Tuesday, May 31, 2005

SF Weekly: Lame alternative to PC Guardian

It would be helpful if the SF Weekly could provide a real alternative to the SF Bay Guardian's tiresome, party line progressivism. There's a real need for an alternative, and progressives in the city provide a target-rich environment for those so inclined politically (I have so much material for my blog I don't have time to write it all up). 

Take SF Weekly's Matt Smith, for example. When last I wrote about Smith, he was telling us about how under-used the 38 Geary Muni line is. In the May 25-31 Weekly, Smith calls Mayor Newsom "feckless," which my dictionary tells me means "weak, worthless." Gavin Newsom is weak and worthless the same way the 38 Geary is underused by the people of San Francisco, that is, not at all. 

Smith had more to say about the mayor:

[O]ur mayor's an empty suit with a penchant for public relations and patronage and an approach to policy that's rich in uplifting verbiage and poor in real effect. The mayor's supporters have defended Gavin Newsom's pandering, his focus on the PR side of policy, and his obsession with political maneuvering by asking for patience, and by saying that he's building strength to carry out his bold ideas for San Francisco. I haven't joined that faith.

Smith may have missed Care Not Cash and the gay marriage thing, since he's evidently been on another planet. Whatever one thinks of these two initiatives, if nothing else they surely qualify as being bold. And Care Not Cash not only got Newsom elected mayor, it has shown early signs of being effective in getting homeless people off the streets. Otherwise, Smith got it just right.

Some of the city's progressives are furious with Supervisor McGoldrick for not voting against the Muni budget the other day. Why they should have their knickers in such a twist is not clear, but the city's left is prone to sudden fits of hysteria and hand-wringing. The Muni budget will now raise fares for seniors, the disabled, and young people by only 15 cents, while introducing a lifeline monthly pass for the very poor. The cost of a fast pass will stay the same, and the owl service will not be cut. Surely the 25 cent raise in the bus fare doesn't justify all this emotion. 

Progressives continually work themselves into a lather when they think they are defending poor and working people in the city. As a working person myself, I find their constant playing of the class card condescending and obnoxious. Why shouldn't working people pay their fair share for Muni or anything else in the city? Are we children, to be patronized with progressive, elitist noblesse oblige? Besides, with the rest of the supervisors, McGoldrick recently voted to make the Bicycle Plan part of the General Plan. Evidently that's not good enough for the "activists." And McGoldrick represents a westside district in SF, where many people own cars, unlike, say, Chris Daly's downtown district, where few do. Chris Daly, Beyond Chron, and the city's "activists" should know and understand that, but they are so narcissistic politically they probably don't.

"Backlog Overwhelms Planning Department," was the head on an SF Examiner story Monday. The Planning Dept. has a backlog of 1,000 permits to process, because it's short on staff. Funny, but Planning seems to have plenty of time to work on the 200+ pages of Bicycle Plan (more than 400 pages when you include the massive Network document). Maybe Macris should take a few of the bike fanatics off that and put them to work doing something useful for a change.

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