Sunday, August 16, 2009

They Have Lost Their Minds in San Francisco

In many ways, San Francisco is one of the most overrated cities in the country. There are homeless everywhere. Just a couple of blocks from the San Francisco Hilton and the Parc 55 Hotel is the Tenderloin District. It looks like a bombed out third world country. The dysfunctional are everywhere, many walking around, half naked, stoned out of their minds.

This morning I am in a Starbucks near the Palace Hotel, sipping some green tea. One of the Starbucks' employees comes up to me and says, "Be very careful with your laptop, don't even leave it unguarded for a second." I look up, on my right are two women sitting on a couch, the employee goes over and tells the women the same thing with regard to their purses. Then I notice that in the next chair over is a guy sitting without any Starbucks coffee, or anything else Starbucks, and he looks like a mugger, if I have ever seen one.

Then there are a man and a woman in the next two chairs who appear to be tourists. The next chair from there? Another guy who looks like a mugger. This guy is hardened. He has a very tough face. The kind of face you get only by spending serious time in the slammer. I wonder if he is one of the 20,000 inmates being released from California prisons because of mismanagement of the budget by Arnold "If My Bodyguards Let Me" Schwarzenegger. Released early or not, this is not the type of guy I would want to meet late at night on a dark street, or apparently mid-morning in a Starbucks.

What's amazing is that these two mugger types aren' t even hiding the fact of what they appear to be in the Starbucks for. They are both just keeping their eyes on the purses.

The Strabucks' employee next went to the tourist couple and started to give the same warning when she notices a homeless looking guy stealing one of the pre-packaged sandwiches. He bolts out the door with the sandwich. She gives chase after him, but he is too fast for her. He's down the street, long gone with his lunch.

This is surreal. You have not lived until you have experienced this in person. The obvious question is, "Why don't they just kick out these two purse snatcher types?" They aren't buying anything. Obama's mantra of, "It's not the neighborly thing to do," comes to mind. But when your neighbor is an interloper ready to pounce on your purse or laptop, I think it is okay to boot these guys out on their butt--with a shotgun in your hand.

I really fear that this delusional city is becoming a potential model for the rest of the country, under Obamarule.

And, I really think they should change the song about losing a heart in San Francisco. There are plenty of bleeding hearts all over the damn place, what they have lost is their minds.


  1. In Frisco the Starbucks-marauders are called:

    2)Substance Abusers;
    4)Community Organizers
    5)Redistributors of Wealth

    Referring to them as bums or muggers violates SF city code 2068 (b) and is punishable by $1,000 fine + 2000 hours of community service and a 1 hour session in the Market Street Public Ridicule Chair.

  2. I am completely convinced that San Franciscans are from another species. I have a good friend from a SF suburb who during the Bush years told me she was worried for the country because her taxes weren't being raised high enough.

    How the heck do you respond to that? (Other than, "So write a bigger check next time. The IRS'll take it!")
    The Jewish Republican's Web Sanctuary

  3. What this just happened in the last 8 months?
    It was not like this under Bush rule or Clinton rule?
    Only now that we are under Obama rule?

  4. Anglo San Francisco began as a camp for people headed to the gold fields. Like most California cities, it really began as a mission for the Spanish. They served the dual purpose of converting and controlling the Indians, and also raising provisions for Spanish military and shipping.

    I first encountered the place forty years ago, and was quickly the victim of a mugging. In later years, I have seen it as in-your-face theater, in which the potential victims have an interest not so much in being politically correct as being "cool" and disinclined to paranoia (which is so Los Angeles businessman and Nixon-lover). The place still swarms with predators. Last summer I parked on the street to go to the de Young, and on my way back there saw this lurking character (familiar to me from New York and Cambridge, MA), a person who was going to rip off a car pretty soon. On my way back, I walked through the broken glass of a window and pitied the poor museum visitors who would soon encounter the scooped out innards of their car, sans something of value.

    It's the mild weather, and the ability to rough it overnight in the woods. But how different is it from New York City? Not that much.

  5. YOur characterization of California letting out criminals from jail is ill founded. Remember that all of those being released are for non-violent drug charges. And of those, most are first offenses. California has a completely backwards incarceration policy that puts non-violent drug offenders away for 25 to life in many instances thanks to the 3 strike law. It's rightwing paranoia that has turned California into the model of police state fascism, not "Obamacare".

