can eclipse all else. For instance, facingrnminimal protest. Mayor Frank Jordan isrngoing through with his “Matrix” programrnto get certain street people, manyrnof whom can be downright menacing,rnoff the streets.rnMeal-ticket civil libertarians and radicalrnclergy have been thrown into a predictablerntizzy. But their rallies havernfailed to draw any significant numbers.rnOne overnight protest in front of CityrnHall attracted a crowd of only 250, slimrnpickings for a city with a tradition ofrndrawing throngs for any demonstrationrndemanding “social justice” from CityrnHall’s coffers. The next day’s account ofrnthe protest in the Chronicle spells outrnwhy, as the Reverend Robert McAfeernBrown of Palo Alto’s First PresbyterianrnChurch showed just how divorced fromrnstreet life some homeless activists are:rn”We want to make an act of solidarityrnwith homeless people,” he said.rnBut if that’s really the case, then, asrnanyone who works in the City Hall arearnor has to walk through it can tell you, thernReverend Brown ought to be sipping solidarityrnfrom a quart malt liquor bottle orrnsmoking it from a crack pipe only a hundredrnyards away from City Hall on thernsteps of the emergency exits from thernCivic Auditorium. If the reverend wantedrnto save souls, this would be an excellentrnplace to start. To get to these homelessrnhe would have to skip over brokenrnbottles, streams of urine, and litter of allrnkinds, including the occasional soiledrncondom and used syringe. But by thenrnhe might even have second thoughtsrnabout Matrix, which links the self-destructivernand disoriented to social servicesrnand puts criminals with outstandingrnwarrants in jail.rnSan Franciscans have suffered a compassionrnbreakdown, which is evident byrnthe pathetic anti-Matrix effort—and thernamazing tough talk by the city’s mainstreamrnmedia. The usually liberal SanrnFrancisco Examiner, for instance, soundedrndownright traditionalist—echoing thernBushian “points of light” voluntarism—rnin an editorial entitled “Don’t Give tornBeggars.” “Some [on the streets] arernhard-luck eases. Some are afflicted withrnmultiple ailments. And some are simplyrnparasites,” the editorial read. “No cityrnshould have to endure legions of beggars.rn. . . Give to Glide Memorial. Givernto St. Anthony’s. Give to St. Martin dernPorres. Give to the Salvation Army. . . .rnDon’t give to beggars.”rnShould it make the streets even remotelyrnmore hospitable to the workingrnand tax-paying populace. Matrix mayrnwin Jordan, a moderate Democrat sufferingrnfrom low numbers in popularityrnpolls, a second term. In contrast, formerrnmayor Art Agnos let the homeless haverntheir way, and what aptly came to bernknown as “Camp Agnos,” a homelessrnHooverville, sprang up in front of CityrnHall, causing a long-running nationalrnembarrassment to the city. Compared tornAgnos’s homeless policies. Matrix representsrnthe most responsive governmentrnSan Francisco has seen in years, even if,rnas the far-left San Franciscart BayrnGuardian has reported, “Only about 100rnof the more than 7,000 homeless peoplerncited, arrested, or fined since the programrnbegan last August have actuallyrnbeen taken off the street.”rnBut absolute numbers don’t count.rnIntent does. Jordan, a career cop, as opposedrnto Agnos, a career activist and liberalrnapparatchik (he’s now the regionalrndirector for HUD!), makes the distinctionrnany average man on the streetrnwould: “I separate homeless and streetrnpeople,” he told the Examiner in earlyrnJanuary. “We should be sympathetic tornthose who are down and out and needrnhelp for a variety of reasons. But therernare others who take advantage of all of us,rnincluding the homeless.”rnNo doubt some on the streets mayrnhave turned to crime or landed there becausernof hard times—the usual activistrnjag deceitfully lays all blame for thernhomeless on the “cold-hearted Reagan-rnBush years”—but with the second yearrnof the Clinton enlightenment now virtuallyrnover, even most bleeding heartsrnwould have to agree that booze, dope,rnand the dole have more to do with criminalityrnand life on the streets than doesrnthe labor market.rnNow, sandwiched between randomrnviolent crime and streets more desperaternthan many in the Third World, SanrnFranciscans are proving even liberals canrnbe pushed only so far. Other progressiverncities said to be studying Matrix includernPortland and Seattle. Can the day be farrnoff when progressives realize good intentionsrnand even more government servicesrnaren’t enough for a civil society?rn—Jim ChristiernO B I T E R DICTA: Back in the Midwest,rnstores in the St. Louis area thatrncarry Chronicles include; World News, 4rnSouth Central in Clayton, Missouri;rnPiece of Mind Books,’230 South BuchananrnStreet in Edwardsville, Illinois;rnand B. Dalton Booksellers, D-466 St.rnLouis Center in the city itself.rnAlso, we have received a number ofrncomplaints from subscribers who havernfailed to receive one or more issues ofrnChronicles, and we have traced the problemrnto the Chicago Post Office; KablernNews Company, our mailing house, hasrnbeen sending the issues out as usual.rnBlame government bureaucracy, blamernaffirmative action, but please don’trnblame us. Do let us know, however, ifrnyou haven’t received an issue, and wernwill put another copy in the mail for you.rn(Call our customer service departmentrnat 800-877-5459.) We apologize for therninconvenience.rnPrincipalities & Powersrnby Samuel FrancisrnThe Abortion GambitrnTrying to be the chief intellectual in thernRepublican Party is probably a little likerntrying to be an admiral in the Swiss navy.rnbut in the last year or so, that is more or ident’s chief of staff in the dark age ofrnless what Bill Kristol has become. Thernson of neoconservative godfather IrvingrnKristol, young Bill made his bones byrnbilling himself as the brains behind DanrnQuayle, when he served as the Vice PresthernBush era. With the astute sense forrnthe Main Chance we have come to expectrnfrom agents of the neoconservativernmafia, Mr. Kristol seemed able to makerncertain that every news story that saidrnOCTOBER 1994/9rnrnrn