Joe Geldhof: A trip-report letter to San Francisco Mayor London Breed

Thank goodness San Francisco has a ban on single-use plastic bags. (Photo: San Francisco Public Works Department)

December 21, 2021

London N. Breed, 


City and County of San Francisco

City Hall, Room 200

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, California   94102                     

Mayor Breed:

Leaving home during a winter storm, we flew into Oakland on November 19, 2021, where we set out on a ramble across the Sierras, down to Lone Pine and eventually back up to Oakland where we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with family, after which we spent a couple days walking the trails and byways of West Marin County and in Sonoma.  

Waking on the 30th in Sonoma, we had what amounted to a free day to poke around prior to turning in our rental rig at the Oakland Airport and staying in a nearby hotel so we could depart for home on December 1.  

As we were in Sonoma, I thought to myself, “why not cross the Golden Gate, stop at a museum in San Francisco, perhaps have lunch and leisurely make our way across the Bay Bridge to Oakland?”  My spouse (proving she is more intelligent than I), didn’t balk entirely but raised concerns about heading into San Francisco. We weighed the prospects – acknowledging the obvious difficulties of spending time in San Francisco anymore. We batted around the obvious issues with a seemingly endless string of individuals wandering around exhibiting peculiar behavior consistent with various failed jurisdictions throughout the globe.  

We concluded San Francisco has become altogether precious in terms of the attitudes harbored by the local political caste in regards to providing hospitality and deeply dysfunctional in terms of practical municipal operations.  Why put up with the obvious hassles associated with San Francisco my smarter spouse asked?  

I had this idea that driving across the Golden Gate, cutting through the Presidio of San Francisco and spending a few hours up at the fine art museum at the Legion of Honor would be enjoyable.  “What could go wrong?” I asked, confident that the area around the Legion was a place of honor.  

So, we embarked on a pleasant trip from Sonoma, drove the bridge, maneuvered safely through the local neighborhoods on the heights overlooking the Golden Gate and arrived at the museum in the middle of a glorious, sunny day.  We locked the vehicle, walked right up to the museum, plunked down the admission fee and spent two hours trooping around various galleries, including a wonderful exhibit on the use of pastels from the Renaissance through contemporary times. We headed out to the vehicle, thinking we might have a late lunch down by Fort Mason, and were surprised that the back window of the rental rig was smashed out and all our luggage removed with the exception of the New York Times, Sunday edition, which caused one friendly wag to suggest that the perpetrators were “conservative.” My guess is they were not.  

Not being entirely familiar how to deal with this situation, we walked back to the museum where the head of security politely and with considerable conviction expressed his deepest regrets and sympathy before whipping out a pre-printed brochure titled: Car Break-In Resources.  Hmmm, I thought to myself, there is seemingly enough of this kind of conduct going on to warrant a “how to” guide on what the security staff labeled as a “smash and grab.”  

I walked back to the scene of the smash-and-grab caper noting the abundance of smashed out tempered automobile glass in evidence everywhere in the parking area that further supported the idea that this kind of activity is common.  Suffice to say my urban trail reading skills improved, even if the circumstances were post hoc.  With the sound of crunchy glass underfoot, I phoned the San Francisco police, as directed by resource guide.  The individual I spoke with at the San Francisco police department was unfailingly polite and took down the information about the contents of our stolen luggage in a thoughtful manner.  We did the rough itemization of two small “wheelie bags, a brief case, a tote and a small bag full of clothes in need of laundering. The aggregate value of all the goods removed from the locked vehicle was in excess of three-thousand dollars, a sum that was calculated in Federal Reserve Notes.  

While discussing the contents and value of the stolen goods with the San Francisco police, we observed two individuals operating a Volkswagen Jetta cruising up and down the street where our vehicle had been broken into.  The driver would stop at various vehicles and the passenger would jump out and inspect the vehicle’s interior. My wife suggested these individuals were “casing” cars, an observation that appeared correct to me.  

In turn, I passed along this observation to the San Francisco police official with whom I was speaking, who informed me, indeed, a report about two individuals driving a blue-grey Jetta while casing cars had been phoned into the department that day. The individuals in the suspicious Jetta zoomed away but reappeared in short order, causing me to wonder whether I should step out and confront them.  

