Friday, December 31, 2010


You run a company. You make your business by evicting low income tenants so that you can sell off the units in the buildings you have purchased for prices between $400,000 and $600,000 each.

What would you call your company?

Well for at least one company that does engage in this practice, they call themselves:  SF Affordable Housing LLC.

Not wanting to get the esteemed author angry at me, but does this not count as irony? 

What's more disgusting is that one of the members who was interviewed had the audacity to state, "Basically, I cannot afford to keep the tenants who on average paying $300 a month in rent[.]" Let's be clear about something, this individual, and any partners he may have, is not the least bit interested in becoming a landlord. His company, based on the report I have seen, buys properties to sell them as individual units, either condos or TICs. 

If you are going to be a bastard and kick people out of their homes, at least be honest about it. You had no interest in being a landlord. You wanted to divide up the property into ever small portions to sell off at inflated prices to line your wallet with more money.

You are, I believe the technical term, a greedy bastard who wants to be liked. If you are going to be a greedy bastard, then be one. Don't try and fool people with statements such as, "If those people need assistance, I’m in a 100 percent agreement that they should be helped, but it shouldn’t be the burden on a landlord." Its insulting because you have no intention of being a landlord.

At least be as honest as the guy who was begging for money down on Kearny and Bush yesterday. He had the decency to hold up a sign saying "Need money for beer."

End of Another Year

Interesting year. Frustrating year. In some ways a surprising year.

And yet, as of now, looks like I've had 5,427 hits this year according to Sitemeter. Blogger tells me I've had 5,934 since March. Whatever.

They both seem to agree about what my top visited articles this year are. They are, in order:
  1. From Mrs. Angrybell to the Hon. Sofie Allsopp
  2. The Worst Landlords Ever Just Hit A New Low
  3. Ashkon's Giant's Anthem
  4. What were the people in Oslo thinking?
  5. GW Law... Skills... Donations?????
Have a Happy and Safe New Years.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scary and coming soon to California

A Moment of Geekiness - What D&D Character I would be

I Am A: Neutral Good Human Ranger/Sorcerer (3rd/3rd Level)

Ability Scores:







Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment because it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Rangers are skilled stalkers and hunters who make their home in the woods. Their martial skill is nearly the equal of the fighter, but they lack the latter's dedication to the craft of fighting. Instead, the ranger focuses his skills and training on a specific enemy a type of creature he bears a vengeful grudge against and hunts above all others. Rangers often accept the role of protector, aiding those who live in or travel through the woods. His skills allow him to move quietly and stick to the shadows, especially in natural settings, and he also has special knowledge of certain types of creatures. Finally, an experienced ranger has such a tie to nature that he can actually draw on natural power to cast divine spells, much as a druid does, and like a druid he is often accompanied by animal companions. A ranger's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Secondary Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shame on Google and YouTube

As an organization, Google seems to have trouble deciding which values it wants to uphold. on its corporate website, Google states that there are 10 things that they know to be true. Number six on this list states that, "you can make money without doing evil." Google except that it is a business, and that it does need to make money in order to survive. Letting their position, they offer three bullet points explaining how they can make money without doing evil to the user. Apparently, the only view it is evil when it's advertising done in the way which may be considered offensive to the user, such as pop-up ads or ads that don't clearly identify themselves as such.

It's interesting that they limit themselves in such a way. Why?

Other than Google's flagship search engine, perhaps the most used and liked of Google's products is YouTube. Google has had to navigate a careful course in operating you to, making sure they keep itself firmly within the safe harbor provisions of the law while the same time allowing users to put up content that they like. Because Google can't simply allow anything to be put up on YouTube, because let's face it if they allow people to be put up on YouTube that would cause a huge problem both legally and financially for the company, their terms of service which govern what types of videos can be uploaded to YouTube. in section 6 of the terms of service, subpart E, states that "You further agree that you will not submit to the Service any Content or material is contrary to the YouTube community guidelines, currently found at, which may be updated from time to time, or contrary to applicable local, national, and international laws regulations."

Among the things that YouTube states are not allowed by the community guidelines include:

  • pornography
  • "bad stuff" (i.e. animal abuse, drug abuse, underage drinking and smoking, or bomb making)
  • graphic or gratuitous violence
  • copyrighted material that the poster does not hold the copyright to
  • Spam
  • videos of the predatory nature, which YouTube defines as stalking, threats, intimidation, invading privacy, revealing other people's personal information, and inciting others to commit violence or to violate the terms of use.