  6. Hey numbnut,

    How does Obama figure into it? You think Bush set local policy in SanFran?


  7. A: People are hungry, they've made mistakes such as deciding to act like animals, they will steal food.

    B: If you're afraid of getting mugged, arm yourself and wear L3 body armor; a quarter inch steel plate will stop knives and some rifle rounds. If you can afford a laptop, you can afford a pistol.

    C: "Philanthropists" will say crap like "you're well off, let me take this from you so I can survive since you need to give something back to the community". It's bullshit; you worked for it, you earned it, you keep it.

    Apply for a Concealed carry permit, get it, keep the rifles, body armor, and medic bag in the trunk, and the pistol on hand. If you're going into less-than-pristine areas, wear the body armor and get yourself a good knife, some pepper spray and a taser so you have other options than the gun.

    Cops asks "what are you wearing that for?" you say "look around; if I wasn't wearing this I'd be dead in a gutter stripped naked and someone'd be spending my debit card money on crack."

  8. Yes, the problem in California is the prisons are full of suburban kids who got caught smoking the first joint of thier lives and got 25 to life in Pelican Bay. Right.

    You, sir, must be smoking some good sh$t to even make that statement.

    But thanks for the laugh.

    I lived in Seaside area for a few years - back in the early 90's - and you could see that Cali was toast in the near future.

  9. This is one of the silliest, most ridiculous blogs posts I have read in a while.
    In one short blog you managed to offend a wide variety of people calling them all sorts of names, and you managed to tie up issues that have little or NO thing at all with each other.
    Homeless people drugged out of their minds, people you are SURE are muggers because that is HOW they look to you and so on. I "look" Jewish or Arabic to a lot of people, so AM I one?
    Congrads, nicely done! Great job swinging the FUD!

    As the previous poster said, most of the inmates released are for non violent drug offenses.
    It was obvious what your blog was gonna be just from the get go.

  10. I suspect that what you described has been developing over several years. Isn't it a bit simplistic to claim that it has occurred primarily because of Obama's policies? I found the story fascinating until it turned political. Anyway, have a nice day and watch your back!

  11. These are the type situations that give way to vigilantes and lynchings. I do not care if anyone "approves" of such things. They will happen because people who earn their things want to live in safety and keep them. It is the DUTY of government to protect social order, and when Politicians allow and condone "muggers" freely plying their crimes, the Politicians are accessories.

  12. To anonymous at 1:48PM and Gary,

    What's your reading comprehension level?

    I don't say the SF zombies were caused by Obama policy. I am writing that the policy that has caused SF to become a sinkhole are the policies that Obama wants to adopt nationwide. Get it? SF= bleeding hearts. Obama=bleeding heart.

  13. I'm sorry, but if you aren't buying anything and are obviously not planning on buying anything you need to get out of my business. Did the Starbuck's manager forget WHO is in charge? It is NOT the responsiblity of the business owner to let homeless squat on their property, harass their customers, and/or engage in criminal activities.

  14. Wow! I didn't know SF had went to hell in only SIX MONTHS with muggers and purse snatchers everywhere.

    Wonder where they all came from? Maybe all those towns devasted by nine years of an out of control Federal Reserve urging it's banks to swindle Americans out of their homes and money, ya' think?

    Or the ones on the street thanks to the SEC whistling past the graveyard while WALL STREET CROOKS stole trillions of dollars of our pension funds and 401K retirement accounts.


    BTW, what does a mugger look like?

    Do they dress up in $5,000 custom made suits, like many members of our Congress?

  15. Dude, just go to another Starbucks. Jesus H. Christ. Obviously, that location is not managed very well.

    Oh, BTW....there's a recession going on you moron. People are desperate. And by the content of your blog, so are you.

  16. Robert Wenzel,
    You are a cretin. If San Francisco experiences an earthquake it would be Obama 's policies that are responsible right? Go to any major city in the USA and you will find displaced, desperate people there people without a dime; the ones that you so brazenly describe to have lost their minds. Grow up, you sound like a ranting poor little rich kid who has been exposed to behavior that annoys your tight ass. Why don't you look up the word compassion and take it with you to your yuppy ass Starbucks. San Francisco is something you will never get, so go back to your safe little hole that you crawled out of and brood until you die!

