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Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
4 months ago

Gotta love the superintendent of the Tenderloin, who blames it on capitalism – oblivious to his own role in creating the craphole and the fact these conditions only occur in communities run by progressive ideologues and cowards too afraid to push back against progressive ideologues.

Angelique Todesco
Angelique Todesco
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He was unbelievable, no wonder the place is such a mess, talk about being led by donkeys. The person speaking the most sense was the Black gentleman, I am not sure if he was a recovering addict, who was saying you have to stop facilitating people and take away the easy choice to just remain an addict and the attraction of coming to the city for the free drug ride etc. Also, how horrendous that they kicked all the homeless out on to the street during COVID.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

Thinking person: “If your side’s ideas are correct, and your city is enacting these ideas more than any others, then why are these problems the worst in your city?”

Ideological cultist: “Because we haven’t gone far enough!”

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The classic argument of socialists! Socialism, and its more extreme form communism, has never worked despite numerous implementation attempts in the last 100 years. The ideologues’ response: It was never real socialism; we never went far enough!
It’s the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing whilst expecting different outcomes.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

My guess is the supervisor – if we could see him with his shirt off, has a tattoo of a heart with an arrow in to and the word Sorros.

Simon Ruda
Simon Ruda
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I found it odd that he didn’t have any statistics, or numbers of any sort, to illustrate any of his points.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
4 months ago
Reply to  Simon Ruda

Like why is it different in places like Miami and Houston. All emotion all the time. Facts and figures are white privilege I guess.

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
4 months ago
Reply to  Simon Ruda

Now anywhere in the film by anyone.(unless I missed it)

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
4 months ago
Reply to  Simon Ruda

Progressives never have anything that makes sense to back up their claims. Just a big word salad.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
4 months ago
Reply to  Simon Ruda

They don’t need silly things like facts and figures their belief is always unarguably correct..

angusmckscunjwhich
angusmckscunjwhich
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yeah don’t blame that ideology that puts profit before human life, that would be dumb…

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

And the 74% increase in rough sleeping since the Conservatives came to power in the UK? Proper paid and skilled work is the answer to poverty and disaffection and where are the Conservatives providing it? What have they done about the stagnant wages and rising house prices/lack of building? Yes you will say immigration is causing the problem, but we have desperate need of a healthy workforce (most immigrants) amid an aging population, so that argument doesn’t fly

Robert
Robert
4 months ago

I thought it was interesting when, near the end, Michael Shellenberger pointed out that in addition to the obvious progressive bent most of us can blame for the problems, there exists a strong libertarian political bent that has been there for a very long time. I considered myself a libertarian here form many years – but the small ‘L’ type. I live in the US. But it was only recently that I noticed a couple of things. First, the term ‘anarcho-capitalist’ didn’t really exist when I was all in on libertarianism (sort of all in). Second, and I see this among young libertarians today, even those that don’t live on the west coast or work in the tech industry, there is a sense of total freedom is always good no matter the consequences – we are all rational beings making decisions in our best interests and let the chips fall where they may.
I wonder if libertarianism, as much as progressivism, shares the blame. The anarcho types are pretty open about their willingness to move to New Zealand some day, or buy a super yacht and live outside the bounds of any terrestrial government, or create a new city in the desert (like they are now doing in California near a military base, buying up land). Michael hinted at behind closed doors there are interesting conversations among the elites – not necessarily the politicians – that sort of ends, regarding the destitute, with a ‘f$%k ’em if they can’t sort their lives out’ vibe. I could see that among the libertarians – it was there when I was loosely in the movement decades ago! But, none of us had the FU money that they have in Techlandia. The messes were ours to deal with (or they would be).
I’m certainly not giving the progressive a break here – Preston and his ilk in California deserve most of the blame. But, if there are tech CEOs taking on the challenge of creating a revived SF, I haven’t seen it. I don’t think they give a damn. Libertarianism is working out just fine for them and if it doesn’t, they’ll take their money and leave. They’re anywheres, not somewheres.
Very well done, Freddy and Flo.

Last edited 4 months ago by Robert
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert

A well-stated, nuanced take on Libertarianism in the Silicon Valley context.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert

That’s quite a stretch
LOL

Robert
Robert
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Perhap. Or, you’ve never spent time with libertarians.

Last edited 4 months ago by Robert
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
4 months ago

Great documentary; honest, straightforward and revealing.
It seems the less-than-superintendent of Tenderloin was being paid to just walk around occasionally and facilitate the descent of those who found themselves on the street, returning to his millionaire’s home at the end of the day. He had absolutely no answers, let alone anything resembling a plan of action, and Freddie was right to ask him what would ever change.
So there’s a shortfall of 500 police officers apparently, but he’s advocating further defunding? I can’t help but feel the citizens of California are ultimately responsible for this mess, and the superintendent is just their proxy. It might take something seismic (an earthquake!) for the current situation to change. Perhaps a 7 or 8 on the Richter Scale might just bring the whole rotten edifice tumbling down, so people can start rebuilding their Golden State society from scratch.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Ouch, that’s a little colder than anything I remember you posting, Mr. Murray. Not that I fully disagree with you, but you hurt my Californian feelings (cue tiny violins). We have skiing, beaches, and some good music too!

