Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Our "bothersome" elections

London Breed's photo-op

Worst metaphor of the year: Chronicle reporter Heather Knight compares local elections to a "bothersome panhandler":

It may seem like that crowded, somewhat nasty mayor's race---replete with accusations of voter fraud and bizarre unauthorized biographies---just ended and that another election season couldn't possibly be approaching. But this is San Francisco, and like a bothersome panhandler, election season always lurks just around the corner.

Knight tells us about a possible challenger to District One's Eric Mar:

Another rumored possibility is Rodney Fong, president of the planning commission and---we love this---owner of the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf. Would a Supervisor Fong commission wax replicas of his colleagues and seat them in the chambers? Would anybody notice the difference?

If she can't control her contempt for the people and the process she'll be covering for the Chronicle, maybe Knight needs a new assignment.

Knight also tells us that London Breed's campaign for District 5 Supervisor "is being run by the same team that helped George Gascon win the district attorney's race."

Before Knight is reassigned to the Style section, maybe she can call the city coroner and check on Gascon's cover story on why his office didn't bring charges until the day after the election on the cyclist who last July ran down the pedestrian on the Embarcadero.

Did Gascon's campaign "team" advise him to delay charges until after the election to avoid antagonizing the city's bike people?

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22 Comments:

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remove the f'ing tin foil hat. There is no conspiracy about the cyclist who hit and killed the pedestrian.

You should be upset about the very real situation in this city in which NO drivers are ever charged with a crime for hitting a pedestrian and it happens several times a month, not once a decade.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Thanks for letting me know what I should be upset about. Actually, there is an organization concerned about the well-being of pedestrians. It's called Walk SF, but the woman leading it is more anti-car than she is pro-pedestrian.

Yes, as a pedestrian I can testify that it can be dangerous on city streets, but a lot of pedestrians act like they're oblivious to the dangers.

Still not clear why it took so many months for the D.A. to deal with the case. And we're supposed to believe that it was a coincidence that the charges were filed the day after election?

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger Nato said...

It's true that once I started biking to work I stopped thinking bicyclists should ever be held accountable for anything, and obviously would vote against, or even assassinate, and prosecutor who dared charge a cyclist with a crime. We of the 12000 musketeers stick together.

Seriously, Rob, you seem to view bicyclists as a monolith of extremists, which I find bizarre. I have definitely encountered a fringe-ish biker here and there, and there are definitely a bunch of kids (and homeless folks) who bike like total fools, but most bicyclists are pretty ordinary people, so far as I can tell. If there's a conspiracy, it's one without a rational motive.

 
At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are bitching about a splinter as you are getting beat with a 2x4.

There was a death, so I'm sure that means the DA takes a bit longer to process the case. Again, you need to take off the tin foil hat. There is no conspiracy.

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, you're not paying attention. The D.A.'s cover story is that he didn't get the coroner's report until just before the election, and then his office processed it immediately. My point in this post: if reporters like Knight ask the coroner what his story is, it would have been helpful in avoiding suspicion. The accident happened in July, and the D.A. didn't get the coroner's report until November. Wouldn't the D.A. call the coroner and ask him what the delay was?

It doesn't require much of a conspiracy to arrange a tardy report. A wink and a nod will do. It's just stupid to accept this at face value.

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Seriously, Rob, you seem to view bicyclists as a monolith of extremists, which I find bizarre. ...there are definitely a bunch of kids (and homeless folks) who bike like total fools, but most bicyclists are pretty ordinary people...If there's a conspiracy, it's one without a rational motive."

Seems like you're commenting on the wrong post. Besides, I've never claimed that the Critical Mass, Punks on Bikes behavior is characteristic of a majority of cyclists in SF. But they surely represent a significant minority, and even "ordinary people" cyclists seem to be in a frantic rush to get to their destination, which leads to running stop signs---running stop "signage"?---riding on sidewalks, the wrong way on one-way streets, etc.

But the real problem is just the sheer speed of many cyclists, which like with motorists, reduces their margin for error and also puts others at risk.

 
At 10:12 PM, Blogger Nato said...