  17. Why can't all these homeless unemployed folks just go away and starve in peace somewhere else?

    Isn't there like, a brand new shiny detention center for them somewhere or something?

    These subhuman scum are stealing our laptops, and even SANDWICHES from Starbucks...

    Even worse, they're creating an eye sore around here.

    Don't they understand that we need to save all our money for the next round of multi-trillion dollar bank bailouts?


  18. look at it from the other way if you lose everything san francisco is the first place you want to go!
    the most free food places possibly in the world the best weather not to hot not cold , was it goldi locks said lol....... jusssst

  19. Dude, just go to another Starbucks.


    You sir, have obviously not been to SF.

  20. Forbes top earners on Wall Street has list of muggers. Names like Cohen, Simons, Arnold, Blankfein.. You sissy! Afraid of street people? Where's your compassion for the downtrodden? You make me want to puke, jagoff.

  21. Hey,

    Any of you that feel compassion for purse snatchers, send me your wallets and purses now. I will gladly pass them out to the SF underclass.

  22. Mr. Wenzel,

    Actually, I used to live in Berkeley.

    Even then there were a lot of homeless druggies. Most of them were mentally ill that were put on the street when Reagan cut disability and closed down mental hospitals across the state, so I'm told.

    It was obvious that many of them should have been in mental institutions. Like the 450 pound guy with cavernous eyes that walked around all day with a shoelace dangling from one hand. Or the screamer that wandered through the night clothed/living in a garbage bag.

    Of course, on the "mental health" issue, the same could be said of most of our "leaders" nowadays.

    Get the CIA to stop bringing in the drugs and rigging elections here. Get the government to stop sending all our money abroad to mass-murder brown folks and poison the world with depleted uranium. Get them to stop bankrupting our country in order to hand out trillions to the same greedy speculators that encouraged the off-shoring of our manufacturing, and collapsed the system for their own profit.

    Then come back and whine about homeless stealing sandwiches from Starbucks.

    I feel for you.


  23. The savagery is starting to escalate. With 3% of the population controlling 95% of the wealth, the poor and the destitute are now problem a problem to contend with because crime is the only way to survive.
    Mad Max 2009.

  24. What kind of a freak patronizes Starbucks under any circumstances?

  25. I have been to Frisco many times. Lived in Davis, used to visit every weekend. I never had a problem with muggers or anything else, for that matter. Every time I visit Chicago, though...different story. *Shrugs*

  26. Wenzel,

    If one were the "read something into things" type, one might be convinced that the outpouring of extreme hatred and disgust (24 comments and counting, this must be a new record) is some kind of coping mechanism aimed at "projecting" the guilt you have caused through your observations, back onto you the observer.

    In other words, I think you touched a nerve! Well done.

  27. I am amazed at the amount of criticism this blog post has received.

    First, even if it is true that the majority released were non-violent drug offenders (and surely some of these people used violence, but the prosecutors couldn't prove the violent aspect because people refused to testify or evidence was mishandled, so they charged them possession of illegal substances), they still spent time in prison where they learned how to survive amongst people who should be locked away forever, and as such their social behavior has likely changed. Furthermore, they have a criminal record in a bankrupt economy with very few jobs to offer. They are most likely unemployed and without any access to legitimate funds to pay for housing and food. Just a guess, but if the state is bankrupt, they aren't going to be providing services to just released inmates.

    If someone is sitting in a Starbucks and not a customer with a drink or food in hand and they appear to be homeless/disheveled or just plain creepy, then they probably don't have the best of intentions, particularly if they are staring at your purse or laptop. Management is stupid for not enforcing a chairs for paying guests policy. No doubt they fear the politically correct thought police, who have made the cost of doing business astronomically high.

    And those stolen sandwiches only increase the cost of doing business, so your $4 latte now become $6. Given the high and might attitude of your detractors (none of whom are business owners as evidenced by their rantings), I guess they don't mind subsidizing theft and probably offer to pay even more for their scone so they can help out the guy staring at your laptop.

    Screw all the naysayers. A business owner has every right to refuse service to non-paying customers. Starbucks didn't create these problems, so why should they have to suck it up and play nice to someone who is likely targeting his next victim?

