Muni Transit Overhaul; Even More Matt Gonzalez …

by on March 3, 2008

To the Editor:

The proposed plan to revamp MUNI should be called the Transportation Elimination Project.

By eliminating bus routes, you will be forcing the elderly, handicapped, and seriously ill to walk longer distances to catch a bus. (CAC members seem to be insensitive to the physical hardships of these minorities. As long as they are not physically impaired, they could care less.) In addition, there will be more concentrations of passengers per loading zone, placing a burden on the driver in loading time.

The elimination of bus stops will have a similar effect. And the concentration of more passengers per bus, due in large part to the elimination of runs, will create more uncomfortable sardine cans for riders.

What what clearly needed was more buses and more drivers which the $2 million dollars for the TEP was wasted on.

This is a zero sum solution with the same amount of buses being redeployed. It is not a wonderful system and simply a showpiece with misery for all, especially people who suffer the elimination and restriction of certain bus runs.

This plan should be vigorously fought and contested. It is the product of twisted thinking and is typical of the slipshot planning and organization of MUNI management.

Don’t sign on to this stupid, destructive plan.

Herbert J. Weiner
Former member of RESCUE MUNI

Dear Editor,

Matt Gonzalez’ piece, “Obama Craze: Count Me Out” (2/27/08) contains an overreliance on information excerpted from a hodgepodge of mainstream news media sources. This overreliance on mainstream news media to support one’s arguments, coupled with some of the inherent fallacies employed in the author’s analyses and conclusions, leaves the reader to regard the piece itself with a healthy measure of skepticism.

One’s skepticism is increased the next day with Ralph Nader’s announcement. The timing of the publication of Gonzalez’ piece is ironic.

During the 1988 televised vice presidential debate between Senator Lloyd Bentsen and Senator Dan Quayle, Bentsen turned to Quayle, and addressed him, “I knew President John Kennedy. And, you, Senator Quayle, are no Jack Kennedy.”

We are reminded that Matt Gonzalez is no Senator Barack Obama.


Anh Le
San Francisco

Dear Beyond Chron:

Thank you so much for publishing Matt Gonzalez’s much-needed sober look at Obama as the pandering, flip-flopping politician he is. The hype surrounding him is horrifying to me. I’ve seen this about him for a long time…ever since he was the last Dem candidate, instead of the first, to refuse to debate on Fox News. And then I started reading up on him. Obama’s followers need to read something besides what’s put out on his website.

Please convey my thanks to Mr. Gonzalez. I was especially pleased to see he included Obama’s support of Lieberman over Lamont, which is particularly odious given his cult followers’ attempt influence the superdelegates to kowtow to the “will of the voters.”

I only wish he could’ve worked in the time that Obama pandered to the rightwing newspaper in Nevada regarding Reagan. The most disturbing aspect of his saying that voters flocked to Reagan because they were tired of the “excesses” of the 60’s and 70’s is that Obama most certainly knows that Reagan was running to stem the tide of civil rights and kicked off his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the KKK murdered three young civil rights workers. And yet any questioning of Obama’s own remarks are being cast as a “Hillary dirty trick.” Maddening.

Kudos to you all.

Robyn Su Miller
Quincy, MA

To the Editor,

I am saddened to hear that Mr. (Matt) Gonzalez has joined forces with Ralph Nader because unfortunately it does taint, somewhat, the guest commentary he provided recently. Not to mention it puts him on par with (Ralph) Nader, who has just become a sad run-for-the-hell-of-it Presidential candidate.

Before we go any further, I would like to point out that I am a supporter for Hillary Clinton. I have no true agenda here other than to point out a few things that I find troubling.

In his letter to his sister, Prof. Rich DeLeon stated that Mr. Gonzalez’ column “obsessively & selectively focused on the negatives about Obama.” While this may be the case, I would ask, hasn’t the media failed to do it’s job in presenting these facts? Is it really so terrible that someone takes the bull by the horn and presents what appear to be undisputed facts?

Now again, sadly, there was a clear agenda for the column in question, but in my view it points out several things that people should be made aware of while trying to decide who is the best candidate. Especially when all we hear about Mr. Obama is that he is an amazing and inspirational speaker. Now to be fair, in the two past week, thanks to the debates (for which I wish he had agreed to do more one on ones with Senator Clinton) I have come to learn more about him and what he stands for.

If Mr. Obama is the eventual nominee, I will look to support him because the ultimate goal is to put a Democrat in the White House. He is going to need to convince me why I should vote for him, as he will for the millions of people who have voted for other candidates. However, I will do so with openly.

In my heart, I just wish that Obamamania didn’t turn this contest — for the most powerful job in the world — into a popularity contest because at the end of the day, I still find it hard to believe that people truly believe he is the better candidate on the issues.

Christopher Johnson
New York, NY

Dear Matt Gonzalez:

I was one of those who worked on your mayoral campaign, going door-to-door in the Excelsior and Sunnyside neighborhoods. At the time I thought of you as a visionary yet practical person who could make life in this city better both by providing leadership and by building a movement for change. I guess you got frustrated by the pace of politics. It’s a slow, messy business but you could have done a lot of good. Which is why I was shocked by the announcement that you would be Ralph Nader’s running mate.

Let me be clear — I am not one of those who thinks that Ralph cost the Democrats the 2000 election. Their own ineptitude did them in without any help from Ralph. But why on earth would you choose to do this, now? Why choose to run with a narcissistic octogenarian many of whose own closest staff and colleagues have abandoned him? Do you really believe that this is the best way to raise important issues? Will anyone be able to hear what you have to say above the laughter, derision, disbelief and (misplaced) anger? What’s your electoral and fundraising strategy, Matt?

