Monday, November 19, 2018

President Bone Spur knocks military hero

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Facebook leans out

From today's NY Times:

Perhaps we should add “Destroy” to the alliteration. Did we expect a generation of younger corporate owners and investors, having made their money so large and fast, to somehow live up to the values expressed in their TED Talking enthusiasms?

For all their world-changing identification, they are reproducing the social destruction so perfected by their corporate elders — that is, to brand themselves as do-gooders while working feverishly to prevent policy changes that would restrict, in any way, their ability to mine profits from ventures that are in direct conflict with their acclaimed values.

As long as corporate culture embraces growth through profit as the ultimate criterion for success, and our politicians take a share of the winnings as the price of their support, we will continue down this slide. 

Facebook, Google, Amazon — they are merely the most recent players in the big Monopoly game that is our financial culture, and I thank the journalists who have been tracking their double-dealing. At least we know who the players are in the game of destruction.

Liane Collins

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Billion dollar bike path? "Shit happens" resizeimage
From Hoodline:

It's long been a dream for pedestrians and cyclists. But unless you've got wheels, making a trip across the Bay Bridge remains an impossibility.

I've never heard anyone but bike lobbyists "dream" about a bike path across the bridge (see Bay Bridge 'bike path to nowhere' from 2011):

When the bridge's new east span opened in 2013, the 15-foot-wide shared-use path that debuted with it was essentially a "bridge to nowhere." Later in 2016, the path was extended as far as Yerba Buena Island. But there still isn't a clear way to bike or walk into San Francisco from the East Bay.

And there never will be in the foreseeable future, since the cost for that project is prohibitive. Even the 2011 story in the Chronicle linked above projected the cost of that project might be as much as $1 billion. 

The Bicycle Coalition was undaunted by a more recent estimate of $500-$550 million. Would a billion dollars be too much for the Bicycle Coalition?

I've been posting about this issue since 2007, and the projected price on this project has grown from $200 million, to $550 million, to $1 billion! 

Surely this project is a bridge too far even for the Bay Area? Nope. 

Recall the immortal words of Governor Jerry Brown when the eastern span project ballooned out of control: "Shit happens."

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

City Hall praises departing CFO---and itself

Photo: Kevin Hume, SF Examiner

Her[Sonali Rose's] financial reforms doubled SFMTA’s budget so it could run more buses and trains than ever before in The City’s history. Her SF Park program pioneered dynamic meter pricing. She created the agency’s first-ever rainy day reserve fund and secured funding for the billion-dollar Central Subway. Her financial stewardship led SFMTA to carry the highest credit rating of any public transit agency in the United States.

Is Muni running "more buses and trains than ever before"? Like to see some numbers on that claim. Typical that Rodriguez didn't press Rose or the MTA for that information. 

Providing more money for the Central Subway is a mixed blessing, since that project began as an unnecessary boondoggle, though it may eventually redeem itself if/when it's extended to Fisherman's Wharf.

It's good that Rose helped put the system on a solid financial footing, but as of 2017 the SFMTA had 6,387 employees. If there are 2,200 drivers, what do the rest of those people do?

The agency has a $1.2 billion operating budget and a $600 million capital budget.

All Rodriguez's quotations for this story are from essentially self-serving sources: Peskin, Wiener, and Reiskin. See what a great job Rose---and by extension, we---are doing!

Next time he talks to Reiskin, maybe Rodriguez can get him to explain why the new, $26 million Masonic Avenue is attracting so few cyclists to its gaudy green bike lanes.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Trump and the party of hate

Kevin Drum

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Party of hate homophobes defeated

Republican Dana Rohrabacher, who was first elected to Congress in 1988, lost his re-election bid last week to Democrat Harley
From the Huffington Post:

Dana Rohrabacher, the 15-term Republican incumbent washed away by Democratic challenger Harley Rouda when the blue wave came ashore in Southern California’s 48th Congressional District last week, isn’t your average homophobic extremist.

He is, in fact, an architect of the decades-long battle against LGBTQ rights and a politician, among many others, whose bigotry is partly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people from AIDS.

Rohrabacher was a lieutenant of President Ronald Reagan throughout his two terms as a speechwriter and special assistant, helping Reagan court the evangelical right, which Reagan has been credited with bringing into politics. Reagan, bowing to the zealots from whom he helped amass enormous power (power they still wield with President Donald Trump), was among the most anti-gay presidents in history, ignoring the AIDS epidemic until far too late...