    I live in Nicaragua and I see this every day. It's not racist when I kick a non-customer out of my coffeehouse/bookstore because he is bored/lonely/hungry and wants to hang out amongst my paying customers. He or she is trying to steal something and theft (including violent theft) happens here almost daily now as people become more greedy and desperate. If I don't kick these people out, they will steal from my customers and the customers won't return. It's not my job to rehabilitate the thief, nor is it my job to provide food to the homeless. It's not like I don't spend a lot on charitable situations, as does Starbucks on a larger scale.

    Besides, someone looking at a purse or laptop is not stealing it for food - they are most likely stealing it because they want money for alcohol or drugs. I have yet to encounter a thief anywhere in the world who stole from me, my friends, or acquaintances because they needed food or shelter. They might have these needs, too, but they are stealing for another reason.

    In a free society, we are responsible for ourselves. Forcing me to take care of others is nothing more than a mafia shaking me down. I choose who to support and who not to support. It's not my responsibility to take care of the fuck ups. I give to those hard on their luck. I don't give to those with entitlement attitudes.

    Just wait until some of your naysayers are robbed at gunpoint or loose their lives to violence. They will quickly lose their PC religion.

  28. MY GOD! You have been infested with obamabots.
    Is there some kind of corporate sponsored chemical compound that will rid you of these vermin?
    It is a sad state of affairs when the populace will hold the gun to it's own head!

  29. I lived in SF for many years and was never mugged, threatened, accosted or in anyway harmed. Why? Simple, I live in the Castro/Market area. It is the cleanest, safest, friendliest neighborhood in the city.

    And no, I'm not gay. I'm married with one child. And no I did not get accosted by gay guys on the street - just like I could tell they were gay, they could tell I was straight. But they were unfailingly polite and friendly.

    So if you want your neighborhood to improve encourage as many gay men as possible to move into the area.


  30. Bob,

    I sent your blog post to a friend who is a San Francisco native. I said, "Is Wenzel being unfair?"

    His response: "No, he's spot on. I think, if anything, he's being gentle. The city of my birth is blessed by being in an absolutely gorgeous location, but the human inhabitants are barely that. It's a cesspool."

  31. San Fran is a damn hellhole and I can't believe there are people here that would try to deny it. You can not walm two feet down the street without being asked for money from a bum. It DOES look like a third world nation and this is the model for the future of America. Every US city is headed in this direction especially after the destructive policies of Bush and now Obama.

    I love how the hypocritical libs will just lap up anything Obama serves them even thiugh everything he does is Bush on steroids. You people really are delusional. San Fran IS a hellhole. Obama is a con artist and IS as bad as Bush. Nancy Pelosi IS a criminal.

    Wake up and take a look around San Franciscans!

  32. I hate San Francisco. The last time I was there, I was propositioned for sex eight times in the span of 23 hours -- seven times by men (including twin brothers, and a shop owner who offered me free merchandise in exchange for a quickie in the back of his shop) and once by a woman who said that in San Francisco it is tough having to compete with men for the affections of men. (She has my sympathies.) My feeling in response to this blog post is, every other municipality in the USA should put their muggers on bus and ship them to San Francisco. And then we should pray for a huge earthquake that causes the whole city to slough off into the Pacific Ocean.

  33. San Franciscans are extremely dishonest, pathalogical liars, theives, petty abusers of others, so shallow that to call them superficial would give them some depth. They call themselves the conscience of America, and that kind of arrogance can't be topped but it can take your breath away. Their conscience is why they re-elected Pelosi, for all you unenlightened types. But if you don't get it, it's alright, because, they are the most compassionate city in America also! They actually care about their homeless. And when the fine weather comes out, they get meaner and nastier, because they feel so good. Don't ask me why, I only live here.

  34. Maybe he was just hungry?

  35. You guys have the right idea: you should stay away from San Francisco, probably California, Oregon, and Washington as well. I'm not so sure about Michigan, Illinois, or Pennsylvania. And of course New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts wouldn't be too good either. I'd suggest rural Louisiana or Alabama might have the setup you're looking for, but then I haven't been there in a while. Maybe they aren't wearing body armor or carrying now, either. It's a tough world.

