Not in My Corridor
The crop-circle mystery will be deciphered long before we discover why McDonald's drive-throughs cause such political anxiety here. The proposal for one in the Haight a few years ago generated high drama at City Hall before falling to defeat. And now a move for faster fast food at the Mickey D's on Van Ness has the Board of Supervisors ducking for cover. “The issue is too hot to touch,” says Tom Sapp, an aide to Supervisor Sue Bierman. Neighborhood activists say drive-throughs endanger local schoolchildren with increased traffic, and air and noise pollution. (Imagine that: traffic, exhaust and noise in the Van Ness corridor.) Could it be that opponents are driven by that familiar San Francisco desire to smite with biblical fury all vestiges of modern-day America? Could it be that Prozac and not politics is what's needed here?
“Watergate Was a Tea Party!”
Compared to the wingding Whitewater is propelling, says the Wall Street Underground investment newsletter. The entire economic order is destined to collapse thanks to Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose antics are precipitating a financial “crisis of confidence.” The apocalyptic newsletter pieces together the best of the left- and right-wing conspiracy theorists to implicate the Clintons in the violent deaths of 21 people who knew too much and to essay on Bill's drug habits, Bill's womanizing, the Whitewater imbroglio, the Mena drugrunning/gunrunning, the “suicide” of Vince Foster and the Madison Guaranty fiasco. Strong meat! In fine gold-bug tradition, Underground editors promise that you can make a mint from the coming disaster if you only subscribe. Naive? Of course you are: Write 1129 East Cliff Rd, Burnsville, MN 55337 for more information.
At the advent of the 20th century, Frederick Taylor devised time-motion studies so that factory managers could extract maximum output from their worker bees. In these fin-de-siecle days, political leaders, from Bill Clinton to Frank Jordan, are employing the same method to increase their output. A former investment banker hired by Clinton has increased by 62 percent — they can measure this stuff — the amount of “thinking time” the prez spends crafting new policies. Here at home, Jordan had a consultant tag along with him March 2 to figure out how he wasted his time. The consultant, Robert Gerber from the firm Deloitte & Touche, hasn't drafted an efficiency blueprint for the mayor yet. But the question arises: Is more Jordan “thinking time” a good thing?
Jack Shafer, George Cothran