San Francisco

San Francisco welcomes illegal Mexican immigrants but rejects American Tech workers

San Francisco City Hall and War Memorial Opera House lit up for SF Pride

Progressives in San Francisco fought to remain a Sanctuary city welcoming illegal Mexican immigrants with open arms. When it comes to their local neighbourhoods, however, they are rejecting their fellow American citizens and are blocking the migration of Tech workers (amongst others groups) into their own neighbourhoods. It is probably true of many liberal thinking people that they are very supportive of other people helping the less fortunate but when you try to put those same people into their neighbourhood, all of a sudden the welcome mat is gone.

San Francisco is one of the most progressive cities in the nation, especially when it comes to national immigration. We believe so much in the natural right of people to join us here in America that we fought to keep our status as sanctuary city even in the face of being federally defunded for it. We pride ourselves on our rejection of plans to tighten immigration controls and deport undocumented immigrants. Yet take that same conversation to the local level and all bets are off. City meetings have become heated, divisive and prone to rhetoric where we openly discuss exactly which kinds of people we want to keep out of our city.

This is an ethically incoherent position. If we in San Francisco so strongly believe that national immigration is a human right, then it seems strange to block migration into our own neighborhoods.

Read more »

A lesson for Auckland on rail, from California

Politicians, mostly of the left, love train sets. They must have been deprived as children with their parents refusing them Thomas the Tank Engine toys.

In California the state has been funding a massive boondoggle, a high-speed train between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

California’s high-speed rail project increasingly looks like an expensive social science experiment to test just how long interest groups can keep money flowing to a doomed endeavor before elected officials finally decide to cancel it. What combination of sweet-sounding scenarios, streamlined mockups, ever-changing and mind-numbing technical detail, and audacious spin will keep the dream alive?

Sold to the public in 2008 as a visionary plan to whisk riders along at 220 miles an hour, making the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a little over two and a half hours, the project promised to attract most of the necessary billions from private investors, to operate without ongoing subsidies and to charge fares low enough to make it competitive with cheap flights. With those assurances, 53.7 percent of voters said yes to a $9.95 billion bond referendum to get the project started. But the assurances were at best wishful thinking, at worst an elaborate con.

Like all train proposals it is a massive con.   Read more »

Cats have killed more dolphins than McDonald’s ever has by buying hoki

This week we have seen a jihad opened up on the New Zealand fishing industry by a group of Kraut eco-terrorists.

They claim they are trying to save Maui dolphins and have fingered McDonalds as contributing to their deaths because they buy NZ Hoki. Nevermind that NZ Hoki is caught in regions far from the littoral environs that Maui dolphins inhabit, they are just attacking an industry and a multi-national company based on lies and mis-truths.

In their bid to save Maui dolphins they have attacked industries and companies that actually have nothing to do with the maui dolphins and attacking them and destroying their businesses won’t save a single Maui dolphin.

A better approach would have been for them to attack cat owners. Because one of the major killers of Hectors and Maui dolphins is cats…or rather a disease that is caused by cats.

A recent 2013 study found that toxoplasmosis is a rather large factor in the deaths of Maui and Hectors dolphins.

Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) are a small endangered coastal species that are endemic to New Zealand. Anthropogenic factors, particularly accidental capture in fishing nets, are believed to be the biggest threat to survival of this species. The role of infectious disease as a cause of mortality has not previously been well investigated. This study investigates Toxoplasma gondii infection in Hector’s dolphins, finding that 7 of 28 (25%) dolphins examined died due to disseminated toxoplasmosis, including 2 of 3 Maui’s dolphins, a critically endangered sub-species. A further 10 dolphins had one or more tissues that were positive for the presence of T. gondii DNA using PCR. Genotyping revealed that 7 of 8 successfully amplified isolates were an atypical Type II genotype. Fatal cases had necrotising and haemorrhagic lesions in the lung (n=7), lymph nodes (n=6), liver (n=4) and adrenals (n=3). Tachyzoites and tissue cysts were present in other organs including the brain (n=5), heart (n=1), stomach (n=1) and uterus (n=1) with minimal associated inflammatory response. One dolphin had a marked suppurative metritis in the presence of numerous intra-epithelial tachyzoites. No dolphins had underlying morbillivirus infection. This study provides the first evidence that infectious agents could be important in the population decline of this species, and highlights the need for further research into the route of entry of T. gondii organisms into the marine environment worldwide.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Eleanora Dumont. The Lovely, “Madame Moustache”

Eleanora Dumont. The Lovely, “Madame Moustache”

Madame Moustache

Folklore remembers Bodie less than other contemporary boomtowns largely because no Bodie resident ever earned the notoriety of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Calamity Jane, or Wild Bill Hickok. The eastern California mining camp’s most celebrated personality was Madame Mustache, a highly regarded card dealer who committed suicide there in 1879.

