Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Barack Obama: Patron Saint of San Francisco?

Obama fever has overtaken San Francisco. Undeterred by the conspiracy theories, hatred, and vitriol spewed by Obama's 20-year "like an uncle to me" pastor, Jeremiah Wright, local liberals are in thrall to their perceived savior. They seem to think that every problem, no matter how trivial, can be solved by Saint Obama.

As a case in point, an elderly man I was chatting with yesterday at a city bus stop about MUNI delays (a time-honored tradition in San Francisco) concluded by stating, "I hope Obama gets elected so these things will be fixed." So, along with ending poverty and creating world peace, Obama's going to make the buses run on time.

Playing devil's advocate, I responded, "He's not the Second Coming, you know," to which the man responded, "yes, but neither is she, or he," referring to Hillary Clinton and John McCain. "But no politician is," I answered, "and this is a local issue, anyway." "I'm just sick of this world, he said, sighing, "and Obama can fix it."

Given that the bus arrived seconds later, perhaps he was onto something.

Even children are getting in on the act. Earlier this week, a friend and I emerged from a movie theater only to run into a man walking down the street holding his toddler and instructing the little tyke to "say Obama, say O-B-A-M-A."

Nothing like starting them young.

Then there was the cab driver on the way back from the Caltrain station last month who spent the entire trip assailing me with visions of how Obama was going to "fight the corporations" and "end the war."

Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Obama!

But a dinner in the Castro District with three liberal, Jewish friends last week was truly enlightening. All three had decided that Obama's apology speech was the most brilliant thing they'd ever heard and, subsequently, all was forgiven in regards to the pesky intrusion of the unsavory Rev. Wright.

I injected some counterpoints, but to no avail. Neither the rabid anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan, receiving an award from Trinity United Church, Obama's unbelievable claims never to have heard the objectionable sermons at hand, nor the discord between Obama's "post-racial" image and Wright's brand of black nationalism would sway them.

"He's starting a really important dialogue," one of them insisted, apparently buying into the idea that it is white people, and not the black people attending churches such as Trinity, who have a problem with race in America. "Who's holding up a dialogue?" I asked, pointing out that it was hardly the 1950s anymore. "That kind of victimhood doesn't help black people anyway," I added.

But, again, it made no difference. Apparently, Obama is going to eliminate racism too.

Indeed, here in San Francisco, it seems that Saint Obama is going to solve all our problems. God help us.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Guest on Arthur Bruzzone's "San Francisco/Unscripted"

I'm a guest this week on the weekly television show, "San Francisco/Unscripted" (companion blog here). Host, Arthur Bruzzone, and I discuss my SFGate column, "Homeless By the Bay," as well as my political evolution, views as a local, and writing. Above all, we focus on the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of homelessness in San Francisco.

The show is available to San Francisco viewers on Comcast cable channel 11, as well as via "On Demand" (detailed instructions are posted at the website). The San Francisco schedule is as follows:

Wednesdays: 7:30 PM
Thursdays: 6:30 PM
Fridays: 8:00 PM
Sundays: 8:00 PM

The show will air Bay Area wide over the next two weeks on Thursdays at approximately 7pm (various channels).

For non-Comcast customers or those outside the Bay Area, the interview will become available in streaming video format, both at the show website, and, eventually, via Google Video, over the next two weeks.

Check the "San Francisco/Unscripted" website for futher information, and I'll post whatever updates become available here at my blog.

Note: The information above has been updated since first posted.

Update (3/27): Very kind words about my work from Arthur Bruzzone at the "San Francisco/Unscripted" blog. Click here to read.