In Minnesota, Rep. Jason Lewis, a Republican who equated gay couples with rapists, lost his House seat to Democrat Angie Craig ― the first lesbian mom elected to Congress.

In another case of poetic justice, openly bisexual California Democrat Katie Hill defeated Republican House member Steve Knight, who supported Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, and voted against banning “ex-gay” therapy during his time in the California Senate. His father, Pete Knight, spearheaded a precursor to Prop 8 ― the anti-gay Knight Initiative, a 2000 ballot measure — as a state senator. Even after his own brother, David Knight, came out as gay, Steve Knight carried on his dad’s hateful tradition.

In Georgia’s now-famous 6th Congressional District, short-lived GOP incumbent Karen Handel, who said last year while running in a special election against Democrat Jon Ossoff, that she didn’t support allowing adoption by gay and lesbian couples, was beaten by African-American Democrat and gun reform advocate Lucy McBath.

Texas GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, who claimed the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida ― the site of a 2016 gun massacre ― wasn’t actually a gay club (and who voted anti-gay every chance he got in his more than 20 years in Congress, garnering a score of zero every year from the Human Rights Campaign) was defeated by African-American civil rights lawyer Colin Allred.

In a huge upset in Oklahoma, Republican Steve Russell, who in 2016 introduced a bill that would have provided religious exemptions to President Barack Obama’s executive order banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination among federal contractors, lost to Kendra Horn, the first Democrat to win the state’s 5th Congressional District in 44 years. 

Former CIA analyst Elissa Slotkin took down Republican Rep. Mike Bishop in Michigan. He voted last year to deny transgender service members medically necessary transition-related health care and was an ardent opponent of marriage equality, seeking religious exemptions

In fact, the list of GOP House members opposed to marriage equality who came crashing down last week goes on and on: Dave Brat and Barbara Comstock in Virginia, Iowa’s Rod Blum, Illinois’ Randy Hultgren, Mike Coffman in Colorado and Keith Rothfus in Pennsylvania...

In the Senate, GOP marriage equality opponent Dean Heller went down in Nevada against Jacky Rosen. And in Arizona, where votes are still being counted in the close Senate race, it looks as though Martha McSally, another equality opponent, could lose in the fight for the open seat to replace marriage equality opponent Jeff Flake ― to openly bisexual Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema.

Far-right Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who once compared homosexuality to polygamy, was stopped from taking the governor’s seat and continuing the Kansas GOP’s anti-LGBTQ agenda. Democrat Laura Kelly flipped the state and has already vowed to reinstate protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender government employees, which were rescinded in 2015 by then-Gov. Sam Brownback.

In Wisconsin, anti-LGBTQ Republican Scott Walker lost his governorship to Tony Evers after nearly eight years, in a major win for equality. 

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer flipped Michigan in its governor’s race, preventing Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette ― who rejected the Michigan Civil Rights Commission’s expansion of state law to protect LGBTQ people ― from continuing GOP Gov. Rick Snyder’s hostile agenda. In another boost, openly lesbian civil rights attorney Dana Nessel, who fought Snyder to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage ban in a case among those that eventually prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2015 Obergefell ruling ― was elected Michigan’s new attorney general. 

And in the open governor’s race in Maine, Democrat Janet Mills flipped the state, ensuring right-wing extremist Gov. Paul LePage’s horrifically anti-LGBTQ agenda won’t continue under Shawn Moody, who similarly opposed marriage equality.

...In Texas, where anti-LGBTQ Republicans in recent years introduced more than a dozen bills harmful to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people each session, Democrats flipped 12 House seats in the biggest shift since 2010. In an upset, Ron Simmons, who authored an infamous anti-transgender “bathroom” bill ― which died in the Texas House last session but which conservatives vowed to bring back next year ― was defeated by Michelle Beckley...

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Technology is creating a "useless class"

From yesterday's NY Times:

The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari worries about a lot.

He worries that Silicon Valley is undermining democracy and ushering in a dystopian hellscape in which voting is obsolete.

He worries that by creating powerful influence machines to control billions of minds, the big tech companies are destroying the idea of a sovereign individual with free will.