Soiled doves of the Old West frequently wrestled with matters of the heart.  Many longed to meet a man who could help them escape the life they were living. Popular, frontier madam Eleanor Dumont dreamed of such a saviour.  Shortly after she moved to Northern California she met a man she believed could love her and build a life with her away from the saloons and brothels. Tragically, she was wrong.

In the 1850’s a vivacious, petite woman stepped cheerfully off a stagecoach in Nevada City, California, dressed with all the style of Princess Eugenia of Sweden and Norway.  As she strolled into the National Hotel with her dainty steps and her bustle looping back and forth, she made a decision to changer her name from Mlle. Simone Jules, the handle she used when she first arrived in California to Madame Eleanora Dumont.  She wanted a new sobriquet to go with the new gambling hall she had opened in the booming, gold mining town.  At the time it was unheard of for a woman to enter into such a business venture alone, but Madame Dumont was defiant and confident she would be successful. Champagne and food were free at her place and the girls she employed lovelier than any west of the Rockies.

Eleanora’s gambling hall was filled to overflowing every night.  Her specialty was dealing Twenty-One or Blackjack.  In her flinty, sing-song voice, she would invite card players to “have a go” at vingt-et-un, the French translation of the game.  Patrons were so busy talking with the charming Madame Dumont during the round that they scarcely noticed when they’d lost.

She went by many names; Simone Jules, Emiliene Dumont, Eleanore Dumont, Sara Da Valliere, but most commonly, Madame Moustache. She arrived in San Francisco around,1850, her French accent gave credence to her story. She claimed to be the daughter of a French Viscount who’d returned to the South of France after Napoleon’s fall to find his estate and finances in ruins. To restore the family fortune, the Viscount arranged a marriage to an overbearing husband for his only daughter; after an affair with a Lieutenant ended in her virtual imprisonment in a French chateau, she contrived to escape, and after a series of adventures which she never disclosed, found herself in California. Her moustache not as of yet having arrived on the scene, she presented herself as Emiliene Dumont.

Read more »

Labour should read this since they are talking about the Future of Work

Want to know why automation is replacing menial jobs?

Labour want to know…as they have their Ten Big bumper sticker slogans and attempt to find out why it is that automation is going to replace every job.

They should read the Wall Street Journal article about restaurant automation and wonder no more about why it is people are being replaced.

Consumer preferences, reduced technology costs and government policies that increase labor costs are driving a trend toward automation in the restaurant business. If you make something more convenient and less expensive, it tends to catch on.

As recently as the 1960s, gas-station employees would rush to fill your car’s tank, wash the windows, check the oil and put air in the tires. Telephone operators made your long-distance calls and bank tellers cashed your checks. Those jobs now are either gone or greatly diminished.

Today, we reduce jobs whenever we shop on Amazon instead of our local retail outlet, use an Uber app rather than calling a cab dispatcher, order a pizza online, use an airport kiosk to print boarding passes, or scan groceries. Each of these changes in behavior has increased convenience and reduced labor costs—and competitive businesses pass the savings to their customers.

In the restaurant business, the increasing impact of technology doesn’t mean that a robot will soon roll up to your table and say, “Hi, I’m Trudi4783. I’ll be your automated server today.” But technology can replace certain functions. Touch screens are already transforming the way food is ordered in many restaurants.

In late 2013, Chili’s and Applebee’s announced that they were installing more than 100,000 tableside tablets at their restaurants across the country, allowing customers to order and pay their bill without ever talking to a waiter. The companies were soon followed by Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread, Olive Garden and dozens of others. This means fewer servers covering more tables. Quick-service restaurant chains are also testing touch-screen ordering.

Read more »

San Francisco is a bastion of free speech — provided you have the right opinions

The only man who can defeat ISIS.- Milo facebook

The only man who can defeat ISIS. Milo Yiannopoulos -Facebook

 

Milo Yiannopoulos was my face of the day a while ago. Like most people I admire, he has strong opinions and is capable of holding his own during a debate. He is also funny. He plays fair and does not talk over others, allowing them their turn to speak even though, consistently, he is not given the same respect. He is, not surprisingly, a strong advocate for free speech, while those who disagree with him want to silence him. Milo is a gay man and while on his Dangerous Faggot tour he arranged to speak at an event in San Francisco, a city known as the ” queerest city  in America”. To his great surprise he was prevented from attending. It seems that, like Bruce Caitlyn Jenner, his special minority status  is not enough to cancel out his conservatism.

