Wednesday, April 28, 2010

John Murphy: "You made yourself into a pariah..."



















John Murphy is a good example of the San Francisco progressive mindset. He is, first of all, a bike guy, which is obligatory for city progs. (If you don't actually ride a bike, you have to give lip-service to the cause, money to the Bicycle Coalition---or both.) Murph has been commenting here for months, mostly about the great, planet-saving bike movement. He's a bit of a dim bulb, so it's not surprising that he's the Bicycle Coalition's Bike Commuter of the Year.

Every now and then Murph strays from his central concern and favors us with some opinions on other topics. Here, he sneers at the very notion that the exalted editors at Beyond Chron should respond to my simple question: "Beyond Chron rightly criticizes the National Day of Prayer but has yet to mention Comedy Central's censorship of South Park after threats from Islamic fanatics. What's the deal?"

Murph's response:

Come on, you think those guys want to give you an audience? You picked your battle, made yourself into a pariah, not the other way around. BeyondChron has no obligation to give you airtime. Doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, if they agree with you or not. That letter arrived and they sent it to the circular file once they saw the "From" line. That's life in the big city.

Oh Murph, you're so cute when you try to talk tough! I "picked my battle"? Are you referring to the successful litigation against the city that's delaying implementation of the Bicycle Plan? What exactly does that have to do with the intimidation of the media by Islamic extremists? Right, I almost forgot: it's all about bikes. Actually, I don't think Randy Shaw cares much about bikes. At least he's never shown much interest in your cause in the past, which is to his credit. No, it's my criticism of his brand of "progressive" journalism that rankles.

Not giving me "airtime," as you put it, is one reason for his not publishing the letter, though he's published my letters before. The bigger problem Shaw---or whoever is making the call---has is that it's a question that's hard for them to answer plausibly, given the publishing history of BeyondChron. They could give me the kind of answer that Bruce Brugmann of the Guardian gave me several years ago when I asked him something similar, but that wouldn't be very convincing.

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17 Comments:

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then more little, annoying childish thing about Murphy. He brags about how he was made "bicycle commuter of the year", by whoever.

So what, who cares?

But it's exactly the kind of smug, smarmy crap a little bratty 9 year old would brag about to his friends: "look at me, I'm so damn special".

"You MUST ride a bike too, and become just like me. Or the world is going to hell.."

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, if they agree with you or not."

This confirms what we already know about Murph's intellectual standards: the facts don't really matter when making political judgments.

 
At 1:35 PM, Anonymous kwk said...

This guy is a typical newcomer to the City who brings with him ideas formed in the suburbs and wants hip urban living ("life in the big city") to be just like those suburbs only better.

In Noe Valley sMurph is part of a movement of the newcomers which just reversed a ban on restaurants, a ban put in place in the late 1980s but based on ideas from the 1970s.

Typical of his newcomer lack of historical perspective sMurph thinks that the 1987 restaurant ban was to prevent MacDonald's and KFC from moving into NV. It wasn't.
The idea of a restaurant ban began in the 1970s when Union Street was a SF hot spot (Perry's, et al.) and locals in Pac Heights/ Cow Hollow suddenly couldn't get to their neighborhood shops because of all the cars driving in from elsewhere.

Thus the 24th Street restaurant ban was in response to what happened on Union St. and was meant to keep cars out!. Yet sMurph is fighting to make 24th Street a new destination for the SF foodies. Apparently he's all for more cars in his neighborhood!

sMurph is also leading a charge to completely block off Noe Street for a pocket park which will also increase traffic congestion. And of course he'll be long gone when the mess his kind make needs to be cleaned up.

Way to go, newcomer!

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

kwk - please go to the Noe Valley Law office and tell Bob Roddick he is a newcomer. I'm sure he'll be amused.

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

Good comments about smurph. I did'nt realize, but suspected, he was a newcomer from the suburbs..thanks for letting us know..

and, yes, smurph really has no idea the amount of traffic congestion this little park, temporary or permanent, would cause to 24th st. and the surrounding streets.

Basically, he and his suburban group want a convenient place to park their kiddy strollers and let their dogs run off leash. There are already places for that, trouble is, he wants to take over a public street for that little pleasure.

Actually TAKE OVER a public street!!

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

And the most salient fact about Murph is that he's a bike nut, which means being anti-car in SF. The core mission of the bike people is to make it as difficult and expensive as possible to drive in SF, even though there are 461,827---the latest count from the DMV---registered motor vehicles in the city; 30,000 people commute into SF to work every weekday; there are 1,000 Muni vehicles on our streets and 1,500 taxis; all our goods are delivered by trucks; and millions of tourists drive into and around the city every year.