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

It wasn’t a great documentary, a typical wa*kfest they do here of people yammering on and on saying almost nothing. By the way, what was the most interesting part was seeing the face of pure evil – the face of the ‘supervisor’. We hear how evil disguises as attractive, haha, and so this film shows.

There is only one way he believes the insane thing he says, and we turn to 1984 to see it in action:

” O’Brien holds up four fingers and asks Winston how many he sees. Four, says Winston. If the Party says there are five, says O’Brien, how many are there? Winston says there are four. O’Brien shocks Winston, again and again, then provides drugs that ease the pain. Winston comes to love and depend on O’Brien, because O’Brien alone can ease the pain. O’Brien informs Winston that his goal is not to extract a confession or punish him, but to cure him—to convert his thinking to that of the Party.”

Change the Supervisor’s name to O’Brien and it all makes sense.

How did it begin? $1.4 Billion on Homelessness there? Well we know the big guy gets his 10%. People like the Supervisor can believe a lot of untruth for 10% They can watch unlimited numbers of lives destroyed for 10%, haha, pure evil, that is the problem.

Lesli Engelman
Lesli Engelman
4 months ago

Kudos to Unherd journalists. I lived in SF for a decade, and the rights of citizens other than the marginalized groups, don’t seem to matter much. The progressive approach is not compassionate at all. If it were my daughter on those streets, I’d want her forcibly placed in a rehab facility. Recovery from addiction takes place in multiple stages. The first stage has to be removing them from danger, with the inability to obtain the drugs; giving them a safe place to get to the 2nd stage. The argument that arrests don’t cure addiction is true, but this is really not the entire picture. It’s the first step.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Lesli Engelman

As an obscure side – in the 1970s I can claim to actually have slept on the streets of San Francisco, not long, I was hitching through from LA to Seattle and popped in, but it was one of those bucket list kind of scores. I do not think I got stoned, too paranoid stoned on the streets, it is rough out there, but likely drank a lot.

But anyway… No, rehab is not like that. Not like the Ukrainian Army where snatch squads grab you off the streets and next thing you are in some camp with barbed wire and watch towers being rehabbed.

Second – that arrests do not cure addiction is Not true, they go a long way. make a life unlivable and people want to do something else. To quit – and I know all about this stuff – you have to want to. That is what it takes, misery. Drugs have to hurt more than the relief they give.

About your third Drunk driving arrest, and some jail and fines and shame – lots hit rock bottom. Lots go to rehab and 12 steps because they just cannot do that anymore. Arrests are a Massive wake up call.

I wish I had been asked – I would tell them what to do…..what has been done all the mellinia back to the Phoenicians and before – put a stop to it like it has been done throughout time. Just do not put up with it, If they did not put up with it, it would stop. Easy.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago

Well done. As a longtime Bay Area resident I have seen San Francisco deteriorate badly over the years, largely due to ultra-progressive overreach, or more accurately, inaction and trifling focus (pronouns, names of schools, etc.). Shellenberger’s mention of the convergence of progressivism and libertarianism in SF was–to make a little Gold Rush joke–a Eureka! moment for me. The worst of both strains often holds sway: disorganized social engineering and excessive softheartedness matched with hands-off, de facto disregard cloaked as Freedom. What a nasty combination!
That neck-tattooed dude also had a great point: if things get worse–or even stay this bad–authoritarian “solutions” will become an even more popular idea, something the present moment and historical record both amply demonstrate. Let’s find a dynamic middle path before the streets get even more blighted–or crowded with tanks.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

This is 100% why crime is being intentionally increased! That no one talks of this is because the Media is totally captured.

See – when it gets so bad, when the criminals who torment your life get released and so no one even bothers policing – Then people will Demand electronic monitoring.

The authorities will say – we do not want to use constant GPS tracking on everyone in the cars, phones, facial recognition, gait recognition, syntax recognition for bad posting, DNR bases, constant Iris scanning from cameras everywhere…CBDC so every penny you make or spend is tracked…

They will say they do not want to….. But, you know, what you going to do – crime is everywhere, it is for your protection – really it is for your Freedom – so you may be safe, so you understand, we will have to begin databases and kind of know where you are every second, and who you are with, and what you are doing – But it is for your Freedom!

Geoffrey Chew
Geoffrey Chew
4 months ago

After watching the film I am totally bewildered by the policies being expounded for controlling and improving the situation. I sure got the impression that Freddy Sayers was too.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Chew

one gets the feel that Freddy is kind of like a beach ball out at sea, drifting about as wind and waves batter him this way and that… haha… or so his film persona is.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
4 months ago

I am currently in LA, where they cleared some of the tent cities before a recent local election. But you still see mentally disturbed people seemingly coming out of nowhere, crossing the streets and running in front of cars. Yesterday a half naked African American woman with half of her torso exposed, clearly heavy under the influence, was zig zagging in front of our car. But on closer inspection she turned out to be a man. So the trans flags in Freddie’s report made sense, maybe generous local left wing superintendents in their unlimited generosity and “wisdom” make funds available for trans operations, thinking that they would improve people’s mental distress? Marxist madness gone viral


UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

I haven’t watched the entire film, but it looks well done. Would you consider sending it to festivals and is UnHerd considering going into production?