So now we've established what YouTube is not supposed to allow to be posted on its site.

That's why it's kind of curious about some of Google/YouTube latest enforcement of its terms of service. On December 18, 2010, YouTube closed down the account belonging to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). According to Google, this was done because PMW's postings constituted "hate speech".  At some point over the weekend, the order was changed ordering taking down, seemingly, all videos posted by PMW in the past five months (i.e. around July 2010 to date). PMW's videos are taken, in most cases, directly from Arab media or from other postings on YouTube itself and used to show divide between the lip service that the terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and the PLO, give to the West and the actual words they say to their followers and allies. 

While PMW is under threat of being shut down,  mainly due complaints it appears from the Arab/Muslim groups, it is interesting to note that it is relatively easy to find videos supporting terrorist organizations and celebrating terrorist victories (i.e. war porn) on YouTube. Yet YouTube seems to do little to root them out.

Consider this, YouTube makes money off these videos. All of them carry advertising. And they get a lot of hits world wide from supporters.

Google says that you can make money without doing evil. Well, isn't it evil to shut down those that shine a light on to evil, while allowing the actual evil doers to continue spreading their message of hate and destruction?

So far, Google has sided with Communist China and supporters of Islamic terror organizations.  In the former case, Google only stopped siding with the Communist Chinese when the PRC began hacking Google's servers. Perhaps there is hope for Google. Although, if history is a guide, it will probably take a suicide bomber at a Google facility to get them to recognize the difference between opposing evil and being a fellow traveller.

But on can hope that Google will remember that there is more to evil than pop ups and unidentified ads.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Looks Like Local 250 A Didn't Get the Mesage.

It seems that the leadership and the rank and file of the Local 250 A did not get the message. Apparently not content to have theirheadshanded to them at the ballot box, they seem to be hankering to be reminded again that they are not the only people in the City and County of San Francisco.

What's going on, you ask?

MUNI drivers typically get a bonus of a few thousand dollars every December. The money cones from a trust fund that the SFMTA funds. There's only one problem: SFMTA is broke, hence all the cutbacks.

You would think that with the City in crisis, the SFMTA with no money, and the riders not getting rides, that the vastly overpaid membership of Local 250 A would forgo their bonus.

Well, they won't.

Standing on the provisions of the City Charter, the leadership of Local 250 A is demanding the bonus.

Something comes to mind about pigs and troughs whenever I think of Local 250 A. Another charter amendment looks to be necessary. How about something simple like no bonus if the city agency is in the red.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

You'd think that there was going to be a little time off to allow Jennifer Grey to bask in the glory in the glow of the fabulous mirror Ball trophy before rumors start popping up about who will try and follow in her footsteps. Anyways that's what I thought. I guess I was wrong.

It was reported today that Porsche de Rossi has declined an offer to appear on dancing with the stars. Apparently, the producers over at dancing with the stars heard her talking with Ryan Seacrest where she said that she consider taking part in a same-sex couple on the show. I wonder who would've been her partner? If only Lucy Liu was a professional ballroom dancer, slash-fic  from the day would've resurfaced.

No longer content with getting free publicity by having its "stars" crash White House functions, the Real Housewives franchise looks to be getting its first test on dancing with the stars. according to people magazine, Nene Leakes, of the Atlanta Housewives, is apparently trying to get on is one of the contestants for next season.

But what could be the most interesting possibility for a train wreck next season is news that Lindsay Lohan is trying to get on the show.if you does make an appearance as a contestant this season, it may be that she ends taking the Josh Hamilton approach (meaning that you can have a mind her everywhere she goes to make sure she doesn't fall off the wagon). of course, if you follow baseball, you know that Josh Hamilton's sobriety Minder was so successful in keeping his player on the straight and narrow that he had to be pulled out of Arizona bar during spring training last year.

The evil SOB and he wants to put Lindsay with Maksim. Because putting someone who is barely hanging on sobriety, and possibly their sanity, with a control freak prima donna like Maksim is good television. At least, it would be better than seeing another Palin show up and try and dance.