I like to think of myself as not being totally passive or fearful.  At age 70, I still take a regular shift playing recreational ice hockey and in the right circumstance, will line up and block shots. On the other hand, I figured I was way out of my element confronting a couple of individuals who seemingly were engaged in conduct that is generally considered violative of ordinary social convention. Those of us living in the North have a decent feel for danger in bear habitat, how to handle avalanches, boating in ocean temperatures that are fatal if you sink and a variety of other situations but I decided I was out of my league with jerks in a Jetta.

The Jetta disappeared, nobody from the San Francisco police responded to the scene, so after a couple of hours spent on the phone and waiting around, we decided we had all the fun we could handle in San Francisco on this particular day and we headed over to Oakland. My spouse texted our family, who rallied and assembled a couple of jackets and two toothbrushes designed to make return to Alaska a bit easier. I was grateful for the loan of a jacket given temperatures back home were below freezing and all we had after the smash and grab was the clothing on our backs and our wallets.  

As we drove over Bay Bridge, I tried humming a few bars from Amarillo by Morning, the lines that go: “Everything I got, is just what I’ve got on.” My spouse, not being a particular fan of country music, didn’t really think this was the time for me to be trying out a George Strait imitation and told me to keep the tune handy for riding in the Big Horns in Montana or Wyoming, something I do with the Crow family who adopted me.  

Chastened, we pulled up in Oakland, had a sober meal with family, put a paper bag with the spare jackets and tooth brushes in the back seat and headed to a filling station to gas up the rental rig.  We have a division of labor in our household that has evolved where I pump gas (except in Oregon, where state law prohibits an individual from self-help with fueling), so I missed a portion of a phone call she received while gassing up.  What I did apprehend when I got back in the vehicle was that a police officer in Richmond had possession of our luggage. How, exactly, our luggage wound up in Richmond is a mystery not likely to be resolved but we were urged to drive up to Richmond from Oakland and claim our goods.  

This sounded almost too good to be true, to us, but we started motoring up towards Richmond in the rental rig with the smashed out rear hatch window. Along the way, we called the rental car company and procured an extension of time to extend the contract. That chore taken care of, my spouse called the Richmond Police Department and inquired whether that agency really did have an officer with the name given to her. The dispatcher confirmed that the officer was standing by with our luggage.  We apologized for sounding “paranoid,” and were told that was just being savvy in the modern world.  

As it turns out, our luggage was dumped on a dark hillside street in Richmond and co-mingled with the property of at least two other individuals who had their possessions stolen. The only way the police in Richmond knew about the gear was because an alert neighbor noticed a couple guys rifling through various pieces of luggage and discarding the contents next to his property.  He called the police, who responded promptly, which was an improvement over the response time by the cops over in the sophisticated city to the west. We helped the police sort through various pieces of luggage and were pleased most of our goods were returned.

During this sorting phase, the Richmond police officer noted this kind of smash-and-grab activity is extraordinarily common.  The officer was delighted he could help recover the property for us and noted that even if the perpetrators were caught, the likelihood of prosecution was so close to zero that returning the property was viewed as being a success. 

We were not able to reclaim all of the property stolen from the rental rig. The laptop was taken from the brief case I use. Interestingly enough, an expensive pair of field glasses were not removed from the brief case. Oh, and the perpetrators took a plastic bag of vitamin supplements.  Pills have some sort of value in the Bay Area, I guess, even vitamin D.  

We loaded most of gear into the rental rig with the smashed window, thanked the Richmond police officers and the Richmond homeowner who helped and then drove down to the Oakland Airport rental car center.  Figuring I was probably going to have to spend considerable time filling out reports related to how the rear hatch window was smashed, I was pleasantly surprised that the return agent expressed dismay and condolences before concluding that this kind of activity happens “all the time,” and whipped through the return procedures in short order.  Which brings me to the point of this correspondence.