Last edited 4 months ago by UnHerd Reader
J Bryant
J Bryant
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I was also struck by the professional quality of this film. I doubt it would be accepted at many film festivals though. Such festivals and competitions tend to be very left-leaning.
Good job, Unherd. Bravely going where the rest of us don’t dare venture.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
4 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes, indeed. We can’t disrupt the padded walls of the left wing echo chamber.

Douglas Redmayne
Douglas Redmayne
4 months ago

The mentally disturbed and addicted need to be segregated from the rest of the population where they can do as they like without causing nuisance or disamenity to others. Far better than pointless prohibition and moralistic crackdowns.

Matt M
Matt M
4 months ago

That’s what I thought watching this: an internment camp in the Californian desert. Sweep them up, stick them in the camp, give them a tent, a soup kitchen and a free opium dispensary. They can only leave when they test negative for drugs. If they volunteer and are deemed to be serious, they can enter a nearby rehab unit and get their life together. If they do, they should get all the help possible to re-enter society. If they fail or are too far gone to even try, they can spend their few remaining years in a haze but at least not disrupting the law abiding citizens of SF.

Last edited 4 months ago by Matt M
Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Heil Matt!

Dominic A
Dominic A
4 months ago

An unholy trinity between neo-marxism (‘the decadent capitalisitic West’ is straight out of the Soviet playbook, and Dean Preston seems to be their useful idiot); Covid and Fentanyl anomilies; and an excessive feminization of society (those bad policemen, those poor victims).

N Satori
N Satori
4 months ago

The lasting impression this documentary has left me with (apart from the astonishing complacency of that supervisor of the Tenderloin district) is of addicts and down-and-outs angrily demanding that someone, somewhere do something for them – give them a job, give them a home. One guy even said that a shelter was not good enough, he needed his own home if he was to get back on his feet.
People used to talk about the addictive personality of those who are drawn to drugs. Is a component of that personality type a tendency to passive dependency and with it a sense that one’s life and problems are ultimately the responsibility of ‘society’ rather than oneself? Remember that Rolling Stones song about heroin? Gimme shelter (it’s just a shot away) – an addict’s anthem indeed.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

You’ll probably agree that documentaries–even good ones with some balance–tend to amplify outspoken or eccentric voices. However, a down and out addict living in a tent and drawing on the social safety net is almost by definition not an industrious or self-reliant person–at least for the time being. Still, I think only a small subset of such unraveled wasters are painted into such a sad corner by personality type, let alone stuck that way. In California, there are a smaller number of other homeless or vagabond people that live in the woods and outskirts of towns, etc. and draw little or nothing from social services. That’s a different sort of problem for or comment upon the wider society (take your pick: maybe both, some “third thing” too?). They are alienated and isolated–for obvious and idiosyncratic reasons–in a way that also applies, in some real way, to many that live in houses and hold down jobs.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
4 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Do we pass out boxes of Twinkies to the obese, diet pills to the anorexic or vodka to the alcoholic, in the name of compassion?

Last edited 4 months ago by Warren Trees
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
4 months ago

Excellent report. Kudos to Unherd.

Fredrich Nicecar
Fredrich Nicecar
4 months ago

That was a well crafted film. I was in San Francisco 3 times in the 80’s and it was a pretty nice place but I had heard of the problems in recent years. As we seem to import the worst aspects of American culture; how long until we have similar situations here ?

Matt M
Matt M
4 months ago

Well Suella Braverman was trying to change the law to stamp out “homeless” people (drug addicts) pitching tents in urban areas. Unfortunately she got ousted and Sunak dropped the proposal.

So it can’t be long now. Tent cities in London by next Spring?

John Dewhirst
John Dewhirst
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

What struck me when I strayed into Skid Row whilst visiting LA was that the CA climate is another factor encouraging tent cities. It is a completely different proposition in northern Europe which thankfully might serve to regulate their growth. However you can’t help but feel some form of Malthusian correction being the ultimate solution.

Rosalie Clare
Rosalie Clare
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Well there is a tent cluster on my main road so it’s here (I’m in Zone 2 London)

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago
Reply to  Rosalie Clare

In your estimation: Do such clusters remain rare in England?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

The cold weather and Malinois dogs keep them at bay in my ‘neck of the woods’.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
4 months ago

And where is your ‘neck of the woods’?
Switzerland still?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Not rampant, but yes they are seen here and there over recent months in (relatively wealthy) SW London and Surrey

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I think there is a long term tent village of Roma beggars camped at Marble Arch.

Bat Manjee
Bat Manjee
4 months ago

Liberal policies kill. Especially liberalisation of drugs policy. Peter Hitchens is damn right about zero tolerance being the only proven solution to stop drugs wrecking society, wrecking lives and family. South Korea, Japan, Singapore etc.. we should copy their drugs policy. I’ve lived and visited these countries and you would never see this on the streets. In 3 years I didn’t see one overdosed homeless person in any city in Japan. We must campaign for the UK to adopt zero tolerance over liberalisng the likes of horrible canabis and other drugs. If this country legalises then its absolutely finished. Anyone that advocates for legalisation doesn’t care about children, families or society end of. All they care about is money, aka maximising tax reciepts and this is what’s destroying our culture.

