When liberal policies are blind to the outcome

San Francisco is a city full of contradictions. On one hand you see homeless people loitering on the streets pretending that they have a right to carry on the way they want. On the other side, you have well-meaningful high-asset residents who try to out label each other on how liberal they are. What unifies them all is the belief that San Francisco is a beacon of liberalism in an otherwise conservative country.

Sometimes liberal ideas, although sound in theory, go awry in practice. For instance, San Francisco has declared itself as a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants. That is, San Francisco won’t co-operate with federal immigration law agencies when it comes to enforcing federal law. Ok, I understand that part. A lot of the undocumented immigrants braved extreme hardships to show up at these shores to find some work. It happens worldwide and throughout history. So, maybe it is ok to give these guys a break.

What San Francisco has lately done though, is to go beyond that. For example, on its effort not to help federal officials, San Francisco has actively been protecting convicted criminals from federal immigration authorities. It is one thing not to co-operate, but to actively shield convicted criminals from deportation? The latest news story (see here) discuss how some convicted undocumented Honduran young crack dealers escaped because San Francisco city officials decided to send them to youth homes in another county. All these efforts were done just because San Francisco officials wanted to avert these criminals from being subject to federal immigration laws.

There is a limit on how much one can be a bleeding hearted person. I draw the line when we are aiding and abetting convicted criminals.


Overcoming fear with my new Buddy

I took delivery of my new Buddy International 150cc scooter a couple of days ago. The scooter dealer delivered it all the way from San Francisco for an extra fee. He is a great person and I recommend him heartily (see here for the dealer). So, how am I doing so far?

First, let me backtrack and say something about my prior experiences. NONE. I had no experience riding a scooter or motorcycle. My only experience on a two-wheeler is on a bicycle. Second, my house has a steep driveway that curves up the hill. Third, I was not an enthusiast about two-wheeled vehicles – thinking that they are dangerous because they share the road with vehicles that are thousands of times heavier than them.

So, after 26 miles of being on the road with the scooter, I can say that I am smiling. It was such a breeze riding it. It is as nimble as riding a bicycle. The engine pulls strong up my driveway and I never feel that I am losing control of it. Yesterday was the first day that I took it out for an extensive ride around the county roads. It easily kept pace with the automobiles. Of course, I was very cautious, obeyed all the traffic signs, and kept my space from surrounding cars. Most automobile drivers also gave me space. Maybe the oil prices have made everyone drive slower and smoother.

So, how is the scooter so far?

• Subjectively, it does have more plastic than its near competitor – the Yamaha Vino 125cc.
• Powerful engine.
• One of the stems for the rear visor got loose a couple of times, no matter how much I tighten it up. Also, one of the bolts holding the license plate disappeared. I attribute this to new scooter shakedown. Let’s see how it fares during the upcoming weeks.
• The brakes are smooth.
• If you have a steep driveway, don’t fill up the tank because gasoline will escape through the safety valve.
• Finally, I wish that the importer, Genuine Scooter Company (see here), proofread the manual. It reads like someone translated it from Chinese (the scooter is made by a company called PGO in Taiwan) to English using translation software. The manual makes it look like Genuine is the manufacturer. If so, I expect better English than the way it is written.

So, so far, so good.

Inapropriate Heinz commercial?

I believe the following commercial was shown in the UK (given the accent). Just found out that it was pulled out from the media because of complaints that it was “inappropriate and offensive.” Interesting given that the gay kiss in the U.S. tv show “Grey’s Anatomy” did not seem to produce any controversy.

The issue is “inappropriate and offensive” to whom? Shall we continue cow-towing to this so-called majority?

My new buddy

No, it is not about another friend. It is not about another pet. It is not about another (whatever). It is about my answer to the high gasoline prices. I have decided to forfeit driving the SUV and other-related gas drinkers, for something that only sips gasoline.

It is my new…ta…ta…Buddy International 150cc scooter. All decked out in St. Tropez Blue color. Oops, a French word? How unpatriotic. From now on, it is going to be Freedom Blue color. Although I still think it is gay enough. Now, let me go back to study the motorcycle manual for tomorrow’s test (need to keep the grading curve up, you know).