The security personnel at the museum up at the Legion of Honor, the police in San Francisco, the cops over in Richmond and the rental car return agent all expressed in their own manner and with considerable empathy that the smash-and-grab routine is pervasive in San Francisco. They know it, the perpetrators know it, many local residents of the Bay Area know it, the staff at the de Young museums know it, which is why they implored victims of the kind of brazen lawlessness that is transpiring in your community to contact your office.  

The only folks who probably are not aware of how bad things have gotten in San Francisco are the rubes like myself who naively figure they can park in a place next to a museum in broad daylight and leave their personal effects in a locked vehicle. My supposition is that you and most of the other elected officials in the Bay Area region have at least nodding familiarity with the kind of behavior that is taking place in your community. The obvious issue is whether you have the courage and integrity to address the problem.

You may elect to consign my views as being the nattering of a privileged, entitled, heterosexual male with an unconscious exploitive belief system grounded in colonial and racial oppression.  Given that the idea of objective reality has pretty much been abandoned anymore by more than a few citizens and many politicians who have sought and acquired political control, it wouldn’t amaze me if you (or at least some of your colleagues on the City and County of San Francisco Assembly), decide to characterize this letter as the unfeeling sentiments of an individual who fails to apprehend the perpetrators of the smash and grab were really just victims of a deep legacy of colonial exploitation and a corrupt economic system.  I confess, I am somewhat inclined to adhere to many rules, e.g., those octagonal red stops commanding individuals to halt and various other prohibitions designed to protect the common good.  For what it is worth, I for one am not buying the notion that seems pervasive in your jurisdiction that the perpetrators are really oppressed and engaged in some form of redistributive justice.

I also confess I am an old, somewhat cranky Caucasian guy.  I have had a variety of experiences that afford a point of observation that cities that do not strive to maintain public safety or maintain a decent public school education system are destined to falter and possibly fail.  Having grown up in Detroit, it was impossible to avoid the impacts of dumb political decision-making, toxic racism and mindless rhetoric that plunged a once great city into chaos and decay.  There are no simple solutions to maintain a vibrant and vital community but failing to provide public safety for individuals, regardless of their creed or genetic composition or their ownership interest in property is a sure path to destruction.  Nobody suffers more from property loss than impoverished individuals when the political caste in a particular jurisdiction declines to follow the rule of law.

I do not envy your task as Mayor. You are saddled with an unbelievably creepy District Attorney who is conducting law enforcement seemingly based on very odd psychological notions about crime and punishment that are disconnected from actual human behavior. One need not be a clinician to understand Chesa Boudin is torturing your community with his odd belief systems pertaining to justice. With actors like that on the team tasked with maintaining a civilized community, your task is brutally difficult.  There are, of course, remedies to rogue law enforcement officials, even ones who are elected – cut off a bunch of the funding for Mr. Boudin.  Instead, hire competent private security and augment the dysfunctional District Attorney who is failing to maintain public safety with a bounty system, if necessary.

One need not be a historian of note or harbor a particular philosophic or partisan orientation to know that the line between maintaining a civilization and anarchy is not amendable to a mechanical formulation and is a bit imprecise.  When situations get fluid in terms of maintaining order (not to overlook civilization), it is imperative to pay particular attention to what works in terms of maintaining and promoting civilized conduct.  What’s the alternative?  Apparently, District Attorney Boudin is in favor of anarchy.  As a community or society nears anarchy, a tendency towards vigilantism emerges.  Or, individuals with will, simply up stakes and leave, at which point decline is usually inevitable.  

Think this is hyperbole?  Consider Detroit, which may have finally hit bottom but the period of time from when the National Guard troops attempted to suppress rioting in 1968, lost control and elements of the 82nd and 101st airborne troops were deployed to end the killing, up to the present have been pretty grim.  

I comprehend that San Francisco doesn’t have the same toxic mix of racial animosity that existed in Detroit in the 1960’s. The community over which you preside is composed differently, of course, and has different challenges, but however you define them if you ignore public safety there is a certainty San Francisco will not retain the allegiance of visitors. For that matter, a lot of residents are going to leave and head to someplace with less drama and fewer public safety issues evident on a weekly or daily basis.  