Maximilian R.
Maximilian R.
4 months ago
Reply to  Bat Manjee

Well, I don’t think cannabis is evil, I think people are just using it wrong. I don’t think the solution is as clear-cut and dry as you make it out, but I understand the frustrations a report such as this can conjure.

I believe you can have it both ways. I believe you can make certain interactions with drugs illegal (while driving, while outside, during a concert, etc.) and others legal (while at home, while in therapy, etc.). I believe we need to rethink why and how people take drugs and integrate it into our mythos; integrate it into the story of our society, so that people come to a more enlightened understanding about what they can and can’t do. And hey, chances are, once we collectively understand these interactions, no one actually wants them anymore.

PS: DMT and Psilocybin are known for stopping drug addiction pretty reliably. I suggest everyone read into the studies around this subject, as it is one step towards what I meant by enlightening our interactions with substances that act on our consciousness. There’s a BIG difference between fentanyl and cannabis and perhaps an even bigger one between alcohol and psilocybin.

Last edited 4 months ago by Maximilian R.
Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
4 months ago
Reply to  Maximilian R.

One of the problems with the legalisation of cannabis is that there are now different strengths. (cf “skunk”) so TPTB will have to decide at what strength it is allowed for sale.

Dominic A
Dominic A
4 months ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

That’s not a problem with legalisation – it’s a benefit, ie regulatory oversight.

Also, interesting fact: in Europe & Asia, hashish, which is 2-3 times stronger than even skunk, was the norm for centuries, until about ten years ago. The increase in ‘taking too much’ is more a function of changes in America, and ignorance of dosage, as well as the economic pressures from Ilegalisation – they’re weren’t smuggling much beer during prohibition!

Last edited 4 months ago by Dominic A
Dominic A
Dominic A
4 months ago
Reply to  Bat Manjee

As with Max R, I appreciate your frustration, but you have swung too far the other direction. I have also lived in Japan and been impressed – didnlt see a single crime, and can attest to the truth of the ‘lost wallet returned with all its cash’. The countries you mentioned have a profoundly different culture, have done for centuries, and the methods you mentioned are not going to translate to the West (one example – Japan tolerates organised crime, with some close links between them, the police, and govt, partly on the understanding that they’ll keep out hard drugs – not necesarily a bad idea, but how do you think that’d work out in the West). Then there are the countries that have pretty tough laws – Iran, USA prohibition – not success stories. As for ‘horrible canabis’ – you’d make a better argument if you learned to spell it, and showed signs of knowing the first thing about it, or intoxicants generally. Clue – they have been with us forever, and banning them absolutely created problems every bit as bad as aloowing them everywhere.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

As Prohibition showed. Good post, but I do think meth and fentanyl are different than pot or booze, and that the near-decriminalization of hard-drug use, especially in public, is a mistake.

Dominic A
Dominic A
4 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Agreed – though I think that proper addicts (referred to by one of the homeless in the video as ‘the ones who are supposed to be an addict*, as opposed to the ones who want to be an addict’) should be on a prescription. Opiates, more so the synthetic kind are fairly cheap, and each $1 worth given to an addict will stop them from comitting $3 worth of theft crime.

* e.g. Brendan Behan – “I am a drinker with a writing problem’

Last edited 4 months ago by Dominic A
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
4 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

One aspect which is ignored is that cities have a transient population. Up to 1800 , England comprised parishes with parish constables who was answerable to the Constable of the 100 who was answerarble to the Sherif of the county. If the Parish Constably raised the hue and cry to capture a criminal any able man between the age o 15 and 60 years of age who did not respond was fined. The Parish was responsible to the 100 for.any criminal actions of the Parish.
Once industrialisation took place , Bradford went from 6000 in 1800 to about 120,000 in 1850, crime took off. Crime is also correlated with transient work such as constuction and the docks.
On the basic level, large tough( tougher than criminals) police officers needs to patrol rough areas on foot and gain the trust of honest people. If the honest do not trust the Police to protect them, they will not provided information on criminals. The police also need to be free of corruption.
Britain had very low crime until 1939 which increased due to the Black Market in WW2. Until mid 1960s, many ex sergeants from Gards and Royal Marines used to join the Police. They had the advantage of able to remain calm when confronted by violence if needed because theywere large tough men who had been in combat. Police officers who are scared of violent of criminals either under or over react. Sometimes a joke from a tough Police officer an diffuse a situation when the criminal knows he would lose a fight. A criminal who loses a fight to a police officer in public loses his repution for toughness without which people will not obey him out of fear and therefore he will not make money. People become criminals to make money. No criminal can create a protection racket if people say No to them.
When boys when to work at 14 years of age , undertook tough manual work ( mines, construction, steel works, farming, ship yards) and boxed and/or played rugby in the evenings they, were too tired to cause problems. The Devil provides mischief for idle hands.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
4 months ago
Reply to  Bat Manjee

Using “end of” as part of an argument immediately disqualifies that argument, since it’s made with a closed mind. The responses to your comment by others are well-made and should be taken on board.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
4 months ago

Look at it this way: if one had a responsible government running a clean city nearby, it’s good to know that all your drug vermin will just be moving to Frisco. It makes life easier for you.

