Republican Senate toadys may be getting ready to give Trump a pass on Impeachment. San Francisco is having none of it taking to the streets to show the World this city wants this guy gone. Out Now!
San Francisco Chronicle 1.26.2020
Clara Saenzpardo, 28, of Oakland attends the march protesting war.
The protesters chanted, banged on drums, waved signs and listened to speakers rail against “American imperialism” in the Middle East and Africa, the “illegal state of Israel” and the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was killed this month in an air strike ordered by President Trump.
After an hour, the group marched up Powell Street to Union Square in an attempt to avoid bumping into a simultaneous antiabortion march down Market Street.
“We should just not go into any other countries for war, just for our own selfish values, oil or suppressing people’s rights,” said Sarah Schilbach, 47, of Montara, who carried a globe and waved a sign criticizing the American penchant for starting wars to quench the country’s thirst for oil. “I would love for our president to just have more of a verbal communication with a country to work things out nonviolently.”
District Attorney Chesa Boudin is keeping his campaign vow to thoroughly investigate wrong doing whether by citizens or law enforcement.
The SFPD and its union the POA are predictably outraged because the DA is not rushing to indict a civilian who allegedly struck an officer with a bottle, injuring the cop.
The DA is looking at this alleged assault.
Boudin, to the dismay of the POA, is investigating the SFPD officers who fired several shots, causing severe injury. The victim of this shooting had his leg amputated and is still in the hospital.
San Francisco Chronicle 1.25.2020
Assault charges against a man who was shot and seriously wounded after he allegedly slammed a bottle into a San Francisco police officer’s face were withdrawn Friday, infuriating rank-and-file officers.
Alex Bastian, the spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said the case was set aside to avoid conflicts between two separate investigations — one being the internal officer-involved shooting case and the other being the criminal allegations against Hampton.
“Both cases are still under investigation,” Bastian said. “We don’t want one investigation to interfere with the other. We are looking into developing a policy to avoid conflicts in cases where multiple investigations are ongoing.”
Officer Sterling Hayes fired six shots at Hampton, who was apparently still holding the bottle when he ran toward the officer. The wounded Hampton attempted to rise from the ground, prompting Officer Christopher Flores to fire another shot, according to police and video surveillance.
Hampton was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was listed Saturday in serious condition. His left leg was amputated this month.
Flores was taken to the hospital with head injuries. He was treated and released.
The charges were pulled “without prejudice,” which means they can be refiled at Boudin’s discretion.
“The District Attorney has informed me that at this time he will withdraw charges against the suspect,” Police Chief Bill Scott wrote to his officers Friday. “The DA indicated that this withdrawal is not a dismissal of the case. This unprovoked attack was a violent, criminal act. I want you to know that we remain committed to working with the DA to see that justice is done in this case for our officers.”
The move prompted an angry response from the San Francisco Police Officers Association, which had opposed Boudin in the November election.
“Chesa Boudin just gave a green light to every criminal in San Francisco that it’s now OK to attack a police officer,” Tony Montoya, the union’s president, said in a statement. “He must be held accountable for his reckless decision that will further endanger every officer in San Francisco.”
Hampton, 24, was originally booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, assault upon a police officer and threats to an officer after videos from police body cameras and surveillance footage showed him hitting an officer with a vodka bottle and then being chased through the intersection at 23rd and Mission streets.
The case began with a 911 call from a distraught woman, who complained about a man who had broken into her home that morning and confronted her. Another caller said a man with an iron bar was breaking into cars on the block.
Surveillance video shows the two officers arriving at the scene and stopping to question Hampton, who suddenly attacked when Hayes opened the door of the squad car. Hayes tried to defend himself with kicks and then, when his partner ran around the car to help, Hampton struck Flores with the bottle several times.
The two officers chased Hampton, yelling, “Get on the ground,” and tried to pepper spray him before the shots were fired, according to the video and police accounts.
Withdrawing the charges wasn’t the first time Boudin has upset the police since he took office Jan. 8. The city’s top prosecutor announced Wednesday that his office would no longer ask for cash bail as a condition for defendants’ pretrial release.
Sad and typical boorish behavior from America’s top diplomat and Trump apologist. Mike Pompeo is the typical loser clown, all too typical of the sycophants who work for this unhinged fool in the White House.
Mike Pompeo is an embarrasment. But in Trump’s world view he only wants slavish obedience. He gets it with this clown.
The Guardian 1.24.2020
Secretary of state used the F-word and demanded host Mary Louise Kelly find Ukraine on a map, journalist says
Mike Pompeo is said to have unleashed a foul-mouth tirade at a well known US radio host after she asked him questions about Ukraine in an interview.
Most of the interviews Pompeo gives are to conservative or evangelical Christian media or outlets from his home state of Kansas, where the tone of questioning tends towards the reverential and supportive. He has a history of attacking his interviewer when faced with challenging questions, often dismissing those questions as absurd.
Mary Louise Kelly, a respected broadcaster on National Public Radio (NPR), sat down for a pre-arranged interview with the secretary of state on Friday, whose wrath was apparently triggered by a string of questions about Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine. Kelly asked Pompeo whether he owed Yovanovitch an apology for not defending her in the face of a smear campaign orchestrated by Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his associates.