  36. As an investigative journalist and CA native I look back on living in San Francisco (2003-2005) as time served in a war zone. That war was directed mostly at poor and homeless people. Not to say they don't get their licks in too, there are some really nasty characters operating downtown. We lived in a secure high-rise on the water in the financial district so interaction with these poor souls was less than on Market in the tenderloin. My wife and I spent a lot of time down there documenting the homeless on film the crisis that now exists and is getting worse. Mayor Gavin Newsome is a joke, his solution to the problem "out of sight, out of mind." My point is if you just want to have a good time, stay on the waterfront and out of Hunters Point. The crime here is minimal. If you insist on going into the tenderloin and other shabby areas be prepared to get mugged or worse. It's up to you, and you have no one else to blame but yourself if you are out to prove you can go anyplace. Stay out of the tenderloin. Travel with friends. Carry a gun. Bring all your friends with guns. Do not carry a knife: if you are not an expert knife fighter you will have it taken from you and used to carve you up.

    SF has some cool places, but it is not worth the trip now as the risks far outweigh the benefits.

    Robert S. Finnegan
    Southeastasia Independent Media
    Jakarta, Indonesia

  37. Incidentally, I didn't say anything about obomba

    I agree he's worse than bush - just a more telegenic brand of puppet

    Yeah, I also agree that a lot of parts of the States are becoming 3rd world

    But are the poor folks to blame?

    Will you be happier with a little gleaming gated stainless steel skyline surrounded by miles of slum, raw sewage and collapsing mud huts?

    People who try and spin this as a right/left or dem/repub issue
    probably work for PR firms


  38. I'm mystified as to how you can know San Francisco from a few minutes spent at a Starbucks in an apparently sketchy neighborhood. News flash: every big city has a sketchy neighborhood or two. Most small cities do.

    Your rant says more about you than about San Francisco.

  39. Mr. Wenzel,

    You know, I think there's a misunderstanding between you and Obama. If you got to know him you'd like him a lot better... He did get more Wall Street dollars than McCain, after all. He's even escalated Bush's bank bailouts. Sure, he's a bleeding heart just like Bush1 wanted a "kinder gentler America", remember?

    Don't worry, the bleeding heart is just for show.

    Perhaps you'll recognize this song:

    "Rockin' In The Free World"

    by Neil Young

    There's colors on the street
    Red, white and blue
    People shufflin' their feet
    People sleepin' in their shoes
    But there's a warnin' sign
    on the road ahead
    There's a lot of people sayin'
    we'd be better off dead
    Don't feel like Satan,
    but I am to them
    So I try to forget it,
    any way I can.

    Keep on rockin' in the free world,
    Keep on rockin' in the free world
    Keep on rockin' in the free world,
    Keep on rockin' in the free world.

    I see a woman in the night
    With a baby in her hand
    Under an old street light
    Near a garbage can
    Now she puts the kid away,
    and she's gone to get a hit
    She hates her life,
    and what she's done to it
    There's one more kid
    that will never go to school
    Never get to fall in love,
    never get to be cool.

    Keep on rockin' in the free world,
    Keep on rockin' in the free world
    Keep on rockin' in the free world,
    Keep on rockin' in the free world.

    We got a thousand points of light
    For the homeless man
    We got a kinder, gentler,
    Machine gun hand
    We got department stores
    and toilet paper
    Got styrofoam boxes
    for the ozone layer
    Got a man of the people,
    says keep hope alive
    Got fuel to burn,
    got roads to drive.

    Keep on rockin' in the free world,
    Keep on rockin' in the free world
    Keep on rockin' in the free world,
    Keep on rockin' in the free world.

  40. They are not bums they are urban outdoorsmen.

  41. @Co-Op

    How do you make this stuff up in your mind? Where have I said I have only been in SF for a few minutes? I have spent a considerable amount of time (at times months upon months) in this city,for years. I know SF from Hunters Point to Soma.

    As for this being a "bad section" that I write of, that tells me that you haven't been to SF or certainly haven't kept you eyes open. The Starbucks' I reference (near the Palace Hotel), you would know exactly where it is, if you knew anything about the city. Further, it is also with in two blocks of the Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons hotel.

    This ain't the bad section brother, wander into the Tenderloin or Hunters Point and tell me that the Starbucks area is comparable.

    This is one messed up city, dude

  42. The SF cafe I go to kick bums out all the time. It's because the cafe is locally owned and owner operated. If you go to a corporate coffee house, you get what you deserve. The employees there are not invested in the business or the environment of the shop. So next time try a locally owned store

  43. I left the SF area for Asia quite some time ago, but I'm not sure if SF is much worse off than, say, Atlanta or Chicago.