Rob N
Rob N
4 months ago

No breaking news here but it is just depressing and confusing to see such disaster being enacted and encouraged in California. And then the Californians leave Calif and try to recreate Calif in another state!

mike otter
mike otter
4 months ago

The dream and the nightmare in its final phase. On the plus side i can’t see the nightmare lasting for ever: look at the lefts’ “shock troops” addicts who can’t last a few hours without a fix, corrupt cops (mostly overweight) and libtards who run crying to these cops if you make fun of their stupid fashions and inane slogans. You may recall the clown Tom Morello and his “arm the homeless” slogan? Well if you gave each of these leftists’ proxies a 9mm they’d only pawn it to buy drugs! Evil only thrives when good poeple do nothing and at some point the balance of good people will re-assert themselves.

Last edited 4 months ago by mike otter
nigel roberts
nigel roberts
4 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

Too many of the good people have left.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
4 months ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

Some, unfortunately, to continue more-of-the-same policies in adjacent states.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
4 months ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

You mean rich people?

Richard Stanier
Richard Stanier
4 months ago

Thanks for such an interesting report.

Ali W
Ali W
4 months ago

Neck tattoo guy in the blue suit brought up a very important point. The chaos in major American cities will make citizens more agreeable to authoritarian governance. They will accept anything that lets them walk the streets safely again.
This does feel very much like a red guard/brown shirt precursor to some sinister end.

Emre S
Emre S
4 months ago

Seeing the this supervisor, it’s good to put a face on failure – 14 years of overseeing the worst type of failure with nearly comparatively unlimited funding in SFO: a self-satisfied millionaire absorbed in his vanity. The things he says and does only a very intelligent person would be so stupid to believe them.
This man must be having to step over literally dying people on the streets when he’s visiting his district. His attempts at abstracting the problem and shrugging it off requiring a complete solution reminds me also of one Just Stop Oil activist giving empty stares at the mother screaming at him trying to get her new born to hospital while he’s blocking the road.

Last edited 4 months ago by Emre S
Martin Stillman
Martin Stillman
4 months ago

Good discussion. But I would’ve liked to have heard from the current DA about how she differentiates herself from the previous DA on this topic

CYNTHIA VG
CYNTHIA VG
4 months ago

A ship of fools.

Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
4 months ago

A useful insight into the issue. I noticed that the ‘lack of a coherent plan’ argument applied to all sides of the argument. It would be interesting for Unherd to do a similar inquiry into Lisbon, Portugal (where drugs were legalised on a larger scale starting twenty years ago), yet they don’t have these issues (do they?) – why not? What’s the difference? Go investigate you journalists!

Klive Roland
Klive Roland
4 months ago
Reply to  Zaph Mann

Yes, I was thinking that too. Though, as far as I’m aware, they legalised cannabis in Portugal (not fentanyl??).

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
4 months ago

Thank you for this well-made film, Flo and Freddie.
My question is: Why did you think that interviewing people with different views is a good way to decide what is best? You seem to believe that, being well-meaning, (which you are) that you will be able to ‘see’ what a better answer would be.
There is no evidence that this is a good method. What is needed is an investigation where different places, with different strategies are compared using reliable data.
There are probably studies/academics who have done this.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Bell

The investigation was primarily about raising awareness within a wider audience of what’s happening on the streets (and in the offices) in San Francisco, not an attempt to “decide what is best”. Why do you think that’s what the intention was? Why would anyone think a 43 minute documentary could do that?

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Why do i think so? First, It’s a great film.
However, the description says “Florence Read and Freddie Sayers took a film crew (and an armed security guard) into the Tenderloin district to find out the truth for themselves.”
Second, the narration towards the end at around -02.40 is a clear statement of conclusion.
I happen to agree with the conclusion, but you cannot make it based on a few interviews.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Bell

I think you make a valid point. The film is more of an introductory overview; useful, but not comprehensive or conclusive. Something that can help to refresh a conversation that is too often avoided, or has reached an impasse.

Maximilian R.
Maximilian R.
4 months ago

I very much believe in more liberal drug policies, but it can go too far. I don’t see why you can’t make it illegal to use certain drugs in public, while also allowing them in your own four walls. I don’t see why you can’t have law and order AND offer genuine help to addicts without locking them up.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
4 months ago
Reply to  Maximilian R.

all serious drugs lead to a dead-end life

Maximilian R.
Maximilian R.
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Depends on what is categorized as a serious drug then. But I agree that none of these life-threatening substances should be tolerated in public as seen in the report. I also believe addicts need more help, not more punishment. There should exist an incentive from society to sober up, of course, but there must also exist an approachable way into society after the struggle with drugs is over. Prison does not provide such a reintegration.

Dominic A
Dominic A
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

…and dead-end lives lead to serious drugs.

