This post is not about freedom of religion or the nature of dissent or Tibet's right to exist or how all-round evil China is. It is also not about the Olympics or world unity or any of that hippie twaddle. San Francisco's pretty, pretty mayor did something that should outrage everyone who lives in the world's largest open-air looney bin: When confronted with potentially volatile political protesters bent on impeding the flow of traffic on city streets and the implicit threat of violence against the citizenry Mr. Newsom found a way to thwart their purpose and defuse the situation. There ya go, San Franciscans. He does have it in him, but only when he's worried about looking like a schmuck to the rest of the world. For you, every month, not so much.
The last Friday of every month with nice weather (I love their commitment) an enormous bunch of jackasses toss their bicycles in the back of the Odyssey or on top of the Forester and drive in from all over to block traffic in downtown San Francisco during the evening commute in a pointless little ritual called Critical Mass. They ride on both sides of the street and both sidewalks. Why should drivers be the only ones to fear for their safety? They vandalize cars and knock pedestrians down, and the police don't do a damn thing to stop them. I'm sure they'd love to, but they're not allowed. Mayor Haircut doesn't want the bad PR from hurting the feelings of some weekend white rasta from Danville with facial tattoos and plates in his earlobes. So everybody who needs to get on the bridge out of town because daycare in Oakland closes at 6pm -- for instance-- must sit and wait for the cyclists to work through their daddy issues. Its only redeeming feature is that it may cause some Bay Aryans to rethink their position on gun control.
Such a pity the only thing the citizens of San Francisco have to offer the mayor is their vote. He seems to think that's worth so much less than face time on CNN.