Most of us hanker to be guests, not victims, when we visit someplace.  I am fortunate in having resources that allow my family to travel. I elected to travel to San Francisco. This was my mistake, but I had fond memories of staying at the Palace Hotel and other venues with my spouse and children. We have hosted receptions in hotels in your community. Walking from North Beach across the city to the baseball park with our youngest daughter back in the day to see the Giantsplay a game was fun, as was wandering around Chinatown, shopping in and about Maiden Lane and a variety of other activities.  And, I have to say, San Francisco was a place in which I have worked over the years, including work with Peggy and Edgar Wayburn and other conservationists. I even went to a Sharks match at the old Cow Palace once upon a time.  

Let me close with a couple observations that apparently are not in play with some of your colleagues on the City and County of San Francisco Assembly. Many visitors to San Francisco, including myself, have options. Believe it or not, it is only marginally more difficult to go to Manitoba for a performance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet than it is to fly down to San Francisco to view a ballet or opera. Not only is Winnipeg less expensive than San Francisco, the citizens are courteous and the local gendarmes do not put up with punks breaking out vehicle windows. 

Believe it or not, getting from Juneau to Paris or Milan if we want to attend an opera isn’t a whole lot more expensive than fooling around with flights into San Francisco and putting up with exorbitant hotel prices in your community, not to forget the hyper-aggressive panhandling that takes place adjacent to some of your cultural centers.  

Options abound in the modern world. Vancouver, British Columbia and other places have refreshing atmosphere with plenty of cultural and other urban activities that can be enjoyed by guests, even during this pandemic.  

As long as you and your colleagues adopt dysfunctional policies that reward naughty behavior and work against the interests of the majority of your residents and those of us who once elected to visit your community, those of us with options will take a pass on San Francisco.  All the virtue signaling and hand-wringing about the need for justice, equity and restitution may make some of your colleague feel good about themselves and serve as a balm for some of your most militant constituents but it isn’t going to make San Francisco a city in which functional humans wish to live or visit.  

I do wish you the very best trying to assemble a coalition of genuinely thoughtful political colleagues who are able to move beyond rhetoric and act rationally to address actual problems with real solutions according to a genuine understanding of human nature.

Call me if you want to discuss this matter.  But, whatever you do, kindly refrain from having some special assistant who undoubtedly had some political connection with someone in your municipal government send me a slightly modified letter of condolence about how we were treated while guests in your city.  I’ve had my fill of precast correspondence from San Francisco for a while.    

                                                               Very truly yours,

                                                               Joseph W. Geldhof


  1. What a wonderfully written letter with humor in the face of adversity. The sad part is this…San Fran is a city amongst many suffering this degradation. I go back home to visit relatives in Seattle and south of there. Crime, homelessness, urban blight, third world. Whatever words you use to describe, they all have a commonality. Far left liberals in charge. It’s no wonder Texas and Florida are getting jam packed with liberal state “refugees.”

      • Frank you seem to negate any truthful report of your dysfunctional liberal hellholes! Your redirection is so sickening without acknowledgment of the hellishness observed by a fellow Alaskan on vacation to see family … Please relocate outside AK for the betterment of good Alaskans adhering to good social standards! As for the media you read or see is part & parcel of your disregard! Please make your New Year out of State !

  2. I guess the author hasn’t spent much time in Anchorage where this type of thing happens all too often. Where the police don’t even want a phone call, just go online and fill out a form. And assistant DAs that plead felonies to misdemeanors that convicted persons just walk away from. We might even be farther down the pit than San Fransisco, at least their police respond to phone calls and don’t just push you to an online form to fill out.

    • Have not heard of smash and grab out of vehicles at TSAIA, maybe you could tell me just one time it happened?

  3. Dude, if you left your stuff in a rental car in a place like SF, you had it coming. How stupid can you get? Leave your stuff at the hotel and nothing in a rental car.

    • Heck, I lived in Anchorage for 10 years. I just moved to another state last year, and for the last 5 years I was in Anchorage I wouldn’t leave anything in my vehicle in any part of town because the same thing was happening there. Is the letter writer really so out of touch that he didn’t know what was happening in SF? Apparently.

  4. I don’t even travel to Cali at all anymore. I refuse to spend 1 red cent in that he’ll hole. I recommend everyone who has any common sense should move to Texas or Florida. We don’t put up with that crap here.

