Thursday, February 7, 2008

Another surprise

It looks like Mitt Romney has used a few million of his personal fortune to buy a clue, and has dropped out of the race (although the official word is "suspended," meaning that he'll keep his delegates until the convention). I was actually quite surprised. I thought he'd hang on for a while longer. The news will be on in a moment, and I'm sure I'll get to hear details. I guess he said something about the "war on terror," which makes me think he's trying to get the party to get behind McCain. But I could be wrong.

I read this news story this morning, and I got a kick out of it.

Voters consider changing Alcatraz to peace center

Tue Feb 5, 2008 12:38pm EST

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco voters will decide on Tuesday whether to remove the famous Alcatraz Prison visited by thousands of tourists a day and instead create a "global peace center."

The proposition sharing the presidential primary ballot comes from the director of the California-based Global Peace Foundation who gives his name as Da Vid. He says transforming Alcatraz will "liberate energies, raising the whole consciousness of the Bay Area."

Supporters would like to raze the prison and build a medicine wheel, a labyrinth and a conference center for non-violent conflict resolution. Volunteers collected 10,350 voter signatures last year to put it on the local ballot.

But even in a city long famed for its embrace of counterculture, many are skeptical about the plan.

"Perhaps we haven't reached the proper stage of enlightenment yet, but we're more inclined to support propositions with defined sources of funding attached to them," the San Francisco Chronicle said in an editorial.

Alcatraz is San Francisco's second-most popular paid tourist attraction after cable cars, luring 1.4 million visitors annually on a short ferry ride into San Francisco Bay.

To skeptics Da Vid responds: "Like John Lennon, I may be a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

(Reporting by Amanda Beck; editing by Adam Tanner and Todd Eastham)

© Reuters 2008 All rights reserved

How amazing that they actually got the signatures to get this on the ballot! Ah, San Francisco. It's my second favorite city (behind New Orleans, of course!), but they do have some...characters...there. Ken's good friend, Todd (I'm happy to say he's now my friend, too), is thankfully a very sweet guy, and also very normal, unless you count his crazy good guitar talent.

It seems that Da Vid (I wonder how you pronounce that?) is a John Lennon fan. I bet Da Vid would be interesting to talk to, don't you? I find it funny that they want to raze the second biggest tourist attraction in the city. Why would they waste their time or "liberating energies" on trying to get this approved? I also liked the "labyrinth" idea. I'm sure plenty of people would visit Alcatraz Island to make their way through a labyrinth. I haven't heard the outcome of the vote, but I also haven't heard that the demolition of Alcatraz is imminent, so I suspect it will live on. This story is a good lesson in what constitutes a futile effort...and a waste of some positive energy, man!

Besides, Ken and I have been to Alcatraz (He lived in San Francisco for several years and never went there...isn't that often the case with landmarks in your town?), and I thought it was one of the coolest places I've ever been. It was fascinating to take the tour and see the little cells and hear some of the stories (the audio tour is well worth it). It's a beautiful--but rocky--island, with lots of birds, and the view looking out at the bay and the bridge is breathtaking. One of the stories that got to me the most was about how on New Year's Eve, party boats would cruise around the bay, and the prisoners would hear the revelry in their cells. Can you imagine how forlorn and miserable they must have felt? These were some bad criminals, of course, and they were there for a reason, but it still gave me a little twinge of sadness for what that must have felt like.

So no...I have to disagree with Da Vid on this one. Perhaps he can purchase his own large plot of land in the San Francisco area--a few acres shouldn't be TOO much, right?--and build his peace center using his own funds, or private donations. If he feels that strongly about it, perhaps he should pursue that option. I'm sure there are other "dreamers" out there that would just love to give him money!

6 comments:

deshelestraci said...

I was really shocked to hear he was dropping out.  
I know you are dripping in sarcasm about the price of real estate in San Francisco!  I have been there and it is a wonderful city!
Traci

luvrte66 said...

Heck, Traci, you can buy an acre of land around here for 5 grand...how much more can it be in San Francisco?! <grin> But yes, it's a fun place to visit!

Beth

buckoclown said...

While we were on Alcatraz, the air show practice was going on.  We got to see the Blue Angels, with many flights right over us.  Ah, what a city. :o)

luvrte66 said...

Yeah, the Blue Angels were so cool. You could tell the pilots were hotdogging it a bit for us, because they flew over frequently, sometimes upside down, very close to the island! Everyone was watching and cheering, and it was like our own private little air show. What a great memory!

Beth

mpnaz58 said...

That would be like getting rid of a part of history.  I think Alcatraz rakes in more money than a global peace center would, and it certainly has more value to the city by the bay.  We vacationed in SF a couple of years ago...one of the most vacations we ever took...everything was so pricey, but we had a great time!
xoxo ~Myra

queeniemart said...

little old me from mid Ohio flew from Cincinnati to San Fran in 2001 JUST to visit Alcatraz.......my daughters Godfather got cheap weekend tickets. I loved it so much and i regret that my husband didnt go.....he loves anything related to old prisons.....it was so cool to take the ferry there....the walk to Alcatraz almost killed me....but WOW, it was SO COOL. This Da Vid nut needs to go get enlightened somewhere else.
HUGS, lisa