A Public Death
A man's suicide immortalized online: Wow, this is an amazing and heartbreaking story [“Public Influence,” Albert Samaha, feature, 1/2]. I wish it hadn't needed to have been written, but appreciate the care and effort that went into it.
Blog Comments of the Week
Supervisors' opinions don't have much variation: The notion that left versus right is at all relevant to city issues is nothing but a residue of old political battles [“Board of Supervisors: Get Used to Muddle in the Middle,” Joe Eskenazi, the Snitch, 1/2]. Few city issues can usefully be analyzed ideologically. Doesn't make any difference who the board president is, since there are few significant political differences on the board. They all support the anti-car bicycle fantasy and the “smart growth” planning ideas that are so fashionable.
Student's dark poem is not the issue: Total overreaction by clueless administrators [“S.F. Student Writes 'Dark' Poem About Newtown School Shooting, Gets Suspended,” Erin Sherbert, the Snitch, 12/28]. The student's comparison with Stephen King is very relevant — the administrators should try reading his book Rage, which is an explicitly violent story of a school shooting featuring the shooter as narrator/protagonist. No doubt they would have expelled the future best-selling novelist if he'd been their student, but his constructive life, and his creative work — which is loved by millions — are evidence that they would have been wrong to do so.
The futile and dangerous obsession with trying to make everything totally safe and harmless is an even greater evil than the tragedies it seeks to prevent. It lulls people into dependency and a false sense of security, sapping the vitality of the people and ultimately doing little to make them safer.
There's no one budget that will please all Californians: I don't watch Fox News, but Jerry Brown's “you're all going to hate this budget” budgets still haven't been willing to get real about either tax revenues or expenditures [“Jerry Brown's Office Mad at Fox News Over “Fiction” Budget Story,” Erin Sherbert, the Snitch, 12/27]. If the economy gets better fast, there's some chance of getting toward balance, but if it doesn't, there will still be major shortfalls and higher costs. The [proposed budget] is better than what most of the Democrats would like, but people are not only going to hate it, they're going to hate it a lot.
Politicians need to be on board for marijuana to become legal in California: Finally, some politicians are heading the right direction on marijuana legalization [“Gavin Newsom Changes His Mind, Now Supports Marijuana Legalization,” Chris Roberts, the Snitch, 12/21]. Marijuana should be legal! It might lessen the addiction to far more harmful drugs, like alcohol, tobacco, crack, and meth.