Read more »

Deaker says Dalton must go

Murray Deaker reckons Team NZ’s problems lie with Grant Dalton.

Dalton must realise that his use-by date has been and gone. I believe he has made three fundamental errors that mean many sailors and certainly a large number of sports journalists have lost respect for him.

Dalton should never have called a lay-day during the last America’s Cup.

It should not have been his call. It should have been the sole right of Dean Barker to make that call, as skipper. Barker didn’t even know that Dalton had made the call. Dalton made the call for commercial reasons … some of the key sponsors hadn’t arrived in San Francisco and he wanted them to see the final victory. This decision, on its own, is so bad it should have led to his resignation.

Second, Dalton should never have been on the boat as a grinder. Russell Coutts pointed out the folly of this to Dalton in a public debate before the event began.

Winston Macfarlane was recognised as a much better grinder, being stronger, younger and more focused.

Third, Dalton lost his focus and some of his behaviour off the water in San Francisco, meaning he lost the respect of his team.

If Team New Zealand is to survive it will do so only if Dalton resigns. He has had his day and it is unbelievable that there is no one on the board of Team New Zealand prepared to tell him so.

Read more »

Explaining is losing: Len Brown goes on the front foot

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the council’s overseas postings are all about economic growth and jobs in the city, and despite criticism, there will be more.

It was revealed at the weekend that Auckland Council has sent one of its staff to London at a cost of $230,000 a year, after his English-born wife became homesick. Another of its staff was sent to San Francisco.

“It’s all about jobs for us – investment in our city, visitors to our city and country, and economic jobs and benefits,” Mr Brown said on Firstline this morning.

Mr Brown did not know about the London posting before it happened, but with 8500 people employed by the council, he can’t be expected to know everything.

“The person directly responsible for this is our chief executive officer, and then the chief executive officers like Brett O’Riley for our council companies like ATEED [Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development]. So of course I would not know about everyone who’s employed and where they’re employed, but what I will say is I totally back Brett and his leadership.”

Asked if the position in London would have been created had the employee’s wife been from a country with fewer economic ties to New Zealand – such as Latvia – Mr Brown said he was “not going to get into the details of it”.

So he did know about the San Francisco “council ambassador”, but not about the London one?  Yeah, right.  That makes total sense.   Read more »

Tagged:

Another Auckland Council trougher living life on the large overseas

Auckland Council is out of control.

Over the weekend it was revealed that one trougher from ATEED is living life on the large at ratepayers expense in London.

Len Brown professed no knowledge of the arrangements but backed it.

Now we know why…he probably did know, and also knew of another trougher living life on the large, this time in San Francisco…and there are plans for another in China.

Aucklanders have their own woman in San Francisco to go with their own man in London.

Pam Ford, of Auckland Council’s economic development arm, has been based in San Francisco since March last year.

On Saturday, the Herald revealed that Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) had created a contract in London for one of its senior executives, Grant Jenkins, at a cost to ratepayers of more than $230,000.

His English-born wife was homesick and had been longing to return home for several years, according to a former council staffer.   Read more »

There should be no taxpayer money for dysfunctional Team NZ

Team NZ is falling apart and the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of Grant Dalton.

The latest stoush is over Dean Barker who has now called in the lawyers.

A furious Dean Barker has called in the lawyers as the bitter battle over his future with Team New Zealand intensifies.

Barker was left shell-shocked at leaks to media this week that he was to be axed as skipper of the America’s Cup syndicate. His lawyers have written to the syndicate’s board seeking a “please explain” over his treatment.

The campaign for the 2017 regatta in Bermuda was already mired in controversy over taxpayer funding, and now the Herald on Sunday has learned the relationship between Barker and syndicate boss Grant Dalton has been toxic for some time, and that they rarely speak. It emerged this week that Barker only learned he was to be replaced at the helm of Team New Zealand by young sailing star Peter Burling after reading it on Facebook.

The leak occurred while Barker was in negotiations with Team New Zealand top brass. It is understood one of the options being discussed was for Barker to be replaced as skipper, but to retain a leading role within the team.

That now appears unlikely, with the Herald on Sunday learning last night that Barker – left in tears after Team NZ’s heartbreaking loss to Oracle in the 2013 America’s Cup – is set to walk away from the crew if Dalton remains in charge of the syndicate.

A source close to the team said if Barker moves on he will reject any imposition of a gagging order and is preparing to reveal all.

Read more »