    A question, though, is who are you saying lost their minds? A low-level coffee shop employee who is afraid he'll be hassled by someone he kicks out? The police, for not bothering with this kind of situation? The mayor, for not caring? All of the above?

    Finally, a lot of folks outside the US think Americans lost their minds some years ago, and ask where America went.

  44. Seems like a perfect situation for a police sting operation. If you want to take these predators off the street, put out the bait and have assets in position to apprehend the fleeing thief. It takes them out of circulation and gets word out that a grab and run may be a setup.

  45. Is it now considered a crime to be poor, mentally ill and uneducated in the USofA? It would seem so from all I am seeing and hearing.

  46. Were you able to get close enough to the 'muggers' to see if there were any bumps on their skulls that might confirm their criminal nature? You should Google Phrenology. You will find a gold mine of info in there that will better help you identify criminals by appearance alone.

  47. "Another guy who looks like a mugger. This guy is hardened. He has a very tough face. The kind of face you get only by spending serious time in the slammer."

    Funniest thing I have read in a while, I had to share that with a few people. It had me in stitches, seriously. Your description is so funny because so many of my friends tell me about how intimidated they were when they first met me, with some admitting to a bit of fear. I bet you would think I was a criminal too if you met me. Do not judge a book by it’s cover. And do not be so “scary” it will keep you from enjoying life. The guy could be like me just plain ugly as opposed to criminal ugly. My eyes are not beady though.

    SF, over rated? Yeah, maybe a little. But what city is not? Seriously compare how you thought NYC would be with how it actually was after you got there. Was it any thing like you expected?

    I walk down Third Street from Market to the ballpark every day to work at China Basin. If you actually know SF then you know what I am talking about. I walk there all hours of the day, no worries. Never had any issues and have been doing that for years now. SF is the same as it ever was, we still have the same loonies too. Nothing new there you find them in every city. I think you are exaggerating the severity just a bit. As I said do not be so scary, some street people just behave that way because they want attention and they know it scares certain folks.

    Is it all Obama’s fault? Come on now be real. SF has been this way for years now.

    You are getting more hits and more comments because of an outside link to your site today. That is how I found it.


  48. This city has become dysfunctional. It is run by a small group of insiders. Liberalism is a cottage industry that supports more free-riders than the needy it purports to help. Chiu to Newsom - a sorry group and getting no better.

  49. What amazes me beyond anything else is that management allowed the two unsavory fellows to stay there. People aren't courageous anymore. Management should have booted the two guys out onto the street for loitering (they weren't buying anything). The fact that they were sitting right there says a lot about management in that particular location and overall in the corporation. People like that will keep coming back because of the nutless, spineless people who run the place.

  50. Wenzel,

    I'm enjoying everyone accusing you of insensitive and ignorant profiling (as if that isn't a legitimate strategy for situational awareness in everyday life in general) while ignoring the part of the story where the Starbucks employee was going around the shop warning the customers about the unsavory characters hanging out.

    Maybe they were profiling too, and their bigotry was just a bit more pronounced and of the outspoken variety?

    Or maybe, because they work there and see these creeps all the time, they know the characters of the neighborhood on a more 'intimate' level?

  51. As a San Francisco native and resident I take insult to this post and those who have posted. If there is any fault I would fault Starbucks for not kicking these muggers out. In other parts of the city these types are shown the door. And how can one blame President Obama for an increase in homeless. SF has always been a draw for these homelessmugger types in search of the next fix. It was under Governor Reagan that all the mental health safety nets were eliminated and since then mentally ill and homeless people have increased in SF and all over California. San Diego has a large number of aggressive mugger homeless people also. So if you want to trace the roots back to the original source of where the homeless problem started then St. Ronald Reagan is the problem not San Francisco.

  52. @Kimbutgar

    And so SF hasn't, with some of the most expensive real estate in the world and wealthiest people in the world, been able to do anything about the situation? Give me a break, this about go-gooders doing good with everything but their own money.

  53. They would rather see the dysfunctional smell, rage and shit on the streets---and feel sorry for them, then actually help them.

  54. Boo Whoo... 'I can't drink my overpriced coffee in peace'

    Whatever! This post is such drivel. It has nothing to do with 'Obama' and everything to do with America's treatment of the middle-class. The US has a really big gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. It's only going to get worse because a divide in wealth ultimately corrodes a society.