  5. Very well written and not screaming just asking for some type of action to be taken. Comparing before and now is heart breaking. Just look at Alaska, Anchorage and others as it is happening here. Please forward a copy to our assembly and state reps, where it will fall on deaf ears as well as San Fran. They just do not care.

    • For an ADD-afflicted millennial with the attention span of a gnat, perhaps.
      I read the entire letter without much effort and with considerable appreciation.

    • Right! The mayor does not care one whit about this guy’s opinion. Why would he wade through pages of Joe’s thoughts on how SF is being run? I suppose for Joe it was satisfying to vent his thoughts. I was taught in writing class that you must consider your audience (who you are writing to or for). The Marxist he is writing to will file this in the circular file, along with the Constitution.

  6. Well written and insightful composition. A sad recital of metropolitan woe’s that can and should be expected by naïve sightseeing travelers.

  7. Did you buy the insurance the rental car company sells? Or was it covered by your own policy? Or are you hoping the City of San Francisco will cover it?

    • Perhaps class action lawsuits by travelers suffering similar injury might prod the bad decision makers of San Francisco and other similar black-hole cities.

  8. Available federal, state, and private funding drives the non-profit NGO’s homeless industrial complex, where a few evil people are gathering wealth, at the community’s expense.
    Anchorage is well on it’s way to the bottom of this pile, what with the nine lawless persons of our city council. The buying up of derelict buildings, supposedly to help the homeless. Or by using the Sullivan Center, at 7k per person, per month, when it would cost less than a thousand in any of our run down hotels and motels, at winter rates.

  9. Grievance and victimhood perfectly described by a whiny visitor. Of course this innocent family blamed a perceived liberal city government for the actions of a couple of dooshbags ( maybe antifa? Maybe neomarxists?).
    Very weak reasoning skills.

    • Speaking of very weak reasoning skills, as well as very weak reading skills, you apparently missed the parts of the letter that repeatedly referred to this kind of crime in San Francisco being so common as to be almost ubiquitous. But again, there in your lame comment is that classic radical leftist denial of reality.

      • Jefferson: it’s poor reasoning to blame a liberal city for a crime common to every big city. If there were statistics to support his beef – and ten bucks says there are – then he’d have a stronger case.

    • Victim shaming much? “A couple of dooshbags [sic]”? This city used to be a tourist destination, and you’re speaking at though being a victim of a shaman and grab robbery is part of the San Francisco experience! Sir, you clearly don’t understand what is happening in SF (and quite literally, the whole west coast and every state in the 9th district). If the liberal politicians (and let’s face facts, they all have a “D” behind their names) and weak DA’s are not the problem, then pray tell… what is causing this?

    • Victim shaming much? “A couple of dooshbags [sic]”? This city used to be a tourist destination, and you’re speaking as though being a victim of a smash and grab robbery is part of the San Francisco experience! Sir, you clearly don’t understand what is happening in SF (and quite literally, the whole west coast and every state in the 9th district). If the liberal politicians (and let’s face facts, they all have a “D” behind their names) and weak DA’s are not the problem, then pray tell… what is causing this?

    • Evan, I must say that firstly I am disappointed by your misspelling ” douchebag”, unless it was an attempt at cultural approbation? Were you trying to identify with the hoodlums here?

      In the three decades or more that I’ve known Joe Geldhof I have never thought of him or his lovely wife as being ” whiney”. Joe is a thoughtful and insightful person whose opinion I value even though we sometimes disagree. I believe his story was descriptive and well reasoned, too bad you missed his point.

      • I know how to spell the word schenker. Thanks for insulting me. And yes the whole piece is whiny. And poorly written. Instead of 900,000 words, he could have made his point in 900.
        His point is to link a common crime to a liberal city as if such crimes are unique. I’m not defending the city. I don’t care.

  10. Thanks Joe, a good read and appalling accout of the demise of a once great American City,. As an aside I encouraged my daughter and her hubby to visit San Francisco , they did and reported similar squalid experiences. Sad really, I recall the place in the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s. What happened?
    Bring back Dirty Harry!