 
At 6:05 PM, Anonymous kwk said...

From a MercNews article about CalTrans budget cuts: John Murphy says that "midday cuts would be "horrible" and would force him and his wife to buy a second car." He is quoted, "My wife is in marketing — all her jobs are up (in San Francisco)."
Link Here
So according to Murphy his wife uses a car to get around in the Transit First city of San Francisco! Weird.

(sidenote: on the phone poles of Valencia St. are City notices that a portion of the street curb space of almost every block from 24th to 20th is being repainted to be reserved for bicycle parking.)

 
At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why is it not possible for his wife to use a bike to get around for work in San Francisco?

She must be exempt from his fanatical rantings about cycling as the ONLY way to travel anywhere in The City.

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Michael Baehr said...

Apparently, the rest of us are exempt, too, since Murph never stated that cycling was "the ONLY way to travel anywhere in The City". Cut it out with the strawmen, already.

The only supremacists are the ones who refuse to consider any alternative other than the mighty automobile.

Something about taking a tiny fraction of space from cars and reserving it for another transportation mode makes your blood BOIL.

BTW Rob, when will you write about me?

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You never say anything that's particularly interesting or informed. For example, the issue isn't about "taking a tiny fraction of space from cars" to make bike lanes. You have to take a space that's at least five feet wide to make a bike lane, which means you either have to take away parking space or an entire traffic lane on our busy city streets to make bike lanes for an obnoxious minority of cyclists. Otherwise, hey, I think it's a great idea.

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Michael Baehr said...

Well, you know me, Rob. I actually do want to see all 441,541 parking spaces in SF gone. Each and every one! DOWN WITH PETROLFASCISM! ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY BICYCLE! CRIPPLES TO THE CURB!

Thankfully for all of us the city's plan is substantially less ambitious. You would know that, having read it. That's what I mean by a "fraction of space". A fraction of the city's vast array of parking spaces and traffic lanes will be reconfigured in order to accommodate an alternative form of transportation.

Taking a minority of space to serve a minority, by the way, makes good mathematical sense.

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to go enjoy some gulf shrimp sauteed in delicious light, sweet crude...

 
At 4:03 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"A fraction of the city's vast array of parking spaces and traffic lanes will be reconfigured in order to accommodate an alternative form of transportation."

You persist in describing the situation as some kind of math problem, but taking away that "fraction" of space can have large, undesirable, and politically unsustainable consequences. Mayor Newsom has made some cautious statements about being ready to reverse the project where it causes too much disruption to normal city traffic. The EIR itself tells us that the Plan is going to have "significant unavoidable consequences" on a number of streets and even Muni lines, which already have some serious on-time problems. If the city insists on screwing up our traffic after the warnings in their own EIR, it could have some interesting political consequences. And city politicians---Newsom himself has mentioned this---are mindful of the kind of political shitstorm that was provoked last year in Oakland, when their city council pushed through a change in parking meter hours in downtown Oakland.

The big concern is with busy streets like Second Street, Fifth Street, Masonic Avenue, and Cesar Chavez. It remains to be seen how---or even if---the Bicycle Plan will be applied to the streets of the city. We have challenged the legal adequacy of the EIR on the Bicycle Plan---it is flawed in many ways---and the hearing is scheduled for early June, when the issue will be dumped in Judge Busch's lap.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll admit that murph never actually "said" that we should all ride bikes in the city..But he sure would prefer it that way. He's an extremely arrogant, self-centered,narrow minded person. Go read his latest rant in the Noe Valley Voice about the proposed street closure and plaza on Noe at 24th.

He adamantly states that he is "right" and "special"..The plaza is the ONLY right thing to do, according to him.

Truly arrogant and offensive. I honestly wish he would move back to the suburbs. Living CLOSE to where you work is actually the correct way to reduce your carbon footprint enormously.

But he doesn't get that part.

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger The Prince said...

Damn, so this is Rob that John Murphy was talking about. Didn't know he was a known quantity.

He's been talking smack at me on twitter and mocking me for being from Alabama....I wonder if he's as brave in person.

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Who are you talking about, me or Murphy? And you can write "shit" in your comments, Prince.

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger The Prince said...

Sorry, Murphy...John Murphy... That guy's kind of a hypocritical asshole.

Shit, shit, shit!

Feels good...I like your style already.

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger The Prince said...

Talking about Murphy.

 

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