Praise for Beyond Chron; Obama Attacking His Base; Playland Book Review; Labor’s Missed Opportunity …

by on December 6, 2010

To the Editor:

I have no idea what drew me to look up some Tenderloin news, and Beyond Chron is always on top of the list. Perhaps it’s because I am a Native San Franciscan almost 50 years young and its the Season and my Gratitude list holds the Tenderloin Community at the top of it … for the wonderful and fulfilling life and education, the LIFETIME friends, mentors and colleagues that I would not have today if it were not for the Tenderloinians! Thanks, Randy, for holding the line! He is so on point in this article! The Chronicle needs to revisit this article and talk to some of the people who have been there, done that and are still doing this!

Ana Bolton-Arguello
San Francisco

To the Editor:

I hope Randy Shaw’s article “Obama Attacks His Political Base” serves as a wake-up call for liberals who still cling to some vague hope that Obama is a progressive. For too long, the left has been as deluded as the Tea Party in believing Obama to be some kind of closet socialist. Yet, I still read comments by readers asking “what the hell is he thinking,” “when will he listen to us,” and even hoping that “Michelle will wake him up,” as if she’s playing Eleanor to his Franklin. I wonder myself how I could have been so deceived by Obama’s puffy rhetoric; I guess hope is as manipulable a sentiment as fear. So let’s call Obama out for who he is: a Wall Street puppet who was put in power to provide left cover for an elitist agenda. That, at least, is the conclusion of economic historian Webster Tarpley, whose writings at I wish I had discovered much earlier.

Vincent Bonfitto
San Francisco

To the Editor:

The Playland article was a nice nostalgia piece, but Playland wouldn’t work in the San Francisco of today I’m afraid. Too many gangs now that would vie for territorial claims, etc. It would become ‘Metreon by the Beach.’ A good personal friend who I haven’t seen in many years , Chuck Blackwell, operated one of the rides at Playland up until it closed.

Randy Fleming

To the Editor:

Gazing on where, I believe, it was the site of Playland, from the Heights of Sutro Park, I am disturbed by the utter ugliness of the Condos that grew up in that famous local like poisoned mushrooms. Those sets of Condos testify to the total lack of any regulatory body that could oversee the harmony of the City. The beauty of the vast Ocean Beach, the jaws of Farallon Islands on a clear day, the solo Dutch Windmill, the Beach Chalet, and the venerable Golden Gate Park are marred by those out of place Condos. I walked on Playa street not far from Safeway, just after the Russian shop, to see the black and white pictures of bygone Playland. The waves of the Pacific are still breaking on the dreams of Playland.

Nafiss Griffis
San Francisco

To the Editor:

You hit it right on the head. Our unions have become pacified auxiliaries of the Democratic Party, thereby undermining the interests of its members and the working class. It’s not just these unions, but even my union the California Teachers Union will raise millions for the corporate Dems but will agonize for many months in response to requests from locals for organizing funds. And what do they “grant” back to our locals after the decision is made by the president of CFT? A pathetic $5000 to cover organizing for 5 months.

It’s now happened at both of my locals. Our unions are hopelessly captured by the corporations and their political wing, the Dems. It’s time to organize not just vs employers but our unions as well. Our CFT local officers are even paid by our employers to represent us. It doesn’t get any more captured than that. If many recent campaigns have taught us a lesson, it’s that our own unions attempt to undermine autonomous organizing by its own members and sidetrack, sabotage and suppress our efforts time and time again.

Remember the 1920s and the old AFL? That’s we we are once again. As bottom-up labor historian Marty Glaberman taught us, the organizing is just as much vs our unions as vs the employers.

Robert Ovetz
Marin, CA

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