  11. Your mistake was going to that town, period. Great report though, well written, even entertaining in a sense. Please do follow up with any official response you may receive from the city of SFO.
    Having lived there and in light of your experience, I would suggest anyone considering such travel, to reconsider.

  12. She doesn’t give a damn.
    But you did get a first hand look at the not distant future of Anchorage. Take a good look at your last mayor. He came from there.
    Your one mistake was not following local custom and looting a store while there.

    • Lol right?! He should’ve walked in to the nearest department store and replaced his belongings and walked out. It’s not like the police will do anything about it lol

  13. There are wolves, sheep and sheep dogs, who protect the sheep from the wolves. The police are our sheep dogs, but there aren’t enough of them. An armed citizen can also a be sheep dog, but the wolves of San Francisco know that the concept of an armed citizen is alien to the ethos of the city.
    So in San Francisco, the wolves run wild, and the sheep are defenseless.

    • Nice to hear from you Fritz. And though some of us agree with you, go ahead and try it, even here . You’ll be tried by a jury of your peers and imprisoned. This is not the state it was 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. Sheep, sheep dogs, wolves as you say is correct. The majority in this state being woke sheep. Such cowards and degenerates will not have our backs, ever. Thank you though for your sentiment. Your words are true.

  14. Never leave luggage or any valuables in your car where they are visible. I had a friend who had their side window smashed out in an Anchorage gym parking lot for a pair of sneakers left on the front seat! Sad times we are living in.

  15. “We can’t guarantee your safety. It is really, really out of control. I said it to people before, it’s like that movie ‘Purge,’ you know, instead of 24 hours to commit your crime, these people have 365 days days to commit whatever they want,” Jamie McBride, the head of the LA Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, said in a television interview. Pay attention Joe. It’s like hiking with brown bears.

  16. November I spent three nights and 4 days in the tenderloin district. What an eye opener or should I say wouldn’t it be great to close your eyes when you see what’s going on. Feces and urine all over the streets especially on the east side. Open air drug markets, people shooting up heroin in public places especially. Very depressing to see all that explain around. The only plus was that they didn’t have enough energy or ambition to physically rob you but, they would certainly break into your car or take anything that was left available to thievery. My daughter explained to me that all the broken glass was from a car that was marked that there was nothing inside. This didn’t stop them anyhow. The cost of insuring your car has gone through the roof because of this.
    I remember the joy of being in San Francisco 30 years ago and will never go back now. This trip ruined my memories of a fine town.

    • Actually, John, I have been a registered Republican for 26 years. Tony Knowles was the basic reason I registered as a Republican. I consider myself a “Hammond” Republican. There are not many of us around.

      • I’m curious why you choose to post your letter on this site, that for sure has almost no “Hammond” Republicans on it.
        I was reminded of a time about 30 years ago in Costa Rica when a motorcycle cop there pulled me over when my wife hadn’t buckled up her seat belt yet after leaving a restaurant parking lot-he was going to write me a ticket but really wanted me to pay him instead. I wanted the ticket, and didn’t intend to pay, but he went on and kept dropping the price till I relented. Back then I was offended by that situation, just as you are about yours, but eventually realized how low paid officers justified their actions as I’m fairly sure these low-lifes in SF justify theirs.
        Also, in the early 70s in downtown Juneau, my pick-up windshield was broken out in front of the Cold Storage in daylight hours only a block and a half from police station then. Local police took information down but had no intentions of looking for a culprit-when I then located an individual across the street in an apartment, whose wife saw the incident and knew the individual, who was willing to go with me to police station and to look in the South Franklin bars the police quickly arrested him. He was never charged for my windshield and was held on having a knife as a convicted felon with me just out $300. Had I not done that legwork, nothing would have been done so frankly, property crimes just don’t hold much water with police (whether in Juneau or San Francisco).

        • “Property crimes” like your whining in State Supreme court only to loose! You lost that case against your neighbor over a fence on his property REALLY .. What kind of beef could your whining produce but a waste of public resources !

          Bill just shut the F up I am a Hammond Republican too, particularly on the PFD front !

