Presidential Debate; “Diversity” on SF School Board …

by on October 1, 2008

To the Editor:

I can hardly say that Barack Obama was the winner of the rather boring debate. His litany of concerns about the working class was lacking, since he didn’t seize the great historic moment of the financial collapse and oppose outrightly the 700-billion-dollar robbery. He could have said let bailout workers not Wall-Street gangsters, or let surtax the wealthiest to come up with the hideous 700 billions.

He also missed the great historical moment to say it loud and clear that America has entered a new social and economic model where the State must intervene. Jim Lehrer tried hard to press for a clear answer to the economic crisis to no avail. Or, was Obama afraid that McCain may retaliate by saying that it was your party’s president Bill Clinton who did away with Glass-Steagall ACT that could have prevented this mess in the first palce? In fine, maybe McCain came out the winner.

Nafiss Griffis
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Re: “How Hillary Helped Obama” (9/29/08),” I would submit that Senator Barack Obama resoundingly won last week’s presidential debate on his own merits, and not through emulation of Senator Hillary Clinton’s performance or tactics during the earlier debate between himself and Senator Clinton.

Senator Obama was on point in responding to the moderator’s questions, as well as to Senator McCain’s statements . Also, whenever Senator McCain made a statement regarding Senator Obama’s record which seemed inaccurate, Senator Obama quickly challenged it by saying, “That’s not true,” and then stating his record or his position.

Senator McCain’s delivery style, rhetoric, and performance during the debate appeared to indicate that he was coached and prepped to portray himself as “Reagan”-esque. The strategy may have worked and succeeded for the former Hollywood movie actor, candidate Reagan. But this time, I predict that the American voters will wisely choose for a CHANGE from the failures of the past 8 years by electing Senator Obama as the next President of the United States – – a President who offers leadership and vision, and who believes in the best hopes and aspirations of Americans and people around the world.


Anh Le
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Recently the SFUSD school board had to make a decision about filling a 3-months old vacancy on the city’s Elections Commission.

Again, so-called “progressives” made a choice to reinforce a 1970s-era concept of “diversity”. Several applicants mentioned the standard problems many groups face; these same applicants failed, however, to mention that there already are members of those constituencies on the Elections Commission.

Only one applicant pointed out how the disabled are still not able to fully and easily cast their ballot in private, despite such being a requirement of California law. The Elections department has made some strides in this area but is also facing a disability-based lawsuit about this failure.

The concept of appointing someone from THE legally-protected class that is the aggrieved constituency in this lawsuit AND who is knowledgeable and committed to improving the elections process still didn’t persuade the School Board.

Rather, the school board made a decision to reinforce their responsiveness to what might be termed their bases of support, while ignoring the benefits of addressing the unmet needs of constituencies not their own.

“Diversity”, for the school board, continues to be limited to the groups talked about in the 1970s and 1980s, not the 21st century.

Which means the disabled still need to achieve change through lawsuits rather than collegiality.

Disheartening, disempowering, and dissonant– the gap between what they preach and what they practice.

Bob Planthold
San Francisco

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