John Dewhirst
John Dewhirst
4 months ago

Progressives and the absence of civilisation. You could almost say that civilisation has destroyed itself, the ultimate end game. It really is the existential threat of our era, all consuming and unproductive. The contradictions of SF are truly mind boggling and coming to the rest of the free world soon!

Last edited 4 months ago by John Dewhirst
Bill Viall
Bill Viall
4 months ago

That was really great & important reporting. My only niggles is that it wasn’t at least twice as long—perhaps you have a director’s cut up your sleeves?—and there wasn’t more Shellenberger. He is a real gem. At the same time, couldn’t you take Dean Preston with you back to Blighty? London might be too nice. He could work his magic there.
What an incredible story. A collapsing civilization amidst untold wealth, managed by well to-do apparatchiki. “Let them eat opioids.” Thank you Flo & Freddy for great your great work.

Mitchito Ritter
Mitchito Ritter
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill Viall

As a former working-class Northern California No Cal resident who got priced out of being able to afford living near the college I attended at U.C.-Berkeley, then gradually was forced to move further and further into undeveloped areas eventually to the openly impoverished city of PoTown in the state of Oregon as less public transportation became available and I could not afford maintaining even a used decades old car, it should be pointed out the underlying problems to the GLOBAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS are in no way limited to the Neo Feudal Lord Silicon Valley Take-over and Occupation of the once diverse economies of the Bay Area.
London (and Wall Street) have at least as much to do with the GLOBAL CRISIS OF DISPLACEMENT as do any particular localized political policies much less Libertarian v. Social Democratic attitudes.
You, Bill Viall are correct as are the many other reader commenters from across a political spectrum calling for a longer film project to address the complex issues forcing their way into public conscious awareness. Part of what makes UnHerd such a welcome discovery to this news and views hound here in Pay2Play Mass Media Land known as the Winner Take All United States of AmnesiaAlzheimers (kudos to Gore Vidal a very different type of U.S. conservative engaged citizen).
Seek out online films and books and online published Town Hall Meetings and Public Forums with the folks who’ve been studying migratory patterns of labor and what Prof Saskia Sassen of Columbia University refers to in her work as “the Loss of Human Habitat” in all strata of cities the world over. These works will not be brought to you by a Pay2Play Private Interest serving mass media.
See this example, anomalous being in the English language despite being produced for Sweden’s Public Interest TV broadcaster (we have no such Public Broadcasting system in the U.S. where even our so-called Public Broadcasters are underwritten and so captured by corporate interests). A documentary titled PUSH (as in what is happening to working class residents from cities and all sorts of financial level neighborhoods around the world) with such navigators and guides as precisely those academics like Saskia Sassen and Nobel Economics Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz who can’t get arrested (or given any exposure on Pay2Play U.S. News Media) despite spending decades of their careers producing easy to understand explanations for what has caused the “loss of human habitat across the cities of the world.”
This documentary film titled simply PUSH opened on the International Film Festival circuit and drawing unique reviews as you can see searching online, in many languages precisely as the COVID GLOBAL PANDEMIC was shuttering movie theaters and community centers from late 2019 to the present. Also, shutting down debate on pressing and accelerating social ills and so-called Free Market dysfunction.
Opposition to furthering exposure of such resources as this Swedish Public Interest TV documentary in English language would come from any and all who perceive that counter-acting the SCARCITY PRINCIPLE that is viewed as helpful in driving ever upwards property valuations whether those properties are used for affordable housing or not! Also, in attracting to a few mega investor networks those seeking to profit from the SCARE CITY or LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING. Market dysfunction aids those who then have no interest in housing anybody but themselves (and lavishly) via speculation on residential units filling a gaping human necessity that is being starved by ignorance. See also the recent article in The New Yorker by Evan Osnos and aptly coins the phrase of our ruling oligarchs, THE HAVES AND HAVE YACHTS…
Meanwhile the Hoovervilles of Tent Encampments in all sorts of U.S. cities continue to abut the luxury condos cheek by jowl as one can see in the POVERTY PORN dominating You Tube and other online exploiters of misery soon flipped to residential lease-bait luring global capital seeking a safe haven from inflation and other forms of hoarded currency wealth secreted in the Treasure Islands banking and Wealth Management Investment portfolio systems internationally.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6juSABUfnUg
PUSH – ( some excerpts from the documentary )387 subscribers
1,992 views Sep 1, 2021
Some excerpts from the documentary “PUSH” (2019) (full doc @ “Push | TVO Docs” on YouTube) Exploring why people cannot be allowed to live in cities… The high cost of housing and global investment funds that push people to poverty and strip them of a fundamental human right. Producers: Fredrik Gertten, Margarete Jangard Director: Fredrik Gertten From Knowledge Network Aired Feb. 2, 2021 Full documentary can be seen here “Push | TVO Docs” on YouTube:  &nbspcomment image â€ą Push | TVO Docs  
See what we can all do by networking those in need of affordable human housing and in a return to governments producing and maintaining such Housing First Public Interest alternatives to Market Forces that are as ruthless as the terrorist forces we spend our tax money paying Daddy Warbucks to produce at bank-boggling profit margins to protect US from in privatized Washington, London, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Tehran, Moscow, Beijing, Geneva-Zurich, Bonn-Frankfurt, Paris, and of course the ever hustling Benelux and non-state players in the Global Weapons & State Security Market bazaars of our now normalized DISPLACED masses adding to our world of woes.
Mitch RitterParadigm Sifters, Code Shifters, PsalmSong Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
Media Discussion ListLookseeInnerEarsHearHere

Last edited 4 months ago by Mitchito Ritter
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

Then that pencil pusher aka supervisor who blames the police budget for being way too bloated while he himself runs a bureaucratic moloch that burns tons of money and worsens the problems, while having become a millionaire in a position as an administrator. It’s beyond satire. Hopeless.