          • Ed, you know very little about my Supreme court case that ruled against me but did not rule on the legality of that fence. And there have been no additional fences placed in that greenbelt for that exact reason as the court gave the recourse as to individually sue the neighbor. I did not lose against my neighbor as I sued the city for their initial allowing of that fence. But, of course, you think you know it all Ed but happen to be full of chit.
            And nobody gives a rats what sort of Republican you are on the PFD front-Remember Hammond lost his PFD case in US Supreme Court unanimously.

  17. Sad but true. Thanks for taking the extra time to write this letter for all the good it will do.London Breed is more part of the problem than she is of the solution.

  18. Great article–though a little long. I particularly liked the part where you pointed out the alternative destinations and how it’s not anymore expensive to have a safer and more fulfilling trip to a variety of other destinations.
    People are already moving out of that city in droves, why anyone continues to visit there is mind boggling.

  19. There is a reason rental car companies and anyone for that matter to keep your possesions in a locked trunk out of view. Not sure why you would even drive to San Francisco, BART is much more convenient and less expensive

  20. SF is what happens when our universities push out graduates with degrees in Community Organizing, Social Justice, Diversity, Gender Studies, etc. The only place they can find jobs is through the Civil Service. Once embedded in the city halls and state and federal office buildings, these “enlightened” bureaucrats infect everything they touch with their leftist, brainwashed philosophies.

  21. I used to love going to San Francisco for the food, museums, and performances at the wonderful opera house. The last time I went I told a cab driver that I would like to go see the historic court house. He replied that all he could do for me was a fast drive by which might include running some red lights.

  22. As a former California resident of 39 years, I stopped going to SF. I most definitely would not take guests there. And when my guests would mention their intentions to travel there I would caution them against going, and make suggestions of more “friendly” destinations. I lived 85 miles away from SF in a town of 65,000 and we had all the same problems: theft, homelessness, drugs, crime, gangs. It’s widespread. The laws have no teeth in CA. Even the police don’t care because they can’t arrest anyone for looking suspicious. Even if they do make an arrest, it is not likely to be prosecuted by the DA. Just look at how fanciful liberal ideas like “Advance Peace” and “Restorative Justice” has failed in Stockton, CA. It’s very sad to watch, but I pray that the city/state is finally at the breaking point and people are tired of the excuses.

  23. My husband and I moved from the Bay Area, but the trips I’ve made back there have justified everything that Mr. Geldhof stated. San Francisco has gone from being a sparkling, vibrant city by the Bay to cesspool of feces and violence, all at high prices! I have no further reason to return there. Plenty of other places to spend my money on holiday and feel reasonably safe while doing so.

  24. My wife booked a trip to Mallorca for us and botched the flight change in the Bay Area. Landed in SFO but were to depart Oakland. As we were getting on BART I suggested that she do what I do and don’t wander off as she’s from a rural part of the US and inclined to assume an inherent good. Within a few minutes our BART car had stopped at one of several scheduled platforms, this time delayed by a dispute that involved one of our darker skinned brothers walking around in circles and shouting something unintelligible while repeatedly extending and contracting his neck like a six foot tall pissed off chicken that could talk. Cops all over the place; this had something to do with a young lady that was near him and of an apparent similar ilk. The clock on our layover was rapidly running down while a bit of social detritus shut down an entire transit system and rec’d coddling rather than the nightstick he deserved.
    Out the window of the BART car were homeless encampments to feast your eyes on while wondering what exactly the attraction might be of a city with a crap-map.
    It’s an esoteric draw and I’m from there; One of Mr. Trump’s sh*tholes on our own shore.

  25. Our DA is not creepy (but a fighter for social justice), and these thefts take place in every city in the country!

    You are not “conservative”?

  26. Joe, Good to know. Of course Hammond was not really was not really a Republican. The party affiliation helped get him elected, but, at least as far as I am concerned he was a true independent.

    Best wishes for the new year.


    • John: Good to see you reading the content on this site. I agree with your analysis on Governor Hammond. I met him in 1966 and at various times enjoyed or was victimized by his twists and turns. Despite the rhetoric, he was never a fiscal conservative.

  27. The tenor of Joe’s letter above, and the comments posted thereunder, seems to suggest something new is going on in San Francisco. That is puzzling.

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