Kelly said an aide to Pompeo then abruptly ended the interview, before Pompeo summoned her to his private living room at the state department and began berating her, asking her :“do you think Americans care about Ukraine?”
“He used the F-word in that sentence and many others,” Kelly said, describing a rant in the room where the notoriously thin-skinned former Republican congressman had called her.
Pompeo “shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview” Kelly recalled. “He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine.” Pompeo is due to travel to Ukraine next week.
In what appeared to be a bizarre attempt to browbeat her, he asked the host of the NPR programme All Things Considered if she could find Ukraine on a map, and when she said she could (she was a foreign correspondent and has covered intelligence and national security) he called for aides to bring a map of the world with no country or place names on it.
Kelly pointed to Ukraine, Pompeo put the map away and said: “People will hear about this”.
That is what happened. Kelly went on NPR after her interview aired, and gave her account of the encounter.
Yovanovitch was removed in May as the Trump camp was trying to put pressure on the Ukraine government to produce compromising material on Joe Biden and his son – the issue at the heart of the impeachment trial underway in the Senate.
Kelly’s questions were particularly topical as a new recording surfaced on Friday in which Giuliani’s associates denigrated Yovanovitch and a voice that appears to the president’s can be heard saying: “Take her out”.
Pompeo told Kelly he had agreed to the interview to talk about Iran. But Kelly pointed out that she had confirmed with his staff that she would ask about both Iran and Ukraine.
“I just don’t have anything else to say about that this morning,” Pompeo said. According to Kelly, he leaned towards her and glared as the interview was wound up.
In June 2018, when asked whether the statement about denuclearisation signed by Trump and Kim Jong-un at a summit in Singapore would be verified by weapons inspectors, Pompeo became angry telling a reporter: “I find that question insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous.”
In the face of further questioning he said: “It’s not productive to do that, to say silly things. It’s just – it’s unhelpful.”
It soon became apparent that the North Korean leader had not made the disarmament pledges Trump and Pompeo had claimed.
“Today’s ban is a clear message: right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism have no place in our society,” Interior Minister Seehofer said.
The ban came as 210 officers on Thursday morning carried out raids across Germany, searching through apartments in the states of Hesse, Thuringia and North Rhine-Westphalia as well as in three other states.
“Mobile phones, computers and right-wing extremist symbols were confiscated,” a spokesman for the Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Ministry said.
Calls to ban the group had been growing since the murder of German politician Walter Lübcke near Kassel in June 2019. His suspected murderer is thought to have had contact with members of Combat 18. Europol, the EU-wide police agency, also warned that Combat 18 posed a threat throughout Europe.
Under the ban, the group will not be able to meet and it will be illegal to write or use the group’s logo.
What is Combat 18?
Combat 18 is a militant neo-Nazi organization formed in Britain in 1992. They are believed to be the armed wing of another another neo-Nazi network, Blood & Honour, that has spread to several European countries.
The number 18 in the name corresponds with the first and eighth letters in the alphabet —A and H— the first letters of Adolf Hitler’s first and last names.
The group was classified as a right-wing extremist group in Germany at the start of the 2000s and there are thought to be around 20 members in the German organization. The group’s motto is “whatever it takes.”
Leaders of the German faction are reported to be Stanley Röske, 43, from near Kassel, and Robin Schmiemann, 35, from Dortmund. Schmiemann spent time in prison for shooting a Tunisian during a supermarket raid.
The group is particularly known in Germany for spreading right-wing extremist music and organizing neo-Nazi concerts.
Another sad indicator of the changing scene in San Francisco
San Francisco Chronicle 1.22.2020
The warm white-on-red neon blade and marquee at the Clay Theatre, one of the oldest movie theaters in San Francisco and a signpost on Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights since around 1910, will flicker off after one last picture show as the shoebox-shaped room is scheduled to close Sunday, Jan. 26.
With the 325-seat Clay going dark, that leaves San Francisco with the Vogue Theatre on Sacramento Street as the only neighborhood first-run single screen in the city. The Clay is part of a chain of art houses across the country owned by Landmark Theatres, including venues in Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, Palo Alto and Santa Cruz in addition to the Embarcadero Center Cinema and Opera Plaza Cinema in San Francisco.
Landmark President Paul Serwitz, reached by phone in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 22, confirmed the closure and said the Clay had been losing money for six consecutive years.
“Much of Landmark’s DNA is in older theaters like the Clay, but we’ve put many efforts into making the Clay work and are unable to operate it viably,” he said.
Serwitz added that the Opera Plaza Cinema on Van Ness, which also had been rumored to face closure, will remain open and is scheduled for refurbishing.
The Clay’s fate “came as a shock to me,” the Clay’s landlord, Balgobind Jaiswal, said Tuesday, Jan. 21. Jaiswal, who also owns Cielo Boutique on the same block of Fillmore as the theater, said he has been exploring the concept of combining the movie theater with a restaurant to make it viable but has not yet found a food partner for that venture.