Last edited 4 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Andrew Dressler
Andrew Dressler
4 months ago

Where is the full video?

Wandal Winn
Wandal Winn
4 months ago

Sad to see. We all know what is going on at the street level but this production provides visualization and documentation. Will it change things? Maybe at best. No one is being held accountable from the highest to the lowest. One comment on production values: You really need to include a Closed Caption feature. Music, sounds and street noise makes it difficult to hear and understand many of the conversations. Thanks for this piece and your good works!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago

‘Darwinian self selection’, why interrupt it, it’s a personal choice.
If freedom means anything, then let them get on with it.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
4 months ago

Yes, yes Charles! ‘decrease the surplus population’ as your role model Ebeneezer said 🙂

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago

Don’t we have the same problem in dear old GLASGOW? But don’t see it because the weather is so foul and everybody is under cover?

Dominic A
Dominic A
4 months ago

and where those with an entreprenerial spirit have been emigrating – for centuries.

Nancy Kmaxim
Nancy Kmaxim
4 months ago

The “supervisor” of the tenderloin district is speaking the mind of a multitude of “progressives and “liberals “, who despise the very people who they use to prop up their fragile egos. ( think Giles Frazier in his own words). Great piece.

Nancy Kmaxim
Nancy Kmaxim
4 months ago

I’m truly sorry to sound so brutal. If we can’t find the strength to be brutal with ourselves, all is lost.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

the decline of western civilisation is on an unstoppable path.

Dominic A
Dominic A
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

and what is your preference?

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
4 months ago

I can’t find the link to this documentary on the Android app.

Andrew R
Andrew R
4 months ago

I found the video in the comments section of “How To Decolonise Britain”.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Thanks for this. But why is it hidden…?

Donal Leader
Donal Leader
4 months ago

Roll on a few years and this will be almost every western city in the world. Refusal to recognise reality carries consequences. We’re doing this to ourselves.

Klive Roland
Klive Roland
4 months ago
Reply to  Donal Leader

Paris already has a mini version of this in the 19th arrondissement near the Stalingrad metro station.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

Why is it relevant that there are “three white gay men” on the council? How twisted is it that sexual orientation is a virtue in public administration rather than a personal matter? It seems to me that everything has to collapse first before these people discover that you cannot run a city by just trying to look virtuous to your inner circle. Moreover, as a European who follows the mayhem in California unfolding, I am quite surprised that there are still people who believe that California is ‘not progressive enough’. Totally deranged.

Last edited 4 months ago by UnHerd Reader
silver puma
silver puma
4 months ago

Heartbreaking, infuriating and bewildering. Thank you, Freddie, Flo, and the others in this video team for a very informative and penetrating slice of actual raw footage. Keep up the wonderful work and I look forward to more similar videos in the future.

Steve Cobb
Steve Cobb
4 months ago

Shellenberger’s calling San Francisco “libertarian” got a belly laugh from me. If SF were a libertarian Mecca, libertarians wouldn’t be moving from there (and California generally) to New Hampshire and Florida.
If the problem is fentanyl and meth, the libertarian solution would be to legalize heroin and cocaine. If the problem is the high cost of housing, the libertarian solution would be to deregulate it. If the problem is police costing a lot and not doing their job, the libertarian solution would be to privatize policing and hold companies contractually accountable. Libertarian solutions don’t involve high taxes and government intrusion. Whatever you think about libertarian solutions, there aren’t any on SF’s horizon.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

The societal rot in SF is perfectly personified by a culture that thinks it’s kind to enable addiction yet thinks it’s justified to resist building affordable housing. And this is what happens when hedonistic libertarians take over because libertarianism is the most morally bankrupt political philosophy of all. It combines the worst instincts of the right- zero morals on economics- with the worst instincts on the left- zero morals on personal conduct. Unsurprisingly, the net result of a zero morals culture is societal collapse.

Last edited 4 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
4 months ago

More of the same, I say!

Charley Cropley
Charley Cropley
4 months ago

Very well done, Freddy and team. The causes of homelessness have deep roots in our individual and social behavior. Each of us must learn how to heal those roots in our personal lives and, in so doing, we gain the wisdom and power to heal as a culture. God bless you for the good you are doing. Your are a saint, albeit an all too human saint.

Nathan Ngumi
Nathan Ngumi
4 months ago

Very interesting!