He worries that because the technological revolution’s work requires so few laborers, Silicon Valley is creating a tiny ruling class and a teeming, furious “useless class.”

But lately, Mr. Harari is anxious about something much more personal. If this is his harrowing warning, then why do Silicon Valley C.E.O.s love him so?

“One possibility is that my message is not threatening to them, and so they embrace it?” a puzzled Mr. Harari said one afternoon in October. “For me, that’s more worrying. Maybe I’m missing something?”

...Part of the reason might be that Silicon Valley, at a certain level, is not optimistic on the future of democracy. The more of a mess Washington becomes, the more interested the tech world is in creating something else, and it might not look like elected representation. Rank-and-file coders have long been wary of regulation and curious about alternative forms of government...

Mr. Harari, thinking about all this, puts it this way: “Utopia and dystopia depends on your values.”

Mr. Harari, who has a Ph.D. from Oxford, is a 42-year-old Israeli philosopher and a history professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

The story of his current fame begins in 2011, when he published a book of notable ambition: to survey the whole of human existence. “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” first released in Hebrew, did not break new ground in terms of historical research. Nor did its premise — that humans are animals and our dominance is an accident — seem a likely commercial hit. 

But the casual tone and smooth way Mr. Harari tied together existing knowledge across fields made it a deeply pleasing read, even as the tome ended on the notion that the process of human evolution might be over. Translated into English in 2014, the book went on to sell more than eight million copies and made Mr. Harari a celebrity intellectual.

He followed up with “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow,” which outlined his vision of what comes after human evolution. In it, he describes Dataism, a new faith based around the power of algorithms. Mr. Harari’s future is one in which big data is worshiped, artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence, and some humans develop Godlike abilities.

Now, he has written a book about the present and how it could lead to that future: “21 Lessons for the 21st Century.” It is meant to be read as a series of warnings. His recent TED Talk was called “Why fascism is so tempting — and how your data could power it.

His prophecies might have made him a Cassandra in Silicon Valley, or at the very least an unwelcome presence. Instead, he has had to reconcile himself to the locals’ strange delight. “If you make people start thinking far more deeply and seriously about these issues,” he told me, sounding weary, “some of the things they will think about might not be what you want them to think about.”

...At the Alphabet talk, Mr. Harari had been accompanied by his publisher. They said that the younger employees had expressed concern about whether their work was contributing to a less free society, while the executives generally thought their impact was positive.

Some workers had tried to predict how well humans would adapt to large technological change based on how they have responded to small shifts, like a new version of Gmail. Mr. Harari told them to think more starkly: If there isn’t a major policy intervention, most humans probably will not adapt at all.

It made him sad, he told me, to see people build things that destroy their own societies, but he works every day to maintain an academic distance and remind himself that humans are just animals. “Part of it is really coming from seeing humans as apes, that this is how they behave,” he said, adding, “They’re chimpanzees. They’re sapiens. This is what they do.”

...he brought up Aldous Huxley. Generations have been horrified by his novel “Brave New World,” which depicts a regime of emotion control and painless consumption. 

Readers who encounter the book today, Mr. Harari said, often think it sounds great. “Everything is so nice, and in that way it is an intellectually disturbing book because you’re really hard-pressed to explain what’s wrong with it,” he said. “And you do get today a vision coming out of some people in Silicon Valley which goes in that direction.”

An Alphabet media relations manager later reached out to Mr. Harari’s team to tell him to tell me that the visit to X was not allowed to be part of this story. The request confused and then amused Mr. Harari. It is interesting, he said, that unlike politicians, tech companies do not need a free press, since they already control the means of message distribution...

Everyone in Silicon Valley is focused on building the future, Mr. Harari continued, while most of the world’s people are not even needed enough to be exploited. “Now you increasingly feel that there are all these elites that just don’t need me,” he said. “And it’s much worse to be irrelevant than to be exploited.”

The useless class he describes is uniquely vulnerable. “If a century ago you mounted a revolution against exploitation, you knew that when bad comes to worse, they can’t shoot all of us because they need us,” he said, citing army service and factory work.

Now it is becoming less clear why the ruling elite would not just kill the new useless class. “You’re totally expendable,” he told the audience.

