What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?

I was reminded over the weekend how much I love living in the Bay Area, and am extremely proud of how San Francisco and its major Ed Lee, residents and our connected community handled the various protests taking place on Saturday.

Everything from shutting down the far right extremist group Patriot Prayer rally at Crissy Field by encouraging hundreds of dog owners to come and carpet the field in advance with lots and lots of dog poo (which they did) to show how welcome they were, to the peaceful counter protests taking part throughout the city, to the “Peace, Love and Understanding” rally downtown that we attended as a family and with friends.

The brown carpet treatment at Crissy Field seemed to encourage the group to hastily change plans and move their event to Alamo Square Park. However, given the timing involved no permits were issued, which led to SFPD gating off and completely shutting down access to the park while local residents hung “Love Trumps Hate” signs on their homes and over 1,000 counter-protesters rallied at the foot of Alamo Square.

Patriot Prayer ultimately decided to flee to Pacifica, about 30 minutes south of San Francisco, to hold a “news conference” in a remote location stating their civil rights and freedom of speech were violated, and all they wanted to do was to “promote love and peace and freedom.” I smell dog shit.

In reality, they were granted a permit for their original planned event at Crissy Field – they chose not to move forward. No rights were violated, and their freedoms of speech and to lawfully assemble in public ware not denied by the local government.

Freedom of speech is one thing; freedom of hate speech is quite another. Spreading hate speech, discriminating and inciting violence is not covered by the First Amendment. Hate speech can not go unchecked. While Patriot Prayer’s leader Joey Gibson has publicly denounced Nazis, the KKK and other racist groups, Patriot Prayer has a proven record of attracting white supremacists and neo-nazis at their events, which often results in violent confrontations, and Mr. Gibson knows this.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed a peaceful afternoon of music, art, activism and love at the Peace, Love and Understanding rally in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall, with Michael Franti and Spearhead headlining the entertainment. The event was really well organized, safe and delivered as promised; it was family-friendly and relatively free of political speeches – just people of all types coming together and celebrating our differences. There were no anarchists anywhere to be seen and no bullshit. Or dog shit.

While my wife Laura and I aren’t convinced that public rallies change the minds of those we tend to gather to oppose (peacefully or not), we agree that it’s generally better to act than not – whether to show our children what is right, to make ourselves feel better by doing something about the situation, or simply to convince those coming out of the woodwork on the wrong side of what is right that they need to change or go back under the rocks they crawled out from. It was also a really good excuse to celebrate the diversity, open-mindedness, acceptance and tolerance that makes San Francisco and the Bay Area such an amazing place to live and be a part of.

Only one person was arrested at the protests throughout the day — for public intoxication at Alamo Park. Mayor Ed Lee summed it up best when he said, “San Francisco residents made sure the face of love and compassion dominated over hate speech and incitement of violence.” The Patriot Prayer people ultimately returned to an essentially empty Crissy Field later in the day but it went largely unnoticed.

It gives me hope that collectively we can work together to hopefully help make America civil again.

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Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Hope everyone has a Wonderful and Safe and Sane Independence Day Holiday.


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Aloha and Aloha

Vacation. Twelve days of it with our annual family “retreat” to Maui. Some days seemed too long, some too short. Ups and downs, highs and lows. Typical family vacation stuff. Fun fact about me: I loath traveling for long periods of time (i.e. the act of physically getting to one place to the other, like airports and being stuck in a crowded, uncomfortable, back achingly, germ-filled airplane with clueless passengers, shitty food and vomit bags at the ready, for example,) but love being in a place that we all find to be so magical.

A family vacation, especially when traveling with extended family and kids, can really only be so relaxing. But I think overall we did a pretty good job of  practicing aloha and everyone had a great time and got what they wanted out of the trip. I came home yesterday feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated and looking forward to getting back to some serious writing. And giving more love to this blog again – which you may have forgotten you subscribed to since its been some time since I’ve posted. Poor blog. Besides the vacation I’ve been distracted with other (rather fun and cool) projects, which are winding down now so I can refocus again on words and things. Like the new book about adoption in America, a couple of screenplays and bothering you nice people from time to time. Stay tuned and mahalo for hanging in there. Aloha!

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Quote Of The Day – Dr. Seuss

Today’s quote comes from Theodor Seuss Geisel (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991); an American writer and illustrator, better known under his pen name Dr. Seuss for his highly popular and weird children’s books, with over 600 million copies sold and translated into more than 20 languages.

Before earning fame and acclaim for such gems like If I Ran the Zoo, Horton Hears a Who!, The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Green Eggs and Ham, Geisel was an illustrator and cartoonist for Vanity and Life magazines, a political cartoonist and he worked as an illustrator for various advertising campaigns.

Green Eggs and Ham was particularly successful. Originally published in 1960, it was the fourth best-selling English-language children’s book of all time.  People read it here and there, in a house, with a mouse, in a box with a fox, in a car, on a train, on a boat with a goat, in a tree…but not in the dark or in the rain, because that would be silly.



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Quote Of The Day – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Quote 1

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Quote Of The Day – Jack London

Today’s first Quote Of The Day of the New Year comes from San Francisco Bay Area native author, journalist, short story write and social activist Jack London, who was one of the first fiction writers to actually earn big bags of cash and obtain worldwide celebrity status from his writing efforts alone.

He might be best known for The Call of the Wild, White Fang, To Build a Fire and The Sea Wolf. In 1906 he published an eye-witness report of the San Francisco earthquake in Collier’s magazine titled: “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! SHIIIIIIIIIIIT!” (Okay I made up that last part. The actual headline was The Story Of An Eyewitness, but I think my version was far more engaging and probably more accurate.) He may or may not have committed suicide at the age of 40 at his ranch in Sonoma County, but his official cause of death was uremia aggravated by an accidental morphine overdose.


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Happy New Year!

Thank God that’s over. May this New Year bring you luck and prosperity and immense happiness in all you do in 2017. Happy New Year!


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