Michael Wicksteed
Michael Wicksteed
4 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Ngumi

I’d agree with you, Nathan. I just thought I might put it out there,(and I apologise to all the contributors: I couldn’t get through all the posts),that the excellent HBO series ‘The Wire’ had an insightful season on this theme…anybody else remember that? Spoiler alert: It didn’t work out very well.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
4 months ago

Fabulous piece. The US is usually the future of the Euro West. Saw all this coming in NY and Philadelphia in the early1990s as we worked on reforming Russia, which did not want to be remade in the image of the U.S.

Last edited 4 months ago by Andrew Boughton
Bernard Bee
Bernard Bee
4 months ago

I am a subscriber yet am not being allowed access to the film. Any suggestions?

Emre S
Emre S
4 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Bee

Are you using the app? You need to use the web browser to get the video I find.

Klive Roland
Klive Roland
4 months ago
Reply to  Emre S

Same for me. Very annoying.

Deborah Dawkin
Deborah Dawkin
4 months ago

Just talent you to the fact the video stopped about 5 mins in.

Peter Forsythe
Peter Forsythe
4 months ago

Question for the Super of Tenderloin: San Fran is not the only city of this size in the US. There are many others that are doing much better. What’s the difference? Why San Fran the worst?

Howard S.
Howard S.
4 months ago

Tyrants always take advantage of, or create if necessary, social disruption and chaos, leaving a vacuum that makes it possible for them to step in and take over. Hitler is a case in point – used the SA and Ernst Roehm to turn the streets of Berlin into violent battlegrounds. Stalin, who was quoted as saying “the road to communism in Germany is through Hitler”, was well aware of this, and sent KGB assassin, Erich Mielke, to Berlin to murder the Berlin police chief, an arch enemy of both the communists and the nazis in early 1930’s Berlin. Mielke later became head of the East German STASI, and, after the fall of the GDR, was put on trial for the murder of the Berlin police chief sixty years before. Before Hitler there were Lenin and Trotsky, who took advantage of the chaos after the fall of the Czar and the incompetence of the Kerensky government to seize power. Now, here in the USA, we have the Swamp masters – Soros, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Sulzberger, Gates and Bezos – encouraging and financing our own societal collapse: men can become women, women can become men, men can have babies, mathetmatics and literacy are racist white constructs created to keep people of color down, etc., the end result will be them or their sock puppets in complete control and the United States as their personal cash cow and profit center.

Last edited 4 months ago by Howard S.
Klive Roland
Klive Roland
4 months ago

Interesting – if biased – film.
I can’t help feeling that part of the problem is that addicts from all over the US are flocking to SF because it is the most permissive city; if other places had a similar approach we might not see this concentration of misery in SF. In Europe, Amsterdam has long had problems with recreational drug users from neighbouring countries causing chaos for residents as they come over in droves to get stoned or to ‘visit’ the red light district.
I agree with the ‘supervisor’ that the problem is essentially one of capitalism, a system in which there are winners and losers. It is undeniable that simply arresting and jailing users for a few nights is a total waste of everyone’s time. Deeper, enforced rehab programmes could be interesting but would cost a fortune and everything would hinge on the rates of recidivism observed in those coming out of such programmes.

Doug Bodde
Doug Bodde
3 months ago

That is the perfect conclusion by these bright, young, British journalists. This is a moral crisis with a dark outlook.

Jeff Harper
Jeff Harper
3 months ago

Great doc, but please get a wireless handheld mic for street interviews 🙂

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

did you take down the video? I just subscribed and I can’t watch it, the video doesn’t seem to be attached to the page https://unherd.com/2023/12/the-battle-for-san-francisco/

angusmckscunjwhich
angusmckscunjwhich
4 months ago

Your two “inherited wealth” investigators have to do more than take off their Apple watches to make me think they actually care about these people outside of their use value for shitting on progressives.

In every city in the Western world tents are popping up and entrepreneurs and hipsters, like your two presenters, are trying to ignore their existence as it stains their impeccable life. This is not only progressives, they are just the ones that feel guilty as they do it.

It is tragic that your presenters think that their guilded ignorance and spoilt imaginations can give them a clear analysis of the situation.

This has nothing to do with leftwing politics this is from an ideology of pure competition where the winners win not only wealth but the right to have dehumanising contempt for those who fail. This is an ideology who’s origin is the stock market floor. Don’t pay lip services to left wing compassion to critique it’s responses to the consequences of capitalism’s heartlessness. Criticising a response to a problem as if it is the cause is a very good definition of a bad faith argument. Well done for targeting a “progressive” city. Yes being progressive isn’t enough, being “liberal” is not enough, you can’t airbrush out the consequences of capitalisms destruction of nature and society.

Criticising making accessible drug paraphernalia is how you create an AIDS epidemic but I guess you know that from your business management MA…

Thinking that law and order is a response to dehumanising treatment is itself a moralising gesture that allows you to ignore the real origins of this plague: your way of life. Prison is dehumanising, how can it be a response to a group that are already dehumanised. You want a real response? The end of capitalism. The end of this ideology of pure competition, of profit above people. It also betrays your Neo Liberalism, that always seeks to reduce the state to its authoritarian core of law and order, leaving society to implode peacefully and hopefully keep you safe in your gated communities whilst it’s happening. Happy dystopia!

Last edited 4 months ago by angusmckscunjwhich