This, Mr. Harari told me later, is why Silicon Valley is so excited about the concept of universal basic income, or stipends paid to people regardless of whether they work. The message is: “We don’t need you. But we are nice, so we’ll take care of you.”

On Sept. 14, he published an essay in The Guardian assailing another old trope — that “the voter knows best.”

“If humans are hackable animals, and if our choices and opinions don’t reflect our free will, what should the point of politics be?” he wrote. “How do you live when you realize...that your heart might be a government agent, that your amygdala might be working for Putin, and that the next thought that emerges in your mind might well be the result of some algorithm that knows you better than you know yourself? These are the most interesting questions humanity now faces.”

...Being gay, Mr. Harari said, has helped his work — it set him apart to study culture more clearly because it made him question the dominant stories of his own conservative Jewish society. “If society got this thing wrong, who guarantees it didn’t get everything else wrong as well?” he said.

“If I was a superhuman, my superpower would be detachment,” Mr. Harari added. “O.K., so maybe humankind is going to disappear — O.K., let’s just observe"...

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Driving through hell


Friday, November 09, 2018

Tick Tock #4

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No way to prevent this 6

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

A gunman entered a bar packed with college students in Southern California’s Thousand Oaks late Wednesday night, firing multiple shots and killing at least 12 people — and himself. The suspect has been identified as a 28-year-old white man and former marine, and was recently accused of sexual-assault by his high school track coach. Details about the horrific mass shooting are still coming in, but here’s what we know so far.

The shooting took place at a Western-style dance hall called Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, in the northwest region of the Greater Los Angeles Area, which was holding an event for college students. Nearly 100 people were there at the time of the attack.

According to recent reports, a man wearing a black sweater, hat, and glasses walked up to the bar and shot a security guard standing outside, before entering, turning to his right, and shooting several other security guards and employees inside. He then walked onto the crowded dance floor, where people were line dancing, at around 11:20 p.m. He opened fire within seconds...

Thanks to The Onion for inspiration.

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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Sharice Davids

She won.

Rob's comment: I really like these new Democrats.

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President Trump vs. "The Enemy of the  People."

Later: see also White House Releases Doctored Video, Expels CNN Journalist.

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Still the greatest danger

[Henry] James must have felt somewhat misplaced among the Americans at Surrenden in the summer of 1898. Far from sharing their zeal for the conquests of Cuba and the Philippines, he looked at the war and saw "nothing but madness, the passions, the hideous clumsiness of rage." 

Like his psychologist brother William, who believed that Theodore Roosevelt was "still mentally in the Sturm and Drang period of early adolescence," Henry James was deeply suspicious of the brand of patriotism exalted by the most famous of the Rough Riders. 

The same week the United States declared war on Spain, the novelist had reviewed American Ideals, Roosevelt's collection of manifestoes on "The Manly Virtues," "True Americanism," and kindred matters. A hopeless puerility muddled Roosevelt's thinking, James said, and he frostily observed that in a task as momentous as the shaping of national character, "stupidity is really the great danger to avoid."

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Matt Whitaker is a religious crackpot

...Whitaker’s statements on the biblical views of judges can be traced back to 2014, when he was running for the U.S. Senate[from Iowa]. He actually specified that, if elected, he would only support federal judicial nominees who looked at “justice” through a biblical (New Testament) lens:

“If [judges] have a secular world view, then I’m going to be very concerned about how they judge,” Whitaker said at an April 25, 2014, Family Leader debate.

Whitaker didn’t return my call to his office, but as a lawyer, one might expect him to know that setting religious conditions for holding a public office would violate the Iowa and U.S. constitutions. He was effectively saying that if elected, he would see no place for a judge of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic or other faith, or of no faith. Yet no one in the audience or on the podium seemed to have a problem with that, and his answer drew applause...

“Natural law often times is used from the eye of the beholder and what I would like to see — I’d like to see things like their world view, what informs them. Are they people of faith? Do they have a biblical view of justice? — which I think is very important...”

“I’m a New Testament,” continued Whitaker. “And what I know is as long as they have that world view, that they’ll be a good judge”...

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

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Democrats did well yesterday

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a meeting with leaders of the steel industry at the White House March 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump announced planned tariffs on imported steel and aluminum during the meeting, with details to be released at a later date.
Photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images

From Kevin Drum:

...Dave Brat lost. Scott Walker lost. Kris Kobach lost. Barbara Comstock lost. Dana Rohrabacher finally lost. And Dems picked up seven governorships.

