted to a hearing on the Better Streets Plan.

Somehow, the need to get out of Afghanistan is going to come up. Somehow.

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Benjamin Wachs


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