Despite the pending closure, Alfonso Felder of the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation sounded hopeful for the future of the historic building.
“There is a level of interest in the community for it staying a theater that I’m optimistic will result in another chapter,” said Felder, whose organization bought and saved the Vogue. “The Clay has been around since 1910, so it has some fortitude.”
The darkening of the Clay Theatre follows the recent closure of the Guild in Menlo Park as the last two single screens in Landmark’s Bay Area portfolio.
The chain was launched in 1975 by San Franciscans Gary Meyer and Steve Gilula. Landmark took over the Clay in 1991 and throughout that decade was a major force in the indie film craze that was fed constant product by studios like Miramax and Orion Classics.
Meyer sold the chain to Samuel Goldwyn Jr. in the late ’90s, starting the long, slow whittling of the chain through sales and a bankruptcy before Landmark was purchased by Cohen Media Group in late 2018.
By then the Bridge Theatre, another beloved Landmark single screen off Geary Boulevard, had already folded and it was rumored that the Clay would be next to fall.
In 2010, the Clay looked as if it was going to be saved by the San Francisco Film Society (now SFFilm), which had been in talks to take it over from Landmark. But that deal fell through, compelling Jaiswal to reduce rent for Landmark to keep the theater running.
This time around, Jaiswal said he was not offered any terms by Landmark, which is on a month-to-month rent. He expects to be served notice that Landmark will vacate any day now and suspects it is closing to give the operator ample time to remove its equipment.
But in a post on the Facebook page “Save The Clay Theatre San Francisco” on Tuesday, Clay floor staffer and in-house historian Michael Blythe blamed the impending closure of the Clay on the landlord Jaiswal, not the operator Landmark. He implored moviegoers to contact Jaiswal by email and come to the theater to demand it remain open.
“Ask that he work with Landmark to make the improvements needed to the facility without destroying its simple charms,” Blythe stated. “Tell them how much you adore this building before it is too late.”
Netta Fedor, who lives a short walk from the theater, came to the Clay on Monday as soon as she heard the rumors to commiserate with Blythe, who took time away from popping corn to comfort her.
“I’m sick. I see every film that comes here,” said Fedor, who said she had seen 670 movies in San Francisco theaters in 2019 — many of them at the Clay.
“It’s a shame to lose all the local theaters,” said Rachel Reynard, who took the 22-Fillmore from her home in the Mission to watch “Honeyland” on Monday. “It’s a lovely thing to have in a neighborhood, and it’s going to be a loss.”
Unlike many of the early theaters in San Francisco that were either converted storefronts or built for vaudeville and other live performances, the Clay was built as a movie theater, with no backstage, said Blythe.
While historians like Blythe contend the theater opened in 1910, there is no documentation that it is the oldest theater in the city. Bill Counter, who runs the Facebook page Bay Area Historic Theaters, said old telephone directories date the Regent, the Vogue and the Roxie Theater to 1913 but no earlier.
Originally called the Regent, and briefly the Avalon, the theater’s exterior was altered once — in the 1950s when an archway was removed and the name was changed to the Clay, with a new blade and marquee. The ticket booth was also moved from the center of the foyer to the side.
Early advertisements show it as “The Clay International,” and it has held steady as a home for first-run independent foreign cinema. The Clay serves the broader Bay Area at midnight on Saturdays when it screens campy cult films, a concept it launched in 1972 with the premiere of John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos.”
The Clay became part of the Surf chain of theaters before Landmark took it over in the mid-1990s. At one point 500 seats were crammed into the narrow room, but that was reduced as people got wider and taller, Blythe said. The chairs were last replaced in the 1990s.
That is right about the time a rat took up residence in the rafters. It became part of the show, scampering along the ceiling and dangling its long tail so the audience could see it.
“The Clay is part of San Francisco history and means a lot to people who love art films,” said Meyer, the Landmark co-founder. “On the other hand, operating a single screen is difficult and the Clay has not been updated in a long time.”
Among the Bay Area single-screen theaters to close in recent decades are the Northpoint (2007), the Metro (2006), the Coronet (2005), the Alhambra and the Royal (both 1998), the Pagoda Palace (1994) and the Cannery (1993). The Alexandria on Geary Boulevard was converted to a triplex before closing in 2004. The Four Star in the Richmond and both the Presidio and Cinema 21 in the Marina were single screens converted to duplexes or fourplexes by Lee Family Theaters.
The Roxie, off 16th Street in the Mission, is now a nonprofit that relies heavily on revivals and repertory programming. And while the Castro Theatre, opened in 1922, is also single-screen, it is a movie palace at a major intersection and serves the broader Bay Area mainly as a repertory house and festival venue.
“I’m sad, of course, to lose the Clay,” said Counter. “What can you say? It’s another one that bites the dust, and San Francisco is poorer because of it.”
Final movie screenings: “Honeyland.” 5:20 and 7:25 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 26; “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” 11:55 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. $11. Landmark’s Clay Theatre, 2261 Fillmore St., S.F. 415-561-9921. landmarktheatres.com