But most important, Democrats flipped dozens of congressional seats and took control of the House despite running against a terrific economy. The last time we had an economy this good during a midterm was in 1998, when the party in power actually picked up seats in the House. 

The fact that Democrats did so well in face of such huge headwinds is a rebuke to Donald Trump and no one else. Suburban voters simply got tired of his racist and xenophobic shtick and turned on him en masse. The result was a historic victory for progressives...

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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

New York and SF swap museum directors

When the news broke last week that Thomas Campbell, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was going to take over the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco—the very museum that the new director of the Met, Max Hollein, left to replace him—there was an immediate reaction in the art world akin to the witnessing of a marvelously witty occurrence, like non-tragic version of an O. Henry story. 

As time wore on, however, some people began to question the feat of museological chiasmus as something less savory. Isn’t that rather convenient—two white men at the apex of power, casually exchanging roles like two gentlemen swapping horses over a game of whist at the club?

Then again, you can’t fault a hiree for being hired, and it’s easy to see why the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco would jump at the chance to bring Campbell on board. A gifted curator who rose from organizing tapestry exhibitions—his specialty—to overseeing the Cloisters to ultimately running the Metropolitan Museum of Art, America’s finest universal museum, for eight years, Campbell brings with him a range of experience, connections, and earned expertise that a much smaller institution like the FAMSF could usually only dream of acquiring. 

At the same time, for the 56-year-old English museum veteran, the San Francisco post offers the possibility of a fresh start, since his rather abrupt departure from the Met in 2017 was marked by allegations of financial overreach, reports of staff mutiny under his watch, and other bitter public airings of laundry rare to the august New York institution...

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Monday, November 05, 2018

Proposition 12: Bigger cages for farm animals

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Saturday, November 03, 2018

History of hate in the US


Studies of genocide show that those who kill their neighbors must dehumanize them before such attacks are widely accepted. In America, white Americans had been dehumanizing blacks and unleashing violence on black bodies for 300 years before the rise of the re-formed Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, when the organized targeting of Jews by hate movements began. 

The small population of Jews who lived in America throughout the 17th, 18th, and most of the 19th centuries did so in an environment of relative tolerance, backed by the assurance of the letter written by President George Washington, a slave owner, to the Hebrew Congregations of Rhode Island, stating that “the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Yet while American Jews avoided direct attack by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and 1930s, anti-Semitism itself was beginning to change as a small group of anti-Semitic radicals within the Klan moved from passivity to aggression, giving rise to a native-born American anti-Semitic movement whose radical ideology helped inspire the murder of 11 congregants at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. 

Auto tycoon Henry Ford played a key role in this transformation. Through his widely circulated Dearborn Independent, Ford popularized alarming slurs against the Jewish people, borrowing from the fraudulent and anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion to accuse Jews of a secret, global financial conspiracy to undermine the United States and the western world...

By the late 1980s, a prominent terrorism expert, Bruce Hoffman, argued that every significant right-wing terrorist group in the nation fell under the influence of Christian Identity ideology. Hoffman wrote this after a decade of high-profile acts of domestic terrorism. 

The Order, a group that included a number of Christian Identity believers, plotted domestic assassinations, murdered Jewish radio host Alan Berg, and attempted to counterfeit U.S. currency in hopes of destabilizing the U.S. financial system. 

The Covenant Sword and Arm of the Lord engaged in a number of low-level, sometimes bungled acts of terrorism; they were also arrested with chemicals that they hoped to use to poison the New York City and Washington, D.C. water systems. In both instances, near-siege-like raids became necessary to subdue the groups.

Law enforcement deserves substantial credit for undermining the anti-Semitic, racist Christian Identity terrorist groups of the 1980s and ’90s. Although their efforts sometimes led to unintended consequences, the FBI infiltrated these groups for decades, often turning member against member, and capitalizing on the inherent paranoia within each group to destroy them from within. 

The net effect was to push these groups into smaller and smaller units, from large group to cell-based and finally, to lone wolf...

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Friday, November 02, 2018

An anniversary

Jonestown started here

Forty years ago this month, on November 18, 1978, 909 men, women and children — many of them members of the Peoples Temple from the Fillmore neighborhood — died in the jungle of South America after ingesting a mix of cyanide, sedatives and Flavor Aid fruit drink at the urging of their leader, Rev. Jim Jones.