If you want to raise issues about the war, poverty and healthcare you could have chosen many more effective ways of doing so than spending the next 9 months tagging a long with someone who has so lost his bearings that he cannot admit that there is a shred of difference between Obama and McCain. Hopefully your legacy can survive this embarrassment. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Ross Hammond
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Matt Gonzalez’ piece entitled ‘The Obama Craze: Count me Out’ is nothing more than an attempted ‘high tech lynching’ of Sen Obama and the people that support him.(To quote one of my least favorite people- Clarence Thomas).

Obama supporters are not ‘crazed’ as the implication in the title would have us believe. We are from all walks of life, all races, all religions and all parts of the country and we support Sen Obama because ultimately we believe in OUR ability to bring about change. Not because of his race, his height or the color of his eyes. This is in contrast to Matt Gonzalez who states “how could someone calling themself a progressive not sense the importance of what it means to have an African-American so close to the presidency?” which is just a fancy way of saying that his initial support for Obama was based solely on race. I think most Obama supporters would say “good riddance” to “support” from people like Matt Gonzalez based on this weird type of racism( but racism nonetheless).

The article also takes a lot of liberties with the truth. First of all, the issue of Lieberman is a non starter. Ned Lamont has endorsed Obama. ‘Nuff said.

As for the Iraq issue, Obama has consistently said that he will bring the troops home as quickly as possible – but not at a pace that would jeopardize their safety. He voted to fund the troops because he cares about the troops and he has said that several times. People want their president to be responsible, not to kowtow to fanatics on the left or the right who are driven purely by ideology and not by more practical concerns (we’ve had enough of that with Bush). The only logical conclusion is that Matt Gonzalez expects Obama to withdraw the at a pace that ignores their safety — a position that is just downright Fascist.

The Credit Card issue is simple. Obama thought and still thinks that 30% is too high. Lots of middle class consumers who are being scalped by the credit card companies agree with him. Matt Gonzalez’s implication that Obama was somehow holding out for no cap is false and just another example of the lies and slander in the piece.

The NAFTA issue is again a non starter. Byron Dorgan endorsed Obama and specifically mentioned his trade policies. Again the so called “victim” doesn’t share your opinion. Ditto for the impeachment issue, Sen Feingold publicly said that he voted for Obama in the Wisconsin primary.

To believe Matt Gonzalez is to believe that Sen Feingold, Ned Lamont and Sen Byron Dorgan are somehow are masochistic and support candidates who have royally screwed them over. The truth is that in this piece Matt Gonzalez has shown himself to be no different from the right wing hacks that say Sen Obama is a Muslim. Just a series of false allegations meant to inflame the passions of those who are filled with bitter cynicism and hate.

David Carew

Matt Gonzalez:

Very well researched article …. you’ve really done a fantastic journalistic service to your readers, and very well written …, poetry to read your writing … so many articles are hard to read, and professionals have written them.

I like Obama, but I understand what is going on here. It’s about control …. the small powerful families that have enormous control over our politics and natural resources, try to exert as much of their agenda, as possible, and each president is controlled to varying degrees, and at the behest of certain families, most presidents that is.

Right now they own all horses in the race, but Obama, believing himself a messiah, is not as easily swayed, its better when he knew his place, they are saying. He was most certainly singing the praises, and taking cues, from these powerful families, up until very recently, in fact. But that is changing quickly, as he begins to believe his own messianic murmurings and moans, from the crowds of people that he is finding all around himself.

Hillary obviously knows which side of the bread her butter is on, and in that way, she is under a moderate amount of control…..she is definitely contained, and will do little, but she will stem the bleeding.

If Obama continues to gain momentum, and takes the clear lead, there is a very good chance that he will meet his demise, blamed on some anti-black extremist, or hate group.

Bush is 100% controlled like Reagan was, Bill was somewhat contained, and so will Hillary be …. they now want Hillary in, not the Great Savior that Obama naively believes that he is becoming.

But, you are absolutely correct, he likes the power people, and has time and again, bent to their will …. that was up until a few months ago, now he is pulling away from them with his own God given message of hope, believing that he is the next Jesus Christ …. and that Matt, these families will not tolerate!

I have hopes for Obama, as he has a good heart, and good intentions, but is terribly naive, and easily swayed by the power people …. but, he may become a great martyr, and martyrs’ move the people.

Kind regards,

Damon Toth

To the Editor:

Saw this article just now and am blown away there was a publication originating in San Francisco which did not give me hives. Not only did the concept make complete sense intuiting Obama, but it was done in a logical and refreshing way.

Thank you again to Matt Gonzalez. I hope this communication can be forwarded to your desk. I will be checking back regularly to glean the wisdom being articulated here.

Simi Valley, CA

To The Editor:

Thanks for you interesting piece that explored some of Obama’s voting patterns. The one thing I appreciated about this article is that it vets Obama on issues and doesn’t focus on personal attacks. On the other hand some of the arguments it brings about Obama aligning himself with Republicans reinforces the need why somebody like Obama is so important in this day and age.

I consider myself a Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I always disagree with some Republican points of view. That’s why I am Obamican! Matt, you are welcome to cross the aisle and liberate yourself from ideological labels and cocoons and support somebody who shows free thinking and leadership in Obama.

Donald Onyango

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