    Part of the problem is that there's very little competition in the US. Big business has way to many connections in the government and has an unfair advantage.

  55. Mr. Wenzel,

    I tend to agree with the fellow who said that if you went to owner- operated cafes you probably wouldn't have this problem.

    An local owner has greater economic incentive to keep his business clean/safe.

    After all, why should the Starbuck's employee, for $9 an hour, risk life and limb chasing off desperate criminals who may carry diseases?

    Strange that you would not see this simple economic reality.


  56. Yeah, yeah, yeah it must be Obama and the libs. The weathers too hot, no it's too cold, and oh yeah the coffee's overpriced. I'm not comfortable in my yuppie world and doggone it that Obama anyway he's going to make the whole country uncomfortable for me. Yeah that's it. When that bush boy was around now that was good. He set an example for overentitled spoiled brats who never worked in their lives. The sort of people who should be in charge. Ya know Starbucks types. Salesboys, marketeers, entrepeneurs and useful people who create wealth with their mouths and schemes. Not those kind of guys you know guys who get their hands dirty and have asscrack showing. Not anything like us stylish, Yuppie republican good people. Damn that Obama he ruined everything. Showing THAT kind of people, you know, the kind with a heavy tan, even they can be President. I'm gonna show him, I'll wear teabags on my hat. Oh and yell a lot even if I don't make any sense. See what he does about that. Yeah.

  57. Don't tell anyone I told you so, but this is all a plan we here in the SF bay area have. We're using the homeless to jack white saints/martyrs and to sell out our "race". The plan is to sell ourselves to Japan using Obamabucks, there-by amassing enough debt to sell the Midwest into slavery to Nigeria. We are also going to crucify Jesus again, send all our Mexicans and criminals to rape Midwestern white woman, defile there fords and poop on everyone's back porch. But there's nothing you can do, we've already met with the devil/Satan/Lucifer decided who was more evil and put up our immortal souls as collateral for this to work.

    In a completely non sarcastic manner, I'd also like to point out that for all your bitching, it's still your fault we are in this mess if you baby booming lazy asses would have put up a fight and taken care of all this communist/fascist BS when you had the chance my generation wouldn't be on the cusp of falling into a moral abyss. Your all hypocritical phonies.

  58. What am I not seeing? Where exactly do I say anything pro or con about owner operated cafes?

    It happened to be a Sunday morning and as far as my eyes could see the Starbucks was the only operator open.

  59. @hsenpfeffer

    Please send me your wallet, to be included family pictures, credit cards, your license and, of course, your money. I will be happy to pass it around the Starbucks to anyone looking to grab such.

  60. I grew up near Detroit. Detroit is worse -- although Detroit is quite likely America's worst (best) example of metropolitan socialism.

    Bottom line: socialism is the cancer to which free markets are the only answer.

  61. Thanks Robert Wenzel for the interesting post & a good Econ website. I find it amazing how many posters have become enraged about your observations in a Starbucks on a Sunday morning in a better part of have evidently hit a nerve with the unintended consequences of socialism crowd. I've had the same experience with Starbucks-marauders in Atlanta.

  62. Take this as someone who lived on the streets for ten years in San Francisco:

    It's a wonder that city has not completely gone up.

    Your only real solution either to fire or flee.

  63. "They aren't buying anything. Obama's mantra of, "It's not the neighborly thing to do," comes to mind."

    Your head is so far up the ass of the Republican Party that even the muggers in a Starbucks in downtown SF can be blamed on Obama!

    You are the other side of the coin that is, for example, San Francisco liberals that refer to the death of Matthew Shepard as "Bush's America." You are a f'n moron. Your voting rights need to be rescinded.

  64. The trend in cities is going to be towards crime, in all cities. S.F. is the canary in the mine.
    But, you are right, safety first, when traveling thru US cities.

    Eventually, S.F. will be just another gay ghetto, much like Cedar Springs, Dallas. The rest will be a washout, due to the lack of jobs, lack of affordable housing, and the allure of the famous street drug world.

    Hedonism is, as hedonism does.
    Such is life.

  65. If Al-Quaada and Usama Bin Laden decided that S.Fra was the place they would set off the first islamic terrorist nuclear bomb I would not miss them at all. In fact I would probably open up a bottle of bubbly if I saw video of a mushroom cloud going up over where S.Fra used to be on CNN some afternoon.