It was set in motion here, and two programs this month commemorate the tragedy with local roots:

On Wednesday, November 7, the California Historical Society will present a program featuring historians, academics and survivors at its headquarters at 678 Mission Street. “Discussing Peoples Temple: Understanding the Social, Cultural and Political Influences on the Peoples Temple Movement” starts at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, November 18, a “Day of Atonement in the Fillmore” is planned, beginning at 1:45 in front of the U.S. Post Office on Geary near Fillmore, where the Peoples Temple once stood. It includes a march down Fillmore to the mini park between Turk and Golden Gate and numerous guest speakers...

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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Pic of the Moment

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Good reporting on Proposition C

Photo: Mark Edge

Letter to the editor in today's SF Chronicle:

Regarding “Odd logic in battling tax to aid homeless” (Oct. 28): Congratulations to Heather Knight for her early support of Proposition C and her years-long diligence in pursuing the complexities of our homeless crisis.

Knight’s recent column on the odd/puzzling logic in battling a tax to aid the homeless is insightful, revealing and cogent. It suggests the hypocrisy of our city leaders who oppose it. The elected officials and the CEOs (with the rare and extremely admirable exception of Salesforce’s Marc Benioff) whose companies would pay Prop. C’s tax are not puzzled, they are conflicted.

When voters are confused by otherwise logical people making illogical arguments, always follow the money. 

The special interests and their beneficiaries who don’t want to part with their gold rush bonanzas will often use strange and contorted reasoning rather than acknowledge the truth. Their logic is not odd or puzzling. It is simply dishonest.

Mark Leno, 
former state senator

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Scaring the other kids

Scariest thing on this Halloween is the demise of fact-based reality
David Horsey

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Senator Tester has skin in the health care game, since as a kid he lost fingers in the machine he's leaning on. He can tell you the rest of the familiar story.

Needless to say, he's a Democrat.


SF's bike revolution is over

San Francisco Citizen

The bike movement in San Francisco may have began with Critical Mass in 1992, which got a lot of publicity after a riot in 1997 when city cops tried to stop it in downtown San Francisco.

But the next big move by city cyclists and their enablers in City Hall was rushing the 500-page Bicycle Plan through the process without any environmental review in clear violation of the most important environmental law in California. 

I'm proud to have been a party to the litigation that culminated with the court ordering the city to do an environmental review of the ambitious plan.

The bike movement in the city has now apparently skidded to a halt. According to last year's Travel Decisions Survey (page 5), trips by bicycle in the city are down to 2%, even though the Mode Share Survey 2011 (page 5) found that trips by bicycle were 3.4% of all trips made in the city.

We learned recently that commuting by bicycle was down 24% from a 2015 peak.

But those numbers haven't fazed City Hall's anti-car zeal, as it recently opened bike lanes on Masonic Avenue that have been an underwhelming success, with few cyclists using the garish green monuments to wishful thinking.

Failures like that won't stop the city's pursuit of what Paul Krugman calls zombie ideas: "beliefs about policy that have been repeatedly refuted with evidence and analysis but refuse to die."

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Noe Valley SF

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Starting at the source

Clay Bennett
Thanks to Daily Kos

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

No way to prevent this 5

The Tree of Life * Or L'Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh.
Yahoo News photo

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

From the Huffington Post:

At least eight people were killed, law enforcement officials told local news station KDKA and NBC News. Several outlets, including NBC, KDKA and CNN reported that the suspect is 46-year-old Robert Bowers, citing police sources. 

Six people were injured, four of whom were police officers, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said at a Saturday afternoon press conference. He declined to comment on a specific total number of deaths and did not state the name of the suspect. He also declined to comment on whether weapons had been recovered.

“It’s a very horrific crime scene,” Hissrich said. “It’s one of the worst that I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some plane crashes. It’s very bad.”

Law enforcement had responded to reports of an active shooter at the synagogue, which was crowded for Saturday services in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, shortly before 10 a.m. Police sources told KDKA that a gunman walked into the synagogue and yelled, “All Jews must die,” before opening fire.

The shooting will be prosecuted as a hate crime, the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety said on Twitter...

Thanks to The Onion

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