Apparently I need to connect the dots. In order for there to be a political motive for delaying the report or an indictment, there must be a sizable bloc of voters who would object to a cyclist being charged in the collision. This is implausible. Even if I grant that there a a large number of heedless bicyclists, it does not follow that there is a large number who think bicyclists should be held harmless if they kill someone in a collision, or become angry at the prosecution of a cyclist who had in fact killed someone.

A much more plausible motive: the election kept the D.A. busy and so the case moved slowly.

As and aside, "running stop signage" would describe a mass of red metal octagons sprinting, but wouldn't be a correct way of describing failing to heed a traffic sign.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bikes and pedestrians do not mix. Bikers riding the Panhandle go too fast, not all of them,but I would say 60%. Slow down!

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Like Anon, you're not focusing on the fact that the delay allegedly happened in the coroner's office, not in the D.A.'s office. Besides, Gascon doesn't litigate cases himself; he has a large staff to do that. He's the head administrator---and, as an elected official, a politician.

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger Nato said...

I shouldn't have offered an alternative explanation, because clearly it just confused things. I have very little idea of how such cases work and I didn't at all mean it as "here's what I think *really* happened." It's just that it seems like there's innumerable other possible reasons why the case took a little longer that do not require the preposterous belief that Gascon was somehow afraid of outrage amongst cyclists at the prospect of a prosecution.

 
At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's called Walk SF, but the woman leading it is more anti-car than she is pro-pedestrian.

Her name is Elizabeth Stampe. You know that. Using "the woman" is a tactic to denigrate her, typical of attacks that are sexist in nature. Dovetails with your general tenor that Mirkarimi is being railroaded.

I eagerly await your blog post on why Rush Limbaugh is being unfairly targeted because of his calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute"

 
At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the real problem is just the sheer speed of many cyclists, which like with motorists, reduces their margin for error and also puts others at risk.

Interesting. How do on the one hand you claim that cyclists screw up traffic by slowing it down, and on the other hand you claim they have "sheer speed".

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Another stupid comment, Anon. We can see why you don't put your name on your comments. The "sheer speed" comment is about the individual behavior of a lot of cyclists. It's taking away traffic lanes on busy streets that slows traffic, and taking away street parking forces people to circle around neighborhoods looking for a space.

And then there's Critical Mass, the monthly demo wherein the city's bike people deliberately make it harder for people---in cars and on Muni---to get home from work.

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Using the word "woman" is derogatory? What crap! Nor do I claim that Mirkarimi is being railroaded. I just think he's innocent until proven guilty, and the anti-domestic abuse folks don't seem to see it that way. Nor of course do I condone Rush Limbaugh on Fluke or anything else. I liked that President Obama called Fluke to lend his support.

I know you're desperate to find any stick to beat with me, but this won't do, moron. Keep trying!

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just think he's innocent until proven guilty, and the anti-domestic abuse folks don't seem to see it that way.

How so?

 
At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you're desperate to find any stick to beat with me

by the way, the Chavez lanes are going in... as will Masonic and Fell/Oak.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"How so?"

If you're going to make comments, especially stupid comments, it would help if made an effort to inform yourself first.

An earlier post on the issue.

 
At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just think he's innocent until proven guilty, and the anti-domestic abuse folks don't seem to see it that way.

Guilty implies conviction implies jail. Show one piece of evidence that anyone thinks he should go to jail.

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Jail seems unlikely and isn't the worst outcome for Mirkarimi, which would being removed as sheriff and probably the end of his political career. Since he's been barred from seeing his wife, one wonders too about his marriage, since a domestic quarrel is what triggered these events. As a father myself, I bet he worries most about the well-being of his son and their future relationship.

 
At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just think he's innocent until proven guilty.

Can we end this now?

Mirkarimi pleads guilty to misdemeanor.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/12/BANT1NJH74.DTL

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Good. Now we can focus on all his political clones running for District 5 Supervisor.

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, you need to run! Put the bike plan on the ballot! Please, for all of who drive. Fight the fight! Stop City Hall from looting us further!

 

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